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He is affection and the present since he opened the house to foaming winter and the hum of summer, he who purified drink and food, he who is the charm of fleeting places and the superhuman deliciousness of staying still. He is affection and the future, strength and love that we, standing amid rage and troubles, see passing in the storm-rent sky and on banners of ecstasy.
      He is love, perfect and reinvented measurement, wonderful and unforeseen reason, and eternity: machine beloved for its fatal qualities. We have all experienced the terror of his yielding and of our own: O enjoyment of our health, surge of our faculties, egoistic affection and passion for him, he who loves us for his infinite life
     And we remember him and he travels. . . And if the Adoration goes away, resounds, its promise resounds: “Away with those superstitions, those old bodies, those couples and those ages. It’s this age that has sunk!”
     He won’t go away, nor descend from a heaven again, he won’t accomplish the redemption of women’s anger and the gaiety of men and of all that sin: for it is now accomplished, with him being, and being loved.
     O his breaths, his heads, his racing; the terrible swiftness of the perfection of forms and of action.
     O fecundity of the spirit and immensity of the universe!
     His body! The dreamed-of release, the shattering of grace crossed with new violence!
     The sight, the sight of him! all the ancient kneeling and suffering lifted in his wake.
     His day! the abolition of all resonant and surging suffering in more intense music.
     His footstep! migrations more vast than ancient invasions.
     O him and us! pride more benevolent than wasted charities.
     O world! and the clear song of new misfortunes!
    He has known us all and loved us all. Let us, on this winter night, from cape to cape, from the tumultuous pole to the castle, from the crowd to the beach, from glance to glance, our strengths and feelings numb, learn to hail him and see him, and send him back, and under the tides and at the summit of snowy deserts, follow his seeing, his breathing, his body, his day.

 (Tr. by John Ashbery)

To give is to love,
To give prodigiously:
For every drop of water
To return a torrent.

We were made that way,
Made to scatter
Seeds in the furrow
And stars in the ocean.

Woe to him, Lord,
who doesn’t exhaust his supply,
And, on returning, tells you:
"Like an empty satchel
Is my heart.”


Dar es amar,
dar prodigiosamente
por cada gota de agua
devolver un torrente.

Fuimos hechos asi,
hechos para botar 
semillas en el surco
y estrellas en el mar

Y ¿ay! del que no agote,
Señor, su provisión Y al regresar te diga:
¿Como alforja vacía 
está mi corazón!

L’amitié tendre, la douce confiance et la seule qui soit sans réserve, les peines adoucies, les plaisirs augmentés, l’espoir enchanteur, les souvenirs délicieux, où les trouver ailleurs que dans l’amour? // Tender friendship, sweet confidence and the only one without reservation, sweetened pains, pleasures increased, the enchanting hope, delicious memories, where to find them other than love?

Pierre Choderlos de Laclos | Les Liaisons dangereuses

Lotta Lenya sings “Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny: Alabama Song” by Kurt Weill. #songoftheday

Montgomery Clift (17 October 1920 - 23 July 1966)

Images via life, gettyimagesarchive, The Red List, Dr Macro

Montgomery Clift plays Taps as Private Robert E. Lee Prewitt in ‘From Here To Eternity’. Perfection.

She was a whirling light to me then, all paradox and enticing mystery, street-tough one moment, then lifted by a lyrical and poetic sensitivity that few retain past early adolescence. Sometimes she seemed to see all men as boys, children with immediate needs that it was her place in nature to fulfill; meanwhile her adult self stood aside observing the game. Men were their need, imperious and somehow sacred. She might tell about being held down at a party by two of the guests in a rape attempt from which she said she had escaped, but the truth of the account was far less important than its strange remoteness from her personally. And ultimately something nearly godlike would emerge from this depersonalization. She was at this point incapable of condemning or even of judging people who had damaged her, and to be with her was to be accepted, like moving out into a kid of sanctifying light from a life where suspicions was common sense. She had no common sense, but what she did have was something holier, a long-reaching vision of which she herself was only fitfully aware: humans were all need, all wound. What she wanted most was not to judged but to win recognition from a sentimentally cruel profession, and from men blinded to her humanity by her perfect beauty. She was part queen, part waif, sometimes on her knees before her own body and sometimes despairing because of it — “Oh, there’s lots of beautiful girls,” she would say to some expression of awed amazement, as though her beauty betrayed her quest for a more enduring acceptance.

