“I am really interested in silence. In inarticulacy also, which isn’t the same as silence. As a performer I like looking at the gaps between what people want to communicate and what they can communicate. I love good filmmaking that isn’t just about really proficient writers of dialogue, who think that everybody’s really articulate and everybody can hear each other really well. That doesn’t feel true to me, actually. I mean, that’s a fantastical universe.”—Tilda Swinton
When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like
Someone telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
If they say We should get together
It’s not that you don’t love them anymore.
You’re trying to remember something
too important to forget.
Trees. The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished.
When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven’t seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don’t start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.
Walk around feeling like a leaf.
Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time.
“I promise not to keep ideas in my head, unfulfilled and full of promise—not to let these vague outlines of future actions give me false confidence and security in the abstract. Instead I will execute them quickly and faithfully so that I am again on the brink of the unknown, hoping that these ideas were not the last that would ever come to me from God knows where.”—Ze Frank
“Keepers of private notebooks are a different breed altogether, lonely and resistant rearrangers of things, anxious malcontents, children afflicted apparently at birth with some presentiment of loss.”—Joan Didion, “On Keeping a Notebook” from Slouching Towards Bethlehem
“I no longer have the energy for meaningless friendships, forced interactions or unnecessary conversations. If we don’t vibrate on the same frequency there’s just no reason for us to waste our time. I’d rather have no one and wait for substance than to not feel someone and fake the funk.”—Joquesse Eugenia
“I write to add my voice to the sum of voices, to be part of the choir. I write to be one sequin among the shimmering others, hanging by a thread from the evening gown of the world. I write to remember. I write to forget myself, to be so completely immersed in the will of the poem that when I look up from the page I can still smell the smoke from the house burning in my brain. I write to destroy the blank page, unravel the ink, use up what I’ve been given and give it away. I write to make the trees shiver at the sliver of sun slipping down the axe blade’s silver lip. I write to hurt myself again, to dip my fingertip into the encrusted pool of the wound. I write to become someone else, that better, smarter self that lives inside my dumbstruck twin. I write to invite the voices in, to watch the angel wrestle, to feel the devil gather on its haunches and rise. I write to hear myself breathing. I write to be doing something while I wait to be called to my appointment with death. I write to be done writing. I write because writing is fun.”—Dorianne Laux