Friday, October 30, 2009

In the small hours.

by Wole Soyinka
Blue diaphane, tobacco smoke
Serpentine on wet film and wood glaze,
Mutes chrome, wreathes velvet drapes,
Dims the cave of mirrors. Ghost fingers
Comb seaweed hair, stroke aquamarine veins
Of marooned mariners, captives
Of Circe's sultry notes. The barman
Dispenses igneous potions ?
Somnabulist, the band plays on.

Cocktail mixer, silvery fish
Dances for limpet clients.
Applause is steeped in lassitude,
Tangled in webs of lovers' whispers
And artful eyelash of the androgynous.
The hovering notes caress the night
Mellowed deep indigo ?still they play.

Departures linger. Absences do not
Deplete the tavern. They hang over the haze
As exhalations from receded shores. Soon,
Night repossesses the silence, but till dawn
The notes hold sway, smoky
Epiphanies, possessive of the hours.

This music's plaint forgives, redeems
The deafness of the world. Night turns
Homewards, sheathed in notes of solace, pleats
The broken silence of the heart.

"Sorrow is knowledge, those that know the most must mourn the deepest, the tree of knowledge is not the tree of life. "


I still love this poem as much as I first did, over 10 years ago, when I first read it. It never fades for me.

When we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.

The dew of the morning
Sunk chill on my brow--
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame;
I hear thy name spoken,
And share in its shame.

They name thee before me,
A knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes o'er me--
Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee,
Who knew thee so well--
Long, long I shall rue thee,
Too deeply to tell.

In secret we met--
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee?--
With silence and tears.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New York City

I never fell apart, because I never fell together.
-Andy Warhol

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The heart is an organ of fire.

"We die containing a richness of lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have plunged into and swum up as if rivers of wisdom, characters we have climbed into as if trees, fears we have hidden in as if caves. 

I wish for all this to be marked on by body when I am dead. I believe in such cartography - to be marked by nature, not just to label ourselves on a map like the names of rich men and women on buildings. We are communal histories, communal books. We are not owned or monogamous in our taste or experience." 

"Her life with others no longer interests him. He wants only her stalking beauty, her theatre of expressions. He wants the minute secret reflection between them, the depth of field minimal, their foreignness intimate like two pages of a closed book." 

"What he would say, he cannot say to this woman whose openness is like a wound, whose youth is not mortal yet. He cannot alter what he loves most in her, her lack of compromise, where the romance of the poems she loves still sits with ease in the real world. Outside these qualities he knows there is no order in the world." 

"Her hand touched me at the wrist. 
"If I gave you my life, you would drop it. Wouldn't you?" 

I didn't say anything." 
-Michael Ondaatje

October 27, 2009

Sorrow is a macabre thing.  It involves the dying of you and the evolution of you.  To rise splendid and untouched from such a trial is something few can do.  It's weight can break you.  Empty and fill you at once.  Sorrow seems to swallow whole these days.  It leaves me dried and so confused.  Incorrigible suffering over something you fought so desperately to love.  

I want out.  I want out of this cage, whose walls I built.  I cannot go along blind and undeciding.  You had my trust and my faith.  And you smashed it.  Again and again.  

"I carry your heart with me, I carry it in my heart"...
And for that, I must let you go.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The room was cold with rain.

"I am terrified by this dark thing
That sleeps in me;
All day I feel its soft, feathery turnings, its malignity.

Clouds pass and disperse.
Are those the faces of love, those pale irretrievables?
Is it for such I agitate my heart?

I am incapable of more knowledge.
What is this, this face
So murderous in its strangle of branches? -

Its snaky acids kiss.
It petrifies the will. These are the isolate, slow faults
That kill, that kill, that kill.”
-Sylvia Plath

Jason Schwartzman

Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill Passes In The Senate

There are some crimes that are so monstrous that they leave an indelible stain on the national conscience. The savage killing of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming back in 1998 was one. Shepard a 21-year-old gay college student, made the fatal mistake of accepting a ride with two men he'd met at a bar.

The men kidnapped Shepard, pistol whipped him, tortured him and left him for dead at a Laramie ranch. They strung the dying young man to a fence in frigid temperatures, where he was later discovered by someone who at first thought he was a scarecrow. Shepard later died from his injuries.

