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i luv u (ch 3)

i luv u (ch 3)

I can see why you might think it doesn’t matter what you do before the end of the world
Especially if God is the only one responsible for anything that ever happens in this or any other world
But for my own peace of mind, I’d like to get my shit together before I die
I wish we could’ve loved each other, but since we can’t, I can’t really love you
Romantic love is only good when it is wanted
But you don’t want my love, so it’s not good for me to love you — at least not in any way that intrudes upon your life
It isn’t love when it isn’t reciprocated.
It’s just a half a love
If a man caught in half a love is kind and gentle, he can float away without doing any harm
That’s my goal here
It’s a good goal, given the circumstances
but it’s not love
and now i feel my love for you spreading out, getting thinner and thinner, becoming a lighter and lighter mist, drying up, forgetting you, forgetting me, forgetting itself
this breaks my heart
it’s ok to love and lose
but it’s hard to watch love die
you see it, you see it’s not helpful, you say it can’t be itself in a meaningful way, you see that it’s wise enough to see that there’s no place for it, you see that it’s wise enough to turn to dust and blow away
and it breaks your heart
it seems like a mistake
but it’s not
not this time

did you grow up in that little town?
did you grow up there?
where i was on my red dirt bike with the metal triangle my dad had welded at the front corner of the triangle made by the meeting of the front, bottom, and top tubes. It was welded there after I jumped a sloping cement retaining wall along a little narrow lot in front of a rowhouse and next to the alley, which was a foot lower than the front of the yard and five feet lower than the bottom of the house.
It was a nice town.
It’s where Sam and Sue grew up too.
A small red-brick factory town with a wide creek winding through it and bordered on the far end by a Great Lake with rolling waves, rotting fish bodyparts, smooth stones and shards of broken glass that had been flattened and smoothed until they may as well have been another smooth gray stone.
The factory was fifty buildings, all in 1910 brick, surrounded by chainlink fences topped with forward-bending barbed-wire rolls.
On one side was a large road followed by a neighborhood with only houses and a couple parks and then the lake, a neighborhood along the edge of a great inland sea.
On another side was a large road and you cross that and go over the bridge over the creek and you’re in the main town, where there’s houses and yards and parks and a Main Street with stores and a bank and a couple restaurants and a couple bars
On the far end of Main Street it meets (in a triangle) another big road and in that little triangular spit of worn-out grey, pebbly, cracked asphalt there is a convenience store that’s always owned by a different chain, a small square Dairy Queen with only windows for pick-up and that is only open in the warmer half of the year, and (on the outermost spit of the triangle) a gas station that I can’t tell you anything more about
If you stand in front of the edge of that asphalt triangle and turn to face Main Street, you are facing the long, two-story white-brick high school.
Turned towards the other big road, you’ll see a police station inside a larger brick building of municipal offices, and (turning further towards where that road comes from as it is travelling up to meet Main Street) a small square low brick library where you can get comic books, The Three Investigators, The Hardy Boys, The Great Brain, and most any other book you might wish for. What I recommend doing is taking out a bunch of different comic books to discover what your favorite is AND THEN start collecting comic books. I think that’s a real good, a real smart way to go about it. that’s what i think
There’s a little asphalt or maybe cement or maybe somehow both or maybe something in between road between the municipal building and the library. Go down that little hill and now the parking lot’s for the redbrick elementary school
I can tell you of a nice walk through a big square park full of giant trees, with pebbled paths crossing high grasses green in the summer and brown in the winter and then under snow a lot
That’s part of how you get to elementary school
I’m sorry but it doesn’t make sense to walk through that park to get to the high school
I’m sorry, but the way to get to the high school is to walk along that wide boulevard with little trees in little grass strips in the middle (the road that goes up to meet Main Street at the triangle I told you about). I know! But that’s the way to do it. That’s the way I know how.

I wanna say that Sam lived in Lawrence Park but Susan lived in Wesleyville. If they’d been born a few years before they were born, they would’ve gone to different grade schools. If they’d been born a decade before that, they’d have gone to different high schools. If they’d been born four hundred years before that, I can’t even tell you, because then there was no United States of America, and they were US citizens — of that you can be sure.

