The response up to this point has been, well, nil, but sometimes you just have to do what you've have to do. Mercifully, this post will wrap up this recent fixation: some things you just have to get out of your system. Just as with Japanese and Chinese poetry, I will always have an affinity for the Rubáiyát. The lyric tone and style is antiquated, to be sure. The philosophy, though, is close to my lapsed agnostic heart.
Spill that wine, take that pearl ...
But in vain down on the stubborn floor
Of Earth, and up to Heav'n's unopening Door
---You gaze To-day while You are You—how then
Tomorrow, when You shall be You no more?
For "Is" and "Is-Not" though with Rule and Line
And "Up-and-Down" by Logic I define,
---Of all that shall care to fathom, I
Was never deep in anything but—Wine.
Oh threats of Hell and Hopes of Paradise!
One thing is certain—This Life flies;
---One thing is certain and the rest is Lies;
The Flower that once has blown for ever Dies.
Strange, is it not? that of the myriads who
Before us pass'd the door of Darkness through,
---Not one returns to tell us of the Road
Which to discover we must travel too.
The Revelations of Devout and Learn'd
Who rose before us, and as the Prophets burn'd,
---Are all but stories, which, awoke from Sleep
They told their comrades and to Sleep return'd.
I sent my Soul through the Invisible,
Some letter of the After—life to spell:
---And by and by my Soul return'd to me,
And answered "I myself are Heav'n and Hell:"
Heav'n but the Vision of fulfill'd Desire,
And Hell the Shadow from a Soul on fire,
---Cast on the Darkness into which Ourselves,
So late emerged from, shall so soon expire.
The Moving Finger writes and having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
---Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.
And that inverted Bowl they call the Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop'd we live and die,
---Lift not your hands to It for help—for It
As impotently moves as you or I.
Yesterday This day's madness did prepare;
Tomorrow's Silence, Triumph, or Despair:
---Drink, for you know not whence you came, nor why:
Drink for you know not why you go, nor where.
Yet Ah, that Spring should vanish with the Rose!
That Youth's sweet-scented manuscript shall close!
---The Nightingale that in the branches sang,
Ah, whence, and whither flown, who knows?
This week's trip to the Back Issue Archive of Lilliput Review continues to go way down the alley: August 1993. Here are a few select nuggets from back then: enjoy.
brow to brow
You TaughtYou taught
me woman things
with your smooth words and way;
how is it you taught me how to
leave you?Terria Tucker Smith
Heads Or TalesWe live in a time where
childhood is a lie
tomorrow is a fantasy
and today is duck duck
-----"ramma ramma, katzenjamma"
---------------rise up gypsies, dancers, mountebanks,
troubadours, lost souls, poets, painters, ghost
of starving, teeth-gnashing Van Gogh, penniless
and drunk, staring at the stars in the rain,
actors, itinerant players, the irregulars, feast
in a world out of joint and biting our ass, drink
up rogue gypsy gala, dance till morning, oh Judy,
Judy, Judy, sing on, sing on, the singing soul
of our crying hearts.
T. Kilgore Splake
Oh, and one little last something, live, because we can: