31 July 2006

Rooms

You live in your head.
You live in your heart.
You live in your gut.
You live in your genitals.

Each is a room — in an apartment, say — and each room communicates to each other room — you can go from any to any.

Living only in your head makes you crazy.
Living only in your heart makes you sad.
Living only in your gut makes you sick.
Living only in your genitals makes you disgusted.

Each can purify each. Any purges any.

30 July 2006

A word

She stubs out her cigarette in the brown glass ashtray, then settles herself against him, ear to his chest. She likes to hear his voice this way, as if it begins not in his throat but in his body, like a hum or a growl, or like a voice speaking from deep underground. Like the blood moving through her own heart: a word, a word, a word.
— Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin, 112.

28 July 2006

Some people.../Morning after

...some people can't tell where it hurts. They can't calm down. They can't ever stop howling.
— Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin, 2.


The sun was up, the room already too warm. Light filtered in through the net curtains, hanging suspended in the air, sediment in a pond. My head felt like a sack of pulp. Still in my nightgown, damp from some fright I'd pushed aside like foliage, I pulled myself up and out of my tangled bed, then forced myself through the usual dawn rituals — the ceremonies we perform to make ourselves look sane and acceptable to other people. The hair must be smoothed down after whatever apparitions made it stand on end during the night, the expression of staring disbelief washed from the eyes. The teeth brushed, such as they are. God knows what bones I'd been gnawing on in my sleep.
Ibid., 35.

21 July 2006

Prejudice

By definition a prejudice is a principle that its owner does not intend to examine. Which does not prove it wrong. And what a comforting thing it is.

— Wallace Stegner, The Spectator Bird, 156.

12 July 2006

Aegypt delivered

Eight years ago, at a hypertext conference in my home town Pittsburgh, M.D. Coverley did a demo of her new work, Egypt: The Book of Going Forth by Day.

Last month she sent me a copy on CD, the artist's book version. I can't express my gratitude.

I've been reading it through and through for the past month, and haven't found the bottom yet, but want to share four quotes that struck me along the way:

We need, too, silence and watchfulness, attention to the ritual. Any hour of the night we could fall prey to the forces that seek to steal our hearts, make us walk upside down, leave us putrid beside the water's edge, separate us from what we love most. — Papyrus 12


One thing we do not know is our responsibility in the outcome. Does Osiris guarantee us safe passage? Or must we depend on the magic we have gathered ourselves? The ritual guarantees us nothing, perhaps, once we have embarked. — Papyrus 16


And what of the point, in the middle of the way, further than the middle of the way, in the shambles of the gods, when the journey back is too long to undertake, and we can only go forward? — Papyrus 22


Nothing can be saved up against the emptiness of the journey. — Papyrus 25

10 July 2006