March 2, 2011

Jokes are for the living
the dead know everything



Christopher Wool, If You, 1992

Questions and Answers
-- by Nicanor Parra

do you believe it would be worth the trouble
to kill god
to see if that would straighten out the world?

--of course it would be

would it be worth the trouble
to risk your life
for an idea that might be false?

--of course it would be

I ask you now if it would be
worth the trouble to eat crab meat
worth the trouble to raise children
who will turn against
their elders?

--obviously yes
no, its worth the trouble

I ask you now if it would be worth
the trouble to play a record
the trouble to read a tree
the trouble to plant a book
if everything disappears
if nothing lasts?

--maybe it wouldn't be

don't cry

--I'm laughing

don't get born

--I'm dying


Notebook
--by Patti Smith

I keep trying to figure out what it means
to be american. When I look in myself
I see arabia, venus, nineteenth-century
french but I can't recognize what
makes me american. I think about
Robert Frank's photographs -- broke down
jukeboxes in gallup, new mexico...
swaying hips and spurs...ponytails and
syphilitic cowpokes. I think about a
red, white and blue rag I wrap around
my pillow. Maybe it's nothing material
maybe it's just being free.

Freedom is a waterfall, is pacing
linoleum till dawn, is the right to
write the wrong words, and I done
plenty of that...


The Professional
-- by Joe Maynard

"That's the good thing;
about my profession,"
she said
putting her hand on my arm
while her other hand
gestured
palm up
with lipstick clad filter
sandwiched between her index
and bird finger
like a smoldering
clitoris.
"All you have to know
is how to use the phone."

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