Wednesday, September 13, 2017

for-the-spirits-who-have-rounded-the-bend IIVAQSAAT

excerpt from poem by dg nanouk okpik from the book effigies


i learned to crack mussel shells, to collect moss on rocks,
save strewn caribou hides across malleable tundra,
how to stop my finger joints from cracking in frost,
to dye my hair garnet to fit in, to feel earthquakes
uprooting soapstone and jade, to count milliseconds
by watching a brook run, to count cracks in an ice flow,
to drink water from a horsetail reed. now my ball and
sockets rub and roll like hummocks bound and rivet
the northern tip of the rockies. i read books until my eyes
chart points in words down 4000 miles in desert sounds.
my tongue clipped to the brow antler,
the words rubbing sealskin to make thunder then lightning.
i guide the harpoon-line hanging in the singing house with
many blessed eggs for mothers, for children. i stitch you
around my eyes, down my chin, through my altered states
to remember it is you who guards me from long ice needles.
it is you threading the singe on my sealskin, patching letters
tied to ink blood. i am seeing only will-full DNA
tattooed to the snow knife for cutting ice blocks of chins,
perhaps for a house, a shelter, a lean to in a starved storm but,
had i not prayed for this moment, this dissension into fish
or birds, if what i wanted was to make it until the large stocks
of dried musk oxen are gone. then i choose sable day
and flux night.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


excerpt from the short story "someone else's theme" by sigizmund krzhizhanovsky (from the book memories of the future)

for a minute straight was quiet, dividing the silence into beats with his hand. and then: "i'm even afraid of that andante expressivo: it is so artfully absents, so imperiously parts a person from people and things; a few more bars, it seems, and any return will be impossible. it's that feeling - we've all had it - when wheels are carrying us away, while our thoughts keep coming back, when the space between 'i' and 'you' is inexorably windening, and the closer the one and only, the farther away, and thus, the farther the closer. i understand why beethoven, striving to drive the e-flat melancholy of this sonata of leave-takings into fingers not his own, could not find - for the first time in his life - readymade terms. yes, it's here, above the theme of absences, that we see the direction - seemingly lost among the italian words - in his native language: in gehender bewegung, doch mit ausdruck.* i remember that then too, through the accelerating race of piano keys, in the howling wind of octaves and thirds, there flickered a tiny 'i beg you,' but pounding right after it came the final six bars at tempo primo, and before i could catch the signal word, the sonata had veered into its third movement: the abrupt vivacissimamente flooded my ears like a joyful torrent. this was the famous le retour: the return, the reuniting of the disunited. you recall those oscillating triplets in the left hand, hand joining hand, the fever of notes and lips, the pedal pumping on the upbeats so the piano nearly chokes. . . but then stuart mill was right: to understand is to transgress. the devil only knows how it's all done, but it's done in such a way that when i had finished listening, i stood for a long time under the now-shut window, unable to take my leave of the sonata of leave-takings. at the time i had a fair amount of leisure - so i invited the sonata, as it alighted from the keys, to walk with me along the muddy cobbles in the lanes across the river. in exchange for the emotion the music had given me, i offered to help it finish what it had begun. happiness, i argued, doesn't like to oblige people because people don't give it (happiness) any holidays. if people knew how to live like the sonata, in three movements, interspersing meetings with partings, allowing happiness to go off for short spells, for a few bars at least, they mightn't be so unhappy. strictly speaking, music isn't in time, time is in music. yet we treat our time extremely unmusically. a city knows nothing of separations - that never-dispersing crowd, music without pauses - the people in it are too close together to be close to one another. the narrow streets along which you and i are now wandering, sonata, are forever knocking into each other for want of space, physical or otherwise; but the roofless sky thrown open overhead reminds us of its boundless and insuperable emptinesses. if orbits intersected like streets, and stars crossed paths like people, they would all have crashed into one another and the sky would be benighted and black. no, up there, everything turns on an eternal separateness. and if we won't unwedge our cramped everyday life with separations, if we won't convert our collectives from a close order to an extended one - we may perish. an old saying compares separations to the wind that douses the candle but fans the flames. so let us sow the wind. let all the guttering tapers go out, and the sooner the better, all those tiny particles of feeling that produce more soot than warmth or light. the person who doesn't want his soup rattles his spoon and pushes the plate away; but people with no appetite for each other tend to rattle on and on, unable to push away what is unnecessary. the idiotic 'light in the window' should also be put out by the winds of separations: we don't need sitting rooms, or shaded lamps, or round tables. we need strictly enforced rules: on odd days of the month, say, forbid acquaintances to recognize each other in the street; replace two-seater droshkies with one-seaters; impose fines on those who go out in pairs. equate meetings of husbands and wives with those of convicts; allow children to speak to their parents only on the telephone; give those who abandon their families reduced fares. . .

