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09 September 2016 @ 12:53 am
dream: T stands at the kitchen counter rolling cigarettes. J leans against the archway, smoking. leaves burnt dark and curled and glowing. sound filters in from the stairwell, growing louder.

where do dream-people go when they have gone? leaving me alone with the woman who rises out of the stairwell in tweed, her gaze landing on me, liquefying, cloying in its concern. child, she says.

are all the women in dreams mothers?

having by this point in my life been told by so many people, you can do it, and feeling like they believe it, i stop when scrolling through preparations for the future and i realise i can hear myself saying you can't, you can't, how could you do it, how could you ever. that's funny, i reply quietly. what you're saying feels like the truth, but it might well not be. for the first time, i wonder where this voice is coming from, and why it has a presence in my head.

dream: M wants to know if i love him back. for the longest time, i decline to answer, and let him believe what he will.

in these two dreams, i learn that a lie can be told a thousand ways, and wake up with my heart crushed into my chest, feeling hunted.
27 February 2014 @ 04:46 pm
i am moving to http://doweknowwhy.wordpress.com/

and i really hope you will come visit me there : )  
18 February 2014 @ 02:39 am

I tried to tell him about Jesus and the Buddha and the Dalai Lama and how people suffer and hurt and struggle and I talked about souls and sunlight and hands held in hands and I talked about streams and the Milky Way and running down and up river banks and I just wanted him to listen and to understand because I just didn't want to be alone.

11 February 2014 @ 09:55 pm
mother don't worry i killed the last snake that lived in the creek bed
mother don't worry i've got some money i saved for the weekend
mother remember being so stern with that girl who was with me
mother remember the blink of an eye when i breathed through your body

so may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten
sons are like birds flying upward over the mountain

mother i made it up from the bruise on the floor of this prison
mother i lost it all of the fear of the lord i was given
mother forget me now that the creek drank the cradle you sang to
mother forgive me i sold your car for the shoes that i gave you

so may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten
sons could be birds taken broken up to the mountain

mother don't worry i've got a coat and some friends on the corner
mother don't worry she's got a garden we're planting together
mother remember the night that the dog had her pups in the pantry
blood on the floor fleas on their paws and you cried till the morning

so may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten
suns are like birds flying always over the mountain

- iron & wine, upward over the mountain

calls come, take a walk, it'll be okay again

it'll always be okay again, don't let it hurt so bad; whatever you do, do something


yesterday. expos. started on the draft in cgis s. finished reading c13 of cleveland in cgis k with a grilled cheese sandwich and while sourdough may feel less healthy than multigrain it is certainly more enjoyable to eat. hist 60f. : ) came home and took a nap - enjoyed the last monday-that-ends-at-4pm since christian and i have signed up for our scas hour on mondays 4-5. the nap was magic, dark and filmy blues and browns. dinner in lowell and some iceland talk was very good, and then heading back and working on productive not-work, like organising my calendar (finally! ! !) and ordering the last of my books : ) and chatting with claire and mengting a bit, and yes it's sad that i dedicate so little time to just hanging out and having a chat that i find it noteworthy when i do it. but it was nice.

as i was remembering that i had forgotten day two of a hundred happy days (yes, i know, lame) i looked up at the light my computer screen cast on the wall by my bed and saw the hearts and kisses and XOs that had been stuck there and was seized by surprise and laughter and an immense sense of good cheer. the feeling stayed and gripped me and when i fell asleep quite a while later it was to the sensation of being stockinged in love and contentment.

this morning i realised it can take me an entire hour from getting out of bed to being dressed. i do not have that much time!! was going to get the expos draft done but i reasoned it would make more sense to do it tomorrow, so i did other work instead, called my client : ) was very sleepy in ai54; sometimes prof asani's voice puts me in a trance... in a good way, but it is embarrassing to be nodding off in lecture. the chairs in sever make it really hard to sit in a way that doesn't hurt my mostly-recovered back. after this i have to work on and finish the calligraphy project. : )

walked to brattle sq florist. it was cold and windy out today. took such a long time to decide on which flowers to get and eventually enlisted min's help, thank goodness she was awake. they were great choices then. rushed to mgh and found my way to malik's room to say hi and drop off his flowers and books : ) he was like o m g  h i : ) it was funny and i was glad. then rushed to shift and another long shift began. i don't know why they cut it from four to three hours and i keep staying on for four hours anyway. it was long but rewarding as usual... when we neared the end of all orders of business and i was putting some things in order for my client she took a big orange out of her bag and put it in my hands. "for you." i almost cried. (yeah i'm pretty exhausted.) she gave me a bottle of water too. i can't stop thanking her and she can't stop thanking me. actually, she wants me to go to her home for a meal but i think i have to check with my program manager on that one... anyway, when people say 'it's the thought that counts', it really is. give me silverware and diamond rings or an orange and a bottle of poland springs.

the other day bra got so mad at me he had to take a walk to calm down. but it's hard to see how i do not gain and gain and gain by doing whatever it is i do. the hearts by my head on the wall by my bed, or the gift of my first meal of the day, are things people put effort into and part with because they are lit up from the inside, and you cannot hold light in your hands and hoard it... it just spills out all over and i get splashed with all the light of everybody and how could you hide from others and hunch over and tell yourself you are taking care of yourself and it doesn't make sensssse. i don't know if love makes our fucked up little world go round but it makes my fucked up little world go round and i don't do things for others because i want to be rewarded and yet i know deeply that doing things for others brings me all the reward i need ...

i don't know. it sounds chirpy but i mean i do get tired and upset and drained and i guess bra sees how awful i can get and it's because i don't have enough energy and perhaps he thinks that if i saved some for myself i would have enough energy to be a nice happy person but the thing is i don't know if i have any energy for myself at all, like if it isn't for something beyond myself then it's... just not worth it, yknow? i don't know i don't know i don't know

but i know i am in love with every one and every thing and sometimes they love me back and that makes me happy, happy, happy, happy

anyway then i went to visit malik and stayed for quite a while because i thought even if i am myself tedious i could be a distraction from the everyday tedium and anyway we had quite a bit to chat about and then eventually i put on my jacket and came home, and made myself my second meal of instant noodles (and i think mengting is bringing me fooooood hehehehe) and cleared 5% more of my desk (working on it) and now i must go and do work the work never stops and that's how we like it while we are still awake and able, otherwise we might as well not be ??? : ) : ) : ) ??? : ) : ) : ) : )
06 February 2014 @ 06:24 pm
just notes to self. paf said talk to steph about the possibilities within hist&lit where academic work can have a real world impact (& be a source for change?) and make something you really want to do into a goal so you don't feel bad spending time on it as if it's fluff, and service work is as important as systems change and they will come hand in hand

way too full from lunch + numerous poptarts + mireya's candy this has been a day of indulgence and voracity

very sleepy

more notes to self - don't forget to do assignments that don't have fixed due datesss
02 February 2014 @ 06:59 pm
brunch today
2 pierogis
stir fry vegetables
cranberry french toast
scrambled eggs
shredded hashbrowns
seven bean soup

yesterday was awful despite everything nice, or had its really nice points despite everything awful (there isn't a whole bunch of things that are awful, just my mood... brain chemistry?) and culminated in lying on the floor with the back, head, and leg each in agony, but especially the head, and texting an apologetic message to mireya that i couldn't join them downstairs, and trying to carry on with the hist60f reading - what was going to happen to ustaz ma'aruf? - but eventually failing and falling asleep alongside bra, who, before losing consciousness entreated me to stop crying, please, stop crying... woke up a bunch of times in the night, maybe four or five, and each time bra was next to me on the floor, which was the most lovely and comforting thing, and each time five or fifty seconds after i woke up the headache would begin to return in full force, and yet none of the misery and fear that had accompanied my last hour or so awake, and calmly in the dim reddish light i would fall back asleep

woke up in the morning to tend to j, and then spoke to xuan on the phone for five quarters of an hour, but it was a good conversation, i think, or at least i didn't worry about it while i was speaking and listening to him and after, and one i was very glad to have had with him. perhaps it was allowed me as a form of atonement for not having been there (and still not being able to be there?) for m?

after that i spent a good while listening to music with bra and listening to him play and sing as the light got brighter and brighter and fell into my face and eyes

eventually i had to get up and began the plan for today, which was to clean up around the room. consolidated all our disgusting trash (how lifted my mood is now that it is gone from the room : )) and swiffered a bedroom before heading out for brunch with mireya, and then to the writing program office (i want to be a supportive friend), all in shorts and slippers : )))) upon returning, consolidated the recycling and took it all out to thayer, swiffered the other bedroom and the rest of the common room and some of the hallway and about half of the other common room : ) at times i thought my back was hurting and at times not, which was strange but good and i felt so free to be allowed to move around and get things done. oh, i've been reflecting that the way pain works (in this instance, with the back) is that it inhibits my movement and action, and so rather than howling and hating it, i've been imagining it as analogous to how a spirit might feel when pulled into a corporeal form! inhibiting, but, you know, you just live with it and get on with it : )

the room is so much cleaner now (i feel) and it just makes me smile : )

then from about half past three onwards i've been trying to do my homework : ) it hasn't been that productive but i've been gentle with myself and taking it slow and steady. (oh yeah and used pandora through much of it for the first time in a while, and it was soothing : )) finished h60f and working on the web-available readings for ai54 (doing the textbook readings tomorrow in between expos and hist60f) and then the response paper for fs36p or if i don't feel like it i'll allow myself to do and submit it tomorrow : )

so, this feels good : )
music: shia adhan by kazem zadeh
13 January 2014 @ 01:37 am
two years in, we are a collection of recurrent themes and secret messages, sharp edges and soft spaces, idiosyncratic jokes and inexhaustible plans... & i hope we keep collecting : )

my biggest adventure, and there's nothing quite like being in it together.
28 December 2013 @ 09:08 pm

"he rode the rails across the Midwest and back through Ohio and then on into the Northeast. although the companions he met in the boxcars weren't as hostile or dangerous as he'd often heard and the railway bulls never rousted or hassled them, he couldn't help but be reminded of the train ride he'd taken to Tulsa with Lila and he grew sad to the point where he felt swollen with it, as if there were no space for anything else in his body."

"the mob had the men pressed back against the doors. the men fought back, but then the doors opened behind them and some of them fell backward and others tried to hold back the mob with nothing more than flailing arms. the left door was wrenched off its hinges and the mob washed over the men and flowed into the building. Danny watched out of his good eye and knew there was nothing he could do to stop it. nothing at all. this terrible smallness of men was bigger than him, bigger than anything."

the given day, by Dennis Lehane.


drawing is hard
and satisfying
and confusing. - at the end when you have something on a page, how do you know what to make of it? - you avert your eyes from your own creation and ask others, if you dare


I have been spending my days in chairs, beds, and cars. I have been listening to tropical rainfall. I have been surrounded by the smell of babies. I have been eating a lot of food. non-stop.

15 December 2013 @ 11:28 am

"is the complete aversion to pain a peculiarly modern american aberration (as kleinman suggests in chapter 2) - a sign of moral weakness or spiritual wimpishness?"


I stood and waited with my fingers slowly freezing over until the door hissed shut and your bus pulled out of the berth. I waved to your silhouette against the dark, rain-studded window, and it waved back, and then you were gone. walking the few paces back into the station I imagined putting my hands in yours and saying, look how cold they are! even as you warmed them up. but the time for that was past, and you were gone.

29 November 2013 @ 12:50 am
all this makes clear that the boundary between real life and dreams is not clear
16 November 2013 @ 12:25 pm
7.09am alarm is ringing

