I enter this tent
baring arms to the thief,
charting threads representing fresh marks of superiority,
a knotty fugitive, sparing no friend, no city,
nosing for booty, until its nose is bent.
Gritty bitter but better nerves down,
this soldier grows bolder whisper by whisper,
proving with scientific uncertainty,
this early 21st Century gown,
unravels from his master's spool,
a dark-eyed blue clown.
Obama the handpicked emperor,
wobbling village sector nefarious
smudges past ink spillage of his own 1980s
still feeling like yesterday will never arrive.
Ignoring the Reagan Years
except when hurling rocks against them
clowns, one show at a time, the Baltic seasons
drew nexus from the hidden years themselves
bunched among hallowed groundswells
of odd manners
like putrid oranges on dirty carpets
sickly sweet among the street gross
standards of contemporary
inspection and high alert.
Fortunately, this old branding
knuckled us the gist and viscera
to strike through any earlier bromide kills
the long dead rope of imagination collapsing
youthful nights churning on digital promise
sealed haircut pretense looking for the quick thrill,
that ample insight, this sudden urge.
Live not a judgement call, but a hard fast slider
licking the dusty ranges of home plate,
we, swinging for the fences
(those few of us who had both
earned the right
and still revered the mighty
and ubiquitous American sports metaphor
generally missing among the tragically hip).
Damn that! Yes Almighty, we the poseurs.
cheering art world outliers. Punk of the year,
bored, drunk, fagged, foul, frank and disorderly,
many of us by nature, others by chance, a few
by intelligent design. We had copped
to the idea that we were nothing
but youth wasting on the bones
of youth. Many would perish
like cunning sundown poets
hurling soup kitchen lines
past the eager and the vaguely forewarned.
Nothing is more rooted in uncertainty
than the brash certainty of youth. Torn oscillating spirit
between nature and nurture, the driven scorn
and the sluggard worn, we dare now, after all
these scantily clad years to remember, not
that we ever forgot, but that we were born,
as generations are born, to stride onward
synthetic, owning the lucid task,
framing imperfect the flaccid context,
alienation the fallen piazza.
Flower power and victimology 101,
the vain hope, the crude struggles for distinction
generating enough peer memory to matter
somewhere somehow something like that
because precisely one proud
and princely thing was certain (recalling our
prior words just now) back then, and that was
we knew we had our bright eyes sullen
and our frank fists founded
on some fair future with all its revelations
ripened to emerge.
And in these trenches
where junior jackboots coughing
and lacy fetish brassieres bumping begged to differ,
on our tongues the frequent riddle
of turnabout is fair play, we also spoke
to a society still girded and burdened in spades.
The poem, the street sheet, an army of one
to come. First bounce in black magic
marker calligraphy on pink
in Corpus Christi, Tay Hass, we
again whistled a sudden work of literature
within days of that fog-inspired scrawling.
A broken beast, velocity learned,
alternate receiver comes limping but dangerous
into our ancillary cage snapping all records
for glory and shame. Such was and is still
my quantum luck with immutable timing.
Good grief! Accidents & make-up calls, house decorating & paperpushing. You are quite the whirlwind sass these recent days. Yep, your mom was sold the American dream and she is just tickled you are pulling her through it. Good work sweetie! Now if only I were so industrious.
Sure, I remember your Greek pal who once had the crush but you told him you didn't think of him that way. Yeah Themis, the story of our lives. Geez, you didn't waste any time, moving on this cyberslut quackery rampage right out the gate, did you? Naughty girl. Yeah, a nasty girl, a dirty woman. And indefatigably so alive! To ratchet up Jack Webb's Sergeant Friday from the dark side of sunshine, "there are a billion stories in the cyber metropolis, and hey baby baby, yours is just beginning...
The prostitute? It's a dead deal going nowhere. I have been planning for years to hire a model of a certain caliber, but have never stepped into it. The urge washed over me again last week, and I thought a streetwalker might fit the bill. Cheaper, and perhaps more willing to accept the terms upon which I want to explore with camera various states of mild bondage, exhibitionism, and clothing fetish (cottons & professional wear, not leather, it's so cliché these days with everybody from the president's daughter to Grandma Moses saddled up in punk rock garb) strategies. I WANT TO TAKE PICTURES OF WOMEN DAMMIT!!!