Both of these kids were good, upstanding citizens, and about as patriotic as they should be — given that they lived primarily in some quiet little town with sports meets, cheerleaders, pom pom girls, and a band for the left-over kids to join

I don’t know who there was in all this that I can tell you about.
I want to tell you about how I love you.
That’s all I want to do
But that won’t help you
So then it won’t help me
So then I guess I’ll write a book instead

I know before I told you that they just lived a couple blocks down from each other, and now I’m saying Sam lived in Lawrence Park and to get to Susan’s house you had to take Water Street up the hill (under the steel-walled railway bridge) to Buffalo Road and then continue on that way up some more hills before you could get to Susan’s house there on the (now I’m saying) far end of Wesleyville. I know that’s not really consistent. But it might not even be true. I might only say that now so I can tell you about Wesleyville and how it relates to Lawrence Park. Let’s not talk about Harborcreek, which is big and fat and ungainly. When you go up Water Street to Buffalo road, if you take a left and go down a short sharp hill, that’s what they call “Harborcreek”. There’s a YMCA, a K-Mart, a big modern grocery store, and some shopping plazas, and a Perkins, and a McDonalds, and a Putt-Putt (goofy golf and video games and the occasional birthday party), and more — especially a Taco Bell in the center of the K-Mart plaza.

This Sam, long and lean, filled out some in the small yellow weight room building back behind the high school. Way behind the high school, at the end of a long, upward-sloping parking lot. You have to work out like a beast if you want to become a beast!

That’s not the sort of thing Sam would ever say, though he might smile with white tall teeth if some other kid said it. I don’t know if anyone in that school could say “You have to work-out like a beast if you want to become a beast!” without any irony. Probably. But then he’d see that other people laughed like there was some irony in what he’d said. And then, well maybe he’d pick up on the general attitude without requiring further social cues. If he’s so dense that he needs it directly explained to him, then he’s SOL, because no one even knows that this attitude they have towards that statement is ironic. They just know to kind of smile and laugh, rather than to start bellowing “go team!” They wouldn’t know to go so far as to yell “go team!” in extra, self-exulting irony. Well, some would know about that, but I don’t know if they’d dare it inside the weight room itself. I wouldn’t think so. This is a small town. This is a nice, quiet time. There are no wars going on. Most everyone’s dad always has a job. And it is probably a good factory job at GE, where they make locomotives for the whole world and the world loves the locomotives that we make them and the world ferries freight from here to there with a merry click-clack-click and that’s our locomotives, strong and dependable, that are moving all that freight! And we did it ourselves! Right here! The mechanical engineers work with slide rules and then with big clunky computers that use reams and reams of wide green then white then green … lined paper with perforated edged with little wholes that I guess fit into spinning gears moving the paper along. These great intellects run experiments in the testing lab, which is like all the other rectangular brick buildings except its just got one floor and that’s smooth cement and there’s a big locomotive engine in the center and then tests and gauges all around. You can go there. You can look at it. On Family Day. There’s also free food and you feel kind of special that your dad works there and he builds locomotives.

Susan is very elegant. And shapely. And a smart dresser. And her hair is so bright and clean. She’s very smart and she bends over her books with a look of earnest concern, which gives you some idea of how seriously she’s taking school. I know that she loves me, or not me so much as Samuel

It’s not that I wish for Susan
how could I wish for another man’s soulmate?
It’s just that I feel old and like i missed my chance
and then i see them so young and possible and i think there’s been some kind of a mix-up, though i can’t quite say what

Everyone has friends
Especially these two
They have school friends, church friends, and neighborhood friends. In many cases, the friends are all the same: they are school/church/neighborhood friends
but not always
keep in mind that someone from Harborcreek or even Erie might go to their church, located at the edge of Lawrence Park and Erie set back from that big road between GE Transportation and the part of Lawrence Park that borders the lake and that is called Lake Cliff and that is kind of far from the rest of Lawrence Park because to get there you’ve got to pass part of the golf course and then that one old house on the hill with crumbly stucco interior walls and a baby grand and old furniture and books (you know because of the estate sale) and that was a stop on the Underground Railroad or so they said, and then on past a bunch of woods that no one ever went into and I don’t know why.

