There is a line from a Tomas Tranströmer
poem that doesn’t leave my head:
“We are at a party that doesn’t love us.”
I am haunted by the truth of this.
“I will be gone from here and sing my songs
In the forest wilderness where the wild beasts are
And carve in letters on the little trees
The story of my love, and as the trees
Will grow the letters too will grow, to cry
In a louder voice the story of my love…”
When Francis said:
“I don’t have to be forgiven
it was like the moon said I love you”
(the words never left me.
they are engraved on my ribs.)
“I’ll tell you, my friends: it’s all in the nerves. The nerves that tense and relax as you approach the edges of companionship and love. The razor-sharp edges of companionship and love.”
― Roberto Bolaño, Amulet
"Think of the first love you ever destroyed
because you’d never known anything like it before,
like seeing your own heartbeat outside of yourself,
a flickering, luminescent miracle -
you wanted to crush it to your skin.”
-April Ranger “The Light Inside Us"
in a body that can’t
-Margaret Gibson, from “The Waiting"
“I love that you mention fireflies.
I love when you do that thing with your voice”
-Nate Pritts, “The Whole of My Claim”
Now I recognize
it was always me
like a camera
set to expose
itself to a picture
or a pipe
through which the water
or a chicken
dead for dinner
or a plan
inside the head
of a dead man.
Nothing so wrong
when one considered
how it all began.
It was Zukofsky’s
“Born very young into a world
already very old…”
The century was well along
when I came in
and now that it’s ending,
I realize it won’t
But couldn’t it all have been
a little nicer,
as my mother’d say. Did it
have to kill everything in sight,
did right always have to be so wrong?
I know this body is impatient.
I know I constitute only a meager voice and mind.
Yet I loved, I love.
I want no sentimentality.
I want no more than home.
-Robert Creeley, “Goodbye”
Why stop here?
There’s plenty of space
To sidle up and talk.
Though nothing you say
Could be news to the other,
You’ve carried on like this
from the very start.
You meet in dreams,
You complement yourselves,
You fall in love.
You go no farther
Than each other.
You get no farther
-Eugene Guillevic. Translated by Richard Sieburth
“One day the person you love will say she doesn’t love you and you won’t understand. It happened to me. I would’ve liked her to tell me how to endure her absence. She didn’t say anything.”
-Roberto Bolaño, from “Antwerp”