Dancing

February 14, 2019

It was my father taught my mother
how to dance.
I never knew that.
I thought it was the other way.
Ballroom was their style,
a graceful twirling,
curved arms and fancy footwork,
a green-eyed radio.

There is always more than you know.
There are always boxes
put away in the cellar,
worn shoes and cherished pictures,
notes you find later,
sheet music you can’t play.

A woman came on Wednesdays
with tapes of waltzes.
She tried to make him shuffle
around the floor with her.
She said it would be good for him.
He didn’t want to.

Margaret Atwood

translation

February 14, 2019

But today I want Rilke to speak – through me. In the vernacular, this is known as translation. (Germans put it so much better – nachdichten – to pave over the road, over instantaneously vanishing traces.) But translation has another meaning. To translate not just into (i.e., into the Russian language), but across (a river). I translate Rilke into Russian, as he will someday translate me to the other world.

By hand – across the river.

Marina Tsvetaeva
Dark Elderberry Branch
trans. Ilya Kaminsky and Jean Valentine

our secrets

February 14, 2019

After each night we are emptier: our mysteries and our grief’s have leaked away into our dreams. Thus sleep’s labour not only diminishes the power of our thought, but even that of our secrets.

E.M. Cioran
A Short History of Decay

after love-making

February 14, 2019

“Why is it such a cliché to smoke a cigarette after love-making?” Hera asked.

“I suppose for those of us who enjoy smoking, it adds punctuation to the statement,” Bond said.

“Make it an exclamation mark, then,” she said.

Raymond Benson
The Facts of Death

remember the feel of my body

February 14, 2019

I would like you to touch me as if you were going away tomorrow, far far away, and you wanted to remember the feel of my body, the texture of my skin, the hills and valleys that make up the landscape of who I am…

I would like you to touch me as if you were blind, knowing that you love me, but unable to see me. Touch my face, my breasts, my belly, my toes… learn what I “look” like, imagine me in your mind as your hands explore my shape.

I would like you to touch me as if you gained your nourishment through your hands. Feed on me, drink deeply and draw from your touch the love that I hold for you…

Diana Daffner
The Lover’s Touch

temporary madness

February 14, 2019

When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots are to become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the desire to mate every second of the day. It is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every part of your body. No…don’t blush. I am telling you some truths. For that is just being in love; which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over, when being in love has burned away. Doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? But it is!

Louis de Bernières
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin