Tuesday, 27 May 2014

It is hard to explain the light here

earnest and aerobic light,
not the complacent kind.
It gets fired up by the ocean, and believes
in its own ability to reinvent

“It is hard to explain the light here,
earnest and aerobic light,
not the complacent kind.
It gets fired up by the ocean, and believes
in its own ability to reinvent
the vapid into the vatic,
the sore, serene,
torpor to fever,
temblor and squall to static.

I know you have light in other places.
I have lived in other places
and found curb to polestar endearing.
What can I say? Everywhere
dawn wears its mantle of emblem,
cuing insomniac, paperboy, baker.
Here in these fringe towns
yolked by Coast Highway and
the old mission route, El Camino Real,

we are awaken neither more beautiful
nor more true, but the light
brings the possible on particle,
seducing the muscles and liquids of your eye.
The possible weights little, tastes
like coriander or thyme,
and resembles its sister, the probable,
whose features are more sharply defined,
whose finest hour is dusk.”
—Hédi Kaddour, “Divided,” from The Paris Review 159, Fall 2001

Thursday, 15 May 2014

That permanent sort of thing that people casually refer to as "friendship"– two views

“I have often noticed that we are inclined to endow our friends with the stability of type that literary characters acquire in the reader's mind. No matter how many times we reopen 'King Lear,' never shall we find the good king banging his tankard in high revelry, all woes forgotten, at a jolly reunion with all three daughters and their lapdogs. Never will Emma rally, revived by the sympathetic salts in Flaubert's father's timely tear. Whatever evolution this or that popular character has gone through between the book covers, his fate is fixed in our minds, and, similarly, we expect our friends to follow this or that logical and conventional pattern we have fixed for them. Thus X will never compose the immortal music that would clash with the second-rate symphonies he has accustomed us to. Y will never commit murder. Under no circumstances can Z ever betray us. We have it all arranged in our minds, and the less often we see a particular person, the more satisfying it is to check how obediently he conforms to our notion of him every time we hear of him. Any deviation in the fates we have ordained would strike us as not only anomalous but unethical. We could prefer not to have known at all our neighbor, the retired hot-dog stand operator, if it turns out he has just produced the greatest book of poetry his age has seen.”
― Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

“All along, Patty had been unaware that time is as adhesive as love, and that the more time you spend with someone the greater the likelihood of finding yourself with a permanent sort of thing to deal with that people casually refer to as "friendship," as if that were the end of the matter, when the truth is that even if "your friend" does something annoying, or if you and "your friend" decided that you hate each other, or if "your friend" moves away and you lose each other's address, you still have a friendship, and although it can change shape, look different in different lights, become an embarrassment or an encumbrance or a sorrow, it can't simply cease to have existed, no matter how far into the past it sinks, so attempts to disavow or destroy it will not merely constitute betrayals of friendship but, more practically, are bound to be fruitless, causing damage only to the humans involved rather than to that gummy jungle (friendship) in which those humans have entrapped themselves, so if sometime in the future you're not going to want to have been a particular person's friend, or if you're not going to want to have had that particular friendship you and that person can make with one another, then don't be friends with that person at all, don't talk to that person, don't go anywhere near that person, because as soon as you start to see something from that person's point of view (which, inevitably, will be as soon as you stand next to that person) common ground is sure to slide under your feet.”
― Deborah Eisenberg, The Stories (So Far) of Deborah Eisenberg  

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Any fool can get into an ocean

But it takes a Goddess to get out of one.
Any fool can get into an ocean   
But it takes a Goddess   
To get out of one.
What’s true of oceans is true, of course,
Of labyrinths and poems. When you start swimming   
Through riptide of rhythms and the metaphor’s seaweed
You need to be a good swimmer or a born Goddess
To get back out of them
Look at the sea otters bobbing wildly
Out in the middle of the poem
They look so eager and peaceful playing out there where the
    water hardly moves
You might get out through all the waves and rocks
Into the middle of the poem to touch them
But when you’ve tried the blessed water long
Enough to want to start backward
That’s when the fun starts
Unless you’re a poet or an otter or something supernatural
You’ll drown, dear. You’ll drown
Any Greek can get you into a labyrinth
But it takes a hero to get out of one
What’s true of labyrinths is true of course
Of love and memory. When you start remembering.

 – Jack Spicer, "Any fool can get into an ocean..." from Poetry (July/August 2008)

Monday, 5 May 2014

The Existential Crisis

Where am I? What does it mean to say: the world? What is the meaning of that word? Who tricked me into this whole thing and leaves me standing here? Who am I? How did I get into the world? Why was I not asked about it, why was I not informed of the rules and regulations but just thrust into the ranks as if I had been bought from a peddling shanghaier of human beings? How did I get involved in this big enterprise called actuality? Why should I be involved? Isn’t it a matter of choice? And if I am compelled to be involved, where is the manager? I have something to say about this. Is there no manager? To whom shall I make my complaint? 
Søren Kierkegaard from Repetition, A Venture in Experimental Psychology

Søren Kierkegaard was born on 5th May, 1813.