Samuel had freckles, an oval face, soft neatly-parted lightbrown hair, and an easy laugh.
Susan didn’t have freckles, or if they did they were not many and not noticeable.
Maybe she had a few freckles dabbed over her dainty little nose.
I don’t know.
Ask Samuel.

Susan was not too tall or not too short.
Samuel was kind of tall but not all that tall.
I wasn’t really there, not in the way they were.
It was a long time ago.

Author: Samuel Hannah
Editor: Bartleby Willard
Editor’s Editor: Amble Whistletown
Copyright: Andy Watson

i luv u (ch 2)

i luv u (ch 2)

this book’s about how #iluvu
the rest is fluff and filler i put in there so it counts as a book

In the evening, when the frogs ribbit by the old pond
when they start to hop and their slimy flipper feet slip from the lily pad
and then they gather themselves back underneath their little fist-like head-flows-bodies
and leap high into the inviting cool crisp laughing night air
before finding their way with a plop into the water where they’ve always lived

In the evening, when the summer sun has sunk but it is late September so that’s not really a summer sun anymore at all.
A man and his woman
so young and free were they
you might say
a boy and his girl
well, the two of them
were tromping through the thick sharp grasses and the dried-out tubes of water reeds from seasons’ spent
clumsy feet in wet sneakers damp with the fresh red mud endemic to those parts

The boy’s name was “Sam” and the girl’s “Sue”
and they’d known each other since forever, growing up as they had a couple blocks apart
in a sweet little town and then again going to church and school in common
and again and again at this event, that fair, walking to Main Street for the Fourth of July Parade, knocking on cold wooden doors to sing warm, Christ-infused carols in late December, again and again, all through the year and all through the years, happening across one another and growing stronger, learning how to read and write, dreaming big, getting big, finding themselves shaped for one another, find their way into each other, believing in each other and the love glowing between them and binding them up as one

I didn’t get to go there
I would’ve liked to
but it wasn’t my path

Anyway, it was there’s
and they took it

Samuel said to Susan, as twigs, leaves, fallen reeds and tired weeds crunched and crackled under their feet — Samuel clenched her hand a little tighter in his own and he said, “Susan, I want to always have you around. I want to always hear your voice. I want to always share your thoughts. I want to always hold you near and know you deep.”

Susan smiled in the moonlight beneath wide-blooming oaks and maples and amidst narrower, more straight-shooting pines.

“Me too, Sam”

And that was very romantic
they were now almost twenty and it was clear to them both that this kind of talk that had been growing between them for a couple years now was becoming more and more true, more and more real, more and more love.

i wish i could’ve had this
but i can’t really wish for what wasn’t
that doesn’t make sense
it’s like wishing a circle was a square
or some other bit of mathematical nonsense

anyway, so there they are and it’s going so well
beneath a full moon
in the woods outside a nice safe town
before you had to worry about Lyme disease

Sam smiles and Sue smiles and that’s love
When in the course of time, after college and the wedding and the first jobs and the children and the next jobs and the church functions and the PTA meetings and taking the kids to sports and music lessons and all that and getting older and slowing down and gardening in the summer mornings before it gets too hot and with Joe down the street with his wife in their cozy little home and Arlene across the state with her husband in their cozy bigger home
that’s just how it goes
how slow and easy that lifetime was allowed to flow
how everything fell into their laps
and they rejoiced in every moment
they rejoiced in human love and fellowship

i know some will think that this is a boring story
because everything works out all the time
but you know what i think?
i think stress and hurt and loneliness are insufferably dull
and i want a nice story, where everyone is safe and good and treat each other well
and they are happy and grow in human love and human wisdom by sinking deeper and deeper into God, fellowship, and service
and i’m writing this story
write your own stupid story if you want some deranged lunatic to murder the young lovers during their midnight stroll when the autumn nightair takes over for the summer sun.
wreck your own fictional world

Samuel Hannah was a nice young man
sure, he was the captain of the football and wrestling teams and lettered early and advanced to State and all that
but that’s what people did in that town
and it wasn’t like he was ever mean to people who weren’t good at sports
nor did he neglect his academics
or even drink all that much
and he definitely stayed active in the church, helped out at the soup kitchen, delivered food and cheer to shut-ins, was a counselor at the two-week daycamp that the church, even gave a little talk about living a Christ-centered life in high school once — which went pretty well, even if he did stumble a little here and there and seemed more interested in high school than Christ, with the talk mostly centering around sports events, science projects, and the amazing work of the school’s theater and chorus (in both of which — and this was lost on no one in the audience — Susan was a prominent member).

