Monday, February 28, 2011

literacki

There is silent and long-suffering sorrow to be met with. It withdraws into itself and is still. But there is a grief that breaks out, and from that minute it bursts into tears and finds vent in wailing. This is particularly common with women. But it is no lighter a grief than the silent. Lamentations comfort only by lacerating the heart still more. Such grief does not desire consolation. It feeds on the sense of its hopelessness. Lamentations spring only from the constant craving to re-open the wound.

— Fyodor Dostoevsky - The Brothers Karamazov (Part I, Book II, Chapter 3)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

quoth the madman

Loneliness is the human condition. Cultivate it. The way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to grow. Never expect to outgrow loneliness. Never hope to find people who will understand you, someone to fill that space. An intelligent, sensitive person is the exception, the very great exception. If you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment. The best you’ll ever do is to understand yourself, know what it is that you want, and not let the cattle stand in your way.
— Janet Fitch

Saturday, February 26, 2011

quoth the madman

You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.
— Anaïs Nin

Friday, February 25, 2011

ars poetica

He hymns the rotten queen with saffron hair,
Who has saltier aphrodisiacs,
Than virgins’ tears. That bawdy queen of death,
Her wormy couriers aer at his bones.
Still he hymns juice of her, hot nectarine.
I see him, horny-skinned and tough, construe,
What flinty pebbles and ploughable upturns,
As ponderable tokens of her love.
He, godly, doddering, spells,
No succinct Gabriel from the letters here,
But floridly, his amorous nostalgias.
Ouija - Sylvia Plath.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

quoth the great beast

"I can imagine myself on my death-bed, spent utterly with lust to touch the next world, like a boy asking for his first kiss from a woman“
— Aleister Crowley

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

ars poetica

"Widow.
The bitter spider sits,
And sits in the center of her loveless spokes.
Death is the dress she wears, her hat and collar.
The moth-face of her husband, moonwhite and ill,
Circles her like a prey she’d love to kill."
— Widow, Sylvia Plath.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

tagged


Monday, February 21, 2011

literacki

"You misunderstand me. I do not fear death. I resent it. Everything must die, apparently, and I am no exception. But I want to be consulted. You know what I mean? Death is impatient and thoughtless. It barges into your room when you are right in the middle of something, and it doesn’t bother to wipe its boots. I have a new passion, my darlings, a passion for being myself, and for being more than previously has been manifested for a single lifetime. I am determined to die at my own convenience. Therefore, I journey to the east, where, I have been told, there are men who have taught death some manners.“
Jitterbug Perfume - Tom Robbins

Sunday, February 20, 2011

ladies cultural awareness day

Frederic Leighton - Light of the Harem - 1880

Saturday, February 19, 2011

literacki

Once it smiled a silent dell
Where the people did not dwell;
They had gone unto the wars,
Trusting to the mild-eyed stars,
Nightly, from their azure towers,
To keep watch above the flowers,
In the midst of which all day
The red sun-light lazily lay.
Now each visitor shall confess
The sad valley's restlessness.
Nothing there is motionless --
Nothing save the airs that brood
Over the magic solitude.
Ah, by no wind are stirred those trees
That palpitate like the chill seas
Around the misty Hebrides!
Ah, by no wind those clouds are driven
That rustle through the unquiet Heaven
Uneasily, from morn till even,
Over the violets there that lie
In myriad types of the human eye --
Over the lilies there that wave
And weep above a nameless grave!
They wave: -- from out their fragrant tops
Eternal dews come down in drops.
They weep: -- from off their delicate stems
Perennial tears descend in gems.

- The Valley of Unrest - Edgar Allan Poe (published 1845)

Friday, February 18, 2011

quoth the madman

“I am eternally, devastatingly romantic, and I thought people would see it because “romantic” doesn’t mean “sugary”. It’s dark and tormented — the furor of passion, the despair of an idealism that you can’t attain. ”
—Catherine Breillat

Thursday, February 17, 2011

literaki

"But we are alone, darling child, terribly, isolated each from the other; so fierce is the world's ridicule we cannot speak or show our tenderness; for us, death is stronger than life, it pulls like a wind through the dark, all our cries burlesqued in joyless laughter; and with the garbage of loneliness stuffed down us until our guts burst bleeding green, we go screaming round the world, dying in our rented rooms, nightmare hotels, eternal homes of the transient heart."
— Truman Capote - Other Voices, Other Rooms

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

quoth the madman

"Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings."
— Anaïs Nin

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

quoth the madman

"To the solemn graves, near a lonely cemetery, my heart like a muffled drum is beating funeral marches."
- Charles Baudelaire

Monday, February 14, 2011

literaki

"After a battle lasting many ages,
The Devil won,
And said to God
(who had been his Maker):


Lord,
We are about to witness the unmaking of Creation
By my hand.
I would not wish you
to think me cruel,
So I beg you, take three things
From this world before I destroy it.
Three things, and then the rest will be
wiped away.'

