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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » The mirror is the fall, the trap, and the case. (Page 9)

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Author Topic: The mirror is the fall, the trap, and the case.
the_worm
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code:
I had fainted, unless I had believed
to see the goodness


of

The step is always downhill. So
stayclosesoclose
cross_entropy = tf.reduce_mean(
tf.nn.softmax_cross_entropy_with_logits(
labels=Y, logits=output_layer
))
train_step = tf.train.AdamOptimizer(1e-4).minimize(cross_entropy)

code:
                          the land
[code] the land of
code [the living]

Unearth.
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cmc
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The “had” gets me er’y tme
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the_chorus:
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Samuel Thom always had a nap in the afternoon with the dog.

For years, he’d turn the radio on, lie down on the couch and cover his eyes with a t-shirt. These days, he napped in the bedroom with a pillow on his face and when he woke up he’d trace cracks in the ceiling plaster or turn his head to look out the window. Toby either slept on the carpet or jumped up on the bed; either way, he whined when Sam covered his face.

Sam lived on a block of modest two-storey brick houses made at the turn of the 20th century. The lots were twenty-five feet wide and seventy-five feet deep, with a narrow laneway in the back that was appropriated for the telephone poles. A thick bundle of lines ran through gaps in the trees above the fences separating the backyards.

A black squirrel skittered along the wire, stopped, twitched its tail, and Sam stretched out his arm, closed one eye and aimed with the tip of his raised thumb. Pow. He laughed out loud in the post-nap twilight, then he imagined shooting the neighbour who used a leaf-blower every weekend to clean his driveway, right between the eyes, machine clattering on the interlocking bricks, the little dust cloud, and then the silence. “Toby…,” he muttered and reached down for the dog’s ears, “…or not...”

He sat up on the bed, put on his glasses, and watched the squirrel leap onto the telephone pole and chase a rival with white ear-tufts around and around. Toby scrambled out from under the cover and trotted over to the window. When he was a kid, he shot a bird perched way up on a rung of a TV antenna tower with a pellet gun. The bird chirped away while he aimed at the sparkle in its beady eye. It dropped through the hollow triangular core, wings banging on the rungs all the way down. Their jaws dropped and they ran over and stared at it, then his friend said he’d nailed it right in the head. It had a yellow beak and feathers with gold flecks. Sam realized, sitting on the bed in the blue light, it was a starling.

He stood up in a daze. Our Father. Once, when he was in high-school, a fledgling had fallen out of a tree near Joe’s house. It sat there quivering on the sidewalk and he picked it up and tried to snap its neck, “so it won’t suffer,” he explained to Joe; but it didn’t snap. Who art in heaven. It kept on chirping while he frantically rubbed it out on the asphalt until it was dead. “If they get the smell of human on them, the mother won’t take them back,” he said and tossed the headless corpse into the hedge. Thy will be done.Sam shuffled into the bathroom and heard the dog go downstairs. He remembered chasing cows at Scott’s farm and then skulking along the edge of the pond with broken hockey sticks poleaxing bull frogs. Pow. Pow. Pow. On earth as it is in heaven; they exploded and it smelled when they were finished and stood over the battered lilipads. The bathroom light activated patterns in the arabesque floor tiles, give us this day; it was so long ago and since then there’d been the pigeon disentangled from the porch netting and all the rainbow trout put back in the river and at last the dog. He ran the bath and watched a spider swirl down the drain, and deliver us from evil, got in and used his feet to adjust the hot and cold then stretched his legs out over the rim; for thine is the Kingdom, he reached out for his book and barely got hold of it with the tips of his fingers. It was a small thick hardcover with a pencil clipped on the outside of the dust jacket, and he waited for the fog to clear from his glasses before opening it.

No.
Did that nostril twitch?
No.
This artificial respiration ceasing, do I feel any faint flutter under my hand upon the chest?
No.
Over and over again No. No. But try over and over again, nevertheless.


Sam drew three lines beside the passage and put the book back on the stool with his glasses then let himself slide under the water. Pure Beckett. He heard it fill up his ears and then the little bubbles. He closed his eyes.

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cmc
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Ummmm. The Chorus has A LOT of words...

Imma go read’em now....

*wide eyes*

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cmc
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Memento.

Well played.

