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|19th Mar 2010, 12:02 AM||#26|
it may not always be so; and i say
that if your lips, which i have loved, should touch
another's, and your dear strong fingers clutch
his heart, as mine in time not far away;
if on another's face your sweet hair lay
in such a silence as i know, or such
great writhing words as, uttering overmuch
stand helplessly before the spirit at bay;
if this should to be, i say if this should be –
you of my heart, send me a little word;
that i may go unto him, and take his hands,
saying, Accept all happiness from me.
Then shall i turn my face, and hear one bird
sing terribly afar in the lost lands.
-"it may not always be so;and i say," by e.e. cummings
"'Do you think that I'm wonderful?' she asked him one day as they leaned against the trunk of a petrified maple. 'No,' he said. 'Why? Because so many other girls are wonderful. I imagine hundreds of men have called their loves wonderful today, and it's only noon. You couldn't be something that hundreds of others are.'" -Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated
"We are the bright new stars born of a screaming black hole, the nascent suns burst from the darkness, from the grasping void of space that folds and swallows- a darkness that would devour anyone not as strong as we are. We are oddities, sideshows, talk-show subjects. We capture everyone's imagination." -Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
"The true magic of this world lay in the in the ability of the things it contained to vanish, to become so thoroughly lost that they might never have existed in the first place." -Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
"As he watched Joe stand, blazing, on the fire escape, Sammy felt an ache in his chest that turned out to be, as so often occurs when memory and desire conjoin with a transient effect of weather, the pang of creation. The desire he felt, watching Joe, was unquestionably physical, but in the sense that Sammy wanted to inhabit the body of his cousin, not possess it. It was, in part, a longing--common enough among the inventors of heroes--to be someone else; to be more than the result of two hundred regimens and scenarios and self-improvement campaigns that always ran afoul of his perennial inability to locate an actual self to be improved. Joe Kavalier had an air of competence, of faith in his own abilities, that Sammy, by means of constant effort over the whole of his life, had finally learned only to fake. " -Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
|24th Jun 2010, 12:59 AM||#27|
Sometimes the notes are ferocious,
skirmishes against the author
raging along the borders of every page
in tiny black script.
If I could just get my hands on you,
Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O'Brien,
they seem to say,
I would bolt the door and beat some logic into your head.
Other comments are more offhand, dismissive -
Nonsense." "Please!" "HA!!" -
that kind of thing.
I remember once looking up from my reading,
my thumb as a bookmark,
trying to imagine what the person must look like
who wrote "Don't be a ninny"
alongside a paragraph in The Life of Emily Dickinson.
Students are more modest
needing to leave only their splayed footprints
along the shore of the page.
One scrawls "Metaphor" next to a stanza of Eliot's.
Another notes the presence of "Irony"
fifty times outside the paragraphs of A Modest Proposal.
Or they are fans who cheer from the empty bleachers,
Hands cupped around their mouths.
Absolutely," they shout
to Duns Scotus and James Baldwin.
Yes." "Bull's-eye." "My man!"
Check marks, asterisks, and exclamation points
rain down along the sidelines.
And if you have managed to graduate from college
without ever having written "Man vs. Nature"
in a margin, perhaps now
is the time to take one step forward.
We have all seized the white perimeter as our own
and reached for a pen if only to show
we did not just laze in an armchair turning pages;
we pressed a thought into the wayside,
planted an impression along the verge.
Even Irish monks in their cold scriptoria
jotted along the borders of the Gospels
brief asides about the pains of copying,
a bird singing near their window,
or the sunlight that illuminated their page-
anonymous men catching a ride into the future
on a vessel more lasting than themselves.
And you have not read Joshua Reynolds,
they say, until you have read him
enwreathed with Blake's furious scribbling.
Yet the one I think of most often,
the one that dangles from me like a locket,
was written in the copy of Catcher in the Rye
I borrowed from the local library
one slow, hot summer.
I was just beginning high school then,
reading books on a davenport in my parents' living room,
and I cannot tell you
how vastly my loneliness was deepened,
how poignant and amplified the world before me seemed,
when I found on one page
A few greasy looking smears
and next to them, written in soft pencil-
by a beautiful girl, I could tell,
whom I would never meet-
"Pardon the egg salad stains, but I'm in love."
-Marginalia, by Billy Collins, poet laureate of the United States
|24th Jun 2010, 01:09 AM||#28|
Join Date: Apr 2008
" The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't."
