Thursday, August 31, 2017


With women, I’ve got a long bamboo pole with a leather loop on the end. I slip the loop around their necks so they can’t get away or come too close. Like catching snakes.


If we choose to walk into a forest where a tiger lives, we are taking a chance. If we swim in a river where crocodiles live, we are taking a chance. If we visit the desert or climb a mountain or enter a swamp where snakes have managed to survive, we are taking a chance.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Landmarks and Surface Markings of the Human Body

Diagram painted on photo of leg, 1913
Ōno Kazuo.


A man’s bookcase will tell you everything you’ll ever need to know about him.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


I sometimes feel that every sentence contains a ghostly commentary on its own processes.

Monday, August 28, 2017


David Plunkert, 2017
CHARLES BUKOWSKI from “Portion of a Wine-Stained Notebook”

There are many out there who have never been on a 7:30 am freeway or punched a timeclock or even had a job and don’t intend to, can’t, won’t, will die first rather than live the common way. In a sense, each of them is a genius in his or her way, fighting against the obvious, swimming upstream, going mad, getting on pot, wine, whiskey, art, suicide, anything but the common equation.

It will be some time before they even us out and make us say quits.

When you see that city hall downtown and all those proper precious people, don’t get melancholy. There is a whole tide, a whole race of made people, starving, drunk, goofy, and miraculous. I have seen many of them. I’m one of them. There will be more. This city has not yet been taken. Death before death is sickening. The strange ones will hold, the war will continue. Thank you.

Saturday, August 26, 2017


Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Columbia student flashes the peace sign after being beaten by riot police at an antiwar demonstration, April 1968.
JOHN FOWLES from The Magus

“The human race is unimportant. It is the self that must not be betrayed.“

“I suppose one could say that Hitler didn’t betray his self.”

“You are right. He did not. But millions of Germans did betray their selves. That was the tragedy. Not that one man had the courage to be evil. But that millions had not the courage to be good.”

Thursday, August 24, 2017

ANTHONY DOERR from All The Light We Cannot See

Here’s what I mean by the miracle of language. When you’re falling into a good book, exactly as you might fall into a dream, a little conduit opens, a passageway between a reader’s heart and a writer’s, a connection that transcends the barriers of continents and generations and even death … And here’s the magic. You’re different. You can never go back to being exactly the same person you were before you disappeared into that book.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


Haikal Noyes, 2009

CHÖGYAM TRUNGPA from The Hazy Moon of Enlightenment

Zen has been the vanguard of buddhadharma, and it remains genuine and powerful. Its simplicity and uncompromising style have caused Western minds to shed their complexities and confused ideology. It has been remarkable to see Western students of Zen giving up their territory of ego purely by sitting, which is the genuine style of Shakyamuni Buddha.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Greta Garbo in LOVE
Edmund Goulding - USA - 1927

EDMUND WHITE from Our Young Man

Guy believed everything in sex should be done slowly so as not to scare the wildlife and to ensure his own natural grace and poise.

Monday, August 21, 2017

GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ from “The Cataclysm of Damocles”

Since the appearance of visible life on Earth, 380 million years had to elapse in order for a butterfly to learn how to fly; 180 million years to create a rose with no other commitment than to be beautiful; and four geological eras in order for us human beings to be able to sing better than birds, and to be able to die from love.

It is not honorable for the human talent, in the golden age of science, to have conceived the way for such an ancient and colossal process to return to the nothingness from which it came through the simple act of pushing a button.

Sunday, August 20, 2017


Youths are passed through schools that don’t teach, then forced to search for jobs that don’t exist, and finally left stranded in the street to stare at the glamorous lives advertised around them.

Saturday, August 19, 2017


Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.

Friday, August 18, 2017


Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, ‘Dear Jim: I loved your card.’ Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, 'Jim loved your card so much he ate it.’ That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Daily Tribune, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, April 12, 1961.


I’ve always supported the radical fairy types, being quite bottom-y myself, and somewhat femme, especially in my youth, because they usually take the brunt of the disapproval from both sides—from both the heteronormative and homonormative sides. Fucking around with gender will also probably be one of those things that’s never truly accepted by the basic bitches of the world.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Samuel Fuller.


Robert Mapplethorpe - 1979 - Alan Lynes
JOHN CHEEVER on his memories of e. e. cummings

I was in doubt that I could make something of myself as a writer until I met two people who were very important to me: one was Gaston Lachaise and the other was E. E. Cummings.

Cummings I loved, and I love his memory. He did a wonderful imitation of a wood-burning locomotive going from Tiflis to Minsk. He could hear a pin falling in soft dirt at the distance of three miles.

