It is not the purpose and certainly not the magic of poetry to speak about the thing (information), but rather to speak the thing, to perform the impossible task of making the absent present — palpably, tangibly present.

B.H. Fairchild
A Midwestern Poetics
New Letters (vol.78, no.1,Fall 2011)

red, red heart

March 31, 2019

Maybe it’s not a lesson so much as it’s a magic trick. You can make a little girl into anything if you say the right words. Take her apart until all that’s left is her red, red heart thumping against the world. Stitch her up again real good. Now, maybe you get a woman. If you’re lucky. If that’s what you were after. Just as easy to end up with a blackbird or a circus bear or a coyote. Or a parrot, just saying what’s said to you, doing what’s done to you, copying until it comes so natural that even when you’re all alone you keep on cawing hello pretty bird at the dark. 


Catherynne M. Valente,   


Six-Gun Snow White

Web of Dreams

March 5, 2019

She wove a web of dreams
made of love and sex
trapping his heart to the spells
of witchcraft brewing
in the dark cauldrons
of the forbidden realms
hidden within the colours
of seduction swirling
in the magic of her eyes

his blood was poisoned
with a desire for the hands
he would never hold
his soul infected with a longing
for a heart he would never touch
helpless to burn in a love
he could only feel

a love she would never see

or touch

or know

and he lays trapped
in her web of dreams
forever lost
to the charms and spells
of her magic and witchcraft

helpless to the madness
of the rhythm of voodoo
drumming and beating wildly
under the bones of his ribs
his heart burning
for the song of her name
both forever and never hers

Akira Chinen

She wore flowers in her hair and carried magic secrets in her eyes. She spoke to no one. She spent hours on the riverbank. She smoked cigarettes and had midnight swims…

Arundhati Roy
The God of Small Things

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

Magic & Poetry

February 1, 2019

Because dreams do have something to do with magic, and I believe in magic as the main source of poetry. We create entire worlds in our dreams – full of people we’ve never seen, places we’ve never been to – that seem to echo and reverberate with worlds and memories that we’ve never experienced.

Orson Welles
This is Orson Welles

eaten alive by longing

December 23, 2018

Most people are blind to magic. They move through a blank and empty world. They’re bored with their lives, and there’s nothing they can do about it. They’re eaten alive by longing, and they’re dead before they die.

Lev Grossman
The Magicians

the bookshop

December 15, 2018

I stepped into the bookshop and breathed in that perfume of paper and magic that strangely no one had ever thought of bottling.

Carlos Ruiz Zafón
The Angel’s Game

Fairy tales — the proper kind, those original Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen tales I recall from my Eastern European childhood, unsanitized by censorship and unsweetened by American retellings — affirm what children intuitively know to be true but are gradually taught to forget, then to dread: that the terrible and the terrific spring from the same source, and that what grants life its beauty and magic is not the absence of terror and tumult but the grace and elegance with which we navigate the gauntlet.

Maria Popova
The Importance of Being Scared: Polish Nobel Laureate Wisława Szymborska on Fairy Tales and the Necessity of Fear

witches

December 6, 2018

I know of witches who whistle at different pitches, calling things that don’t have names

Helen Oyeyemi
White is for Witching