Hitchikers Guide to the mutha fuckin Galaxy
|29th Jun 2010, 01:36 AM||#29|
Just to get a little discussion going here- what do you find to be some of the best opening and concluding passages in novels? I'll start with a few of what I believe to be phenomenal concluding statements:
"Before reaching the final line, however, he had already understood that he would never leave that room, for it was foreseen that the city of mirrors (or mirages) would be wiped out by the wind and exiled from the memory of men at the precise moment when Aureliano Babilonia would finish deciphering the parchments, and that everything written on them was unrepeatable since time immemorial and forever more, because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth." -One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
"I lingered round them, under that benign sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath, and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how anyone could ever imagine unquiet slumbers, for the sleepers in that quiet earth." -Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte
"Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody." -The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
"Gatsby believed in the green light, in the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter- tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther, and one fine morning- so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." -The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
"They were only a thin slice, held between the contiguous impressions thatcomposed our life at that time; the memory of a particular image is but regret for a particular moment; and houses, roads, avenues are as fugitive, alas, as the years." -Swann's Way, by Marcel Proust
"...As a girl I was a flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used to or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well as him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes, I said, yes, I will, yes." -Ulysses, by James Joyce
I think Joyce has the market cornered on conclusions. I'd love to quote the whole sentence, but I think it would break post length limits .
|26th Jul 2010, 06:33 PM||#30|
Double post :D!
"The Widower's Tango," by Pablo Neruda
(as translated by Donald Walsh)
Oh evil one, you must by now have found the letter, you must have wept with fury,
and you must have insulted my mother's memory,
calling her rotten bitch and mother of dogs,
you must have drunk alone, all by yourself, your twilight tea,
looking at my old shoes forever empty,
and you won't be able any longer to recall my illnesses, my night dreams, my meals,
without cursing me aloud as if I were still there,
complaining about the tropics and the corringhis coolies,
about the poisonous fevers that did me so much harm,
and about the frightful Englishmen that I still hate.
Evil one, really, what an enormous night, what a lonely earth!
I have come again to the solitary bedrooms,
to lunch on cold food in the restaurants, and again
I throw my trousers and shirts upon the floor,
there are no coat hangers in my room, no pictures of anyone on the walls.
How much of the darkness in my soul I would give to get you back,
and how threatening to me seem the names of the months,
and the word winter, what a mournful drum sound it has.
Buried next to the coconut tree you will later find
the knife that I hid there for fear that you would kill me,
and now suddenly I should like to smell its kitchen steel
accustomed to the weight of your hand and the shine of your foot;
under the moisture of the earth, among the deaf roots,
of all human languages the poor thing would know only your name,
and the thick earth does not understand your name
made of impenetrable and divine substances.
Just as it afflicts me to think of the clear day of your legs
curled up like still and harsh solar waters,
and the swallow that sleeping and flying lives in your eyes,
and the furious dog that you shelter in your heart,
so too I see the deaths that are between us from now on,
and I breathe in the air ashes and destruction,
the long, solitary space that surrounds me forever.
I would give this giant sea wind for your brusque breath
heard in long nights with no mixture of oblivion,
merging with the atmosphere like the whip with the horse's hide.
And to hear you making water in the darkness, at the back of the house,
as if spilling a thin, tremulous, silvery, persistent honey,
how many times would I give up this chorus of shadows that I possess,
and the noise of useless swords that is heard in my heart,
and the bloody dove that sits alone on my brow
calling for vanished things, vanished beings,
substances strangely inseparable and lost.
|26th Jul 2010, 07:08 PM||#31|
"But be careful; sand is already broken but glass breaks. The shoes are for dancing, not running away."
"this was not a faerie tale. this was not the movies. this was life. it hurt more. it was excruciating. excruciatingly beautiful."
"'never' is the word God listens to when he needs a laugh."
"when people don't express themselves, they die one piece at a time."
and one of the best openings to a novel is, in my opinion :
"when she was born her mother was so young, still a girl herself, didn't know what to do with her. she screamed and screamed, the child. her mother sat crying in the garden. the gardener came by to dig up the soil. it was winter. the child was frost colored. the gardener stood before the winter sun, blocking the light with his shoulders. the mother looked like a broken rose bush." - the rose and the beast, francesca lia block.
