Frenzy

February 2, 2019

I am not lazy.
I am on the amphetamine of the soul.
I am, each day,
typing out the God
my typewriter believes in.
Very quick. Very intense,
like a wolf at a live heart.
Not lazy.
When a lazy man, they say,
looks toward heaven,
the angels close the windows.

Oh angels,
keep the windows open
so that I may reach in
and steal each object,
objects that tell me the sea is not dying,
objects that tell me the dirt has a life-wish,
that the Christ who walked for me,
walked on true ground
and that this frenzy,
like bees stinging the heart all morning,
will keep the angels
with their windows open,
wide as an English bathtub.

Anne Sexton

fantasies of bouncing back

February 2, 2019

We console ourselves with fantasies of bouncing back but we must hold on to what has really happened and not cover it with imagining how we are to unhappen it. Void makes loss a reality.

Iris Murdoch
Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals

apprehensions of witchcraft

February 2, 2019

Our forefathers looked upon nature with more reverence and horror, before the world was enlightened by learning and philosophy, and loved to astonish themselves with the apprehensions of witchcraft, prodigies, charms, and enchantments. There was not a village in England that had not a ghost in it, the church-yards were all haunted, every large common had a circle of fairies belonging to it, and there was scarce a shepherd to be met with who had not seen a spirit.

Joseph Addison
The Spectator, Volume the Sixth, No. 419

Poison

February 2, 2019

Poison is traditionally, though not always, a female mode of attack. Classical lore features many women accused of poisoning their spouses, lovers, or rivals: Medusa, Hecate, Circe, Medea, and Agrippina the Younger, to name a few. In particular, witches of literature and accused witches of real life are often associated with potions and spells that make use of poisonous plants found around the home and garden: oleander, hemlock, castor beans (ricin), foxglove, various kinds of berries, and nightshades. Men, of course, make use of poison as well, like Shakespeare’s Claudius and Romeo. But the subtle and seductive art of poison is often used as a storytelling device to comment upon the nature, and especially the flaws, of women.

Poison is a deceptive weapon, and stories about it play on fascinations with, and anxieties about, what women are hiding. It also offers a violation of proper female domesticity and the same traits that are supposed to make women good botanists. When a woman uses plants or food as poison to subvert rather than maintain the domestic order, she defies her assigned roles of observer, cataloguer, and nurturer. Depending on one’s perspective, poisoning can be used to warn of or promote a woman’s independence.

Afton Lorraine Woodward
Plants, Domesticity, and the Female Poisoner

morphia honeymoon

February 2, 2019

She it is, she, that found me
In the morphia honeymoon;
With silk and steel she bound me
In her poisonous milk she drowned me,
Even now her arms surround me.

Aleister Crowley
The Diary of a Drug Fiend

Cover yourself with words

February 2, 2019

Open a book this minute and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve.

Carol Shields
The Republic of Love

the words of the trees

February 2, 2019

She knew things that nobody had ever told her. For instance, the words of the trees and the wind. She often spoke to falling seeds and said, ‘Ah hope you fall on soft ground,’ because she had heard seeds saying that to each other as they passed.

Zora Neale Hurston
Their Eyes Were Watching God