Eye Syndromes

“Begin with the soft smelted upturned heart-shaped mouth made for smiling a smile kept for kindness, tenderness, incapable of malice.
Am I going too fast for you?
The almond eyes see out through their sleepy epicanthic fold. Trusting and calm, if a flicker from slowness, a further flicker from stupidity.
Settled in slow-motion beauty, heart-breaking beauty.”
― Craig Raine

R A D I A N C E

“Up then, fair phoenix bride, frustrate the sun;
Thyself from thine affection
Takest warmth enough, and from thine eye
All lesser birds will take their jollity.
Up, up, fair bride, and call
Thy stars from out their several boxes, take
Thy rubies, pearls, and diamonds forth, and make
Thyself a constellation of them all;
And by their blazing signify
That a great princess falls, but doth not die.
Be thou a new star, that to us portends
Ends of much wonder; and be thou those ends.”
― John Donne

C L O S E R

“Ivan tells Anna: “I used to imagine that being embraced by a woman . . . as something so wonderful that it would make me forget everything . . . [But] happiness, it turns out, will be to share with you the burden I can’t share with anyone else.”
― Vasily Grossman

Carmine

“March 1898

What a strange dream I had last night! I wandered in the warm streets of a port, in the low quarter of some Barcelona or Marseille. The streets were noisome, with their freshly-heaped piles of ordure outside the doors, in the blue shadows of their high roofs. They all led down towards the sea. The gold-spangled sea, seeming as if it had been polished by the sun, could be seen at the end of each thoroughfare, bristling with yard-arms and luminous masts. The implacable blue of the sky shone brilliantly overhead as I wandered through the long, cool and sombre corridors in the emptiness of a deserted district: a quarter which might almost have been dead, abruptly abandoned by seamen and foreigners. I was alone, subjected to the stares of prostitutes seated at their windows or in the doorways, whose eyes seemed to ransack my very soul.

They did not speak to me. Leaning on the sides of tall bay-windows or huddled in doorways, they were silent. Their breasts and arms were bare, bizarrely made up in pink, their eyebrows were darkened, they wore their hair in corkscrew-curls, decorated with paper flowers and metal birds. And they were all exactly alike!

They might have been huge marionettes, or tall mannequin dolls left behind in panic – for I divined that some plague, some frightful epidemic brought from the Orient by sailors, had swept through the town and emptied it of its inhabitants. I was alone with these simulacra of love, abandoned by the men on the doorsteps of the brothels.

I had already been wandering for hours without being able to find a way out of that miserable quarter, obsessed by the fixed and varnished eyes of all those automata, when I was seized by the sudden thought that all these girls were dead, plague-stricken and putrefied by cholera where they stood, in the solitude, beneath their carmine plaster masks… and my entrails were liquefied by cold. In spite of that harrowing chill, I was drawn closer to a motionless girl. I saw that she was indeed wearing a mask… and the girl in the next doorway was also masked… and all of them were horribly alike under their identical crude colouring…

I was alone with the masks, with the masked corpses, worse than the masks… when, all of a sudden, I perceived that beneath the false faces of plaster and cardboard, the eyes of these dead women were alive.

Their vitreous eyes were looking at me…

I woke up with a cry, for in that moment I had recognised all the women. They all had the eyes of Kranile and Willie, of Willie the mime and Kranile the dancer. Every one of the dead women had Kranile’s left eye and Willie’s right eye… so that every one of them appeared to be squinting.

Am I to be haunted by masks now?”

― Jean Lorrain

Ours Not Mines

“Can you taste it Bruce? Can you taste the filth, the dirt, the oily blackness of that fossil fuel in our mouth as you choke and gag and spit it out? Do you still hear his voice in your head urging you to eat? Eat, eat eat. Your mother’s cries. Do you hear them? You should be Bruce. Because I know that it’s never left you alone. Now you can eat what you want to eat. For me, for you, for all the others. Now you can consume to your heart’s content or your soul’s destruction, whichever comes first. So eat.”
― Irvine Welsh

The Ring of Stability

“Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with a flowing mane? Do you make him leap like a locust, striking terror with his proud snorting? He paws fiercely, rejoicing in his strength, and charges into the fray. He laughs at fear, afraid of nothing; he does not shy away from the sword. The quiver rattles against his side, along with the flashing spear and lance. In frenzied excitement he eats up the ground; he cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds.”
― Anonymous

Ungluing Bondage

“A biochemical reaction has been implanted deep into our seeds from the roots of the Master Gardener. Yearning has manifested as impassioned prescience, where the tactile pleasuring of physical form created by colorless desire dissolves the struggle of living with the vapors of hidden internal fire.”
— Laura Lynn Vala

Crawling In Crystal Blue

“The more you try to impress, the more you become depressed, and the more they get tired of your coercion. It doesn’t make them love you, instead, they’ll see you as a little child, trying to draw a senseless picture on a piece of paper, begging people to look at it and admire it by force. You can persuade someone to look at your face, but you can’t persuade them to see the beauty therein.”
― Michael Bassey Johnson

Removing The Facade & Finding The Sky

“Bad architecture is in the end as much a failure of psychology as of design. It is an example expressed through materials of the same tendencies which in other domains will lead us to marry the wrong people, choose inappropriate jobs and book unsuccessful holidays: the tendency not to understand who we are and what will satisfy us.”
― Alain de Botton

Unchained Feather Pillows

“Before she could stop her hands, they reached for him, as though they existed for no other reason than to touch him. Her fingers brushed across his jaw with a feather’s caress before pulling away, and he closed his eyes on a soft inhale. Like the poison toying with its remedy, Shahrzad’s hands ignored her and took control, a mere taste of his skin not nearly enough. Never enough.”
― Renee Ahdieh

Crossing The Linguistic Bridge

“I’ll figure out how to be truer: to let people go if they need to be let go of, and to hold on tight if that’s what’s called for. I will pay attention, so I can cross each human heart that comes across my path, cross it as true as I can.”
― Laura Pritchett

The Concrete Faith of Love’s Square Roots

“Maybe your country is only a place you make up in your own mind. Something you dream about and sing about. Maybe it’s not a place on the map at all, but just a story full of people you meet and places you visit, full of books and films you’ve been to. I’m not afraid of being homesick and having no language to live in. I don’t have to be like anyone else. I’m walking on the wall and nobody can stop me.”
― Hugo Hamilton

[LOVE THERAPY] Continently Surfing Swelling Radio Waves

“I advise you to stop sharing your dreams with people who try to hold you back, even if they’re your parents. Because, if you’re the kind of person who senses there’s something out there for you beyond whatever it is you’re expected to do – if you want to be EXTRA-ordinary- you will not get there by hanging around a bunch of people who tell you you’re not extraordinary. Instead, you will probably become as ordinary as they expect you to be.”
― Kelly Cutrone