black holes and gray matter. in one thousand tangos.

             
“Yesterday, I spent 60 dollars on groceries,
took the bus home,
carried both bags with two good arms back to my studio apartment
and cooked myself dinner.
You and I may have different definitions of a good day.
This week, I paid my rent and my credit card bill,
worked 60 hours between my two jobs,
only saw the sun on my cigarette breaks
and slept like a rock.
Flossed in the morning,
locked my door,
and remembered to buy eggs.
My mother is proud of me.
It is not the kind of pride she brags about at the golf course.
She doesn’t combat topics like, ”My daughter got into Yale”
with, ”Oh yeah, my daughter remembered to buy eggs”
But she is proud.
See, she remembers what came before this.
The weeks where I forgot how to use my muscles,
how I would stay as silent as a thick fog for weeks.
She thought each phone call from an unknown number was the notice of my suicide.
These were the bad days.
My life was a gift that I wanted to return.
My head was a house of leaking faucets and burnt-out lightbulbs.
Depression, is a good lover.
So attentive; has this innate way of making everything about you.
And it is easy to forget that your bedroom is not the world,
That the dark shadows your pain casts is not mood-lighting.
It is easier to stay in this abusive relationship than fix the problems it has created.
Today, I slept in until 10,
cleaned every dish I own,
fought with the bank,
took care of paperwork.
You and I might have different definitions of adulthood.
I don’t work for salary, I didn’t graduate from college,
but I don’t speak for others anymore,
and I don’t regret anything I can’t genuinely apologize for.
And my mother is proud of me.
I burned down a house of depression,
I painted over murals of greyscale,
and it was hard to rewrite my life into one I wanted to live
But today, I want to live.
I didn’t salivate over sharp knives,
or envy the boy who tossed himself off the Brooklyn bridge.
I just cleaned my bathroom,
did the laundry,
called my brother.
Told him, “it was a good day.”
Kait Rokowski (A Good Day)

(via joestanley)

nevver:

Is it Frida yet?

I feel very strongly about this, so here it goes again. 
This line was not written by Frida. It’s from a hauntingly gorgeous poem by the very talented living poet, Marty McConnell. More on that later.
When Nevver/Thisisnthappiness was approached about this on Twitter, he shrugged it off and deferred to DesignCrush who created it. His erroneous post remains up, with almost 3,000 notes.
After DesignCrush was notified on Twitter & Instagram, she “updated” it by a mere comment in the bottom of its Instagram comment section. The post is still up as is, and she seems satisfied that she has done her part in correcting the issue. 
Do you think that’s enough? On sites like Nevver where he actually makes $$$ off of advertising on TUMBLR? 
If this was a case of attributing a quote to Lincoln instead of Whitman, I might shrug it off as ‘oh, you crazy internets’. But this is a case of attributing a quote to a dead celebrity, instead of a living, breathing, struggling poet. Even AFTER you’ve been notified that this is the case. 
These folks are not green new bloggers. We’re talking about professionals who make their living on the backs of artists. 
I don’t pick up the torch every single time I see it on my screen (who has time & energy for that?!), but on occasions like this, I have no choice. I will implode otherwise.
Reblog this. Follow Marty McConnell here.

nevver:

Is it Frida yet?

I feel very strongly about this, so here it goes again

This line was not written by Frida. It’s from a hauntingly gorgeous poem by the very talented living poet, Marty McConnell. More on that later.

When Nevver/Thisisnthappiness was approached about this on Twitter, he shrugged it off and deferred to DesignCrush who created it. His erroneous post remains up, with almost 3,000 notes.

After DesignCrush was notified on Twitter & Instagram, she “updated” it by a mere comment in the bottom of its Instagram comment section. The post is still up as is, and she seems satisfied that she has done her part in correcting the issue. 

Do you think that’s enough? On sites like Nevver where he actually makes $$$ off of advertising on TUMBLR? 

If this was a case of attributing a quote to Lincoln instead of Whitman, I might shrug it off as ‘oh, you crazy internets’. But this is a case of attributing a quote to a dead celebrity, instead of a living, breathing, struggling poet. Even AFTER you’ve been notified that this is the case. 

These folks are not green new bloggers. We’re talking about professionals who make their living on the backs of artists. 

I don’t pick up the torch every single time I see it on my screen (who has time & energy for that?!), but on occasions like this, I have no choice. I will implode otherwise.

