Friday, December 31, 2010


“It is always difficult to give oneself up; few persons anywhere ever succeed in doing so, and even fewer transcend the possessive stage to know love for what it actually is: a perpetual discovery, and immersion in the waters of reality, an unending re-creation. ”
—Octavio Paz, “The Labyrinth of Solitude” - s for silence

Thursday, December 30, 2010


“the internal nothingness
of my self
which is night,
but which is explosive affirmation
that there is
to make room for:
my body.”
—Antonin Artaud -
Excerpt from “The Question Arises …” To Have Done with the Judgment of God (1947)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


“You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit. ”
~Oscar Wilde - The Picture of Dorian Gray

Tuesday, December 28, 2010



Mild is the parting year, and sweet
The odour of the falling spray;
Life passes on more rudely fleet,
And balmless is its closing day.

I wait its close, I court its gloom,
But mourn that never must there fall
Or on my breast or on my tomb
The tear that would have soothed it all

- Mild is the Parting Year - Walter Savage Landor

Monday, December 27, 2010


Clouds spout upon her
Their waters amain
In ruthless disdain, –
Her who but lately
Had shivered with pain
As at touch of dishonour
If there had lit on her
So coldly, so straightly
Such arrows of rain:

One who to shelter
Her delicate head
Would quicken and quicken
Each tentative tread
If drops chanced to pelt her
That summertime spills
In dust-paven rills
When thunder-clouds thicken
And birds close their bills.

Would that I lay there
And she were housed here!
Or better, together
Were folded away there
Exposed to one weather
We both, – who would stray there
When sunny the day there,
Or evening was clear
At the prime of the year.

Soon will be growing
Green blades from her mound,
And daisies be showing
Like stars on the ground,
Till she form part of them –
Ay – the sweet heart of them,
Loved beyond measure
With a child’s pleasure
All her life’s round.

-Rain on a Grave - Thomas Hardy

Sunday, December 26, 2010

quoth the madman

“I am happy: this cold is so pure, this night so pure: am I myself not a wave of icy air? With neither blood, nor lymph, nor flesh. Flowing down this long canal towards the pallor down there. To be nothing.but coldness. ”
—Jean-Paul Sartre

Saturday, December 25, 2010


As I in hoary winter’s night stood shivering in the snow,
Surpris’d I was with sudden heat which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,
A pretty Babe all burning bright did in the air appear;
Who, scorched with excessive heat, such floods of tears did shed
As though his floods should quench his flames which with his tears were fed.
“Alas!” quoth he, “but newly born, in fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts or feel my fire but I!
My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns,
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns;
The fuel Justice layeth on, and Mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace wrought are men’s defiled souls,
For which, as now on fire I am to work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath to wash them in my blood.”
With this he vanish’d out of sight and swiftly shrunk away,
And straight I called unto mind that it was Christmas day.

- The Burning Babe - Robert Southwell, SJ

Friday, December 24, 2010


“I am a dreamer. I know so little of real life that I just can’t help re-living such moments as these in my dreams, for such moments are something I have very rarely experienced. I am going to dream about you the whole night, the whole week, the whole year.”
—Fyodor Dostoyevsky - White Nights

Thursday, December 23, 2010


“What we want most is to be held…and told..that everything (everything is a funny thing, is baby milk and papa’s eyes, is roaring logs on a cold morning, is hoot owls and the boy who makes you cry after school, is mama’s long hair, is being afraid and twisted faces on the bedroom wall)…is going to be alright. ”

-Truman Capote - Other Voices, Other Rooms

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


“The Gods envy us. They envy us because we’re mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again. ”
—Homer - Illiad

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


“I am moved by fancies that are curled
Around these images, and cling:
The notion of some infinitely gentle
Infinitely suffering thing. ”
—T.S. Eliot - Preludes

Monday, December 20, 2010

quoth the madman

“Serenity is when you get above all this, when it doesn’t matter what they think, say or want, but when you do as you are, and see God and Devil as one.”
—Henry Miller

Sunday, December 19, 2010

quoth the madman

“Unhappy the land where heroes are needed.”
— Bertolt Brecht - Life of Galileo

Saturday, December 18, 2010


“There is something at the bottom of every new human thought, every thought of genius, or even every earnest thought that springs up in any brain, which can never be communicated to others, even if one were to write volumes about it and were explaining one’s idea for thirty-five years; there’s something left which cannot be induced to emerge from your brain, and remains with you forever; and with it you will die, without communicating to anyone perhaps the most important of your ideas.”

