There stands a fantasy-drawn girl of twenty four
With crumbling cities of lovers, and unexecuted ideas at her feet.
Nothing to show for herself except for tears in her eyes and salt on her lashes.
She has a self-destructive tendency to discard everything she had once wanted,
Afraid that they will cling to her like the songs of dead singers.
Then she met and fell for a man. She couldn’t stop thinking until she met him
Somewhere, sometime. Once, beautifully sincere,
Over time, she grew restless and reckless with the hearts of men.
Her soul darkened like ash, like dust, like the burning of her bones,
but not her heart because that was lost long ago.
She gambled it away in search of something better.
Once loved, she spat on fortune and now she must repent.
“You’re the best thing that ever happened to me,” he had said, feeling so lucky.
She washes her palms and face with tears, hoping they can absolve her.
Time falls like snow. Slow and distant.
There stands a fantasy-drawn girl of twenty four
— Daniel Handler, Why We Broke Up
— Joyce Carol Oates
I took a trip to the seas
underneath the forest trees
open skies and ocean eyes
and scattered honey-salted breeze
like the waves you lapped my shores
on sandy sheets and wooden floors
slow sunrise and seagull cries
we kept behind of walls and doors
I am lost at sea
red moon rising
fire burning hollow
Snow Ghosts - Lost at Sea
Struck by the poetry of these lyrics
The whole culture is telling you to hurry, while the art tells you to take your time. Always listen to the art.
… and in front of me, like derelict snowflakes, moths drifted out of the blackness into my probing aura.
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
— Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
— Jackie Kay, Reality Reality, 166.
American Psycho by
Handful of DustVile Bodies
If you change the way people think, she said. The way they see themselves. The way they see the world. If you do that you can change the way people live their lives. And that’s the only lasting thing you can create.
— Chuck Palahniuk, Choke, p135
They always tell you to write about what you know. So I never wrote because I felt that I was too young to really know about anything. Last winter I stayed at a woman’s home in Vienna. She was nearing forties and recently divorced. She lived in a one-bedroom apartment where she would proofread and subtitle other people’s works for a living and then read self-development books before going to bed. She wanted to be a writer. That’s why I had asked to stay with her. I believed that people who wanted to write must want to write because of a need to express all of their reflections on life, and that people who reflect are interesting to be with.
Our time together was marked by silences, and fragmented conversations holding them together like neat gift boxes of nothing. I felt like I couldn’t talk to her because I couldn’t understand her. I didn’t know (and still don’t know) what it feels like to love someone so much to move to foreign country for them, to have so much of your life shaped by them and then to talk about them as an ex-lover to a stranger sipping tea in your one-bedroom apartment.
I then realised that if I couldn’t write about all these things in life, I should just write about what I do know about - being young and what it meant and means to me.
I was reading a book called ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ tonight. It was recommended to me by a girl in highschool, who I thought was very interesting and clever, but now realise was very sad and fed us lies about a double-life. I had always meant to read it in highschool, but am glad that I have only read it now. The adolescent observations and reflections of Charlie (the voice of the book) remind me of my own - which are only interesting and valuable in retrospect.
It saddens me to compare the level of emotional engagement and sincerity I had with the world as an adolescent to that which I have now. I used to actually think about whether people were happy or not. I used to sincerely wish that every good person I met was happy. I used to listen carefully to everything they had to tell me about themselves - it was all precious and crucial to me genuinely understanding them. I used to think that friendships would last for longer than I had lived, if not for a life-time.
Isolated by preoccupations with romantic relationships, finances, and work, friendships rarely mean what they used to. Friends, like everything else, are part of a landscape - a setting for your life that you merely pass through and leave behind along with all the listless conversations and half read books.
Once Uncle Julian told me how the sculptor and painter Alberto Giacometti said that sometimes just to paint head you have to give up the whole figure. To paint a leaf, you have to sacrifice the whole landscape. It might seem like you’re limiting yourself at first, but after a while you realise that having a quarter-of-an-inch of something you have a better chance of holding on to a certain feeling of the universe than if you pretended to be doing the whole sky.
My mother did not choose a leaf or a head. She chose my father, and to hold on to a certain feeling, she sacrificed the world.
— Nicole Krauss - The History of Love, 2006 pp. 45-46