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And now we come to…the end of an era

Today, oddly enough was supposed to be the pay off FINALLY for a number of posts about relationships that I thought might be better than all my previous ruthless on relationships post. And indeed I’ll get to that later.

 

Instead,

Today is a day I bring us to a place I knew could happen, but was happy every time it didn’t. Today we end the hour for the last time. What do I mean? Today is the beginning of a goodbye party. For this blog. Oh it will continue to exist, but a transition is afoot. And so with all transitions, some things remain the same, while other change or are left behind.

If you would have told me 3 years ago as I was studying for the bar that we would be here I would be shocked. But if you would have told me that we would get here after 450 thousand views I’d also be shocked so much attention happened. Words Don’t Do It Justice started as an idea, a bit of fun, and a lot of me. I have buried hatchets with enemies because of this blog, reconnected with old friends, and made new ones because of this blog, found meaning in the midst of my own personal depression because of this place. I have consumed it, and let it consume me. I love it. But loving this blog means knowing what to do. And taking a good long look I know the thing to do is let it go.

But I said this was transition not destruction.

And indeed it is. I’ll be taking Words Don’t Do It Justice away from our blogging past into a show based future. For me, the question was one of logistics. Was it better to end everything and walk away from these years of effort, or find a way to keep the place alive in the hearts of all of you who have supported us? I choose to believe that you will keep supporting us, and I chose to keep this place alive in a new way.

That means giving you what we planned. Give No Quarter, The Wrath of Ruthless, and Words Don’t Do It Justice are the three pillars of Ruthless Radio. 3 shows with different formats that bring you many of the topics you might see written about here, but in a new form and with some new and old faces/voices. Over the next few weeks as we ready to for the relaunch of Words Don’t Do It Justice as a podcast, you’ll get to read some farewells from various alums, and hear from the incoming folks for these shows. You’ll also see the Words Don’t Do It Justice site itself undergo various changes. With plenty of hard work, luck, and you listening in, I hope to earn your trust for these new shows, and continue to hold our interest.

SO! What about Weekend’s Don’t Do It Justice?

Well I’m happy to say our little casual interest site is growing well. And it is going to continue. We had a nice response to the sample chapter from Project 13, and now that game of thrones is done you’ll see a lot of other reviews, news, and related content there. Our gamers are doing their thing, and if Vantinel’s CEO appearance is any indication of commitment, we will only continue to grow over there.

As I end for now I just want to say thank you, and of course to keep watching what we do. But more than that, thank you for being a force for us. We continued to push because you were there with us. 100,000 visitors, 450,000 views, and 3 years of growth, While things must change, I am glad to have made it to this point. A point that let’s me look back and say that YOU made us more than I imagined. And though Words Don’t Do It Justice…Thank you.

 

“THE Ruthless Wonder” Matthew Elisha Williams

Founder of Words Don’t Do It Justice

Story Time: Reign Writes – Me As A Writer

ShadowShadow Bolt Reigns, my adventurous puppy, gives me something other than myself to focus on. He forces me out of my head and away from the things that keep me mired in negativity. He nudges whatever he can reach, jumps onto my lap, tap dances on my back or chest (ouch!), and licks my face until I get up to fill whichever need he has, which sometimes is just a few moments of attention. Even now as I write this piece, it’s as if he’s thinking “She writes, therefore I must nudge.” All he’s doing is what comes to him naturally. He’s probably just being completely self-centered without a single thought of my actual feelings or my needs, but he has saved my life and my psyche at least once a week ever since the day he showed up in my life. He’s the  reason I’m still here to talk to you. He keeps me Doing More because he Requires my best.

On any given day, I have at least 5 pieces in progress. I start writing, I lose my thought, I go off on tangents, and end up either deleting whole chunks of text or copying and pasting into new pieces to be worked on when my mind finds its way back to a steady train of thought. This is my version of writer’s block. I have so much to say about so many things; police abuse of power, the attack in Pakistan, the attacks everywhere, being Black in a world that seems to hate Black people, depression, my depression, my family, my friends, the media, the election, the American people, lies and liars, my desperate wish that superheroes were real… so much and so many things I want to talk about, and I can’t Do any of It Justice because the Words are all there at the same time.

Right now, I’m mostly bothered by the way circumstances have changed me. I never wanted to see things through colored lenses. In spite of the kids making fun of my dark skin, the little white boys in Virginia who called me a nigger, the kids in Costa Rica calling me “elote negra” which I didn’t actually understand at the time, but I knew it wasn’t meant as a compliment… the scary big girl in my first predominantly black school saying that I wasn’t special; that I was “just anotha nigga like the rest of us” I’ve always wanted to believe in the bigger picture. You know, the one that sees that the reason the system is set up this way is because it works better for the top 10% if the rest of us are busy fighting and disagreeing with each other, we aren’t paying attention to them screwing us over with crappy wages, the ever-increasing cost of living, and the never-ending list of drugs and products meant to mask the symptoms of the very curable diseases they infected us with.

I just heard a great line–one of many–on Jerry McGuire:

First class is what’s wrong buddy. It used to mean a better meal, now it means a better life.

Have you seen that commercial with Jennifer Aniston?