—Fyodor Dostoevsky - The Idiot

Friday, December 17, 2010


“What then is truth? A movable host of metaphors, metonymies, and anthropomorphisms: in short, a sum of human relations which have been poetically and rhetorically intensified, transferred, and embellished, and which, after long usage, seem to a people to be fixed, canonical, and binding. Truths are illusions which we have forgotten are illusions — they are metaphors that have become worn out and have been drained of sensuous force, coins which have lost their embossing and are now considered as metal and no longer as coins. ”

— Friedrich Nietzsche - On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense (1873)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

quoth the madman

“Now I am quietly waiting for
the catastrophe of my personality
to seem beautiful again… ”
—Frank O’Hara

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Let it not your wonder move,
Less your laughter, that I love.
Though I now write fifty years,
I have had, and have, my peers;
Poets, though divine, are men,
Some have lov'd as old again.
And it is not always face,
Clothes, or fortune, gives the grace;
Or the feature, or the youth.
But the language and the truth,
With the ardour and the passion,
Gives the lover weight and fashion.
If you then will read the story,
First prepare you to be sorry
That you never knew till now
Either whom to love or how;
But be glad, as soon with me,
When you know that this is she
Of whose beauty it was sung;
She shall make the old man young,
Keep the middle age at stay,
And let nothing high decay,
Till she be the reason why
All the world for love may die.

A Celebration of Charis: I. His Excuse for Loving - Ben Jonson

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


“I don’t want to reduce everything that exists to a paralyzed slavery but to the wild impossibility that can’t avoid limits but can’t stay inside them either. ”
—Bataille - Guilty (excerpt)

Monday, December 13, 2010


There is snow on the ground,
And the valleys are cold,
And a midnight profound
Blackly squats o'er the wold;
But a light on the hilltops half-seen hints of feastings un- hallowed and old.

There is death in the clouds,
There is fear in the night,
For the dead in their shrouds
Hail the sin's turning flight.
And chant wild in the woods as they dance round a Yule- altar fungous and white.

To no gale of Earth's kind
Sways the forest of oak,
Where the sick boughs entwined
By mad mistletoes choke,
For these pow'rs are the pow'rs of the dark, from the graves of the lost Druid-folk.

- Yule Horror - H. P. Lovecraft

Sunday, December 12, 2010

quoth the madman

"This place is a dream. Only a sleeper considers it real. Then death comes like dawn, and you wake up laughing at what you thought was your grief."

— Rumi

Saturday, December 11, 2010


A BOAT beneath a sunny sky,
Lingering onward dreamily
In an evening of July —

Children three that nestle near,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Pleased a simple tale to hear —

Long has paled that sunny sky:
Echoes fade and memories die:
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Still she haunts me, phantomwise,
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream —
Lingering in the golden gleam —
Life, what is it but a dream?

- A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky - Lewis Carroll

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Not soon, as late as the approach of my ninetieth year,
I felt a door opening in me and I entered
the clarity of early morning.

One after another my former lives were departing,
like ships, together with their sorrow.

And the countries, cities, gardens, the bays of seas
assigned to my brush came closer,
ready now to be described better than they were before.

I was not separated from people,
grief and pity joined us.
We forget—I kept saying—that we are all children of the King.

For where we come from there is no division
into Yes and No, into is, was, and will be.

We were miserable, we used no more than a hundredth part
of the gift we received for our long journey.

Moments from yesterday and from centuries ago—
a sword blow, the painting of eyelashes before a mirror
of polished metal, a lethal musket shot, a caravel
staving its hull against a reef—they dwell in us,
waiting for a fulfillment.

I knew, always, that I would be a worker in the vineyard,
as are all men and women living at the same time,
whether they are aware of it or not.

- Late Ripeness - Czeslaw Milosz

quoth the madman

“Do not scatter the silence that is the palace where our consciousness
Is now living at unity our duplicate lives of one soul.
What are we, in our dream of each other, but a picture which is
The masterpiece of a painter that never painted at all? ”

— Fernando Pessoa


“Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born.
Every Morn & every Night
Some are Born to sweet Delight.
Some are Born to sweet Delight,
Some are born to Endless Night. ”

— William Blake - Auguries of Innocence

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


And this is what is left of youth! . . .
There were two boys, who were bred up together,
Shared the same bed, and fed at the same board;
Each tried the other’s sport, from their first chase,
Young hunters of the butterfly and bee,
To when they followed the fleet hare, and tried
The swiftness of the bird. They lay beside
The silver trout stream, watching as the sun
Played on the bubbles: shared each in the store
Of either’s garden: and together read
Of him, the master of the desert isle,
Till a low hut, a gun, and a canoe,
Bounded their wishes. Or if ever came
A thought of future days, ’twas but to say
That they would share each other’s lot, and do
Wonders, no doubt. But this was vain: they parted
With promises of long remembrance, words
Whose kindness was the heart’s, and those warm tears,
Hidden like shame by the young eyes which shed them,
But which are thought upon in after-years
As what we would give worlds to shed once more.

