October 23, 2013

October 18, 2013

The Way of All Flesh


Do not be afraid you are dying
And the four great elements of your body are collapsing one into the other
It feels as if you are being crushed by mountains.

October 2, 2013

Vintage Book Covers - Richard Yates' Revolutionary Road



“It's a disease. Nobody thinks or feels or cares any more; nobody gets excited or believes in anything except their own comfortable little God damn mediocrity.”
― Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road

September 9, 2013

The Long Walk and James Jones

If I never meet you in this life, let me feel the lack. 
A glance from your eyes, then my life will be yours. 
~ James Jones, The Thin Red Line

July 19, 2013

The West Coast - Water and Heidegger


“To be a poet in a destitute time means: to attend, singing, to the trace of the fugitive gods. This is why the poet in the time of the world's night utters the holy.” 
― Martin Heidegger

July 11, 2013

Eulogy For Helen Bates

Gate to Auntie Honey's garden. July 5th, 2013. 

I could always smell Auntie Honey's kitchen before I even got up the green-painted wood stairs that led to the door. Spices and baking and hot tea. As a kid the smells meant cookies and conversation. As an adult, they meant a kind of time travel, where years went by but certain things remained constant.

She was the woman who let me rest on her couch when I was sent home from kindergarten with a concussion. She gave us free run of her raspberry canes out by Uncle Bob's wood shop during summer, or let us rummage in her time-warp basement for toys that were older than we could imagine. She became a surrogate mother to my own father, after his own parents closed that door.

I knew a bit about her life in Melville, in Toronto, the train rides back home to take care of sick family members. I knew her middle name was Stanley, even though it translated into something else in Polish. She wasn't really my aunt, but I'd never felt like anything but family with her. Especially in that kitchen - with its smells. Cloves and nutmeg, oatmeal cookies, clean linens.

June 29, 2013

An Abridged Life - Nabokov and Cemeteries


"...and although there is plenty of space on a gravestone to contain, bound in moss, the abridged version of a man's life, detail is always welcome." 
Vladimir Nabokov - Laughter in the Dark

June 6, 2013

Image and Story: Death, Bergman, Levi, Reveille


"In the brutal nights we used to dream
Dense violent dreams,
Dreamed with soul and body:
To return; to eat; to tell the story.
Until the dawn command
Sounded brief, low
'Wstawac'
And the heart cracked in the breast."
~ Primo Levi Reveille (excerpt)

May 16, 2013

Ferns Unfurling


To sink one's teeth into what cannot be removed or thought or sought after.
A green-softened spine curling up from its self, to its other. 

May 6, 2013

Getting Your Children Outdoors - Baby Cages?


"With these facts in view it is the purpose of the present invention to provide an article of manufacture for babies and young children, to be suspended upon the exterior of a building adjacent an open window, wherein the baby or young child may be placed."
~ Emma Read's Portable Baby Cage U.S. Patent #1448235

April 29, 2013

Philosophical Graffiti - Palais de Justice de Bruxelles


"Master of a body is not master of a life."
~ graffiti on the steps of the Palais de Justice de Bruxelles 2005. 

April 23, 2013

Photographs and The Pain of Others

Zimbabwe, 2000. AIDS sufferer in a tuberculosis ward
"This sleight of hand allows photographs to be both objective record and personal testimony, both a faithful copy or transcription of an actual moment of reality and an interpretation of that reality - a feat literature has long aspired to, but could never attain in this literal sense."
                                          ~Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others

April 10, 2013

Romanesque Chapel and Daudet


“Oh, this terrible second me, always seated whilst the other is on foot, acting, living, suffering, bestirring itself. This second me that I have never been able to intoxicate, to make shed tears, or put to sleep. And how it sees into things, and how it mocks!”
                              ~ Alphonse Daudet

April 1, 2013

A Staircase in Niagara



"Ever been kicked?" 
"Might have been."
"Frequently?" 
"No." 
"Ever kicked down stairs?" 
"Decidedly not; once received a kick at the top of a staircase, and fell down stairs of his own accord." 
                                 ~Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

March 29, 2013

Ålesund


But I turned and walked 
Away from all the fun
And back into the black 
Seaside night of Alesund




March 27, 2013

In the Gray Wood By the River


Somewhere in the gray wood by the river is the huntsman and in the brooming corn and in the castellated press of citiesHis work lies all wheres and his hounds tire not. I have seen them in a dreamslaverous and wild and their eyes crazed with ravening for souls in this worldFly them. 
          ~ Cormac McCarthy, Suttree.

March 26, 2013

Backwards in Time


"You walk through a series of arches, so to speak, and then, presently, at the end of a corridor, a door opens and you see backward through time, and you feel the flow of time, and realize you are only part of a great nameless procession."
                                 ~John Huston

March 25, 2013

The Man Bill Murray


"I bet Mafia kids get bummed when they find out the tooth fairy doesn't take other people's teeth or when they find out there's no horse-head fairy at all."
                                                                 ~ Bill Murray

March 24, 2013

Trees and Hermann Hesse




So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them."