7.28am i open bleary eyes 7.29am and stare at the time fuzzy on my phone and jump out of bed and 7.30am dial the number and am halfway through the call by the time i get out to the landing so that i won't disturb anyone with my talking 7.33am i hang up and stretch and look out the window on the landing briefly before turning to go back inside and then i realise that the door's closed

which means it's locked. and my roommates were only back at 3 last night and i fell asleep soon after that who knows what they could've gotten up to it would be inhumane to wake any of them up at half past seven in the morning. fuhhh i wander down my entryway and the 10 is open and i peer in at the very tempting couch. i'm so tired. but maybe i shouldn't. so i go back up and sit on the window seat on the landing and scroll through facebook gloomily. i want to be back in my deliciously comfortable bed, or at least at my desk getting started on the longass to-do list for today. this is disgustingly unproductive. i close facebook and start reading the economist. that's much better. i love reading the economist and it's not too unproductive either. but i could do better i guess. fing and i chat for a while. then i start my expos homework on my phone. i don't like doing work on my phone but i'm glad for the ability to. it takes a long time, trawling through galleries and annotating paintings, longer than i thought it would. 8.43am i make my fourth call of the morning and am officially done with the business that got me out of bed in the first place. i continue with the expos homework.

at some point i get really tired and am more or less done with expos and i'm thinking of how to get my anthro assignment done on my dying phone and i stop thinking of the window seat i'm sitting on as unhygienic public space and slump into a foetal position my head is right where my slippers just were i don't have to try too hard not to think about that and i fall asleep.

i wake up around 10.40am and call mengting 8 times because she has an 11am appointment to make. and she can let me in on her way out. it doesn't work. i go back to sleep until 10.58am. then i knock at the door and a half-asleep lena opens it bemusedly and lets me in and i go and wake mengting up and brush my teeth and wash my face.

something interesting i thought about during my three and a half hours outside is how different it is, being on the inside and on the outside. when i am trapped outside, whatever i may be doing in the meantime, my entire being is oriented towards what may be going on inside. my ears are tuned to any movement they may be able to hear. and i keep wondering, would it be a good time to knock now? when can i be inside again? when i am in my room, the outside world doesn't need to exist for me to be happy and comfortable and do my thing, and i usually ignore it.

and it's ironic that i ended up barred from my home while trying to help someone in such a situation (but, yknow, actually real :/)

hahahahaha oh yeah and i realise i could've called security to be let in again (i think) but i wasn't really thinking earlier. 
09 November 2013 @ 01:19 am
maybe you bet on me while we were still young enough to know
what to believe

it is a new and difficult creature unlike any i have encountered before


much of the time bra acts as my diary, the unfortunate (but willing, so blessed am i) repository of the day's minutiae.

can you tell he is busy at the moment?


spent the beginning of shift casting around for a task to do. did the odd jobs, clearing dishes from out front, refilling the toilet paper in the ladies' room (which required more back-and-forth coordination with sam than one might imagine), filling a meal order... wondered if i might fetch the broom and sweep the kitchen floor. (i do enjoy my scullery-maid work.) found myself out in front at some point, although i can't remember why and what i was doing now; found sam asking - how's my chinese?

friends, you know how my chinese is. or, um, isn't. i conveyed as much. "are you being modest, or...?" nope, not being modest, i assured him. "oh well then. that's okay. i was just wondering - we just had someone who - it's okay, we have someone else who can -" he said, already moving away and up the ramp to tend to something. ah. i stood in my half-shrug for a few seconds, a mildly rueful disappointment to my heritage and education.

a thin lady was coming down the ramp, ushered by sam and another kid. i smiled and she said "nihao" vaguely to me as they passed and i said "nihao" in response and she was so surprised. i could see it and feel it. and maybe hear it - she may have murmured "ah!" or it may have been my imagination. but i smiled warmer and moved closer and said, "你好,我的名字是韶蔚" and my fellow volunteer brightened and told her, ta de zhongwen bi wo de hao, ta hui bang ni. i smiled nervously. (in my head: "wo hui???") wo ke yi qu ma? he asked, and in response to her thank you, thank you, he was off. we put her things down and sat for her meal.

there was a story involved, and a lost bed, and suppressed tears, and i clean forgot "physical contact between guests and volunteers should be limited to handshakes" (because it both makes sense and is unnatural) and put my hand on her back in those instances, because. so it went, little ol' me, the improbable bilingual intermediary in several vital exchanges!, much like the spanish interpreter i had just been using earlier that evening for the first time with a health leads client, except very much unlike as well, lacking the professionalism and sheer competence she had had. back and forth and back and forth, with more hope than frustration, also because the shelter was warm, with hot food for hungry stomachs.

