I want to stumble out of trucks inebriated and boneless, shrugging off the arm of someone I’ve never even cared about. I want to spend the night with someone but walk home alone. You might think it’s lonely, but I enjoy knowing the mechanics of people, this hook and this string, pulling taut, taunting. I don’t want to be a nonevent anymore…I want the ocean to break around me, I want to burn myself all the way down, dripping wax, and light the floor on fire. I want to be a graceful, beautiful mess and I want people to love me anyway.
"I’m not sensitive, I’m just self-obsessed." Cracks gum. "You’d be surprised how often the two coincide."
I sat in whole freeze frames of thought, still and empty, finding weeds to pull and plants to water, only to discover they were one in the same. …I am untouched and blind, too, wandering down corridors inside myself, looking for a glass of water that’ll taste wrong when I drink it.
I believe in unconsciousness, and a window with a view on the river, wet painted sunsets, dripping red, holding my ribs in as I turn to ash inside out one day at a time
Will you spread me on the ocean.
I twisted into pieces, I felt terrible, and crazy, and drank a cup of tea to end the tornado, and although it lessened I still have nothing to hang onto
“Elaine sat on the breezeway in an old yellow nightgown of her mother’s waiting for something to happen. It was a sweltering morning in July, and drops of sweat crawled down her back, one by one, like slow insects. Inertia oozed like molasses through Elaine’s limbs. That’s what it must feel like to have malaria, she thought.”—Sylvia Plath
by Rainer Maria Rilke, as translated by Annemarie S. Kidder
I am much too alone in this world, yet not alone enough to truly consecrate the hour. I am much too small in this world, yet not small enough to be to you just object and thing, dark and smart. I want my free will and want it accompanying the path which leads to action; and want during times that beg questions, where something is up, to be among those in the know, or else be alone.
I want to mirror your image to its fullest perfection, never be blind or too old to uphold your weighty wavering reflection. I want to unfold. Nowhere I wish to stay crooked, bent; for there I would be dishonest, untrue. I want my conscience to be true before you; want to describe myself like a picture I observed for a long time, one close up, like a new word I learned and embraced, like the everday jug, like my mother’s face, like a ship that carried me along through the deadliest storm.
When he was grieving he would fold and crinkle his chin into complex shapes but would never shake or cry just held still, grown man origami.
Her voice reminds me of Frosted Flakes and she never looks quite right in a dress because she doesn’t hold herself in any trace of a feminine way she just juts out her feet and elbows all ragged angles and largeness in delicacies.
They both never were tired of discussing ancient Egypt and dark circles under his glassed eyes the man who never cried who was a curly haired professor would sometimes stay at the lab late because her shift was after his.
She asked him questions sometimes and these questions made him feel dumb because he could see how far her horizons stretched and was reminded how thin his were, like his fingers.
Do you think you can just forgot time, she asked, or is it too deeply ingrained in us for us to exist anyway otherwise.
It’s useful, but not natural, so you can exist without any concept of it, he said. He sometimes wonders if anything is useful at if it isn’t a natural state or start but he was a scientist not a philosopher and he enjoyed the possibilities time spun almost as much as he enjoyed listening to her question them.
by Ezra Pound, adapted from Li Po’s “Two Letters from Chang-Kan”
While my hair was still cut straight across my forehead I played about the front gate, pulling flowers. You came by on bamboo stilts, playing horse; You walked about my seat, playing with blue plums. And we went on living in the village of Chokan: Two small people, without dislike or suspicion.
At fourteen I married My Lord you. I never laughed, being bashful. Lowering my head, I looked at the wall. Called to, a thousand times, I never looked back.
At fifteen I stopped scowling, I desired my dust to be mingled with yours Forever and forever and forever. Why should I climb the lookout?
At sixteen you departed, You went into far Ku-to-en, by the river of swirling eddies, And you have been gone five months. The monkeys make sorrowful noise overhead. You dragged your feet when you went out. By the gate now, the moss is grown, the different mosses, Too deep to clear them away! The leaves fall early this autumn, in wind. The paired butterflies are already yellow with August Over the grass in the West garden — They hurt me. I grow older. If you are coming down through the narrows of the river, Please let me know beforehand, And I will come out to meet you As far as Cho-fo-Sa.
If you could have a harem of 10 men and 10 women (it doesn't have to be sexual if you don't want it to.. it could be your brain trust or what have you)... fictional or non fictional, dead or alive- who would they be?
