Long ago I realized that no other person would be to me what you are.
What is it that is always troubling us? What is the gnat that will not let us sleep? When we are quiet and alone, we fear that something might be whispered in our ears, and so we hate the quiet, and dull our senses in society. We fear silence because we do not seem to deserve it whatsoever.
The inner life has its soft and gentle beauty; an abstract formlessness as well as a subtle charm. I often consider myself as a figure in a foggy painting: faltering lines, insecure distances, and a merging of greys and blacks. An emotion or a mood - a mere wisp of color - is shaded off and made to spread until it becomes one with all that surrounds it.
But the beginning of things, of a world especially, is necessarily vague, tangled, chaotic, and exceedingly disturbing. How few of us ever emerge from such beginning! How many souls perish in its tumult!
The weed stood in the severed heart.
“What are you doing there?” I asked.
It lifted its head all drippiing wet
(with my own thoughts?)
and answered then: “I grow,” it said,
“but to divide your heart again.”
Soul is the place,
stretched like a surface of millstone grit between body and mind,
where such necessity grinds itself out.
Contact is a crisis. As the anthropologists say, “Every touch is a modified blow.”
Four of the roses were on fire.
They stood up straight and pure on the stalk, gripping the dark like prophets
and howling colossal intimacies
from the back of their fused throats.
Song for one of the Girls
Here in my heart I am Helen;
I’m Aspasia and Hero, at least.
I’m Judith, and Jael, and Madame de Stael;
I’m Salome, moon of the East.
Here in my soul I am Sappho;
Lady Hamilton am I, as well.
In me Recamier vies with Kitty O’Shea,
With Dido, and Eve, and poor Nell.
I’m of the glamorous ladies
At whose beckoning history shook.
But you are a man, and see only my pan,
So I stay at home with a book.
The Flaw In Paganism
Drink and dance and laugh and lie,
Love, the reeling midnight through,
For tomorrow we shall die!
(But, alas, we never do.)
By Dorothy Parker