For me, its a picture of everything that’s wrong with the world. This rich white lady’s Greedy whonightmare is flying on a plane that doesn’t have a shower or bar, while the rest of us are worrying about jobs that we might lose if we take a vacation, and that’s if the job pays enough to afford more than a staycation. I’ve never been a fan of Jennifer Aniston, and this ad, while it might be just another job for her, does nothing to sway my favor. The disconnect between the rich and the poor is beyond vast, and so much deeper than skin… but the tools of division are strong; too strong to ignore. So now I see things through my brown eyes. I experience the world through my skin, through my gender, through my heterosexual privilege. I see the biases. I see the isms. I see the media ignoring dead Pakistanis. I see a reality TV star using the fear and insecurities of ignorant Americans to ensure viewership for his next show. I see it all, and am overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of how well it is working.

I want to talk about it all, but I can barely focus on just one thing because it’s all connected. I feel like I’m not doing the other issues justice by not addressing all of them. It’s like I’m betraying my on mantra by only taking one issue at a time. I want to Do More and Require Better of my writing, and myself, because limiting myself to a world painted various shades of brown and white isn’t enough… and I’m still tired of the black perspective. The world is a big colorful place, and there’s a lot more wrong with it than race relations. I just wish I could Say more too.

Do More. Require Better. It’s not just about you. It’s about me and everything I do here too.

And now… at the end of the hour

cropped-wordsdontdoit2-1.jpg

This week we debuted a brand new podcast with a livestream. We said goodbye to one of the founders. We tackled coons, and hoteps. As well as assault, and the HIV & AIDS treatment drug Truvada.

 

 

I skipped a couple lines to let that sink in.

When this started I literally just wanted to take my usual facebook ranting to a website. I figured it would be like the old days of my Xanga page. Now, now I deal with potential sponsors, have production meetings, worry about our average listening and reading time, and look for brand expansion.

I remind you, I was so bored in the last semester of law school I decided to make a blog to archive the things I would normally rant about on Facebook.

 

So you can understand that having gone from that place to now is rather…amazing if I’m honest. I had no idea. We’ve added and lost people over that time. But more than their contributions or mine, we’ve gotten to know a lot of you. As of this writing, 92,000 of you have come to get to know us over these 3 years of Words Don’t Do It Justice. And you must like it here, because you’ve dropped in 302,000 times.

300000

That is astounding. That is epic. And to think that it has all come before we put up a single ad, before we shilled a single product, without a marketing team, and mostly from the effort of our authors, and their friends and family who have additionally believed in us and shared us with other people.  I can’t tell you enough thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do. It really has made the difference.

What that means is even what I’ve done in the past year isn’t enough. I have to do more. And I am. While we lost a podcast co-host today, I’m proud to say we gained 2 new ones for our show Give No Quarter. While we have Reason on break for a while, I’m happy to say we will be launching Weekends Don’t Do It Justice as its own site (www.wkndlife.com www.weekendsdontdoitjustice.net www.weekendsdontdoitjustice.com). Look for a review of a hilariously bad movie coming over there soon from me.

Heck, go buy a shirt, phone case, hoodie or tank. https://www.teepublic.com/user/314publishing

Check out our current Shirt and cases designs. Buy one now while you wait for more. Click the photo to go straight to the store!

Check out our current Shirt and cases designs. Buy one now while you wait for more.
Click the photo to go straight to the store!

 

I’m also happy to say that I’m teaming with Mr. 9 to 5 gamer himself Bami O to open a new gaming site and channel called “Save State Society” (www.savestatesociety.com www.savestatesociety.net) here soon as well. And we’re open with some great games and reviews. But that is going to take a lot to talk about, and I’ve got work to do there.

You’re here reading because this is about Words Don’t Do it Justice. The granddaddy of them all. Okay, the origin of them all. Three years in, and even though health wise I’ve dealt with issues. Professional life wise, I’ve had great forward steps but also set backs. Heck life in general being strange. After all that I’m proud of where we are. Where you’ve brought us. And so for the third time we come to the end of the hour. Where I say thank you without any reservations. Where for the third time ever, I get to step out of my role as Head Blogger, Editor, Podcast host, Lucremo, THE Ruthless Wonder, and everything that comes with it, and instead just talk to you as Matt Williams. We have a few reflection pieces and some alumni coming back to give us a piece. And we are going to celebrate all the way to my personal birthday on March 14th. But right now I’m just going to end by saying thank you all for bringing me and us from where we were to where we are and pushing us forward to where we are going next. As always Words Don’t Do YOU Justice.

“THE Ruthless Wonder” Matthew Elisha Williams

Ruthlessly Yours: Black History Month

Historical perspective is nice, and usually ends up with a very docile version of even the most ruthless and vicious among us. I’d say that goes double for the radicals among us (see: Ernesto Guevara). But is this right? Of course not. So what then, for Ruthless, and the month of his heritage, Black History Month? If you think I’m letting people off light, you haven’t been paying attention. Or you’re a new reader(HI! Welcome to the slaughter!) First let’s prime the pump a bit with a video I think you’ll find somewhat enlightening to fully enlightening.

Sharp no? The effect is almost instantaneous.

Right now you’re coming out of that video thinking about 2 things. I’m actually only going to talk about one of them. Because like him or not this video isn’t really about TJ Sotomayor. The “conscious,” “woke,” “pro-black,” community which you will often here me deride as idiots focus way too much on messengers and not messages. But we’ll get to them and the word coon soon enough. I want to talk about the statistics brought up in the video and the speech from Malcolm X because yes you should be thinking about how overlooked that is. I was as you surprised to some degree about some of the numbers. They were alarming for all the right reasons. Black dollars, like black guns, and black lives matter. I dare say black power matters, but I wouldn’t want to get shea butter twitter thinking I’m with them.