[. . . ] i could easily outline my elaborate yet elegant system of separationism, but what interests me now is the art of separationism - not the theory but the practice."

*in unhurried motion, but with expression (german)

Monday, August 21, 2017

desired gaze

from the unbearable lightness of being by milan kundera

"we all need someone to look at us. we can be divided into four categories according to the kind of look we wish to live under.

the first category longs for the look of an infinite number of anonymous eyes, in other words, for the look of the public. that is the case with the german singer, the american actress, and even the tall, stooped editor with the big chin. he was accustomed to his readers, and when one day the russians banned his newspaper, he had the feeling that the atmosphere was suddenly a hundred times thinner. nothing could replace the look of unknown eyes. he thought he would suffocate. then one day he realized that he was constantly being followed, bugged, and surreptitiously photographed in the street. suddenly he had anonymous eyes on him and he could breathe again! he began making theatrical speeches to the microphones in his wall. in the police, he had found his lost public.

the second category is made up of people who have a vital need to be looked at by many known eyes. they are the tireless hosts of cocktail parties and dinners. they are happier than the people in the first category, who, when they lose their public, have the feeling that the lights have gone out in the room of their lives. this happens to nearly all of them sooner or later. people in the second category, on the other hand, can always come up with the eyes they need. marie-claude and her daughter belong in the second category.

then there is the third category, the category of people who need to be constantly before the eyes of the person they love. their situation is as dangerous as the situation of people in the first category. one day the eyes of their beloved will close, and the room will go dark. tereza and tomas belong in the third category.

and finally, there is the fourth category, the rarest, the category of people who live in the imaginary eyes of those who are not present. they are the dreamers. franz, for example. he traveled to the borders of cambodia only for sabina. as the bus bumped along the thai road, he could feel her eyes fixed on him in a long stare."

Sunday, August 20, 2017

the moan

from the daydreaming boy by micheline aharonian marcom

"it is not the words that express in the fleshiest part of ourselves our fleshy desire, not the words, but the belly pitched moan, from the genital to the spine and seeps into the vocal cord: fuck me, it means, and we know it like we know how to breathe --- and there is no space between the moan and the desire: it is the thing itself. and i think this is why i have always yearned for the moment of high-pitched desire, that falling away of words into the beast's pure expression --- that:          ---its truth in this world of prevaraication of obfuscation of language distanced lies. i want the body only and the sounds it makes ---the truth of flesh"

"perhaps i am nothing, a beastly corporal illusion someone thought up in the dark days of summer and pulled me out of the ether for his pleasure or pain, and relivened me and for what i would like to know? to what purpose? i would have liked to remain unexisted and ubiquitous like the sea out of view from my balcony window. i think it is true that i didn't want to exist and once existing wanted only the peace and the mountains and the warmth of her body, and i don't think i ever had it and i have longed for it all of these many years and now i would like only to unexist, not to die, but perhaps to kill that specter that imagined me out of the ether, that memoried me, has attempted to history the unhistoried boy, the unclanned boy, the orphan, refugee, and i would have liked only to remain so: unspoken because not speakable, because to speak me is to alter maim and transfigure the boy who wanted only to be loved: i can say it now: to have been loved and out and out and free. unspecter me. i have always desired it. out out and free: the sea the wind and the invisible force that brings us to the limits of our desire, to the edge of things, out. i have always longed for it."