and she told me about chinese literature, and history, and the bible, and lots besides, which i gloss over not because i've forgotten, but because it was a wonderful conversation, and i wish you could have it with her instead of hear it from me. when she talked about not wasting food, i said, "我小时候有学过,是不是一个唐诗最后一句,“粒粒皆辛苦”?" boy was she chuffed!! she knocked her arm against mine excitedly, grinning, "阿!你也知道!" repeatedly i could not remember the word for "rules" (or "policy" but i didn't even attempt that one) but i cast around for it, not actively trying to recall so much as leaning on something that must have been ingrained, because i said "gui ze" and when i looked it up later on in the kitchen as i was heating up her pasta, my translation app told me english: rules, chinese: 规则. but ultimately the point (as much as this story/this night/this life has a point) isn't language.

i frown at myself as i say that because thinking of the most pointlike point in this story, it sounds like it may be about language... in the dimness she reconfirmed with me when i would next be at the shelter; there are so many things in her heart she would talk about if she could. she listed some of them, and it was painful to have my brain working at it as i listened: gratitude could be conveyed tacitly, maybe, even the deep gratitude that she felt, but how to specify who she was grateful to the way she was so specifically telling me, 美国,美国政府,哈佛学生, and how, without words, to carry on a conversation at length about foot-binding? if only, she said, if only she could speak english. and still - it wasn't language and its limits that made any impression whatsoever on me tonight, but loneliness. loneliness, and connection, and the com- words. 'with'. commiseration compassion communion. the way her bright eyes looked into mine when she spoke of the things she would speak of if she could. her beam as she imagined having the words with which to express, to another person, everything that filled her heart. the question of when i'd next be around. the one-armed and very tight hug i gave her, or she gave me, or, you know what? we gave each other.


"goodnight," said the two men outside. several smiling rounds of goodnights. "you be safe now," he said, and i said, "you, too." "you take care," he said, "have you a long way to go?" i said no, and, standing in the cold but headed for warmth, felt guilty. no place for feeling bad in his response: "that's good," he said, and it sounded uncannily like settling a load down. i don't know how his voice did it. i felt like he really cared. "keep eyes in the back of your head," he called as i set off. strange how alarming his earnest insistence was; stranger how heartening. 
music: blind pilot
04 November 2013 @ 08:43 pm
This body alternates
warm/not warm
tied to nothing and everything
this body is red leaves
fluttering frantically against blue sky
and the eyes search out
the feather-line of the firs
but thanks to the crying
everything blurs.

This body rests
slump-backed in a
straight-backed chair
this body is bone against skin
against the surfaces of everything
and the eyes search out
Orion’s three-starred belt
yet this body knows things
aren’t seen but felt.

This body weighs
all consequences
this body is the inside and the outside
this body is the nooks and the crannies
and the wide open spaces
and the eyes that search
for anything they can find
and this body is other bodies
and this body is other minds.
27 October 2013 @ 01:24 am
tonight, instead of the turkish dinner party/hhip gathering in eliot/singaporean food in the quad/heaven&hell, i had a panini and pomegranate in mummy's hotel room. and it was really nice.


this is the skype session we had with raúl zurita - he spoke in spanish, so i took down prof deeny's translations.

Rebecca: Is it possible to make sense of the violence that happened in Chile, and what is the role of art in that process?

Raúl Zurita: The role of art is to keep hope alive. As terrible as everything is, art is a way of resistance, a way of not succumbing to the violence. For me it was important to create an art that is strong, to create an art that was as strong as the pain that was inflicted upon us. It was my way of staying alive. Also, it was a fight for the signification, the meaning, of words. They spoke a lot about patriotism, and the homeland, and the flag, but poetry also speaks of these things. Poetry also speaks of the homeland. But its signifiers, its meanings, are completely different. So to write is a struggle to preserve certain meanings. Artists wanted to retain the meaning of those words and not what the military wanted them to mean.

Lucyanna: If the role of art is hope, why do you keep on writing after the dictatorship?

