On the nature of things
(Turn a vase into a hat and wear it)
You think the vase has become a hat; it has not.
My body has become an upside-down flower.
Mary Ruefle. ‘Twenty-Two Short Lectures’ from Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures. Wave Books, 2012.
"'I am suffering.' It is better to say this than to say, 'This landscape is ugly.'"
— Simone Weil
Character: good faith; generosity towards the world (when it comes to letting go of some ego, for example); admission of the sensation of defeat into the thinking process without having to turn immediately to defensive action (irony, for instance); effort; allowing and then taking responsibility for; ambition; regard for one’s elders; admission of the fear of joy; joy; admission of the fear of power; power; and, finally, courage—right there at the core of the act of composition—the courage not to let up on the belief in language; right there at the core, feeling the essential self, not being afraid of the being “found out” by philosophy; not using intelligence to protect from that sensation of bedrock unknowing, fundamental empty-handedness.
Jorie Graham. ‘At the Border.’ American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Where Lyric Meets Language. Edited by Claudia Rankine and Juliana Spahr. Wesleyan University Press, 2002.
"And now, thanks to an hour of morning sleep—a small erasure in my day—and a faint dot of pain from a flu shot, I’m all body."
— Graham Foust. ‘Front Matter’ from To Anacreon in Heaven and Other Poems. Flood Editions, 2013.
"Am esurient, was the hungry form.// Am anatomy./ Was the bleating thing."
— Lucie Brock-Broido. ‘Am Moor’ from The Master Letters. Alfred A Knopf, 1995.