A picture is not worth a thousand words, or any other number. Words are the wrong currency to exchange for a picture.


One of the rewards of teaching is discovering that the silent lad who has said nary a word in seminar has written a brilliant paper, or the giddy blonde in the shades and mini-skirt is by far the most talented student in a large class.

The only thing worth saying about the author, in my view, is what he has given to be public, all the rest being the generalized personal, which is mere confusion and finally dust.

Information, like money, is often given without the giver's knowing to just what use the recipient will want to put it.

`Oxymoron' is derived from two Greek words, one meaning sharp or wise, the other meaning dull or foolish, thus `oxymoron' is itself a type of oxymoron.

I picked a topic and asked Martina about philosophy. Not her philosophy -- just philosophy. She gave me examples of the sort of the thing philosophers got up to. Like, how can you tell that the Morning Star and the Evening Star are really the same thing? I bounced back by saying that surely they weren't the same thing; even if they shared a parent company they were still two separate titles and would therefore be considered quite distinct for budgeting and tax purposes and so on.

Perhaps in my advancing age, I have less to say, that or I've lost the strength it takes to wrestle with her.

The discovery of a style of my own based on spontaneous get-with-it, came after reading the marvelous free narrative letters of Neal Cassady, a great writer who happens also to be the Dean Moriarty of On the Road. I also learned a lot about unrepressed wordslinging from young Allen Ginsberg and William Seward Burroughs.

A word on Academies; poetry has been attacked by an ignorant & frightened bunch of bores who don't understand how it's made, & the trouble with these creeps is they wouldn't know Poetry if it came up and buggered them in broad daylight.

Only the dead and the junkie don't care -- they are inscrutable.

I make poetry as other men make war or make love or make states or revolutions: to exercise my faculties at large.

What does not change /  is the will to change

I'm not just some "me" that's separate from the community.

Perhaps the most encouraging lesson of these elections is that it is possible for a group of ordinary party members, without big money or celebrity spokepersons, to challenge the establishment, and win.

SAM MILLER: "Emerson said that a little philosophy turns one away from religion, but that a deeper understanding brings one back."

GRETCHEN WEIROB: "My former husband used to say that a little philosophy turns one away from religion, and more philosophy makes one a pain in the neck. Perhaps he was closer to the truth than Emerson."

The prayer of the scientist if he prayed, which is not likely: Lord, grant that my discovery may increase knowledge and help other man. Failing that, Lord, grant that it will not lead to man's destruction. Failing that, Lord, grant that my article in Brain be published before the destruction takes place.

    I no longer feel any hope for the future of my life. It is as though I had before me nothing more than a long strech of living death. I cannot imagine any future for me other than a ghastly one. Friendless and joyless.
    I suffer greatly from the fear of complete isolation that threatens me now. I cannot see how I can bear this life. I see it as a life in which every day I have to fear the evening that brings me only dull sadness.
    In love I have too little faith and too little courage. But I am easily hurt and afraid of being hurt, and to protect oneself in this way is the death of all love. For real love one needs courage. But this means one must also have the courage to make the break and renounce one's love, in other words to endure a mortal wound. But I can only hope to be spared the worst.
    How it will fade I don't know of course. Nor do I know how some part of it might be preserved, alive, not pressed between the leaves of a book as a memento.
    Love is a joy. Perhaps a joy mixed with pain, but a joy nevertheless.
    It is the mark of a true love that one thinks of what the other person suffers.

July 12, 1912
Via Della Barriera Vecchia 32''', Trieste (Austria)

    Dear Nora

    Having left me five days without a word of news you scribble your signature with a number of others on a postcard. Not one word of the places in Dublin where I met you and which have so many memories for us both! Since you left I have been in a state of dull anger. I consider the whole affair wrong and unjust.

    I can neither sleep nor think. I have still the pain in my side. Last night I was afraid to lie down. I thought I would die in sleep. I wakened Georgie three times for fear of being alone.

    It is a monstrous thing to say that you seem to forget me in five days and to forget the beautiful days of our love.

    I leave Trieste tonight as I am afraid to stay here - afraid of myself. I shall arrive in Dublin on Monday. If you have forgotten I have not. I shall go alone to meet and walk with the image of her whom I remember.

    You can write or wire to me in Dublin to my sister's address.

    What are Dublin and Galway compared to our memories?


Stay near me -- do not take thy flight!
A little longer stay in sight!
Much converse do I find in thee,
Historian of my infancy!

Comes lover to my side
The terrifying bride

All night I've held your hand,
as if you had
a fourth time faced the kingdom of the mad

Reveal to me no more
Then what I know of you -- your bright disguises.

If my darling were once to decide
Not to stop at my eyes,
But to jump, like Alice, with floating skirt into my head

Women are really much nicer than men:
No wonder we like them.

... She, too, pursues her ends,
Brutal as the stars of this month.

... Then I sorted your clothes
And the loves you had left, Elizabeth,

Times passing, and the memories of love
Coming back to me, carissima, no more mockingly
Then ever before; ...

The mass of professional journals is so indigestible and so little worth digesting that the good papers, though more numerous than ever, are increasingly in danger of being overlooked. We cope with the problem partly by ignoring the worst journals and partly by scanning tables of contents for respected names. Since the stratification of the journals from good to bad is imperfect, this procedure will miss an occasional good paper by an unknown author.

This familiar desk manifests its presence by resisting my pressures and by deflecting light to my eyes.

He believes people are distorting his words even as he speaks them. There is a process that takes place between saying of a word and when they pretend to hear it correctly but actually change it to mean what they want.

"Don't tell me that two and two is four," Willy said to his mother when he returned to Brooklyn. "How do we know that two is two? That's the real question."

Who has a feeling she will come one day
No pretty, silly girl, nor beautiful
Like Marlowe's spirit, unapproachable
But grey, grey, grey from being shut away?

...And she is the perversion of love as art is the exquisite perversion of reality.

But the sun she looked up for was already gone, not a trace in the lustreless sky, and the unfinished day gone with it, leaving only a chill that trembled the length of her.

Courage is the virtue that President Kennedy most admired. He sought out those people who had demonstrated in some way, whether it was on a battlefield or a baseball diamond, in a speech or fighting for a cause, that they had courage, that they would stand up, that they could be counted on.
Each time a person stands for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of  others, or strikes out against injustice, he or she sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.  And crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.  Few are willing to embrace the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society.  Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence.  Yet it is the one essential vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change.

I have learned that when a newborn child squeezes for the first time with her tiny fist her father's finger, she has him trapped forever.

There are three sides to every story: yours, mine, and the truth.