I'll forward a couple of more notes I've recently written to Ben (of Germany) which expand on this topic of my own general failure to achieve what I feel is my bounty, is worthy of my intellectual pursuits, and anything less is abject failure and a colossal waste of talent, duty, expression that is meant to move a generation.
When I was young, thin as spaghetti, long-haired like my generation wanted & lurking along the fringe of the beautiful people in my early to late 20s, most women didn't take me seriously because I was too wimpy, nerdy, dandylike for them. They preferred the ruffians. A whole series of women who did take me seriously were ten to 20 years older than me, and when I pressed them to define their attraction to me, each to a nipple twist could only bring themselves to say they admired and loved me for my mind. Not a single one was honest enough to admit it was my young, muscled, pliable, blonde blue eyed, energetic body they lusted after and wanted to toss in their purse or their bed, always wishing they could give me more to make me be everything they wanted me to be. But I was never a victim. Or the victor. Let me be clear. I don't play that victim card, also known as the martyr card, though several wits over the years have accused me of this behavior, others quite the opposite. My job is to explain the matrix, the global positioning, the psychological DNA of a type. Say what you will, but I have my orders. If someone's not interested, go away. Find a three minute song to tell you basically the same thing, but over the long haul I do it my way, old school, long winded, hiding secrets behind words, detonating secrets with words. I have and will always play hard, or I don't play at all. I play to win within the context of the game, the art of the coin, the coin of the realm, the realm of the law, the law of the gods, the gods of humanity, the humanity of secret, of public passages, or I don't play at all if I can get away with the endgame. But win or lose, I am neither victim nor executioner, not that I reject either role's contextual placement within the humanity of passages, but I choose to sport for myself, to explore something else. Nor is it written within with the fading laws of my longing heart to create metaphorically lifeless victims or executioners. I cannot create what I cannot be, period. I'd rather create sentences. And we all deserve our sentences, even those who manage to escape them.
Inferiority about my appearance has plagued since childhood (crooked teeth, too skinny, lazy hair, hooked nose, bowed legs, southern vocabulary, lack of victorious pectoralis muscle despite a driving athleticism, et cetera), and continued to fester after high school as a that string of much older women took me into their confidence one after another only to feed me with flatteries and half-truths that burned off every time my mind ran counter to their mind, their body, their spirit of play and decorum. I was quite aware that my mind was sharp and curious to a fault. I knew that girls my own age were mostly too silly and worldly to understand the chasms of my intelligence. Early 1970s were not nice to me. And sinceto escape the chaos of home I bolted as soon as I graduated from highschoolI was soon laboring alone a mere blue-collared college kid wannabe outside the academic environs of my childhood dreams and foundations, working in a goddamned steel mill in the coke ovens for chrissakes, I never chanced to meet a peer but soon was lost in a master mechanic's greasy world where I felt infinitely close to dead inside. I'll forward a couple more notes I've recently written to Ben (of Germany) which expand on this topic of my own general failure to achieve what I felt was my bounty, worthy of my intellectual curiosity and pedigree, even now, as the days grow shorter and are flying by quicker, so anything less than scaling the highest mountain is abject failure and a colossal waste of talent, duty, and knack for recording that is meant to move a generation. Boyhood dreams die hard.
True all the way back to my earliest days, I've often been a free floater, seeking original sin, tweaking at the edges of a good time folly as long as it was mixed with smarts and a sense of direction. I do not like to let go without tracks back to the cave. A free floater, or at least I used to be until a decade of sexual sublimation and boredom conspired like the two components of a Reese’s Buttercup to render my body a complete wreck. I am reminded of what Ravenholt opined rather offhandedly when the two of you were over at the old apartment.