The authorities theorized that Shepard's killers set out at first to rob him. But, after learning he was gay, they decided to teach him a lesson.

The murder was a defining moment in the struggle for gay rights.

You might even say that Shepard was the gay movement's Emmett Till — the 14-year-old Chicago boy who was killed and mutilated in Mississippi in 1955, ostensibly for whistling at a white woman.

In both cases, we as a nation got an up close and personal look at the sickness that intense hatred and prejudice wreaks — a hatred based on someone else's perceived otherness, be it the color of their skin, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation. It is a hatred that fuels a violence that terrorizes not only the victim, but others who may share similar characteristics.

After Shepard's murder, here were calls to expand federal hate crimes legislation to include those who are victims of violent crimes because of their sexual orientation.

Now, 11 years after Shepard's murder, Congress has finally done the right thing.

Not surprisingly, there are those misguided individuals who view the Matthew Shepard Act as a plot to spread homosexuality.

"It's part of a radical social agenda that ultimately could silence Christians and use the force of government to marginalize anyone whose faith is at odds with homosexuality," says Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.

Let's be clear. There is nothing in the law that impinges on anyone's free speech.

Those who want to preach against the evils of gay marriage may continue to do so. The law applies only to the commission of violent acts—not to speech.

There have been more than 118,000 hate crimes documented by the FBI since 1991. In 2007 alone there were 7,634. It's estimated that 16 percent of victims were targeted because of their sexual orientation.

There is no question this law has been a long-time coming. "It was nearly 11 years ago that Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered," said Nancy Pelosi D-San Francisco. "The time for debate is over."


Addio del passato– "So closes my sad story"

Karan, Nellie, Dara, and I went to see Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata at the Victoria Theatre over the weekend. Karan and I's first opera experience, we were swept away.

The beauty of a book

Maybe I'll just sit here and bleed at you.

The sun, whose rays
Are all ablaze
With ever-living glory,
Does not deny
His majesty
He scorns to tell a story!
He don't exclaim,
"I blush for shame, So kindly be indulgent."
But, fierce and bold,
In fiery gold, He glories all effulgent!

I mean to rule the earth,
As he the sky
We really know our worth,
The sun and I!
I mean to rule the earth,
As he the sky
We really know our worth,
The sun and I!
Observe his flame,
That placid dame,
The moon's Celestial Highness;
There's not a trace
Upon her face
Of diffidence or shyness:
She borrows light
That, through the night,
Mankind may all acclaim her!
And, truth to tell,
She lights up well,
So I, for one, don't blame her!
Ah, pray make no mistake,
We are not shy;
We're very wide awake,
The moon and I!
Ah, pray make no mistake,
We are not shy;
We're very wide awake,
The moon and I!
-W.S. Gilbert

The Brothers Bloom

"This was a story about a girl who could find infinite beauty in anything, any little thing, and even love the person she was trapped with. And i told myself this story until it became true. Now, did doing this help me escape a wasted life? Or did it blind me so I didn't want to escape it? I don't know, but either way I was the one telling my own story..."

Friday, October 23, 2009


In sealed box cars travel
names across the land,
and how far they will travel so,
and will they ever get out,
don't ask, I won't say, I don't know.

The name Nathan strikes fist against wall,
the name Isaac, demented, sings,
the name Sarah calls out for water for
the name Aaron that's dying of thirst.

Don't jump while it's moving, name David.
You're a name that dooms to defeat,
given to no one, and homeless,
too heavy to bear in this land.

Let your son have a Slavic name,
for here they count hairs on the head,
for here they tell good from evil
by names and by eyelids' shape.

Don't jump while it's moving. Your son will be Lech.
Don't jump while it's moving. Not time yet.
Don't jump. The night echoes like laughter
mocking clatter of wheels upon tracks.

A cloud made of people moved over the land,
a big cloud gives a small rain, one tear,
a small rain—one tear, a dry season.
Tracks lead off into black forest.

Cor-rect, cor-rect clicks the wheel. Gladeless forest.
Cor-rect, cor-rect. Through the forest a convoy of clamors.
Cor-rect, cor-rect. Awakened in the night I hear
cor-rect, cor-rect, crash of silence on silence.
-Wislawa Szymborska

may my heart always be open to little birds who are the secrets of living

pulling all the sky over him with one smile

Thursday, October 22, 2009

the best thing I have seen

Here she comes again
With her eyes like a flame
Carrying that silk like skin.