What in the end is the thing you are doing to build up this community you say you are for? Certainly the notion that re-purposing the buying power of a community to rebuild itself is not foreign to anyone. It is done after major man-made devastation, or indeed acts of God. We hear about them all the time. So why then does the black community not do this? Well, there are a lot of reasons, but let’s just talk about the obvious one. They don’t want to. We’ve talked before about internal motivation being the genesis of whether you actually give a shit about something. I’ve said more than once that until you do something about the things you don’t like, you don’t really care about them. I’ve had no reason to change that opinion. See in the piece above you have all the facts and figures. I could have just linked to it, let it play and say something snarky like “But you care about black lives right?” and ended this piece. Same effect as what I’ve said so far.

So what then comes when I speak on this issue now? What is my point? And why is this about black history month?

Come further down the rabbit hole with me.

My parents were actually married before Negro history week became black history month. Crazy right? I wasn’t adopted until way later. But I bring that change up because that was the last time that this month had anything added to it. Throughout my education in the 80s and 90s Black History Month has been a showcase if you will of rebranding. Dr. King was a pacificist, Malcolm X was just angry, and Rosa Parks was just a tired lady on a bus are the same hits you got and I got. So what then for this month? What point is there to it if all I see is folly? Well that I lay at your feet. I had my understanding grow by having a great person at my church give me deeper knowledge. Let me see more by challenging me. Her name was Sandra Beasley(Rest In Peace), and to say that my towering intellect and then unchecked ego could easily be bruised by her dropping knowledge I didn’t have yet would be an understatement of her effect on me. Let me unpack that for you though. My parents, college educated, on me about taking school seriously, and never let me just be average. My Godparents, same deal. So by high school, I think I know it all. Because for the minimalist school black history month, and the re-brand social organization and church versions I do. And yet, throughout high school, even after I went off to college, Sandra Beasley could reduce me to a confused child because she always had one more. One more that I somehow missed. When I say you don’t want to have a history discussion on this month with me, I mean it. I’m well prepared.

So why haven’t I done something? Well, who says I haven’t?

I haven’t, sort of.

One of the big things we hear about is the creation of curriculum that addresses the systemic issues that have led us to this point. In more laymen’s terms, we need to teach in a way that respects the differences in people’s cultures, but is equitable to them. And odd as it might be, that eventually means ridding ourselves of Black History Month. Not like Stacey Dash has in mind. She would see the end of Black History Month, BET, the NAACP, Affirmative Action, the voting rights act, and a number of other things just to look like an idiot when White America tosses her in with all the other black people in new “shockingly racist” policies. No, I instead mean a more holistic view of American and World History. Not sanitized either. But how do we get there? First off, good ideas. Which is why it pains me to share this video, but I recognize the necessity.

For those that didn’t watch this is about Dr. Johnson’s school. And I say it pains me to share it because both sides are right here. This school was a great idea…in theory. A boarding academy with a non-eurocentric teaching focus that is accredited would be something major. So major that it could spark a completely new enlightenment rush in Black America. I love the idea. I would support it. But not…this one. You see the woman’s points are correct as well. Due in no small part to my upbringing I have a lot of education policy related papers in my academic wake. In my spare time I like looking up things on the subject. I am as much an education junkie as I am a political one. And though both often anger me, because sometimes even old friends are stupid and let you down, I keep paying attention. The problem with this school idea is the setup. There is no plan. Not a curriculum for the school, not a business plan for the academy, really nothing beyond give me the money, this is the name, here is the idea. Oddly enough this video is from Dr. Boyce Watkins’ channel, and he recently talked about the issues with having written down ideas, but having no action. The same can be said of this school. It is a great idea, and separate from what the personal scandals of Dr. Johnson’s person life are, it should be looked at as a positive step. But to ask for 4 million dollars and not have some basics in is terrifying. The same way hearing a kid spout hotep talking points but have no idea who Mansa Musa is, is terrifying. The lack of information sends a cold shiver down my intellectual spine.

So what about Black History Month? Well I say let’s start there. Before you can advance to the point that it is no longer a necessary part of educating youth and just becomes a cultural celebrationfest, you have to address the issues inherent in the current form. What do I mean? Well that starts latter with a series we are doing, both written AND podcasted, called “More truth, less filter.” That’s right, we’ll be talking about some of the people you haven’t heard from, heard of, as well as some things you didn’t get the insight about before. No profanity, no yelling, well suited to all ages. Because like I said, you don’t care if you aren’t doing something, and as reign might say “Do more. Require better.” There are so many details though. Word’s Don’t Do…

Sorry to interrupt myself doing the catchphrase but we have an announcement. “New Year, Same Ruthless” doesn’t mean we won’t be upgrading. In fact, if you know me, you know that is my style. So I’d like to introduce you to our new logo for Words Don’t Do It Justice!

Slick right? Yeah.

Slick right? Yeah.

So now you’ve seen the new logo, you may also have noticed the new dark theme to the blog, as well as the two other logos. More on that as we do this lead in to the 3 year anniversary, but let’s just say some new faces, structural changes, and improvements to all phases of the game are coming. I could say more but Word’s Don’t Do…

Got to interrupt again though. Because not only do we have the new logo, we have a new way for you to show support. Come check out our 314 Publishing storefront on Tee Public, and support the show by getting, t-shirts, hoodies, baseball shirts, tank tops, kids shirts, long sleeves, and even phone cases.

