He was weary of himself, of cold ideas and brain dreams. Life a poem? Not when you went about forever poetizing about your own life instead of living it. How innocuous it all was, and empty, empty, empty! This chasing after yourself, craftily observing your own tracks--in a circle, of course.This sham diving into the stream of life while all the time you sat angling after yourself, fishing yourself up in one curious disguise or another! If he could only be overwhelmed by something--life, love, passion--so that he could no longer shape it into poems, but had to let it shape him!
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...
He was weary of himself, of cold ideas and brain dreams. Life a poem? Not when you went about forever poetizing about your own life instead of living it. How innocuous it all was, and empty, empty, empty! This chasing after yourself, craftily observing your own tracks–in a circle, of course.This sham diving into the stream of life while all the time you sat angling after yourself, fishing yourself up in one curious disguise or another! If he could only be overwhelmed by something–life, love, passion–so that he could no longer shape it into poems, but had to let it shape him!

-Jens Peter

Related Quotes

He looks forlornly ahead of him, gazing at the road but looking at nothing in particular. The whole world is one big giant ball of light to him, and he feels like a bug inside it, waiting to be squashed. He feels like there is no sense of purpose, no direction. There is nothing waiting for him at the end of the rainbow. No pot of gold for all the pain he is feeling now, or the pain he has felt before. He just feels empty and lost, as if he is looking for something that can never be found. He feels lost that he can’t explain it to anyone and that no one will understand. He feels left out, standing alone, waiting endlessly for a ray of hope which never comes. He has suffered through this before, lurking in the shadows of his own despair, fighting for his life and losing the battle. But nothing ever makes this pain go away. Or the fear. He doesn’t fear what people fear. Not the loss of life or riches—Roman fears losing himself in this swamp called existence. He fears becoming the person he doesn’t want to become, and most of all, he fears himself. Fears his own potential to destroy and destruct. To obliterate. To suffocate his own life. He fears all that and he is afraid no one will ever know what his heart aches for, or how bad he has it. At times he feels the urge to tell this to someone, but other times he just enjoys being silent, watching on like a passerby at his own life, an observer rather than someone who’s actually living it.

-Sam Hunter

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...
But we have, if not our understanding, our own experience, and it feels to me sealed, inviolable, ours. We have a last, deep week together, because Wally is not on morphine yet, because he has just enough awareness, just enough ability to communicate with me. I’m with him almost all day and night- little breaks, for swimming, for walking the dogs. Outside it snows and snows, deeper and deeper; we seem to live in a circle of lamplight. I rub his feet, make him hot cider. All week I feel like we’re taking one another in, looking and looking. I tell him I love him and he says I love you, babe, and then when it’s too hard for him to speak he smiles back at me with the little crooked smile he can manage now, and I know what it means. I play music for him, the most encompassing and quiet I can find: Couperin, Vivaldi, the British soprano Lesley Garret singing arias he loved, especially the duet from Lakme: music of freedom, diving, floating. How can this be written? Shouldn’t these sentences simply be smithereened apart, broken in a hurricane?All that afternoon he looks out at us though a little space in his eyes, but I know he sees and registers: I know that he’s loving us, actively; if I know nothing else about this man, after nearly thirteen years, I know that. I bring all the animals, and then I sit there myself, all afternoon, the lamps on. The afternoon’s so quiet and deep it seems almost to ring, like chimes, a cold, struck bell. I sit into the evening, when he closes his eyes.There is an inaudible roaring, a rush beneath the surface of things, beneath the surface of Wally, who has now almost no surface- as if I could see into him, into the great hurrying current, that energy, that forward motion which is life going on. I was never this close to anyone in my life. His living’s so deep and absolute that it pulls me close to that interior current, so far inside his life. And my own. I know I am going to be more afraid than I have ever been, but right now I am not afraid. I am face to face with the deepest movement in the world, the point of my love’s deepest reality- where he is most himself, even if that self empties out into no one, swift river hurrying into the tumble of rivers, out of individuality, into the great rushing whirlwind of currents. All the love in the world goes with you.

