1. Joy

    Happiness is a watered cactus
    waiting in a line at CVS
    hoping for a quiet night in.
    I hope you don’t let yourself dry.

    You make me breathe, easy and spacious.
    I wish my limbs could stretch for miles,
    cloaking you in safety when your blundered soul
    punches and shakes
    bruising your forehead like a
    skinned peach,
    pounding hard into a headboard until daybreak.

    You mourn the air you breathe
    and the scars you sleep with,
    but I mourn that morning
    when I burned my tongue on hot coffee
    rather than tell you, softly,
    that I love you

    Stand up, walk long like you do.
    You are joy,
    and your
    headboard is iron.

     

  2. "Maybe my limbs are made
    mostly for decoration,
    like the way I feel about
    persimmons. You can’t
    really eat them. Or you
    wouldn’t want to. If you grab
    the soft skin with your fist
    it somehow feels funny,
    like you’ve been here
    before and uncomfortable,
    too, like you’d rather
    squish it between your teeth
    impatiently, before spitting
    the soft parts back up
    to linger on the tongue like
    burnt sugar or guilt.
    For starters, it was all
    an accident, you cut
    the right branch
    and a sort of light
    woke up underneath,
    and the inedible fruit
    grew dark and needy.
    Think crucial hanging.
    Think crayon orange.
    There is one low, leaning
    heart-shaped globe left
    and dearest, can you
    tell, I am trying
    to love you less."
    — "Crush," Ada Limón  (via commovente)
     

  3. Anonymous said: I saw you're taking requests. Could you write 100 words on advertising?

    benedictsmith:

    Advertising agencies sold products by exploiting people’s insecurities. “Buy this product or no one will fuck you”, they said. “Buy this product or you’ll never be accepted”. The people in charge made a lot of money this way, and they spent that money on stuff they didn’t need, out of fear that no one would fuck them, or they’d never be accepted. It would be nicer if adverts told us not to bother with society’s narrow parameters of beauty, since we’re just energy as old as the universe, forged in the furnaces of stars. But stars don’t buy anti-wrinkle cream.

     

  4. "Can you believe what the eloquence of these asteroids
    tells us? that we are thrown through space from one
    explosion to another? How amazing any love has endured!
    In spite of the fact that so many tendrils of hope
    wither in the sun, in spite of the way the flower now
    seems to feed on the bees, that the lake seems to shackle
    the sky, that the roots pull down the tree, in spite of the fact
    that the clouds drag the earth towards some new final solution.
    It doesn’t matter where. There’s a whole alphabet of hate,
    a syntax of torture we can hardly understand. Petrified
    promises take the day by the hand and lead her off
    into some jungle. A couple of cigarettes walk towards
    the dark end of a pier. A child’s music shatters
    like a broken violin. I used to think that any love we could
    find is enough. It isn’t. It isn’t enough to plant our precious
    gardens of hope in the sky. It isn’t enough to write
    by the fading candle of our eyes. It isn’t enough to read
    some future by the petals of the flower. Never enough.
    We have to understand this love in the way the thorn defends it.
    We can’t let the moon rest its drowsy head on our rooftops.
    We have to capture every wayward flash on the night sky and
    not let our words burn up in the atmosphere. We have to follow
    wherever they were heading. Sometimes I think we are all
    hurtling through love at the speed of light. Maybe it is a question
    of what galaxy we will crash into. Even now, you have to hear
    what the arrow says before it strikes. You have to know
    I will follow you over rivers of stone, even while you hold
    my heart in your fist, that every love is filled with guilt, every love
    tries to conquer a new world. I think sometimes we breathe
    through the pores of the earth. It’s the only way we know
    the soul’s body. It’s the only way we can pass over the hobbled
    roads of hate, the only way to shudder as the birds shudder
    crossing the horizon. I am watching a bat scoop the emptiness
    from the night, watching the hackberry embrace the moon.
    Sometimes we have to hold hands with our own nightmares.
    When I tell you that the voice of the nightingale turns dark
    you have to understand what this love is trying to overcome,
    you have to know that if you ever leave, if you ever disappear,
    the sky would rip, and the stars would lose their way."
    — Richard Jackson, Night Sky
     