I want to take pictures, surprisingly deviant, erotic but not in some highbrow ginger, actual I want an emphasis on the offbeat, the ironic, the artistic but approachable, Warholian so to speak. Just for the taste of doing it once, twice, a few times, not as a lifetime endeavor. I can't fathom that. Man Ray and Lee Miller moved on. So would I. I prefer the natural or plainer looking model to the drop dead gorgeous women who frankly all look alike, and to whom Easy Street is theirs for the plucking. They don't need me, and I don't need them because despite my limitations, I feel just as scooter as they do, and it's equality of opportunity, or nothing at all from me. Instead I am terribly fascinated with the average doll on the street, their psychology, their power. I'm not speaking here of prostitutes necessarily, but ordinary girls, women in general. That study has been done to death in literature, if not photography. But the average woman, her sexuaity, her fantasies, her willingness to please herself and others, and under what terms. These matters interest me beyond a few words. I might have made something of this long ago had I not been deceived by Sue. An ancient story. Her own formidable post-marital inhibitions prohibit any exploration. She now seems ashamed of sexuality, ashamed of her own femininity, not taking it seriously enough, in fact, bored, and subsequently boring. Bottom line, she's a bean counter, which sums up her sense of self, turned into a slack-shouldered bookkeeper who has trouble beyond the self-conscious snicker or dead-eyed "what do you want me to do" in both the commanding role, and the obedient, not just in the bedside trollop, either. Her lifelessness begins when she clocks out from work. She works hard. I understand that. But she operates on RAM, and her hard drive is shut down right before she leaves her office at Always & Forever. True all the way back to my earliest days, I've often been a free floater, seeking original sin, tweaking at the edges of a good time folly as long as it was mixed with smarts and a sense of direction. I do not like to let go without tracks back to the cave. A free floater, or at least I used to be until a decade of sexual sublimation and boredom conspired like the two components of a Reese's Buttercup to render my body a complete wreck. I am reminded of what Ravenholt opined rather offhandedly when the two of you were over at the old apartment.
I reckon I was just fishing for some personal feedback on what limits you have, what trust you have, what love you have, for me. You have often said you don't flash the L-word around unnecessarily. I can appreciate that. Honesty is the only trait worth fighting and dying for. My honesty seems sometimes all I have left as the black rupture of failure closes in on my sagging sense of purpose.
"Gabriel, he's like me, we have a common sexual soul," he said. I was astounded that Ravenholt saw deep into my past and my future. I knew I was kinked along every ridge of my being, but I was quite sure most people looked right through me without seeing anything but a goofball. Where are those women now in the past so willing to love me not for my body but for my mind? Admittedly Sue is one, for our incompatibility in the almost every department of intimacy has made the sex a mute point. To use a phrase, "I love her, but not in that way."
Other than email among a few special minds, for which I am mocked by Bracken and Howell, my artistic spirit is nearly numb at this stage. Cold indifference a decade carved into our future neither of the three of us is innocent. And I would dare surmize that you Jennifer must "love" me as you say you do because of my mind because it is certainly not the flesh you seek from me, although you have provided it many times. But now that my body is rotten, my mind has no power, but has proven that old blowfish tale so often found fluttering off the plucky lips of femmes
énergique everywhere that "it's not what's on the outside, it's what's on the inside that counts" completely bogus in all its pretentious idealism, just as us eager but culled lads always knew it to be. What collapses my soul is that now I am hardly able to scratch beyond the mind past the second hand tools of my body to rework the conspicuous tropes of those I would even remotely glorify or testify againstif only a quarter measure of acceptance and cooperation in the deed down under was not sincere and gregariously made available in the hour of our mutual authority. The research is in. The tests have spoken. I got a failing grade. So, it's spit in the bucket, or not at all, my dears. Speak up, chest out, invest your stuff with the flair of dominance but in a spirit of "you've just got to have it," or else, know in the end I can only pine the box, pine the key that unlocks. Will never be quick or clever enough to transgress the boundaries, not any more. I lost. Trapped in the irritable bowels of sexual ambiguitylet's be clear, sexual ambiguity, not homosexuality, not bisexuality, not indifference, certainly not an incapacity for grueling matches of innuendo and thrustjust an excruciating ambiguity born of experience, I lost.
To stand erect, a reject before the world, patently needy for a welcoming acceptance without begging, yet dripping from every pore with a primal fear of rejection, or worsedull cooperationa player of notable former prowess, but one now relegated to the bench, the sidelines, where I observe mindless splinters with more aggressive behavior than I, knowing the game is much more about something else than the countless acts of sublime love, witty dominance and shrieking submission floating around the nucleus themselves. The Marquis couldn't possibly have planned it all, superior intelligence and high birth be damned. But to his credit, he and his deviating insights outlived most of the laws he broke.
