Saturday, May 15, 2010

human being after human being

There is despair, contemplating humanity, if you're looking at all the violence and unnecessary death. Then, you see that human being after human being is living life. And there is joy in it, because in existence there is also great joy. If you spend your whole life being depressed about life, you're wasting it. That's the wisdom of my old age.

~ C. K. Williams

[Chicago Avenue west of Damen Avenue]

Friday, May 14, 2010

i had to do some business

The usual. I got up in the morning. I read the paper. I drank a pot of tea. And then I went over to the little apartment I have in the neighborhood and worked for about six hours. After that, I had to do some business. My mother died two years ago, and there was one last thing to take care of concerning her estate—a kind of insurance bond I had to sign off on. So, I went to a notary public to have the papers stamped, then mailed them to the lawyer. I came back home. I read my daughter’s final report card. And then I went upstairs and paid a lot of bills. A typical day, I suppose. A mix of working on the book and dealing with a lot of boring, practical stuff.

~ Paul Auster to Jonathem Lethem in The Believer

[Chicago Avenue west of California Avenue]

Thursday, May 13, 2010

holes in paper open

After interviewing John C. Reilly

I don't find solitude agonizing, on the contrary. Holes in paper open and take me fathoms from anywhere.

"The Unnameable," Samuel Beckett

[Rush Street above Chicago Avenue]

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

being an ideal form means I don't move a muscle

People, I'm beautiful! I'm a dream made of stone!
My body, upon which my lovers each in turn
received their bruises, was put here to inspire
poets to sing the eternal music of the spheres!
Aren't I inscrutable? Like a sphinx on my throne –
my heart: a fist of ice; my skin: white as as swan.
Being an ideal form means I don't move a muscle.
You will not see me weep. You will not see me smile.
Poor poets: having once known my exquisite body,
they lose themselves, poor lambs, in fruitless years of study –
if only I could blink! My eyes shine – & so I,
with mirrors cunningly arranged to magnify
my beauty, hypnotise anyone fool enough

"Beauty," by Paul Batchelor

[Chicago Avenue west of Damen Avenue]

Monday, May 10, 2010

crammed into the confines of that space

What I remember is this: at one point in the evening, I wound up standing alone in a corner of the room. I was smoking a cigarette and looking out at the people, dozens upon dozens of young bodies crammed into the confines of that space, listening to the mingled roar of words and laughter, wondering what on earth I was doing there, and thinking that perhaps it was time to leave. An ashtray was sitting on a radiator to my left, and as I turned to snuff out my cigarette, I saw that the butt-filled receptacle was rising toward me, cradled in the palm of a man's hand. Without my noticing them, two people had just sat down on the radiator, a man and a woman, both of them older than I was, no doubt older than anyone else in the room—he around thirty-five, she in her late twenties or early thirties. They made an incongruous pair, I thought.

"Invisible," Paul Auster

[Ukrainian Village]

About Me

Chicago, Illinois, United States