In every man sleeps a prophet, and when he wakes there is a little more evil in the world.
Monday, August 31, 2020
Sunday, August 30, 2020
Saturday, August 29, 2020
Perhaps I had invented him, I mean found him ready made in my head. There is no doubt one sometimes meets with strangers who are not entire strangers, through their having played a part in certain cerebral reels.
Friday, August 28, 2020
O soft embalmer of the still midnight!
Shutting with careful fingers and benign
Our gloom-pleased eyes, embower’d from the light,
Enshaded in forgetfulness divine;
O soothest Sleep! if so it please thee, close,
In midst of this thine hymn, my willing eyes,
Or wait the amen, ere thy poppy throws
Around my bed its lulling charities;
Then save me, or the passèd day will shine
Upon my pillow, breeding many woes;
Save me from curious conscience, that still lords
Its strength for darkness, burrowing like a mole;
Turn the key deftly in the oilèd wards,
And seal the hushèd casket of my soul.
Thursday, August 27, 2020
To gaze at the river made of time and water
And recall that time itself is another river,
To know we cease to be, just like the river,
And that our faces pass away, just like the water.
To feel that waking is another sleep
That dreams it does not sleep and that death,
Which our flesh dreads, is that very death
Of every night, which we call sleep.
To see in the day or in the year a symbol
Of mankind’s days and of his years,
To transform the outrage of the years
Into a music, a rumor and a symbol,
To see in death a sleep, and in the sunset
A sad gold, of such is Poetry
Immortal and a pauper. For Poetry
Returns like the dawn and the sunset.
At times in the afternoons a face
Looks at us from the depths of a mirror;
Art must be like that mirror
That reveals to us this face of ours.
They tell how Ulysses, glutted with wonders,
Wept with love to descry his Ithaca
Humble and green. Art is that Ithaca
Of green eternity, not of wonders.
It is also like an endless river
That passes and remains, a mirror for one same
Inconstant Heraclitus, who is the same
And another, like an endless river.
Harold Moreland translation
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Life and death are nothing but the mind. Years, months, days, and hours are nothing but the mind. Dreams, illusions, and mirages are nothing but the mind. The bubbles of water and the flames of fire are nothing but the mind. The flowers of the spring and the moon of the autumn are nothing but the mind. Confusions and dangers are nothing but the mind.
CURRY & KIMCHI
Flavor Secrets for Creating 70 Asian-Inspired Recipes at Home
Unmi Abkin & Roger Taylor
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God
His whole body was completely still, except the wings, which were still fluttering a little, like when someone dies. That’s when he finally understood that of all the things the angel had told him, nothing was true. That he wasn’t even an angel, just a liar with wings.
Monday, August 24, 2020
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it, don’t wait for it, just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good hot black coffee.
Sunday, August 23, 2020
The Einstein Intersection
“What are you doing here?” I asked her at last.
“Probably the same thing you are.”
She looked serious. “Why don’t you tell me?”
I went back to my knife. “Sharpening my machete.”
“I’m sharpening my mind,” she said. “There is something to be done that will require an edge on both.”
Saturday, August 22, 2020
A Boy’s Own Story
For the real movements of a life are gradual, then sudden; they resist becoming anecdotes, they pulse like quasars from long-dead stars to reach the vivid planet of the present, they drift like fog over the ship until the spread sails are merely panels of gray in grayer air and surround becomes object, as in those perceptual tests where figure and ground reverse, the kissing couple in profile turn into the outlines of the mortuary urn that holds their own ashes. Time wears down resolve–then suddenly violence, something irrevocable flashes out of nowhere, there are thrashing fins and roiled, blood-streaked water, death floats up on its side, eyes bulging.
Friday, August 21, 2020
My goal is simple. It is complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is, and why it exists at all.
Thursday, August 20, 2020
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Monday, August 17, 2020
Saturday, August 15, 2020
Watch wound and buried by the watchmaker, before he died, whose ruined works will one day speak of God, to the worms.
Friday, August 14, 2020
Thursday, August 13, 2020
“To Brooklyn Bridge”
How many dawns, chill from his rippling rest
The seagull’s wings shall dip and pivot him,
Shedding white rings of tumult, building high
Over the chained bay waters Liberty—
Then, with inviolate curve, forsake our eyes
As apparitional as sails that cross
Some page of figures to be filed away;
—Till elevators drop us from our day …
I think of cinemas, panoramic sleights
With multitudes bent toward some flashing scene
Never disclosed, but hastened to again,
Foretold to other eyes on the same screen;
And Thee, across the harbor, silver-paced
As though the sun took step of thee, yet left
Some motion ever unspent in thy stride,—
Implicitly thy freedom staying thee!
Out of some subway scuttle, cell or loft
A bedlamite speeds to thy parapets,
Tilting there momently, shrill shirt ballooning,
A jest falls from the speechless caravan.
Down Wall, from girder into street noon leaks,
A rip-tooth of the sky’s acetylene;
All afternoon the cloud-flown derricks turn …
Thy cables breathe the North Atlantic still.
And obscure as that heaven of the Jews,
Thy guerdon … Accolade thou dost bestow
Of anonymity time cannot raise:
Vibrant reprieve and pardon thou dost show.
O harp and altar, of the fury fused,
(How could mere toil align thy choiring strings!)
Terrific threshold of the prophet’s pledge,
Prayer of pariah, and the lover’s cry,—
Again the traffic lights that skim thy swift
Unfractioned idiom, immaculate sigh of stars,
Beading thy path—condense eternity:
And we have seen night lifted in thine arms.
