Dark Skies
We don't get to write many wrongs.

The 25 Greatest Quotes About Writing

nevver:

  1. “Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” — Mark Twain
  2. “I only achieve simplicity with enormous effort.” — Clarice Lispector
  3. “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” — Virginia Woolf
  4. “I’ve put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant, and that’s the only way of insuring one’s immortality.” — James Joyce
  5. “The first draft of anything is shit.” — Ernest Hemingway
  6. “Always be a poet, even in prose.” — Charles Baudelaire
  7. “Literature — creative literature — unconcerned with sex, is inconceivable.” — Gertrude Stein
  8. “If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.” — Anaïs Nin
  9. “One can be absolutely truthful and sincere even though admittedly the most outrageous liar. Fiction and invention are of the very fabric of life.” — Henry Miller
  10. “Writers aren’t people exactly. Or, if they’re any good, they’re a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald
  11. “The true writer has nothing to say. What counts is the way he says it.” — Alain Robbe-Grillet
  12. “James Joyce was a synthesizer, trying to bring in as much as he could. I am an analyzer, trying to leave out as much as I can.” — Samuel Beckett
  13. “Life is painful and disappointing. It is useless, therefore, to write new realistic novels. We generally know where we stand in relation to reality and don’t care to know any more.” — Michel Houellebecq
  14. “Do you realize that all great literature is all about what a bummer it is to be a human being? Isn’t it such a relief to have somebody say that?” — Kurt Vonnegut
  15. “Skill alone cannot teach or produce a great short story, which condenses the obsession of the creature; it is a hallucinatory presence manifest from the first sentence to fascinate the reader, to make him lose contact with the dull reality that surrounds him, submerging him in another that is more intense and compelling.” — Julio Cortázar
  16. “Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” — Franz Kafka
  17. “Reading is more important than writing.” — Roberto Bolaño
  18. “The artist is always beginning. Any work of art which is not a beginning, an invention, a discovery is of little worth.” — Ezra Pound
  19. “The next real literary “rebels” in this country might well emerge as some weird bunch of anti-rebels, born oglers who dare somehow to back away from ironic watching, who have the childish gall actually to endorse and instantiate single-entendre principles. Who treat of plain old untrendy human troubles and emotions in U.S. life with reverence and conviction. Who eschew self-consciousness and hip fatigue. These anti-rebels would be outdated, of course, before they even started. Dead on the page. Too sincere. Clearly repressed. Backward, quaint, naive, anachronistic. Maybe that’ll be the point. Maybe that’s why they’ll be the next real rebels. Real rebels, as far as I can see, risk disapproval. The old postmodern insurgents risked the gasp and squeal: shock, disgust, outrage, censorship, accusations of socialism, anarchism, nihilism. Today’s risks are different. The new rebels might be artists willing to risk the yawn, the rolled eyes, the cool smile, the nudged ribs, the parody of gifted ironists, the “Oh how banal.” To risk accusations of sentimentality, melodrama. Of overcredulity. Of softness. Of willingness to be suckered by a world of lurkers and starers who fear gaze and ridicule above imprisonment without law. Who knows.” — David Foster Wallace
  20. “The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  21. “We live not only in a world of thoughts, but also in a world of things. Words without experience are meaningless.” — Vladimir Nabokov
  22. “…Describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty – describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember. If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place. And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world’s sounds – wouldn’t you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories? Turn your attentions to it. Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. — And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it.” — Rainer Maria Rilke
  23. “The words of my book nothing, the drift of it everything.” — Walt Whitman
  24. “All I know is what the words know, and dead things, and that makes a handsome little sum, with a beginning and a middle and an end, as in the well-built phrase and the long sonata of the dead.” — Samuel Beckett
  25. “Do you know what I was smiling at? You wrote down that you were a writer by profession. It sounded to me like the loveliest euphemism I had ever heard. When was writing ever your profession? It’s never been anything but your religion. Never. I’m a little overexcited now. Since it is your religion, do you know what you will be asked when you die? But let me tell you first what you won’t be asked. You won’t be asked if you were working on a wonderful, moving piece of writing when you died. You won’t be asked if it was long or short, sad or funny, published or unpublished. You won’t be asked if you were in good or bad form while you were working on it. You won’t even be asked if it was the one piece of writing you would have been working on if you had known your time would be up when it was finished—I think only poor Soren K. will get asked that. I’m so sure you’ll only get asked two questions. Were most of your stars out? Were you busy writing your heart out? If only you knew how easy it would be for you to say yes to both questions. ” — J.D. Salinger


It wasn’t so much the fog

Or the rain or the clouds

but the grayness of the light, 

its dull, blunt penetration 

And the gentle shiver of the limbs of the tree that’s outside my window; 

Those are the things that make my mind reel and whirl with the past possibilities

And the historical fuck-ups of rude words and mistaken body language. 

Regret isn’t quite the word but it’s the best one so far. 

Anger is far too pointed and sadness is not precise enough. 

But I know that tomorrow the sun will be bright and the birds will sing on the limbs of that cold tree. 

It’s okay to wallow today but I must continue to seek the opportunities to perfection. 

Blossom and bloom from within myself and flower for the bees and butterflies to love me. 


nothoughtsmagazine:

Michael J DeMeo

nothoughtsmagazine:

Michael J DeMeo


nothoughtsmagazine:

Michael J DeMeo

nothoughtsmagazine:

Michael J DeMeo




Stick up for yourself, son


Birches by Robert Frost

When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.
But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay.
Ice-storms do that. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun’s warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust—
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You’d think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,
And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed
So low for long, they never right themselves:
You may see their trunks arching in the woods
Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground
Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair
Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.
But I was going to say when Truth broke in
With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm
(Now am I free to be poetical?)
I should prefer to have some boy bend them
As he went out and in to fetch the cows—
Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,
Whose only play was what he found himself,
Summer or winter, and could play alone.
One by one he subdued his father’s trees
By riding them down over and over again
Until he took the stiffness out of them,
And not one but hung limp, not one was left
For him to conquer. He learned all there was
To learn about not launching out too soon
And so not carrying the tree away
Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise
To the top branches, climbing carefully
With the same pains you use to fill a cup
Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.
So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
And so I dream of going back to be.
It’s when I’m weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig’s having lashed across it open.
I’d like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love:
I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.
I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches. 


Parry and Riposte

If the summer sun is dull and blunt, smashing me with its heat, 

The winter sun is sharp like a razor, daring me to cut myself on its rays. 

There’s no way to escape the pounding of the summer 

But the winter is a fencing match with the heavens. 


"Can we open the window?"

You said that you like the rhythm of the rain

And the sounds that it makes while we lie

Entangled on the bed whose sheets are lost. 

The sweat on my brow is sweet nectar to you

And you brush it gently away. 

The last few moments replay in our heads, 

Blurred yet sharp, emotion and pleasure, 

Passion and release, relaxation and pressure. 

Now the water offers us a cleansing but 

You are not eager to wipe away any feeling

So you embrace, squeeze me tightly once more. 



The patience of skin against skin 

Is like the ticking of the clock. 

The beats of hearts measure

Shallow breaths. 

Time cannot drive on as

The bodies entangle. 


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