You know that place between sleep and awake? The place where you can still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you. That’s where I’ll be waiting.
|27th Jul 2010, 01:17 AM||#32|
- e.e. cummings
Love the imagery. I know it looks seriously weird, but it's all real words that paint a nice picture, just presented in a "challenging" manner. Gosh, I love my dad, I'd be lost in the world of poetry without him!
|13th Aug 2010, 03:53 PM||#33|
My favorite cummings poem:
"anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did
Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn't they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain
children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more
when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone's any was all to her
someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream
stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)
one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was
all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.
Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain"
-anyone lived in a pretty how town, by ee cummings
|15th Sep 2010, 12:28 AM||#34|
Double post because everyone needs good poetry in life.
An all-night barbeque. A dance on the courthouse lawn.
The radio aches a little tune that tells the story of what the night
is thinking. It's thinking of love.
It's thinking of stabbing us to death
and leaving our bodies in a dumpster.
That's a nice touch, stains in the night, whiskey and kisses for everyone.
Tonight, by the freeway, a man eating fruit pie with a buckknife
carves the likeness of his lover's face into the motel wall. I like him
and I want to be like him, my hands no longer an afterthought.
Someone once told me that explaining is an admission of failure.
I'm sure you remember, I was on the phone with you, sweetheart.
History repeats itself. Somebody says this.
History throws its shadow over the beginning, over the desktop,
over the sock drawer with its socks, its hidden letters.
History is a little man in a brown suit
trying to define a room he is outside of.
I know history. There are many names in history
but none of them are ours.
He had green eyes,
so I wanted to sleep with him—
green eyes flecked with yellow, dried leaves on the surface of a pool-
You could drown in those eyes, I said.
The fact of his pulse,
the way he pulled his body in, out of shyness or shame or a desire
not to disturb the air around him.
Everyone could see the way his muscles worked,
the way we look like animals,
his skin barely keeping him inside.
I wanted to take him home
and rough him up and get my hands inside him, drive my body into his
like a crash test car.
I wanted to be wanted and he was
very beautiful, kissed with his eyes closed, and only felt good while moving.
You could drown in those eyes, I said,
so it's summer, so it's suicide,
so we're helpless in sleep and struggling at the bottom of the pool.
It wasn't until we were well past the middle of it
that we realized
the old dull pain, whose stitched wrists and clammy fingers,
far from being subverted,
had only slipped underneath us, freshly scrubbed.
Mirrors and shop windows returned our faces to us,
replete with the tight lips and the eyes that remained eyes
and not the doorways we had hoped for.
His wounds healed, the skin a bit thicker than before,
scars like train tracks on his arms and on his body underneath his shirt.
We still groped for each other on the backstairs or in parked cars
as the roads around us
grew glossy with ice and our breath softened the view through a glass
already laced with frost,
but more frequently I was finding myself sleepless, and he was running out
But damn if there isn't anything sexier
than a slender boy with a handgun,
a fast car, a bottle of pills.
What would you like? I'd like my money's worth.
Try explaining a life bundled with episodes of this—
swallowing mud, swallowing glass, the smell of blood
on the first four knuckles.
We pull our boots on with both hands
but we can't punch ourselves awake and all I can do
is stand on the curb and say Sorry
about the blood in your mouth. I wish it was mine.
I couldn't get the boy to kill me, but I wore his jacket for the longest time.
-Little Beast, by Richard Siken
|15th Sep 2010, 06:25 PM||#35|
Top Secret Researcher
Join Date: Mar 2009
"Here," the old man cried, brandishing his cigar, "right here in this very office, I dictated a will to my father-in-law the night before I had to leave for the army. While I was dictating it the youngster was sleeping up there. Next morning he came with me to the station, kissed me on the cheek with his soft child's lips. He was only seven then. But none of them, Leonore, not one ever got what I gave. It all came back to me, properties and bank accounts, dividends and rents. I was never able to give anything away. It took my wife to do that. People actually got what she gave away. And nights, when I lay beside her, I often used to hear her muttering - long and soft on end, like water purling from her mouth - 'whywhywhy?'"
-Billiards at Half-past Nine, by Heinrich Böll.
This book is killing me.
|21st Sep 2010, 12:30 AM||#36|
The world, when I met it,
lay about in broken pieces-
a neglected toy. A red hill
here; a river valley there,
green and languid; a bridge
rusting over an oil-slicked lake.