Do you remember the story of Cummings’s death? It was September, hot, and Cummings was cutting kindling in the back of his house in New Hampshire. He was sixty-six or -seven or something like that. Marion, his wife, leaned out the window and asked, ‘Cummings, isn’t it frightfully hot to be chopping wood?’ He said, ‘I’m going to stop now, but I’m going to sharpen the ax before I put it up, dear.’ Those were the last words he spoke.

At his funeral Marianne Moore gave the eulogy. Marion Cummings had enormous eyes. You could make a place in a book with them. She smoked cigarettes as though they were heavy, and she wore a dark dress with a cigarette hole in it.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Man is not amused with you nazi pieces of pigshit.
JAMES MERRILL - "The Black Swan"

The central hollowness is that pure winter
That does not change but is
Always brilliant ice and air.

Sunday, August 13, 2017


Ralf Mohr, 2003
ADRIENNE RICH - "Cartographies of Silence"


A conversation begins
with a lie. And each

speaker of the so-called common language feels
the ice-floe split, the drift apart

as if powerless, as if up against
a force of nature

A poem can begin
with a lie. And be torn up.

A conversation has other laws
recharges itself with its own

false energy. Cannot be torn
up. Infiltrates our blood. Repeats itself.

Inscribes with its unreturning stylus
the isolation it denies.


The classical music station
playing hour upon hour in the apartment

the picking up and picking up
and again picking up the telephone

the syllables uttering
the old script over and over

The loneliness of the liar
living in the formal network of the lie

twisting the dials to drown the terror
beneath the unsaid word


The technology of science
The rituals, the etiquette

the blurring of terms
silence not absence

of words or music or even
raw sounds

Silence can be a plan
rigorously executed

the blueprint to a life

It is a presence
it has a history a form

Do not confuse it
with any kind of absence


How calm, how inoffensive these words
begin to seem to me

though begun in grief and anger
Can I break through this film of the abstract

without wounding myself or you
there is enough pain here

This is why the classical or the jazz music station plays?
to give a ground of meaning to our pain?


The silence that strips bare:
In Dreyer’s Passion of Joan

Falconetti’s face, hair shorn, a great geography
mutely surveyed by the camera

If there were a poetry where this could happen
not as blank spaces or as words

stretched like skin over meanings
but as silence falls at the end

of a night through which two people
have talked till dawn


The scream
of an illegitimate voice

It has ceased to hear itself, therefore
it asks itself

How do I exist?

This was the silence I wanted to break in you
I had questions but you would not answer

I had answers but you could not use them
This is useless to you and perhaps to others


It was an old theme even for me:
Language cannot do everything–

chalk it on the walls where the dead poets
lie in their mausoleums

If at the will of the poet the poem
could turn into a thing

a granite flank laid bare, a lifted head
alight with dew

It if could simply look you in the face
with naked eyeballs, not letting you turn

till you, and I who long to make this thing,
were finally clarified together in its stare


No. Let me have this dust,
these pale clouds dourly lingering, these words

moving with ferocious accuracy
like the blind child’s fingers

or the newborn infant’s mouth
violent with hunger

No one can give me, I have long ago
taken this method

whether of bran pouring from the loose-woven sack
or of the bunsen-flame turned low and blue

If from time to time I envy
the pure annunciations to the eye

the visio beatifica
if from time to time I long to turn

like the Eleusinian hierophant
holding up a simple ear of grain

for the return to the concrete and everlasting world
what in fact I keep choosing

are these words, these whispers, these conversations
from which time after time the truth breaks moist and green

Saturday, August 12, 2017


When marrying, ask yourself this question: Do you believe that you will be able to converse well with this person into your old age? Everything else in marriage is transitory.

Conrad Veidt from THE MAN WHO LAUGHS - Paul Leni, 1928

Friday, August 11, 2017


A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

MAYA ANGELOU - “Contemporary Announcement”

Ring the big bells,
cook the cow,
put on your silver locket.
The landlord is knocking at the door
and I’ve got the rent in my pocket.

Douse the lights,
hold your breath,
take my heart in your hand.
I lost my job two weeks ago
and rent day’s here again.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


Elmer Bischoff - 1955
Richard Clifton-Dey
CARL SAGAN from The Meaning of Life

We humans are one among millions of separate species who live in a world burgeoning, overflowing with life. And yet, most species that ever were are no more. After flourishing for one hundred fifty million years, the dinosaurs became extinct. Every last one. No species is guaranteed its tenure on this planet. And humans, the first beings to devise the means for their own destruction, have been here for only several million years.

