a hundred jars of sky

“This is how my sorrow became visible:
Its dust, piling up for years in my heart,
finally reached my eyes.”

“These are the times Holly Golightly called the Mean Reds. I call it White Knuckling it.
When it’s White Knuckle Time, you will have to remind yourself to stand in the middle of the subway platform, well away from the edge.
You may find yourself on the floor of your shower, your face turned toward the wall while the water courses over your shoulders, your mouth opened in a howl that will not come.
You may find yourself on the treadmill at 5:30 a.m. running, running, running, as if you could outpace the emotional mugger at your back.
You might sit at a dinner party making small talk, hoping that you pass for normal, because you suddenly feel as if you are not in touch with the usual social paradigms.”


Womanist - by Alice Walker


Womanist - by Alice Walker

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“I think about this sometimes: about how messed up we all really are on the inside. How we put on this “day face” and try to just live life and be okay, but underneath all that we have all these layers of neuroses and disappointments and unresolved issues that stay dormant until they’re triggered. Not overtly, most of the time — we wouldn’t be able to function if it were overt all the time — but under. Underneath us, inside of us. Things that happened to us that changed us. Heartbreak and trauma woven into the texture of our skins.

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger but it also makes us fucking tired.”

What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Something (Mila Jaroniec)

“I think a lot about killing myself.
Not like a point on a map, but rather like a glowing exit sign at a show that’s never been quite bad enough to make me wanna leave. See, when I’m up, I don’t kill myself because, holy shit, there’s so much left to do! And when I’m down, I don’t kill myself because then the sadness would be over. And the sadness is my old paint under the new, I’d still be me without it, but I’d be so boring.”

“Censorship is never quite as perfect or as invisible as when each agent has nothing to say apart from what he is objectively authorized to say: in this case he does not even have to be his own censor because he is, in a way, censored once and for all, through the forms of perception and expression that he has internalized and which impose their form on all his expressions.”

Pierre Bourdieu, Language and Symbolic Power (via socio-logic)

The suicide poem is a staple found in the work of many young poets, an expected form across poetry workshops. This is not to deny the force of such poems, their attempts to explore how one inhabits killing socialities. Still, their ubiquity, as a mark of the “deep” or “dark” poem (I’ll return to this “dark”) might tells us something about the forms of truthtelling that might still be available in poetry. That they are “dark” poems might suggest something about a “common sense” (to invoke Kara Keeling) that binds blackness to forms and practices of unlife.


I have been thinking about what we want from poetry, especially poetry by black poets. Sometimes, we want it to bear the weight of unspeakable pain. To inhabit a “darkness”—as proximity to unlife—that we dare not confess we experience. We want our truthtellers to incarnate our pain. And because poets are our truthtellers, we want to unimagine what it might cost them or that it might cost them.

“The violence exercised against women outside the home, on the street, in public places, in all those places that could represent for them a social life, is also directly functional to controlling the rhythms of housework and to the space within which women are constrained to their workday. Because it contributes towards keeping them confined to the workplace and to maintaining their expanded work hours in such a way that these continue through the day, including the evening and night, violence keeps them far away from every form of social life …
For a woman to need to remain at home because the city is dangerous, off limits, is directly work because the home is precisely her workplace. The time she spends at home is not, as it is for the man, “free time,” but rather entirely work time. Even to be in front of the television for a woman is not like being at the movies, since if the doorbell rings she must answer it, if the children are sick she’s the one who keeps an eye on the TV and another on how the sick child is doing. And this is fundamentally because it is she, and her physical presence in the home, that contributes towards emotionally and psychologically reproducing the other components of the family. Her own presence is work.”

“I’ll never forget how the depression and loneliness felt good and bad at the same time. Still does.”

“And there comes the hour when nothing more can happen and nobody more can come and all is ended but the waiting that knows itself in vain.”

Samuel Beckett, from Malone Dies (via c-ovet)

“Is there
any way we can purely touch the world again, the way
a salamander does, breathing through its skin? Can we
become the strands of this shrine we weave ourselves into
hoping to emerge into a world where—where what?
There is no end to desire, which means no end to regret,
no end to our need for an ending, so that even the sky refuses
our touch, that sky which, at its bluest, is the most empty.”

Richard Jackson, closing lines “Benediction,” Heartwall (University of Massachusetts Press, 2000)

(via keepyourpebbles)

“I will have an undergraduate class, let’s say a young white male student, politically-correct, who will say: ‘I am only a bourgeois white male, I can’t speak.’ …I say to them: ‘Why not develop a certain degree of rage against the history that has written such an abject script for you that you are silenced?’ Then you begin to investigate what it is that silences you, rather than take this very determinist position - since my skin colour is this, since my sex is this, I cannot speak… From this position, then, I say you will of course not speak in the same way about the Third World material, but if you make it your task not only to learn what is going on there through language, through specific programmes of study, but also at the same time through a historical critique of your position as the investigating person, then you will have earned the right to criticize, you be heard. When you take the position of not doing your homework - ‘I will not criticize because of my accident of birth, the historical accident’ - that is the much more pernicious position.”

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

(via conradtao)

i love this quote a lot and need it here again even tho i had it here recently

(via sandyfarquhar)

This quote is so important because it folds the self-imposed “silence” into the self-righteous consternation of the affronted bourgeois white dude student; the answer both to “not all white men” and “as a white man I cannot speak” is “do your homework, engage in the historical critique” which I think is rather lovely

(via snfprtch)

“As with the transcripts of interrogation confessions, those moments in BLA [Black Liberation Army] autobiographical writings that home in on the pained Black body tend to proceed by pruning duration. Duration is pruned by privileging action, summary and (less commonly) dialogue, the swiftest strategies of narration, over exposition, description, and transition, the slowest strategies of narration. As was the case with Balagoon’s courtroom testimony regarding the Black Holocaust, observation and taxonomies of facts and statistics take precedence over introspection, musing, and reflection when BLA paramilitaries reflect upon their own pained and violated bodies.”

“Postmodern Western culture is more traditional, more Cartesian, than it is willing to admit; it is still frantically concerned to deny materiality, to keep thought separate from the exigencies of the flesh. As Foucault suggests, we continue to elaborate the strange “idea that there exists something other than bodies, organs, somatic localizations, functions, anatomo-physiological systems, sensations, and pleasures; something else and something more, with intrinsic properties and laws of its own” (History of Sexuality I: 152). This “something else” is the postmodern residue of the Cartesian myth of an autonomous thinking substance. Postmodern ideology has not rejected the notion of absolute subjectivity so much as it has refigured the old fantasy of freedom from the constraints of the body in the new terms of cybernetic information, sexual representation, and social signification. The text is the postmodern equivalent of the soul.”

Steven Shaviro, Bodies of Fear (via tiredshoes)