1) James Joyce -- best known as an author of novels, including Ulysses and A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man.
A Flower Given to My Daughter
Frail the white rose and frail are
Her hands that gave
Whose soul is sere and paler
Than time's wan wave.
Rosefrail and fair -- yet frailest
A wonder wild
In gentle eyes thou veilest,
My blueveined child.
2) D. H. Lawrence - best known as the author of novels such as Women in Love and Sons and Lovers.
I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.
3) Denis Johnson - best known as the winner of the National Book Award for his novel Tree of Smoke.
I want to say that
forgiveness keeps on
dividing, that hope
gives issue to hope,
and more, but of course I
am saying what is
said when in this dark
hallway one encounters
you, and paws and
affairs, fast lies—and you
say it back and we
blunder deeper, as would
any pair of loosed
marionettess, any couple
of cadavers cut lately
from the scaffold,
in the secluded hallways
of whatever is
holding us up now.
4) Mike Doughty - best known as a singer-songwriter who once was the lead singer of the now defunct band from the nineties, Soul Coughing
From a Gas Station outside of Providence
This kiss, unfinished, lips to receiver in the parking lot,
a pucker shot through a fiber optic wire
to an answering machine
toward switchboards and stations transmitting
in blips to satellites, this kiss
thrown earthward and shooting down
coils, around pipeline and electric power
up threads and transistors
and transference points.
This kiss is zeroes and ones jumbled
and tossed into a pneumatic system,
unscrambled at the end and scrawled
onto a tape recorder slowly rolling
at the side of your bed,
then slapping back, reverbed
off the ringer, a tinny phantom
of the smooch like a smack on
an aluminum can, up the same
veins through the belly of the same satellite
and softly to the side of my head;
this kiss is home before the next exhalation leaves.
I'm stooped in the booth,
pounding quarters into the slot;
yellow light droops over the asphalt,
and your ghost, too cool
and elusive with those hands and mouth
sings around me in the smell of gasoline;
whose mouth is this, scratched in static,
some droplet of a sigh, atomized,
and sputtering digitized into my room?
5) Tupac - best known as an excellent West Coast rapper who was mysteriously killed
The Rose that Grew from Concrete
Did you hear about the rose that grew
from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature's law is wrong it
learned to walk with out having feet.
Funny it seems, but by keeping it's dreams,
it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else ever cared.
6) Jack Kerouac - best known for his novel On the Road and as one of the main men of the Beat Generation in the fifties.
Society has good intentions Bureaucracy is like a friend
5 years ago - other furies other losses -
trying to control the uncontrollable Forest fires, Vice
The essential smile In the essential sleep Of the children Of the essential mind
all thru playing the American
Now I'm going to live a good quiet life
world should be built for foot walkers
rivers Of spiney Nevady
am Jake Cake
Write like Blake
horse is not pleased Sight of his
in the dust Its silken
arent kind Kiddies anent sweet
in Nevada - Investigating Dismal Cheyenne Where the war parties
Aimed over oxen At Indian Chiefs
In wild headdress Pouring thru
In Wyoming plain
To make the settlers
Eat more dust than dust
was eaten In the States From East at Seacoast Where wagons made up To dreadful
Of clazer vup
Anxious to masturbate The Mongol Sea (I'm too tired in Cheyenne -
No sleep in 4 nights now, & 2 to go)
7) Roald Dahl - best known as a children's author, most famous for books like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and James and the Giant Peach.
I Had a Little Nut Tree
I had a little nut-tree,
Nothing would it bear.
I searched in all its branches,
But not a nut was there.
'Oh, little tree,' I begged,
'Give me just a few.'
The little tree looked down at me
And whispered, 'Nuts to you.'
8) Ernest Hemingway - best known for his novels such as The Sun Also Rises and For Whom the Bell Tolls.
The only man I ever loved
Said good bye
And went away
He was killed in Picardy
On a sunny day.
9) Roberto Bolano - best known for his novels such as The Savage Detectives and 2666.
Godzilla in Mexico
Listen carefully, my son: bombs were falling
over Mexico City
but no one even noticed.
The air carried poison through
the streets and open windows.
You'd just finished eating and were watching
cartoons on TV. I was reading in the bedroom next door
when I realized we were going to die.
Despite the dizziness and nausea I dragged myself
to the kitchen and found you on the floor.
We hugged. You asked what was happening
and I didn’t tell you we were on death’s program
but instead that we were going on a journey,
one more, together, and that you shouldn’t be afraid.
When it left, death didn’t even
close our eyes.
What are we? you asked a week or year later,
ants, bees, wrong numbers
in the big rotten soup of chance?
We’re human beings, my son, almost birds,
public heroes and secrets.