“After the first glass of absinthe you see things as you wish they were. After the second you see them as they are not. Finally you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world. I mean disassociated. Take a top hat. You think you see it as it really is. But you don’t because you associate it with other things and ideas.If you had never heard of one before, and suddenly saw it alone, you’d be frightened, or you’d laugh. That is the effect absinthe has, and that is why it drives men mad. Three nights I sat up all night drinking absinthe, and thinking that I was singularly clear-headed and sane. The waiter came in and began watering the sawdust.The most wonderful flowers, tulips, lilies and roses, sprang up, and made a garden in the cafe. “Don’t you see them?” I said to him. “Mais non, monsieur, il n’y a rien.”
“Too lazy to be ambitious,
I let the world take care of itself.
Ten days’ worth of rice in my bag;
a bundle of twigs by the fireplace.
Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment?
Listening to the night rain on my roof,
I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out.”
Newcastle Morning Herald & Miners’ Advocate (NSW : 1876 – 1954) , Saturday 16 May 1891
“Old men and young, while gathered around the social beer table, relate their experience and quantity of beer they have swallowed at one sitting, or in one day, or in one evening with as much pride as an old hunter would rehearse his achievements in the forest or jungle. They seem to be as proud of the capacity of their stomachs as a prize fighter is of his muscle.” — Henry Ruggles, 1883
They’re privatising things we own together.
And though we’re still connected by the weather
They say that sharing things is now unsound.
They’re lonelifying all the public spaces.
They’re rationalising swags and billabongs.
g nature’s lovely places,
Dismantling the dreaming and the songs.”
The Best Cigarette
by Billy Collins
There are many that I miss
having sent my last one out a car window
sparking along the road one night, years ago.
The heralded one, of course:
after sex, the two glowing tips
now the lights of a single ship;
at the end of a long dinner
with more wine to come
and a smoke ring coasting into the chandelier;
or on a white beach,
holding one with fingers still wet from a swim.
How bittersweet these punctuations
of flame and gesture;
but the best were on those mornings
when I would have a little something going
in the typewriter,
the sun bright in the windows,
maybe some Berlioz on in the background.
I would go into the kitchen for coffee
and on the way back to the page,
curled in its roller,
I would light one up and feel
its dry rush mix with the dark taste of coffee.
Then I would be my own locomotive,
trailing behind me as I returned to work
little puffs of smoke,
indicators of progress,
signs of industry and thought,
the signal that told the nineteenth century
it was moving forward.
That was the best cigarette,
when I would steam into the study
full of vaporous hope
and stand there,
the big headlamp of my face
pointed down at all the words in parallel lines.
Light carries between floorboards,
I follow it; trace a line back to my eyes
And the creases beneath them.
This building has no plaque
And shows up everywhere-
Once I found her by the harbour
And had to lead her away
Before the salt rusted her window frames.
If I close my eyes she is only noises,
My ears and she is only smells.
The children she played hide-and-seek with
Are in their sixties now.
I am poised and waiting;
She has no bell whose rope to pull
And no clock to time my exit.
Her lesson will begin soon,
I was here when she took the breath.
I can feel dust settle on the hairs of my arms.
Any second now-
Haitian (on prudence)
FOTO scrambled eggs at the boiling billy in bello nsw
by SARAH DAY
I love the way you pose like weathervanes
on the axe handle,
to watch as I wash dishes
how today’s menu, or tonic
is borage or bindweed or dock
that you will strip back
to a handful of cellulose spikes.
The way you share a laying box
when there is one for each of you
and midwife one another
through your confinements.
The way you lay eggs –
those warm white ellipses
on the straw.
Somehow for all the wreckage
the garden was never more alive.
As I come down the hill from Toro Poutini’s house
My feet are sore, being bare, on the sharp stones
And that is a suitable penance. The dust of the pa road
Is cool, though, and I can see
The axe of the moon shift down behind the trees
Very slowly. The red light from the windows
Of the church has a ghostly look, and in
This place ghosts are real. The bees are humming loudly
In moonlight in their old hive above the church door
Where I go to kneel, and come out to make my way
Uphill past a startled horse who plunges in the paddock
Above the nunnery. Now there are one or two
Of the tribe back in the big house—What would you have me do,
Kind Jesus? Your games with me have turned me into a boulder.
The Sacred Politics of James K. Baxter
foto – child in bellingen nsw australia at xmas
~ Popcorn Proverb
It’s drier than a popcorn fart.
Stars will blossom in the darkness, Violets bloom beneath the snow.
Julia C.R. Dorr
Don’t blame the one who committed a minor mistake and leave the one who does big harm.
Unamlaumu mwewe, kipanga yuwesha kuku.
If you need an excuse for why you don’t drink alcohol, you could say that addiction runs in your family and you don’t want to try it even once because you may not stop until you are dead in a puddle of your own vomit or smashed into the side of a mini-van with children’s body parts scattered around your corpse.
Duane Alan Hahn
“In his dream, George Stetchkin was in the dock at the Central Criminal Court, accused of the murder of nine million innocent brain cells. The usher was showing the jury the alleged murder weapon, an empty Bison Brand vodka bottle. Then the judge glared at him over the rims of his spectacles and sentenced him to the worst hangover of his life.”
― Tom Holt, Blonde Bombshell
― Neesha Meminger, Shine, Coconut Moon
Why did he quit drugs? “With the smack, I knew: ‘I’ve got to stop now, or I’m going to go in for hard time.’ The cocaine I quit because I fell on my head! Due to that — no more coke. Actually, my body tells me when to stop . . . the hard way. It’s a knock on the head — OK. It’s no big deal to me, to give things up.” Keith Richards.
― Robert Gilmore, Alice in Quantumland: An Allegory of Quantum Physics
“I’ve always found allegories kind of comforting. When you encounter people named Liar and Abstinence, you might not be crazy about them, but you know exactly what you’re getting into.”
― Marisa de los Santos