Category Archives: quotes

Ten Cents a Dance by Ray Charles

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I work at the Palace ballroom, but gee that palace is cheap When I get back to my chillly hallroom, I’m much too tired to sleep I’m one of those lady teachers, a beautiful hostess you know; One that the palace features, at exactly a dime a throw. Ten cents a dance, that’s what they pay me Gosh how they weigh me down. Ten cents a dance, pansies and rough guys, tough guys who tear my gown. Seven to midnight I hear drums, loudly the saxophone blows, Trumpets are tearing my ear-drums, customers crush my toes. Sometimes I think, I’ve found my hero But it’s a queer romance; All that you need is a ticket, Come on big boy, ten cents a dance.

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Charlie Dogson – A Poem, by Paul David Thomas

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Charlie Dogson was a man of a thousand monkeys,
who cooked up a meal of holy toads daily,
And whose body was always in disagreement with itself.
Sometimes his left hand fought with his right
and sometimes he urinated through his tear ducts,
but other times he had to stand on his head
to pass his stones without breaking the mirror.
.. ..
He left his home on the 369th petal of a sunflower,
due to pollution caused by poor housekeeping-
he never did hear the door slam shut-
and began a quiet life in ….Marietta….,
raising pinstripe suits on 16 acres of land
and hunting white-tailed wildebeests
imported from the Serengeti.
.. ..
One day he got his head stuck inside the skull of a great Elk,
he solved his problem the following day
by imprisoning the head of a hawk inside his own rectum.
One spring he sat down and gave birth to a coyote
through his Big Toe. For whatever reason,
the newborn coyote bit off his foot,
so he gave birth to a turtle through his left breast
and used it as a prosthetic.
.. ..
From his penis he could make all sorts of useful plants,
and once he used it to hook a twenty pound rainbow trout
up in ….Alaska…. in 1970. The thing fought like a bastard,
and just before the boat capsized in the trough,
the fish leaped through the swell,
then ripped down into the soup-
Charlie’s pecker was no longer the freak it once was.
.. ..
The luckiest day of his life,
other than catching the trout and finding Mary,
was winning $4 on a convenience store lottery ticket.
But that year he spent six months underwater
living with the giant sea horses he met while fishing
and missed the claim deadline by one day.
He never did get his $4.
.. ..
Broke and with out any prospects,
he moved west and became a circus tumbler and fire breather,
but he charred his lower intestine one evening
and had to wear a colostomy bag
for the rest of his short life.
He kept his living by hanging from hooks
through holes in his back,
while the trapeze artists swung from his testicles.
He impregnated the bearded lady,
and she soon gave birth to a fully bearded baby girl,
with two crooked teeth.
But as it turns out, the child was not Charlie’s.
It was, in fact, her own.
See, the Bearded Lady was also Myrtle,
the Four Legged Woman, who had both sets of organs.
.. ..
But soon the circus rejected Charlie
And he fled further west on a turtle and a toe.
And Myrtle took a shave
and refused to ever ride the miniature donkey again,
nor would she ever again
milk the two-headed cow.
The child, Dogson IV,
died at age seven in a dual with the sword swallower
and Myrtle married Rosie the Half-Girl
and now they live in ….Texas…. with the Leopard Man.
.. ..
Charlie remained a vagrant of sorts
until his last day on this earth,
wandering the cleavage of a fair city-
his scaled tail slagging behind him-
selling apples cores from the garbage cans of the rich
with a legion of groaning omnivores scavenging the
usual disquisitive jibber-jabber
churned up by the otiose coins falling into the dirt
through his slippery mitts.
.. ..
But his friends knew how to contact him still.
They’d call his name three times,
and he would appear at their doorstep within an hour,
always with a bottle in his hand
and a dozen or so invisible strangers
practicing their Pig-Latin and solving crimes
and rewiring the shadow cast by his belt-buckle.

“Mad Girl’s Love Song” by Sylvia Plath

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"I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan's men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you'd return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)"

“All art is quite useless” by Oscar Wilde

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All Art Is Quite Useless

The artist is the creator of beautiful things.
To reveal art and conceal the artist is art’s aim.
The critic is he who can translate into another manner
or a new material his impression of beautiful things.

The highest, as the lowest, form of criticism is a mode
of autobiography.
Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt
without being charming. This is a fault.
Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things
are the cultivated. For these there is hope.
They are the elect to whom beautiful things means only
Beauty.

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book.

Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.
The nineteenth century dislike of Realism is the rage of
Caliban seeing his own face in a glass.
The nineteenth century dislike of Romanticism is the
rage of Caliban not seeing his own face in a glass.
The moral life of man forms part of the subject-matter of
the artist, but the morality of art consists in the perfect
use of an imperfect medium. No artist desires to prove
anything. Even things that are true can be proved.

No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy

in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style.
No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express
everything.
Thought and language are to the artist instruments of an art.

Vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art.
From the point of view of form, the type of all the arts is
the art of the musician. From the point of view of feeling,
the actor’s craft is the type.
All art is at once surface and symbol.
Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.

Those who read the symbol do so at their peril.
It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.
Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work
is new, complex, and vital.

When critics disagree the artist is in accord with
himself.
We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he
does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless
thing is that one admires it intensely.

All art is quite useless.

– Oscar Wilde
Preface to “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

excerpt from Motta’s Chinese Equinox

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Xiao Chu means‚ “small restraint‚” or conversely, restraint in small things, so we can accumulate virtue.  We append a deep Taoistic comment:

The Master said:  “The petty man is not ashamed of what is not benevolent, nor fears doing what is not right.  Without prospect of profit, he does not dedicate himself to what is good ,and without pressure from others; he does not redress his errors.  However, self-correction in small things would make him chary in things of greater consequence.  If good deeds are not accumulated, they will not be sufficient to create character in us; if bad deeds are not accumulated, they will not be sufficient to disrupt our lives.  The petty man thinks that small good deeds are unimportant and does not do them; he thinks that small bad deeds are unimportant and does not abstain from them. Thus his evil accumulates until it can no longer be disguised, and his guilt grows until it becomes intolerable.”

The reader should not interpret the expression‚ “good deeds‚” in the maudlin and lukewarm sense of ” kindness” or “giving alms.”  Good deeds consist in correct behavior, virtue (in the old sense of manliness; better yet, humanness‚ (the quality is not foreign to women as it is often more evident in them), honesty, self-discipline.  And “bad deeds” are the opposite of this:  laxity, petty lying, small thefts or hypocrisies.

There is no “sanction” or “reward” on the part of “divine beings” in regard to such acts.  There is nobody “watching us” to send us either to heaven or to hell, according to our behavior.  The importance of right conduct is that it created integrity in us, and this eventually, makes of us, living Gods.

Cf. the Dao De Jing, chapters XVI, XVII, LIV, LIX, LXIII, LXIV.

“There are no atheists…”

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So much for,”There are no atheists in foxholes.” or,”there are no atheists on a sinking ship.”

A number of prominent individuals have been both atheists and combat veterans. During the coverage of his death and subsequent cryonic suspension, Baseball Hall of Famer and combat fighter pilot Ted Williams was reported to be an atheist by his former teammate Johnny Pesky[14][15]. Richard Tillman, in giving the eulogy for his brother, former NFL player and soldier Pat Tillman, stated that Tillman “wasn’t religious.”[16] In his 1988 book “Intellectuals,” Paul Johnson states that writer and WWI veteran[17] Ernest Hemingway “not only did not believe in God but regarded organized religion as a menace to human happiness.”[18] Philip Paulson, plaintiff in several of the lawsuits in the Mount Soledad cross controversy, was an atheist Vietnam combat veteran.[19]
Joe Simpson, author of the book Touching The Void, explicitly addresses the issue in the film adaptation. Referring to the moment he lay at the bottom of a deep crevasse, dehydrated, alone and with a broken leg, he states: ‘”I was totally convinced I was on my own, that no one was coming to get me. I was brought up as a devout Catholic. I’d long since stopped believing in God. I always wondered if things really hit the fan, whether I would, under pressure, turn round and say a few Hail Marys and say ‘Get me out of here’. It never once occurred to me. It meant that I really don’t believe and I really do think that when you die, you die, that’s it, there’s no afterlife.” [20]

(from wikipedia.org)

Paulo Coehlo on love

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“All men and all women are connected by an energy which many people call love, but which is, in fact, the raw material from which the universe was built. This energy can’t be manipulated, it leads us gently forwards, it contains all we have to learn in this life. If we try to make it go in the direction we want, we end up desperate, frustrated, disillusioned, because that energy is free and wild. We could spend the rest of our life saying that we love such a person or thing, when the truth is that we are merely suffering because, instead of accepting love’s strength, we are trying to diminish it so that it fits the world in which we imagine we live.”