Check out our current Shirt and cases designs. Buy one now while you wait for more. Click the photo to go straight to the store!

Check out our current Shirt and cases designs. Buy one now while you wait for more.
Click the photo to go straight to the store!

The link is http://tee.pub/lic/314Publishing if you can’t click on the hyperlink. We have shirts for every logo from 314 Publishing, and from Words Don’t Do It Justice already up. Soon there will be shirts for The Wrath of Ruthless, as well as some of our other new projects. For the next 72 hours they are even on sale. Every item you purchase gives us a percentage of the sale which helps us come to you more often. You can see more about it in an upcoming post about the storefront and other ways to support Words Don’t Do It Justice and our parent 314 Publishing. I could say more here, but that would make that post pointless, and after all, Words Don’t Do it Justice!

 

– THE Ruthless Wonder

Story Time: About that New Format

Remember a few months ago when I promised a new format? Well, after weeks of trial and error, technical difficulties, unfocused writing attempts, and negotiating with the Boss, I finally have it for you! The truth is that writer’s block doesn’t even begin to describe what’s been holding me back. I just went through and pulled up all the active drafts I have saved. There were 6 in the last 3 months alone. It wasn’t so much a lack of inspiration–as you’ll see in the coming week and months of posts–but a short attention span coupled with an unsettled mind.

Now, the other reason I decided to make changes to my posting style is because Someone suggested that actually hearing the passion behind the words might help express my point more emphatically. My first reaction was Exit Comfort Zonean absolute “No.” Where I argued that we have podcasts where I guest or host with other folks participating. Who really wants to hear me rant… [He cut me off] “We read your rants don’t we?” he said. “Imagine a Decorum Deficiency Piece as spoken words… oh the lack of chill!” Of course, this was months ago, and I’m taking several verbal liberties, but that’s basically how the conversation went. The thought seed was planted and barely a month later I stared recording.

So now, you’ll have the benefit of hearing my perspective, in addition to reading itNow featuring sound. Let’s consider this first piece a summary explanation of sorts. Remember that I actually recorded this back in October when I first mentioned the new format of my posts. I even did one for Halloween–which I’ll probably hold it for next year because it should still be applicable–and another for my 2nd anniversary, which will probably just get added to the WDDIJ blooper reel for anyone who wants to hear what I had to say. Each blog piece/podcast hybrid will consist of my written introduction to what should be a more complete spoken thought.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/242934563?secret_token=s-v11O3″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=true&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”300″ iframe=”true” /]

And there we have it! My first hybrid piece of many. Let me know what you think… because you know, the objective is to Do More, and of course Require Better.

National Poetry Month

Today is a rather stark break from tradition. As you know I tend to keep my life writing fiction, poetry, and other things separate from my law career, and even more separate from my life here as your favorite Super Villain. Today though, I’ll be breaking with that in honor of National Poetry Month. Below I’m reprinting 1 of my own pieces, as well as a few of my personal favorites from the authors who often influenced me. I include my own as an odd, self depricating failure to keep up with the masters of the art form. But also because poets write poems folks, sometimes we gotta share them too. So for once(Are you happy now superfan who keeps asking about my writing?) here’s one from me and then here’s a few by the Masters who’s writing taught me. And if you want anything related to this stuff check out my artist page, because I will not be bringing it up here again. Maxus on Facebook<- click to go down the rabbit hole. I have a bunch of writer and former writer friends, as well as active, semi, and inactive poet friends(Shout out to Raffeal Sears, I am still hungry for food. Not food food, but food for thought.) who I would be glad to pub their work as well, I just haven’t been getting submissions from them(HINT HINT).

The poem I’m going to share from my own collection is one that is set to be part of a small book called Stories I told myself. And it is unique in that it is one of few with a direct introduction to just the poem. It is also unique in that it is one of few times I am actually talking about myself when the poem uses me, or I. While I have tons of poem protagonists and narrators for that matter. I don’t often make my real self them. People of course, assume stuff, but meh. Anyway, here it is complete with the actual introduction used in the book.

Prayer to the Pantheon

Not a lot of the poems have a bit of a story or introduction, but this poem in particular I felt needed a bit of one. At one point I was in a poetry workshop and someone who was a atheist crafted a poem that sort of explained the she had the same kind of devotion to poetry and poets that some people had to their various religious beliefs. I think possibly she thought I might be offended by the idea of a poem that praised and often spoke of praying and worshipping the heavyweights of poetry. I wasn’t offended in the slightest. One of the many things I had learned in previous years when I went through what some call a crisis of faith, was that the nature of belief by itself is a product of our humanity. Only the subject of belief changes from person to person.

A few years later when I was reawakening this desire to write I found myself making a few too many poems on the particular subject of love. Love’s great and all, but I knew that I had yearned for and hungered after poetry for much more than to just be some hacky love poet trying to pick up girls with honeyed words. It was at that moment I thought back to her poem and the idea that all of these teachers and the lessons that their writing had taught me were being tossed aside. And as someone who strives to not forget things like that I wanted a creative way of expressing my frustration. I’ve long since forgotten that classmate’s name, but it was her poem, and a lot of ego that crafted this into what it is. Myself, I’ve found that it is very interesting when my friends and family who are deeply traditionally religious read it. I’ll only say that it is a poem, not a personal statement.