Susan Elkanah was a nice young woman
sure, she was pretty, but not in a mean way
and she was the sweetest girl, pitching in everywhere, and bringing joy to church choir, school choir, and untold theatrical productions at church and school.
I definitely love her and want to marry her
except that’s silly because she’s not for me; she’s for Samuel and he’s for her
So I definitely can’t butt in there
plus I’m old now, too old for the young love that they share
when young love grows older, but you stay together and are good to one another, does it stay young?, does it glow with the same youthful fire and still gaze out at life in the innocent delight of childhood-turned-20?
Susan is so pretty and so nice
She holds herself erect and sure
and she laughs free and easy, knowing that she’s safe and she’s loved
time does not drag her down, it just tightens around her thin limbs, it just lets her float as a brittler and brittler, less and less green and then red and yellow and now more and more brown and curling up and dried out leaf
nothing bad happens to Susan in this life
little things here and there
sometimes she cries
but she’s always lucky and she mostly always knows it
so that’s a happy life
and to have a mate that loves you and children that grow up safe and healthy in love
and inside a town at peace with itself and the wider world
it’s nice
it’s better than psycho killer stories

Author: Samuel Hannah
Editors: BW/AW
Copyright: AMW

i luv u (ch 1)

i luv u (ch 1)

I thought I’d just write you this book.
About how I love you.
I’ve had had four insights lately.
Let them share them
with you,
who i luv

1) the world will end soon
2) God is directly responsible for everything that happens in the world; no one else shares any portion of praise or blame for anything that ever is was or will be
3) we all come from God, are held during this worldly fling within God, and go back to God
3) i luv u

Now I understand that, putting this all together, and coming at you with it so late in the game,
well, that doesn’t really help us all that much.
But at least you know.
You do know, right?

When I realized that the Doomsday Clock on 14th Street above and to the right of the three-story Whole Foods there at 14th Street and between University Place and Broadway (right across from Union Square),
when I saw that it wasn’t just a gimmick, but that it was a pretty accurate timepiece, off by perhaps a decade in either direction, but fundamentally sound —
when I saw that that’s how things were,
I wondered
if I should
if I might as well,
given all that,
take up smoking again.

But I thought, naw.
If the clock’s a decade fast, we’ve got like 17 years before the world ends
If the clock’s a decade slow, we’ve been living in a post-apocalyptic hologram for like three years now
In either case, every day I spent smoking would be a day I felt like shit
and there’s just no percentage in that

then i was like,
well, maybe i could pop over and let her know,
let her know that insofar as i’m a man in this fleeting moment,
i love her with all my being,
and i want to
spend my little insignificant life with her.

but you don’t want that
you don’t even want to know
that i love you and only you for as long i’m this limited story

anyway, soon enough we’ll be melted back down into the One Light, where there’s nothing at all like
you’re mine and i’m yours
kind of talk

i would’ve liked to do it here and now,
in this game where people get to pretend that they belong to each other
i would’ve liked to share that pleasant little, walk along the river on a Sunday afternoon lie
with you
i wish for it even now as i shrug it off as impossible and thus unwishable

