Tag Archives: The Real Work


Hope rises from dark despair,
the jagged edge of acrimony
hurriedly honed in fear—
a pause to lay swords down,
for the blood to crust
and contemplate alternatives.
Are we conscripted warriors
for opposing forces,
or free to reclaim our sanity,
to nurture and heal
with the real work
the sun awaits?
            Well, while I’m, here I’ll do the work—
            And what’s the work?
            To ease the pain of living.
            Everything else, drunken dumbshow.
                        - Allen Ginsberg (“Memory Gardens”)


                                        In the shadow of bluffs
                                                            I came back to myself,
                                        To the real work, to
                                                            “What is to be done.”

                                – Gary Snyder (“I Went into the Maverick Bar”)

Little sermons to myself,
seldom sure, but ready
for a swim of details,
never twice the same—like
a trout facing upcanyon.

Every hoss has a hole
somewhere, a place for
training, for a rolling spur
or word to remind him
of the real work to be done.

Out here, we wear gruff
so well that we dismiss
any other way to dress,
as if survival was enough
to endorse our ignorance.

Out here, a man can forget
there is another world
he can’t escape—living
within him—a place to
write a poem to himself.