rabbit howls

like something old as we twitch to a lullaby.

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You may
blame Aphrodite

soft as she is

she has almost
killed me with
love for that boy.

—Sappho, Blame Aphrodite


You are a shadow, wreathed in the judgment
of darkened cathedrals, bloodied rose gardens,
sacramental souls lying scattered on the floor.

And I, I am frightened by your scent
like opium, like rust in the rain.

—Kristina Costa, Elements: Love in Five Parts
Truth is a pain which will not stop. And the truth of this world is to die. You must choose: either dying or lying. Personally, I have never been able to kill myself.
—Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night
An unfamiliar city is a fine thing. That’s the time and place when you can suppose that all the people you meet are nice. It’s dream time.
—Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night
There is something sad about people going to bed. You can see they don’t give a damn whether they’re getting what they want out of life or not, you can see they don’t ever try to understand what we’re here for. They just don’t care. Americans or not, they sleep no matter what, they’re bloated mollusks, no sensibility, no trouble with their conscience.
I’d seen too many troubling things to be easy in my mind. I knew too much and not enough. I’d better go out, I said to myself, I’d better go out again. Maybe I’ll meet Robinson. Naturally that was an idiotic idea, but I dreamed it up as an excuse for going out again, because no matter how I tossed and turned on my narrow bed, I couldn’t snatch the tiniest scrap of sleep. Even masturbation, at times like that, provides neither comfort nor entertainment. Then you’re really in despair.
—Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night
Desire doubled is love and love doubled is madness.
—Anne Carson, The Beauty of the Husband 
I’m full of poetry now. Rot and poetry. Rotten poetry.
—Ernest Hemingway, The Snows of Kilimanjaro
Every true poet is a monster.
He destroys people and their speech.
His singing elevates a technique that wipes out
the earth so we are not eaten by worms.
The drunk sells his coat.
The thief sells his mother.
Only the poet sells his soul to separate it
from the body that he loves.
Tomaz Salamun, Folk Song
Loneliness is necessary for pure poetry.
—Jack Spicer, After Lorca
You are so vulnerably haunting. Your eeriness is terrifyingly irresistible.
—Franz Kafka, Letters to Milena