Raúl Zurita: You have hope until the last possible moment of your life. The struggle, the consciousness/conscience, continues because we don’t live in the best of worlds. It’s not just our history, it’s not just our country; our history is all of humanity, of all of those who suffer. It’s the possibility, the hope, of a better world. Also to know that we are individuals who are capable of amazing things at the same time that we’re capable of terrible things.

Max: Speaking of the role of art, how do you think that the way people think of these events will change when these people are passed? [?]

Raúl Zurita: Everything continues to be accumulated and nothing is lost. I don’t know if what I’ve done will last or not. It’s nothing that an artist, poet, or writer can control. But it is the community, human beings, who will decide what continues.

Taonga: How does writing poetry on the landscape change its [the poetry’s] meaning?

Raúl Zurita: To write poetry in the landscape or to write it in the sky is exactly the same as writing it on a blank page. You can’t put limits on yourself… because precisely art is what goes beyond your limits, how you’re conditioned, the definition of the page, or the book, or the space. An artist should always try to fulfil and take forward his or her own vision… without caring if it is poetry or not poetry; it is what he feels. And if the sentiment is authentic and powerful, perhaps it will be art.

Reid: Do you think your writing changed before and after the coup?

Raúl Zurita: Even though I wrote a lot before the coup, really I began to be a writer after the coup, because I rearranged everything. The Desert of Atacama is the last poem I wrote of Purgatory, three years after the coup. I felt that “Green Areas” (written before the coup) was like a premonition. A poem that was a premonition, speaking about what was going to happen. That’s the vision of the cows that finish in dissolution. “The Desert of Atacama” came after the coup. In that poem you really see the dream, the delirium. The desert is a really powerful image for me. There’s nothing more like the human skin than the colours of the desert. All of our faces are in the desert. Our faces have the colours of the desert. There’s a way in which the desert is related to us in a very profound way. It’s apparently monotonous, but it has thousands of colours that are permanently changing with the light. It’s apparently a very calm place, but if you get two metres off your path, you’re lost. It’s full of reflections. It’s what is most similar, in its depth, to the human soul.

Margo: I was wondering if you could talk about your creative experience, and your creative process, and … how you communicate your own experiences and thoughts to someone who doesn’t have the same memories? [?]

Raúl Zurita: When I write, I don’t think who’s going to read me. I’m just trying to be loyal to myself. But not because I think I’m special or important, but I think I’m someone who goes to the depth of myself, without compassion for myself, or without false solidarity. Something that I think everyone can do. For me, to write and to do art is an example of that.

Daniel: I was hoping you could talk about that phrase “ni pena ni miedo” and why you chose to write that in the desert.

Raúl Zurita: When he thought of that line, it was eighteen years before it was actually realised. Because it was precisely at that time in my country that there was the most… pena and miedo. Pain and suffering and shame (pena), and fear (miedo). And also… I don’t know very well, why. But I felt like it was a way of having hope. That the landscapes of Latin America are full of drawings and lines, so in the desert, the Nazca lines. Nobody really knows what they mean, but it means that someone was there, a pueblo, a town, a people, were there. And I think that a line in the desert means that. That we are alive, we were alive.

Shao Wei: The idea that “our history is all of humanity, of all of those who suffer” seems central to you. Where does that come from?

Raúl Zurita: Because I feel about human beings, we’re finally more or less alike, in our need for love, and our fears, and our dreams, and in our sense of perplexity in the face of death. So we’re all metaphors of the same thing. So every human being contains all of humanity. And humanity is also one human being. It’s a dream but I think that no one can be fully happy while another person is suffering, while we know that others suffer. That’s not a religious thing; I believe that is something profound about the way a human is, that’s what it means to be human.

Shao Wei: When did you develop this idea? Was it something you decided as a child, you had this idea all along, or…?

Raúl Zurita: When I saw the persecution. When I saw the cruelty.

Carol: The first lines of the Canto. What is the relationship between cruelty and beauty?

Raúl Zurita: If that line is beautiful, it’s because it symbolises a… cessation [?]. But it would be much more beautiful if the line had never been written… because it would mean that it didn’t happen, that terribleness. Poetry has to account for the violence of human beings. The greatest poem would be to live in peace.

Alex: Is the driving emotion behind your poetry more sorrow, or anger?

