All The World’s A Stage All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms. Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel And shining morning face, creeping like snail Unwillingly to school. And then the lover, Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier, Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard, Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel, Seeking the bubble reputation Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice, In fair round belly with good capon lined, With eyes severe and beard of formal cut, Full of wise saws and modern instances; And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts Into the lean and slippered pantaloon, With spectacles on nose and pouch on side; His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice, Turning again toward childish treble, pipes And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything. -William Shakespeare.
The Icecream People
The lady has me temporarily off the bottle and now the pecker stands up better. however, things change overnight– instead of listening to Shostakovich and Mozart through a smeared haze of smoke the nights change, new complexities: we drive to Baskin-Robbins, 31 flavors: Rocky Road, Bubble Gum, Apricot Ice, Strawberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Mint… we park outside and look at icecream people a very healthy and satisfied people, nary a potential suicide in sight (they probably even vote) and I tell her “what if the boys saw me go in there? suppose they find out I’m going in for a walnut peach sundae?” “come on, chicken,” she laughs and we go in and stand with the icecream people. none of them are cursing or threatening the clerks. there seem to be no hangovers or grievances. I am alarmed at the placid and calm wave that flows about. I feel like a leper in a beauty contest. we finally get our sundaes and sit in the car and eat them. I must admit they are quite good. a curious new world. (all my friends tell me I am looking better. “you’re looking good, man, we thought you were going to die there for a while…”) –those 4,500 dark nights, the jails, the hospitals… and later that night there is use for the pecker, use for love, and it is glorious, long and true, and afterwards we speak of easy things; our heads by the open window with the moonlight looking through, we sleep in each other’s arms. the icecream people make me feel good, inside and out. – Charles Bukowski The Poor Ghost “Oh whence do you come, my dear friend, to me, With your golden hair all fallen below your knee, And your face as white as snowdrops on the lea, And your voice as hollow as the hollow sea?” “From the other world I come back to you, My locks are uncurled with dripping drenching dew. You know the old, whilst I know the new: But tomorrow you shall know this too.” “Oh not tomorrow into the dark, I pray; Oh not tomorrow, too soon to go away: Here I feel warm and well-content and gay: Give me another year, another day.” “Am I so changed in a day and a night That mine own only love shrinks from me with fright, Is fain to turn away to left or right And cover up his eyes from the sight?” “Indeed I loved you, my chosen friend, I loved you for life, but life has an end; Thro’ sickness I was ready to tend: But death mars all, which we cannot mend. “Indeed I loved you; I love you yet If you will stay where your bed is set, Where I have planted a violet Which the wind waves, which the dew makes wet.” “Life is gone, then love too is gone, It was a reed that I leant upon: Never doubt 1 will leave you alone And not wake you rattling bone with bone. “I go home alone to my bed, Dug deep at the foot and deep at the head, Roofed in with a load of lead, Warm enough for the forgotten dead. “But why did your tears soak thro’ the clay, And why did your sobs wake me where I lay? I was away, far enough away: Let me sleep now till the Judgement Day.” – Christina Rossetti