“I dreamed I called you on the telephone to say: Be kinder to yourself but you were sick and would not answer The waste of my love goes on this way trying to save you from yourself”
— Adrienne Rich, from “For The Dead”, in Diving into the Wreck
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“and my heart, which is very big, I promise it is very large, a monster of sorts, takes it all in— all in comes the fury of love.”
— Anne Sexton, Excerpt of The Big Heart from The Complete Poems 
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“how many centuries deep is your wound?”
— Adonis, from “Unintended Worship,” If Only the Sea Could Sleep (Green Integer, 2003)
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America, I warn you, if you invite me into your home I will linger,
           kissing my beloveds frankly,                       pulling up radishes                       and capping all your pens.
                  There are no good kings,            only burning palaces.
— Kaveh Akbar, from “The Palace,” Pilgrim Bell
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To be American is to be a hunter.
To be American. Who can be American?
To be American is to be? What? A hunter? A hunter who shoots only money.                          No, not money—                          money.
— Kaveh Akbar, from “The Palace,” Pilgrim Bell
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“What does it mean to mourn what never happened?”
— Manuel Arturo Abreu, from Transtrender
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“It is August: the true ending of a year. I’ve grown sick from trying to love who I am.”
— Carlie Hoffman, from “High Bridge Park,” published in Gulf Stream
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—Anne Sexton, “Briar Rose”
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Louise Glück
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At night, unable to sleep, as if speaking to someone invisible, I’d say to myself softly, defeated, “I agree, I agree that my life is comfortable and mediocre, I agree, everything I have is trivial.” I felt him nod benevolently.
Clarice Lispector, “Obsession” from The Complete Stories.
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“Once in a while, groundless melancholy would darken my face, a dull and incomprehensible nostalgia for times never experienced would invade me.”
— Clarice Lispector, from “Obsession,” The Complete Stories ( New Directions, 2015)
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“I now know a thing or two about those who seek to feel in order to know that they are alive. I too ventured upon this dangerous journey, so paltry for our terrible anxiety. And almost always disappointing. I learned to make my soul vibrate and I know that, all the while, in the depths of one’s own being, one can remain vigilant and cold, merely observing the spectacle one has granted oneself. And how often in near-boredom...”
– Clarice Lispector, Obsession (trans. by Katrina Dodson)
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“I was very young when I was cracked open.”
— Emily Berry, excerpt from “The Numbers Game” from Modern Poets One: If I’m Scared We Can’t Win (via horrorfamilies)
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“I no longer know who I am, or if I am, apart from my father.”
— Kathryn Harrison, The Kiss. (via woundedwoman-moved)
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“It was better when we were together in one body. Thirty years. Screened through the green glass of your eye, moonlight filtered into my bones as we lay in the big bed, in the dark, waiting for my father. Thirty years. He closed your eyelids with two kisses. And then spring came and withdrew from me the absolute knowledge of the unborn, leaving the brick stoop where you stand, shading your eyes, but it is night, the moon is stationed in the beech tree, round and white among the small tin markers of the stars: Thirty years. A marsh grows up around the house. Schools of spores circulate behind the shades, drift through gauze flutterings of vegetation.”
Louise Glück, ‘For My Mother’, from The House on Marshland
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“My father flies upon the air, shakes down black night around me, for where I think of him his wings are there, his crownd eye, his horny beak, his lingering cry. And from the thought of him I go out of all human shape into that pain, that crows-skin wizard likeness ravaging man most is, having a hand in the claw’s work, the outraging talon scraping the hare’s bone.”
— Robert Duncan, Set of Romantic Hymns (via litterae-ignotae)
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The question is: if I became completely still, would the next moment ever come? The answer is: “no it wouldn’t come, I have to make it”; Translated: if I don’t go to the person, would ever the person come to me? The answer: “no, if I don’t go to the person to make with her my next moment, nobody will come to me”. Even more translated, in term of the past: “nobody at home came to me, I had to ask and beg and caress,
and give warmth, till the person would give me some attention”. Tania said: “till you were about 10, I was not very aware of you, suddenly I became aware how interesting you were” I suppose she really meant: I became aware how much you needed me.
I don’t know what to do when the person comes to me; I’m the one to go to the person. To be selected is disturbing. I have to ask, I have to select.
From Clarice Lispector’s “The question is” Notebook.
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