Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday Poetry: James Richardson

James Richardson
Vectors: Forty-five Aphorisms and Ten-second Essays

It's so much easier to get further from home than nearer that all men become travelers.

Of all the ways to avoid living perfect discipline is the most admired.

Idolators of the great need to believe that what they lvoe cannot fail them, adorers of kitsch, camp, trash that they cannot fail what they love.

Say nothing as if it were news.

Who breaks the thread, the one who pulls, the one who holds on?

Despair says I cannot lift that weight. Happiness says, I do not have to.

What you give to a thief is stolen.

Impatience is not wanting to understand that you don't understand.

Greater than the temptations of beauty are those of method.

Harder to laugh at the comedy if it's about you, harder to cry at the tragedy if it isn't.

Patience is not very different from courage. It just takes longer.

Even at the movies, we laugh together, we weep alone.

I could explain, but then you would understand my explanation, not what I said.

If the saints are perfect and unwavering we are excused from trying to imitate them. Also if they are not.

Easy to criticize yourself, harder to agree with the criticism.

Tragic hero, madman, addict, fatal lover. We exalt those who cannot escape their dreams becuase we cannot stay inside our own.

Every life is allocated one hundred seconds of true genius. They might be enough, if we could just be sure which ones they were.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder: then it is only distance that separates us.

How much less difficult life is when you do not want anything from people. And yet you owe it to them to want something.

Where I touch you lightly enough, there I am also touched.

If we were really sure we were one of a kind, there would be no envy. My envy demeans both of us—no wonder it is the hardest sin to confess. It says i am not who I think I am unless I have what you have. It says that you are what you have, and I could have it.

Laziness is the sin most willingly confessed to, since it implies talents greater than have yet appeared.

If you reason far enough you will come to unreasonable conclusions.

The one who hates you perfectly loves you.

What you fear to believe, your children will believe.

Of our first few years we remember nothing: experience only slowly gives us the power to be formed by experience. If this were not true, our characters would be completely determined by our infant hours of darkness, pain and helplessness, and we would all be the same. For her first six months my daughter cried continuously, who knows why. Yet she is as happy and trusting and kind as if all that had never happened. It never did.

The road not taken is the part of you not taking the road.

We invent a great Loss to convince ourselves we have a beginning. But loss is a current: the coolness of one side of a wet finger held up, the faint hiss in your ears at midnight, water sliding over the dam at the back of your mind, memory unremembering itself.

If I didn't spend so much time writing, I'd know a lot more. But I wouldn't know anything.

The wounds you do not want to heal are you.

When my friend does something stupid, he is just my friend doing something stupid. When I do something stupid, I have deeply betrayed myself.

If I didn't have os much work to keep me from it, how would I know what I wanted to do?

My deepest regrets, if I am honest, are not things I wish were otherwise, but things I wish I wish were otherwise.

I lie so I do not have to trust you to believe.

Opacity gives way. Transparency is the mystery.

To me, the great divide is between the talkative and the quiet. Do they just say everything that's on their minds, even before it's on their minds? Sometimes I think I could just turn up my head like a Walkman so what's going on there oculd be heard by others. But there would still be a difference. For inside the head they are talking to people like them, and I am talking to someone like me: he is quiet and doesn't much like being talked at; he can't conceal how easily he gets bored.

Anger has been ready to be angry.

It is easier to agree on the future than the past.

Only half of writing is saying what you mean. The other half is preventing people form reading what they expected you to mean.

They gave me most who took most gladly of my love.

Back then I wanted to be right about my estimate of my abilities. Now I want to be wrong.

Time heals. By taking even more.

Self-love, strange name. Since it feels neither like loving someone, nor like being loved.

What I hope for is more hope.

To feel an end is to discover that there had been a beginning. A parenthesis closes that we hadn't realized was open).


At 12:39 PM, Blogger tyromaven said...

I cannot say what this means to me. I can't praise it as a poem, can't hold it up as a model.

Up until now, numbers 1-32 of these were tucked into my journal from high school. I discovered it during a period when I was reading a website full of minor poets. Most of these ideas have been with me for so long that I forget that someone else said them, and I forget whether I believed them before those words gave them shape or came to believe them after.

Thinking about it, this is probably one of the crucial pieces in the collaged anthology/briefing I should provide to anyone who wanted to be my lover. This thing fucking knows me, and knows me better than some people who love me know me.

That's one of the weird wonderous relationships to have with writing, eh?

Thanks for giving this here.


Post a Comment

<< Home