Men: John Lennon, David Foster Wallace, Atticus Finch, Abraham Lincoln, Johnny Depp, Remus Lupin, Charles Bukowski, Mahatma Ghandi, Vincent van Gogh, and John Green
Women: Natalie Portman, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Abigail Adams, Jeanette Winterson, Emma Watson, Charlotte Bronte, Juno MacGuff, Lily Loveless, and J.K. Rowling
When I think of stories, yours is laid out like a film;
(Maybe one of those indies, where the protagonist is insane and everything you see is part of a grand hallucination)
You are few,
people like you.
Do you remember the day you taped that John Lennon postcard to my mirror? He was there, in black and white. On his chest said, “Tomorrow may rain so I’ll follow the sun.” I still read it, every night, every morning. And I don’t know why it makes me care so much but it does. It’s so simple, almost juvenile, for a girl who reads as much as me, but for some reason that lyric delves into my heart and roots there. Stirs things I forgot could move.
I think of your violin in its black case. I think of the loneliness in loving an art more intensely than you could ever love a person. A passion that can never truly be shared, only conveyed. I think it frustrates you sometimes. I wouldn’t really understand. I try to, I want to—but I can barely read treble cleft and so must meet you halfway between your bow and the strings, and try not to shiver between them.
You once told me that nobody listens. Teeth cracking truth.
The suicidal kids taking drugs in the open fields are fast food for birds
“She never sees that in his quote careless way he actually really touched whatever he touched as if it were part of him. Of his own body. The world he only seemed to manhandle was for him sentient, feeling. And no one…and she never understood that. Sour sodding grapes indeed. You can’t envy someone who can be that way. Respect, maybe. Maybe wistful respect, at the very outside…he moved like a careless fingerling, one big muscle, muscularly naive, but always, notice, a fingerling at the center of a clear current. That kind of animal grace. The bastard wasted no motion, is what made it art, this brutish no-care. His was a tennis player’s dictum: touch things with consideration and they will be yours; you will own them; they will move or stay still or move for you; they will lie back and part their legs and yield their innermost seams to you. Teach you all their tricks. He knew what the Beats know and what the great tennis player knows, son: learn to do nothing, with your whole head and body, and everything will be done by what’s around you. I know you don’t understand. Yet. I know that goggle-eyed stare. I know what it means all too well, son. It’s no matter. You will. Jim, I know what I know.”—David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest
I have dreams I’m riding my bike, the wind in my hair like God’s breath. (I don’t believe in God, but it’s nice to think about all the same.) I wish I could breathe biking air all the time. It has a different, better taste.
(Sometimes I wake up and find myself halfway through the fridge. I sit on the kitchen floor and cry; I take up too much space already.)
Almost all the time, I dream I’m someone else. I don’t really know how to describe it, but I just know I’m not me, I’m ______. One of my friends told me this means I must have great capabilities for empathy if my subconscious embodies someone else when I’m asleep…or maybe it’s just that I have no sense of self—even if people say otherwise—and my mind longs for some more exciting exercise.
(I’m such a narcissist…once I started talking I stopped having things to say.)
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”—Apple Inc.
I’ve always thought of myself as an artist, maybe not the kind that drinks strange mixtures of coffee and paint and has vast amounts of sex and wears nothing but leaves to the supermarket, but as a person that creates and wants to live in an apartment in a city and smoke on its balcony and grapple with their humanity. Someone who appreciates things for being the way they are. Unexpected, ordinary beauty is lost on people much too often…And then, in New York, it’s like the beauty of the ordinary is never lost on anybody. Because yeah, New York is glittery and glitzy in a somewhat tacky fashion and the taxicabs are always nearly running you over but it also, (in a strange way, unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been,) lives and breathes, like the whole city’s one body with a heartbeat reverberating in the street and lungs in a gust of wind. I mean to say that it may be the realest place I’ve ever been; there’s an odd surge of inspiration in every footfall, puddle, coffee cup—reminding you over and over again that life is art, that you can just be if you want, and you’ll fit in here or anywhere, so long as you’ve got coffee and look like you’re going somewhere, even if you aren’t.
I went to New York today and saw a man who looked like a flounder, his eyes pointing in different directions, ducks in Central Park (they reminded me of Holden), a Polish parade, Spanish guitarists on the subway, and miles of literature. I love cities, the way they’re a constant reminder that life is motion, and as I crossed a street the word ‘mythic’ came to mind, but not negatively…I like how you can settle in cities, once you learn its rhythm, and you can feel at home in the grooves of the sidewalk. For me, at least, it’s strangely similar to being surrounded by nature, thinking ‘this is what it means to be human and how can we bear to live anyway else?’—looking around yourself and realizing you belong, how peculiar, in this place where, according to some natural, primitive sense, you…shouldn’t.