To the west and south, the tribes
had warred until their cities smoked
and their children faded, wraithed
by whooping cough.
All I did was pick up the pieces.
I caused them to be put together
like the parts of a chair.
When I was young, I often
saw my parents
naked. What a delicate
business they were.
And what was I?
Neither the doctor nor the nurse.
I was the knife.
I caused the injury.
I gave children birds
in their throats. We took
knives and made cuts
where the voice should be,
each cord becoming a song.
Now in the schools we have
red-winged cardinals, bluebirds,
thrashers, yellow-speckled hens,
parakeets, even, now and then,
When fall begins to glitter
in the green leaves,
I grow anxious. This is when the barbarians
ride out. They love the goldenness
of death, how it grieves
the eye to see such richness
as the river ebbs
and the trees unfleur-
To Nineveh in the autumn I write:
Bring me forty bushels of wheat,
and forty of rice,
each bushel weighing more than one donkey
can carry, within the fortnight-.
If you do not do this,
you will surely die.
And then I wait.
I grow hungry
to be a knife.
6. My subject, you
think you have a choice, but
you don't: you are me,
and I love you as only
a ruler can love-
Do not be sentimental
about mercy. It leaves
so much up to choice...
That year was a beautiful lie,
the year my love lived with me
and we spent the summer
wading into the Nile as the floods receded
letting the current carry our bodies
down around the bend-
the water so strong
you had to dive in before it knocked
you off your feet and pulled you under-
he showed me how to pick thistle
for tea. We came upon
a leopard in the grass
and she hissed at us-.
No one loves the person who holds power
over his survival.
I saw his eyes when he shook off the water.
I was sad, and I
stuffed your throats
I cut the sea
with a knife
because the sea
would not stop for me.
And still it broke but
not as I wished it to.
Not under me,
but over me.
Of course- I hate my power.
Bored and terrible, I ply lithe men with faience,
I require the dancing girls to moan and plaint.
I lick kohl from the eyelids of whom I want.
I take the gold from the braziers.
None of it satisfies me.
I thought the world's trouble
lay in its shards. So I resolved to hold
the shards to my heart.
Now I find the trouble is the night,
which keeps coming, though
I command it not to.
Tonight I wash
my hands and sing
old songs. I call my friend,
I love to watch him dance...
He drinks wine impetuously.
He will leave my care
when another's light kiss
vaccinates him against my illness, some
sweet-tempered almandine thing
lighting firecrackers beneath her feet
in the summer grass- no one
like me, nearly frozen up with cruelty-
And so I go to work.
My nation is the grass,
These broken bridges,
Men and women burning themselves alive
Beside the crumbling churches.
I keep them alive with my words.
I am vigilant and cruel.
I am the grass and the birds,
And I eat them too.
-"My Life as a Ruler," by Meghan O'Rourke
|22nd Sep 2010, 08:25 AM||#37|
"When adults say, "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and falling. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail."
"You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present."
"Thomas Edison's last words were “It is very beautiful over there.” I don't know where 'there' is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful."
These are all from Looking For Alaska by John Green. The last quote is the final passage of the book, and it made my cry a river. The main character, Pudge, knows the last words of hundreds of people, and the final quote is so heartbreakingly beautiful to me. I strongly suggest you read the book.
|23rd Sep 2010, 12:29 AM||#38|
^From what I've extrapolated from the quotes you've posted, PixCii, that sounds like a lovely book. I usually avoid young adult fiction like the plague (I've never been a fan of it and always found it largely trite), but I might break my rule to try out that book.
In this room I was born. And I knew I was in the wrong place: the world. I knew pain was to come. I knew it by the persistence of the blade that cut me out. I knew it as every baby born to the world knows it: I came here to die.
Somewhere a beautiful woman in a story I do not understand is crying. If I strain hard enough I will hear a song in the background. She is holding a letter. She is in love with Peter. I am in love with her.
Stand on the floor where it’s marked X. I am standing by your side where it’s marked Y. We are a shoulder’s length apart. I’m so close you can almost smell the perfume. If I step ten paces away from you, there could be a garden between us, or a table and some chairs. If I step another 20 paces there could be a house between us. If I continue to walk away from you in this way, tramping through walls and hovering above water, in 80,150,320 steps I will bump into you. I can never get away from you, and will you remember me? Distance brings us closer. There is no distance.
