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The Golden Verses Of The Stoic

Seneca and Epictetus refer to the Golden Verses of Pythagoras , which happens to provide a good framework for developing a daily routine, bookended by morning and evening contemplative practices. Zeno of Citium , who founded Stoicism in 301 BC, expressed his doctrines in notoriously terse arguments and concise maxims.  However, Chrysippus, the third head of the Stoic school, wrote over 700 books fleshing these ideas out and adding complex arguments to support them. 

Nocturne

-- From Sleeping with Nefarious Intent

As your nocturnal neighbor,
I slide next to you in Winter,
whispering across your breath,
the South Wind's wildest words.
When dawn warms the
window glass, and
marmalade flame transverse
the ceiling, I carefully
caress your lips with
thinly sliced strawberry,
and mango until you smell
the fresh roast brewing
in the kitchen and are ready to brace
against the cold tile floor
and shower steam.
As you are now,
stretched in graceful
recline, I see illusion,
projected on the silk
of your skin by
my mind; a rendering
in my image.
I stare to
burn my eyes,
to go blind,
so I can see your-self,
not my after-image.
My what-you-ought-to-be's
are tangled in your hair,
my wishes constrict your hips
bruising what is you.
It is difficult
to see with eyes
unclouded by wish
and ought-to's.
Hard to recognize illusion;
to realize that while I smell
your perfume, and feel the
heart beat of your thigh
What I feel, is not
what I see.
Precious enough are the moments,
that you are you;
precious enough to
sear my eyes,
so to experience each hair
and lash through the
boiling steam, and notice that
Winter has turned to Spring.