u need something else,
i guess

before we go on, I’d like clear up a little confusion
’cause lots of times, people think that they have free will and get judged for what they do and all that
but then i said — and it must be true because Julian of Norwich said so — that God is doing everything, and when we seem to do things it is only God acting through us
So how can that be?
Who’s right?
Because Buddhists say there’s free will, and lots of other religions too, and I don’t want to blow them off when in fact there’s something in what they say, even if in the final analysis, none of us exist enough to either ever be right or wrong, or to ever do anything ourselves
It’s like this:
The only free-choice in this world is God
Because God flows off of God’s Nature, but so does everything God creates.
To the degree that we lose our egotripping and other illusionary certainties and notions, God — which shines through all things, including each conscious moment — flows directly out into our feeling/thinking/acting and we are God’s agents in this world and so we share/are the free-cause that is God’s and God’s alone.
It’s better to let God burst our flasky sides asunder and flow like new wine out into the demented old world
to the extent we do that, we are joyful and it is good to be around us because we Know how to help and we Do help
That’s not to say we can decide whether or not to let God overtake us
oh but we can’t stop God from overtaking us
God keeps on coming
God wins
Not in a mean or pushy way — just in the way that What Is has to Be.

Anyway, whatever
i just thought maybe you needed a clarification there
forgive me if you already knew all that
of course you did, since it is etched in every heart of heart:
“GOD WINS and it’s better that way anyway, so ok then, i may as well admit that i love you and have no desire to hurt anyone or take anything from anyone or do anything but go easy on all of us here together wound up within each other and shot through by the Light alone Knows, Is, and Does — the Light of True Goodness — Godlight — the One Light … ”

now that we’ve gotten the preliminaries out of the way,

u need something else, someone else

I got up early one day
in the last days of the world
I got up early
well, more like 8 in the morning
not all that early
but the day was so gray and heavy with the mist of a cold and chalky slumber
that it felt early
in January then
it’s a type of love
I got up and made a pot of decaf loose-leaf black and green tea
And I had 100% black Baltic rye bread with dried fruits and nuts backed into it and slathered in a thick icing of earth balance health-margarine spread
and a few spoons of plain unsweetened coconut yogurt
and a big glass of alcohol-free cabernet sauvignon that I spiked with a fourth cup of regular pinot noir

I got up early one day
and thought I’d write you a book

Author: Sam Hannah
Editors: Bartleby Willard & Amble Whistletown
Copyright: Andrew M. Watson

I love you so much

I love you so much

I think it’s fine to tell you now
now as I’m leaving the valley so green
I think it’s good to let you know
know how I love you. You always do seem
like God’s own smile.

I understand you’ll marry him
whom you met near the water’s summer edge.
I think it’s good you found your man
whom you can depend upon in ev’ry age,
in all your while.

You need a love that’s right for you
your heart, your hand, your body too.
You need your man. I need your joy
and his as well — since he’s your boy.

I hope it’s cool to speak my love
love that bends and sways like willow’s limbs.
The force of you, it tears in me
carries me — like voice upon a hymn.

I love you. You’re the one I love.
Who are you? What is this for a love?
I love you. You hit me in that way.
What is this? What has it cut away?
I love you. You win the space of me.
What’s this wonder when you I see?
I love you. Forgive the intrusion.
Like a moth in lamp-side confusions
I got upside-down.

I love your smile.
Anything I do to make you frown
kills my heart.

I think it’s fine to tell you now
now as I’m leaving the valley so green
I think it’s good to let you know
know how I feel about what I’ve seen
in your eyes.

There shone much Light, much happiness
I learned what’s right in that abyss.
What keeps and grows and spreads such smiles
is what matters here on earth this while.

Author: Bartleby Willard
Editor: Amble Whistletown
Copyright: Andy Mac Watson

can’t do this one

can’t do this one

you say you can’t do this one god
that it just is too much for you
that you need to escape but
there is no escape and so you
just cannot handle

i know i dunno it is too bad

what if we just find the right girl?
what if we find someone who’d be so glad
so glad to be ours and who we’d be so glad
so glad to have be ours and then we’d
be happy so happy to have found each other
what if we pray for love and happiness
all around so bountiful that no one’s
left wanting? what if we pray for shared joy
and we leave the details to god?

