Tuesday, August 31, 2010

literacki

The light snow started late last night and continued
all night long while I slept and could hear it occasionally
enter my sleep, where I dreamed my brother
was alive again and possessing the beauty of youth, aware
that he would be leaving again shortly and that is the lesson
of the snow falling and of the seeds of death that are in everything
that is born: we are here for a moment
of a story that is longer than all of us and few of us
remember, the wind is blowing out of someplace
we don’t know, and each moment contains rhythms
within rhythms, and if you discover some old piece
of your own writing, or an old photograph,
you may not remember that it was you and even if it was once you,
it’s not you now, not this moment that the synapses fire
and your hands move to cover your face in a gesture
of grief and remembrance.

-- Prayer for the Dead - Stuart Kestenbaum

Monday, August 30, 2010

literacki

Andromeda, by Perseus sav'd and wed,
Hanker'd each day to see the Gorgon's head:
Till o'er a fount he held it, bade her lean,
And mirror'd in the wave was safely seen
That death she liv'd by.

Let not thine eyes know
Any forbidden thing itself, although
It once should save as well as kill: but be
Its shadow upon life enough for thee.

- Aspecta Medusa (for a Drawing) - Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Sunday, August 29, 2010

literacki

The difficulty to think at the end of day,
When the shapeless shadow covers the sun
And nothing is left except light on your fur—
There was the cat slopping its milk all day,
Fat cat, red tongue, green mind, white milk
And August the most peaceful month.
To be, in the grass, in the peacefullest time,
Without that monument of cat,
The cat forgotten in the moon;
And to feel that the light is a rabbit-light,
In which everything is meant for you
And nothing need be explained;
Then there is nothing to think of. It comes of itself;
And east rushes west and west rushes down,
No matter. The grass is full
And full of yourself. The trees around are for you,
The whole of the wideness of night is for you,
A self that touches all edges,
You become a self that fills the four corners of night.
The red cat hides away in the fur-light
And there you are humped high, humped up,
You are humped higher and higher, black as stone—
You sit with your head like a carving in space
And the little green cat is a bug in the grass.


--A Rabbit as King of the Ghosts - Wallace Stevens

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

literacki

The roads are getting so super-paved and big and light and loaded with BIG MACS and HOWARD JOHNSONS that the only time people are forced into danger or reality is when they die. death is the only reality we’ve got left in our nicey-nicey-clean-ice-cream-TV society so we’d better worship it. S & M sex. Punk rock. Don’t you know, you can step into the snow, the raging ocean and the freezing snow, you can step into danger…
anytime your please…
step into me…

-Kathy Acker - Blood and Guts in High School

where is my mind

literacki

"We rest; a dream has power to poison sleep.
We rise; one wandering thought pollutes the day.
We feel, conceive, or reason; laugh or weep,
Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away;
It is the same: for, be it joy or sorrow,
The path of its departure still is free.
Man's yesterday may ne'er be like his morrow;
Nought may endure but mutability!"

- Frankenstein - Chapter 10 - Mary Shelly

literacki

"You seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been."
- Frankenstein- Mary Shelly

family photos

Grasping her sausage scepter tightly, Aunt Dinah took great delight in the fact that her being selected as the Zion "Weenie Queen" was directly linked to a conversation over cocktails about the obscure satire on Napoleon III by Maurice Joly called "Dialogue aux Enfers entre Montesquieu et Machiavel" ("A Dialogue in Hell Between Montesquieu and Machiavelli").

Young Prisms - These Daze

la confirmation

Thursday, August 26, 2010

ladies cultural awareness day

Hans Sebald Beham - Death and the Indecent Pair - 1529

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

literacki

My bands of silk and miniver
Momently grew heavier;
The black gauze was beggarly thin;
The ermine muffled mouth and chin;
I could not suck the moonlight in.

Harlequin in lozenges
Of love and hate, I walked in these
Striped and ragged rigmaroles;
Along the pavement my footsoles
Trod warily on living coals.

Shouldering the thoughts I loathed,
In their corrupt disguises clothed,
Morality I could not tear
From my ribs, to leave them bare
Ivory in silver air.

There I walked, and there I raged;
The spiritual savage caged
Within my skeleton, raged afresh
To feel, behind a carnal mesh,
The clean bones crying in the flesh.

