“I thought of certain lines life had put on his face as personal as a line of his writing: I thought of a new scar on his shoulder that wouldn’t have been there if once he hadn’t tried to protect another man’s body from a falling wall. He didn’t tell me why he was in hospital those three days: Henry told me. That scar was part of his character as much as his jealousy. And so I thought, do I want that body to be vapour (mine yes, but his?), and I knew I wanted that scar to exist through all eternity. But could my vapour love that scar? Then I began to want my body that I hated, but only because it could love that scar. We can love with our minds, but can we love only with our minds? Love extends itself all the time, so that we can even love with our clothes, so that a sleeve can feel a sleeve.”—The End of the Affair, Graham Greene (1951, p.108) (via derica) (via tobia)
“It is like travel. You journey from the event and as it becomes more distant it becomes less potent and more poignant, like a remembered home. As the weeks go by the knife turns differently.”—from Moon Tiger, Penelope Lively (via linzo)
“Before I got hungry enough to go home I watched a train throw sparks, setting fire to the wheat fields as it passed. I think it’s true what they say—when you’re human you’re either creating or destroying. Nothing’s in-between. When I start to feel like somebody, I just imagine the smell of bread and burning birds and keep running.”—Andrew Michael Roberts (via unicornology) (via thequantum)
“Our lives are part of a unique adventure… Nevertheless, most of us think the world is ‘normal’ and are constantly hunting for something abnormal—like angels or Martians. But that is just because we don’t realize the world is a mystery. As for myself, I felt completely different. I saw the world as an amazing dream. I was hunting for some kind of explanation of how everything fit together.”—Jostein Gaarder (via suzywire)
There is always the harrowing by mortality, the strafing by age, he thinks. Always defeats. Sorrows come like epidemics. But we are alive in the difficult way adults want to be alive. It is worth having the heart broken, a blessing to hurt for eighteen years because a woman is dead. He thinks of long before that, the summer he was with Gianna and her sister in Apulia. Having outwitted the General, their father, and driven south to the estate of the Contessa. Like an opera. The fiefdom stretching away to the horizon. Houses of the peasants burrowed into the walls of the compound. A butler with white gloves serving chicken in aspic. The pretty maid in her uniform bringing his breakfast each morning on a silver tray: toast both light and dark, hot chocolate and tea both. A world like Tosca. A feudal world crushed under the weight of passion without feeling. Gianna’s virgin body helplessly in love. The young man wild with romance and appetite. Wondering whether he would ruin her by mistake.
James Franco’s short film The Clerk’s Tale will premiere on the closing night of this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Seven high resolution images from the film have come online along with the film’s synopsis. Written, directed, and edited by Franco, the film “is a psychological portrait of a gay man trapped in the monotonous routine of life at a high-end menswear store.” The film stars John Kelly and Charles Dance. Hit the jump to read the full synopsis and see seven high-res images from the film.
Here’s the synopsis for The Clerk’s Tale:
Based on the eponymous poem by Spencer Reece, The Clerk’s Tale is a psychological portrait of a gay man trapped in the monotonous routine of life at a high-end menswear store. For Spencer, every day is a sequence of mundane tasks and empty exchanges. He fits a customer, straightens a display, takes his usual break at his usual time. But all the while the presence of an aging gay colleague eats away at him. Watching this older man, with his affects and almost grotesque habits, Spencer becomes keenly aware of the future that awaits him. The Clerk’s Tale is a haunting and delicately observed study in loneliness.
