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Kenneth Patchen - When We Were Here Together

when we were here together in a place we did not know, nor one
A bit of grass held between the teeth for a moment, bright hair on the 
What we were we did not know, nor even the grass or the flame of 
hair turning to ash on the wind.
But they lied about that. From the beginning they lied. To the child, 
telling him that there was somewhere anger against him, and a 
hatred against him, and the only reason for his being in the 
But never did they tell him that the only evil and danger was in 
themselves; that they alone were the prisoners and the betrayers; 
that they - they alone - were responsible for what was being done 
in the world.
And they told the child to starve and to kill the child that was within 
him; for only by doing this could he become a useful and adjusted 
member of the community which they had prepared for him.
And this time, alas, they did not lie.
And with the death of the child was born a thing that had neither 
the character of a man nor the character of a child, but was a 
horrible and monstrous parody of the two; and it is in this world 
now that the flesh of manís spirit lies twisted and despoiled under 
the indifferent stars.
When we were here together in a place we did not know, nor one 
O green the bit of warm grass between our teeth. O beautiful the hair 
of our mortal goddess on the indifferent wind. 

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Poet: Kenneth Patchen
Poem: When We Were Here Together
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