A cornerstone. Marble pilings. Curbstones and brick. I saw rooftops. The sun after a rain shower. Liz, there are children in clumsy jackets. Cobblestones and the sun now in a curbside pool. I will call in an hour where you are sleeping. I’ve been walking for 7 hrs on yr name day. Dead, I am calling you now. There are colonnades. Yellow wrappers in the square. Just what you’d suspect: a market with flowers and matrons, handbags. Beauty walks this world. It ages everything. I am far and I am an animal and I am just another I-am poem, a we-see poem, a they-love poem. The green. All the different windows. There is so much stone here. And grass. So beautiful each translucent electric blade. And the noise. Cheers folding into traffic. These things. Things that have been already said many times: leaf, zipper, sparrow, lintel, scarf, window shade.
When she says margarita she means daiquiri. When she says quixotic she means mercurial. And when she says, "I'll never speak to you again," she means, "Put your arms around me from behind as I stand disconsolate at the window." He's supposed to know that. When a man loves a woman he is in New York and she is in Virginia or he is in Boston, writing, and she is in New York, reading, or she is wearing a sweater and sunglasses in Balboa Park and he is raking leaves in Ithaca or he is driving to East Hampton and she is standing disconsolate at the window overlooking the bay where a regatta of many-colored sails is going on while he is stuck in traffic on the Long Island Expressway. When a woman loves a man it is one ten in the morning she is asleep he is watching the ball scores and eating pretzels drinking lemonade and two hours later he wakes up and staggers into bed where she remains asleep and very warm. When she says tomorrow she means in three or four weeks. When she says, "We're talking about me now," he stops talking. Her best friend comes over and says, "Did somebody die?" When a woman loves a man, they have gone to swim naked in the stream on a glorious July day with the sound of the waterfall like a chuckle of water rushing over smooth rocks, and there is nothing alien in the universe. Ripe apples fall about them. What else can they do but eat? When he says, "Ours is a transitional era," "that's very original of you," she replies, dry as the martini he is sipping. They fight all the time It's fun What do I owe you? Let's start with an apology Ok, I'm sorry, you dickhead. A sign is held up saying "Laughter." It's a silent picture. "I've been fucked without a kiss," she says, "and you can quote me on that," which sounds great in an English accent. One year they broke up seven times and threatened to do it another nine times. When a woman loves a man, she wants him to meet her at the airport in a foreign country with a jeep. When a man loves a woman he's there. He doesn't complain that she's two hours late and there's nothing in the refrigerator. When a woman loves a man, she wants to stay awake. She's like a child crying at nightfall because she didn't want the day to end. When a man loves a woman, he watches her sleep, thinking: as midnight to the moon is sleep to the beloved. A thousand fireflies wink at him. The frogs sound like the string section of the orchestra warming up. The stars dangle down like earrings the shape of grapes.
How much time do i have?
when i graduate
(that piece of paper holds my human worth)
will me and you merrily
but a dream
live in Indonesia
with our legs crossed (not feeding corporations)
or could I move to Stanford?
(get my value written in ink)
we can cook Portuguese food from Norway
or microwave quesidillas
whatever you say
i just like listening to your brain
(I beg God or is He begging me?)
it will all fall, fall, fall
down into place.
Amidst the attention given to the sciences as how they can lead to the cure of all diseases and daily problems of mankind, I believe that the biggest breakthrough will be the realization that the arts, which are conventionally considered ‘useless,’ will be recognized as the whole reason why we ever try to live longer or live more prosperously.
A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.
I wanted so badly to lie down next to her on the couch, to wrap my arms around her and sleep. Not fuck, like in those movies. Not even have sex. Just sleep together in the most innocent sense of the phrase. But I lacked the courage and she had a boyfriend and I was gawky and she was gorgeous and I was hopelessly boring and she was endlessly fascinating. So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was hurricane.
—Looking For Alaska
The sound of leaves
cracking beneath muddy sneakers
the deer dash away
quick as lightning
where mama deer can count heads
and i remember
that sometimes fear
is the static on my coat
because it makes pine needles from that branch
and from this branch come