“People frequently comment on the emptiness in one night stands, but emptiness here has always been just another word for darkness. Blind encounters writing sonnets no one can ever read. Desire and pain communicated in the vague language of sex. None of which made sense to me until much later when I realized everything I thought I’d retained of my encounters added up to so very little, hardly enduring, just shadows of love outlining nothing at all.”—House of Leaves,by Mark Z. Danielewski via thechocolatebrigade. (via tobia)
“Love was not something to be felt, not a particular emotion, nor yet a particular shade of feeling, it was much more like a lowering curse on the horizon, a precursor of disaster.”—Jean-Paul Sartre (via ecphasis)
“Choking with dry tears and raging, raging, raging at the absolute indifference of nature and the world to the death of love, the death of hope and the death of beauty, I remember sitting on the end of my bed, collecting these pills and capsules together and wondering why, why when I felt I had so much to offer, so much love, such outpourings of love and energy to spend on the world, I was incapable of being offered love, giving it or summoning the energy with which I knew I could transform myself and everything around me.”—Stephen Fry (via ecphasis)
That woman is here again. She’s found her way out from under the stairs. For centuries she’s been weeping a song about lost men, the disappearance of beauty, disgrace. Now she’s back in the world, down by the traffic lights, in the shade of trees, hurrying to the parlour to fix the crack in her face.
Don’t become that woman, my mother said, by which she meant, don’t become that woman who doesn’t marry or bear children. That woman who spreads her legs, who is beaten, who cannot hold her grief or her drink. Don’t become that woman.
But that woman and I have been moving together for years like a pair of birds skimming the surface of water, always close to the soft madness of coming undone; the dark undersides of our bodies indistinguishable from our reflections
Can the full body scanners at the airport find hidden in me what I lost but never had? Like young love. Or a palm unmarked by gypsy dreams. Naïveté. Fish gills for breathing underwater. The rib that Adam took from Eve. Postcards from the future that say "everything will be okay".
I am sea and seen through walking into a scanner pretending my body isn’t filled with shrapnel and through my clothes, they can’t dig my memories out.
"Having spent the last few weeks observing the Rudd coup, then following the election campaign at close hand, attending press conferences and events like the Rooty Hill RSL ‘forum’, I am almost lost for words to describe the political media. But I’ll try. Fatuous pompous phonies, a stewpot of groupthink, narcissism, laziness, ignorance, hapless stupidity (hello Latika), menacious bullying and anti-democratic spite. An unfair quotient of shits and twits. And still they blather on, demanding that the country behave itself and get back to business as usual as soon as possible.
A pack of rabid lemmings, munted on self-importance, rampaging around the country looking for someone to glass.”
This year the leaves turn red green black freedom colors each leaf each stitch of grass. I am amazed at my sweet harvest. The prison door has opened and a nation’s heart is released. I am full having spent my greediness in a ritual of joy.
“We die containing a richness of lovers and tribes, tastes we have
swallowed, bodies we have plunged into and swum up as if rivers of
wisdom, characters we have climbed into as if trees, fears we have
hidden in as if caves.
I wish for all this to be marked on my body when I am dead. I believe
in such cartography—to be marked by nature, not just to label ourselves
on a map like the names of rich men and women on buildings. We are
communal histories, communal books. We are not owned or monogamous in
our taste or experience.”—Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient (via: arsvitaest, colporteur, iamonlyamaid & lethebashar)
can kill you can fade your life away friends are all out shopping ain’t nobody home suicide hotline is busy and here i am on my own with a pill and a bottle for company and heart full of been done wrong i’m a candidate for the coroner, a lyric for a song
saturday afternoons are killers when the air is brisk and warm ol’ sun he steady whispers soon the life you know will be done suicide line i can’t get you best friend out of town alone with a pill and a bottle i drink my troubles down
the man i love is a killer the man i love is thief the man i love is a junky the man i love is grief
some call saturday the sabbath it’s the bottom of the line some say whether last or first, my heart’s gonna burst and there ain’t no help my way here with a pill and a bottle and a life full of been done wrong i’m a candidate for the coroner, a lyric for a song
Definitely. Poetry can be the site of incredible intensity. It embodies and enables awareness. It might involve deep listening, the kind Paulina Oliveros espouses. It agitates centers in the brain that stimulate imagination. Poetry creates a zone of openness—it is capable of moving the mind beyond convention, standardization, pattern and format. Acting in being is how I think of poetry. It is possible to critique cultural, social and historical paradigms via poetry—positions of the body, self, collectivity, gender, race, power, etc. Poetry is language as gesture and can push toward a temporary borderless. Because it is evidence of the reverence for language (which, at its base, is interrelation) it promotes a bounty of energetic exchange between communicants—credulousness in response to incredulousness and all sorts of reflections, deviations, regenerations, etc. Poetry meets up with threatening social issues like war by making its position one of empathy—feelings are conducted, as in electrical flows. At any time, language can extrapolate out of itself (as art, or whatever seemingly limiting condition it finds itself in)—it can become social gesture, action. When I read poetry I hear a call and response.