- Full Moon - Elinor Wylie

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

ladies cultural awareness day

Marianne Stokes Death and the Maiden 1900

Monday, August 23, 2010

quoth the madman

“Here I am trying to live, or rather, I am trying to teach the death within me how to live.”
—Jean Cocteau

Sunday, August 22, 2010

literacki

If, when I die, I must be buried, let
No cemetery engulph me — no lone grot,
Where the great palpitating world comes not,
Save when, with heart bowed down and eyelids wet,
It pays its last sad melancholy debt
To some outjourneying pilgrim. May my lot
Be rather to lie in some much-used spot,
Where human life, with all its noise and fret,
Throbs on about me. Let the roll of wheels,
With all earth’s sounds of pleasure, commerce, love,
And rush of hurrying feet surge o’er my head.
Even in my grave I shall be one who feels
Close kinship with the pulsing world above;
And too deep silence would distress me, dead.

-My Grave - Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Saturday, August 21, 2010

literacki

To have known him, to have loved him
After loneness long;
And then to be estranged in life,
And neither in the wrong;
And now for death to set his seal—
Ease me, a little ease, my song!
By wintry hills his hermit-mound
The sheeted snow-drifts drape,
And houseless there the snow-bird flits
Beneath the fir-trees’ crape:
Glazed now with ice the cloistral vine
That hid the shyest grape.

--Monody - Herman Melville

Friday, August 20, 2010

literacki

Oh that those lips had language! Life has pass'd
With me but roughly since I heard thee last.
Those lips are thine—thy own sweet smiles I see,
The same that oft in childhood solaced me;
Voice only fails, else, how distinct they say,
"Grieve not, my child, chase all thy fears away!"
The meek intelligence of those dear eyes
(Blest be the art that can immortalize,
The art that baffles time's tyrannic claim
To quench it) here shines on me still the same.

Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,
Oh welcome guest, though unexpected, here!
Who bidd'st me honour with an artless song,
Affectionate, a mother lost so long,
I will obey, not willingly alone,
But gladly, as the precept were her own;
And, while that face renews my filial grief,
Fancy shall weave a charm for my relief—
Shall steep me in Elysian reverie,
A momentary dream, that thou art she.

My mother! when I learn'd that thou wast dead,
Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed?
Hover'd thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son,
Wretch even then, life's journey just begun?
Perhaps thou gav'st me, though unseen, a kiss;
Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss—
Ah that maternal smile! it answers—Yes.
I heard the bell toll'd on thy burial day,
I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away,
And, turning from my nurs'ry window, drew
A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu!
But was it such?—It was.—Where thou art gone
Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown.
May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore,
The parting sound shall pass my lips no more!
Thy maidens griev'd themselves at my concern,
Oft gave me promise of a quick return.
What ardently I wish'd, I long believ'd,
And, disappointed still, was still deceiv'd;
By disappointment every day beguil'd,
Dupe of to-morrow even from a child.
Thus many a sad to-morrow came and went,
Till, all my stock of infant sorrow spent,
I learn'd at last submission to my lot;
But, though I less deplor'd thee, ne'er forgot.

Where once we dwelt our name is heard no more,
Children not thine have trod my nurs'ry floor;
And where the gard'ner Robin, day by day,
Drew me to school along the public way,
Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapt
In scarlet mantle warm, and velvet capt,
'Tis now become a history little known,
That once we call'd the past'ral house our own.
Short-liv'd possession! but the record fair
That mem'ry keeps of all thy kindness there,
Still outlives many a storm that has effac'd
A thousand other themes less deeply trac'd.
Thy nightly visits to my chamber made,
That thou might'st know me safe and warmly laid;
Thy morning bounties ere I left my home,
The biscuit, or confectionary plum;
The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestow'd
By thy own hand, till fresh they shone and glow'd;
All this, and more endearing still than all,
Thy constant flow of love, that knew no fall,
Ne'er roughen'd by those cataracts and brakes
That humour interpos'd too often makes;
All this still legible in mem'ry's page,
And still to be so, to my latest age,
Adds joy to duty, makes me glad to pay
Such honours to thee as my numbers may;
Perhaps a frail memorial, but sincere,
Not scorn'd in heav'n, though little notic'd here.

