Poetic Tidbits – Oppen, Reznikoff, O’Hara

Charles Reznikoff, “On Brooklyn Bridge I saw a man drop dead”

On Brooklyn Bridge I saw a man drop dead.
It meant no more than if he were a sparrow.
Above us rose Manhattan;
below, the river spread to meet sea and sky.

George Oppen, from Of Being Numerous, “A Language of New York”

A city of the corporations

Glassed in dreams
And images–

And the pure joy
Of the mineral fact

Tho it is impenetrable

As the world, if it is matter
Is impenetrable.

Frank O’ Hara, “Having a Coke With You”

is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles

and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them

I look
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully
as the horse

it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it

Note: I need to write a 10 page paper tying these together somehow. I will probably leave out the Oppen tidbit as it is from a much larger collection. The paper is due Thursday and I definitely don’t have time to do the piece justice in context to the rest of “Of Being Numerous” although I have so, so, so much to say about it if I could analyze just this one little tidbit. Enjoy the poetry, it’s all very short and sweet. Wish me luck with this paper!

Sorry to be falling behind on Blogging Honesty – I have 2 papers due this week and another due the week after. Then I’ll be done with my semester, wow. I’m really excited for it to be Thursday night lol, when both of these papers will be done. It’s 2AM and I’ve been up since 7 and I am totally WIPED right now. And I don’t really have much work done on either paper yet (1 is an 8 page first draft to be peer edited, and 1 is a 10 page paper on poetry and politics in New York City)

Such fun! Peace out, imma at least start outlining my ideas for the poetry paper 🙂 I’ve already read the pieces for my other paper (Aristotle – gender, sex, desire in Metaphysics, Physics, On The Generation of Animals) and annotated the readings heavily as I went through them looking for the 3 particular themes I’m supposed to focus on. So now it’s just a matter of penning my thoughts and as its a rough draft, it’s second on my priority list. Final paper is actually due 2 weeks from now for that class.

Aiight, good night. I’ll go to bed before 3AM I promise. Need to be up at 7:30 to get ready to get to class on time since I’m at home in Long Island. I was missing the comfort & feeling a tad homesick. I guess I need to be out of NYC to write a paper on it. Ironic.

Dance With The Devil

This song makes me cry every single time. Without fail. Pain and heartbreak, I can handle stolidly. But this song….no, never. I tear up EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Please don’t listen if you want to retain your good mood, but I guarantee you that it is an amazing song. You must listen. It’s so good. So, so, so good. My god. So good.

I’m writing out the lyrics here if you want to say them along with the song. It will touch your soul, I promise. This is real music. Real deep poetic beautiful music. The kind that moves you.

Dance With the Devil – Immortal Technique

I once knew a nigga whose real name was William
His primary concern, was making a million
Being the illest hustler, that the world ever seen
He used to fuck movie stars and sniff coke in his dreams
A corrupted young mind, at the age of thirteen
Nigga never had a father and his mom was a fiend
She put the pipe down, but every year she was sober
Her sons heart simultaneously grew colder
He started hanging out selling bags in the projects
Checking the young chicks, looking for hit and run prospects
He was fascinated by material objects
But he understood money never bought respect
He build a reputation ’cause he could hustle and steal
But got locked once and didn’t hesitate to squeal
So criminals he chilled with didn’t think he was real
You see me and niggas like this have never been equal
I don’t project my insecurities at other people
He fiended for props like addicts with pipes and needles
So he felt he had to prove to everyone he was evil
A feeble-minded young man with infinite potential
The product of a ghetto breed capitalistic mental
Coincidentally dropped out of school to sell weed
Dancing with the devil, smoked until his eyes would bleed
But he was sick of selling trees and gave in to his greed

[Hook]
Everyone trying to be trife never face the consequences
You probably only did a month for minor offences
Ask a nigga doing life if he had another chance
But then again there’s always the wicked that knew in advance
Dance forever with the devil on a cold cell block
But that’s what happens when you rape, murder and sell rock
Devils used to be gods, angels that fell from the top
There’s no diversity because we’re burning in the melting pot

[Verse 2]
So Billy started robbing niggas, anything he could do
To get his respect back, in the eyes of his crew
Starting fights over little shit, up on the block
Stepped up to selling mothers and brothers the crack rock
Working overtime for making money for the crack spot
Hit the jackpot and wanted to move up to cocaine
fulfilling the scarface fantasy stuck in his brain
Tired of the block niggas treating him the same
He wanted to be major like the cut throats and the thugs
But when he tried to step to ’em, niggas showed him no love
They told him any motherfucking coward can sell drugs
Any bitch nigga with a gun, can bust slugs
Any nigga with a red shirt can front like a blood
Even Puffy smoked a motherfucker up in a club
But only a real thug can stab someone till they die
Standing in front of them, starring straight into their eyes
Billy realized that these men were well guarded
And they wanted to test him, before business started
Suggested raping a bitch to prove he was cold hearted
So now he had a choice between going back to his life
Or making money with made men, up in the cife
His dreams about cars and ice, made him agree
A hardcore nigga is all he ever wanted to be
And so he met them Friday night at a quarter to three

[Hook]