-Mark Doty

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...
Life is an island in an ocean of solitude and seclusion.Life is an island, rocks are its desires, trees its dreams, and flowers its loneliness, and it is in the middle of an ocean of solitude and seclusion.Your life, my friend, is an island separated from all other islands and continents. Regardless of how many boats you send to other shores, you yourself are an island separated by its own pains,secluded its happiness and far away in its compassion and hidden in its secrets and mysteries.I saw you, my friend, sitting upon a mound of gold, happy in your wealth and great in your riches and believing that a handful of gold is the secret chain that links the thoughts of the people with your own thoughts and links their feeling with your own.I saw you as a great conqueror leading a conquering army toward the fortress, then destroying and capturing it.On second glance I found beyond the wall of your treasures a heart trembling in its solitude and seclusion like the trembling of a thirsty man within a cage of gold and jewels, but without water.I saw you, my friend, sitting on a throne of glory surrounded by people extolling your charity, enumerating your gifts, gazing upon you as if they were in the presence of a prophet lifting their souls up into the planets and stars. I saw you looking at them, contentment and strength upon your face, as if you were to them as the soul is to the body.On the second look I saw your secluded self standing beside your throne, suffering in its seclusion and quaking in its loneliness. I saw that self stretching its hands as if begging from unseen ghosts. I saw it looking above the shoulders of the people to a far horizon, empty of everything except its solitude and seclusion.I saw you, my friend, passionately in love with a beautiful woman, filling her palms with your kisses as she looked at you with sympathy and affection in her eyes and sweetness of motherhood on her lips; I said, secretly, that love has erased his solitude and removed his seclusion and he is now within the eternal soul which draws toward itself, with love, those who were separated by solitude and seclusion.On the second look I saw behind your soul another lonely soul, like a fog, trying in vain to become a drop of tears in the palm of that woman.Your life, my friend, is a residence far away from any other residence and neighbors.Your inner soul is a home far away from other homes named after you. If this residence is dark, you cannot light it with your neighbor's lamp; if it is empty you cannot fill it with the riches of your neighbor; were it in the middle of a desert, you could not move it to a garden planted by someone else.Your inner soul, my friend, is surrounded with solitude and seclusion. Were it not for this solitude and this seclusion you would not be you and I would not be I. If it were not for that solitude and seclusion, I would, if I heard your voice, think myself to be speaking; yet, if I saw your face, i would imagine that I were looking into a mirror.

-Kahlil Gibran

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...
Art is the conscious making of numinous phenomena. Many objects are just objects - inert, merely utilitarian. Many events are inconsequential, too banal to add anything to our experience of life. This is unfortunate, as one cannot grow except by having one’s spirit greatly stirred; and the spirit cannot be greatly stirred by spiritless things. Much of our very life is dead. For primitive man, this was not so. He made his own possessions, and shaped and decorated them with the aim of making them not merely useful, but powerful. He tried to infuse his weapons with the nature of the tiger, his cooking pots with the life of growing things; and he succeeded. Appearance, material, history, context, rarity - perhaps rarity most of all - combine to create, magically, the quality of soul. But we modern demiurges are prolific copyists; we give few things souls of their own. Locomotives, with their close resemblance to beasts, may be the great exception; but in nearly all else with which today’s poor humans are filling the world, I see a quelling of the numinous, an ashening of the fire of life. We are making an inert world; we are building a cemetery. And on the tombs, to remind us of life, we lay wreaths of poetry and bouquets of painting. You expressed this very condition, when you said that art beautifies life. No longer integral, the numinous has become optional, a luxury - one of which you, my dear friend, are fond, however unconsciously. You adorn yourself with the same instincts as the primitive who puts a frightening mask of clay and feathers on his head, and you comport yourself in an uncommonly calculated way - as do I. We thus make numinous phenomena of ourselves. No mean trick - to make oneself a rarity, in this overpopulated age.

