Burning the Old Year

January 29, 2019

Letters swallow themselves in seconds.
Notes friends tied to the doorknob,
transparent scarlet paper,
sizzle like moth wings,
marry the air.

So much of any year is flammable,
lists of vegetables, partial poems.
Orange swirling flame of days,
so little is a stone.

Where there was something and suddenly isn’t,
an absence shouts, celebrates, leaves a space.
I begin again with the smallest numbers.

Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,
only the things I didn’t do
crackle after the blazing dies.

Naomi Shihab Nye

Other painters

January 29, 2019

Other painters paint a bridge, a house, a boat…I want to paint the air. I want to paint the air in which the bridge, the house and the boat are to be found — the beauty of the air around them, and that is nothing less than the impossible.

Claude Monet
Interview conducted c. 1895, reproduced in Monet in the Twentieth Century

poetry

January 29, 2019

I don’t look on poetry as closed works. I feel they’re going on all the time in my head and I occasionally snip off a length.

John Ashbery
London Times, 23 Aug 1984

most poetic

January 29, 2019

The most ordinary conversation is often the most poetic, and the most poetic is precisely that which cannot be written down.

Virginia Woolf
Orlando

scavenger of shiny things

January 29, 2019

Like a magpie, I am a scavenger of shiny things: fairy tales, dead languages, weird folk beliefs, fascinating religions, and more.

Laini Taylor
Lips Touch: Three Times