Words I carry (to read when I’m sober)

Perils of going through the internet: losing hair over national and international news, falling into the trap of online shopping and food cravings, reading words that move your world a single degree off-center. You change.

They rattle around my head. Here are a few.


a rock at the edges of the sea
against which your hopes swell
then break
Me, shaping the inciting event (February 2021)

the space turned dark and heavy and sweet
(that was the the sugar in my mouth).
i’m sorry i made your lip bleed,
let me do it again.
Me, then on the run from The Horny Police (January 2021)

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
– Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself, 51” (1855)

I can’t believe there’s something in me
that knows how to thirst.
The tongue still meanders;
our gravity forces it straight.
I miss you.
Me, learning the taste of regret but not remorse (April 2021)

Since I have no sweet flower to send you, I enclose my heart; a little one, sunburnt, half broken sometimes,
Emily Dickinson, in a letter to Mary Bowles (December 1858)

affliction.
dissociating; then,
it’s not my fault i’m smiling
Me, that time I lost my head (March 2021)

Since of no creature living the last breath
Is twice required, or twice the ultimate pain,
Seeing how to quit your arms is very death,
‘Tis likely that I shall not die again;
– Edna St. Vincent Millay, Fatal Interview XIV (1931)

Stopped.
– Last word of the British surgeon and anatomist Joseph Henry Green (1791-1863) while feeling his own pulse

Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.
Maggie Smith, “Good Bones” (2016)

We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable β€” but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art, the art of words.
Ursula K. Le Guin, in an acceptance speech (2014)


Someday I’ll be the kind of person who can draw quotes out of thin air, punctuating my paragraphs with words from the classics and the avant-garde. Today is not that day.

I wrote down other quotes and words somewhere. Maybe in this tag.

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