-K.J. Bishop

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...
Maria, lonely prostitute on a street of pain,You, at least, hail me and speak to meWhile a thousand others ignore my face.You offer me an hour of love,And your fees are not as costly as most.You are the madonna of the lonely,The first-born daughter in a world of pain.You do not turn fat men aside,Or trample on the stuttering, shy ones,You are the meadow where desperate menCan find a moment's comfort.Men have paid more to their wivesTo know a bit of peaceAnd could not walk away without the guiltThat masquerades as love.You do not bind them, lovely Maria, you comfort themAnd bid them return. Your body is more Christian than the Bishop'sWhose gloved hand cannot feel the dropping of my blood.Your passion is as genuine as most,Your caring as real!But you, Maria, sacred whore on the endless pavement of pain,You, whose virginity each man may make his ownWithout paying ought but your fee,You who know nothing of virgin births and immaculate conceptions,You who touch man's flesh and caress a stranger,Who warm his bed to bring his aching skin alive,You make more sense than stock markets and football gamesWhere sad men beg for virility.You offer yourself for a fee--and who offers himself for less?At times you are cruel and demanding--harsh and insensitive,At times you are shrewd and deceptive--grasping and hollow.The wonder is that at times you are gentle and concerned,Warm and loving.You deserve more respect than nuns who hide their sex for eternal love;Your fees are not so high, nor your prejudice so virtuous.You deserve more laurels than the self-pitying mother of many children,And your fee is not as costly as most.Man comes to you when his bed is filled with brass and emptiness,When liquor has dulled his sense enoughTo know his need of you.He will come in fantasy and despair, Maria,And leave without apologies.He will come in loneliness--and perhapsLeave in loneliness as well.But you give him more than soldiers who win medals and pensions,More than priests who offer absolutionAnd sweet-smelling ritual,More than friends who anticipate his deathOr challenge his life,And your fee is not as costly as most.You admit that your love is for a fee,Few women can be as honest.There are monuments to statesmen who gave nothing to anyoneExcept their hungry ego,Monuments to mothers who turned their childrenInto starving, anxious bodies,Monuments to Lady Liberty who makes poor men prisoners.I would erect a monument for you--who give more than most--And for a meager fee.Among the lonely, you are perhaps the loneliest of all,You come so close to loveBut it eludes youWhile proper women march to church and fantasizeIn the silence of their rooms,While lonely women take their husbands' armsTo hold them on life's surface,While chattering women fill their closets with clothes andTheir lips with lies,You offer love for a fee--which is not as costly as most--And remain a lonely prostitute on a street of pain.You are not immoral, little Maria, only tired and afraid,But you are not as hollow as the police who pursue you,The politicians who jail you, the pharisees who scorn you.You give what you promise--take your paltry fee--andWander on the endless, aching pavements of pain.You know more of universal love than the nations who thrive on war,More than the churches whose dogmas are private vendettas made sacred,More than the tall buildings and sprawling factoriesWhere men wear chains.You are a lonely prostitute who speaks to me as I pass,And I smile at you because I am a lonely man.

-James Kavanaugh

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...
When Your Life Looks Back,When your life looks back--As it will, at itself, at you--what will it say?Inch of colored ribbon cut from the spool.Flame curl, blue-consuming the log it flares from.Bay leaf. Oak leaf. Cricket. One among many.Your life will carry you as it did always,With ten fingers and both palms,With horizontal ribs and upright spine,With its filling and emptying heart,That wanted only your own heart, emptying, filled, in return.You gave it. What else could do?Immersed in air or in water.Immersed in hunger or anger.Curious even when bored.Longing even when running away."What will happen next?"--the question hinged in your knees, your ankles,in the in-breaths even of weeping.Strongest of magnets, the future impartial drew you in.Whatever direction you turned toward was face to face.No back of the world existed,No unseen corner, no test. No other earth to prepare for.This, your life had said, its only pronoun.Here, your life had said, its only house.Let, your life had said, its only order.And did you have a choice in this? You did--Sleeping and waking,the horses around you, the mountains around you,The buildings with their tall, hydraulic shafts.Those of your own kind around you--A few times, you stood on your head.A few times, you chose not to be frightened.A few times, you held another beyond any measure.A few times, you found yourself held beyond any measure.Mortal, your life will say,As if tasting something delicious, as if in envy.Your immortal life will say this, as it is leaving.

