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Added by mika_ on 7 Jan 2017 04:28
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Read in 2017

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One Crossed Out: Poems - Fanny Howe
Excerpt from "Perfection and Derangement"

"You asked me what I know about G-d and coincidence. I walk through you to tell you, the place where you stood like an opening in the form of an offering."

"The Apophatic Path"

"1.

What isn't what is

not Discover me!
or Try to find me.

If being is finding,

can you find me?
Who to, this address?

...

Being as close to a shadow
as a color

what isn't
is what is

and I can't see
but know as no.

Non amari sed amare.

...

Or will a question be,

'Is the discovery for real me?'

Signature a stone???

Like what isn't
is what is

when not being
ever ever ever found!

2.

Basic science

will blend ghostness
among enemies.

Now bodies cemented

down in monster denomination
to be counted

one of the walking
corpses I see whitening

and emptying
under a sun

makes me know me
to be no one.

3.

Walk to developmental old trombone--I--

seeking to be found--
inside time!--by one whose blues

seek by speaking tunes to
this specific city afternoon

of bread, fumes, and orange
nasturtiums--am,still,solo--

even the base of me being, unknown."


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Metroland - Julian Barnes
"But I was thinking in the future conditional rather than the plain future; it's the tense that minimises responsibility."

"At times, I suspect that the concept of maturity is maintained by a conspiracy of niceness."


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Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
"If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you'll never learn."

"We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?"

"'I don't talk things, sir. I talk the meaning of things.'"


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Embryos & Idiots - Larissa Szporluk
Excerpt from "Satan at Length"

"I dream of the seaside,
of the lone ravine of my own
dead yawn, like a room
with nobody else, and I know
why I'm last in line,
after the cattle. I'm firm
as the plunger the plumber pumps
to unclog our kingdom
of memory's crud. I come in
handy, without meaning
much, like a happily-ever-after,
or a belch of trust."


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Excerpt from "By the Entrance to Cordova Mall, I Sat Down and Wept"

"I was a secret
that the hurtling-into-summer world
had kept too well. I turned,
the key, I drove into the day
that didn't know my name,

drove myself sane again,
and came up hard to the first red light."

"Play Dead"

"Gods envy us because we die, they kill us
out of jealousy, and sometimes
just because they're bored. When I was
usurped by death
...The ghosts roam nude
except for their despair, eyeless
in the underworld, unable to see, to touch,
to taste or hear the world that was so good
when they were too dissatisfied to notice. Hell
is the place the dead who don't know
they're dead go, or where the dead who've always

been dead go when they die in earnest, filled
with small gray flowers that seen up close
are balls of dust. But they don't
see them, though dust clings to them, covers them
like shrouds, if they wore shrouds, if they weren't naked
and dismayed, stripped of whatever made them
whatever they were. Whatever made them whole
has left this hole to call themselves, if they
could call. But they're just shadows
at noon, when shadows are abbreviated, barely

cast. The dead move fast, nowhere
to nowhere in no time at all."

"Somewhere Off the Coast of Cyprus"

"Gods don’t get what they want, they stumble,
falter and halt at the frontiers of fulfillment, puzzled
that power isn’t always pleasure. They want
to know what know is (I have known, I knew, I know, I will
know, I will have known
), instead learn only no. (Conjugate
this, decline every noun.) No happy ending to this sentence
for a god, sentenced to helpless
potency, all will and self-belief but somehow
substanceless, a notion of force that steals a form
and calls it body, steals a body and calls it mine, impervious
to touch. A litter of porous marble’s all that’s left,
paint-stripped but still stained, nothing that anyone
could use. How useless immortality becomes
in time, rubble retrieved from a receding river
in a year of drought. The goddess has no arms,
the god’s hand drawing back the bow
is missing, there’s no protection for them
anymore. Acid rain worms through their statuary
skin. Better to wait for the waters
to return, the mildewed monuments to finish
crumbling. Let the shipwrecked cargoes sleep
where they sank (myths buried in them
like birds that won’t be heard), gold leaf and lapis lazuli
dreaming of love, whatever love means to a god."

