The sea…

May 12, 2020

I can smell the sea air. The rest of my time I’m going to spend on the sea. And when I die, I’m going to die on the sea.

Tennessee Williams
A Streetcar Named Desire

Monster

April 21, 2020

When monster meets monster, one monster has to give way.

Tennessee Williams
Sweet Bird of Youth

memory

November 21, 2019

Memory takes a lot of poetic license. It omits some details; others are exaggerated, according to the emotional value of the articles it touches, for memory is seated predominantly in the heart. The interior is therefore rather dim and poetic.

Tennessee Williams
The Glass Menagerie

Being an artist separates you from things in general. One’s mind is working at a faster, more sensitive, more rapid, eye-batting level than most people’s. Most people, let’s say, have ten perceptions per minute, whereas an artist has about sixty or seventy perceptions per minute. I think that’s honestly the reason why so many writers drink or take pills or whatever: to calm themselves down, to quiet this continuous, rapid-running machine. I know that’s why Tennessee Williams did. He had to take sedatives and drinks like that because he had one of the most rapid-running, perceptive minds. He didn’t sleep very well.

Truman Capote
Conversations with Capote

I did love you

October 27, 2018

In all these years, you never believed I loved you. And I did. I did so much. I did love you. I even loved your hate and your hardness.

Tennessee Williams
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Love –

September 30, 2018

The name of a person you love is more than language –

Tennessee Williams
The Vine

Be a poet

May 12, 2018

Keep awake, alive, new. Perform the paradox of being hard and yet soft. Survive without calcification of the tender membranes. Be a poet. Be alive.

Tennessee Williams
Notebooks (page 281)

Androgyne, mon amour

September 17, 2017

I

Androgyne, mon amour,
brochette de coeur was plat du jour,
(heart lifted on a metal skewer,
encore saignante et palpitante)
where I dined au solitaire,
table intime, one rose vase,
lighted dimly, wildly gay,
as, punctually, across the bay
mist advanced its pompe funèbre,
its coolly silvered drift of gray,
nightly requiem performed for
mourners who have slipped away…

Well, that’s it, the evening scene,
mon amour, Androgyne.

Noontime youths,
thighs and groins tight-jean-displayed,
loiter onto Union Square,
junkies flower-scattered there,
lost in dream, torso-bare,
young as you, old as I, voicing soundlessly
a cry,
oh, yes, among them
revolution bites its tongue beneath its fiery
waiting stare,
indifferent to siren’s wail,
ravishment endured in jail.
Bicentennial salute?
Youth made flesh of crouching brute.

(Dichotomy can I deny of pity in a lustful eye?)

II

Androgyne, mon amour,
shadows of you name a price
exorbitant for short lease.
What would you suggest I do,
wryly smile and turn away,
fox-teeth gnawing chest-bones through?

Even less would that be true
than, carnally, I was to you
many, many lives ago,
requiems of fallen snow.

And, frankly, well, they’d laugh at me,
thick of belly, thin of shank,
spectacle of long neglect,
tragedian of public mirth.

(Chekhov’s Mashas all wore black
for a reason I suspect:
Pertinence? None at all—
yet something made me think of that.)

“Life!” the gob exclaimed to Crane,
“Oh, life’s a geyser!”
Oui, d’accord—
from the rectum of the earth.

Bitter, that. Never mind.
Time’s only challenger is time.

III

Androgyne, mon amour,
cold withdrawal is no cure
for addiction grown so deep.
Now, finally, at cock’s crow,
released in custody of sleep,
dark annealment, time-worn stones
far descending,
no light there, no sound there,
entering depths of thinning breath,
farther down more ancient stones,
halting not, drawn on until

Ever treacherous, ever fair,
at a table small and square,
not first light but last light shows
(meaning of the single rose
where I dined au solitaire
sous l’ombre d’une jeunesse perdue?)

A ghostly little customs-clerk
(“Vos documents, Mesdames, Messieurs?”)
whose somehow tender mockery
contrives to make admittance here
at this mineral frontier
a definition of the pure…

Androgyne, mon amour.

Tennessee Williams

what I regard as evil

September 16, 2017

I have a distinct moralist attitude. I wouldn’t say message. I’m not polemical, but I have a distinct attitude toward good and evil in life and people. I think any of my plays examined closely will indicate what I regard as evil. I think I regard hypocrisy and mendacity as almost the cardinal sins. It seems they are the ones to which I am most hostile. I think that deliberate, conscienceless mendacity, the acceptance of falsehood and hypocrisy, is the most dangerous of all sins.

Tennessee Williams
Conversations with Tennessee Williams
Edited by Albert J Devlin

dies a thousand deaths

September 15, 2017

I believe that the way to write a good play is to convince yourself that it is easy to do – then go ahead and do it with ease.

Don’t maul, don’t suffer, don’t groan – til the first draft is finished.

Then Calvary – but not til then.

Doubt and be lost until the first draft is finished

A play is a Phoenix – it dies a thousand deaths.

Usually at night – In the morning it springs up again from the ashes and crows like a happy rooster.

It is never as bad as you think.

It is never as good as you think.

It is somewhere in between and success or failure depends on which end of your emotional gamut concerning its value it actually approaches most closely. But it is much more likely to be good if you think it is wonderful while you are writing the first draft.

An artist must believe in himself…our belief is contagious. Others say – He is vain – but they are affected.

I have never had much of that faith – I have been a little too honest with myself and people.

Tennessee Williams
Journal Entry 5th October 1941