“Life After Death” – The Notorious B.I.G.

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Oh, Christopher Wallace, how I adore thee. Y’all were selling dope as a kid, and you moved up to millionaire status with your music. You kept a realistic self-image and stayed honest. You left us too soon, bud.

 

This is good business/life advice, dealer or not.

Number 3, never trust no-bo-dy
Your moms’ll set that ass up, properly gassed up
Hoodied and masked up, shit, for that fast buck
She be laying in the bushes to light that ass up

Number 6, that goddamn credit? Dead it
You think a crackhead paying you back, shit forget it!

Niggas bleed just like us
Picture me bein’ scared of a nigga that breathe the same air as me
Niggas bleed just like us
Picture me bein’ shook
We can both pull burners, make the muthafuckin’ beef cook
Niggas bleed just like us
Picture a nigga hidin’
My life in that man hands, while he jus’ decidin’
Niggas bleed just like us
I’d rather go toe to toe with all of y’all
Runnin’ ain’t in my protocol

Err…actually, my entire in real life protocol is based around runnin’…But I can dream, can’t I?

“Men at Forty” – Donald Justice

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Men at forty
Learn to close softly
The doors to rooms they will not be
Coming back to.

At rest on a stair landing,
They feel it
Moving beneath them now like the deck of a ship,
Though the swell is gentle.

And deep in mirrors
They rediscover
The face of the boy as he practices tying
His father’s tie there in secret

And the face of that father,
Still warm with the mystery of lather.
They are more fathers than sons themselves now.
Something is filling them, something

That is like the twilight sound
Of the crickets, immense,
Filling the woods at the foot of the slope
Behind their mortgaged houses.

“Spring and Fall” -Gerard Manley Hopkins

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To a young child

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow’s springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.