Prayer to the Pantheon

I’m guilty as sin,
Cause I do it too,
Let my poetic license take me into
The whining and perverse conclusions of hacks.
Dear sweet merciful Jesus forgive me,
For perverting my lessons at Langston’s Feet.
For tossing away the philosophy of Frost.
I got wrapped up in my own ego,
Got twisted in the perfection of linguistic erections.
See I’m doing it again.
Nikki G and Maya forgive me for turning phrases,
Into little more than come on lines and lewd advances.
I don’t know where this started,
Well maybe I do,
See I saw myself on stage filled with indigo blues,
Saw rappers attempt to take over the art,
Tried to show them that poems were Shakespearean love
Torn apart,
Seams broken like dreams unspoken,
Nightmares of rejections, and chances never taken.
But then I saw H.E.R. image,
And then the next and the next,
And my grin that hides the sly machinations of a
Mad poet filled with verbal gymnastics and
Vocabulary flexing of my biggest muscle,
Damnit I can’t escape it Ginsberg,
I want to howl about those angel headed hipsters
Who left the starry dynamo for hedge funds and oil slicks.
But all I can find is my old stage name’s ravings
About rejection and desperation for love,
About the figure of a future dalliance,
I know I know Silvia,
I pray I don’t offend,
But these sexual thoughts that bleed into my pen
I simply don’t know how to end.
Even Whitman had a heart sometimes,
Even Poe could love in a stanza.
William taught us Love could be blind and
Let Benedick die in his lover’s lap,
But if I use their linguistics I’m in a bind
Or this crowd will call me a sap.
I want to twist verbs around
And show them this legal genius is a verbal Dom,
But when I look down at these sweat drenched palms,
It just seems easier to draw up that odd emotion,
Call on late night heroics instead of a measure of devotion,
To this art you all taught me through the pain of my circumstance,
Helped me raise up my lowered head in the face of my depression,
Showed me the beauty of trumpet players and ravens,
Made me question if a waltz was a beating,
And force men to lightly tread on the dreams I had laid under their feet.
But I can’t shake this self-satisfying smugness,
My down and out dreams to drops of dank dreariness,
My acid trip of psychedelic sexual splendor,
Bleeding brash bangs of busty beauties into black ball point pens,
And I feel I’ve failed your faultless pantheon,
Let my corruption coat and crush completely the countless conclusions
The sum total of the sonnetary summations a student calls success.
I’m sorry I stopped fighting for your art,
For the Warrior Poet I was supposed to be.
Forgive me and show me that light again,
But allow me a random digression if nothing more than a chance to vent,
And sometimes express my hidden emotions, so someone out there might get the hint.

And for the audio inclined.

This post could literally have been 20 Langston Hughes poems. Langston Hughes was read to me as a child. He was fed to me by every English teacher, and church elder, and most of my relatives whenever I talked about poetry. I knew Langston Hughes was from Joplin, Missouri before I knew George Brett was playing for the Royals(And my first baseball game was during the world series in 1985) I could do The Negro Speaks of Rivers from Memory before I could do multiplication tables from memory. The Trumpet Player though, is the culmination of my love of Langston’s work. evocative, direct, but full of hidden complexity which never really hits every reader the same their first time. I love it. And I think, you’ll love it too.

Trumpet Player

Written by Langston Hughes

James Langston Hughes [1902-1967]

Trumpet Player

The Negro
With the trumpet at his lips
Has dark moons of weariness
Beneath his eyes
where the smoldering memory
of slave ships
Blazed to the crack of whips
about thighsThe negro
with the trumpet at his lips
has a head of vibrant hair
tamed down,
patent-leathered now
until it gleams
like jet—
were jet a crown

the music
from the trumpet at his lips
is honey
mixed with liquid fire
the rhythm
from the trumpet at his lips
is ecstasy
distilled from old desire—

Desire
that is longing for the moon
where the moonlight’s but a spotlight
in his eyes,
desire
that is longing for the sea
where the sea’s a bar-glass
sucker size

The Negro
with the trumpet at his lips
whose jacket
Has a fine one-button roll,
does not know
upon what riff the music slips

It’s hypodermic needle
to his soul
but softly
as the tune comes from his throat
trouble
mellows to a golden note.

This is not the shortest poem I consider influential. I read a lot of Haiku, both original Japanese Haiku, and modern artist’s attempts. This poem though is one I’d say does everything you want in a few lines. You don’t need more. So while this intro to W.B. Yeats is just about as long as the poem itself, I’m done. Read the poem people.

He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven

By William Butler Yeats

HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

 

I include Howl as the last piece because I remember it first confusing me. It was a reference in the film Hackers, and I immediately had to look it up based on a brief piecemeal usage during a classroom scene. Something made me attach to it. And so I read it. I found myself partially scrawling it places, losing myself in the seediness of the scene. And my ability to talk about the sleaze scapes of some of my settings are often birthed from Howl and way too many hardboiled and noir films.

