When I think of my existence, placed here on an unexplained globe, rotating in an even more inexplicable space;

When I think of the “unreality” of life, of no man ever knowing another, being mere phantoms, half-dreams in the ideas of other’s consciousness for which we haven’t the slightest intimation;

When I think of the minutia repeated and accepted not as arbitrary but necessity: time, money, years of education leading to years of labor all to gain a piece of paper signifying a concept we ourselves devised;

And when I think of the mutability of it all, the fragility: others leaving this place minute by minute, us too waiting for our inevitable retreat, with no rational or plausible justification for belief in anything “on the other side,”

… How absurd and sad it is, we spend our days eluding these very thoughts, forgetting the strangeness of it all; and it seems to me, the only necessary proof of man’s stupidity (the only necessary proof that we, indeed, have no redeemable value, no right to exist) is that we do not spend our entire lives—infinitesimal, unrepeatable, short as they may be—ceaselessly thinking these thoughts, ceaselessly fixed on our impermanence, our strange occupation in the unknown vastnesses of the skies, which very well may be no more than dreams themselves.

4:46 pm  27 notes

“Yet this is how matters stand regarding seeking and finding “truth” within the realm of reason. If I make up the definition of a mammal, and then, after inspecting a camel, declare “look, a mammal,” I have indeed brought a truth to light in this way, but it is a truth of limited value. That is to say, it is a thoroughly anthropomorphic truth which contains not a single point which would be “true in itself” or really and universally valid apart from man. At bottom, what the investigator of such truths is seeking is only the metamorphosis of the world into man. He strives to understand the world as something analogous to man, and at best he achieves by his struggles the feeling of assimilation. Similar to the way in which astrologers considered the stars to be in man’s service and connected with his happiness and sorrow, such an investigator considers the entire universe in connection with man: the entire universe as the infinitely fractured echo of one original sound—man; the entire universe as the infinitely multiplied copy of one original image—man. His method is to treat man as the measure of all things, but in doing so he again proceeds from the error of believing that he has these things [which he intends to measure] immediately before him as mere objects. He forgets that the original perceptual metaphors are metaphors and takes them to be the things themselves.”

— Friedrich Nietzsche, “On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense”

9:58 pm  72 notes

“When one has come as far in meaninglessness as I
each word is interesting again:
Finds in the loam
That you turn with an archeological spade:
The little word “you”
perhaps a bead
that once hung from someone’s neck
The grand word “I”
perhaps a flint shard
that someone in his toothlessness used to scrape his tough

Gunnar Ekelöf, “When one has come as far”

9:47 pm  28 notes

The signature is a kind of death

11:44 am  10 notes

The signature is a kind of death

Death certificate, 1923, from New Brunswick, Canada

10:15 pm  3,534 notes

Death certificate, 1923, from New Brunswick, Canada

(via pocket-full-of-stones)

Just inquisitive whether you have an inherent propensity for perennially sad, depressed people?
by Anonymous


5:44 pm  13 notes

If words could hold this world / they would bend themselves to one transparency.

3:49 pm  14 notes

give me poison for death or dreams for life
asceticm shall soon come to an end in the / gates of the moon which the sun
has already blessed / and although unbetrothed to reality the dreams
of the dead man shall stop mourning his fate

father I will to your heaven my eye as / a blue drop in the sea
the black world bends itself no more for alms / and psalms
but thousand year old winds comb the loose / hair / of the trees
wells slake the invisible wanderer’s thirst
four directions stand empty around the bier
and the muslin of the angels is changed
by a magic wand
to nothing

Gunnar Ekelöf, “Apothesis”

11:12 pm  104 notes

"Because ‘the I’ is the miracle of ‘the You’, because the self depends upon 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?"

Richard Stamelman, “The Graven Silence of Writing,” From the Book to the Book: An Edmond Jabès Reader

3:17 pm  39 notes

“Hope: the following page. Do not close the book.”

“I have turned all the pages of the book without finding hope.”

“Perhaps hope is the book.”

— Edmond Jabès, Return to the Book

12:01 pm  33 notes

"A poem is a manifestation of an invisible poem that exists beyond the conventional languages. Therefore, a translation of a poem into a new language is an opportunity to attempt to realize the original (invisible) poem."

— Tomas Tranströmer

"Translation is an art of analogy, the art of finding correspondences. An art of shadows and echoes. Baudelaire said poetry is essentially analogy. The idea of universal correspondence comes from the idea that language is a microcosmos, a double of the universe. Between the language of the universe and the universe of language, there is a bridge, a link: poetry. The poet, says Baudelaire, is the translator."

— Octavio Paz

11:42 am  62 notes

Don’t ask who you are or who I am
and why what is, is.
Let the professors sort it out,
it’s their job.
Place the scale on the kitchen table
and let reality weigh itself.
Put your coat on.
Turn the light off in the hallway.
Close the door.
Let the dead embalm the dead.

Here we walk now.
The one wearing white rubber boots
is you.
The one wearing black rubber boots
is me.
And the rain falling on both of us
is the rain.

— Werner Aspenström, ”You and I and the World”

11:27 am  32 notes

Notes on Unfinished Poems

The unearthed fragments of this fragment.


This, a sort of quotation.


You were turned slightly toward the century.


When silence lies in wait for the world.


In the language of the other.


Paul Celan was obsessed with hair.


Memories, dreams, even worlds—face a separate sphere.


The space of Time is sound.


You understand: there is no time, no sound.


Not recollections but hallucinations.


These frozen silent figures, over which I wept.


To end with all the signs.

2:54 pm  11 notes

[The world after the end of the world]

In reality the sky isn’t far from or near the land.

In reality death isn’t far from or close to life.

We are always before the river of Heraclitus.

1:59 pm  20 notes

“Every event, and consequently every action that takes place at a point of time, is necessary under the condition of what was in the preceding time. Now, since time past is no longer within my control, every action that I perform must be necessary by determining grounds that are not within my control, that is, I am never free at the point of time in which I act.”

— Immanuel Kant, quoted in Ethics Vindicated: Kant’s Transcendental Legitimation of Moral Discourse

10:33 am  70 notes