If these verses be not great,
Let them be better
Than all I have written before
And all that anyone else is writing.

Give me the strength to change
All that cannot be mine
Into my greatest inspiration,
Let me find victory in my defeat,
Words to cover up reality’s bad patches
With all the language allows to glitter.

Keep me drunk enough
To always have sentences to spout,
But sober enough to hold a pen,
Keeping inspiration in place.

If I die before I am great,
Let my death awake
The critics from dogmatic slumbers, and
The readers behind their cozy books,
Let it arrive unannounced,
To improve my standing with both,
And open the gates to the pantheon.

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I let him mourn too long,
It was my mistake,
I thought I would be generous,
Understanding, forgiving,
Be not letting him forget so easily.

They all told him
To move on and find another
I felt I was the only one
Who understood,
That there would be no other
Like her, for him.

So I said to Bill it was okay
Okay to feel sorry and to cry
If he wanted to stay alone,
Sleep in and not go out,
Fine by me, I understood.

He stayed in and never came out,
Unless it was with a bottle in his hand
Of something strong smelling
With a burning taste,
All I can ever take to make the pain
Surrender and go away, he said,
Between sips and gulps.

I told him that it was now time to stop mourning,
But the dirge was still playing
The ladies of the house were still screaming
And Bill had only just begun.

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