What history fails to mention is
Most everybody lived their lives
With friends and children, played it cool,
Left truth & beauty to the guys
Who tricked for bigshots, and were fools.
- Gary Synder (1930-)
from Left Out in the Rain (1986)
If they want me to be a mystic, fine. So I'm a mystic.
I'm a mystic, but only of the body.
My soul is simple; it doesn't think.
My mysticism consists in not desiring to know,
In living without thinking about it.
I don't know what Nature is; I sing it.
I live on a hilltop
In a solitary cabin.
And that's what it's all about.
- Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935)
translated by Edwin Honig
I am a man with no ambitions
And few friends, wholly incapable
Of making a living, growing no
Younger, fugitive from some just doom.
Lonely, ill-clothed, what does it matter?
At midnight I make myself a jug
Of hot white wine and cardamon seeds.
In a torn grey robe and old beret,
I sit in the cold writing poems,
Drawing nudes on the crooked margins,
Copulating with sixteen year old
Nymphomaniacs of my imagination.
- Kenneth Rexroth (1905-1982)
from The Phoenix and the Tortoise (1944)