Monday, December 21, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
But when we gaze at a still life, when - even though we did not pursue it - we delight in its beauty, a beauty borne away by the magnified and immobile figuration of things, we find pleasure in the fact that there was no need for longing, we may contemplate something we need not want, may cherish something we need not desire. So this still life, because it embodies a beauty that speaks to our desire but was given birth by someone else's desire, because it cossets our pleasure without in any way being part of our own projects, because it is offered to us without requiring the effort of desiring on our part: this still life incarnates the quintessence of Art, the certainty of timelessness. In the scene before our eyes - silent, without life or motion - a time exempt of projects is incarnated, perfection purloined from duration and its weary greed - pleasure without desire, existence without duration, beauty without will.
For art is emotion without desire.
[image via here]
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
The Sundance Channel aired a special on George Whitman, ex-patriot and owner of Shakespeare & Co., entitled Portrait of a Bookstore as an Old Man. At the end of the documentary, Whitman recites the poem below. I fell in love with his cadence, the serenity in his gaze, the simplicity of that moment he chose to share his poem, the eccentricity of his haircut. I’ve memorized his poem and it’s morphed into mantra of sorts; I catch myself thinking the words without realizing I’m doing so.
There was one brightest star, one face -
One image from afar filled with syruped grace
Each poem is her heart’s fantasy
Each flower and tree is framed within her memory
Each dream, each midnight, and each dawn
Are garments, thoughts of her put on
Each beam of light from the imperial blue
With her in falls the good
Friday, October 23, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Last Saturday, I spent several hours at Three Lives & Company, a special bookstore in Greenwich Village. It is small, quaint, and stocked with bestsellers, obscure titles, travelogues, local authors, classics, children's books, and so on. I wanted to read (okay devour) every book my fingers tumbled amorously across. Miraculously, I narrowed my massive pile down to just one, A Moveable Feast. Thrilling.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
what I long to do in the moments I’m unable,
forming an enemy bent to snuff what remains.
Creatively I abscond,
The bucket of flour – mine,
teeters confidently on the shelf above what’s left,
(now only slight smolderings of craft)
so that it can bully and blanket
my only motive
with a film that hints
teasingly toward a suffocating end.
“Children,” the teacher instructs,
“the pyromaniac is one who gives in to incendiary longing,
weak like the stilted victim with roots that no longer matter.”
So I am both – the anti and the obsessed,
Negation for a brief, anomalous minute
Only until the bucket tires of teasing
Thursday, September 24, 2009
and to your (in my arms flowering so new)
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Reminiscing in the drizzle of Portland, I notice
the ring that’s landed on your finger, a massive
insect of glitter, a chandelier shining at the end
of a long tunnel. Thirteen years ago, you hid the hurt
in your voice under a blanket and said there’s two kinds
those you write poems about
and those you don’t. It’s true. I never brought you
a bouquet of sonnets, or served you haiku in bed.
My idea of courtship was tapping Jane’s Addiction
lyrics in Morse code on your window at three A.M.,
whiskey doing push-ups on my breath. But I worked
within the confines of my character, cast
as the bad boy in your life, the Magellan
of your dark side. We don’t have a past so much
as a bunch of electricity and liquor, power
never put to good use. What we had together
makes it sound like a virus, as if we caught
one another like colds, and desire was merely
a symptom that could be treated with soup
and lots of sex. Gliding beside you now,
I feel like the Benjamin Franklin of monogamy,
as if I invented it, but I’m still not immune
to your waterfall scent, still haven’t developed
antibodies for your smile. I don’t know how long
regret existed before humans stuck a word on it.
I don’t know how many paper towels it would take
to wipe up the Pacific Ocean, or why the light
of a candle being blown out travels faster
than the luminescence of one that’s just been lit,
but I do know that all our huffing and puffing
into each other’s ears—as if the brain was a trick
didn’t make the silence
any easier to navigate. I’m sorry all the kisses
I scrawled on your neck were written
in disappearing ink. Sometimes I thought of you
so hard one of your legs would pop out
of my ear hole, and when I was sleeping, you’d press
your face against the porthole of my submarine.
I’m sorry this poem has taken thirteen years
to reach you. I wish that just once, instead of skidding
off the shoulder blade’s precipice and joyriding
over flesh, we’d put our hands away like chocolate
to be saved for later, and deciphered the calligraphy
of each other’s eyelashes, translated a paragraph
from the volumes of what couldn’t be said.
[image via here]
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
My morning routine has taken a reflective turn, literally. At the top of the first hill on 190th, and depending on the morning's clarity, I am gifted with a brief (but so satisfying) look at the ocean behind me via my rear view mirror. Often coupled with 105.1's national anthem or Big Boy's casual chatter (both of which offering very distinct accompaniments), I'm hit with a wave of graciousness. I am so fortunate.
And as if that weren't enough, I see the sun in reverse on my drive home. The colors are vivid and electric and I swear I haven't seen a single hue repeat itself in the 8 months I've lived by the beach.
Sunrise and sunset, nature's bookends. It appears as though they hold me up as well.
[Hermosa Beach sunset image via mstlouis]
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
My morning coffee has served it's purpose, and now I am alert after a seventeen hour work day. (Monday's and month-ends are not the most promising combination.) Heavy lidded eyes and the almost-mistaking of my morning oatmeal for a soft down pillow have me wishing for something comforting and familiar. So naturally, I've turned my Pandora station to Billy Joel in hope that I'll hear Vienna, the song that serves as my sweet and subtle slap on the wrist when my work/life balance begins to slip.
Slow down, you're doing fine. You can't be everything you want to be before your time, although it's so romantic on the borderline tonight. Too bad but it's the life you lead, you're so ahead of yourself that you forgot what you need - though you can see when you're wrong, you know you can't always see you're right.
When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?
[image via Merisi, author of a brilliant Viennese blog]
Sunday, March 1, 2009
trail mix, with one cinnamon stick
the sun deck and a round table
faded tablecloth and iron chairs
bathing suit and sundress and bare feet - propped,
four chairs for just one summer-stricken girl
reading and being,
striped beach bag packed
for a sun day like this -
and when the sun is just right she walks
down her white-washed steps and
onto the sand
to sleep - stretch - write - listen -
to memorize everything on purpose, as
sun days will be hard to come by
on another coast
[image via irene suchocki]
Friday, February 27, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
My reading currently list has grown out of hand. It is comprised of books that are individually deserving of all of my attention, not one-fourth of it:
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
Glory by Vladimir Nabokov
Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik
I resolve, for February, to read these four books. It shouldn't be too difficult, as I've already started all of them.
[Image via Toast]