Archive for February, 2008


Posted in Prose with tags , , , , , , on February 29, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

Snow Crash (an excerpt from the novel by Neal Stephenson)

Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, and devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad.

Hiro used to feel this way, too, but then he ran into Raven. In a way, this was liberating. He no longer has to worry about being the baddest motherfucker in the world. The position is taken.


Posted in Music with tags , , , , , on February 28, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

Born of A Broken Man (an excerpt of the lyrics from the song by Rage Against the Machine)

Like autumn leaves
His sense fell from him
An empty glass of himself
Shattered somewhere within
His thoughts like a hundred moths
Trapped in a lampshade
Somewhere within
Their wings banging and burning
On through endless nights
Forever awake he lies shaking and starving
Praying for someone to turn off the light

Born of a broken man
Never a broken man


Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , on February 27, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

Satan After Hours (a poem by David Lerner, from the book The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry)

people think
Satan is a mythic beast
breathing doom and fire
laughing rapaciously as he
plucks your eyes out
a comic book ghoulie
with bad breath and a skin problem

Satan is a bus station

Satan is a cold fried egg
on a plastic plate
a cup of weak coffee beside it
while the telephone rings

Satan is the bland smile of
the cashier at the bank
when he tells you you’re overdrawn
or the glittering one
on the face of the angel in the blue dress
on the tv show
making you an offer you can’t believe
at terms you’re unable to resist

Satan is when you
run out of cigarettes and out of money
at the same time
when every part of your body hurts
and you’re only 36
when the miles you’ve logged
start showing up in the way
you laugh

in the way you count your change
when the whiskey bottle’s dry
Satan is the crackle of the police radio
just after they’ve put the cuffs on
as they laugh about the baseball game

the color of the walls
in a county hospital emergency room
the papers they make you sign
before they’ll give you medicine

the bad food you eat when you’re poor
a cough that won’t go away
the kind of hopes
that get pinned on a lottery


Posted in Prose, Quotes with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

Voting (spoken by Spider Jerusalem, a character in the graphic novel Transmetropolitan, written by Warren Ellis)

You want to know about voting. I’m here to tell you about voting. Imagine you’re locked in a huge underground night-club filled with sinners, whores, freaks and unnameable things that rape pitbulls for fun. And you ain’t allowed out until you all vote on what you’re going to do tonight. You like to put your feet up and watch “Republican Party Reservation”. They like to have sex with normal people using knives, guns, and brand new sexual organs you did not even know existed. So you vote for television, and everyone else, as far as your eye can see, votes to fuck you with switchblades. That’s voting. You’re welcome.


Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , on February 25, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

A Real Poem (by Jack Micheline, from his book Sixty-Seven Poems for Downtrodden Saints)

A real poem bites the wind
And kisses stars
A real poem is not in a book
It’s a knockout
A long shot
A shot in the mouth
A crack of a bat
A lost midget turning into a giant
A lost soul finding its own way
After a generation of mediocrity and vipers
A real poem
Kicks the politicians in the ass
Kicks the poetry politicians in the balls
It is too hot to handle
It is more dangerous than war
It is a firefly
A rainbow for all


Posted in Prose with tags , , , , , on February 25, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

Fragile Things (an excerpt from the introduction to the book by Neil Gaiman)

As I write this now, it occurs to me that the peculiarity of most things we think of as fragile is how tough they truly are. There were tricks we did with eggs, as children, to show how they were, in reality, tiny load-bearing marble halls; while the beat of the wings of a butterfly in the right place, we are told, can create a hurricane across an ocean. Hearts may break, but hearts are the toughest of muscles, able to pump for a lifetime, seventy times a minute, and scarcely falter along the way. Even dreams, the most delicate and intangible of things, can prove remarkably difficult to kill.


Posted in Poetry, Prose with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

The Shortest Novel of Them All (by Norman Mailer, an excerpt from The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry)

At first she thought she could kill him three days.
She did nearly. His heart proved nearly unequal to her compliments.
Then she thought it would take three weeks. But he survived.
So she revised her tables and calculated three months.
After three years, he was still alive. So they got married.
Now they’ve been married for thirty years. People speak warmly of them.
They are known as the best marriage in town.
It’s just that their children keep dying.


Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , on February 22, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

Fifty-Five Funerals (a poem by Ryan Smith, whose blog can be found here)

I say death and
you think of your mother crying,
your idiot / savant sister
asking why your new room
smells so good but is so small and if that is why
you aren’t smiling.

Those trees stand so
tall in this winter but
dear God — why?

Your heart stopping is
just a formality for the rest.

Someone drives past the cemetery and
doesn’t even look.

Someday, someone will return them

that little favor.


Posted in Quotes with tags , , , , , on February 21, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

Acceptance (a quote from William Gibson during an interview in the documentary No Maps for These Territories)

(When asked what will save humanity)

“Acceptance. Acceptance of the impermanence of being. And acceptance of the imperfect nature of being, or possibly the perfect nature of being, depending on how one looks at it. Acceptance that this is not a rehearsal. That this is it.”


Posted in Prose with tags , , , , , , on February 21, 2008 by Ryan Sanford Smith

Atlas Shrugged (an excerpt from the book by Ayn Rand)

Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to become the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of other men. Blood, whips and guns–or dollars. Take your choice–there is no other.