They met again, — but different from themselves,
At least what each remembered of themselves:
The one proud as a soldier of his rank,
And of his many battles: and the other
Proud of his Indian wealth, and of the skill
And toil which gathered it; each with a brow
And heart alike darkened by years and care.
They met with cold words, and yet colder looks:
Each was changed in himself, and yet each thought
The other only changed, himself the same.
And coldness bred dislike, and rivalry
Came like the pestilence o’er some sweet thoughts
That lingered yet, healthy and beautiful,
Amid dark and unkindly ones. And they,
Whose boyhood had not known one jarring word,
Were strangers in their age: if their eyes met,
’Twas but to look contempt, and when they spoke,
Their speech was wormwood! . . .
. . . And this, this is life!

- Change - Letitia Elizabeth Landon

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010


How fortunate the Grave --
All Prizes to obtain --
Successful certain, if at last,
First Suitor not in vain.

- Emily Dickenson

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Crying, my little one, footsore and weary?
Fall asleep, pretty one, warm on my shoulder:
I must tramp on through the winter night dreary,
While the snow falls on me colder and colder.
You are my one, and I have not another;
Sleep soft, my darling, my trouble and treasure;
Sleep warm and soft in the arms of your mother,
Dreaming of pretty things, dreaming of pleasure.

- Christina Rossetti

Friday, December 3, 2010

quoth the madman

La Mort au Bal, 1875

“Whenever the pain becomes too much, I saddle my horse and disappear in the forest… silent as desire, silent as myself. For I am not the cheerful gentleman with whom you are acquainted. Within this body is imprisoned a soul like a half-starved tiger in an iron cage, bellowing out its dreadful passins. All men seem mean and pretty to me, ingloriously lewd, travelling salesmen with their second-rate eroticism!”

“You have to realise that I am not a remarkable person at all, but incomprehensible even to myself. While in the cradle I was showered with gifts from many beautiful people who acted as fairies having been invited by my mother to bestow a multitude of different talents upon her son. But the forgotten fairy, the terrible twisted and bandy legged one that is always left out appeared as well. Leaning over my cot, she said I cannot take away the gifts you have just received from these ladies, but I can give you one of my own. Your whole life long, you will never do that which you like best!”

-Félicien Rops

Thursday, December 2, 2010


“The muse and executioner
can’t get enough
of each other.
What wonderful lives
they have, cleaving together
to unwind the skeins
of our lives
as far as they can.
Sometimes they pause
to excise a knot of meaning,
and sometimes they skip it
to water the plants
or answer the phone.
Deeply in love,
they often fight
and let the world
continue in its drudgery
of words, chance, and lust.
They are well-versed
in these things
and understand how
they work together.
Neither one resists.
They have been together
so long they simply
let our stories flow,
knowing that just
the sounds of their voices,
the tones and rhythms,
will lead to something
they both want.
Despite the apparent
ease of this foreplay,
their love-making
is more in character,
being swift, decisive,
and beyond appeal. ”

In Praise of Eros - Rick Snyder.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

quoth the madman

"Poets don’t draw. They unravel their handwriting and then tie it up
again, but differently."
~ Jean Cocteau ~ Ecrivez lisiblement, Londres 1919

quoth the madman

“And I, infinitesimal being,
drunk with the great starry
likeness, image of
I felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke loose on the wind.”

~ Pablo Neruda

quoth the madman

“I learned through my body and soul that it was necessary to sin, that I needed lust, that I had to strive for property and experience nausea and the depths of despair in order to learn not to resist them, in order to learn to love the world, and no longer compare it with some kind of desired imaginary vision of perfection, but to leave it as it is, to love it and be glad to belong to it. ”

—Hermann Hesse

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

quoth the madman

“There is a fundamental reason why we look at the sky with wonder and longing—for the same reason that we stand, hour after hour, gazing at the distant swell of the open ocean. There is something like an ancient wisdom, encoded and tucked away in our DNA, that knows its point of origin as surely as a salmonid knows its creek. Intellectually, we may not want to return there, but the genes know, and long for their origins—their home in the salty depths. But if the seas are our immediate source, the penultimate source is certainly the heavens… The spectacular truth is—and this is something that your DNA has known all along—the very atoms of your body—the iron, calcium, phosphorus, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and on and on—were initially forged in long-dead stars. This is why, when you stand outside under a moonless, country sky, you feel some ineffable tugging at your innards. We are star stuff. Keep looking up. ”

—Jerry Waxman

Monday, November 29, 2010


“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin. ”
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

quoth the madman

And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter— they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long.