[Verse 3]
They drove around the projects slow while it was raining
Smoking blunts, drinking and joking for entertainment
Until they saw a woman on the street walking alone
Three in the morning, coming back from work, on her way home
And so they quietly got out the car and followed her
Walking through the projects, the darkness swallowed her
They wrapped her shirt around her head and knocked her onto the floor
This is it kid now you got your chance to be raw
So Billy oaked her up and grabbed the chick by the hair
And dragged her into a lobby that had nobody there
She struggled hard but they forced her to go up the stairs
They got to the roof and then held her down on the ground
Screaming shut the fuck up and stop moving around
The shirt covered her face, but she screamed and clawed
So Billy stomped on the bitch, until he had broken her jaw
The dirty bastards knew exactly what they were doing
They kicked her until they cracked her ribs and she stopped moving
Blood leaking through the cloth, she cried silently
And then they all proceeded to rape her violently
Billy was made to go first, but each of them took a turn
Ripping her up, and choking her until her throat burned
A broken jaw mumbled for guards but they weren’t concerned
When they were done and she was lying bloody, broken and bruised
One of them niggas pulled out a brand new twenty-two
They told him that she was a witness of what she’d gone through
And if he killed her he was guaranteed a spot in the crew
He thought about it for a minute, she was practically dead
And so he leaned over and put the gun right to her head

[Sample from “Survival of the Fittest” by Mobb Deep]
I’m falling and I can’t turn back
I’m falling and I can’t turn back

[Verse 4]
Right before he pulled the trigger, and ended her life
He thought about the cocaine with the platinum and ice
And he felt strong standing along with his new brothers
Cocked the gat to her head, and pulled back the shirt cover
But what he saw made him start to cringe and stutter
Cause he was starring into the eyes of his own mother
She looked back at him and cried, cause he had forsaken her
She cried more painfully, than when they were raping her
His whole world stopped, he couldn’t even contemplate
His corruption had successfully changed his fate
And he remembered how his mom used to come home late
Working hard for nothing, cause now what was he worth
He turned away from the woman that had once given him birth
And crying out to the sky cause he was lonely and scared
But only the devil responded, cause god wasn’t there
And right then he knew what it was to be empty and cold
And so he jumped off the roof and died with no soul
They say death takes you to a better place but I doubt it
After that they killed his mother, and never spoke about it
And listen cause the story that I’m telling is true
Cause I was there with Billy Jacobs and I raped his mom too
And now the devil follows me everywhere that I go
In fact I’m sure he’s standing among one of you at my shows
And every street cypher listening to little thugs flow
He could be standing right next to you, and you wouldn’t know
The devil grows inside the hearts of the selfish and wicked
White, brown, yellow and black colored is not restricted
You have a self destructive destiny when your inflicted
And you’ll be one of gods children and fell from the top
There’s no diversity because we’re burning in the melting pot
So when the devil wants to dance with you, you better say never
Because the dance with the devil might last you forever

xoxo,
Pryanka

Easter Poetry

I don’t usually preface my poetry with a paragraph, but this poem needs a little bit of background. I’m in a rather nostalgic mood, missing my past childhood. Who doesn’t go through that all the time? Hell, I even miss Freshman year of college. It’s tough, looking back to times that were so unburdened.

The Easter (And life) of my childhood was so unburdened and unabashedly free, I really miss it. Now, my brother and I see each other on weekends, sometimes only every other week. One of my cousins is studying medicine at St. George’s School of Medicine, and the other is a Junior now at Stony Brook University. That life has fallen apart, and the Easters of my childhood are gone.

Gone are the jellybeans and egg hunts. The Easter baskets filled with fake shredded pastel colored grass. I miss it terribly. Now, holidays barely have any meaning. One day is like the next, and every day, I feel guilty for not having studied enough.

Easter
An egg hunt at the Botanical Gardens,
A frolic through rosebushes and daisies,
Blowing away dandelions under a splendid willow tree,
And the promise of hidden jellybeans.

Ice Cream cones from the Mr. Softee truck,
Parked outside the entrance to the Gardens,
Us four, inseparable, enjoying ice cream.
Chocolate-covered Vanilla, with sprinkles of course.

Collecting pretty pinecones,
Filling an Easter basket with eggs and pinecones,
A wonderful mix of pastel and brown,
Leaving a trail of Easter grass all around.

No religion, just an excuse to enjoy
A lovely Spring day in the garden.
A sweet bike ride, racing one another,
Still young enough to ride on the sidewalk.

Trading eggs,
Finding one with a surprise chocolate bunny inside.
Milk chocolate
Delight.

Angel of Writing

Angel of writing,
Hear my call.
I invoke you,
Flow from my pen,
Your soul pour forth from my body.
My pen is a weapon and a tool,
With it, I create and destroy.
Words hurt, they kill, resurrect,
Reminisce misspell.
I dare not break away,
The craft, the literacy
Is my heart.
My power, my nectar,
My Holy Grail.
Angel of writing,
Muse of the night –
Allow my inspiration never to fade,
My aspirations to have no end,
And my rise to never fall.

The Glass

This one starts out with a hard look in the mirror.
The bones, muscles, veins,
The skin. Its color.
The eyes, their shape.

An observation and an acknowledgment.
Come to peace with yourself,
And then exude the confidence
That will bring you everyone else.

It’s like flying a kite,
Soaring up and above.
Just keep in mind,
You need to stay rooted.

That mirror, your face,
The expression, your pout.
Those are you, and you need to stay rooted.
Stay gold stay up.

Be happy, carefree.
Just look and smile and move on.
Just flow. Life flows you flow everything flows
And happens for a reason.

So you look in that mirror,
And who do you see?
You should see you,
And you should be happy.

Sometimes

Sometimes in my gut,
There’s this feeling.
When I know something I want,
Just isn’t going to happen.

It creeps upon me,
At night when I’m sleeping,
And I know that what I expect
And what will occur are different.

It isn’t a good or a bad thing,
Just being wrong and knowing
That what has gotten your hopes up
Is going to make them dash right back down.

Nobody is to blame, nobody is at fault,
My heart’s just quick to attach
To false hopes. Just quick to expect
When there’s just no spark.

No spark. Nobody to blame.
Just empty fireworks on a cold
New Years Eve,
My heart breaking.