A new book meme circulating around the sphere is going by the name “123.5,” and its rules are these:
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don’t search around and look for the “coolest” book you can find. Do what’s actually next to you.
This part of the poem closes with the nineteenth-century gold rush:
Then came the white man: tossed up trees and
boulders with big hoses,
going after that old gravel and the gold,
horses, apple-orchards, card-games,
pistol-shooting, churches, county jail.
This from Helen Vendler's Soul Says: On Recent Poetry. She's discussing Gary Snyder's poem "What Happened Here Before."