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


by rae armatrout from just saying

see something, say something.

jotting in a notebook.

carrying oneself
in a defensive posture.

pausing before shop windows.


say something.


“normal circulation pattern.”

rate monitor.

jotting in a notebook.

Sunday, August 13, 2017


***i am so incredibly indebted (reparations yes) to the many many folks of color who have challenged and continue to challenge me from every angle: those who have held my ignorance while holding my hand, shut me down when i needed it, drawn detailed maps of whiteness as presence (as racism), turned my gaze back, generously offered tools, frameworks, stories, compassion, patience, anger, grief... these are such enormous labors of transmutation*** 

from white supremacists with torches murdering and severely wounding people in charlottesville to madison police chief koval rounding up poor black folks throughout the city, on his equally supremacist and fascist "mission" ::: the continuum of white supremacy shows itself starkly 

the grief and anger spinning, our communities reeling

white supremacy culture isn't simply packaged in torches, nazi insignia, police badges, donald trump... it implicates the "nicest" of white liberals, the "fiercest" of white anarchists, the "smartest" of white radical leftist intellectuals, and includes deeply embedded and vigorously defended expectations:
-for everyday environments that bend and shape themselves around white people desires
-for interactions that assume white people should possess the constant presence of both safety and comfort, exploring/ expanding/ appropriating or withholding/ shutting down/ giving up at whatever whim
-for material opportunities, paths towards achievement - property, jobs, relationships, accolades, education, wealth, political power - that concede to an entitled "normalcy" of whiteness
-for ceaseless explicit and implicit control of "intangibles": narratives, aesthetics, rhetoric, emotional well-being, dialogue, manners, critiques, etc etc etc

... that fucked up whiteness of the mind. it is poison

Saturday, August 12, 2017


from antwerp by roberto bolaño

she said she loved busy days. i looked up at the sky. "busy days," and also insects and clouds that drift down to the bushes. this flower pot i leave in the country is proof of my love for you. then i came back with my butterfly net in the fog. the girl said: "calamity," "horses," "rockets sliced open," and turned her back on me. her back spoke. like the chirping of crickets in the afternoons of lonely houses. i closed my eyes, the brakes squealed, and the policemen leaped out of their cars. "keep looking out the window." without any explanation, two of them came to the door and said "police," the rest i could hardly hear. i closed my eyes, crickets chirped, the boys died on the beach. bodies riddled with holes. the brakes squealed and the cops got out. there's something obscene about this, said the medic when nobody was listening. i'll probably never come back to the clearing in the woods, not with flowers, not with the net, not with a fucking book to spend the afternoon. his mouth opened but the author couldn't hear a thing. he thought about the silence and then he thought "there's no such thing," "horses," "waning august moon." someone applauded from the void. i said i guessed this was happiness.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

i feel more lonely when i am with people than i do when i am alone looking at the internet

by mira gonzalez from i will never be beautiful enough to make us beautiful together

in social situations i hide specific parts of my personality that i think
other people might perceive as unappealing
i don’t feel like i am pretending to be something different that what i
i don’t feel like i am anything really
i am very tired all the time
i don’t identify with most people
i don’t think highly of myself
i am too passive to create a situation in which i convince another
person that i am valuable
that i am someone who deserves things
that my physical presence in the world should induce positive or
negative feelings
everyone is growing apart from me
i am letting them do that

