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"Hey Man, I’ve Heard You Sold Your Dreams" is a collection of literary works by Benjamin G. Dubel. It is a treasure trove of poems that reaches deep into the mind and soul of youth with all its innocence and infinite wisdom. The author was but 17 years old when most of these were composed, yet they reflect a depth and maturity of someone who has experienced so much more in such a short time. His observations and thoughts of life, as well as various events he witnesses during this tumultuous time of development, are warm and heartfelt. The poems unleash an unbridled spirit and raw honesty of emotion as the author takes us on a journey throughout the ebbs and flows of his life. The struggles and grace of transcending into adulthood lie tenderly within the phrases of passion, pain, joy and confusion. He manages to collect and articulately document his thoughts and feelings on many facets of life. He captures the essence of the moment and writes with such clarity that is becomes easy to share in the experience. From heartache to heartbreak, disappointment to elation, each poem is chock full of some pivotal point in a youth’s life. The poem written in response to the Columbine massacre for example, shares a message of disdain and disappointment for such a heinous act. He calls out the vigilantes' “one-way ticketed suicidal mission” and the sadness and memories left behind. In the poem entitled “Dreams”, his inspirational thoughts state “Life isn’t as hard as you think it seems, it’s always easier to look back and laugh” and in another segment “It’s a shame you had to go and let the best years of your life get you down”. Despite various components of challenge and adversity, the author somehow manages to find a positive spin of hope and revelation. This is a tribute to youth, both young and old and serves as testament that life is not easy, nor is it intended to be, but shows that in the end, you will be much richer for having lived through the experiences. Here are two examples from the collection of 130 poems: Poem 1 There are times I find myself sitting here wondering, if I ever see you again someday, could you forgive me? Even though it seems like you are so far away these days I look back now just to see I’ve been left behind … and if I could ever stand back up after falling down I know things would be different this time around. Well, I guess this is where I stand now before you forever guilty as sin, for everything I’ve done. But what difference does that make now anymore there’s a part of me that’s dead inside … knowing only memories, my mind keeps going blank as the thoughts of you wash away this time around. 2004 Poem 2 * "Dreams" Hey man … I hear you sold your dreams. Why did you run down the wrong path? Life isn’t as hard as you think it seems, it’s always easier to look back and laugh. Are you mad ‘cuz there’s no one to blame? Were you hoping that we would listen? I’m sorry that this happened, it’s a shame. There’s a way out but something is missin'. Hey man … I tried to tell you but you were always never around. It’s a shame you had to go and let the best years of your life get you down. So look at you now, is this where you stand? Why do you keep your mind in prison? You had so much going for you as a man but it looks like you have lost your vision. Hey man … you know I cried for you but no one ever seemed to care. Nothing anyone can say will correct the past, so I just hope you’ve found your way there.