Howl

BY ALLEN GINSBERG

For Carl Solomon

I
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,
who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated,
who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war,
who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the windows of the skull,
who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burning their money in wastebaskets and listening to the Terror through the wall,
who got busted in their pubic beards returning through Laredo with a belt of marijuana for New York,
who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in Paradise Alley, death, or purgatoried their torsos night after night
with dreams, with drugs, with waking nightmares, alcohol and cock and endless balls,
incomparable blind streets of shuddering cloud and lightning in the mind leaping toward poles of Canada & Paterson, illuminating all the motionless world of Time between,
Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery dawns, wine drunkenness over the rooftops, storefront boroughs of teahead joyride neon blinking traffic light, sun and moon and tree vibrations in the roaring winter dusks of Brooklyn, ashcan rantings and kind king light of mind,
who chained themselves to subways for the endless ride from Battery to holy Bronx on benzedrine until the noise of wheels and children brought them down shuddering mouth-wracked and battered bleak of brain all drained of brilliance in the drear light of Zoo,
who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford’s floated out and sat through the stale beer afternoon in desolate Fugazzi’s, listening to the crack of doom on the hydrogen jukebox,
who talked continuously seventy hours from park to pad to bar to Bellevue to museum to the Brooklyn Bridge,
a lost battalion of platonic conversationalists jumping down the stoops off fire escapes off windowsills off Empire State out of the moon,
yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering facts and memories and anecdotes and eyeball kicks and shocks of hospitals and jails and wars,
whole intellects disgorged in total recall for seven days and nights with brilliant eyes, meat for the Synagogue cast on the pavement,
who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic City Hall,
suffering Eastern sweats and Tangerian bone-grindings and migraines of China under junk-withdrawal in Newark’s bleak furnished room,
who wandered around and around at midnight in the railroad yard wondering where to go, and went, leaving no broken hearts,
who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars boxcars racketing through snow toward lonesome farms in grandfather night,
who studied Plotinus Poe St. John of the Cross telepathy and bop kabbalah because the cosmos instinctively vibrated at their feet in Kansas,
who loned it through the streets of Idaho seeking visionary indian angels who were visionary indian angels,
who thought they were only mad when Baltimore gleamed in supernatural ecstasy,
who jumped in limousines with the Chinaman of Oklahoma on the impulse of winter midnight streetlight smalltown rain,
who lounged hungry and lonesome through Houston seeking jazz or sex or soup, and followed the brilliant Spaniard to converse about America and Eternity, a hopeless task, and so took ship to Africa,
who disappeared into the volcanoes of Mexico leaving behind nothing but the shadow of dungarees and the lava and ash of poetry scattered in fireplace Chicago,
who reappeared on the West Coast investigating the FBI in beards and shorts with big pacifist eyes sexy in their dark skin passing out incomprehensible leaflets,
who burned cigarette holes in their arms protesting the narcotic tobacco haze of Capitalism,
who distributed Supercommunist pamphlets in Union Square weeping and undressing while the sirens of Los Alamos wailed them down, and wailed down Wall, and the Staten Island ferry also wailed,
who broke down crying in white gymnasiums naked and trembling before the machinery of other skeletons,
who bit detectives in the neck and shrieked with delight in policecars for committing no crime but their own wild cooking pederasty and intoxication,
who howled on their knees in the subway and were dragged off the roof waving genitals and manuscripts,
who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly motorcyclists, and screamed with joy,
who blew and were blown by those human seraphim, the sailors, caresses of Atlantic and Caribbean love,
who balled in the morning in the evenings in rosegardens and the grass of public parks and cemeteries scattering their semen freely to whomever come who may,
who hiccuped endlessly trying to giggle but wound up with a sob behind a partition in a Turkish Bath when the blond & naked angel came to pierce them with a sword,
who lost their loveboys to the three old shrews of fate the one eyed shrew of the heterosexual dollar the one eyed shrew that winks out of the womb and the one eyed shrew that does nothing but sit on her ass and snip the intellectual golden threads of the craftsman’s loom,
who copulated ecstatic and insatiate with a bottle of beer a sweetheart a package of cigarettes a candle and fell off the bed, and continued along the floor and down the hall and ended fainting on the wall with a vision of ultimate cunt and come eluding the last gyzym of consciousness,
who sweetened the snatches of a million girls trembling in the sunset, and were red eyed in the morning but prepared to sweeten the snatch of the sunrise, flashing buttocks under barns and naked in the lake,
who went out whoring through Colorado in myriad stolen night-cars, N.C., secret hero of these poems, cocksman and Adonis of Denver—joy to the memory of his innumerable lays of girls in empty lots & diner backyards, moviehouses’ rickety rows, on mountaintops in caves or with gaunt waitresses in familiar roadside lonely petticoat upliftings & especially secret gas-station solipsisms of johns, & hometown alleys too,
who faded out in vast sordid movies, were shifted in dreams, woke on a sudden Manhattan, and picked themselves up out of basements hung-over with heartless Tokay and horrors of Third Avenue iron dreams & stumbled to unemployment offices,
who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on the snowbank docks waiting for a door in the East River to open to a room full of steam-heat and opium,
who created great suicidal dramas on the apartment cliff-banks of the Hudson under the wartime blur floodlight of the moon & their heads shall be crowned with laurel in oblivion,
who ate the lamb stew of the imagination or digested the crab at the muddy bottom of the rivers of Bowery,
who wept at the romance of the streets with their pushcarts full of onions and bad music,
who sat in boxes breathing in the darkness under the bridge, and rose up to build harpsichords in their lofts,
who coughed on the sixth floor of Harlem crowned with flame under the tubercular sky surrounded by orange crates of theology,
who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty incantations which in the yellow morning were stanzas of gibberish,
who cooked rotten animals lung heart feet tail borsht & tortillas dreaming of the pure vegetable kingdom,
who plunged themselves under meat trucks looking for an egg,
who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot for Eternity outside of Time, & alarm clocks fell on their heads every day for the next decade,
who cut their wrists three times successively unsuccessfully, gave up and were forced to open antique stores where they thought they were growing old and cried,
who were burned alive in their innocent flannel suits on Madison Avenue amid blasts of leaden verse & the tanked-up clatter of the iron regiments of fashion & the nitroglycerine shrieks of the fairies of advertising & the mustard gas of sinister intelligent editors, or were run down by the drunken taxicabs of Absolute Reality,
who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually happened and walked away unknown and forgotten into the ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alleyways & firetrucks, not even one free beer,
who sang out of their windows in despair, fell out of the subway window, jumped in the filthy Passaic, leaped on negroes, cried all over the street, danced on broken wineglasses barefoot smashed phonograph records of nostalgic European 1930s German jazz finished the whiskey and threw up groaning into the bloody toilet, moans in their ears and the blast of colossal steamwhistles,
