Friday, December 31, 2010

it's new year's eve

And I miss Aimee so much.

we are not a good judge

When I give talks I enjoy showing examples of artists who are/were consistantly going out on a limb and experimenting with new ideas, many of whom bring all of their unique personality traits to the forefront. (Maira Kalman, Tim Burton, James Joyce, Frieda Kahlo, Charles Eames, Picasso, to name but a few). Things that are often perceived as quirky and strange to the general public, yet these are the things that make for a unique voice. We all have them, are we willing to present them to others? A conclusion that we might come to at some point is that we are not a good judge of what others will respond to. Keri Smith via Lemonade

Monday, December 27, 2010

valerie and bruno

“These were the people I lived with, these were my friends, these were my family, this was myself...there was no separation between me and what I was photographing." Nan Goldin from Art News
Photo: Nan Goldin, Valerie and Bruno, Valerie with pink panties, Paris, 2001

nan goldin

Nan Goldin in Berlin and on Charlie Rose.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

and i am the rain

the little lights off in the distance
(in one of those rooms we are
living) and I am the rain

and the others all
around you, and the loneliness you love,
and the universe that loves you specifically, maybe,

Saturday, December 18, 2010

just because

Just because they say, "Action," doesn't mean you have to do anything. Al Pacino to Jesse Eisenberg NYT
Painting: Wayne Thiebaud

does not bother to be poetical

"If a poet has a dream, it is not of becoming famous, but of being believed." Jean Cocteau

Friday, December 17, 2010

before I turned the book in

"As late as about three months before I turned the book in, I was just in despair, saying, "I don't know what the book's about. I don't know what the book's about. There's no story here." But that was partly because I didn't know how I was going to end it." Jonathon Franzen in Atlantic Unbound

you must first fall in love

"To take possession of a city of which you are not a native you must first fall in love there." John Banville, The Sea

Thursday, December 16, 2010

a small rehearsal

"The home straight of my novel is in sight, but I'm tired, tired, tired and the news is doing nothing to restore my energies

Oh, Best Beloveds, I am tired. I'm almost too tired to talk about the things that are tiring me. Then again – as with bad dentistry, unpleasant personal experiences and unpleasant gentleman callers – there's something minutely empowering about writing down the source of your woes and peering at them in effigy. It can become a small rehearsal for future change." AL Kennedy in The Guardian

Photo: Contempt (via ?)

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Though we dream and hardly know it, longing, like an angel, fosters us, smooths our hair, and brings us strawberries. Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping: A Novel
Henri Cartier-Bresson - Romania, 1975 via UE

Saturday, December 11, 2010

until the next day when you do it again

When I am working on a book or story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write… You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and you know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that. When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling, as when you have made love to someone you love. Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through. Ernest Hemingway via through the screen doors of discretion

Thursday, December 9, 2010

and I am much improved by it

Used Furniture Review: What does your revision process look like?
Rick Moody: It's really long. And I am much improved by it.
Installation by Doris Salcedo

Monday, December 6, 2010

we know some things

"Students can get so bombarded in science classes and think that all is known. It's not. A book like this [ A Wrinkle in Time] can help them realize that we know some things, but really very very little." Shannon Lucid
Photo: NASA

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

what I'm trying to say

is I am totally, madly, completely in love.
Photo from here.

at any rate

At any rate, let us love for a while, for a year or so, you and me. That's a form of divine drunkenness that we can all try. F Scott Fitzgerald, "A Diamond as Big as the Ritz"

the ordinary instant

Life changes in the instant. The ordinary instant. Joan Didion
Cy Tombly, Letter of Resignation (detail) 1959-67

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

one or more than one writer in the bed

Writing is not a mobile activity and – rampant hypochondria and/or genuine illness apart – historically, it seems to involve being in bed more than might be considered entirely reasonable. The onset of winter always reminds me of my early days as a scribbler, reading about all those Russian and Irish and Parisian writers' lives in suitably louche and tormented novels, or short stories, or memoirs. One element they shared – beyond narcissism, absinthe abuse and athletic sexual angst – was the presence of one - or more than one - writer in a bed and occasionally putting pen to paper. AL Kennedy in The Guardian

Monday, November 29, 2010

here is the point

The sheets were rising and falling around me with Anna’s breathing. I thought about waking her. But it was unnecessary. There would be other nights. And how can you say I love you to someone you love? I rolled onto my side and fell asleep next to her. Here is the point of everything I have been trying to tell you, it’s always necessary. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer
Photo by William Gedney, Girl and dog sleeping on bed, 1967 via UE

Friday, November 26, 2010

but I'm always trying to get rid of my faults

"Meg, I give you your faults."
"My faults!" Meg cried.
"Your faults."
"But I'm always trying to get rid of my faults!"

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

some kind of ideological convergence

Some couples don’t ask much of one another after they’ve worked out the fundamentals of jobs and children. Some live separate intellectual and cultural lives, and survive, but the most intense, most fulfilling marriages need, I think, to struggle toward some kind of ideological convergence. Norman Rush via Maude Newton

Photo: Susan Sontag by Annie Leibovitz

Sunday, November 21, 2010

an ordinary sunday

Sometimes I have loved the peacefulness of an ordinary Sunday. It is like standing in a newly planted garden after a warm rain. You can feel the silent and invisible life. Marilynne Robinson, Gilead
Photo: Jak & Jil