Could time, his flight revers'd, restore the hours,
When, playing with thy vesture's tissued flow'rs,
The violet, the pink, and jessamine,
I prick'd them into paper with a pin,
(And thou wast happier than myself the while,
Would'st softly speak, and stroke my head and smile)
Could those few pleasant hours again appear,
Might one wish bring them, would I wish them here?
I would not trust my heart—the dear delight
Seems so to be desir'd, perhaps I might.—
But no—what here we call our life is such,
So little to be lov'd, and thou so much,
That I should ill requite thee to constrain
Thy unbound spirit into bonds again.

Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's coast
(The storms all weather'd and the ocean cross'd)
Shoots into port at some well-haven'd isle,
Where spices breathe and brighter seasons smile,
There sits quiescent on the floods that show
Her beauteous form reflected clear below,
While airs impregnated with incense play
Around her, fanning light her streamers gay;
So thou, with sails how swift! hast reach'd the shore
"Where tempests never beat nor billows roar,"
And thy lov'd consort on the dang'rous tide
Of life, long since, has anchor'd at thy side.
But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest,
Always from port withheld, always distress'd—
Me howling winds drive devious, tempest toss'd,
Sails ript, seams op'ning wide, and compass lost,
And day by day some current's thwarting force
Sets me more distant from a prosp'rous course.
But oh the thought, that thou art safe, and he!
That thought is joy, arrive what may to me.
My boast is not that I deduce my birth
From loins enthron'd, and rulers of the earth;
But higher far my proud pretensions rise—
The son of parents pass'd into the skies.
And now, farewell—time, unrevok'd, has run
His wonted course, yet what I wish'd is done.
By contemplation's help, not sought in vain,
I seem t' have liv'd my childhood o'er again;
To have renew'd the joys that once were mine,
Without the sin of violating thine:
And, while the wings of fancy still are free,
And I can view this mimic shew of thee,
Time has but half succeeded in his theft—
Thyself remov'd, thy power to sooth me left.

- On Receipt Of My Mother's Picture - William Cowper

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

literacki

A night address

The world is wasted on you. Show us one clear time
beyond childhood (or the bottle) you spent your whole
self—hoarding no blood-bank back-up, some future aim
to fuel—or let yourself look foolish in reckless style
on barstool, backstreet or dancefloor, without a dim
image of your hamming hobbling you the whole while.
Voyeur to your own couplings, you never did come
with them, did you, even when you did? You said Hell
is details, when Hell was just the cave, the concave-
mirrored skull you dwelt inside, your left hand
polishing while the other shook to clinch a deal—
Provide, provide! Sure, in the end, like any soul
you were endless and yets—brave, deft with phrases, kind—
three cheers for you. Too closed to want what others love
you vetoed life—
were there other worlds to crave?

-Drunk Judgment - Steven Heighton

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

literacki

"I take a few steps and stop. I savor the total oblivion into which I have fallen. I am between two cities, one knows nothing of me, the other knows me no longer."
-Sartre

quoth the madman

"I hate slick & pretty things. I prefer mistakes & accidents, which is why I like things like cuts & bruises - they’re like little flowers."
-David Lynch

literacki

“When you start to live outside yourself, it’s all dangerous.”
The Garden of Eden - Ernest Hemingway

Monday, August 16, 2010

literacki

Not your ordinary ice cream, though the glaze
of these skeletal figures affects
the disposition of those grinning candies
one finds in Mexico, say, at the start of November,
though here, each face is troublingly familiar,
exhibits the style adopted just as one declines
any further style—nectar one sips just as he
draws his last, dispassionate breath, becomes
citizen of a less earnest electorate. One learns
in that city finally how to enjoy a confection,
even if a genuine taste for this circumstance
has yet to be acquired, even if it is oneself
whose sugars and oils now avail a composure
which promises never to end, nor to alter.