My homeland, I bring you

Charms, colors

Of many lands

Ashes of old minds, passions of young hearts

My empty hands

My nothingness

Don’t look at them thus, ashamed

In my heart, a thousand gifts

Some sadness, joys, odd people

Somewhere, thrills, somewhere, pain

A desert traveler lifts them

They won’t fit in sacks, in suitcases


Parted from you, several strange countries

Embraced me, consoled me

Told me the secrets of the dark and mysterious nights

Taught my body a thousand delights

The sun and the moon came to me

I thought for a time that the touch of the body

Was the only joy, from the beginning to eternity

Everything a lie, only my body the truth

So that my loneliness

After clinging to the seas and colliding with the wind

Sometimes pulling me together in new islands

Sometimes scattering me like the waters of a mountain stream

Sometimes raising me parallel to the skies

Sometimes spreading me out in the roots at the bottom of the earth

Has merged with my senses so

That it has taken me out of my self

Such a dream, such a sleeplessness spread

That even shadows were heavy, not to mention the body


My homeland, where were your spectators

Of the celebration of my blistered feet, a sight worth seeing?

In a foreign city I met a few friends

Who reminded me of some angelic enemies

There must be few such crazies

Who have neither respect, nor infamy

The icy wind of the north could not blow me away

The depths of the Red Sea could not drown me

What sort of planet was I

That the earth spun round me?


I met Egyptian pharaohs

Searching for the lost treasures in graves

Those speaking the language of the stones

I met such people in old statues

The same artists were in lofty churches

Whom I found in the domes of decaying mosques

My exhausted sleep lamented

Nights spent in the tossing and turning over puzzles

For which clues were found in stories

Guides were found in the margins


After telling me their tales

Everyone asked me my story

After showing me the season of snow my elders

Asked about the fiery time of their youth


My lowered eyes kept searching

For an accent of conscience, for a mention of principle

The sleepless night sped before my eyelashes

The sweat of shame burst on my face

Your name came to my tongue and silenced it


Accept this shame for in this sweat’s

Every drop are molds of sparks

Accept the wrinkles in my face in which

There are the imprints of passion and culture

Hold my delicate gift of the sadness of perception

Which I found after drinking the poisons of the seven seas

After living in every volcano of the arts

I was summoned by the gods of Greece

Deities sprang to life in my breast

Steered me away from every fraudulent road

And then left me at the supermarket

Where a lone measure of humanity

A mob of men and women absorbed in its barbarism

The beauty of the watch, the aesthetics of a new radio

Plastic lotuses, a tie of nylon

New boots from Italy, necklaces from Hong Kong

The new line from Chrysler, cosmetics from Tokyo

Every body desired ease

Every eye worshipped things

Such devotion is not even in politics

Such satisfaction is not even in self-worship

My homeland, there is nothing in my luggage

Just a dream and the ramparts of a dream

Accept the gift of my dirty shirt

For in its dirt are the lands of prayers

This robe cannot be washed for on its breast

Are the sacred bloodstains of Biafra

This is the dirt from Vietnam and in its specks

Are the shining faces of prophets

(Singapore, 2 February 1969)

—Translated by Laurel Steele 

Virgil, Nietzsche, Wodehouse, Galbraith, Calvino, Foucault & #Tommeke! Gelukkige verjaardag, @tomboonen1 #opqs #dishydelish #TopTotty #TattooTom

Images by Regina Romero, Graham Watson, Bryn Lennon, James Startt via Twitter, and gettyimages Europe.

Decision has greater virtue and force if taken after there has been eloquent dissent.
J.K. Galbraith #qotd