who barreled down the highways of the past journeying to each other’s hotrod-Golgotha jail-solitude watch or Birmingham jazz incarnation,
who drove crosscountry seventytwo hours to find out if I had a vision or you had a vision or he had a vision to find out Eternity,
who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who came back to Denver & waited in vain, who watched over Denver & brooded & loned in Denver and finally went away to find out the Time, & now Denver is lonesome for her heroes,
who fell on their knees in hopeless cathedrals praying for each other’s salvation and light and breasts, until the soul illuminated its hair for a second,
who crashed through their minds in jail waiting for impossible criminals with golden heads and the charm of reality in their hearts who sang sweet blues to Alcatraz,
who retired to Mexico to cultivate a habit, or Rocky Mount to tender Buddha or Tangiers to boys or Southern Pacific to the black locomotive or Harvard to Narcissus to Woodlawn to the daisychain or grave,
who demanded sanity trials accusing the radio of hypnotism & were left with their insanity & their hands & a hung jury,
who threw potato salad at CCNY lecturers on Dadaism and subsequently presented themselves on the granite steps of the madhouse with shaven heads and harlequin speech of suicide, demanding instantaneous lobotomy,
and who were given instead the concrete void of insulin Metrazol electricity hydrotherapy psychotherapy occupational therapy pingpong & amnesia,
who in humorless protest overturned only one symbolic pingpong table, resting briefly in catatonia,
returning years later truly bald except for a wig of blood, and tears and fingers, to the visible madman doom of the wards of the madtowns of the East,
Pilgrim State’s Rockland’s and Greystone’s foetid halls, bickering with the echoes of the soul, rocking and rolling in the midnight solitude-bench dolmen-realms of love, dream of life a nightmare, bodies turned to stone as heavy as the moon,
with mother finally ******, and the last fantastic book flung out of the tenement window, and the last door closed at 4 A.M. and the last telephone slammed at the wall in reply and the last furnished room emptied down to the last piece of mental furniture, a yellow paper rose twisted on a wire hanger in the closet, and even that imaginary, nothing but a hopeful little bit of hallucination—
ah, Carl, while you are not safe I am not safe, and now you’re really in the total animal soup of time—
and who therefore ran through the icy streets obsessed with a sudden flash of the alchemy of the use of the ellipsis catalogue a variable measure and the vibrating plane,
who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space through images juxtaposed, and trapped the archangel of the soul between 2 visual images and joined the elemental verbs and set the noun and dash of consciousness together jumping with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deus
to recreate the syntax and measure of poor human prose and stand before you speechless and intelligent and shaking with shame, rejected yet confessing out the soul to conform to the rhythm of thought in his naked and endless head,
the madman bum and angel beat in Time, unknown, yet putting down here what might be left to say in time come after death,
and rose reincarnate in the ghostly clothes of jazz in the goldhorn shadow of the band and blew the suffering of America’s naked mind for love into an eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani saxophone cry that shivered the cities down to the last radio
with the absolute heart of the poem of life butchered out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand years.
II
What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?
Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable dollars! Children screaming under the stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men weeping in the parks!
Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the loveless! Mental Moloch! Moloch the heavy judger of men!
Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress of sorrows! Moloch whose buildings are judgment! Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stunned governments!
Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking tomb!
Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows! Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in the long streets like endless Jehovahs! Moloch whose factories dream and croak in the fog! Moloch whose smoke-stacks and antennae crown the cities!
Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone! Moloch whose soul is electricity and banks! Moloch whose poverty is the specter of genius! Moloch whose fate is a cloud of sexless hydrogen! Moloch whose name is the Mind!
Moloch in whom I sit lonely! Moloch in whom I dream Angels! Crazy in Moloch! Cocksucker in Moloch! Lacklove and manless in Moloch!
Moloch who entered my soul early! Moloch in whom I am a consciousness without a body! Moloch who frightened me out of my natural ecstasy! Moloch whom I abandon! Wake up in Moloch! Light streaming out of the sky!
Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! invisible suburbs! skeleton treasuries! blind capitals! demonic industries! spectral nations! invincible madhouses! granite cocks! monstrous bombs!
They broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven! Pavements, trees, radios, tons! lifting the city to Heaven which exists and is everywhere about us!
Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies! gone down the American river!
Dreams! adorations! illuminations! religions! the whole boatload of sensitive bullshit!
Breakthroughs! over the river! flips and crucifixions! gone down the flood! Highs! Epiphanies! Despairs! Ten years’ animal screams and suicides! Minds! New loves! Mad generation! down on the rocks of Time!
Real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all! the wild eyes! the holy yells! They bade farewell! They jumped off the roof! to solitude! waving! carrying flowers! Down to the river! into the street!
III
Carl Solomon! I’m with you in Rockland
   where you’re madder than I am
I’m with you in Rockland
   where you must feel very strange
I’m with you in Rockland
   where you imitate the shade of my mother
I’m with you in Rockland
   where you’ve murdered your twelve secretaries
I’m with you in Rockland
   where you laugh at this invisible humor
I’m with you in Rockland
   where we are great writers on the same dreadful typewriter
I’m with you in Rockland
   where your condition has become serious and is reported on the radio
I’m with you in Rockland
   where the faculties of the skull no longer admit the worms of the senses
I’m with you in Rockland
   where you drink the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
I’m with you in Rockland
   where you pun on the bodies of your nurses the harpies of the Bronx
I’m with you in Rockland
   where you scream in a straightjacket that you’re losing the game of the actual pingpong of the abyss
I’m with you in Rockland
   where you bang on the catatonic piano the soul is innocent and immortal it should never die ungodly in an armed madhouse
I’m with you in Rockland
   where fifty more shocks will never return your soul to its body again from its pilgrimage to a cross in the void
I’m with you in Rockland
   where you accuse your doctors of insanity and plot the Hebrew socialist revolution against the fascist national Golgotha
I’m with you in Rockland
   where you will split the heavens of Long Island and resurrect your living human Jesus from the superhuman tomb
I’m with you in Rockland
   where there are twentyfive thousand mad comrades all together singing the final stanzas of the Internationale
I’m with you in Rockland
   where we hug and kiss the United States under our bedsheets the United States that coughs all night and won’t let us sleep
I’m with you in Rockland
   where we wake up electrified out of the coma by our own souls’ airplanes roaring over the roof they’ve come to drop angelic bombs the hospital illuminates itself    imaginary walls collapse    O skinny legions run outside    O starry-spangled shock of mercy the eternal war is here    O victory forget your underwear we’re free
I’m with you in Rockland
   in my dreams you walk dripping from a sea-journey on the highway across America in tears to the door of my cottage in the Western night
San Francisco, 1955—1956