-Necropolitan - Scott Cairns

Sunday, August 15, 2010

quoth the madman

“I was never really insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched.”
- Edgar Allan Poe

literacki

“[…] How many we are! How many of us fool ourselves!
What seas crash in us, in the night when we exist, along the beaches that we feel ourselves to be, inundated by emotion!
All that was lost, all that should have being sought, all that was obtained and fulfilled by mistake, all that we loved and lost and then, after losing it and loving it for having lost it, realize we never loved; all that we believed we were thinking when we were feeling; all the memories we took for emotions; and the entire ocean, noisy and cool, rolling in from the depths of the vast night to ripple over the beach, during my nocturnal walk to the seashore… ”
Text 95, The Book of Disquiet Bernardo Soares (Fernando Pessoa)

something horrible happened here


literacki

For whenever I glance at you, it seems that I can say nothing at all but my tongue is broken in silence, and that instant a light fire rushes beneath my skin, I can no longer see anything in my eyes and my ears are thundering …
-Sappho

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

literacki

and the best at murder are those who preach against it
and the best at hate are those who preach love
and the best at war finally are those who preach peace

those who preach god, need god
those who preach peace do not have peace
those who preach peace do not have love

beware the preachers
beware the knowers
beware those who are always reading books
beware those who either detest poverty
or are proud of it
beware those quick to praise
for they need praise in return
beware those who are quick to censor
they are afraid of what they do not know
beware those who seek constant crowds for
they are nothing alone
beware the average man the average woman
beware their love, their love is average
seeks average.

-Charles Bukowski

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

literacki

“Those of us who think we know
the same secrets
are silent together most of the time,
for us there is eloquence
in desire, and for a while
when in love and exhausted
it’s enough to nod like shy horses
and come together
in a quiet ceremony of tongues.

It’s in disappointment we look for words
to convince us
the spaces between stars are nothing
to worry about;
it’s when those secrets burst
in that emptiness between our hearts
and the lumps in our throats.
And the words we find
are always insufficient, like love,
though they are often lovely
and all we have.”

—Those Of Us Who Think We Know - Stephen Dunn

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

quoth the madman

“Sociability is just a big smile, and a big smile is nothing but teeth.”
—Jack Kerouac

Monday, August 9, 2010

quoth the madman

“You never come back, not all the way. Always there is an odd distance between you and the people you love and the people you meet, a barrier thin as the glass of a mirror, you never come all the way out of the mirror; you stand, for the rest of your life, with one foot in this world and no one in another, where everything is upside down and backward and sad. ”

—Marya Hornbacher

literacki

It’s just me throwing myself at you,
romance as usual, us times us,
not lust but moxibustion,
a substance burning close
to the body as possible
without risk of immolation.
Nearness without contact
causes numbness. Analgesia.
Pins and needles. As the snugness
of the surgeon’s glove causes hand fatigue.
At least this procedure
requires no swag or goody bags,
stuff bestowed upon the stars
at their luxe functions.
There’s no dress code,
though leg irons
are always appropriate.
And if anyone says what the hell
are you wearing in Esperanto—
Kion diable vi portas?—
tell them anguish
is the universal language.
Stars turn to train wrecks
and my heart goes out,
admirers gush. Ground to a velvet!
But never mind the downside,
mon semblable, mon crush.
Love is just the retaliation of light.
It is so profligate, you know,
so rich with rush.

Claustrophilia ~Alice Fulton

life'z a beach

quoth the madman

"There are three kinds of intelligence: one kind understands things for itself, the other appreciates what others can understand, the third understands neither for itself nor through others. This first is excellent, the second good, and the third useless."
— Niccolò Di Bernardo Dei Machiavelli

literacki

I let go
of all my Babel Towers
A New Moon
a unwinnable war.
Tonight I am leaving
finally letting go,
sinking into that final mystery,
I let go of my shadow
falling into that twilight
against my will

Sunday, August 8, 2010

literacki

On the day we moved in, the pings, bumps, and snaps
Were scary, it's true, but probably normal;
A house accepting new patterns of weight
With protest, the way no conviction goes gently.
We laughed a little, and called it "our spirit."

Later that night, when the power conked out
And the kids were crying, the ghost got a name,
"Daniel," and a history of whispered exploits,
All of them harmless, like nursery rhymes,
Or like the little fibs we tell ourselves
To explain why this or that has led to suffering.