The hard truth seems to be this: We live in a vast and awesome universe in which, daily, suns are made and worlds destroyed, where humanity clings to an obscure clod of rock. The significance of our lives and our fragile realm derives from our own wisdom and courage. We are the custodians of life’s meaning. We would prefer it to be otherwise, of course, but there is no compelling evidence for a cosmic Parent who will care for us and save us from ourselves. It is up to us.

That turtle has been waiting 6023 years for a little fucking respect.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

JAMES JOYCE from Ulysses

There are sins or (let us call them as the world calls them) evil memories which are hidden away by man in the darkest places of the heart but they abide there and wait. He may suffer their memory to grow dim, let them be as though they had not been and all but persuade himself that they were not or at least were otherwise. Yet a chance word will call them forth suddenly and they will rise up to confront him in the most various circumstances, a vision or a dream, or while timbrel and harp soothe his senses or amid the cool silver tranquility of the evening or at the feast at midnight when he is now filled with wine. Not to insult over him will the vision come as over one that lies under her wrath, not for vengeance to cut off from the living but shrouded in the piteous vesture of the past, silent, remote, reproachful.

Monday, August 7, 2017

HAROLD PINTER from No Man's Land

Well, there’s me too, now. I’m another one of your new friends. I’m your newest new friend. Not him. Not Briggs. He’s nobody’s fucking friend. People tend to be a little wary of Briggs. They balk at giving him their all. But me they like at first sight.

Sunday, August 6, 2017


Haunched like a faun, he hooed
From grove of moon-glint and fen-frost
Until all owls in the twigged forest
Flapped black to look and brood
On the call this man made.

No sound but a drunken coot
Lurching home along the river bank.
Stars hung water-sunk, so a rank
Of double star-eyes lit
Boughs where those owls sat.

An arena of yellow eyes
Watched the changing shape he cut,
Saw hoof harden from foot, saw sprout
Goat-horns. Marked how god rose
And galloped woodward in that guise.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

NĀGĀRJUNA - "The Heart of Dependent Origination"

These different links, twelve in number,
Which Buddha taught as dependent origination,
Can be summarized in three categories:
Mental afflictions, karma and suffering.

The first, eighth and ninth are afflictions,
The second and tenth are karma,
The remaining seven are suffering.
Thus the twelve links are grouped in three.

From the three the two originate,
And from the two the seven come,
From seven the three come once again—
Thus the wheel of existence turns and turns.

All beings consist of causes and effects,
In which there is no ‘sentient being’ at all.
From phenomena which are exclusively empty,
There arise only empty phenomena.
All things are devoid of any ‘I’ or ‘mine’.

Like a recitation, a candle, a mirror, a seal,
A magnifying glass, a seed, sourness, or a sound,
So also with the continuation of the aggregates—
The wise should know they are not transferred.

Then, as for extremely subtle entities,
Those who regard them with nihilism,
Lacking precise and thorough knowledge,
Will not see the actuality of conditioned arising.

In this, there is not a thing to be removed,
Nor the slightest thing to be added.
It is looking perfectly into reality itself,
And when reality is seen, complete liberation.

Friday, August 4, 2017

THOMAS BERNHARD from Gargoyles

Everyone, he went on, speaks a language he does not understand, but which now and then is understood by others. That is enough to permit one to exist and at least to be misunderstood.

Thursday, August 3, 2017


A man’s bookcase will tell you everything you’ll ever need to know about him.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


And having heard, or more probably read somewhere, in the days when I thought I would be well advised to educate myself, or amuse myself, or stupefy myself, or kill time, that when a man in a forest thinks he is going forward in a straight line, in reality he is going in a circle, I did my best to go in a circle, hoping in this way to go in a straight line.
Jim Hunter, 2013

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


Since most Negro writers from Chesnutt to Leroi Jones have found it hard to make a literary living, or to derive from other labor sufficient funds to sustain creative leisure, their individual output has of necessity often been limited in quantity, and sometimes in depth and quality as well - since Negroes seldom have time to loaf and invite their souls. When a man or woman must teach all day in a crowded school, or type in an office, or write news stories, read proofs and help edit a newspaper, creative prose does not always flow brilliantly or freely at night, or during that early morning hour torn from sleep before leaving for work.

Yet some people ask, “Why aren’t there more Negro writers?” Or, “Why doesn’t Owen Dodson produce more books?” Or “how come So-and-So takes so long to complete his second novel”? I can tell you why. So-and-So hasn’t got the money. Unlike most promising white writers, he has never sold a single word to motion pictures, television, or radio. He has never been asked to write a single well-playing soap commercial. He is not in touch with the peripheral sources of literary income that enable others more fortunate to take a year off and go somewhere and write.

Good thing White Adam and White Eve had a White Paul Mitchell beauty salon right there in the White Garden of Eden.