I’m something that I used to be. I’m never where I feel I am, and if I seek myself, I don’t know who’s seeking me. My boredom with everything has numbed me. I feel banished from my soul.

Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

Because I had decided to run the other way, my detachment opened her to me and her melancholy tumbled out in mysterious bits. Happiness, sorrow, and abuse were mixed up like vegetables in a soup — the broth, her essence from moment to moment. Yet I was held not so much by her tragedy as by a single gesture — the way she knitted her long hair, sheets upon sheets of fine caramel webs, with two fingers and tossed it back from her face. It was a gentle, careless motion, the way I supposed she pushed the sadness back from her brown eyes.

Andrew X Pham, from Catfish and Mandala

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AT LEAST I CAN SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS, Olivia Steele, 2013

hand blown and coloured neon tubes in radiant plexiglass boxing gloves, 80 x 140 x 20 cm

Madness is like intelligence, you know. You can’t explain it. Just like intelligence. It comes on you, it fills you, and then you understand it. But when it goes away you can’t understand it at all any longer.

Marguerite Duras, from Hiroshima, Mon Amour

A man’s heart is a wretched, wretched thing. It isn’t like a mother’s womb. It won’t bleed. It won’t stretch to make room for you.

Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns

I am very sad and I feel more miserable than I can say, and I do not know how far I’ve come. I do not know what to do or what to think, but vehemently desire to leave this place.

Vincent van Gogh, from Letters

Sometimes I feel so stupid and dull and uncreative that I am amazed when people tell me differently.

Sylvia Plath

I love you. I am so in love with you. You’re in me. You’re like— it’s like you’re a disease. It’s like I am infected by you. And I just can’t think about anything or anybody. And I can’t sleep. I can’t breathe. I can’t eat. And I love you. I love you. All the time. Every minute of every day. I love you.

Lexie Grey

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The Hours (2002) dir. by Stephen Daldry: Nicole Kidman (with the word “Oscar” stamped on her forehead) delivers a performance of a lifetime playing a rather difficult role while disguising everything that is usually so associated with her. With a fake nose, a cold, dark and distant attitude and above all a rough change to her voice, Kidman portrays Mrs. Woolf exactly as the writers wanted us to grasp her and manages to be the most outstanding of the three despite getting the least screen time. Absolutely amazing.”

I can’t fucking share someone, god dammit I’m one selfish person. I want one person all to my self, their laughs and tears, I want to be the first person they tell when something happens, good and bad, I want to piss them off at 2pm, make up for it at 6pm, and to save them at 2am. I need some one all to my self or not at all.

I saw that you still follow her when you said it was nothing

to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.

"The Thing Is," Ellen Bass

What if you slept? And what if in your sleep, you dreamed? And what if in your dream, you went to heaven and there plucked a strange and beautiful flower? And what if, when you woke, you had the flower in your hand? Ah! What then?

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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Tracey Emin at Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami

It’s a lie that poetry is only read by or “speaks to” people in the universities or elite intellectual circles; in many such places, poetry barely speaks at all.

Poems are written and absorbed, silently and aloud, in prisons, in prairie kitchens, urban basement workshops, branch libraries, battered women’s shelters, homeless shelters, offices, a public hospital for disabled people, an HIV support group. A poet can be born in a house with empty bookshelves. Sooner or later, s/he will need books.

Adrienne Rich, What Is Found There: Notebooks on Poetry and Politics, 1994.
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