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(no subject) [Feb. 12th, 2017|09:49 pm]
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'Spring is always like what it used to be.'
Said an old Chinese man.
Rain hissed down the windows.
Longings from a great distance.
Reached us.

--Anne Carson
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(no subject) [Feb. 12th, 2017|09:48 pm]
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Their faces I thought were knives.
The way they pointed them at me.
And waited.
A hunter is someone who listens.
So hard to his prey it pulls the weapon.
Out of his hand and impales.

--Anne Carson
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(no subject) [Jun. 9th, 2016|10:04 am]
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In the afternoon I watched
the she-bear; she was looking
for the secret bin of sweetness--
honey, that the bees store
in the trees' soft caves.
Black block of gloom, she climbed down
tree after tree and shuffled on
through the woods. And then
she found it! The honey-house deep
as heartwood, and dipped into it
among the swarming bees--honey and comb
she lipped and tongued and scooped out
in her black nails, until

maybe she grew full, or sleepy, or maybe
a little drunk, and sticky
down the rugs of her arms,
and began to hum and sway.
I saw her let go of the branches,
I saw her lift her honeyed muzzle
into the leaves, and her thick arms,
as though she would fly--
an enormous bee
all sweetness and wings--
down into the meadows, the perfection
of honeysuckle and roses and clover--
to float and sleep in the sheer nets
swaying from flower to flower
day after shining day.

--Mary Oliver
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(no subject) [May. 1st, 2016|10:11 pm]
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That time
I thought I could not
go any closer to grief
without dying

I went closer,
and I did not die.
Surely God
had his hand in this,

as well as friends.
Still, I was bent,
and my laughter,
as the poet said,

was nowhere to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel,
(brave even among lions),
“It’s not the weight you carry

but how you carry it -
books, bricks, grief -
it’s all in the way
you embrace it, balance it, carry it

when you cannot, and would not,
put it down.”
So I went practicing.
Have you noticed?

Have you heard
the laughter
that comes, now and again,
out of my startled mouth?

How I linger
to admire, admire, admire
the things of this world
that are kind, and maybe

also troubled -
roses in the wind,
the sea geese on the steep waves,
a love
to which there is no reply?

--Mary Oliver
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(no subject) [Apr. 29th, 2016|11:43 am]
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Mimi was going to take me to her special
place, some kind of sacred healing ground, though
she never said whose. For over a year walking had
caused me great pain, and none of the doctors I
had seen gave me any help. I viewed Mimi's invitation
as an excuse for an outing. I know the country
around here pretty well, but when Mimi started
turning down one twisting dirt road after another
at some point I knew I was lost. Mimi's a reliable
person, nothing of the fruitcake in her. When she
finally stopped, the first thing I noticed was a
hole in the side of the hill surrounded by boulders.
"What's that?" I said. "An Irish monk lived in there
some time in the sixteenth century," she said.
"They say he lived in that hole for thirty years,
praying all the time." "I wonder what happened
to him. Did the Church make him a saint?" I said.
"Something ate him, a bear or a mountain lion. The
Indians thought it was a mountain lion," she said.
"Mimi," I said, "did you bring me all the way out
here just to tell me this story, not that it isn't
a great story, 'cause it is, but I'd also love to
see this 'healing ground,' is that possible?"
"It's right over there in that clearing. Come
on, I'll show you," she said. We had to push our
way through the brush and climb over some fallen
trees. It wasn't that easy for me to get there,
but we got there, and I looked around, but could
see nothing special about the place. I mentioned
that to Mimi. "Except for that fairy ring of
mushrooms. That's pretty cute," I said. "You have
to stand in there and pray for the soul of the Irish
monk for ten minutes. That's all," she said. There's
a new fruitcake status in store for you, Mimi, I
thought. "If that's what it takes," I said. "I'll
do it." I proceeded to stand in the circle of
mushrooms with my eyes closed and, sure enough,
I prayed for the soul of the little Irish monk.
He would have had to be little, because the hole
wasn't all that big. I thought of his rosary and
his Bible, and the long winters of terrible cold
and snow. And his great peace when he met the lion.

--James Tate
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(no subject) [Apr. 28th, 2016|11:48 pm]
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Grocery shopping can be such a mysterious
business. When a complete stranger smiles and
nods hello to me I wonder what it means. Some-
thing like, "We're both still eating. That's
good. And we're gathering more food, both of
us. We have so much in common we might as well
be friends." I look to see what he has in his
basket. It's not at all similar to what I have
in mine. If ever I were to have an enemy it
would be this man, with all his grains and root
vegetables. I begin to follow him at a polite
distance. He turns into the homeopathic medicine
aisle and lingers there a long time. Altogether
he puts eleven vials into his cart. He sees
that I'm watching him and he smiles again, as
though I would understand the wisdom of his
choices. I don't. He looks healthy, maybe
too healthy. "That stuff costs a fortune and
can't cure the sniffles," I want to tell him.
By now I've forgotten what I came for. Everyone
is smiling at me as though I were completely
naked. I look down and I am completely naked.
And that's what I find so mysterious about
grocery shopping, how that could be.

--James Tate
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(no subject) [Apr. 22nd, 2016|08:35 pm]
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"There are men who come into this world fully formed, and who do not have to struggle with the shoals upon which others are cast up bruised and bleeding. They sail over them without so much as realizing that they are there, and feel astonished at the sight of so much wreckage floating around them. I am rather frightened of these men who are born virtuous."
--George Sand
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(no subject) [Apr. 22nd, 2016|08:32 pm]
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"Had [someone] understood me, [they] might have loved me. If [they] had loved, [they] would have dominated me, and if I had found [someone] capable of dominating me, I should have been saved, for liberty is eating my life away, and killing me..."
--George Sand
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(no subject) [Apr. 22nd, 2016|08:30 pm]
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"[So and so] quite genuinely believed that [they] had been cured of the passion of love. What innocence! Who is there who has ever been cured of passion while youth and hope remain? [So and so] was like a mettlesome charger, happy when battle is done to return to the quiet pasturage, but, at the first sound of the trumpet, leaping the fence and galloping straight for the sound of the guns."
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(no subject) [Apr. 12th, 2016|11:20 pm]
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They're at that stage where so much desire streams between them, so
     much frank need and want,
so much absorption in the other and the self and the self=admiring entity
     and unity they make--
her mouth so full, breast so lifted, head thrown back so far in her laugh-
     ter at his laughter,
he so solid, planted, oaky, firm, so resonantly factual in the headiness of
     being craved so,
she almost wreathed upon him as they intertwine again, touch again,
     cheek, lip, shoulder, brow,
every glance moving toward the sexual, every glance away soaring back
     in flame into the sexual--
that just to watch them is to feel again that hitching in the groin, that fill-
     ing of the heart,
the old, sore heart, the battered, foundered, faithful heart, snorting again,
     stamping in its stall.

--C.K. Williams
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