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the journey of words

I walk lightly so as not to crush my cheerfulness. I walk heavily so as not
to fly. In both cases the ground protects me from disappearing into adjectives
that cannot be used to describe it.

Deep inside me there is a hidden music, and I am afraid of it being
played solo.

In order to rectify the mistakes I have made I am compelled to do extra
work on the draft plan for belief in the future. Those who have made no
mistakes in the past do not need this belief.
Mountains, sea and air. I fly and swim, as if I am an air-sea bird. As if I
am a poet!

All prose here is primitive poetry lacking a skilled craftsman, and all
poetry here is prose accessible to passers-by.
With all the happiness granted to me, I hide my tears from the strings
of the oud that lies in wait for my death rattle, and creeps up on young
girls’ desires.

The private is public. And the public is private . .. until further notice, a
long way from the present and from the meaning of the poem.

Mahmoud Darwish, from “From now on you are you,” A River Dies of Thirst. (Archipelago Books, 2009)

Many waters have flowed through the valleys and rivers, and many plants
grown on the walls, but oblivion has migrated with the migrating birds,
northwards, northwards.

Mahmoud Darwish, from “From now on you are you,” A River Dies of Thirst. (Archipelago Books, 2009)

As if I haven’t gone away. As if I have returned from a short visit to say
goodbye to a friend, only to find myself sitting waiting for myself on a
stone bench under an apple tree.

Mahmoud Darwish, from “From now on you are you,” A River Dies of Thirst. (Archipelago Books, 2009)

[…] and the sea sighs, wave upon wave, like a woman in love washing
her proud beloved’s feet.

Mahmoud Darwish, from “From now on you are you,” A River Dies of Thirst. (Archipelago Books, 2009)

and the sea sighs on Flickr.

and the sea sighs on Flickr.


"What I saw wasn’t a ghost. It was simply—myself. I can never forget how terrified I was that night, and whenever I remember it, this thought always springs to mind: that the most frightening thing in the world is our own self."

Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (Vintage, 2007)

(via fuckyeahexistentialism)


Small roads written in sleep in the foothills
how long ago and I believed you were lost
as I saw the bronze deepening in the light
and the shy moss turning to itself holding
its own brightness above the badger’s path
while a single crow sailed west without a sound
and yet we trust without giving it a thought
that we will always see it as we see it once
and that what we know is only
a moment of what is ours and will
always be ours we believe it as
the moment flows away out of reach
and lengthening shadows merge in the valley
and one window kindles there like a first star
what we see again will come to us in secret
and without even knowing that we are here

W.S. Merwin, “Long Afternoon Light,” from The Moon Before Morning (Copper Canyon Press, 2014)

I got up at first light because I was dreaming the actual stuff—it sometimes happens to me—dreaming the actual lines, so had to get up to write it down or would have dreamed it all out.

A. E. Hotchner, Papa Hemingway: A Personal Memoir (Da Capo Press, 2005)

"But you know, Papa, despite poor Jake and his tragic fate, I never really felt anything ‘lost’ about that group. Maybe it’s just a  reflection of my debauched state, but by the end of the book I felt a certain survival strength in those people, not at all the utter hopelessness of a ‘lost generation.’"

 ”That was Gertrude Stein’s pronouncement, not mine!” he snapped. “Gertrude repeating what some garage keeper in the Midi had told her about his apprentice mechanics: une generation perdue. Well, Gertrude … a pronouncement was a pronouncement was a pronouncement. I only used it in the front of Sun Also Rises so I could counter it with what I thought. That passage from Ecclesiastes, that sound lost? ‘One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; but the earth abideth forever …’ Solid endorsement for Mother Earth, right? ‘The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to the place where he arose …’ Solid endorsement for sun. Also endorses wind. Then the rivers—playing it safe across the board: ‘All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.’ Never could say thither. Look, Gertrude was a com-plainer. So she labeled that generation with her complaint. But it was bullshit. There was no movement, no tight band of pot-smoking nihilists wandering around looking for Mommy to lead them out of the dada wilderness. What there was, was a lot of people around the same age who had been through the war and now were writing or composing or whatever, and other people who had not been through the war and either wished they had been or wished they were writing or boasted about not being in the war. Nobody I knew at that time thought of himself as wearing the silks of the Lost Generation, or had even heard the label. We were a pretty solid mob. The characters in Sun Also Rises were tragic, but the real hero was the earth and you get the sense of its triumph in abiding forever.”

A. E. Hotchner, Papa Hemingway: A Personal Memoir (Da Capo Press, 2005)


Surrey With the Fringe on Top

"Surrey with the Fringe on Top" by by Ahmad Jamal  [at the Pershing: But Not for Me, 1958]

Ahmad Jamal - piano
Israel Crosby - bass
Vernell Fournier - drums

(via jazzrelatedstuff)