“I must see new things and investigate them. I want to taste dark water and see crackling trees and wild winds. I want to gaze with astonishment at mouldy garden fences. I want to experience them all, to hear young birch plantations and trembling leaves, to see light and sun, to enjoy wet green-blue valleys in the evening, to sense goldfish glinting, to see white clouds building up in the sky, to speak to flowers. I want to look intently at grasses and pink people and old venerable churches, to know what little cathedrals say, to run without stopping along curving meadowy slopes across vast plains, to kiss the earth and smell soft warm marshland flowers.”—Egon Schiele (via weissewiese)
1. Run away to Brooklyn. Rent an apartment with a claw-footed bathtub. Commute to Manhattan during the week and put in hours at a menial publishing job. Drive home to New Jersey on weekends to swim in the pool and cry to your mother. Smoke Gauloises on the fire escape. Let yellowing issues of Rolling Stone and Vogue pile into a protective fortress around your bed. Listen to Cat Power. Fall asleep mostly naked beneath the duvet drinking earl grey. Date a Yankees fan and kiss his hands on the 4 Train into the Bronx.
2. Run away to Barcelona. Eat milk chocolate Magnum bars and drink cheap champagne. Burst into charming fits of laughter whenever you get embarrassed about butchering the Catalan language. Wear denim cutoffs, Dr. Pepper chapstick, and very little else. Go dancing at 3am. Whiten your teeth. Tan your shoulders. Braid feathers into your hair. Perpetually wake up with sand caught in the thin cotton sheets of your tiny bed. Listen to the Rolling Stones and kiss all the long-haired boys you can get your hands on. Don’t apologize.
3. Run away to Los Angeles. Sublet a studio in Venice three blocks from the beach. Listen to top forty radio. Go to Chateau Marmont and charge drinks you can’t afford to a long-dormant credit card. Sleep with a television actor who lives in the valley. Break things off with him when gas prices begin to rise. Find Gilda Radner’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and swallow a sob when you see that the filthy cement around her name is cracked. Walk through the Venice Canals until the sun sets and you forget your own name. Call your mother crying from the parking lot of a 24-hour Ralph’s supermarket. Tell her you want to come home.
4. Run away to Paris. Gaze at the pink and pistachio glow of macarons in the window on Boulevard Saint-Germain. Listen to Joni Mitchell. Meet an Argentinean man in the Latin Quarter for drinks. Melt into his accent and kiss him goodnight, but return to your apartment alone because he doesn’t look enough like the man you are trying to forget. Get lost in the Richelieu Wing of the Louvre, admiring Napoleon’s fine red damask. Walk alone along the Seine in an old dress, ten-dollar shoes, and an Hermes scarf. Fumble with the locks on the fence overlooking the river. They all have lovers’ names etched into them and the girl who left the red heart-shaped lock has the same name as you.
5. Run away to Martha’s Vineyard. Write heartbroken stories during the day in front of a large fan that blows curls of humid hair across your tired face. Take a waitress job at The Black Dog at night and try hard not to drop too many trays. Learn to ride a moped. Pretend you’re a Kennedy. Listen to Carly Simon. Eat hand-churned icecream out of waffle cones. Visit the flying horses and consider how many girls just like you have sat on the same horse clutching for the same brass ring. Get stoned and dance barefoot down the length of the eroded Jaws beach. Date a Red Sox fan. Yell at each other during baseball games, and then kiss and make up between tangled sheets.
There’s a book called ‘A Dictionary of Angels’. No one has opened it in fifty years, I know, because when I did, The covers creaked, the pages Crumbled. There I discovered
That angels were once as plentiful As species of flies. The sky at dusk Used to be thick with them. You had to wave both arms Just to keep them away.
Now the sun is shining Through the tall windows. The library is a quiet place. Angels and gods huddled In dark unopened books. The great secret lies On some shelf Miss Jones Passes every day on her rounds.
She’s very tall, so she keeps Her head tipped as if listening. The books are whispering. I hear nothing, but she does.
“[Lovers in cars, delivery trucks make leaves
tremble along the roadside.] If you know this,
little suitcase of guts & nails,
you are still alive,
even with your broken hinges.”—Yusef Komunyakaa, from “Night of the Armadillo” (via the-final-sentence)
“Now, I felt I had to go through our past plans about our future and undo it all.
I thought: we’ll never have a big wedding. We won’t have a small one. Our wedding won’t be medium-size. We’ll never know if our children might have been smart or worn glasses or had vocabulary words printed on index cards. We won’t be having any boys. No girls, no boys. We won’t call them anything. We’ll never argue about what to call them. I’ll never be unhappy with one of the names, and I’ll never tell him I wished our daughter were named something else. I’ll never pretend to like a name just because he liked it. No, we’ll never have that fight.
For that, at least, I am glad.
We’ll never say we love each other, and that this time we mean it like we haven’t meant it before and like we’ll never say it again to anyone else. No. We’ll never do that.”—Elissa Bassist, “The Never-to-Be Bride” (via leopoldgursky)
“[Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.]
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”—Mary Oliver, from “When I Am Among Trees” (via the-final-sentence)
“[You will fall out of love. You will fall in love. You will fall out of love.
You will run out of money. You will be glad it’s always warm. You will stare at the sea. You will stare at the sun. You will stare at the birds breaking up blue.] You will stare at the wind leant palms.”—Fielden Nelson, from “Failure Map” (via the-final-sentence)
“[May my name be in the textbooks
Of children playing in the street.
When they’ve read my grievous story,
May they smile behind their desklids …]
If I can’t have love, if I can’t find peace,
Give me a bitter glory.”—Anna Akhmatova (trans. D. M. Thomas), untitled piece from 1913 (via the-final-sentence)
“When someone knocks on the door,
Think that he’s about
To give you something large: tell you you’re forgiven,
Or that it’s not necessary to work all the time,
Or that it’s been decided that if you lie down no one will die.”—Robert Bly, from “Things to Think” (via the-final-sentence)
“She entered the story knowing she would emerge from it feeling she had been immersed in the lives of others, in plots that stretched back twenty years, her body full of sentences and moments, as if awaking from sleep with a heaviness caused by unremembered dreams.”—Michael Ondaatje (via flentes)
“And some who are born live only for minutes,
others for two, or for three, summers,
or four, and when they go, everything goes—the earth, the firmament—
and love stays, where nothing is, and seeks.”—Sharon Olds, from “Everything” (thanks, wearingtheink)
in my head, we’re a symphony. breathing. beating. bright. better. and i’m reckless in your arms. desperate when you go. and in my head, we’re a tale of two cities. blue blue blue sky and sea between us. crackling static nine thousand miles away but you’re my surround sound. and i look out into the night to find you. and in my head, where are you and where to, blue shoe?
the right of blue parades, the way of endless wolves, the third of loveless quarrels, the throw of gentle shoves, the thrust of thigh on thigh, the must of eyebrow glue, the might of lifeless green, the make of neural goods, the fine of turning keys, the tumble of lost prints, the raise of rich champagne, the never of here and now, the half of clear ambition, the hope of feathery flumes, the wait of letters strewn, the bait of lightning grove, the search for drums and tums, the soon of frightful stains, the dangle of sturdy seas, the chime of furry aches, the cost of living large, the pay of purple negatives, the pulse of forever first, the day of moss and moon.
“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.”—Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams (via girlwithoutwings)