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A PRINCE ENJOYING HIS INCOGNITO 



"For the perfect idler, for the passionate observer, it becomes an immense source of enjoyment to establish his dwelling in the throng, in the ebb and flow, the bustle, the fleeting and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel at home anywhere; to see the world, to be at the very center of the world, and yet to be unseen of the world, such are some of the minor pleasures of those independent, intense and impartial spirits, who do not lend themselves easily to linguistic definitions. The observer is a prince enjoying his incognito wherever he goes."
~Charles Baudelaire

TOTALLY LIKE WHATEVER, YOU KNOW? By Taylor Mali 



 
In case you hadn't noticed,
it has somehow become uncool
to sound like you know what you're talking about? 

Or believe strongly in what you're saying?
Invisible question marks and parenthetical (you know?)'s 

have been attaching themselves to the ends of our sentences?
Even when those sentences aren't, like, questions? You know?

Declarative sentences - so-called 

because they used to, like, DECLARE things to be true 

as opposed to other things which were, like, not -

have been infected by a totally hip 
and tragically cool interrogative tone? You know? 

Like, don't think I'm uncool just because I've noticed this; 

this is just like the word on the street, you know? 

It's like what I've heard? 
I have nothing personally invested in my own opinions, okay? 

I'm just inviting you to join me in my uncertainty?

What has happened to our conviction? 

Where are the limbs out on which we once walked?
Have they been, like, chopped down
with the rest of the rain forest?
Or do we have, like, nothing to say? 

Has society become so, like, totally . . .
I mean absolutely . . . You know? 

That we've just gotten to the point where it's just, like . . . 

whatever!

And so actually our disarticulation . . . ness 

is just a clever sort of . . . thing 

to disguise the fact that we've become
the most aggressively inarticulate generation 

to come along since . . . 

you know, a long, long time ago!

I entreat you, I implore you, I exhort you, 

I challenge you: To speak with conviction.
To say what you believe in a manner that bespeaks
the determination with which you believe it. 

Because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker,
it is not enough these days to simply QUESTION AUTHORITY. 

You have to speak with it, too.
 

WHEN THEY SLEEP 



All people are children when they sleep.
There's no war in them then.
They open their hands and breathe
in that quiet rhythm heaven has given them.
 
They pucker their lips like small children
and open their hands halfway,
soldiers and statesmen, servants and masters.
The stars stand guard
and a haze veils the sky,
a few hours when no one will do anybody harm.
 
If only we could speak to one another then
when our hearts are half-open flowers.
Words like golden bees
would drift in.
-- God, teach me the language of sleep.
 
~Rolf Jacobsen
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