~ Sylvia Plath

Sunday, November 28, 2010


"…Think! When there is torture there is pain and wounds, physical agony, and all this distracts the mind from mental suffering, so that one is tormented only by the wounds until the moment of death. But the most terrible agony many not be in the wounds themselves but in knowing for certain that within an hour, then within ten minutes, then within half a minute, now at this very instant – your soul will leave your body and you will no longer be a person, and that is certain; the worst thing is that it is certain."

- The Idiot - Dostoevsky

quoth the madman

"It is quite possible—overwhelmingly probable, one might guess—that we will always learn more about human life and personality from novels than from scientific psychology."
— Noam Chomsky

united snakes

Friday, November 26, 2010


“All human desire is poised on an axis of paradox, absence and presence its poles, love and hate its motive energies. ”
— Anne Carson - Eros the Bittersweet

Thursday, November 25, 2010

quoth the madman

“I am not equal to my longing.
Somewhere there should be a place
the exact shape of my emptiness—
there should be a place
responsible for taking one back. ”
—Jane Mead

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


“If there is any secret
to this life I live, this is it:
the sound of what cannot be seen
sings within everything that can.
& there is nothing more to it than that. ”
— Brian Andreas - Nothing More

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


The green leaf opens
and the leaf falls,

each breath is a flame
that gives in to fire;

and grief is the price
we pay for love,

and the death of love
the fee of all desire.

~ Lesson ~ Robin Robertson

Monday, November 22, 2010


“Do not do what someone else could do as well as you. Do not say, do not write what someone else could say, could write as well as you. Care for nothing in yourself but what you feel exists nowhere else. And, out of yourself create, impatiently or patiently, the most irreplaceable of beings.”

- André Gide - Fruits of the Earth (1897)

Sunday, November 21, 2010



Be who you are and will be
learn to cherish that boisterous Black Angel that drives you
up one day and down another
protecting the place where your power rises
running like hot blood
from the same source
as your pain.
When you are hungry
learn to eat
whatever sustains you
until morning
but do not be misled by details
simply because you live them.
Do not let your head deny
your hands
any memory of what passes through them
nor your eyes
nor your heart
everything can be useful
except what is wasteful
(you will need
to remember this when you are accused of destruction.)
Even when they are dangerous
examine the heart of those machines you hate
before you discard them
and never mourn the lack of their power
lest you be condemned
to relive them.
If you do not learn to hate
you will never be lonely
to love easily
nor will you always be brave
although it does not grow any easier.
Do not pretend to convenient beliefs
even when they are righteous
you will never be able to defend your city
while shouting.
Remember our sun
is not the most noteworthy star
only the nearest.
Respect whatever pain you bring back
from your dreaming
but do not look for new gods
in the sea
nor in any part of a rainbow.
Each time you love
love as deeply
as if it were
only nothing is
Speak proudly to your children
wherever you may find them
tell them
you are the offspring of slaves
and your mother was
a princess
in darkness.

~ For Each of You ~Audre Lorde


The marriage of Sulphur and Quicksilver, Sun and Moon, King and Queen, is the central symbol of alchemy.
In this opera, we do not see concrete persons on stage, but rather alchemical archetypes, represented by characters. Man yearns for a synthesis between the terrestrial and celestial forces within himself. He desires to bridge their contradictions and in doing so too experience wholeness and well-being.
The image of the marriage has served as an excellent symbol for the fulfillment of this desire.
Two opposing natures, each in themselves infertile, conjoin, fertilizing each other and thus giving rise to new life.
The alchemists, who had the incessant urge to couple water and fire in their laboratories and oratory, always returned to this theme.

- Matheus Franciscus - The Magic Flute

Friday, November 19, 2010

quoth the madman

“I am a cage, in search of a bird. ”
—Franz Kafka


Thursday, November 18, 2010

quoth the madman

“But we make our own mistakes. We sleep unwisely. It is our right. It is our madness and our glory. ”
—Neil Gaiman, Locks

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

quoth the madman

“The value of things is not the time they last, but the intensity with which they occur. ”
—Fernando Pessoa

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

quoth the madman

“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer. ”
—Joseph Campbell

Monday, November 15, 2010

quoth the madman

“It is important to have a secret, a premonition of things unknown. It fills life with something impersonal, a numinosum. A man who has never experienced that has missed something important. He must sense that he lives in a world which in some respects is mysterious; that things happen and can be experienced which remain inexplicable; that not everything which happens can be anticipated. The unexpected and the incredible belong in this world. Only then is life whole. For me the world has from the beginning been infinite and ungraspable. ”
—Carl Jung.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

quoth the madman

"La mode c’est éphémère, dangereux et injuste…"
-Karl Lagerfeld