In 1961 I was in Berlin. It was a dusty Sunday in August. In the radio news was out that Ulbricht had convinced Khrushchev to build a wall around West Berlin. I remember it precisely: By midnight East German troops had sealed off the zonal boundary with barbed wire. The streets along which the barrier ran had been torn up. I lived in that street. It was the day after my birthday. I remember the dust covering the sky. I remember being scared. Father had not returned from the other side. The Kampfgruppen der Arbeiterklasse had orders to shoot anyone who would attempt to defect. Father had not returned.
Happiness is simple.
Sadness forks into many roads.
Before the time of Christ, Aristotle believed that the earth was the center of the universe because he needed a stationary reference point against which to measure all other motions: a rock falling, a star reeling through the sky, his heart beating against his chest like a club. He needed to believe in certainty, in absolute space. Without it, the world would not be known absolutely. Without it, the world cannot be known.
Twenty centuries later Hendrik Lorentz needed to believe that every single molecule in the universe must move through a stationary material called the aether, as every human being in his various turnings must move through God. Scientists looked everywhere for proof of this aether. And everywhere they found nothing.
I have sometimes been accused of being a bore. I beg to differ: people laugh at my jokes, and I’m handsome. I would like now to talk more about myself: I don’t like going to airports and hospitals. They make me uneasy. In both cases, somebody is always going to leave. I was born in 1983, and have never been to Berlin. But I have a memory of being in Berlin in 1961. I have a memory of something that never happened.
I would like to elaborate on myself, but you will understand if I talk instead about the sky in Berlin in 1961: it was covered with dust. There were no birds. There was no sky.
Memory is brutal because precise.
She said: give me more space. I said: don’t you love me anymore? She said: give me more space. I said: why? Did I do something wrong? Is there something wrong? Is there someone else? When did you stop loving me? In what precise moment? In what room? What city?
I held her tight as one who’s about to lose his own life holds on. Then she said: give me more space. I said: no.
I have only one purpose: to live intensely.
I wish I never met you
and I wish you never left.
You taste like a river in June.
I’m going to say something important. Look at my face. Ignore my eyes. Just listen to me. But listen only to the timbre of my voice, not to what I am saying. They are different. They are two different rooms. The first is an exhibition of despair, the second only an explanation.
The first is all you have to listen to. So listen carefully because I cannot repeat myself:
“Everything/ one suspects to be true/ is true.”
In 1879 a boy is born in Germany. At age five he’d throw a chair at his violin teacher and chase him out. In time he would develop the capacity to withdraw instantaneously from a crowd into loneliness. At twenty-six he would publish his theory of relativity in Annalen der Physik. He looks crazy, but he is certain: there is no aether, no absolute space.
Sometimes they thought it was the words.
What they wanted to say could not be said.
They fixed the TV, vacuumed the rug,
dusted the furniture, looked out the window.
Sometimes she would purposefully lose hold of
a plate and it would smash to the floor.
Then they would have something to say,
only to begin to say it then stop.
Look at this box. It is empty except for a diary, a book, and this picture in my hand. Now look at this picture. It weighs nothing and occupies almost zero space. I can slip it in anywhere and it will fit: inside the diary, under the box, through a crack on the wall. If I tear it several times, it will occupy a different volume, many and various. It mutates, you see. If I burn it, it will smoke into the air. It will take up a whole expanse.
How many more times
are you going to let the world
My father is an incorrigible storyteller. He would tell the same stories in different ways. I wouldn’t know which ones to believe. So I believed all of them. “There is no story that is not true,” said Uchendu.
Father would point at the TV. He would repeat lines, rehearse the beginnings and ends, explicate with his hands the elaborate twists and turns of every road.
He said: “I am dying.”
I said: “But aren’t all of us dying.”
And I thought the world
was about this leaving,
not about anybody’s leaving
but about this leaving.
The next day it was the same.
A beautiful woman walks into a room. The room is dark. There are no windows. There is one light bulb but any time now it will go off. I pretend not to notice and look away, my heart beating against my chest like a club. If I strain hard enough I will hear a song in the background. What other forms of happiness are there than this?
In 1989 the Berlin wall falls down.
I believe in love only when it rains.
To appreciate the value of land, one need only look into a painting: so much beauty. Buying land means buying the layers of beauty directly above it. It means buying the sky above it. And the birds above it, the clouds, the gods.
