Tuesday, August 24, 2010

You Shall Know Our Velocity

Love is implicit in every connection.  It should be.  Thus when absent it makes us insane. It breaks our equilibrium and we have to flounder for reasons.  When we pass by another person without telling them we love them it's cruel and wrong and we all know this.  We live in a constant state of denial and imbalance.

Dave Eggers, You Shall Know Our Velocity

Monday, August 23, 2010

Which would you rather smell?

"The night was clear and his head felt as clear and cold as the air. He smelled the odor of the pine boughs under him, the piney smell of the crushed needles and the sharper odor of the resinous sap from the cut limbs. Pilar, he thought. Pilar and the smell of death. This is the smell I love. This and fresh-cut clover, the crushed sage as you ride after cattle, wood-smoke and the burning leaves of autumn. That must be the odor of nostalgia, the smell of the smoke from the piles of raked leaves burning in the streets in the fall in Missoula. Which would you rather smell? Sweet grass the Indians used in their baskets? Smoked leather? The odor of the ground in the spring after rain? The smell of the sea as you walk through the gorse on a headland in Galicia? Or the wind from the land as you come in toward Cuba in the dark? That was the odor of the cactus flowers, mimosa and the seagrape shrubs. Or would you rather smell frying bacon in the morning when you are hungry? Or coffee in the morning? Or a Jonathan apple as you bit into it? Or a cider mill in the grinding, or bread fresh from the oven? You must be hungry, he thought, and he lay on his side and watched the entrance of the cave in the light that the stars reflected from the snow."

-Ernest Hemingway, passage from "For Whom the Bell Tolls" p. 260

the straightforward mermaid

The straightforward mermaid starts every sentence with "Look..." This comes from being raised in a sea full of hooks. She wants to get points 1, 2, and 3 across, doesn't want to disappear like a river into the ocean. When she's feeling despairing, she goes to eddies at the mouth of the river and tries to comb the water apart with her fingers. The straightforward mermaid has already said to five sailors, "Look, I don't think this is going to work," before sinking like a sullen stone. She's supposed to teach Rock Impersonation to the younger mermaids, but every beach field trip devolves to them trying to find shells to match their scales. They really love braiding. "Look," says the straightforward mermaid. "Your high ponytails make you look like fountains, not rocks." Sometimes she feels like a third gender--preferring primary colors to pastels, the radio to singing. At least she's all mermaid: she never gets tired of swimming, hates the thought of socks.

-Matthea Harvey, as seen in the New Yorker

Sunday, August 22, 2010

do the
of the lit
tle once beau
tiful la
dy (sitting sew
ing at an o
pen window this
fine morning) fly
instead of dancing
are they possibly
afraid that life is
running away from
then (i wonder) or
isn't she a
ware that life (who
never grows old)
is always beau
tiful and
that nobod
y beauti
ful ev
er hur

e.e. cummings.  I am obsessed with him right now.