God thought for a little time.
And at last He said:
No, there is nothing.'
The Devil was surprised.
Not even you, Lord?' he said.
And God said:
No. Not even me."

— Clive Barker (Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

ars poetica

We caught the tread of dancing feet,
We loitered down the moonlit street,
And stopped beneath the harlot's house.

Inside, above the din and fray,
We heard the loud musicians play
The "Treues Liebes Herz" of Strauss.

Like strange mechanical grotesques,
Making fantastic arabesques,
The shadows raced across the blind.

We watched the ghostly dancers spin
To sound of horn and violin,
Like black leaves wheeling in the wind.

Like wire-pulled automatons,
Slim silhouetted skeletons
Went sidling through the slow quadrille.

The took each other by the hand,
And danced a stately saraband;
Their laughter echoed thin and shrill.

Sometimes a clockwork puppet pressed
A phantom lover to her breast,
Sometimes they seemed to try to sing.

Sometimes a horrible marionette
Came out, and smoked its cigarette
Upon the steps like a live thing.

Then, turning to my love, I said,
"The dead are dancing with the dead,
The dust is whirling with the dust."

But she--she heard the violin,
And left my side, and entered in:
Love passed into the house of lust.

Then suddenly the tune went false,
The dancers wearied of the waltz,
The shadows ceased to wheel and whirl.

And down the long and silent street,
The dawn, with silver-sandalled feet,
Crept like a frightened girl.

- The Harlot's House - Oscar Wilde

ars poetica

If you sit down at set of sun
And count the acts that you have done,
And, counting, find
One self-denying deed, one word
That eased the heart of him who heard,
One glance most kind
That fell like sunshine where it went --
Then you may count that day well spent.

But if, through all the livelong day,
You've cheered no heart, by yea or nay --
If, through it all
You've nothing done that you can trace
That brought the sunshine to one face--
No act most small
That helped some soul and nothing cost --
Then count that day as worse than lost.

- Count That Day Lost - George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)

Friday, February 4, 2011

quoth the madman

“Which of us doesn’t do it? Either we loll in anaerobic stupor, too afraid to fill our lungs with risky beauty, or we roll out fire like dragons, destroying the world we love.
I try not to burn up my world with rage.
It is so hard. ”
—Jeanette Winterson

Thursday, February 3, 2011

ars poetica

“I have heard (but not believed) the spirits of the dead
May walk again.”
Winter’s Tale

If spirits walk, Love, when the night climbs slow
The slant footpath where we were wont to go,
Be sure that I shall take the self-same way
To the hill-crest, and shoreward, down the gray,
Sheer, gravelled slope, where vetches straggling grow.

Look for me not when gusts of winter blow,
When at thy pane beat hands of sleet and snow;
I would not come thy dear eyes to affray,
If spirits walk.

But when, in June, the pines are whispering low,
And when their breath plays with thy bright hair so
As some one's fingers once were used to play—
That hour when birds leave song, and children pray,
Keep the old tryst, sweetheart, and thou shalt know
If spirits walk.

- If Spirits Walk - Sophie Jewett

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

ars poetica

I sat before my glass one day,
And conjured up a vision bare,
Unlike the aspects glad and gay,
That erst were found reflected there -
The vision of a woman, wild
With more than womanly despair.
Her hair stood back on either side
A face bereft of loveliness.
It had no envy now to hide
What once no man on earth could guess.
It formed the thorny aureole
Of hard, unsanctified distress.

Her lips were open - not a sound
Came though the parted lines of red,
Whate'er it was, the hideous wound
In silence and secret bled.
No sigh relieved her speechless woe,
She had no voice to speak her dread.
And in her lurid eyes there shone
The dying flame of life's desire,
Made mad because its hope was gone,
And kindled at the leaping fire
Of jealousy and fierce revenge,
And strength that could not change nor tire.

Shade of a shadow in the glass,
O set the crystal surface free!
Pass - as the fairer visions pass -
Nor ever more return, to be
The ghost of a distracted hour,
That heard me whisper: - 'I am she!'

- The Other Side of a Mirror - Mary Elizabeth Coleridge (1861-1907)