I Go Out for a Smoke and Become Mistaken for the Archangel, Frank X. Gaspar
When I go outside on nights like this, nights without cloud or breeze, city nights full of buzz and hoarse whisper and the distant surf of automobiles breaking upon darkness, do you believe I think the stars are waiting for me? How lonely the streets are among the buttoned houses. How I long sometimes for a doorway and a cigarette to smoke in it, for some rain and a hat to pull forward over my eyes. What is it in this darkness that draws the eye, anyway? No blossoms shout color, no tree offers green in this basin of shadow. Now all the requiems come forth, each one with its measured voice, each ecstasy and lament, each joy and despair joining hands. Who are these people who have taped butcher paper across their front window and offer me a shadow play I can’t possibly forbid myself from watching? The man is big bellied and sits in a chair. The woman is large in the shoulders and sits in a chair. There is no other furniture but a lamp and something—a pile of books? Newspapers? Who can divine these shapes? By what right? Why are they rendering unto the world so much of their unhappiness? Or am I mistaken again? Maybe it’s joy. In that other life, the hidden life that counts, I walk across the gray lawn and tap at the window. They mistake me for something I am not: a messenger, perhaps— yes, a messenger. They come to the door and look and look but they don’t see me. And then they go back to their places behind the window, behind the paper, in front of the yellow light that deepens them and reduces them. And they have done a good deal of work for one night. They have reduced me. They have distilled me. It is a kind of resurrection and vindication. Can you see it? It comes from that other life. You carry it with you, you get used to it. You forget about it and it goes on talking and singing and weeping all by itself. It’s all right. It needs you. You can walk me to the corner and share a coffee and tell me your stories. It will still be there when you get back. It’ll wait for you.
“Oppressed peoples are always being asked to stretch a little more, to bridge the gap between blindness and humanity. Black women are expected to use our anger only in the service of other people’s salvation or learning. But that time is over.”—Audre Lorde (via shanaelmsford)
“Poets have little understanding of most worldly occupations, except for writing poems and falling in love and having great sex, which is why half of their poems are about writing poems or falling in love or having great sex.”—Charles Baxter (via poetbabble)
“The only obsession everyone wants: Love. People think that in falling in love they make themselves whole? The Platonic union of souls? I think otherwise. I think you’re whole before you begin. And the love fractures you. You’re whole, and then you’re cracked open.”— Philip Roth, The Dying Animal (via skyisland)
“Let’s talk about rape for a moment. Rape is not what George Lucas did to your childhood. Rape is not what happens when a sports team beats another sports team by a wide margin. Rape is not what happens when your electric bill is higher this month than it was last month. Rape is when a person violates another person in the most despicable, degrading way imaginable and among the myriad of terrible things humans can do to one another, rape is among the worst. I think the casual misappropriation of the concept of rape extending all the way to its widespread comical usage is disgusting even by Internet standards. Off my chest.”—
I think I used to throw it around a little bit when I was a more hardcore gamer, but it’s one of those words I’m hoping I’ve managed to purge from my ‘casual’ vocabulary.
The next word that needs to be purged is ‘gay’ as a pejorative. I blame my Christian upbringin & Christian schooling for it taking seed - homophobia is encouraged, if anything - but it’s my own fault for still letting it slip out every now and then even when I fucking know better.
I’m really proud of you - I’ve (kindly) challenged people before on their casual use of the words “rape” and “gay” out of context and I’m met with abuse the majority of the time. I’m sick of hearing “lighten up” or “get a sense of humour”. I don’t judge people who used to use these words - but if they continue to when challenged, when they should know better? I’m not down with that. Language is a virus and it can be hard to excise phrases or words from our vocabulary, it’s down to habit a lot of the time. I try, as a writer, to consciously choose language but mindfulness is a habit too.
They were building the future and getting paid by the hour, and they’d worked like pioneers; like kibbutzniks; like communists. Each day after work Kohn would watch the cement dust sluice away, and think hot showers the best amenity known to man, something he’d kill to keep. He’d take his clean clothes from the locker, bundle his overalls in the laundry hopper and swagger off the site, his day’s pay next to his heart. It was the best yet of his fifteen summers: the space boom just starting to pick up where the post-war reconstruction had left off, scars healing, new buildings going up. Long evenings where he could hit the streets, take in new music, meet girls. There seemed to be girls everywhere, of his own age and older. Most of them had independence, a job and a place to crash, no hassles with parents. School really was out forever. If you wanted education you could get it from the net, as nature intended.
He was sinking foundations; he was getting in on the ground floor… the sheer hubris of taking this place and declaring it an outpost of space made him feel as if a taut string were vibrating in his chest. An open universe, unowned, was there for the taking, sixty-five kilometres away – straight up.
“As darkness falls and we realise we’re not going anywhere, the protesters start to light fires to keep warm. First, they burn their placards, the words ‘rich parents for all!’ going up in flames, with a speed and efficiency gleaned from recent CV-boosting outdoor camping activities. Then, as the temperature drops below freezing, they start looking for anything else to burn, notebooks and snack wrappers - although one young man in an anarchist scarf steps in to stop me tossing an awful historical novel onto the pyre. “You can’t burn books,” he says, “we’re not Nazis.”—New Statesman - Inside the Whitehall kettle by Laurie Penny, on police violence against children protesting their right to an affordable education.