like everybody else.

…like everybody else, i want to die someday but not anytime soon. I like dusk just as much as anyone but I think I’m becoming more keen on sunlight, waking up to the sweet & coffee in the kitchen & all those birds. there are plastic spikes on my windowsill to keep the pigeons away & I don’t know what to think about that. things like that fill my whole entire animal heart… thin heat from radiator in the library. frosty fields where I almost died & died again until I forgot what it means to die or stay alive.

it’s November again & most of us are still alive. this make me so glad except for the fact that it has to be said. I look outside & a black flock of birds erupts into something that’s never been described before.

“It’s November Again”, Talin Tahajian

hungry for something it can’t name.

Owen keeps asking what
happens to his body

when he dies, what happens
inside the body,

and I tell him
all your organs slow

down, your lungs and
heart, your liver,

and the blood in your body
stops moving

around your body, until
everything stops

and become quiet and
rests. he wants to know

if it’s the same thing
for birds and when birds

die what happens to their
feathers, if the feathers

stay up in the sky and what
is a wolf, he wants

to know, and can it eat us.
He says that some things

come back after they die
but we don’t want

them to. No, I say,
sometimes that’s all

we want. No matter what.
For someone

we loved to come back
no matter how terrible

or painful it might
be. His older brother,

Hamza, is alone in his room
again, lying very still

on his bed working out
the compass of being

a teenager on his
Nintendo. I want to

take both boys out
into the yard and have

them bathe their feet
in the October grass.

Pull the cold air over
them like a woolen overcoat.

But I need to get dinner
going and I need to

grab the clothes from
the dryer and fold

them. I don’t know
how I will get the house

cleaned up before it’s
time for bed. Before

I became a father my
greatest fear was dying

in a plane crash, the
plane stalling through

a cloud of birds. Now
I sit at a kitchen table

and stare and stare
at the gas bill

like looking out
the window at a car

on fire. Sometimes
I want to be a ghost

or a vampire, a zombie
slowly walking over a hill,

hungry for something
it can’t name but,

with arms outstretched,
begs for anyway.
ALL HALLOW’S EVE, Matthew Dickman

a kind of loneliness.

there is a kind of loneliness that comes from being with people. the kind that is more about a recognition of the failure of communication. the gaps. like the other day this woman came over and i served her tea…

the woman told me of her career trajectory, which i have already heard in this same excruciating detail twice before. it involves a broken engagement and an incomplete PhD program. which she considers failure, having come from some ambitious North Shore whatever world. i don’t consider either thing failure at all.

still she speaks to me as if i am her judge, or confessor. i felt so lonely hearing her stories, because i know they are about her and her issues and her judges and have nothing to do with me.

i nod, sip my tea, thinking about how hard it is to really truly connect with another human being.

Suzanne Scanlon, Promising Young Women.

i give you six months.

nothing much that happens to us

changes our disposition. 

Really, you believe that? 

I think so. I read this study 

where they followed people 

who won the lottery, and people 

who had become paraplegic, right. 

You’d think that… 

you know, one extreme 

is gonna make you… 

euphoric, and the other suicidal. 

But the study shows that 

after about 6 months, 

Uhum 

Right… 

As soon as people got used to 

their new situation, 

they were more or less the same. 

The same? 

Well, yeah… 

Like if they were basically 

an optimistic, jovial person, 

they’re now an optimistic, 

jovial person, in a wheelchair.

If they’re a petty miserable asshole, 

ok, they’re a petty miserable asshole 

with a new Cadillac, a house and a boat. 

So, you now be forever depressed, 

no matter what great 

things happen in my life? 

Definitely! 

Great! 

No, come on… 

Are you depressed now?

Before Sunset. (2004) Dir. Richard Linklater

what i do know.

it’s only september. i don’t know how many seasons i will be allowed to love you yet.

what i do know is that you have flown one thousand miles to stand in my kitchen, dropping chocolate chips into pumpkin pancakes

—like arranging freckles for the face of a perfect child.

“A Simple Love Poem”, Megan Falley

In July

You and I moved fast and slow, twisted time to match the beat of our hearts, eyes closed to something no one dared to see. Go on, I said, you’ve made your choice but we breathed and lived for all the wrong reasons and you left for years without looking back and here you are now, bittersweet perfection, sullen and angry like a Cat 3 hurricane too far offshore to be noticed, sad and angry like the hot tears you once cried so long ago in July.

Diana Perry

the added weight of all the years.

The real difference between youth and age is not physical, or even mental. It’s just the added weight of all the years piled up behind you. You can call it experience if you want, but having a considerable past doesn’t necessarily confer any wisdom. It just compresses time so that things that happened last week and things that happened in the mid-1980s sit side by side in your memory.

read more.

where guilt is alive.

When you are living in a house where guilt is alive, it leaves a mark.

And when you are living in an atmosphere of daily, ever-present guilt, what does that do to children? It changes their souls.

Molly Shannon

like morning.

i think a lot about your eyes
…and how painful it is to be
in a room full of people with such
empty pockets and words that are
so heavy i cannot lift them from
the fog.

you are the greatest secret
if i could i would hold you between
my hands like morning.

Alison Malee

the unbearable.

“Our day-to-day life is bombarded with fortuities or, to be more precise, with the accidental meetings of people and events we call coincidences. “Co-incidence” means that two events unexpectedly happen at the same time, they meet: Tomas appears in the hotel restaurant at the same time the radio is playing Beethoven. We do not even notice the great majority of such coincidences. If the seat Tomas occupied had been occupied instead by the local butcher, Tereza never would have noticed that the radio was playing Beethoven… But her nascent love inflamed her sense of beauty, and she would never forget that music. Whenever she heard it, she would be touched. Everything going on around her at that moment would be haloed by the music and take on its beauty.

…Anna meets Vronsky in curious circumstances: they are at the railway station when someone is run over by a train. At the end of the novel, Anna throws herself under a train. This symmetrical composition—the same motif appears at the beginning and at the end—may seem quite “novelistic” to you, and I am willing to agree, but only on condition that you refrain from reading such notions as “fictive,” “fabricated,” and “untrue to life” into the word “novelistic.” Because human lives are composed in precisely such a fashion.

They are composed like music. Guided by his sense of beauty, an individual transforms a fortuitous occurrence (Beethoven’s music, death under a train) into a motif, which then assumes a permanent place in the composition of the individual’s life. Anna could have chosen another way to take her life. But the motif of death and the railway station, unforgettably bound to the birth of love, enticed her in her hour of despair with its dark beauty. Without realizing it, the individual composes his life according to the laws of beauty even in times of greatest distress.

It is wrong, then, to chide the novel for being fascinated by mysterious coincidences… but it is right to chide man for being blind to such coincidences in his daily life. For he thereby deprives his life of a dimension of beauty.”

Milan Kundera