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All the beauties winged whisper, but I
don’t care if you get what you want. It’s what I
want, that’s why I’m leading you. I want the cor-
rection for my sake. I want to be in the right universe.
Now I’ve gone to where I’ve abolished you, am I
calling for a new you? It’s so restful here.
Momma he won’t shut up. They don’t even know
how to speak they understand each other
saying nothing words. I’m tormented because
I can’t find someone with an ear. God has an ear
but there’s no god. There must be someone
who can hear delicacy and fierceness mixed
All they say are words they heard someone say,
they can’t play the language.
I’m walking up
J Street hill, I feel sad as brass tacks. I’m leading
all of you up too, I’m about ten and it’s the same as now.
Steep up, there’s a gully to the side you’ll stupidly
fill in later so trucks can go through as if they matter,
I used to think you mattered. Now my real you is the dead,
and I’m leading the live you to them, to you, aren’t I?
We have to be reconciled. Those athels are ugly
you can suck them for salt or you can cry for it.
The hardest part of being alive is wondering why,
when we’re all going to be dead,
the dead say
they’re not sure why. We had to be defined to die
but we invented it. We just do it. You
need to be led, I say. You don’t know what you’re doing.
Your tone of voice still isn’t complex enough.
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How would I know / when I’m empty and quiet like breath?
Historian Gerald Horne has developed a grand theory of U.S. history as a series of devastating backlashes to progress—right down to the present day.
Reflecting on three monumental works of modernism—James Joyce’s Ulysses, T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, and Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus—a hundred years on.