Tonight, instead of meeting up with the lovely miss professionallush and going to a friend’s birthday party at a lounge in the East Village, I am in bed, bent double with cramps, lying under the twinkle lights Ben hung over our windows today. Otherwise, I am in the tub, with my depressing book about parents dying that makes me feel like sleeping for fifty years. I am teary and tired and feeling awful, as I always do when I have to cancel plans.
“And it has been
of a year.
I have worn
under my sleeves,
on my thighs,
running down my cheeks.
This is what
looks like, my dear.”—Michelle K., It Has Been One Hell of a Year. (via loveyourchaos)
“I want curious readers. But I don’t pretend to know what most readers want these days. I guess if I did I’d feel pretty uneasy about it. I remember Jane Smiley saying that if you go to the beach and chase waves breaking on the sand, you’ll never precisely match them coming in and out, step for step—so, like reading trends, why try? As a writer, you stand your ground and, eventually, a wave or two will come in and meet you on your terms.”—Wendell Mayo (via mttbll)
“When you first saw her—beauty, the dream—the human vortex of your life—or him—did you stop, and stand in the crisp air, breathing like a tree? Did you change your life?”—Mary Oliver, excerpt from Blue Pastures (Harcourt, 1995)
“Nature without shape, the universe without form.
Rubble, mistakes, lies, things thrown away.
Shapes we can only guess at. Leveled, broken,
strewn, lost. Maybe the picture on a shard
of a young goat hanging from somebody’s shoulder.
Maybe only a black triangle with white splotches
overlapping like swarms in the sky at night,
like bees looking for a new home. The shape of love
is a scattering. The meaning we resist. The world
as far as we can see random in a wind.”—Linda Gregg, "The Universe on Its Own," from Things and Flesh (Graywolf Press, 1999)
“But memory’s the cat part of my brain.
It hides in secret places when I seek it,
but whenever I lie down and close my eyes
it climbs in bed beside me, noses me,
then lays its needly paws on my shut eyelids
to make sure that I’m only playing dead.
So, instead of blowing out five dreamy candles
before they dripped wax on my chocolate cake,
then cutting a huge slice to give my girlfriend,
who clutched a pink-wrapped present whose pink ribbon
matched the ribbons in her yellow braids,
I lay in bed remembering all I’d lost:”—Richard Cecil, second strophe to “Jetlag Aubade,” from In Search of the Great Dead (Southern Illinois University Press, 1999)
“My method of packing is going through everything I own and throwing each singular thing I like in the living room on the floor next to my suitcase and then culling down from there once I look at my tiny bag and my big pile of things and want to cry.”—
“You’re not a kid anymore. You have the right to choose your own life. You can start again. If you want a cat, all you have to do is choose a life in which you can have a cat. It’s simple. It’s your right.”—Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (via theriverjordyn)
“I love you as fresh meat loves salt,” says the daughter in the English folktale “Cap o’ Rushes,” and her father banishes her from his house, domesticity cracked like an eggshell. She goes to the river to weep amidst weeds and thickets, and weaves the rushes she finds there into a long hooded cloak. So disguised, she scrubs dishes in a palace and, as fairy tale scullery maids often do, wins the prince’s heart with her humility and the grace of her pale hands moving through clouds of suds. She agrees to marry him but insists their wedding feast be cooked without salt. Her father, invited as a guest and unaware of the bride’s identity, tastes the bland meat and learns food without salt has no savor. Horrified by how much he misjudged his lost child, he weeps, and, at the sight of his tears, she unveils herself. All is forgiven; father and daughter fall into each other’s arms.
The father’s tears salt his food; the daughter’s tears are dispersed into the marsh beside the river, the wild cranberries like a red constellation around her.
“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment.”—Thich Nhat Hanh (via stepsonmysunlitfloor)
“One time I wrote a list of the Reasons Why I Love You in red ink on white receipt paper and I was going to give it to you but then we drank vodka and ate maraschino cherries on your kitchen floor and you told me something about timing and I recited one of my poems in hopes that you’d think I was deep and stop asking me why why why are you so sad.
One time you told me you loved girls who always smiled so I stitched my lips into a grin and as I sat there bleeding on the kitchen floor I wrote with red ink on dirty tile a list of the Reasons Why Things Happen in hopes that you’d come back and take it back and take me back and clean up all the broken glass.
Why why why I’m so sad is because instead of filling myself up I fill you up and it leaves me dry and angry and cracked on your kitchen floor with maraschino cherry juice running sticky down my fingers and there’s not enough ink in the world to say what I need to say.
“it’s not like it even needs to be said, nothing could be more obvious, my truest belief, but once it starts to get cold i do start to think, like, hourly, maybe, about how people who prefer “hang a shining star upon the highest bough” to “until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow” are not to be trusted.”—like, i mean: