Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I remember when I was a very little girl, our house caught on fire.
I'll never forget the look on my father's face as he gathered me up
in his arms and raced through the burning building out to the pavement.
I stood there shivering in my pajamas and watched the whole world go up in flames.
And when it was all over I said to myself, "Is that all there is to a fire?"

Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
Let's break out the booze and have a ball
If that's all there is

And when I was 12 years old, my father took me to the circus, the greatest show on earth.
There were clowns and elephants and dancing bears
And a beautiful lady in pink tights flew high above our heads.
And as I sat there watching the marvelous spectacle
I had the feeling that something was missing.
I don't know what, but when it was over,I said to myself,
"Is that all there is to a circus?"

Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
Let's break out the booze and have a ball
If that's all there is

Then I fell in love, with the most wonderful boy in the world.
We would take long walks by the river or just sit for hours gazing into each other's eyes.
We were so very much in love.
Then one day, he went away. And I thought I'd die -- but I didn't.
And when I didn't I said to myself, "Is that all there is to love?"

Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing

I know what you must be saying to yourselves.
If that's the way she feels about it why doesn't she just end it all?
Oh, no. Not me. I'm in no hurry for that final disappointment.
For I know just as well as I'm standing here talking to you,when that final moment comes and I'm breathing my last breath, I'll be saying to myself,

Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
Let's break out the booze and have a ball

If that's all there is
Lieber & Stoller, Is That All There Is?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

"Cuando la autodestrucción entra en el corazón, al principio parece apenas un grano de arena. Es como una jaqueca, una indigestión leve, un dedo infectado; pero pierdes el de las 8:20 y llegas tarde para solicitar un aumento del crédito. El viejo amigo con quien vas a comer de repente agota tu paciencia y para mostrarte amable te tomas tres copas, pero el día ya ha perdido forma, sentido y significado. Para recuperar cierta intencionalidad y belleza bebes demasiado en las reuniones, te propasas con la mujer de otro y acabas por cometer una tontería obscena y a la mañana siguiente desearías estar muerto. Pero cuando tratas de repasar el camino que te ha conducido a este abismo, sólo encuentras el grano de arena."

John Cheever, Diarios

Friday, January 19, 2007

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

It's up in the morning and on the downs
Little white clouds like gambolling lambs
And I am breathless over you
And the red-breasted robin beats his wings
His throat it trembles when he sings
For he is helpless before you
The happy hooded bluebells bow
And bend their heads all a-down
Heavied by the early morning dew
At the whispering stream, at the bubbling brook
The fishes leap up to take a look
For they are breathless over you

Still your hands
And still your heart
For still your face comes shining through
And all the morning glows anew
Still your mind
Still your soul
For still, the fare of love is true
And I am breathless without you

The wind circles among the trees
And it bangs about the new-made leaves
For it is breathless without you
The fox chases the rabbit round
The rabbit hides beneath the ground
For he is defenceless without you
The sky of daytime dies away
And all the earthly things they stop to play
For we are all breathless without you
I listen to my juddering bones
The blood in my veins and the wind in my lungs
And I am breathless without you

Nick Cave, Breathless

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

"A pesar de que hice cuanto estuvo en mi mano, no fue suficiente. Seguro que hubiera podido hacer alguna cosa más por él. Algo, no sé el qué, pero seguro que pude hacer algo más.

No me satisface lo que veo cuando miro atrás. Yo chillaba demasiado. No era mi intención, pero lo hacía. A veces resultaba demasiado duro para mí, un día tras otro con aquella situación, y al final le levantaba la voz. Él siempre me miraba con aquellos ojos castaños; me miraba y no decía nada, y eso a mí me hacía sentir tan mal que en seguida le pedía disculpas. Pero no había palabras que pudieran borrar el tono que yo había utilizado para dirigirme a mi padre.

He olvidado cuando me pedía que le anudase los zapatos, para lo cual se colocaba en el taburete del órgano, que era alto, y así le resultaba más fácil sentarse. Yo me arrodillaba delante de él y le hacía el nudo con todo esmero; era la séptima vez (o la octava o la novena) a lo largo del día. He olvidado cuando le ayudaba a ir al baño y él me hacía salir porque su amor propio era demasiado grande para permitir que yo mirase. He olvidado cuando le leía el periódico o cuando le hablaba de lo que había hecho en el trabajo. Me he olvidado.

Solamente recuerdo los gritos, la cólera, el resentimiento al ver que mi vida se escapaba con la suya".

Kathryn Ptacek, Noche tras noche, año tras año

Saturday, January 13, 2007

"A pesar de sus treinta años, Berta Young tenía momentos como éste de ahora, en los que hubiera deseado correr en vez de andar; deslizarse por los suelos relucientes de su casa, marcando pasos de danza; rodar un aro; tirar alguna cosa al aire para volverla a coger, o quedarse quieta y reír... simplemente por nada. ¿Qué puede hacer uno si, aún contando treinta años, al volver la esquina de su calle le domina de repente una sensación de felicidad..., de felicidad plena..., como si de repente se hubiese tragado un trozo brillante del sol crepuscular y éste le abrasara el pecho, lanzando una lluvia de chispas por todo su cuerpo? ¿Es que no puede haber una forma de manifestarlo sin parecer "beodo o trastornado"? La civilización es una estupidez. ¿Para qué se nos ha dado un cuerpo, si hemos de mantenerlo encerrado en un estuche como si fuera algún valioso Stradivarius?"

Katherine Mansfield, Felicidad

This is a word we use to plug
holes with. It's the right size for those warm
blanks in speech, for those red heart-
shaped vacancies on the page that look nothing
like real hearts. Add lace
and you can sell
it. We insert it also in the one empty
space on the printed form
that comes with no instructions. There are whole
magazines with not much in them
but the word love, you can
rub it all over your body and you
can cook with it too. How do we know
it isn't what goes on at the cool
debaucheries of slugs under damp
pieces of cardboard? As for the weed-
seedlings nosing their tough snouts up
among the lettuces, they shout it.
Love! Love! sing the soldiers, raising
their glittering knives in salute.

Then there's the two
of us. This word
is far too short for us, it has only
four letters, too sparse
to fill those deep bare
vacuums between the stars
that press on us with their deafness.
It's not love we don't wish
to fall into, but that fear
this word is not enough but it will
have to do. It's a single
vowel in this metallic
silence, a mouth that says
O again and again in wonder
and pain, a breath, a finger
grip on a cliffside. You can
hold on or let go.

Margaret Atwood, Variations On The Word Love

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I have a crush on a dead man: Mr. David McComb

No foreign pair of dark sunglasses
will ever shield you from
the light that pierces your eyelids,
the screaming of the gulls
feeding off the bodies of the fish
thrashing up the bay till it was red
turning the sky a cold dark colour
as they circled overhead.

He swam out to the edge of the reef
there were cuts across his skin
saltwater on his eyes and arms,
but he could not feel the sting
there was no one left to hold him back
no one to call out his name
dress him feed him drive him home
say "Little boy it doesn't have to end this way"

He announced their trial separation
and spent the night in a Park Beach Motel bed
a total stranger lying next to him
rain hitting the roof hard over his head
she said "What's the matter now lover boy
has the cat run off with your tongue?
Are you drinking to get maudlin
or drinking to get numb?"

He called out to the seabirds "Take me now,
I'm no longer afraid to die"
but they pretended not to hear him
and just watched him with their hard and bright black eyes
they could pick the eye from any dying thing
that lay within their reach
but they would not touch the solitary figure
lying tossed up on the beach.

So, where were you?

The Triffids, The Seabirds

"And no Grand Inquisitor has in readiness such terrible tortures as has anxiety, and no spy knows how to attack more artfully the man he suspects, choosing the instant when he is weakest, nor knows how to lay traps where he will be caught and ensnared, as anxiety knows how, and no sharpwitted judge knows how to interrogate, to examine the accused, as anxiety does, which never lets him escape, neither by diversion nor by noise, neither at work nor at play, neither by day nor by night."

Soren Kierkegaard, The Concept of Dread
Fist by Esther G.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

"Tengo miedo de escribir, es tan peligroso. Quien lo ha intentado, lo sabe. Peligro de revolver en lo oculto y el mundo no va a la deriva, está oculto en sus raíces sumergidas en las profundidades del mar. Para escribir tengo que colocarme en el vacío. "

Clarice Lispector, Un soplo de vida

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Now and again it seems worse than it is but mostly the view is accurate. You see your breath in the air as you climb up the stairs to that coffin you call your apartment. And you sink in your chair brush the snow from your hair and drink the cold away. You're not really sure what you're doing this for but you need something to fill up the days a few more hours.
There's a dream in my brain that just won’t go away it has been stuck there since it came a few nights ago. I’m standing on a bridge in the town where I lived as a kid with my mom and my brothers. And then the bridge disappears and I’m standing on air with nothing holding me and I hang like a star fucking glow in the dark for all those starving eyes to see like the ones we’ve wished on
But now I’m confused. Is this death really you? Do these dreams have any meaning? No, no, I think it's more like a ghost that's been following us both. Something vague that we're not seeing. Something more like a feeling.