Monday, August 7, 2017

the valve is language

excerpt from the literary conference by cesar aira

i have often asked myself how i got into this situation, what happened during my formative years that increased the speed of my mental flow so excessively and made it stick there. i have also asked myself (what haven't i asked myself?) what the exact measure of that speed is, for the very concept of "mental hyperactivity" is approximate and must contain gradations.

to the first question, regarding the history of my malady, i have responded for better or for worse with a small and private "creation myth," whose modulations have been all the novels i have written. i would be hard put to spell this out in the abstract because the myths' variations are not specific "examples" of a general form, in the same way that specific thoughts that are always flashing through my head like lightning are not case studies or examples of a type of thought.

that myth of the ideal myriads, that little drama without characters or plot, would be shaped like a valve. or, in less technical terms, it would have the characteristic baudelaire called "irreversibility." a formulated thought does not pass back through the same caudine forks of its birth, does not return to the nothingness from which it came. which explains not only the fierce overcrowding but also a quite visible feature of my personality: my bewilderment, my imprudence, my frivolity. the withdrawal of an idea to the conditions of its production is the necessary condition for its seriousness.

in my case, nothing returns, everything races forward, savagely being pushed from behind by what keeps coming through that accursed valve. this image, brought to its peak of maturation in my vertiginous reflections, revealed to me the path to the solution, which i forcefully put into practice whenever i have time and feel like it. the solution is none other than the greatly overused (by me) "escape forward." since turning back is off limits: forward! to the bitter end! running, flying, gliding, using up all the possibilities, the conquest of tranquility through the din of the battlefield. the vehicle is language. what else? because the valve is language. therein lay the root of the problem. which doesn't mean that once in a while, such as during those sessions at the pool, i didn't attempt a more conventional method, by relaxing, by trying to forget everything, by taking a short vacation.

but i have no illusions: there's something phony about this effort because i don't believe i'll ever renounce my old and beloved cerebral hyperactivity, which, in the end, is what i am. despite all our plans to change, we never voluntarily do so at the core, in our essence, which is usually where we find the knot of our worst defects.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

variations on lostness

if someone
does not want me
it is not the end of the world.
if i do not want me.
the world is nothing but endings.


she asked
'you are in love
what does love look like'
to which i replied
'like everything i've ever lost
come back to me.'

- both by nayirrah waheed

Sunday, July 30, 2017

the numinous

excerpt from the essay "woolf's darkness" by rebecca solnit from the book men explain things to me

this is the kind of criticism that does not pit the critic against the text, does not seek authority. it seeks instead to travel with the work and its ideas, to invite it to blossom and invite others into a conversation that might have previously seemed impenetrable, to draw out relationships that might have been unseen and open doors that might have been locked. this is a kind of criticism that respects the essential mystery of a work of art, which is in part its beauty and its pleasure, both of which are irreducible and subjective. the worst criticism seeks to have the last word and leave the rest of us in silence; the best opens up an exchange that need never end.

. . .

the tyranny of the quantifiable is partly the failure of language and discourse to describe the more complex, subtle, and fluid phenomena, as well as the failure of those who shape opinions and make decisions to understand and value these slipperier things. it is difficult, sometimes even impossible, to value what cannot be named or described, and so the task of naming and describing is an essential one in any revolt against the status quo of capitalism and consumerism. ultimately the destruction of earth is due in part, perhaps in large part, to a failure of the imagination or to its eclipse by systems of accounting that can't count what matters. the revolt against this destruction is a revolt of the imagination, in favor of subtleties, of pleasures money can't buy and corporations can't command, of being producers rather than consumers of meaning, of the slow, the meadering, the digressive, the exploratory, the numinous, the uncertain.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

the labor

we have failures that amount to less than
fingertips which carry and drag a torso across
a kind of unkind floor studded with sharp but
tricky smooth edges like rocks picked into
pockets when undone hands could not help
but scrape and pour and sometimes bleed

this all sounds hard in that way where
edge meets edge and means cut or clash
yet who is the aim and why target when voices
sink under and others rise buoyant while
the weight is not ugly nor wholesome and in fact
language of the body and otherwise is where
the tell or text pulls and quietly whispers

did the words catch

fingertips. carry. smooth. pockets. hands. pour.