Pretty soon, we were using him for everything.
When the Christmas tree fell, it was "Daniel";
When my wife lost her ring, it was "Daniel";
When the kids forgot to feed the goldfish
And it turned up dead, its eyes silvered over
Like water shadowed under sheets of ice,

Well, that became Daniel too, which was curious;
And pauses me now as I make the long walk
Down the hall to the bathroom in darkness,
And hear, in soft concert, the sound of my footfalls
Answered at once by my children's voices

Still calling to Daniel behind their door.

-Daniel - David Orr

Saturday, August 7, 2010

your beaches

the lords prayer 2.0

Lord give me the strength
to drink away the pain
give me reptilian skin
to defend the acid rain
give me fire filled eyes
to burn in that last goodbye
and ice in my veins
to cool my fecund brain

(Liquid Indian)

Friday, August 6, 2010

literacki

I am dead because I lack desire,
I lack desire because I think I possess.
I think I possess because I do not try to give.
In trying to give, you see that you have nothing;
Seeing that you have nothing, you try to give of yourself;
Trying to give of yourself, you see that you are nothing:
Seeing that you are nothing, you desire to become;
In desiring to become, you begin to live.

-René Daumal

the week before

Thursday, August 5, 2010

fetish

Dacryphilia: sexual pleasure in eliciting tears from others or oneself.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

literacki

Era gia l’ora che volge il desio. – Dante
Ricorro al tempo ch’io vi vidi prima. – Petrarca

I wish I could remember that first day,
First hour, first moment of your meeting me,
If bright or dim the season, it might be
Summer or Winter for aught I can say;
So unrecorded did it slip away,
So blind was I to see and to foresee,
So dull to mark the budding of my tree
That would not blossom yet for many a May.
If only I could recollect it, such
A day of days! I let it come and go
As traceless as a thaw of bygone snow;
It seemed to mean so little, meant so much;
If only now I could recall that touch,
First touch of hand in hand – Did one but know!

- Christina Rossetti

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

literacki

On the first page of my dreambook
It’s always evening
In an occupied country.
Hour before the curfew.
A small provincial city.
The houses all dark.
The storefronts gutted.

I am on a street corner
Where I shouldn’t be.
Alone and coatless
I have gone out to look
For a black dog who answers to my whistle.
I have a kind of Halloween mask
Which I am afraid to put on.

-Empire of Dreams - Charles Simic

Monday, August 2, 2010

quoth the madman

“I was never really insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched.”
- Edgar Allan Poe

literacki

Although the wind
blows terribly here,
the moonlight also leaks
between the roof planks
of this ruined house.

-Izumi Shikibu

literacki


There is a hornet in the room and one of us will have to go out the window into the late August midafternoon sun.
I won.
There is a certain challenge in being humane to hornets but not much.
A launch draws two lines of wake behind it on the bay like a delta with a melted base.
Sandy billows, or so they look, of feathery ripe heads of grass, an acid-yellow kind of goldenrod glowing or glowering in shade.
Rocks with rags of shadow, washed dust clouts that will never bleach.
It is not like this at all.
The rapid running of the lapping water a hollow knock of someone shipping oars: it’s eleven years since Frank sat at this desk and saw and heard it all the incessant water the immutable crickets only not the same: new needles on the spruce, new seaweed on the low-tide rocks other grass and other water even the great gold lichen on a granite boulder even the boulder quite literally is not the same
II
A day subtle and suppressed in mounds of juniper enfolding scratchy pockets of shadow while bigness—rocks, trees, a stump— stands shadowless in an overcast of ripe grass.
There is nothing but shade, like the boggy depths of a stand of spruce, its resonance just the thin scream of mosquitoes ascending.
Boats are light lumps on the bay stretching past erased islands to ocean and the terrible tumble
and London (“rain persisting”) and Paris (“changing to rain”).
Delicate day, setting the bright of a young spruce against the cold of an old one hung with unripe cones each exuding at its tip gum, pungent, clear as a tear, a day tarnished and fractured as the quartz in the rocks of a dulled and distant point, a day like a gull passing with a slow flapping of wings in a kind of lope, without breeze enough to shake loose the last of the fireweed flowers, a faintly clammy day, like wet silk stained by one dead branch the harsh russet of dried blood.

-Buried at Springs - James Schuyler

Vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas


Afterlife (a requiem)

Sunday, August 1, 2010