In truth you are buying a corner of the universe. You are saying: this is my room. You are saying: I live here. Here I exist.
Your sadness is immaterial. You did
not come into the world to be happy.
You came to suffer/survive.
How many words have you spoken in your life?
How many did you mean?
How many did you understand?
Somebody picks up a phone. He dials a number. His voice travels a thousand miles into another country. On the other end somebody picks up and hears the voice. Who is this?– This is me. The phone is hung up. The voice travels back a thousand miles.
Elsewhere somebody picks up a phone and before he could dial forgets the number.
Sometimes wars are waged because there are too many people in too few rooms.
Memory is incomplete–lost.
The world is incomplete–vanishing.
Nothing more happens. You open your eyes and it’s over.
Memory is brutal.
Memory is precise.
In the next room people I do not know are talking with hushed voices. Their secret slips out the window like a cat. It is raining, and I press my ear to the wall. I imagine that one of them is smoking a cigarette. I imagine that one of them is covering his mouth in surprise.
When my aunt died the doctors said the fat clogged her arteries. Every week she visited the hospital, and every week the vein on her wrist had to be ripped out so a catheter could be stuck into her body to suck out her blood. You could see the plasma pass through a filter and then back to the body. If you put your ear to her wrist you would hear her heart.
Before my uncle died the heart attacks were so excruciating he said he’d prefer to just die. They transported him to the hospital, and on the way to the emergency room his heart gave. Mother said my uncle ate too much pork and drank too much beer. She wonders if he’s going to be happy in heaven.
In some house in some province in some country in some novel there is a story of a man a father a child a lover who dies because of too much sadness.
Nobody thought that what was wrong was the love.
She said: give me more space.
-"Spaces," by Arkaye Kierulf. I'm really getting into this prose poetry thing. "Spaces" wrecked me.
|27th Sep 2010, 01:18 AM||#39|
PixCii- ah, I love Looking for Alaska! Have you read any of John Green's other books? They aren't quite as moving, in my opinion, but they're still amazing.
Speaking of John Green, a couple of quotes from his novel Paper Towns:
"The fundamental mistake I had always made - and that she had, in fairness, always led me to make - was this: Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine and precious thing. She was a girl."
"Here is this girl I love and cannot follow. And I hope this is the hero's errand because not following her is the hardest thing I've ever had to do."
"It always seemed so ridiculous to me, that you would be with someone just because they’re pretty. Like choosing breakfast cereal based on colour instead of taste.”
"What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person."
|16th Dec 2010, 08:15 PM||#40|
"What does it feel like to be alive? Living, you stand under a waterfall. You leave the sleeping shore deliberately; you shed your dusty clothes, pick your barefoot way over the high, slippery rocks, hold your breath, choose your footing, and step into the waterfall. The hard water pelts your skull, bangs in bits on your shoulders and arms. The strong water dashes down beside you and you feel it along your calves and thighs rising roughly back up, up to the roiling surface, full of bubbles that slide up your skin or break on you at full speed. Can you breathe here? Here is where the force is greatest and only the strength of your neck holds the river out of your face. Yes, you can breathe even here. You could learn to live like this. And you can, if you concentrate, even look out at the peaceful far bank where you try to raise your arms. What a racket in your ears, what a scattershot pummeling! It is time pounding at you, time. Knowing you are alive is watching on every side your generation's short time falling away as fast as river drops through the air, and feeling it hit."
"We sleep to time's hurdy-gurdy; we wake, if ever we wake, to the silence of God. And then, when we wake to the deep shores of time uncreated, then when the dazzling dark breaks over the far slopes of time, then it's time to toss things, like our reason, and our will; then it's time to break our necks for home. There are no events but thoughts and the heart's hard turning, the heart's slow learning where to love and whom. The rest is merely gossip and tales for other times."
"'Last forever!' Who hasn't prayed that prayer? You were lucky to get it in the first place. The present is a freely given canvas. That it is being constantly ripped apart and washed downstream goes without saying."
-Some Annie Dillard excerpts from An American Childhood and Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Her prose is exquisite.
|17th Dec 2010, 12:34 AM||#41|
"Again she experienced a wave of weariness, a numbing heaviness to her neck and shoulders, to her very bones. This, finally, was love. This was its shape and essence, once the lust and ecstasy and danger and adventure had gone. Love, at its core, was negotiation, the surrender of two individuals to the messy, banal, domestic realities of sharing a life together. In this way, in love, she could secure a familiar happiness."