Allen Ginsberg, “Howl” from Collected Poems, 1947-1980. Copyright © 1984 by Allen Ginsberg. Used with the permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Source: Selected Poems 1947-1995 (HarperPerennial, 2001)

Who are some of your favorite Poets and what are some of your favorite poems? I do hope you enjoyed my contribution and be sure to check out the other poets in your circle of friends, and elsewhere in the world. Because for once Words Do Them Justice!

– The Ruthless Wonder

Words Don’t Do It Justice: YOU are Forty Thousand Strong on our 2nd Anniversary

Just a reminder where we started.

Just a reminder where we started.

Words Don’t Do It Justice

“It was all a dream.

I used read word up magazine.”

I could keep going with that, but really I don’t feel like quoting too much of anyone else today. So let me address this with the style most comforting.

When this all began it was an idea.

The thought that we could give the world something in this blog that would be read by our friends, maybe a few co-workers and classmates. And every once in a while I’d get to deal with the issues I have to face on a daily basis by just ranting into a text window for 30 minutes to an hour and let the world read. Certainly if we accomplished that I would have called this a successful idea and when the view dwindled I’d close it up and say I had a good time.

But that isn’t what you did. And I say that isn’t what YOU did, because it is true. You are the reason this fun time didn’t turn into just another thing I used to do. YOU made it worth it to find Rufus, Ronin, Roddo, Rebellionista, Realistic Royalty, Princess Devy, Reign, The Revanchist, The Radical Ref, Carl McPhail, Xion, Driving Misty, Rhapsodic, Reason, Kudo, Rhythmic Journey, Revolution In A Jar, causeandeffect88, Bami O, Render Verdicts, Ruminated Thoughts, Keith Labell, Smooth Phuzion, Bree the V, TEH Bobbo, and all the people who wanted to commit but just didn’t have the time to write, be on the podcast, contribute music, or be interviewed.

That wasn’t just me plodding through on my own. That was you reading. That was you sharing. That was YOU telling the world our little corner of the internet was worth checking out. in the first year we did 3500 views. In 2 years we have done 40,000! Because of all of you. And now things are possible that weren’t not long ago. YOU made this happen. People asked me when I started what I expected. They asked me what I wanted. I just wanted people to listen to my thoughts sometimes. It was so simple back then. Now? Now I want the sky and everything beyond. lol just kidding.

Now I want to give you more of what you come here for. So covering Gaming, and other topics, We’re proud to announce that Nine To Five Gamer will be joining us run by Bami O. Look for the official page as well as forums soon. You’re going to read pieces from many of our alumni writers. And that long-awaited revamp/update to the site. I can’t promise you we’ll turn into a Super Villain run Huffington Post by tomorrow. Heck I can’t even promise that by next year. But I can promise we will keep hitting these hot topics with our cold analysis. I can promise we are committed to giving you what you came here for. And I can promise you I WILL NEVER FORGET what drives Words Don’t Do It Justice. Because what drives us is YOU!

My humanity wants to cry by my Super Villainy is smiling too hard and is too excited. Thank you all. THANK YOU. Every super fan. Every random reader Every casual person who checked us out a few times or just once. THANK YOU FOR ALL OF THIS FROM ALL OF US! We couldn’t have done all this without you. Words Do Not Do YOU Justice!

– THE Ruthless Wonder