“All my adult life I have kept a distance from other people, it has been my way of coping, because I become so incredibly close to others in my thoughts and feelings of course, they only have to look away dismissively for a storm to break inside me.”
— Karl Ove Knausgaard, The Birthday Party
At the end of August, when all
The letters of the alphabet are waiting,
You drop a teabag in a cup.
The same few letters making many different words,
The same words meaning different things.
Often you’ve rearranged them on the surface of the fridge.
Without the surface
They’re repulsed by one another.
Here are the letters.
The tea is in your cup.
At the end of August, the mind
Is neither the pokeweed piercing the grass
Nor the grass itself.
As Tony Cook says in The Biology of Terrestrial Mollusks
The right thing to do is nothing, the place
A place of concealment,
And the time as often as possible.
by James Longenbach, 2012
He can just about remember Nigel, and Nigel’s parents’ house that summer, and Fiona (they were together off and on for a few months afterward). But he has no memory at all of Jane. Even if by some miracle he ever met her, and she recognized him and told him the whole story (which she would never do), it wouldn’t bring anything back. It isn’t only that the alcohol and the drugs made him forget. He’s had too much happiness in his life since, too much experience; he’s lost that fine-tuning that could hold on to the smell of the ham in the off-license, the wetness of the swimming costume, the girl’s cold skin and her naïveté, her extraordinary offer of herself without reserve, the curtains sweeping the floor in the morning light. It’s all just gone.
Tessa Hadley: “An Abduction” : The New Yorker
I gave myself excuses.
This is for my pain—
and this, and this.
Pain. My pain.
All so I might
twice a month
get on a train
to witness yours.
— John Freeman
Halloween is my favorite holiday, ever.