Sunday, February 28, 2021
Saturday, February 27, 2021
Friday, February 26, 2021
Thursday, February 25, 2021
Since my youth, what was popular didn't suit me;
my basic character was love of hills and mountains.
Mistakenly, I fell into the dusty net,
and trapped, I lost all of thirty years.
A caged bird years for the ancient forest;
a fish kept in a pond will miss old waters.
I'll clear the wasteland at the southern border,
I'll stay honest and pure, and keep to the fields.
Elms and willows shade my back eaves,
peach and plum are heaped in the front hall.
The nearest hamlet is dim in the distance;
its smoke seems reluctant to leave the village.
Dogs bark from deep within the lanes;
chickens squawk through the tops of mulberry trees.
No dust swirls through my courtyard door;
empty rooms offer abundant leisure.
For so long I've felt I lived in a prison.
I am restored, content to return to nature.
Translation by Deng Ming-Dao
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Monday, February 22, 2021
There is a certain embarrassment about being a storyteller in these times when stories are considered not quite as satisfying as statements and statements not quite as satisfying as statistics; but in the long run, a people is known, not by its statements or its statistics, but by the stories it tells.”
Sunday, February 21, 2021
The heavy is the root of light.
Stillness is the ruler of agitation.
That is why the wise journey all day,
but never stray from their supply carts.
They may have glorious views,
but they pass them over
and settle themselves comfortably instead.
How can the lords of ten thousand chariots
carry themselves lightly through the world?
If they are light, they lose their roots.
If they are agitated, they lose rulership.
Saturday, February 20, 2021
Friday, February 19, 2021
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Psychological trauma is an affliction of the powerless. At the moment of trauma, the victim is rendered helpless by overwhelming force. When the force is that of nature, we speak of disasters. When the force is that of other human beings, we speak of atrocities. Traumatic events overwhelm the ordinary systems of care that give people a sense of control, connection, and meaning.
Traumatic events are extraordinary, not because they occur rarely, but rather because they overwhelm the ordinary human adaptations to life. They confront human beings with the extremities of helplessness and terror, and evoke the responses of catastrophe.
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Though frosts come down
night after night,
what does it matter?
they melt in the morning sun.
Though the snow falls
each passing year,
what does it matter?
with spring days it thaws.
Yet once let them settle
on a man’s head,
fall and pile up,
go on piling up –
then the new year
may come and go,
but never you’ll see them fade away
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
I sometimes think of what future historians will say of us. A single sentence will suffice for modern man: He fucked and read the news. After that vigorous definition, the subject will be, if I may say so, exhausted.
Monday, February 15, 2021
In the black hotel a child is asleep.
And outside: the winter night
where the wide-eyed dice roll.
An élite of the dead became stone
in Katarina Churchyard
where the wind shakes in its armour from Svalbard.
One wartime winter when I lay sick
a huge icicle grew outside the window.
Neighbour and harpoon, unexplained memory.
Ice hangs down from the roof edge.
Icicles: the upside-down Gothic.
Abstract cattle, udders of glass.
On a side-track, an empty railway-carriage.
With the journeys in its claws.
Tonight snow-haze, moonlight. The moonlight jellyfish itself
is floating before us. Our smiles
on the way home. Bewitched avenue.
Sunday, February 14, 2021
Saturday, February 13, 2021
Friday, February 12, 2021
He was whispering over and over again the same phrase, “You have the body of an angel. It is impossible that such a body should have a sex. You have the body of an angel.”
The anger swept over Fay like a fever, an anger at his moving his penis away from her hand. She sat up, her hair wild about her shoulders, and said, “I am not an angel, Albert. I am a woman. I want you to love me as a woman.
Thursday, February 11, 2021
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Understand at last that you have something in you more powerful and divine than what causes the bodily passions and pulls you like a mere puppet. What thoughts now occupy my mind? Is it not fear, suspicion, desire, or something like that?
Monday, February 8, 2021
“The New Colossus”
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Sunday, February 7, 2021
Saturday, February 6, 2021
Brave New World Revisited
Given unchecked over-population and over-organization, we may expect to see in the democratic countries a reversal of the process which transformed England into a democracy, while retaining all the outward forms of a monarchy.
The underlying substance will be a new kind of non-violent totalitarianism. All the traditional names, all the hallowed slogans will remain exactly what they were in the good old days. Democracy and freedom will be the theme of every broadcast and editorial - but democracy and freedom in a strictly Pickwickian sense.
Friday, February 5, 2021
As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
Thursday, February 4, 2021
You and I, the characters which grow on a page, most of the time we’re inexpressive, giving little away, unreliable, elusive, evasive, obstructive, unwilling. But it’s out of these attributes that a language arises. A language, I repeat, where, underneath what is said, another thing is being said.
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture repainted, every date altered. The process is continuing day by day, minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which The Party is always right.
Tuesday, February 2, 2021
I am absolutely convinced that the main source of hate in the world is religion and organized religion. Absolutely convinced of that. And I think it should be - religion - treated with ridicule, hatred, and contempt.
So when I say that I think religion poisons everything, I’m not just doing what publishers like and coming up with a provocative subtitle. I mean to say it infects us in our most basic integrity.
It says we can’t be moral without “Big Brother,” without a totalitarian permission. It means we can’t be good to one another without this. It means we must be afraid.
We must also be forced to love someone whom we fear - the essence of sado-masochism, the essence of abjection, the essence of the Master/Slave relationship. And that it knows death is coming, and can’t wait to bring it on.
I say that is Evil.
And though I do, some nights, stay home, I enjoy more the nights when I go out and fight against this ultimate wickedness and this ultimate stupidity.
Monday, February 1, 2021
There are women’s voices that sound like poetic, unearthly echoes. Then they change. The eyes change. I believe that all these legends about people changing into animals at night – like the stories of the werewolf, for instance – were invented by men who saw women transformed at night – from idealized, worshipful creatures into animals and thought that they were possessed.