Rather than gates crashing down, each year seems to bring more chains of thought, more depression, more rejection. Will I ever measure up to that fabulous burst of early potential I knew as a precocious & peerless child? Even among the adults I knew no peer. Sue fears me, and now you say you do. Vexation of the heart is rendering me increasingly useless for life. Failures of my mind to relieve the pressures. I peer between penitentiary bars of this side that side driving me insane, just as my mother has suffered great agony from the same unrealized potential in her own life, mostly a series of false hopes to break through into a recognizable, and compelling intellectual climate. The challenges of peace in my lifetime...
What is life but the fulfilling of purpose? Does it matter that I have felt a universal tug since my very earliest years, and as such have set myself up for this miserably fantastic failure? No, because without these fantasies whether they be artistic, religious, or merely delusional have kept me in the game thus far, among the living, after nearly being extinguished more times than a cat's mythological nine lives.
The hooker deal fell through because Mouse Morrison (hardly a close friend but rather a persistant pest over the past decade) bailed out due to an illness I guess I now am suffering, fevers, sweats, harsh throat, and sinus wammies. Both he & Tim were egging to donate their pipelines for the cause. Since neither has money, they offered peacock services. Steve was here that night, smartly demure as usual, noncommittal at the point the witching hour came, and still no news from Mouse. He called apologizing the next afternoon, and tried to reschedule for that evening. By then I had decided to keep the money in my pocket where it belonged, even thinking a drive to Ithaca was still possible. But Monday I was sick, and today still sicker. My fate determined.
You know Jennifer, you're not at all specific in stating your discomfort with what I had proposed as contingent to a visit. I suppose I can't blame you, though I find rather distasteful your coy kitten routine, except when you are looking to be touched, but you've got to know that I just put words out there. There is no action taken until words have confirmed themselves, and action is all that's left (along with whatever script comes to mind on the fly, don't you see?). I was vague myself in suggesting any such framework. I reckon I was just fishing for some personal feedback on what limits you have, what trust you have, what love you have, for me. You have often said you don't flash the L-word around unnecessarily. I can appreciate that. Honesty is the only trait worth fighting and dying for. My honesty seems sometimes all I have left as the black rupture of failure closes in on my sagging sense of purpose. I have often declared the two extremes of my psychological dichotomy to you. I suppose at the rate I am going, within a few years I may be a walking talking farting full blown case of schizophrenia, voices in my head and all. Day in and day out I race back and forth from being completely certain I am some sort of end days manchild whose time (while the symbols of my life rack up proof after proof of this latter truth) is not yet full, until I plummet into a full-blown depression signaled by a cheap self-congratulatory neuroticism, a smothering psychosis where self-loathing reaches beyond all this inner hype to bring me crashing to the ground zero point of self-destruction, seemingly only inches away. What is life but the fulfilling of purpose? Does it matter that I have felt a universal tug since my very earliest years, and as such have set myself up for this miserably fantastic failure? No, because without these fantasies whether they be artistic, religious, or merely delusional have kept me in the game thus far, among the living, after nearly being extinguished more times than a boozy feline's mythological nine lives.
And in that notion rests God the restorer...
"Whoozy beer-guzzling turkeys. Good thing they aren't allowed to fly..."
Had a great time with my mum and aunt. We went to the Cornell museum and botanical gardens...they are duly impressed by the first school I've attended that has a real campusjust like the ones in movies. My mum's parental fantasies and ambitions for me appear to be being realisedat least for the moment. We also worked on decorating my bedroomits draped in black lacetheir idea strangely enough. Next time they come we're going to make a black lace canopy for the bedvery Morticia Adams-ish. It seems that they're finally willing to decorate according to my tastes, realising that my interior decorating tastes like my fashion tastes will never be quite the same as theirs. Of course while they were here I gorged myself on the milk of maternal kindness and charity getting as much free stuff, labor, and meals as possible. The basics.