All I want to do
Is dance with you.
-Ray Lamontagne

It's a global industry, and for some reason the world puts up with it.

I don't feel like I can change the world.  I don 't even try.  I only want to change this small life that I see standing in front of me, which is suffering.  I want to change this small real thing that is the destiny of one little girl.  And then another, and another, because if I didn't, I wouldn't be able to live with myself or sleep at night.
-Somaly Mam, former sex salve; now a human rights activist and mother of over 4,000 rescued sex trafficking victims.

language, came into my roots, out of the earth. I was seed again.

Were both frost and fire, it's chords flamed
up to the crown of me.

"living a life" the poem begins
"--the beauty of deep lines
dug in your cheeks"
and ends
"you pick out
your own song from the uproar,
line by line
and at last throw back 
your head and sing it."
-Denise Levertov

In the muscle, you

"A bruise, blue

in the muscle, you

impinge upon me.

As bone hugs the ache home, so

I'm vexed to love you, your body

the shape of returns, your hair a torso

of light, your heat

I'd eat, each moment

of that soft-finned fruit,

inverted fountain in which I don't see me."

— Li-Young Lee

500 Days of Summer

Just because she's likes the same bizzaro crap you do doesn't mean she's your soul mate. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"I'm afraid you've thought me a bigger fool than I am."

"I had no illusions about you," he said. "I knew you were silly and frivolous and empty-headed. But I loved you. I knew that your aims and ideals were vulgar and commonplace. But I loved you. I knew that you were second-rate. But I loved you. It's comic when I think how hard I tried to be amused by the things that amused you and how anxious I was to hide from you that I wasn't ignorant and vulgar and scandal-mongering and stupid. I knew how frightened you were of intelligence and I did everything I could to make you think me as big a fool as the rest of the men you knew. I knew that you'd only married me for convenience. I loved you so much, I didn't care." -Somerset Maugham (The Painted Veil)

Monday, October 19, 2009

To have a wife who has a mind is considered not quite proper. To have a wife with a literary reputation nothing short of scandalous.

"Swifts, on a fine morning in May. Flying this way, that way, sailing around at a great height, perfectly happily. Then - one leaps onto the back of another, grasps tightly and forgetting to fly they both sink down and down, in a great dying fall, fathom after fathom, until the female utters a piercing cry...of ecstasy."

La petite marchande d'allumettes

While at the Surrealist exhibit this weekend, I watched the film "The Little Match Girl" by Jean Renoir. It is only 33 min. long, but holds the power of a full film, with more poignancy than almost all of the rubbish we go see each weekend at the movies. Try to find it online if you can, it is worth the watching. The final scene with the soldier and the match girl is so sad and so beautiful. I watched it twice. :)


“I just run. I run in a void. Or maybe I should put it the other way: I run in order to acquire a void…”

Of Human Bondage

"It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it; but the young know they are wretched for they are full of the truthless ideal which have been instilled into them, and each time they come in contact with the real, they are bruised and wounded. It looks as if they were victims of a conspiracy; for the books they read, ideal by the necessity of selection, and the conversation of their elders, who look back upon the past through a rosy haze of forgetfulness, prepare them for an unreal life. They must discover for themselves that all they have read and all they have been told are lies, lies, lies; and each discovery is another nail driven into the body on the cross of life." -W. Somerset Maugham

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Surrealist Photography

I went to the Twilight Surrealism exhibit at the Frist Center for the Arts in Nashville, TN. over the weekend while Karan recorded his album. I spent over 3 hours there wandering around, looking at each wall, each piece, over and over again. It specifically featured the photography and films of the originating Parisian Surrealist influence. It was five rooms of heaven. Man Ray's photography was the predominate feature. Being one of my favorite Surrealist artists, seeing all his Paris-inspired work was wonderful.