Raúl Zurita: Both things. The abuse, the beating up of defenceless people, produces a lot of anger.

Forest: [?]

Raúl Zurita: That’s the great dream. I would like a world, a humanity, in which we did not need art. In which every moment in every person’s life would be art.

Maho: In Purgatory, did you try and represent the experience itself, or does it include your reflections and analysis, after the experience?

Raúl Zurita: It’s not an analysis. It’s trying to show the experience. How it affected you, how it broke you, the damage it did to you. I think that poetry is not an analysis.

Michelle: What’s the relationship between the particular and the universal in Purgatory?

Raúl Zurita: That’s what I was saying before. If you go to the depths of the personal, most likely you’ll reach the depth of the entire humanity.

Taji: What’s the place of religion in your poetry?

Raúl Zurita: It’s present. Laughter Religion is present because it’s present in Latin languages (in Spanish). I am an atheist. But I can’t evade the presence of religion in Spanish. You ultimately don’t control what you say. You can only write what language allows you to write (what’s there in the language in the first place). You use a language to express what you feel… but language also uses you, to say what she wants to say.

Finnegan: It seems like in Purgatory you see religion as unnecessary in bringing humanity, people, together. Do you think religion drives people apart, or it’s just… present, as you said?

Raúl Zurita: I feel that there’s something in religion that is very dangerous. The books –religious texts – are dictated by God. God can condemn anyone. In the name of truth, in the name of God, someone condemns another man. In the name of poetry, no one condemns someone else. Poetry doesn’t have to do with truth. Poetry is before truth. I’m going to tell a story.    There is a Greek poet, Theogenes (?). He wrote a story of the gods. The muses dictated the story to him. They could tell many lies. They would tell many lies as if these things were the truth. But then they could also tell the truth when they wanted to. So the poet never knew whether what he was writing was the truth or a lie. Poetry doesn’t have to do with truth; it has to do with feelings.

Kevin: I know you sort of already answered this by saying that religion is present in language, but I feel like Purgatory is just so chock-full of religion… how are you an atheist? Yknow?

Anna Deeny: Can we pass on that question? Cuz I feel like he already answered that question. We can talk about it later.

Schuyler: We read how speaking about it can help people come to terms with it. He used poetry as a way to reconcile with the past. And has he seen effects in other people who choose not to talk about the past?

Raúl Zurita: To not confront the past is for the past to repeat itself permanently. At the same time I do not judge anyone. I don’t judge whoever doesn’t want to confront the past. Words can’t account for how someone truly feels. They might think of the past in a different way. I can’t judge their way.

The End

Taji: Can you send him an email to ask him… What do the fish mean?
07 October 2013 @ 08:29 pm
my favourite fruits












i have an avocado on my desk and i keep touching it because i really want to cut it open and eat it
07 October 2013 @ 06:59 am
I either feel too much or nothing at all, she said, and with dead eyes looked out over the roofs of the city.

Baby, stop crying, he said, and pressed very carefully at her tears with a soft blue tissue.

Okay, she said as she went on, and he held her hand and the place in between her shoulder blades as they stood up.

And in her mind she was pulled close to him and in the warmth of his chest between his arms she could not stop crying.

And as they talked the words came out of their mouths with five or six possible meanings at once, and they did not know which were the right ones, and they did not know that they did not know.

And she was putting tea on, and music, and wearing a big comfy sweater, anything to feel better.

And the sunlight streaming in its particular way through the windows was so beautiful but possibly not worth the pain that everyone feels, all the time.

She went downstairs to the basement where a drummer sat working the snare.

And he was pretty, but only that. And his eyes were luminous and kind in the dark. And he looked up when she came in but she looked down at her hands.

And when he tried to take her hands she put them behind her back and he, following their movement, held her around the waist.

But this was even less perfect than everything else, and she fell asleep, and had bad dreams.
06 October 2013 @ 01:06 am
your voice

in my ear

apenas empujado

the thing is it's all a trick of the mind
(tea and honey, ingrid michaelson, instrumental sounds of thunder and rain, roommates and whatsapp)

(recalibrate till successful) 
music: keep breathing, ingrid michaelson