Reblog this. Follow Marty McConnell here.

The best reason to live is that there is no reason to live.
I walked to your apartment in the late night.
Flowers I didn’t plant began to be flowers
and I was a color and then I was none.
Conrad said, let the train take you anywhere.
I passed all the old stops. With you I liked being nowhere
and with you I live nowhere now.

The best reason to paint is that there is no reason to paint.
Keith Haring wrote that, it could be about us.
I go into churches and I go into bars:
I feel the time stop.
To feel — you can’t stop at some point.
Stop time. Time stops you.

No one will let you through if you don’t walk your own sadness.
No one will let you touch them if you’re a person at all.

And you. You, you, you
you can read these lines in any order
because I want to leave nothing out anymore
and there’s nothing here.
Words are just words. I got nowhere.
Some new thing — everything I need to feel
I feel twice and risk three of. Some new thing —
how there’s more here without us at all.

Alex Dimitrov, Some New Thing 

(via bbook)

I.
Our kiss is a secret handshake, a password.
We love like spies, like bruised prize fighters,

Like children building tree houses.
Our love is serious business.

One look from you and my spine reincarnates as kite string.

When I hesitate to hold your hand,
it is because to know is to be responsible for knowing.

II.
There is no clean way to enter
the heavy machinery of the heart.

Just jagged cutthroat questions.
Just the glitter and blood production.

III.
The truth is this:
My love for you is the only empire
I will ever build.

When it falls,
as all empires do,
my career in empire building will be over.

I will retreat to an island.
I will dabble in the vacation-hut industry.
I will skulk about the private libraries and public parks.

I will fold the clean clothes.
I will wash the dishes.
I will never again dream of having the whole world.

Mindy Nettifee, “This is the Nonsense of Love” 

(via byronic)

Let It Enfold You

either peace or happiness, let it enfold you. 

when I was a young man 
I felt these things were 
dumb, unsophisticated. 
I had bad blood, a twisted mind, a precarious upbringing. 

I was hard as granite, I leered at the sun. 
I trusted no man and especially no woman. 

I was living a hell in small rooms, I broke things, 
smashed things, walked through glass, cursed. 
I challenged everything, was continually being evicted, jailed, in and 
out of fights, in and out of my mind. 
women were something to screw and rail at. I had no male friends. 

I changed jobs and cities,
I hated holidays, babies, history, newspapers, museums, 
grandmothers, marriage, movies, spiders, garbagemen, 
English accents, Spain, France, Italy, walnuts,
and the color orange. algebra angered me, 
opera sickened me, charlie chaplin was a fake,
and flowers were for pansies. 

peace and happiness to me were signs of inferiority, 
tenants of the weak and addled mind. 

but as I went on with my alley fights, 
my suicidal years, my passage through 
any number of women - it gradually began to occur to me,
that I wasn’t different from the others; I was the same. 

they were all fulsome with hatred, 
glossed over with petty grievances, 
the men I fought in alleys had hearts of stone. 
everybody was nudging, inching, 
cheating for some insignificant advantage, 
the lie was the weapon and the plot was empty, 
darkness was the dictator. 

cautiously, I allowed myself to feel good at times. 
I found moments of peace in cheap rooms, 
just staring at the knobs of some dresser, 
or listening to the rain in the dark. 
the less I needed the better I felt. 

maybe the other life had worn me down. 
I no longer found glamour in topping somebody 
in conversation, or in mounting the 
body of some poor drunken female, 
whose life had slipped away into sorrow. 

I could never accept life as it was, 
I could never gobble down all its poisons, 
but there were parts, tenuous magic parts, 
open for the asking. 

I reformulated, I don’t know when, date time all that, 
but the change occurred. 
something in me relaxed, smoothed out. 
I no longer had to prove that I was a man.
I didn’t have to prove anything. 

I began to see things: 
coffee cups lined up behind a counter in a cafe. 
or a dog walking along a sidewalk. 
or the way the mouse on my dresser top 
stopped there with its body, its ears, its nose. 
it was fixed, a bit of life caught within itself, 
and its eyes looked at me and they were beautiful. 
then - it was gone. 