Bright Eyes, Something Vague
Art by Gus Fink

Saturday, January 06, 2007

"Cuando hacemos sonar el teléfono de un pequeño apartamento al otro lado del mundo (atravesando mares ignotos, avenidas y vías ferroviarias, paisajes medievales y sobre todo mucha basura) y nadie contesta, las posibilidades se abren como la herida de siempre en la ceja del boxeador. Quizá del otro lado no hay nadie o alguien que está muy cansada y duerme a pierna suelta, o tiene frágil la memoria, o simplemente mintió. De este lado las dudas flotan mientras el timbre ataca la habitación irreal como un gato a su sombra. Se trata de una situación límite entre dos artefactos y el mundo. ¿Qué hazaña puede intentar un pequeño ser atrapado en la transparente cabina? Todo se queda allí, amontonado y expuesto. Todo se ha ido menos una delgada sed que huele a ella. Cada acto se repite ahora mientras el timbre se hace lejano como el zumbido de un insecto en la noche infinita. Es un adiós frío, sin imágenes, no puedo atisbar los objetos ni la blanca piel de los muslos en la habitación invisible.
Nadie ha caído en cuenta, ninguna hoja se estremece en su árbol, ninguna gota se precipita al vacío. Nadie intenta imaginarse, sólo ocupan su lugar en el autobús y piensan en sus propios líos. La luz nace de la mojada autopista y se refleja en los bordes del puente. Mi dolor es seco e infame, ignorado como el Mal Ladrón por Cristo, aunque las piedras se deshagan contra mi piel y los muertos sonrían a mi paso".

Efraim Medina Reyes, Donde duermen las moscas

Friday, January 05, 2007

Los ausentes soplan grismente y la noche es densa. La noche tiene el color de los párpados del muerto.

Huyo toda la noche, encauzo la persecución y la fuga, canto un canto para mis males, pájaros negros sobre mortajas negras.

Grito mentalmente. el viento demente me desmiente, me confino, me alejo de la mano crispada, no quiero saber otra cosa que este clamor, este resolar de la noche, esta errancia, este no hallarse.

Toda la noche hago la noche.

Toda la noche me abandonas lentamente como el agua cae lentamente. Toda la noche escribo para buscar a quien me busca.

Palabra por palabra, yo escribo la noche.

Alejandra Pizarnik, Sous la nuit, copiado de una hoja mecanografiada enviada a Félix Grande en agosto de de 1972.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Saddest Music In The World

The Dirty Three, Hope

I've got a little place to myself up on Stony Ridge
I got it made in the shade
I sleep in the afternoon
Leave my bed unmade
No-one breathing down my neck, black coffee and a shave
I whistle a little of whatever AM radio plays
As for letters and provisions...
Well it's a long walk to the corner shop
In the January heat, it's a big decision
To either think of you, or not

I send you a New Year's Kiss
And I hope you will remember me like this

I got two good arms, one bent leg,
One weekly social security cheque
I can make an honest dollar, but to be quite honest
I can't keep track of where it went
I've got a good black dog, so I don't need a phone
He can smell bad weather coming in his old dog bones
I don't need no Eyewitness News, no Seven Eleven
No Southern Fried Chicken, no Man from Prudential
To give me good times on easy terms
No Eyewitness News

And in the evening when the skyline is cut in two
By a figure resembling you
Wet matches won't light, and I double take
Wind shudders to a halt, main roads are washed out
And all around, as far as the night can see
Is just the gaping lack of you and me

I hear you're riding a new horse in the sun
Sure hope those Sydney shoeshine boys don't take you for a
I still want you back, when it's all said and done

Let the sky roll back/Let the ground give way
The wind has turned around/The seasons upside down
To either think of you/Or not
To either think of you/Or not

The Triffids, New Year's Greetings (The Country Widower)

Monday, January 01, 2007