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Saturday, November 6, 2010

sound of the return

And then, P. of What Possessed Me said, "I love the sound of the return on a typewriter. It is the sound of accomplishment..." She also posted this.
Poster from ISO50

back and forth between the moment and the whole

It’s really not an intellectual process. I mean, as you see, I try to apply all sorts of mechanical norms to it, and they help me order my thoughts, but finally in playwriting, you’ve got to be able to write dialogue. And if you write enough of it and let it flow enough, you’ll probably come across something that will give you a key as to structure. I think the process of writing a play is working back and forth between the moment and the whole. The moment and the whole, the fluidity of the dialogue and the necessity of a strict construction. Mamet in The Paris Review

you can have some time

“I’m sorry,” he said finally. “I’m still trying to figure out how to live.”
“That’s OK. You can have some time.”
He nodded, taking note of the word some.
From Freedom by Jonathan Franzen via Victoria
Photo via Horse Hunting

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

the most dreary of practical exigencies

and I am feeling particularly testy at being separated from
the one I love by the most dreary of practical exigencies money
when I want only to lean on my elbow and stare into space feeling
the one warm beautiful thing in the world breathing upon my right rib

Monday, November 1, 2010

(if you are interested)

Dissonance / (if you are interested) / leads to discovery
William Carlos Williams "Paterson"

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

your eyes never noticed

Because the typewriter forces me to start all over again once I’m finished. With a computer, you make your changes on the screen and then you print out a clean copy. With a typewriter, you can’t get a clean manuscript unless you start again from scratch. It’s an incredibly tedious process. You’ve finished your book, and now you have to spend several weeks engaged in the purely mechanical job of transcribing what you’ve already written. It’s bad for your neck, bad for your back, and even if you can type twenty or thirty pages a day, the finished pages pile up with excruciating slowness. That’s the moment when I always wish I’d switched to a computer, and yet every time I push myself through this final stage of a book, I wind up discovering how essential it is. Typing allows me to experience the book in a new way, to plunge into the flow of the narrative and feel how it functions as a whole. I call it “reading with my fingers,” and it’s amazing how many errors your fingers will find that your eyes never noticed. Repetitions, awkward constructions, choppy rhythms. It never fails. I think I’m finished with the book and then I begin to type it up and I realize there’s more work to be done. Paul Auster in the Paris Review
Charles Sheeler: Pennsylvania Farmhouse , 1922
Vintage gelatin silver print via Ugly Earring

Friday, October 15, 2010

with its smell of sleep

And the funny part, he suddenly realized, the funny part was that he meant it. Looking at her now in the lamplight, this small, rumpled, foolish woman, he knew he had told the truth. Because God damn it, she was alive, wasn't she? Revolutionary Road, Richard Yates
Franz Kline, LeHigh V Span, 1959-60

Monday, October 11, 2010

i wear workshirts to the opera

I want my face to be shaven, and my heart--
you can't plan on the heart, but
the better part of it, my poetry, is open
From, "My Heart," Frank O'hara
Photo via Convoy

Saturday, October 2, 2010

our house

sentimental, this.

stop a man from falling

I had jumped off the edge, and then, at the very last moment, something reached out and caught me in midair. That something is what I define as love. It is the one thing that can stop a man from falling, powerful enough to negate the laws of gravity. Paul Auster, Moon Palace

Sunday, September 26, 2010

and it's only noon

Do you think I'm wonderful? she asked him one day as they leaned against the trunk of a petrified maple. No, he said. Why? Because so many girls are wonderful. I imagine hundreds of men have called their loves wonderful today, and it's only noon. You couldn't be something that hundreds of others are. Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated
Photo: Grace Hartigan with her painting from Life Magazine via all the mountains

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

even when

You see, in my view a writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway. Junot Diaz

Friday, September 10, 2010

I used to think (some kind of sacred)

“I used to think I couldn’t write without a scotch and a cigarette and one of the scariest things about quitting one then the other was the idea that I wouldn’t be able to write. Well, I quit and I write. That’s more about addiction than about writing. Then I thought I couldn’t write without my dog nearby, but my dog passed away and I still write. One day this summer I wrote in a room full of people in bathing suits cooking bacon. Not for long, though. How to get out of bed and get my coffee without waking up too much before I start writing is a big deal for me. I don’t like to eat until I’m incredibly hungry when I’m writing. I don’t write with music, but I don’t mind ambient sound. I like to be near a window with not a lot going on outside. My current study has a window that is completely filled with hedge and sometimes birds poke around in it. Perfect.

I don’t write every day. I wait until I can’t bear it and then I write, or I write because I can’t wait to write, or I write because there are nuts I want to crack. I was a kid who made ice cream last. I don’t believe in letting writing time be agony. I don’t believe in letting insomnia get me, either. I get up or I take a pill, no thrashing around. The bed needs to be a beautiful place, and the desk does, too. If writing is some kind of agony, I should get over myself and do something nice for the neighborhood. I do ritualize everything, though. I need to because of whatever kind of brain I have. So whatever my writing situation is, I ritualize it, I’m just learning that I can make a ritual out of anything, and it’s not the ritual so much as the ritualizing: making some kind of rhythm in a way that makes something some kind of sacred.” Lucy Corin in American Short Fiction blog. Lucy has a new site.

Photo of J. Morgan Puett's home by Phil Mansfield for NYT

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

a mercy

"And Florens, poor Florens, she was completely smitten." A Mercy, Toni Morrison (for Clara)
Photo from Kissssing, a Love Blog from Porter Hovey

Sunday, September 5, 2010

in the pull of gravity, which is not simple,

our friend the poet comes into my room
where I've been writing for days,
drafts, carbons, poems are scattered everywhere,
and I want to show her one poem
which is the poem of my life. But I hesitate,

Friday, September 3, 2010

an abstract beatitude

From NYT: "In Ms. Martin's case, this was a kind of abstract beatitude: floating disembodied fields and hazes of color and light, which upon closer examination are triggered by surprisingly mundane causes...

The combination of simplicity and optical snap..."
Photo: Agnes Martin
On view at SFMOMA, the Fisher Collection
Also, no digital image of her work could do it justice