“In politics, we see problems of power, of one quantum of power against another. We do not believe in any right that is not supported by the power of enforcement. We feel all rights to be conquests.”—Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power (via ludimagister)
“On the old photos, she says, I see a stranger staking out my skin. As if an apple could fall too far from the tree. Yet I call her “me,” “my” years of furtively expanding flesh, with almost-certainty. It’s a belief that seems exempt from doubt, as if it were the hinge on which my doubts and questions turn. Still, I may seem the same “I” to you while I’ve already rolled it through the next door. From left to right.”—Rosmarie Waldrop, from “Conversation 9: On Varieties of Oblivion”
I have been taught never to brag but now I cannot help it: I keep a beautiful garden, all abundance, indiscriminate, pulling itself from the stubborn earth. Does it offend you to watch me working in it, touching my hands to the greening tips or tearing the yellow stalks back, so wild the…
“Whose clouds are those? Whose nematodes?
What enters your mind when you put on your coat?
There’s a story I’m longing to whisper in your ear.
Isn’t it a story you’ve already heard?
Will you stop and be with me awhile over the dewpoint?
Will you touch me?
Is it you who brings terror to lonely places?
Did you take the snapshot of the second before the Last
Judgment, the moment when the lids have lifted from all
the coffins but the dead haven’t noticed yet?
Did you coin the expression, sleep with the angels?
Did you know how the living would fight over the dearly departed?
Why did you hide consolation in a crack in the trunk
of an olive tree on an island hardly anyone gets to anymore?
Was it you who tanned me in sumac and bound me to a book?
Did you blind the cat so the mouse could return to its nest?
Is it you I can’t hold enough of in my galvanized hands?
Did you direct sunlight to shape a grazing horse’s neck
so that no one can look at it and not say they ache?
Did you understand how difficult it would be to think
of hair growing or birds in flight or a moon turning?
Did you turn a bushel upside-down in a corner so that
light could hide in it?
Is it you who treated air as if it were a broth
fragrant with alleys of bay leaves and so clear you saw
your own face in it?
Is it you holding the keys for the locks on the doors
to the beautiful empty room?”—Dara Wier, “Is It You?” from The American Poetry Review (Vo. 29, No. 3, May/Jun 2000)
“The painter has a panting
in his heart and
a knife in his head
he wants to pull out the painting
he wants to pull out the knife
to slash the painting”—Miltos Sachtouris, from Six Moments, trans. Karen Emmerich (via yesyes)
Even if our life seems scattered, a text always going astray, it builds on constants, she says. Like a piece of music. The mind should be able to embrace it in its full extravagance and touch the architecture of cause even as it forms. More so with the years, with…
“I am like a mole
crawling through the earth. I must go
around the stones. Why is it
that I’m tired of talking to
myself? I want everyone to know.”—Susan Musgrave, “Exposure” from Songs of the Sea-Witch (via a-pair-of-ragged-claws)
“A savage desire for strong emotions and sensations burns inside me: a rage against this soft-tinted, shallow, standardized and sterilized life, and a mad craving to smash something up, a department store, say, or a cathedral, or myself.”—Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf (via larmoyante)
“And you got the sense
that she had said all of this
before, that she had weighed each word
in turn, on her tongue, that she had
practised her phrases for the wind, before
ever telling them, even to you”—Matilda Lafferty, from “Pursuing Ladybugs” (via literarymiscellany)
“When you are in love you know that love is a beggar, shameless as a beggar; and the responses of merely human pity can console one where love is absent by a false travesty of an imagined happiness.”—Lawrence Durrell, Mountolive
Autumn eats its leaf out of my hand: we are friends. From the nuts we shell time and we teach it to walk: then time returns to the shell. In the mirror it’s Sunday, in dream there is room for sleeping, our mouths speak the truth. My eye moves down to the sex of my loved one: we look at each other,