Under thy shadow by the piers I waited;
Only in darkness is thy shadow clear.
The City’s fiery parcels all undone,
Already snow submerges an iron year …
O Sleepless as the river under thee,
Vaulting the sea, the prairies’ dreaming sod,
Unto us lowliest sometime sweep, descend
And of the curveship lend a myth to God.
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Monday, August 10, 2020
[”My husband is useless”]
My husband is useless, Sisters. He gambles
All day long, goes berserk
When I complain. It is embarrassing
Even to talk about it. To settle his debts,
I’ll have to sell four or five baskets
Of threshed rice, kilos of cotton.
We’ll eat less. This bitter berry
I’ll suck without complaints, lest everyone laughs.
Confucian-trained, yet I live with a fool.
A dragon in a pool of mud.
A smart wife with a stupid husband.
Sunday, August 9, 2020
W. S. MERWIN
“For a Coming Extinction”
Now that we are sending you to The End
That great god
That we who follow you invented forgiveness
And forgive nothing
I write as though you could understand
And I could say it
One must always pretend something
Among the dying
When you have left the seas nodding on their stalks
Empty of you
Tell him that we were made
On another day
The bewilderment will diminish like an echo
Winding along your inner mountains
Unheard by us
And find its way out
Leaving behind it the future
When you will not see again
The whale calves trying the light
Consider what you will find in the black garden
And its court
The sea cows the Great Auks the gorillas
The irreplaceable hosts ranged countless
And foreordaining as stars
Join your word to theirs
That it is we who are important
Saturday, August 8, 2020
“Alone and Drinking Under the Moon”
Amongst the flowers I
am alone with my pot of wine
drinking by myself; then lifting
my cup I asked the moon
to drink with me, its reflection
and mine in the wine cup, just
the three of us; then I sigh
for the moon cannot drink,
and my shadow goes emptily along
with me never saying a word;
with no other friends here, I can
but use these two for company;
in the time of happiness, I
too must be happy with all
around me; I sit and sing
and it is as if the moon
accompanies me; then if I
dance, it is my shadow that
dances along with me; while
still not drunk, I am glad
to make the moon and my shadow
into friends, but then when
I have drunk too much, we
all part; yet these are
friends I can always count on
these who have no emotion
whatsoever; I hope that one day
we three will meet again,
deep in the Milky Way.
Friday, August 7, 2020
Thursday, August 6, 2020
There is no real direction here, neither lines of power nor cooperation. Decisions are never really made — at best they manage to emerge, from a chaos of peeves, whims, hallucinations and all around assholery.
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
“Letter to Borges”
On the 10th anniversary of the death of Jorge Luis Borges, the late Susan Sontag revisited her admiration for his work and the enormity of his cultural legacy in a short and beautiful essay titled “Letter to Borges,” penned on June 13, 1996, included in her 2001 collection WHERE THE STRESS FALLS: ESSAYS.
You were very much the product of your time, your culture, and yet you knew how to transcend your time, your culture, in ways that seem quite magical. This had something to do with the openness and generosity of your attention. You were the least egocentric, the most transparent of writers, as well as the most artful. It also had something to do with a natural purity of spirit.
The serenity and the transcendence of self that you found are to me exemplary. You showed that it is not necessary to be unhappy, even while one is clear-eyed and undeluded about how terrible everything is. Somewhere you said that a writer — delicately you added: all persons — must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. (You were speaking of your blindness.)
Books are not only the arbitrary sum of our dreams, and our memory. They also give us the model of self-transcendence. Some people think of reading only as a kind of escape: an escape from the “real” everyday world to an imaginary world, the world of books. Books are much more. They are a way of being fully human.
I’m sorry to have to tell you that books are now considered an endangered species. By books, I also mean the conditions of reading that make possible literature and its soul effects. Soon, we are told, we will call up on “bookscreens” any “text” on demand, and will be able to change its appearance, ask questions of it, “interact” with it. When books become “texts” that we “interact” with according to criteria of utility, the written word will have become simply another aspect of our advertising-driven televisual reality. This is the glorious future being created, and promised to us, as something more “democratic.” Of course, it means nothing less than the death of inwardness — and of the book.
Dear Borges, please understand that it gives me no satisfaction to complain. But to whom could such complaints about the fate of books— of reading itself— be better addressed than to you? (Borges, it’s ten years!) All I mean to say is that we miss you. I miss you. You continue to make a difference. The era we are entering now, this twenty-first century, will test the soul in new ways. But, you can be sure, some of us are not going to abandon the Great Library. And you will continue to be our patron and our hero.
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Monday, August 3, 2020
Sunday, August 2, 2020
Saturday, August 1, 2020
From Roman Poems
The fury of confession, at first,
then the fury of clarity:
It was from you, Death, that such hypocritical
obscure feeling was born! And now
let them accuse me of every passion,
let them bad-mouth me, let them say I’m deformed,
impure, obsessed, a dilettante, a perjurer.
You isolate me, you give me the certainty of life,
I’m on the stake. I play the card of fire
and I win this little, immense goodness of mine.
I can do it, for I have suffered you too much!
I return to you as an émigré returns
to his own country and rediscovers it:
I made a fortune (in the intellect)
and I’m happy, as I once was,
destitute of any norm,
a black rage of poetry in my breast.
A crazy old-age youth.
Once your joy was confused with terror,
it’s true, and now almost with other joy,
livid and arid, my passion deluded.
Now you really frighten me,
for you are truly close to me,
part of my angry state, of obscure hunger,
of the anxiety almost of a new being.