I began to feel good, 
I began to feel good in the worst situations, 
and there were plenty of those. 
like say, the boss behind his desk, 
he is going to have to fire me. 
I’ve missed too many days. 
he is dressed in a suit, necktie, glasses, 
he says, ‘I am going to have to let you go’. 
'it's all right' I tell him. 
He must do what he must do, he has a wife, a house, children. 
expenses, most probably a girlfriend. 
I am sorry for him. he is caught. 

I walk onto the blazing sunshine. 
the whole day is mine, temporarily, anyhow. 

(the whole world is at the 
throat of the world, everybody feels angry, 
short-changed, cheated, everybody is despondent, 
disillusioned.) 

I welcomed shots of peace, tattered shards of happiness. I embraced that stuff, like the hottest number, like high heels, breasts, singing, the works. 

(don’t get me wrong, 
there is such a thing as cockeyed optimism 
that overlooks all basic problems just for 
the sake of itself - this is a shield and a sickness.) 

The knife got near my throat again, I almost turned on the gas again, 
but when the good moments arrived again, 
I didn’t fight them off, like an alley adversary. 
I let them take me, I luxuriated in them, 
I bade them welcome home. 
I even looked into the mirror, 
once having thought myself to be ugly, 
I now liked what I saw, almost handsome, yes. 
a bit ripped and ragged, scars, lumps, odd turns, but all in all, 
not too bad, almost handsome, 
better at least than some of those movie star faces 
like the cheeks of a baby’s butt. 

and finally, I discovered real feelings of others, 
unheralded, like lately, like this morning, 
as I was leaving for the track, 
I saw my wife in bed, 
just the shape of her head there 
(not forgetting centuries of the living 
and the dead and the dying, 
the pyramids, Mozart dead 
but his music still there in the 
room, weeds growing, the earth turning, 
the toteboard waiting for me) 
I saw the shape of my 
wife’s head, she so still, 
I ached for her life, just being there under the covers. 

I kissed her in the forehead, 
got down the stairway, got outside, 
got into my marvelous car, 
fixed the seatbelt, backed out the drive. 
feeling warm to the fingertips, 
down to my foot on the gas pedal, 
I entered the world once more, 
drove down the hill 
past the houses 
full and empty of people, 
I saw the mailman, honked, 
he waved back at me.

Bukowski

“The word “sweet” appears eight hundred and forty times in your complete Shakespeare. Or nearly a thousand times, if you accept close variants (“out-sweeten’d,” “true-sweet,” “sweetheart”). This level of use comes as no surprise to anyone who loves the sonnets and plays: whether in moments of fondest coaxing and chiding (“When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear”) or abject anguish and empathy (“Bless thy sweet eyes—they bleed”), Shakespeare reliably repaired to a sugared lexicon. It’s similarly unsurprising to learn that “flower” and “flowers” bloom on more than a hundred occasions in E. E. Cummings’s poetry; for him, the rotation of the seasons meant that spring followed hard on the heels of spring. …

At the end of the day, when darkness falls, a concordance turns out to be a sort of sky chart to the assembling night. It shows how the poet’s mind constellates. Even if we’d never read Milton, we might surmise something of his vast, magisterial temperament on being told that ‘law’ emerges some fifty times in his complete poems. We might surmise something further on discovering that ‘Hell’ surfaces nearly as often as ‘love.’”
Pet Words | The New Yorker

The word “sweet” appears eight hundred and forty times in your complete Shakespeare. Or nearly a thousand times, if you accept close variants (“out-sweeten’d,” “true-sweet,” “sweetheart”). This level of use comes as no surprise to anyone who loves the sonnets and plays: whether in moments of fondest coaxing and chiding (“When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear”) or abject anguish and empathy (“Bless thy sweet eyes—they bleed”), Shakespeare reliably repaired to a sugared lexicon. It’s similarly unsurprising to learn that “flower” and “flowers” bloom on more than a hundred occasions in E. E. Cummings’s poetry; for him, the rotation of the seasons meant that spring followed hard on the heels of spring. …

At the end of the day, when darkness falls, a concordance turns out to be a sort of sky chart to the assembling night. It shows how the poet’s mind constellates. Even if we’d never read Milton, we might surmise something of his vast, magisterial temperament on being told that ‘law’ emerges some fifty times in his complete poems. We might surmise something further on discovering that ‘Hell’ surfaces nearly as often as ‘love.’”

Pet Words | The New Yorker

©2011 Kateoplis