if the blood is
or the sharp is
the edge or
drag or scrape

across this there is a weaving:

how can anyone arrive intact or alone when every layer follows
the same surprise

pulling together or tugging apart grasping tighter no now loosening
out bringing in cutting off tying up starting over and over and over and over
giving out
giving over
holding steady

thank you for a face so close waking up unguarded
thank you for a picture at a distance and i'm in it

all each one every glance
totally free


Tuesday, July 25, 2017


by laura sims from practice, restraint

one verdant minute

after the next, the love of the people

eludes him.

what does it mean? one thing unfolds

as a chain of things: the failure of making

a fantasy park

out of war

in an armchair,

the passage of hundreds of years

the loss of perpetual motion, the line

that proceeds

"a dark sky, and nothing but fire"

in his absence, the absence

of millions

Sunday, March 12, 2017

one or two things

by mary oliver

don't bother me.
i've just
been born.

the butterfly's loping flight
carries it through the country of leaves
delicately, and well enough to get it
where it wants to go, wherever that is, stopping
here and there to fuzzle the damp throats
of flowers and the black mud; up
and down it swings, frenzied and aimless; and sometimes

for long delicious moments it is perfectly
lazy, riding motionless in the breeze on the soft talk
of some ordinary flower.

the god of dirt
came up to me many times and said
so many wise and delectable things, i lay
on the grass listening
to his dog voice,
crow voice,
frog voice; now,
he said, and now,

and never once mentioned forever,

which has nevertheless always been,
like a sharp iron hoof,
at the center of my mind.

one or two things are all you need
to travel over the blue pond, over the deep
roughage of the trees and through the stiff
flowers of lightning - some deep
memory of pleasure, some cutting
knowledge of pain.

but to lift the hoof!
for that you need
an idea.

for years and years i struggled
just to love my life. and then

the butterfly
rose, weightless, in the wind.
"don't love your life
too much," it said,

and vanished
into the world.

Friday, March 3, 2017

nineteen eighty three

by ray a. young bear from the invisible musician

it is january--
and simply because
the rain failed to change
into snow
the quiet river
has risen to flood stage.
half-frozen rainwater
fills into a nearby pond
where once the sound
of frogs, crickets,
mosquitoes and birds
permeated the humid
summer night:
narcosis through
the sound of an open
window. tomorrow
young children will
pretend to skate
over the thick pond ice,
but each day their figures
will slowly descend
into the ground,
reminding us
of mythical rolling
heads playing hockey.
the rainwater will evaporate
and ice will succumb
to the daily game.
winter’s indecision
makes us feel safe.
an elder, however,
would say, “you’re
basically unprepared.”
no matter how balanced
one’s mentality,
one’s physicality.

the gentle appearance
of the female death light
from wisconsin
takes place
in the center
of a soybean field.
two times, a slow fire.
inside the hollow wall
a mouse takes a chance
during our rumination
to weep like a human.
throughout the neighborhood
the four-legged sentinels,
especially the all-white ones,
signal each other of this
incongruity: a shadow
of an unknown tall being
stands in the flash
of lightning.

Monday, February 20, 2017


by louise gluck from the seven ages

there was one summer
that returned many times over
there was one flower unfurling
taking many forms

crimson of the monarda, pale gold of the late roses

there was one love
there was one love, there were many nights

smell of the mock orange tree
corridors of jasmine and lilies
still the wind blew

there were many winters but i closed my eyes
the cold air white with dissolved wings

there was one garden when the snow melted
azure and white; i couldn’t tell
my solitude from love --

there was one love; he had many voices
there was one dawn; sometimes
we watched it together

i was here
i was here

there was one summer returning over and over
there was one dawn
i grew old watching