The way I write is how I act when I’m alone. These are the words I’d say to myself had I spent a day in my own company. Around others, I’m someone else, and it’s strange to admit that now. If the me when I’m alone is the true me, am I happy with who I am? Am I happy with this seeping melancholy that clings to me like a second skin? (And where do I put this sadness of mine when I’m in the company of others?) It’s like I’m breathing in marbles and every time I move around I can hear myself clink and clatter. So I lay still. I lay tepid. Every movement’s like rain over a dead calm. A soft stir. A quiet touch. Halo after halo of ripples. If you cut through my words right now you could count the years I’ve been here like tree rings. They’re readable. These are words in a language that you can all understand, but can you really? My message is in the spaces in between. I claim the negative space and these words just fill in my outline.
It’s when I’m alone that I feel myself settle. It’s when I’m not around social cues and obligations of human beings that I can step out of my skin and unscrew my limbs and place them against my bedside table so that I can revel in myself. Alone, I feel beautiful, but does everyone?
I wonder if I could fall in love with someone who I could be alone with myself with. I wonder if I could feel so sure of myself in the presence of another human being, in the face of another set of arms and another set of legs and another set of eyes that don’t mirror my own. When I’m not even sure of my own thoughts with my closest friends how can I be sure of myself with another human being who insists he loves me? Life, life. It is life, is it life? I love people but I love people in a way that I try to mirror them when I can. I take on parts of their characteristics so that they feel more at ease. I’m sure that if you saw me now you wouldn’t be so sure of who it is that you’re looking at. Me alone isn’t so different from me when I’m sitting in the subway counting how many smiles I see and the me that walks through the halls of museums smiling at paintings and smiling at security guards and telling people that my name is Daphne on Thursdays or Lola on Saturdays isn’t the me that I am when I’m around you. I’ll become a shadow when I’m with another person. I’m an empty blackboard across the sky. But me with me, me alone is when I draw in stars with chalk.
This is where I was, this minute, this second, this year. Are you proud of me? Do you find me to be all the things I pretend never to be, that I let myself believe I am not (young, naive, stupid, untalented, whiny, inadequate)? I don’t burn, I ache…I am lonely and lost, and I wish I knew as much as you…
I’m feverish, trapped in inability to express the dull fingertips of my feelings, but I have to—I must. I think of the elephant girl, her name was Susi, and her rare skin disease, and how she would peel the gray, cracked layers of skin off each night, and she was quite pretty underneath, but no one ever saw. I’m sure she loved someone, sometime, during her years in sideshows, but I imagine he didn’t love her for more than one strewn and alcoholic night, because freaks don’t…they don’t get wanted. She loved him though, maybe forever, because when you’re unwanted, one night is enough. And I don’t think she cried about it, because I think she expected it, what with her gray bits of elephant skin, but I bet, when she was feeling particularly lonely, she would hold her own hand and think to herself, “I want to love, and I want it to matter.”
I lean back into the seat of your car, warm and early-morning, mouth dry. You’re buying doughnuts, I’m waiting, listening to the low heartbeat bass of a band that has another song about cough syrup. The sun angles itself nicely in the morning. I’d forgotten.
I need a shower, I think, cracking my gum. I need to cry. They’re two separate interconnected thoughts.
You come back, hand me a doughnut. Your hair’s greasy. You’re so unspecial. For a second you seem like a total stranger. I shake my head quickly, recollect myself.
"You know I hate chocolate."
I live in a town of sleepwalkers.
All I want is a life that shakes without trembling; a sadness that never bides its time.
“[It’s all about changing what’s handed to you,
about poking around a little,
lifting the corners,
seeing what’s underneath,
Sometimes things work out,
sometime they don’t,
but at least you’re exploring.]
And life is always more interesting that way.”—Ann M. Martin, A Corner of the Universe
Makes you drowsy in a metaphysical sense. Aimless. Nothing tastes good. The mornings coat your stomach oddly, the worst. You want cold you want heat, you can’t find either. You stare at floors, at your feet. You stopped wearing shoes. People let you do that for a couple weeks after. They pity you. Wear a sweatshirt from the Grand Canyon and your middle school gym shorts. Wake up when you feel like it. Everyone’s waiting for the crying, where is it? But you’re edgy, of nothing, forgetting to blink. Thinner wrists, crossed over your knees. Trying to fit in the spaces where content used to be.
“I am trying to evolve, I’m just trying to evolve…
So I walk like I’m on a mission, ‘cause that’s the way I groove,
I got more and more to do, I got less and less to prove
It took me too long to realize that I don’t take good pictures
‘Cause I have the kind of beauty that moves”—Ani Difranco, Evolve