the cruelty of her dreams

December 2, 2019

We find her in the heart of summer, in the shadow of a sturdy tree thronged with calmed birds unalarmed by her presence. Her schoolgirl demeanour would be excuse enough, and her modest dress, her neat hair… It is then that one notices the pallor of joy, the eyelids closed over the cruelty of her dreams, the teeth pressed to the blood-stained lips, the woman engrossed in her pleasure and savouring, through the caress of its plumage, a creature docile to the point of continuing to live. Since one has to hold one’s own, one invents, as an afterthought, the girl who ate birds.

Paul Nougé
The Girl Who Ate Birds

SUMMER DEVILRY

November 10, 2019

The sky is very near to me to-night:
It breathes, as from a throat of molten lead,
A damnèd effluence about my head,
An effluence of hell, a fœtid blight:
Dark visions break on my distorted sight
Of bloody lust and cruelty and dread,
Devils unnamed in their own likeness tread
The ways of earth, and are not put to flight.
In rifts of voiceless lightning, such as breaks
This goitrous firmament, have stood revealed
Over the dead in some old battlefield
The ghastly dogs of death, and bloated snakes
Dripping the slime of Acherontian lakes
On some dead sovereign’s blood-emblazoned shield.

L. GIELGUD

one story in the world

October 7, 2018

the correct path

A child may ask, “What is the world’s story about?” And a grown man or woman may wonder, “What way will the world go? How does it end and, while we’re at it, what’s the story about?”

I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one, that has frightened and inspired us, so that we live in a Pearl White serial of continuing thought and wonder. Humans are caught — in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too — in a net of good and evil. I think this is the only story we have and that it occurs on all levels of feeling and intelligence. Virtue and vice were warp and woof of our first consciousness, and they will be the fabric of our last, and this despite any changes we may impose on field and river and mountain, on economy and manners. There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well — or ill?

John Steinbeck
East of Eden

Cruel…

August 20, 2016

Saba Khandroma

Terror made me cruel . . .

Emily Brontë
Wuthering Heights

the Hidden People…

June 14, 2016

lights

A final word of warning. Although they are often referred to by such names as the Good Folk or the Fair Folk, there are as many species or unique variations whose reputation is that of malice, cruelty, or evil, and even those reported to be kind or helpful are also referred to warily by locals familiar with them. If the Hidden People, did, indeed, keep themselves neutral in the war between Heaven and Hell, it may be surmised that they all are capable great good and great evil.

Emerson Blackwood
Blackwood’s Guide to Dangerous Fairies

Cruelty

March 15, 2016

bride

cruelty. don’t talk to me about cruelty
or what i am capable of.

when i wanted the roaches dead i wanted them dead
and i killed them. i took a broom to their country

and smashed and sliced without warning
without stopping and i smiled all the time i was doing it.

it was a holocaust of roaches, bodies,
parts of bodies, red all over the ground.

i didn’t ask their names.
they had no names worth knowing.

Lucille Clifton