-Jane Hirshfield

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...
In good truth he had started in London with some vague idea that as his life in it would not be of long continuance, the pace at which he elected to travel would be of little consequence; but the years since his first entry into the Metropolis were now piled one on top of another, his youth was behind him, his chances of longevity, spite of the way he had striven to injure his constitution, quite as good as ever. He had come to that period of existence, to that narrow strip of tableland, whence the ascent of youth and the descent of age are equally discernible - when, simply because he has lived for so many years, it strikes a man as possible he may have to live for just as many more, with the ability for hard work gone, with the boon companions scattered, with the capacity for enjoying convivial meetings a mere memory, with small means perhaps, with no bright hopes, with the pomp and the circumstance and the fairy carriages, and the glamour which youth flings over earthly objects, faded away like the pageant of yesterday, while the dreary ceremony of living has to be gone through today and tomorrow and the morrow after, as though the gay cavalcade and the martial music, and the glittering helmets and the prancing steeds were still accompanying the wayfarer to his journey's end. Ah! my friends, there comes a moment when we must all leave the coach with its four bright bays, its pleasant outside freight, its cheery company, its guard who blows the horn so merrily through villages and along lonely country roads. Long before we reach that final stage, where the black business claims us for its own speecial property, we have to bid goodbye to all easy, thoughtless journeying and betake ourselves, with what zest we may, to traversing the common of reality. There is no royal road across it that ever I heard of. From the king on his throne to the laborer who vaguely imagines what manner of being a king is, we have all to tramp across that desert at one period of our lives, at all events; and that period is usually when, as I have said, a man starts to find the hopes, and the strength, and the buoyancy of youth left behind, while years and years of life lie stretching out before him. The coach he has travelled by drops him here. There is no appeal, there is no help; therefore, let him take off his hat and wish the new passengers good speed without either envy or repining. Behld, he has had his turn, and let whosoever will, mount on the box-seat of life again, and tip the coachman and handle the ribbons - he shall take that journey no more, no more for ever. ("The Banshee's Warning")

-Charlotte Riddell

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...
For JennAt 12 years old I started bleeding with the moonand beating up boys who dreamed of becoming astronauts.I fought with my knuckles white as stars,and left bruises the shape of Salem.There are things we know by heart,and things we don't. At 13 my friend Jen tried to teach me how to blow rings of smoke.I'd watch the nicotine rising from her lips like halos,but I could never make dying beautiful.The sky didn't fill with colors the night I convinced myselfveins are kite strings you can only cut free.I suppose I love this life,in spite of my clenched fist.I open my palm and my lifelines look like branches from an Aspen tree,and there are songbirds perched on the tips of my fingers,and I wonder if Beethoven held his breaththe first time his fingers touched the keysthe same way a soldier holds his breaththe first time his finger clicks the trigger.We all have different reasons for forgetting to breathe.But my lungs rememberthe day my mother took my hand and placed it on her bellyand told me the symphony beneath was my baby sister's heartbeat.And I knew life would tremblelike the first tear on a prison guard's hardened cheek,like a prayer on a dying man's lips,like a vet holding a full bottle of whisky like an empty gun in a war zone…just take me just take meSometimes the scales themselves weigh far too much,the heaviness of forever balancing blue sky with red blood.We were all born on days when too many people died in terrible ways,but you still have to call it a birthday.You still have to fall for the prettiest girl on the playground at recessand hope she knows you can hit a baseballfurther than any boy in the whole third gradeand I've been running for homethrough the windpipe of a man who singswhile his hands playing washboard with a spoonon a street corner in New Orleanswhere every boarded up window is still painted with the wordsWe're Coming Backlike a promise to the oceanthat we will always keep moving towards the music,the way Basquait slept in a cardboard box to be closer to the rain.Beauty, catch me on your tongue. Thunder, clap us open.The pupils in our eyes were not born to hide beneath their desks.Tonight lay us down to rest in the Arizona desert,then wake us washing the feet of pregnant womenwho climbed across the border with their bellies aimed towards the sun.I know a thousand things louder than a soldier's gun.I know the heartbeat of his mother.Don't cover your ears, Love.Don't cover your ears, Life.There is a boy writing poems in Central Parkand as he writes he movesand his bones become the bars of Mandela's jail cell stretching apart,and there are men playing chess in the December coldwho can't tell if the breath rising from the boardis their opponents or their own,and there's a woman on the stairwell of the subwayswearing she can hear Niagara Falls from her rooftop in Brooklyn,and I'm remembering how Niagara Falls is a city overrunwith strip malls and traffic and vendorsand one incredibly brave river that makes it all worth it. Ya'll, I know this world is far from perfect.I am not the type to mistake a streetlight for the moon.I know our wounds are deep as the Atlantic.But every ocean has a shorelineand every shoreline has a tidethat is constantly returningto wake the songbirds in our hands, to wake the music in our bones,to place one fearless kiss on the mouth of that brave riverthat has to run through the center of our heartsto find its way home.

-Andrea Gibson

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...