Unfortunately my indulgence (indirectly) led to a problem. After leaving a Thai restaurant (where I has a couple of beers), we went to the grocery store to get Asian food productsthe store has an extensive selection. After leaving, as we sat at a traffic light waiting to leave the parking lot I was in an accident. A van in front of me suddenly went into reverse, backing into me. The driver ( young w/ pigtails, a nose ring, and a Henry Rollins t-shirt) became rather belligerent. My mum went to call the cops, although the other driver protested it. It turns out he doesn't have insurance, the van was a rental, and he only had a student id (Ithaca college), no driver's license with him (and the one he does have is from another state and expiredhe just received a ticket last month for that). Thus his reluctance to involve the cops. But I insisted on getting them. After exchanging phone numbers, he left and I waited for the cops. Got an estimate yesterdayits going to cost a $1,000 to repair the car, but at least its driveable. Meanwhile this guyPatrick Kennedyhas been in contact. He doesn't have much moneyand will soon have even less since the cops have issued him three ticketsa fact which has him very upset. He seems to blame me for this, feeling, as I've said, it was wrong to involve the cops. I've tried to explain my position which is that without an official accident report I have nothing with which to pressure him into paying for the repairs. Anyway...
I was of course drinking all the while. He ended up making the usual offer of giving me his phone number and in a haze of beer and sexual fantasy I called him (he’s in NYC) and we talked until long past dawn. But oddly enough it didn’t involve any phone sex. He’s sent me some e-mail and I’m planning to reply.
It's good to hear Steve has been welcomed back into the bosom of the Dollhouse family. I have also had a reconciliation of sorts with a friend. I'm sure you've heard me speak of Themis. We had a falling-out a week before I left the citydrunk as usualI can't remember what happenedblacked out as usual. I only know that it happened somewhere between my flat and a bar a few blocks away and that it must have been pretty bad cos I've never heard from him again. I suspect I told him a few unwelcome truths (aren't they always unwelcome?), not for the ifrst time, but appparently for the last time. In any event late Saturday night he called me, having got my number from the phone co., acting as if nothing had ever happened. We talked for awhile, but neither of us mentioned that night. I don't know if we're friends again or not or what prompted him to call. I can't decide if I should call him or not or perhaps e-mail him (my fave occupation). I'll have to write you about him and our strange relationshipbut I'm not in the mood right now.
Went online yesterday and had an encounter in the ever-popular members rooms with a certain BenofDover. Went on for quite some timehe's a sub in search of a little discipline which I was naturally willing to virtually administer. I was of course drinking all the while. He ended up making the usual offer of giving me his phone number and in a haze of beer and sexual fantasy I called him (he's in NYC) and we talked until long past dawn. But oddly enough it didn't involve any phone sex. He's sent me some e-mail and I'm planning to reply. I'll let you know what happens.
So what is going on with you and this prostitute??!! What exactly were you planning and who was the friend who was arranging it and who was interested in the sex? Are you still pursuing this?
So you aren't able to roadtrip. Perhaps its just as wellI'm quite busy, desperately working on grant proposals, a task I've shamefully neglected. The fall semester, school, and grant deadlines are breathing down my neck and I'm beginning to panic. And I was feeling rather uncomfortable with your roadtrip requirements.
The following is a note I just sent to my German penpal, Ben Voos. I have never met him personally, nor even seen a picture but our correspondence has been quite interesting over the past six months. We actually first became acquainted after I emailed him pontificating contrarily to something rather cynically rah rah he had to say about information and the Internet he'd published on a Geocities page. Actually it was a very short interrogatory he had posed. Not that I disagreed with him at face value. I merely suggested that the Internet, and more specifically the Web was NOT so much about the dissemination of information since so much of which passes for information is bogus anyway, but about the opportunity for the many to finally have a canvas upon which to dynamically create a presence herefor unavailable by force of numbers and positions and glory reserved for the Hollywood & New York sensationalist top-and-bottomfeeder types. Of course I was speaking specifically from my own perspective, although at the time, I had barely had my Internet account a few weeksif I recall, my surfboard barely broken in. Since then, it has become painfully obvious that the corporate giants have rushed in and helped dwarf the "garage" artist once again, but I still maintain my original vision, where the idealistic individual is granted a greater control over artistic presentation via the web despite its flaws than ever before, and that's all the plumbing I need to appeal to me.
Yes, amazing! I was just thinking about you this morning, feeling guilty that I had not moved on some of the things I have promised you, like getting a German translator so that you could "go native" once in a while. Dumb American, that's me. I know I've not been sensitive to your translation struggles, raging on about this and that as if I were writing to myself, which of course I am, but you know what I mean. I had even lost track of who dashed off the last note, me or you? In good humor, it shouldn't matter. Your writing always intrigues me, and I simply love to find it in my mailbox, even under all these aliases, or rather friends, you steal in from nowhere every few months. Everytime I see that odd name in my box, I suspect, and am usually right that it is you, Ben, my friend across time and language. I feel that I haven't measured up to your expectations. I am always surprised when you seem to suggest otherwise.
I have been busy as God-on-uppers. I am currently writing what is turning into quite a long treatise on censorship and artistic integrity. As I said in my last note I am NOT a minimalist, although I often long for that rest, perhaps minimalism would bring to my increasingly stormy mind. I feel I have tumors, my head hurts in exactly the same spots as a few bumps I have sustained over the rough and tumble years on the back of my skull. Maybe I am simply inventing my illnesses, and just need more exercise, but I fear the worst nevertheless.
Speaking of God-on-uppers, I am not, not have I ever been a druggie by any means, occasionally diving into a month or so's worth of marijuana, a eight months to a year go by, and I smoke nothing until the next small amount of weed falls into my lap, but that's about it. Guzzle booze heavily one night a week or so, then nothing until the next one night stand seven to ten days down the road, although that ratio used to be every three days when I worked outdoors as a land surveyor in the war against the elements and caliber of crew when what I really wanted to do was create pages, mapping my thoughts, my crimes against self, and the renegotiating the penalties for making those choices and reducing those I never were even offered. What I once thought was a ball of twine I later lamented was instead a bowl of spaghetti. Never smoked cigarettes. Compulsive bad food addict and too much beer keeps me in gut and hell for nerves, but I never understood the angle in hard drugs.
Saw this 1979 Russian film with English subtitles the other day on cable called The Stalker. Have you seen it? I didn't see the very beginning but it was a most intriguing flick. I'll save any descriptions other than it centered around a mythical, mystical place called the Zone and three men including the guide, or stalker, who stumble around in this strange place seeking bestowal of its powers.
One of these days I suppose I will have enough of my WWW stuff in place to insist you to take a major browse, but I am still light years it seems from the body of work my own sensibilities require of me. Interesting how Geocities is coming along isn't it? Although my pages are still relatively primitive. Quite primitive. I have yet to compose my first image map.
Here's a ethical challenge you may find worth your while, or you may find it morally repugnant, politically exploitive, simply gross, but I would be interested in your opinions. I am considering hiring a prostitute in the near future for experimental video and clothing fetish purposes. And perhaps some light bondage. She will more than likely be a poor drug-infested African whore. I will pay here more in one session than she has probably seen from a single client in some time, according to my informer. I still have to formulate my full ideas, and am depending on this acquaintance of mine who is well-entrenched in this sort of streetwalker liaison to ease my initial mistrust in this sort of arrangement. I am doing this strictly from the video and photography perspective. This rather risky (in his own right) acquaintance wants the sex. I am not inclined. So, Ben, how do you interpret my motives? I may already have accomplished this transaction (but maybe not) by the time you are able to respond, but I am certainly interested in what you may have to say about this rather apprehensive affair.
Mother was right, as only she could be. I was not Henry Miller, but there were many others who were not Henry Miller either, and since I never said I was Henry Miller, after doing the math necessary to free myself from yet another curse she uttered upon me and my future, I reckoned I was standing on the simple side of common sense, and Mother, well, she was just a Mother doing what Mothers do, at least some of them, enough of them to have become a literary caricature. And it is a well-known fact that Henry Miller had one of those Mothers, himself. Many of us do. Some more so than others.
Perhaps I write like a boy. Not a man. Is that so wrong when I live in an eight minute song, when my topographies grant no sea level, when I stand alone against the skyline and the mountain range with nary a falsifying woman to tell me who I am, what to do, and why I should do it, when I face the darkness with the unquenchable thirst for life, more life, and none comes but the same old pastures of many colors I left to those who promised they would tend them, so that they may prosper, yet I saw them not, but when I was a boy I had all these things, and among them was a sense of beauty for its own sake, investigation for its own sake, a unified field theory single file motive without fear or courage for marching to the cafeteria for the greater good, for getting along with everyone, not cheating anyone, exchanging whimsical tongues for logical ones, swapping those later for dangerous ones for the greater good...
Feminization? Militarism? Do you know the difference? Chauvinism? Barbarism? Do you take offense? Just bring me my meals, and take strong care of my feet. The rest will follow.
"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""