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cmc
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And...

The Power.

Forever.

Amen

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hawser
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I love this conversation to keep until decades. it's cool, right?
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cmc
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Decades of this foot...

Taking the hardest ever step...

Here’s your coffee, just as you prefer it

by the car, left in the woods,

near the car

I didn’t ever forget.

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cmc
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I’d catch that foot of yours,
Every single time
Would you meet me there?

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cmc
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I’d catch that foot of yours,
Every single time
Would you meet me there?

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the_worm
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I
remember
when the twin towers came down.
Incipit, I liked to say, for the sake of continuity.
Now,
look at this beautiful graveyard!
Listen
to the whispers. We should be dead by now.
It reminds me of a story..
How it happened to us.
In twig-life like ours, nostalgia is the highest virtue.
It falls.
Let me adjust my grip on this last little fold of intestine,
Let me take a deep, soggy sigh and record
our last days and moon-lit nights
in the wilderness.

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the_worm
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"You could feel it coming, couldn't you?"
I asked my invisible dog.
I took him for our walk,
he strained at the leash
when he saw the brown ducks
on the brown water.
How he lay there, looking at me,
imploring me:
Stop!
What a Malmute.
We never got far
up that frozen Yukon, did we? That winter
I wanted my hands
inside your split open carcass
to light a fire. Invisible dogs.
Man's very last friend.

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Selene
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The coolness of the night,
Refresh my skin.
The stars shine so bright,
Causing me to grin.

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cmc
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I would breathe your air
Today and every day
I would find you there

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the_chorus:
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That’s when we saw it.

quote:
It mainly served as a wrist rest for our mouse hand, though we handled it with a familiar reverence—a vestige of the old days, when we’d slip the ‘Classics’ in and out of eye-level spots on the bookshelf, hoping to absorb a reading while never reading a word. We found it in a used bookstore. It was a Collins King James Version . The hand-made frontispiece testified, in Gothic calligraphy, that it was gifted to a Mrs. Porch in 1960, for forty-two years of faithful service. The black leather-bound volume was the size of our left hand, laid on as if for an oath, and still smelled like church when we stuffed it in the knapsack and stepped out into a light drizzle.
The beeches had shed most of their yellow leaves, leaving a lattice of bare branches, and the wet trunks turned into pitch-black fissures in the grey sky. After a two-mile slog, we could see the base of the cliff, halfway up the mountain, rising from a pine grove to the summit.

quote:
There it was. Perfectly stupid and irrevocable.

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the_dog:
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Tell’em about the goddamn birds!
The birds! the black seeds! the house!
The way they came down,
the yellows, the black and whites, the red one too,
from high in the pines,
piranhas to a pig’s liver,
until there was nothing,
the dusk and the way the birdhouse
swung in the breeze,
tink-tink-tink against bare branches,
and the way that you saw
your face in the glass
forcing the bloom.

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the_dog:
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tink tink tink
Now I can't see anything at all --
Perfectly stupid and irrevocable.
Chunky yellow bird,
in flight your wings are prominently black and white
and you fly and you fly and you do indeed fly
with an undulating motion.
To imagine the nest,
a shallow cup loosely woven
out of small twigs and lined with fine rootlets.
O the rootlets, the rootlets,
to see them grow down,
down, down, curling round,
to wrap themselves around my life
and undeath.
There we go.

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the_dog:
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The fallen beech leaves left a bare lattice.
The wet trunks carved pitch-black holes in the sky.
Sigh.
I mean Woof.
Over here!

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the_angel:
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How much do you value life as an end?
How much as the means, the life lived?

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the_angel:
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The house is on a laneway facing a schoolyard. Three wooden steps up to the brown metal doors, side by side; the one on the right opens into her apartment on the ground floor and the one on the left to a narrow flight of stairs up to her mother’s. A doorway connects the two apartments on the inside, it was installed ten years ago and the door is always ajar because she goes back and forth; Irma that is; her mother can’t move, only breathe, swallow and snore. For ten years Irma has rolled the hoist to her bed, lifted, cleaned and lowered her into the chair in front of the TV where she feeds her. Every evening she has put her back in bed. She has tended to the bedsores by rolling and propping her on one side then the other. It has been the happiest time of their lives. Her mother’s leg is broken. It’s swollen up yellow and blue at the knee joint and is hot to the touch. She rolled off the bed and fell on the floor. The leg was broken in a car accident sixty years earlier and has a long metal pin in it. Twenty years ago she had knee replacement surgery. The leg must be broken badly inside; she has lain on the floor with it twisted beneath her for hours. Irma is sick with guilt, but has not called for an ambulance. She believes they won’t let her mother out, they will put her down, so she prays the leg will heal. She sees pain in her expressionless eyes. The children have come out for recess. They’re running and laughing, chasing the first snowflakes.

[ December 03, 2020, 10:29 AM: Message edited by: the_angel: ]

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the_angel:
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Lift her up.
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the_chorus:
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The trail runs eastbound for two miles off the coastal road to the ocean. Lined by a row of basswood and oak, it cuts through pastureland and then over an eroding causeway through the estuary marshes. The trail comes to an end and paths lead over the dunes through the shore grass and down to a long crescent beach.

The tide is out and Sam walks in the mist at the water line, carrying his flip-flops in one hand and a walking stick in the other. Ahead, he sees a mound, a dead seal or dolphin, and imagines he smells it already, then no, there’s a handle, a part of a wheel poking up, a chair upside down in the sand.

[ December 04, 2020, 02:01 PM: Message edited by: the_chorus: ]

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the_angel:
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He shot the yearling doe from the blind.

It was a bad shot, right in the shoulder blade. He’d hardly had time to get settled when she was at the apples. The young ones were almost tame, they came right in.

He dressed her and left the guts out under the power lines for the coyotes, but saved the liver and tongue in a plastic bag, then dragged the carcass back through the snow and put it in the trunk. The car was still warm inside. It was all over in an hour.

Back in Montreal, he piled the bikes and chairs in the shed until he had enough space to hang her up. It was too cold for flies but not so cold the meat would freeze. The tiny backyard of the duplex was enclosed by taller triplexes, and a grey squirrel waved its tail and squawked on the neighbour’s deck. He’d never shot a squirrel, he thought, and wondered if they’d get at the meat.

The liver was deep purple and he cut it into strips at the kitchen table. He put most of it into a pot with milk, to soak overnight, but kept a few strips out to fry for lunch. It was a young deer and the flavour would be mild. He got the fry pan hot and flash fried them in a bit of oil and bacon fat. The tiny kitchen filled with a pungent haze and there was a red glow under the hissing pan. Irma called him from upstairs and he cursed. It was burning.

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cmc
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The chorus and angels sang again...

I’ll read the rest of your impression someday

That crazy cabin, though,
with days old coffee and memories

Blessed and thankful.

Learned and taught others to fly.

Purpose.

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the_angel:
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He washed his hands and went upstairs.
His mother-in-law was crumpled on the floor and Irma was crying.
They got the her on the bed and he saw the leg.
It was grotesque.
He kissed her on the forehead.
She was still breathing.

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the_angel:
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The phone beeped.
He picked it up and heard the long clicking-filled pause before a young woman from the Bank of Montreal told him there were irregularities with his credit card.
He looked at his mother-in-law.
What to do, Mami, what to do?
When everything's turned to fraud?
What is right? What is sane?

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cmc
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I’ve lived centuries of this.

Moments and echoes of

Mild bullshit sometimes

Meet me there.

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Unmaker
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A trilingual poem (Nahuatl, English, Spanish) that I wrote at my home in Oaxaca to close out 2020.

Māzontlān ye tlathui.
Ehēcatica cochpāna
in ohtli nopopōuh—
tlatēcpanah quetzalcōāmeh
inic tlatzomōniz
yohualnepantlah.

Dawn breaks over Mazunte.
Brooms, aided by the wind,
sweep the streets clean—
feathered serpents order the day
for the chaos of the night.

Mazunte amanece.
Con la ayuda del viento
se barren las calles—
serpientes emplumadas
ordenan de día para que
de noche haya desorden.

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HellerThriller
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It's actually deeply interesting poem.
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deerpark27
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The End
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cmc
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I’ve lived centuries of this.

Moments and echoes of

Mild bullshit sometimes

Meet me there.

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steven
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Could somebody write a poem that spams for ED drugs? I think that would be entertaining
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