Friday, January 6, 2017

the first thing

by jean valentine from little boat

the first thing this guy takes
is happiness
        the faint light of the stars
        in spring:     leaping!     lambs!

next thing he takes
is your skin

where it was, you grow ten more

--- a lifetime learning
you could take off your skins
and just talk out of flesh, to flesh

to lamb    to sleep    to wake

Saturday, December 31, 2016


excerpts from through the looking glass by lewis carroll (charles lutwidge dodson)

"what sort of insects do you rejoice in, where you come from?" the gnat inquired.
"i don't rejoice in insects at all," alice explained, "because i'm rather afraid of them -- at least the large kinds. but i can tell you the names of some of them."
"of course they answer to their names?" the gnat remarked carelessly.
"i never knew them do it."
"what's the use of their having names," the gnat said, "if they won't answer to them?"
"no use to them," said alice; "but it's useful to the people that name them, i suppose. if not, why do things have names at all?"
"i can't say," the gnat replied. "further on, in the wood down there, they've got no names -- however, go on with your list of insects: you're wasting time."
"well, there's the horse-fly," alice began, counting off the names on her fingers.
"all right," said the gnat. "half way up that bush, you'll see a rocking-horse-fly, if you look. it's made entirely of wood, and gets about by swinging itself from branch to branch."
"what does it live on?" alice asked, with great curiosity.
"sap and sawdust," said the gnat. "go on with the list."
alice looked at the rocking-horse-fly with great interest, and made up her mind that it must have been just repainted, it looked so bright and sticky; and then she went on.
"and there's the dragon-fly."
"look on the branch above your head," said the gnat, "and there you'll find a snap=dragon-fly. its body is made of plum-pudding, its wings of holly-leaves, and its head is a raisin burning in brandy."
"and what does it live on?" alice asked, as before.
"frumenty and mince-pie," the gnat replied; "and it makes its nest in a christmas-box."
"and then there's the butterfly," alice went on, after she had taken a good look at the insect with its head on fire, and had thought to herself, "i wonder if that's the reason insects are so fond of flying into candles -- because they want to turn into snap-dragon-flies!"
"crawling at your feet," said the gnat (alice drew her feet back in some alarm), "you may observe a bread-and-butter-fly. its wings are thin slices of bread-and-butter, its body is a crust, and its head is a lump of sugar."
"and what does it live on?"
"weak tea with cream in it."
a new difficulty came into alice's head. "supposing it couldn't find any?" she suggested.
"then it would die, of course."
"but that must happen very often," alice remarked thoughtfully.
"it always happens," said the gnat.
after this, alice was silent for a minute or two, pondering. the gnat amused itself meanwhile by humming round and round her head: at last it settled again and remarked "i suppose you don't want to lose your name?"
"no, indeed," alice said, a little anxiously.
"and yet i don't know," the gnat went on in a careless tone: "only think how convenient it would be if you could manage to go home without it! for instance, if the governess wanted to call you to your lessons, she would call out 'come here -------,' and there she would have to leave off, because there wouldn't be any name for her to call, and of course you wouldn't have to go, you know."
"that would never do, i'm sure," said alice: "the governess would never think of excusing me lessons for that. if she couldn't remember my name, she'd call me 'miss,' as the servants do."
"well, if she said 'miss,' and didn't say anything more," the gnat remarked, "of course you'd miss your lessons. that's a joke. i wish you had made it."
"why do you wish i had made it?" alice asked. "it's a very bad one."
but the gnat only sighed deeply, while two large tears came rolling down its cheeks.
"you shouldn't make jokes," alice said, "if it makes you so unhappy."