"What It Is to Burn"

"It's always four a.m., flourescent-lettered
sleepscapes littered with green and yellow
lights, with petrochemical artifacts, debris certain
of its own uncertainty under the stainless
-steel moon: the whole scene soiled
with reference, so many
garishly painted gods sewn back
into the thigh after the ash of see me
for what I am
. Wake up
and call it arsenic, benzene, lead,
dioxin, and mercury, or various
banned pesticides. No rain
in months, a necklace of smoke
strangles the neighborhood
from someone's still-smouldering trash
fire (defying the no-burn order), the smell of money
smothers commodity gardens and yards. Faith
clings like sweat, fine sheen of airborne
dust and pollen, lies to the skin
and won't let it be clean. History
is what's left behind, decide
in favor of the hidden costs (whatever's
waiting half-outside, what is
that stain?), and crawl back
toward sleep again."

"Approximately Nothing"

"Any unanswerable problem is a god,
some sky from which winter falls
and the rains of no significance,
another plush and vagrant error
overflowing local sewers. (He was
the weight of the world, the grace of fact
frosting the windowpanes, this pain
disguised as rain. My never-friend
and guide to coldscapes seen through
glass, sharp-edged but also
blurred, too eager to be compromised,
mythologized: he was that
too, and saved me just enough.)
The accidental ghosts break through bare branches
like late winter light, and then retreat,
the penitentiary sky shuts down again.
And Shakespeare is a backyard sparrow
foraging crumbs, the frayed
and faded cardinals chase it away.
They are a little policy
of secrecy and domain, pugnacious reign.
If it were human, it would know me,
call me by my name."


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Arcadia - Tom Stoppard
"It is a defect of God's humor that he directs our hearts everywhere but to those who have a right to them."

"It's the wanting to know that makes us matter."


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The Fermata - Nicholson Baker
"I don’t think that loneliness is necessarily a bad or unconstructive condition. My own skill at jamming time may actually be dependent on some fluid mixture of emotions, among them curiosity, sexual desire, and love, all suspended in a solvent medium of loneliness. I like the heroes or heroines of books I read to be living alone, and feeling lonely, because reading is itself a state of artificially enhanced loneliness. Loneliness makes you consider other people’s lives, makes you more polite to those you deal with in passing, dampens irony and cynicism. The interior of the Fold is, of course, the place of ultimate loneliness, and I like it there. But there are times when the wish for others’ voices, for friendliness returned, reaches unpleasant levels, and becomes a kind of immobilizing pain. That was how it felt as I finished packing up the box of sex machines."


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"Besides wanting to experience a place we hated, we wanted to be insomniacs and loners, losers and drop-outs. To know the sky was the only location of meaning and joy left to us."

"If you still desire a thing, its time has not yet come. And when you have what you desired, you will have no more desire, instead you will have time. Weak desires protect you from disappointment. But nothing keeps you safer than being a visible ruin."

"What is between us is nothing. There is nothing between us. Nothing is love, because if you add anything to zero, it becomes a word. The air is thin for us but it is as if we each had two little darts lodged in our flesh in exactly the same spot and they moved in relation to each other like charged needles that seek a thread."

"Goodness should have no force behind it."


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Vox - Nicholson Baker
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The Collected Poems - Stanley Kunitz
"Sotto Voce"

"Say to me only
Huntress of nerves
You too are lonely
For the language that saves

Heart be not alien
Come to me strange
In the breast of a felon
Whose prison is songs

Share with me always
Though fraction be cross
The instant of gallows
The kiss of the axe"

"The Layers"

"I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
'Live in the layers,
not on the litter.'
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes."


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Going to Meet the Man - James Baldwin
"Secrets hidden at the heart of midnight are simply waiting to be dragged to the light, as, on some unlucky high noon, they always are. But secrets shrouded in the glare of candor are bound to defeat even the most determined and agile inspector for the light is always changing and proves that the eye cannot be trusted."