"In that moment, with the newspaper spread before him, the whiff of bitter coffee in his nostrils, the first hit of sharp tobacco smoke, whatever the miseries, petty bullshits, stresses and anxieties of the day before or the day ahead, none of it mattered. In that moment, and if only in that moment, he was happy."
- The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
|20th Dec 2010, 12:28 AM||#42|
The blond boy in the red trunks is holding your head underwater
because he is trying to kill you,
and you deserve it, you do, and you know this,
and you are ready to die in this swimming pool
because you wanted to touch his hands and lips and this means
your life is over anyway.
You're in the eighth grade. You know these things.
You know how to ride a dirty bike, and you know how to do
and you know that a boy who likes boys is a dead boy, unless
he keeps is mouth shut, which is what you
because you are weak and hollow and it doesn't matter anymore.
A dark-haired man in a rented bungalow is licking the whiskey
from the back of your wrist.
He feels nothing,
keeps a knife in his pocket,
peels an apple right in front of you
while you tramp around a mustard-colored room
in your underwear
drinking Dutch beer from a green bottle.
After everything that was going to happen has happened
you ask only for the cab fare home
and realize you should have asked for more
because he couldn't care less, either way.
The man on top of you is teaching you how to hate, sees you
as a piece of real estate,
just another fallow field lying underneath him
like a sacrifice.
He's turning your back into a table so he doesn't have to
eat off the floor, so he can get comfortable,
pressing against you until he fits, until he's made a place for himself
The clock ticks from five to six. Kissing degenerates into biting.
So you get a kidney punch, a little blood in your urine.
It isn't over yet, it's just begun.
Says to himself
The boy's no good. The boy is just no good.
but he takes you in his arms and pushes your flesh around
to see if you could ever be ugly to him.
You, the now familiar whipping boy, but you're beautiful,
he can feel the dogs licking his heart.
Who gets the whip and who gets the hoops of flame?
He hits you and he hits you and he hits you.
Desire driving his hands right into your body.
Hush, my sweet. These tornadoes are for you.
You wanted to think of yourself as someone who did these kinds of things.
You wanted to be in love
and he happened to get in the way.
The green-eyed boy in the powder-blue t-shirt standing
next to you in the supermarket recoils as if hit,
repeatedly, by a lot of men, as if he has a history of it.
This is not your problem.
You have your own body to deal with.
The lamp by the bed is broken.
You are feeling things he's no longer in touch with.
And everyone is speaking softly,
so as not to wake one another.
The wind knocks the heads of the flowers together.
Steam rises from every cup at every table at once.
Things happen all the time, things happen ever minute
that have nothing to do with us.
So you say you want a deathbed scene, a knowledge that comes
and you want it dirty.
And no one can figure out what you want,
and you won't tell them,
and you realize the one person in the world who loves you
isn't the one you thought it would be,
and you don't trust him to love you in a way
you would enjoy.
And the boy who loves you the wrong way is filthy.
And the boy who loves you the wrong way keeps weakening.
You thought if you handed over your body
he'd do something interesting.
The stranger says there are no more couches and he will have to
sleep in your bed. You try to warn him, you tell him
you will want to get inside him, and ruin him,
but he doesn't listen.
You do this, you do. You take the things you love
and tear them apart
or you pin them down with your body and pretend they're yours.
So, you kiss him, and he doesn't move, he doesn't
pull away, and you keep on kissing him. And he hasn't moved,
he's frozen, and you've kissed him, and he'll never
forgive you, and maybe now he'll leave you alone.
-A Primer for the Small Weird Loves, by Richard Siken
|22nd Jan 2011, 09:39 PM||#43|
^I loved that, Rabid. I'm going to buy a book of his poems now.
"Your life was a liner I voyaged in."
|22nd Jan 2011, 10:00 PM||#44|
Isn't he fantastic, Phoebe? I think he's accomplishing something that no other contemporary poet has accomplished. I love the underlying tone of panic in all of his poems. They're so raw.
|26th Jan 2011, 02:29 PM||#45|
I Built Myself a House of Glass - Edward Thomas.
I built myself a house of glass:
It took me years to make it:
And I was proud. But now, alas!
Would God someone would break it.
But it looks too magnificent.
