Do you have an idea of what your personal library will be, and at what point it will suffice? 2. Desert island texts, one of each: poetry, essays, short stories, short novel, long novel, album.
by Anonymous

I think archival is contingent on the impossibility of its finality — the library is never finished, can never be finished. At least this impossibility reflects my relationship with collecting texts (and archival more generally), which is almost a perverse commodity fetishism wherein the corporeal book serves as an extension of memory when cognition fails. In fact, I think this site reflects that too. So many words collected and stored “outside” the self so that I alone do not have to carry the burden of memorializing, or the sadness of forgetting.

I will not answer the second part of this question, even if I could. To choose would be a sort of death.

9:30 pm  16 notes

Mermaid days

9:16 pm  13 notes

Mermaid days

Wherever it reaches out toward the limits of expressive form, literature comes to the shores of silence. There is nothing mystical in this, Only the realization that the poet and philosopher, by investing language with the utmost precision and illumination, are made aware, and make the reader aware, of other dimensions which cannot be circumscribed in words… this borderline is Wittgenstein’s: what we cannot speak about we must consign to silence

(Source: onnua)

7:26 pm  43 notes

"The reader, who is always alive, returns or repays in his reading the credit which the (dead) author has extended himself. As Derrida repeatedly remarks, it is the other who signs the text. “Nothing returns to the living,” rather what the reader/writer spends returns to the text and the (dead) author. There is a play of life and death, then, beyond the resistance to the state: the intertwining of thanatography (the writing of the author who dies but is encrypted in his text) and allography (the writing of the other who signs the text through his reading, thereby taking upon himself the political responsibility for it). In spite of Hegel’s confidence the author and reader are never present to one another, and repayment on investment returns either too late or elsewhere.”

— Mary Rawlinson, “Levers, signatures, and secrets,” Derrida and Feminism

7:24 pm  16 notes

"I used to write messages on the undersides of shelf fungi I found growing on trees in the woods — in Norfolk, at Saratoga, in Vermont — messages that no one could ever see."

— Hayden Carruth, Besides the Shadblow Tree

"Much of the exposure and confession we have grown used to in recent years ends in dullness. Instead of mystery we have information; nothing, or almost nothing, is withheld. Yet poetry lies as much in concealment as in revelation, more often in what is not said or shown. We should remember the hiddenness of so much early art, in caves, places where it would not be seen easily and stripped of its meaning. There were places once that one did not go, mountains no one thought to walk on, for the sake of the spirit living there. Our compulsion now is to climb every peak, to pry into every corner of life, to expose every secret. In the end we find the world empty, the mystery vanished, retreated stubbornly to a place we will never find by looking for it."

— John Haines, “On Our Way to the Address,” Transtromer: A Special Issue, IRONWOOD, NO. 13

5:21 pm  26 notes


mother ghost / family photo / interjection / bed hangings / unfinished lace / old book / fly-leaves

3:01 pm  7 notes

Because the “I” is the miracle of the “you,” because the self depends on the stranger, who is always an other. For are we not strangers to ourselves, do we not, in the deepest reaches of our unconscious, harbor unrecognizable selves?

10:13 pm  49 notes

Sound wakens to the word it wakens.

2:51 pm  9 notes

“And here I am, an old man with shaky hands and failing breath writing at the end of the century, the end of the millennium. It is impossible not to feel the gloom. Our great endeavor has come to an end, not with a whimper, not with a bang either, but in a huge diffusion. Literally hundreds and hundreds of little presses are publishing poetry every day, where once we could count such presses on the fingers of our hands. The poetry itself is precious, irrelevant, pedantic, and dull. It pours into my little house in upstate New York as if through all the doors and windows, just as it pours like streams of flotsam down every gutter and sewer in the country. My friend Don Hall, in his dearly insufferable optimism, would say it’s all for the best; I’m sure he has statistics to “prove” that the poetic impulse is alive and well in the U.S.A. Maybe it is. Maybe the “poetic impulse” is a constant in human psychology, always at the same level; I wouldn’t be surprised. Always churning away. Does it make a difference that these thousands and thousands of poets are working now with a very imperfect understanding of craft and no real knowledge of the tradition? As one who knew Shapiro, Lowell, Schwartz, Roethke, Rukeyser, Levertov, Bishop, Tate, Jarrell, Bogan – well, as one who had a glimpse of the great endeavor in the sum of its artistic and intellectual entirety, before the great academic takeover, I must say it makes a difference to me. A big difference. Cataclysm. Kataklusmos. The Flood.
Rap music is not the blues.”

— Hayden Carruth, Beside the Shadblow Tree

12:05 pm  20 notes

A plurality of independent and unmerged voices and consciousnesses, a genuine polyphony of fully valid voices […] What unfolds is not a multitude of characters and fates in a single objective world, illuminated by a single authorial consciousness; rather a plurality of consciousnesses, with equal rights and each with its own world, combine but are not merged in the unity of the event.

(Source: onnua)

11:36 am  21 notes

Chilling on a tombstone.

5:04 pm  25 notes

Chilling on a tombstone.

Our world is the cinder of innumerable living beings.

6:23 pm  18 notes

Cy Twombly

6:07 pm  1,230 notes

Cy Twombly

(Source: uvre, via uvre)

1:36 pm  290 notes

Jacqueline Winter Thomas, Erasures from Tomas Tranströmer’s “Skogsparti,” translated by Samuel Charters.

"Hamlet has put on the crown, but is now wondering why he exists."

— Régis Debray, quoted in “Reconciling Derrida: ‘Specters of Marx’ and Deconstructive Politics”

3:16 pm  69 notes