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Excerpt from "A Language"

"The savior gets mixed
up with the traitor, but the traitor
stays as true to himself as a god."

"The Knot"

"The problem was how to begin with the end
and then it turned out there were two ends:
the end within the continuing
that, continuing, enveloped
the end. You passed yourself
coming and going, went through
one loop, then another,
what was behind drawn
through at a
slide until
it rose
before you, sprung.
Tangle like a bramble,
like a rose. Start,
start again against
the tight-
ening. A knife
could give up
on patience, but you
were born among
the dull and
kind, who wait
for Spring, and
lightening
and lightning."

Excerpt from "After the Mowing"

"to the Nth, like the truth of an ending
unskeined across the crust of the white field.
Though it happened only once, I
am sending the thought
of the thought
continuing.

To return to
the field before the mowing.
When a goldfinch swayed
on a blue stem stalk,
and the wind and the sun
stirred the hay."


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Kindred - Octavia E. Butler
"'I never realized how easily people could be trained to accept slavery.'"


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These Dreams of You - Steve Erickson
"'The pain that can't forget,' he says, 'must find a way to rain forgiveness on the heart until there grows a wisdom and grace as close to God's as we can manage."

"'If it's true that the promise of this country can't be kept until white begs the forgiveness of black, it's as true that the promise can't be kept until the black man decides whether to extend that forgiveness--and slavery's child is under no obligation to do that.'"

"'I don't know how much time I have,' he says, 'to become the person that I hope I am.'"


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The Member of the Wedding - Carson McCullers
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Snow Country - Yasunari Kawabata
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Virtual Light - William Gibson_II
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Idoru - William Gibson_II
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Libra - Don DeLillo
"Being happy was a small awareness, the sum of small awarenesses, day by day, minute by minute, and you knew it now, in the hair and skin as much as in the heart."

"'A fact is innocent until someone wants it. Then it becomes intelligence.'"

"War has a conscience or it is ordinary murder."


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White Oleander - Janet Fitch_II
"Loneliness is the human condition. Cultivate it. The way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to grow. Never expect to outgrow loneliness. Never hope to find people who will understand you, someone to fill that space. An intelligent, sensitive person is the exception, the very great exception. If you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment. The best you'll ever do is to understand yourself, know what it is that you want, and not let the cattle stand in your way."

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The Real Thing: A Play - Tom Stoppard
"I don't think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little or make a poem which children will speak for you when you're dead."

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Night and Day - Tom Stoppard
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The Anubis Gates - Tim Powers
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Hapgood: A Play - Tom Stoppard
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The Rings Of Saturn - W.G. Sebald
"This then, I thought, as I looked round about me, is the representation of history. It requires a falsification of perspective. We, the survivors, see everything from above, see everything at once, and still we do not know how it was."

"Memories lie slumbering within us for months and years, quietly proliferating, until they are woken by some trifle and in some strange way blind us to life."


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Shadowbahn - Steve Erickson
"...as pictures pin the maps of our lives, music marks the calendar."

"'It's simple, really. We decide to survive together or mourn seperately,' and this seemed to resemble, as much as anything, the makings of a marriage if not love."

"Did his country lead him to the music or did the music lead him to his country?"

"As the twentieth century was about politics, which is to say survival, the twenty-first century is about God, which is to say oblivion, a subject his country is profoundly unprepared to contemplate."

"The moment of dying is banal unless you've been dying long enough to watch death approach and give it meaning; the moment of loss is banal unless you've been losing long enough to feel what slips away and to calibrate its retreat."


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Housekeeping: A Novel - Marilynne Robinson
"Because, once alone, it is impossible to believe that one could ever have been otherwise. Loneliness is an absolute discovery."


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"Everyone wishes to be loved, but in the event, nearly no one can bear it. Everyone desires love but also finds it impossible to believe that he deserves it."


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Light - M. John Harrison
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