“I warned you clearly
An omnivorous poet,
I eat everything.”
– Elvira Riveiro Tobío, from “Carnia Haikai“
We visit the Long Island Iced Tea (LIT) series this weekend for a potpourri of words; a little bit of this, a little bit of that, but when mixed together, go down pretty smoothly. We hope you enjoy the selections. Have a great week, we’ll see you soon! Love, Christy and Jennie
“Run my dear, from anything that may not strengthen your precious budding wings. Run like hell my dear, from anyone likely to put a sharp knife into the sacred, tender vision of your beautiful heart.”
“At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint or even remember it. It is enough. No record of it needs to be kept and you don’t need someone to share it with or tell it to. When that happens — that letting go — you let go because you can.”
Toni Morrison (b. February 18, 1931) in Tar Baby.
(via Literary Jukebox)
“Here she is, all mine, trying her best to give me all she can. How could I ever hurt her? But I didn’t understand then. That I could hurt somebody so badly she would never recover. That a person can, just by living, damage another human being beyond repair.”
– Haruki Murakami, South of the Border, West of the Sun
“I could not capture you
even if the words were written in my own
blood, because this skin can only hold so
much. Because I can no longer look at you
without burning. You are too painful for poetry
and too big for language. You are far too many
things I don’t know how to write about.”
Don’t you dare climb that tree
or even try, they said, or you will be
sent way to the hospital of the
very foolish, if not the other one.
And I suppose, considering my age,
it was fair advice.
But the tree is a sister to me, she
lives alone in a green cottage
high in the air and I know what
would happen, she’d clap her green hands,
she’d shake her green hair, she’d
welcome me. Truly.
I try to be good but sometimes
a person just has to break out and
act like the wild and springy thing
one used to be. It’s impossible not
to remember wild and not want to go back. So
if someday you can’t find me you might
look into that tree or—of course
it’s possible—under it.
– Mary Oliver, “Green, Green is My Sister’s House,” from A Thousand Mornings (Penguin Press, 2012)
When they say Don’t I know you?
When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like
Someone telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
If they say We should get together
It’s not that you don’t love them anymore.
You’re trying to remember something
too important to forget.
Trees. The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.
When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven’t seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don’t start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.
Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time.
– Naomi Shihab Nye, “The Art of Disappearing” from Words Under the Words: Selected Poems. © The Eighth Mountain Press.
You make me think of Joni Mitchell.
Of red wine and dancing on tiled floor with my hands up, like I’ve surrendered
to the rhythm of my body when it
is singing about you.
You make me think of sun dresses
and citrus and rose oil.
I peel fruit and it is exactly like saying
your name, so I don’t wash my hands
and I touch you until we both smell like tangerines, until we’re sticky with it.
On a Saturday that is not this one,
I will go for a walk while the sun yawns, and everything will turn quiet.
It will be a small moment, I can promise you that, and it will take me to you.
Somewhere with a big kitchen and brick walls.
You will be cutting an onion with a butter knife and I will be
drinking Merlot out of a coffee cup while you cook,
and Joni will be singing in that aching way she does, like she’s got all the time in the world to fall apart.
Here, you will be the voice inside my talk of forever.
Here, you will be the open window and the sway of my skirt in the wind.
Here, you will kiss my stained mouth until it is its own sun
and every word is golden.
What happened, happened once. So now it’s best
in memory — an orange he sliced: the skin
unbroken, then the knife, the chilled wedge
lifted to my mouth, his mouth, the thin
membrane between us, the exquisite orange,
tongue, orange, my nakedness, and his,
the way he pushed me up against the fridge —
Now I get to feel his hands again, the kiss
that didn’t last, but sent some neural twin
flashing wildly through the cortex. Love’s
merciless, the way it travels on
and keeps emitting light. Beside the stove
we ate an orange. And there were purple flowers
on the table. And we still had hours.
– Kim Addonizio, “Stolen Moments” from What Is This Thing Called Love: Poems
You said you smelled smoke
when you held me. It must be
from my burnt bridges.
– Haiku by Mary Kate Teske
Some bridges that are
burnt make you wish that you could
walk across water.
– Haiku by Mary Kate Teske
the dead do not need
but they might need rain.
but a place to
they tell us,
but a place to
or we’re told;
space and a place to
might be the same.
the dead don’t need
nor do the
but the dead might need
in fact, the dead might need
we need so much,
if we only knew
and we will all
trying to get
I hope you understand
when I am dead
– Charles Bukowski, from The Roominghouse Madrigals
“I’m restless. Things are calling me away. My hair is being pulled by the stars again.”
– Anaïs Nin
“A shade of sorrow passed over Taliesin’s face. ‘There are those,’ he said gently, ‘who must first learn loss, despair, and grief. Of all paths to wisdom, this is the cruelest and longest. Are you one who must follow such a way? This even I cannot know. If you are, take heart nonetheless. Those who reach the end do more than gain wisdom. As rough wool becomes cloth, and crude clay a vessel, so do they change and fashion wisdom for others, and what they give back is greater than what they won.’”
– Lloyd Alexander, from The High King (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1968)
“Sometimes she seemed like a woman without skin. She felt everything so intensely, had so little capacity to filter out pain that everyday events often seemed unbearable to her. Paradoxically it is also that skinlessness which makes a poet. One must have the gift of language, of course, but even a great gift is useless without the other curse: the eyes that see so sharply they often want to close. Her eyes were astoundingly blue and astoundingly sharp. Nothing escaped her. She saw everything, and since most of what there is to see in the world is painful, she often lived in pain. . . . Words spared her for a while. With the process of writing the poem, there is a kind of connection which sustains one. Then the poem is done and one is alone again. Other people may enjoy the poem later, but the poet can hardly relate to it. The poet is happy only while writing the poem.”
– Erica Jong, Remembering Anne Sexton
“Watch out for intellect,
because it knows so much it knows nothing
and leaves you hanging upside down,
mouthing knowledge as your heart
falls out of your mouth.”
Be careful of words,
even the miraculous ones.
For the miraculous we do our best,
sometimes they swarm like insects
and leave not a sting but a kiss.
They can be as good as fingers.
They can be as trusty as the rock
you stick your bottom on.
But they can be both daisies and bruises.
Yet I am in love with words.
They are doves falling out of the ceiling.
They are six holy oranges sitting in my lap.
They are the trees, the legs of summer,
and the sun, its passionate face.
Yet often they fail me.
I have so much I want to say,
so many stories, images, proverbs, etc.
But the words aren’t good enough,
the wrong ones kiss me.
Sometimes I fly like an eagle
but with the wings of a wren.
But I try to take care
and be gentle to them.
I love you so much and it’s so bizarre
A mystery that goes on and on and on
This is the best thing and the very
And we don’t get along . . .
Sometimes you make me lose my will
And just become a beacon for your soul
But the past is stronger than my will
Forgive you or myself, I don’t know
So be quiet tonight be sure to
On this mountain of new fallen snow
But I will raise up my voice into
You have left me nowhere to go
I’m riding shotgun down the avalanche
“Shotgun Down the Avalanche” by Shawn Colvin from Steady On
And because one song by Shawn and Alison is simply not enough. Enjoy “The Boxer”: