Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Garden of Forking Paths

"Beneath English trees I meditated on that lost maze: I imagined it inviolate and perfect at the secret crest of a mountain; I imagined it erased by rice fields or beneath the water; I imagined it infinite, no longer composed of octagonal kiosks and returning paths, but of rivers and provinces and kingdoms... I thought of a labyrinth of labyrinths, of one sinuous spreading labyrinth that would encompass the past and the future, and in some way involve the stars. Absorbed in these illusory images, I forgot my destiny of one pursued. I felt myself to be, for an unknown period of time, an abstract perceiver of the world."
-Jorge Luis Borges, "The Garden of Forking Paths"


Ariadne, tyrant-loved poet,
a man you never knew has melted
in the sun.

An obscure mind has denied
the existence of memory.

Someone looked at paintings for hours.

I wrote myself

I peeled the pencil lines right off the page,
like thread.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A tulip is a tulip is a tulip is a tulip.

"Everything is so dangerous that nothing is really very frightening."

"To write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write."

-Gertrude Stein

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Natural Graces

Does their beauty depend upon their pain? The delicate sentiment is slowly tinged with an element of fear. Half in flight, half grown--their freedom would be their death. I want to see them fly; I hope that they would never.

(Painting by Rene Magritte, "The Natural Graces").

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Heraclean Stone

"This ability of yours is a divine power which moves you, like the power in the stone which Euripides calls a magnet, but which most people call the Heraclean stone. This stone not only attracts iron rings, it also confers on them the power to do the same, that is, to attract other rings, so that sometimes a long chain of rings and pieces of iron, suspended one from another, is formed, the power of them all depending on the stone.

In the same way the Muse herself inspires people, and from these inspired people a chain of others is strung out, all inspired with the same enthusiasm."
-Socrates on poetry, in Plato's "Ion"