Tag Archives: death


Naming of Parts


To-day we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had daily cleaning. And to-morrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But to-day,
To-day we have naming of parts. Japonica
Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring

And to-day we have naming of parts.This is the lower sling swivel. And this
Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see,
When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel,
Which in your case you have not got. The branches
Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
Which in our case we have not got.

This is the safety-catch, which is always released
With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me
See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy
If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
Any of them using their finger.

And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this
Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it
Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers:
They call it easing the Spring.

They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy
If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt,
And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance,
Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom
Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,
For to-day we have naming of parts.

-Henry Reed
Quotations and attributions

Dylan I

“…I’ll know my song well before I start singing…”

Now, I know there are more than one Dylan. Not the Brit, Thomas, but the American, Zimmerman. You must admit, if you’ve ever listened to him, he has far more quotable phrases than should be allowed one human being.

My wife has told me I should have been writing sooner but I always think of the above Dylan line as a response to such suggestions. Don’t get me wrong, I write. I actually write often, just not fiction. I have spent hours crafting fine, multi-paragraphed, liturgies on topics of politics, religion, sociology, and death. A little about sex. Not a favorite of mine for public consumption though, that last. To paraphrase Yeats, any conversation not about sex or death is inconsequential.

But for the writing, I practice. I think about stories and how they would work out. I lay them out in my head. I have spent many years trying to find my voice, as they say. There are so many things that come along with the writing that I thought it best to bone up on these other skills before setting out.

What’s amazing to me is that there are people such as Bob Dylan who know what they want to do and know how to work their craft from such a young age. I once told someone that Bob Dylan is more like Bob Dylan than I am like myself. What I mean is that there are those who hear their own voice so clearly and follow it so completely that they become what they were truly meant to be. Bob Dylan is a shining example of that person in my eyes.

Here are some of what I consider to be his gems:

“and the national bank, for a profit, sells road maps for the soul to the old folks home and the college.”

“The commander-in-chief says with a sigh, ‘death to all those who would whimper and cry’ and dropping a barbell, points to the sky saying, ‘the sun’s not yellow it’s chicken.”

“If I had the stars from the darkest night and the diamonds from the deepest ocean, I’d trade them all for your sweet kiss ‘for that’s all I’m wishing to be owning.”

“Grandpa died last week and now he’s buried in the rocks. Everybody still talks about how badly they are shocked. But me, I expected it to happen. I knew he’d lost control when he built a fire on main street and shot it full of holes.”

“God said to Abraham, ‘Kill me a son’. Abe said, ‘man, you must be puttin’ me on.’ God said, ‘no’. Abe said, ‘what?’ God said, ‘you can do what you want Abe but the next time you see me coming, you’d better run.’ Abe said, ‘where d’you want this killin’ done?’ God said, ‘out on highway 61’.”

“If you’re looking to get silly, man you’d better go back to where you came from because the cops don’t need you and man they expect the same.”

“They’re selling postcards of the hanging. They’re painting their passports brown. The beauty parlor’s filled with sailors: the circus is in town.”

“now I didn’t mean to be nosy but I went into a bank to get some bail for Arab and all the boys back in the tank. They asked me for some collateral and I pulled down my pants”

“But I mean no harm, nor put fault, in anyone who lives in a vault but it’s alright, Ma, if I can’t please him.”