what if every second was a prayer for shared joy?
what if every movement was a prayer for real love?
what if every word was meditation on happiness?
what if every heartbeat was a wish for spiritual, emotional, mental, relationshipal, and in-the-world success for everyone?
what if you take this lesson to heart: yes, you can’t take the loneliness, but that means no one else can either; so the only prayer possible is the one where everyone finds community, companionship, the path that is right for them, that leads them deeper into God and deeper into friendship, that allows them to unfold their whole selves — even those needy, gunky underbellies?
what if you pray for everyone all the time?
you can still find the one; in fact, there’s no other way for you to find your one — you can’t really open yourself up to life and love and what is possible for you without opening yourself up to God, and God is not a one-way-street: love of God flows into God and out from God into everyone: love of God overflows your sides and flows through everyone into God and through God into everyone.
the answer to a broken heart is not hiding from love but giving more love to more people; it is giving only love, having learned that there is no other Law that means anything to you or anyone else.

in the bible they have Jesus down as saying you have to leave your family to come follow him
did he really say that one? did he mean just the apostles who literally left everything and everyone and took off roaming and ministering with him? or did he mean that to follow God, you have to put your love for everyone ahead of your love for your intimates? or did he mean you have to reject everyone in your life who doesn’t follow your faith? but what is your faith? if it is faith in God’s love, then you can’t reject anyone; you might distance yourself from people who’s behavior is harming themselves and you — especially if you lacked the resources to resist their corrosions and thus have a chance at actually helping –, but why would you reject people with whom you had nice sane loving relationships? that goes too far.

who was Jesus? was he so wise that everything he said should be Gospel? how much of the Gospel did he actually say?

well, anyway, let’s focus on this interpretation:

to follow God, you have to put your love for everyone ahead of your love for your intimates

I think this is related to the Buddhist idea of relative and absolute truth
in a sense, we have to give more affection to and look out more for those closer to us
in the deeper sense, we have to give complete affection and look out for everyone
in a sense, we are separate individuals in relationships of varying degrees of closeness with others
in the deeper sense, we are all one Love and flow together as one Light
but you can’t respect the deeper sense unless you see and accept the whole picture; your spouse and children need your familial affection — you won’t do a very good job of loving everyone if you withhold that from them

perverted love

perverted love

don’t mean to say those things
don’t mean to tell those tales
don’t mean to share that love

mean to bring all of me
mean to sing soft low pretty
mean to ring your bell
but gentle clear and well
mean to be a full friend
mean to bring all of me

where’s it go when your guts
are sprawled out blood and mucous
upon the dining room floor
where’s it go when your butt’s
fell out good and virtuous
all from a bore and how he gores

can’t really say
this was wanted
or not

more like
a stone that’s there
crowds at a fair
a tree that falls
a robin’s call

and everything else
that just
kind of

nobody’s fault

nobody’s fault

it’s nobody’s fault
that it’s like this
dirty grungy needy certain
like a frightened dog in a storm
whimpering and yapping in the corner
chasing its tail and thwacking the wall
with its confused rump

it’s not anyone’s fault
that we’re made this way
dirty grungy needy certain
of what must follow
like a thunderstorm overhead
and all around pelting the walls
after we’ve run around the house
to shut all the windows
even the old stuck ones

let it be
let it come
or go
on where
we do or don’t
end up belonging

sharp edges

sharp edges

i just gotta warn ya
this guy
not rough ’round the edges
but sharp
got some sharp edges
not cruel in the belly
but sick at the nexus
where man and boy flow
and become some guy

i gotta warn ya here
this guy
not rough ‘long the edging
but sharp
razor sharp in spots
you might not expect

you won’t cut your hand
not on him
not on what he’s become
you won’t slice your heart
not on that
not on what you seek
but still ya oughtta know

no hatred

no hatred

no hatred
no anger
no jealousy
no greed

only love
only time
only peach
juicy wet soft
only teach
us forgive what’s lost

twenty-five years
that don’t come back
twenty-five years
lost and that’s a fact

but no
not lost
just converted
into what was to be

twenty-five years
without the love
that makes a soul complete
that’s alright
many never win
that summer light
many never hold her
safe and sound
in long-bending arms

twenty-five years
wandering lonely
that’s Okay
that’s the only
way for this way
that was yours

now they close the gate
that was yours alone
now they seal the way
and you’re either in or out
that’s cool
God’s on both sides