I am thirty-three and working in an expensive clothier, selling suits to men I call “Sir.” These men are muscled, groomed and cropped— with wives and families that grow exponentially. Mostly I talk of rep ties and bow ties, of full-Windsor knots and half-Windsor knots, of tattersall, French cuff, and English spread collars, of foulards, neats, and internationals, of pincord, houndstooth, nailhead, and sharkskin. I often wear a blue pin-striped suit. My hair recedes and is going gray at the temples. On my cheeks there are a few pimples. For my terrible eyesight, horn-rimmed spectacles. One of my fellow-workers is an old homosexual who works hard and wears bracelets with jewels. No one can rival his commission checks. On his break he smokes a Benson & Hedges cigarette, puffing expectantly as a Hollywood starlet. He has carefully applied a layer of Clinique bronzer to enhance the tan on his face and neck. His hair is gone except for a few strands which are combed across his scalp. He examines his manicured lacquered nails. I admire his studied attention to details: his tie stuck to his shirt with masking tape, his teeth capped, his breath mint in place. The old homosexual and I laugh in the back over a coarse joke involving an octopus. Our banter is staccato, staged and close like those “Spanish Dances” by Granados. I sometimes feel we are in a musical— gossiping backstage between our numbers. He drags deeply on his cigarette. Most of his life is over. Often he refers to himself as “an old faggot.” He does this bemusedly, yet timidly. I know why he does this. He does this because his acceptance is finally complete— and complete acceptance is always bittersweet. Our hours are long. Our backs bent. We are more gracious than English royalty. We dart amongst the aisles tall as hedgerows. Watch us face into the merchandise. How we set up and take apart mannequins as if we were performing autopsies. A naked body, without pretense, is of no use. It grows late. I hear the front metal gate close down. We begin folding the ties correctly according to color. The shirts—Oxfords, broadcloths, pinpoints— must be sized, stacked, or rehashed. The old homosexual removes his right shoe, allowing his gigantic bunion to swell. There is the sound of cash being counted— coins clinking, bills swishing, numbers whispered— One, two, three, four, five, six, seven… We are changed when the transactions are done— older, dirtier, dwarfed. A few late customers gawk in at us. We say nothing. Our silence will not be breached. The lights go off, one by one— the dressing room lights, the mirror lights. Then it is very late. How late? Eleven? We move to the gate. It goes up. The gate’s grating checkers our cheeks. This is the Mall of America. The light is bright and artificial, yet not dissimilar to that found in a Gothic cathedral. You must travel down the long hallways to the exits before you encounter natural light. One final formality: the manager checks out bags. The old homosexual reaches into his over-the-shoulder leather bag— the one he bought on his European travels with his companion of many years. He finds a stick of lip balm and applies it to his lips liberally, as if shellacking them. Then he inserts one last breath mint and offers one to me. The gesture is fraternal and occurs between us many times. At last, we bid each other good night. I watch him fade into the many-tiered parking lot, where the thousands of cars have come and are now gone. This is how our day ends. This is how our day always ends. Sometimes snow falls like rice. See us take to our dimly lit exits, disappearing into the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul; Minneapolis is sleek and St. Paul, named after the man who had to be shown, is smaller, older, and somewhat withdrawn. Behind us, the moon pauses over the vast egg-like dome of the mall. See us loosening our ties among you. We are alone. There is no longer any need to express ourselves.
I find it easier to be out of reach. You reach inside the sleeve of my cardigan and put two fingers on my wrist, like you’re taking the pulse of my love. My pulse feels like a moth’s wings battering against a light bulb, desperate to escape and blinded by your light.
At last, terror has arrived. Next door, the house has gone up in flames. A woman runs from the burning wreck, her face smeared with blood and ashes. She screams that her children are kidnapped. It’s truly exciting, and what more would anyone ask? For a rare and beautiful egg to present itself in the grass? For sex with the liquor store owner to progress into something meaningful? You don’t know what I’ve done in front of the mirror. I’ve pulled my shorts up high like a thong. I’ve walked back and forth doing little kicks and making faces. I’ve stopped, I’ve stared. I try to get my mind around the sight of myself. I make a face. Of great seriousness. I imagine that I’ve just received a large and upsetting piece of news. Then I look into my eyes. Can you guess what I am thinking? Can I tell you what it is?
“Not living in fear is a great gift, because certainly these days we do it so much. And do you know what I like about comedy? You can’t laugh and be afraid at the same time — of anything. If you’re laughing, I defy you to be afraid.”—Stephen Colbert
@kissability I lose respect for people every time fail is appended to a tweet. I have a tally board in my head and I deduct points under your name.
craigchilds is the best. I don’t know what inspired him but today he made songs out of tweets. Craig made a song out of my tweet, quoted above. I try not to be grouchy on Twitter but I really, really hate “fail”. I will have this song forever to mark my grouchiness, thank you Craig.
Toki Wright has breathed new life into Public Enemy’s timeless anthem “By The Time I Get To Arizona.” This new version was created in response to a bill signed into law in the state of Arizona that states “all immigrants must carry documentation verifying their immigration status.” Police officers now have the authority to ask to see the information from any individual that is deemed “suspicious.” Essentially, a bill that legalizes racial profiling: if you look like an immigrant, you can be hauled off to jail. Toki’s scathing indictment pays due respect to the original classic, once again turning hip-hop into the true “CNN of the people.” Download the song for free, share it with friends, and check this link to learn about 5 Actions You Can Take Immediately Against SB 1070
"We didn’t cross the borders the borders crossed us.” —2006 Chicahua Necahual
We didn’t cross the borders the borders crossed us unbilicus to pubic bone axilla to tweflth floating rib through the part in black hair the beds, the bones and ridiculously through the ocean darkness. How do we recognize each other behind fenced skin? Only the deepest touch discovers us churning under the density of years like a grandmother’s dream on her wedding night, the impatient seed in the embroidered silk of connective tissue. The border crossed us and we step lightly now in the torn landscape. We didn’t cross the borders but our fingertips met through the diamond absences in the chain link fence. Now I’m alone surrounded with people, half my name sharing the world with you the other half a faceless ancestor spinning in the night sky.