"how can you go on talking so quietly, head downwards?" alice asked, as she dragged him out by the feet, and laid him in a heap on the bank.
the knight looked surprised at the question. "what does it matter where my body happens to be?" he said. "my mind goes on working all the same. in fact, the more head-downwards i am, the more i keep inventing new things."
"now the cleverest thing of the sort that i ever did," he went on after a pause, "was inventing a new pudding during the meat-course."
"in time to have it cooked for the next course?" said alice. "well, that was quick work, certainly!"
"well, not the next course," the knight said in a slow thoughtful tone: "no, certainly not the next course."
"then it would have to be the next day. i suppose you wouldn't have two pudding-courses in one dinner?"
"well not the next day," the knight repeated as before: "not the next day. in fact," he went on, holding his head down, and his voice getting lower and lower, "i don't believe that pudding ever was cooked! in fact, i don't believe that pudding ever will be cooked! and yet it was a very clever pudding to invent."
"what did you mean it to be made of?" alice asked, hoping to cheer him up, for the poor knight seemed quite low-spirited about it.
"it began with blotting-paper," the knight answered with a groan.
"that wouldn't be very nice, i'm afraid ---"
"not very nice alone," he interrupted, quite eagerly: "but you've no idea what a difference it makes, mixing it with other things - such as gunpowder and sealing-wax. and here i must leave you." they had just come to the end of the wood.
alice could only look puzzled: she was thinking of the pudding.
"you are sad," the knight said in an anxious tone: "let me sing you a song to comfort you."
"is it very long?" alice asked, for she had heard a good deal of poetry that day.
"it's long," said the knight, "but it's very, very beautiful. everybody that hears me sing it - either it brings the tears into their eyes, or else ----"
"or else what?" said alice, for the knight had made a sudden pause.
"or else it doesn't, you know. the name of the song is called 'haddocks' eyes.'"
"oh, that's the name of the song, is it?" alice said, trying to feel interested.
 "no, you don't understand," the knight said, looking a little vexed. "that's what the name is called. the name really is "the aged aged man.'"
"then i ought to have said, 'that's what the song is called'?" alice corrected herself.
"no, you oughtn't: that's quite another thing! the song is called 'ways and means': but that's only what it's called, you know!"
"well, what is the song, then?" said alice, who was by this time completely bewildered.
"i was coming to that," the knight said. "the song really is 'a-sitting on a gate': and the tune's my own invention."
so saying, he stopped his horse and let the reins fall on its neck: then, slowly beating time with one hand, and with a faint smile lighting up his gentle foolish face, as if he enjoyed the music of his song, he began.
of all the strange things that alice saw in her journey through the looking-glass, this was the one that she always remembered most clearly. years afterwards she could bring the whole scene back again, as if it had been only yesterday -- the mild blue eyes and kindly smile of the knight -- the setting sun gleaming through his hair, and shining on his armour in a blaze of light that quite dazzled her -- the horse quietly moving about, with the reins hanging loose on his neck, cropping the grass at her feet -- and the black shadows of the forest behind -- all this she took in like a picture, as with one hand shading her eyes, she leant against a tree, watching the strange pair, and listening, in a half-dream, to the melancholy music of the song.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

bank seven

by laura sims from practice, restraint

tit for tat

your border gives in

                    under the wet awning, a bomb

or something

we think ---

                    we were animals


Thursday, December 15, 2016

i i i i i

from seize the day by saul bellow

"on broadway it was still bright afternoon and the gassy air was almost motionless under the leaden spokes of sunlight, and sawdust footprints lay about the doorways of butcher shops and fruit stores. and the great, great crowd, the inexhaustible current of millions of every race and kind pouring out, pressing round, of every age, of every genius, possessors of every human secret, antique and future, in every face the refinement of one particular motive or essence -- i labor, i spend, i strive, i design, i love, i cling, i uphold, i give way, i envy, i long, i scorn, i die, i hide, i want. faster, much faster than any man could make the tally. the sidewalks were wider than any causeway; the street itself was immense, and it quaked and gleamed and it seemed to wilhelm to throb at the last limit of endurance. and although the sunlight appeared like a broad tissue, its actual weight made him feel like a drunkard."