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  6. "A woman from the audience asks: ‘Why were there so few women among the Beat writers?’ and [Gregory] Corso, suddenly utterly serious, leans forward and says: “There were women, they were there, I knew them, their families put them in institutions, they were given electric shock. In the ’50s if you were male you could be a rebel, but if you were female your families had you locked up."
    — 

    Stephen Scobie, on the Naropa Institute’s 1994 tribute to Allen Ginsberg (via fuckyeahbeatniks) (via talkwordytome)

    (via literarymiscellany)

     

  7. "I think so much about growing up these days, and I am trying my hardest to throw away tired metaphors of blooming, of being a tree, of finding my roots, of stretching out towards the sky. People call me a poet, and I know my place when I say that metaphors won’t do it this time.
    ‘When I grow up’ was an essay I wrote in baby talk in front of a class that didn’t care. At four years old, I wanted to be a dermatologist, and help the people who experienced the welts and rashes that manifested on their skin like poison ivy - like mine. Most were just impressed that I could spell ‘dermatologist’, and people that weren’t were wowed by a concrete life plan to rival those of teenagers everywhere.
    Here’s the thing, though: I just started skipping in the street again. I jumped a puddle and I grinned quietly to myself when the edge of it splashed my foot. Ten minutes ago I got home and washed my underwear in the sink. I spun around in the kitchen and it reminded me that I am so happy to be alive.
    And then I think: maybe this is what growing up is. Maybe growing up is learning to be happy to be alive. Maybe it’s making things easier for myself, trimming the fat from my phone contacts, discovering things I enjoy. Maybe it’s to have good sex and buy good underwear and read good books and surround myself with good people.
    Maybe growing is doing the best you can with what you have, or learning to be happy with your own company, or being comforted by the idea that no one has a fucking clue what they’re really doing and that makes it okay that you don’t know how to balance your books or put your bedsheets on straight because really, what is a tax return?
    Maybe growing up is thinking about growing up enough to realise that everything is growing, from the hairs on my head to the hunger in my heart.
    Maybe growing up is getting tired earlier in the evening some days, or understanding that it is okay to get tired.
    The more I think about growing up, the clearer it becomes that I am where I was as a child - talking to people that are too focused on their own futures to busy themselves with mine.
    And we are all inching, inching, inching our winding ways towards the ceiling."
    — 

    (Source: ishanijasmin, via ishanijasmin)

     
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  12. "But love is what we want, not freedom. Who then is the unluckier man? The beloved, who is given his heart’s desire and must for ever after fear its loss, or the free man, with his unlooked-for liberty, naked and alone between the captive armies of the earth?"
    — Salman Rushdie, The Ground Beneath Her Feet (via divine-despair)
     

  13. "Summoned by conscious recollection, she
    would be smiling, they might be in a kitchen talking,
    before or after dinner. But they are in this other room,
    the window has many small panes, and they are on a couch
    embracing. He holds her tightly
    as he can, she buries herself in his body.
    Morning, maybe it is evening, light
    is flowing through the room. Outside,
    the day is slowly succeeded by night,
    succeeded by day. The process wobbles wildly
    and accelerates: weeks, months, years. The light in the room
    does not change, so it is plain what is happening.
    They are trying to become one creature,
    and something will not have it. They are tender
    with each other, afraid
    their brief, sharp cries will reconcile them to the moment
    when they fall away again. So they rub against each other,
    their mouths dry, then wet, then dry.
    They feel themselves at the center of a powerful
    and baffled will. They feel
    they are an almost animal,
    washed up on the shore of a world—
    or huddled against the gate of a garden—
    to which they can’t admit they can never be admitted."
    — Misery and Splendor by Robert Hass (via lobbywaitingarea)

    (via commovente)

     
  14.  

  15. "Am I to bless the lost you,
    sitting here with my clumsy soul?"
    — Anne Sexton, from “The Inventory of Goodbye 

    (Source: litverve, via whiskeydynamite)