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Portrait of the Artist as a Dead Man

An Experiment in Extremes

Jonathan Frankel
one warm quiet night
i uttered your name
and a heavy balloon
rose from my mouth

a jaundice winter
sank into my tongue
like fire among the brush

the last breath
left in me to give
snuck out from my wounds
while i was looking at you

i wondered
as i gazed from my motionless body
how it came to be
that i had passed to this


"A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
~ Albert Einstein

"Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit." (Perhaps one day it will be pleasing for us to remember even this.)
~ Vergil's Aeneid, bk. 1, ln. 203

"There is a marvelous story of a man who once stood before God, his heart breaking from the pain and injustice in the world. 'Dear God,' he cried out, 'look at all the suffering, the anguish and distress in your world. Why don't you send help?' God responded, 'I did send help. I sent you.' When we tell our children that story, we must tell them that each one of them was sent to help repair the broken world - and that it is not just the task of an instant or of a year, but of a lifetime."
~ David J. Wolpe

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."
~ Mahatma Gandhi
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