No neighbour casts a stone
From where he dwells, in tenement
Or palace of glass, alone.
No One So Much As You - Edward Thomas.
No one so much as you
Loves this my clay,
Or would lament as you
Its dying day.
You know me through and through
Though I have not told,
And though with what you know
You are not bold.
None ever was so fair
As I thought you:
Not a word can I bear
Spoken against you.
All that I ever did
For you seemed coarse
Compared with what I hid
Nor put in force.
My eyes scarce dare meet you
Lest they should prove
I but respond to you
And do not love.
We look and understand,
We cannot speak
Except in trifles and
Words the most weak.
For I at most accept
Your love, regretting
That is all: I have kept
Only a fretting
That I could not return
All that you gave
And could not ever burn
With the love you have,
Till sometimes it did seem
Better it were
Never to see you more
Than linger here
With only gratitude
Instead of love -
A pine in solitude
Cradling a dove.
Edward Thomas is my favorite poet, although I don't think he's all that popular on the whole.
"Your life was a liner I voyaged in."
|31st Jan 2011, 03:54 AM||#46|
"We held hands when we walked down the gingerbread path into the forest, blood dripping from our fingers. We danced with witches and kissed monsters. We turned us into wintergirls, and when she tried to leave, I pulled her back into the snow because I was afraid to be alone."
"I breathed in slowly. Food is life. I exhale, take another breath. Food is life. And that's the problem. When you're alive, people can hurt you. It's easier to crawl into a bone cage or a snowdrift of confusion. It's easier to lock everybody out. But it's a lie."
- Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
|21st Feb 2011, 12:29 AM||#47|
You happened to me. I was happened to
like an abandoned building by a bull-
dozer, like the van that missed my skull
happened a two-inch gash across my chin.
You were as deep down as I've ever been.
You were inside me like my pulse. A new-
born flailing toward maternal heartbeat through
the shock of cold and glare: when you were gone,
swaddled in strange air I was that alone
again, inventing life left after you.
I don't want to remember you as that
four o'clock in the morning eight months long
after you happened to me like a wrong
number at midnight that blew up the phone
bill to an astronomical unknown
quantity in a foreign currency.
The U.S. dollar dived since you happened to me.
You've grown into your skin since then; you've grown
into the space you measure with someone
you can love back without a caveat.
While I love somebody I learn to live
with through the downpulled winter days' routine
wakings and sleepings, half-and-half caffeine-
assisted mornings, laundry, stock-pots, dust-
balls in the hallway, lists instead of longing, trust
that what comes next comes after what came first.
She'll never be a story I make up.
You were the one I didn't know where to stop.
If I had blamed you, now I could forgive
you, but what made my cold hand, back in prox-
imity to your hair, your mouth, your mind,
want where it no way ought to be, defined
by where it was, and was and was until
the whole globed swelling liquefied and spilled
through one cheek's nap, a syllable, a tear,
was never blame, whatever I wished it were.
You were the weather in my neighborhood.
You were the epic in the episode.
You were the year poised on the equinox.
-"Nearly a Valediction," by Marilyn Hacker
|21st Feb 2011, 04:49 AM||#48|
"What came first, the music or the misery? Did I listen to music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to music? Do all those records turn you into a melancholy person?"
- High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
|27th Feb 2011, 05:33 PM||#49|
"Everyone has a moment in history which belongs particularly to him. It is the moment when his emotions achieve their most powerful sway over him, and afterward when you say to this person "the world today" or "life" or "reality" he will assume that you mean this moment, even if it is fifty years past. The world, through his unleashed emotions, imprinted itself upon him, and he carries the stamp of that passing moment forever."
'A Separate Peace' - John Knowles.
"Your life was a liner I voyaged in."
|26th Apr 2011, 03:37 AM||#50|
"Most true is it that ‘beauty is in the eye of the gazer’. My master’s colourless, olive face, square, massive brow, broad and jetty eyebrows, deep eyes, strong features, firm, grim mouth - all energy, decision, will - were not beautiful, according to rule; but they were more than beautiful to me: they were full of an interest, an influence that quite mastered me - that took my feelings from my own power and fettered them in his. I had not intended to love him; the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously revived, green and strong! He made me love him without looking at me."
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
I'm giving a speech on the role of women in literature during the Victorian era and I stumbled across this quote as I was re-reading Jane Eyre in preparation. I just think it's so beautiful.