Rebirth in water

An uprising
Breaks like a wrist
I feel it swelling
Infected blind kiss
You say I lost my nerve
That the poems drank it out
You say I should know better
I believe you're right.
Fragility, the bend of twig
I am on a borderline
Of effacement.
I should know to plant myself
To ripen and age with the animals
Stygian, a stone burnished
In a river I speak.
I spill
I take in arms
Blistered and callous anamnesis
I refuse to wash
I emerge from the earth.
Command of the mud
His little rocks
Stuck in my thighs
That pricking morality
That undeserved religion
Rising, rising,
Thick acrimonious root
I am
Still covered in slugs.

Friday, October 16, 2009

"These words are razors to my wounded heart".

Titus Andronicus

"Sorrow concealed, like an oven stopp'd,
Doth burn the heart to cinders where it is."

Botticelli's, Queen of Heaven

in the deep

"My cousins told me the water was bottomless, and so I hugged the shore and learned to swim in the Lapeer library instead, suspecting already exactly what the limitless meant. Ever after I knew all the haunted shades of meaning that were captive in other people's words. And for that they called me mad."
-Theresa Duncan

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My life has been the poem I would have writ
But I could not both live and utter it.
-Henry David Thoreau

Monday, October 12, 2009

Russian human rights activist murdered.

Read this:

"Natalia was one of those remarkable people whom reporters depend on in every ominous corner of the world: the human-rights activists who know so much, and who give completely of themselves, with little thought to their security. They are the ones who reap no glory or profit; they are the ones for whom the violence and corruption is not a “story” but the center of their lives. Natalia did her work for Memorial, a human-rights group that began during the Gorbachev years. It started out intending to unearth the buried facts of the Stalin era. Now it concentrates largely on the present tense.

It is a horrible event, and yet it is just the latest of many outrages against Russians devoted to truth-telling. Each time, the reaction is the same: the howls of anger, the dramatic funeral, the icy indifference of the Russian government, and a prolonged investigation and a trial scripted by Dostoyevsky."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sylvia Plath paper doll

Comes complete with cigarette, bell jar, typewriter, and stove (ugh).

A Collection of Poets





National Poetry Day Party! (with myself)

Today is National Poetry Day and to celebrate I thought I would break the monotony and post a poem!
Oh wait. That's essentially all I post. Ok, well here's another:

The Thread by Denise Levertov
Something is very gently,
invisibly, silently,
pulling at me-a thread
or net of threads
finer than cobweb and as
elastic. I haven't tried
the strength of it. No barbed hook
pierced and tore me. Was it
not long ago this thread
began to draw me? Or
way back? Was I
born with its knot about my
neck, a bridle? Not fear
but a stirring
of wonder makes me
catch my breath when I feel
the tug of it when I thought
it had loosened itself and gone.

"It is amazing how America forgets its history. We are a country started upon revolution. We were once the "terrorists". We were oppressed by the world powers at the time and we rose up and won our freedom. Now we are the oppressors. Now only with more accessible propaganda at its disposal. War is for money, power, and land. I support those domestic and abroad who are against this tyranny. The best way to overcome this horrendous chapter of history is by peaceful protest and letting the people know the truth. If this does not prevail I fear for those in power. Because the people will rise again. One way or another."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A dark poem for a darker night

"I turned silences and nights into words. What was unutterable, I wrote down. I made the whirling world stand still." -Rimbaud

I shall not let the arteries

aggrandize for you any longer

battalions of fury

slash away through me

I cannot reach the way out.

These are hard times for dreamers.

"Everything had changed suddenly--the tone, the moral climate; you didn't know what to think, whom to listen to. As if all your life you had been led by the hand like a small child and suddenly you were on your own, you had to learn to walk by yourself. There was no one around, neither family nor people whose judgment you respected. At such a time you felt the need of committing yourself to something absolute--life or truth or beauty--of being ruled by it in place of the man-made rules that had been discarded. You needed to surrender to some such ultimate purpose more fully, more unreservedly than you had ever done in the old familiar, peaceful days, in the old life that was now abolished and gone for good."
-Boris Pasternak

Jane Eyre

Me and my books.

John Keats, Bright Star

Jane Campion directed "Bright Star"-- a film about John Keats. Of course, Nellie, Karan, and I went opening night. Ben Whishaw played a gorgeously tormented/insecure/brilliant Keats and Abby Cornish surprised me with her remarkably riveting portrayal of Fanny Brawne.

I could elucidate on the many beauties and cinematic brilliance this film contains, but I suggest you just go see it for yourself.

The film is the perfect.