From the monthly archives: September 2011

Rufous Knicks, rampant in blue serge suit and hairs-cut, stepped down the wobbly back shell of Forever Corner like a king descending to court. That or another like sentence would mark well to begin this history in old days whereof I have understood some, having lived for petty times in that epoch. I do not possess any old days books, but have had opportunity to peruse precisely two at cabinet of Mme. Pi and on one occasion had extinct pleasure to listen Super My Love read the first chapter of a leafy tome encased in papery sleeving, color pale green, entitled Lol. In which I comprehend was a lacrosstick of some nature in which I cannot decipher. A lacrosstick occurs when letters stand around for longer words in which the writer does not wish to unveil for private reasons.

The reading of the old days book Lol was a magic. It is different to hear words in the head of you than bespoke by another. O man I have found. I retain no or less memories in which I was young, in which without doubt my mother or some person would have read at high voice from old days books, once I have been told in which were plenty abundant.

I return to Rufous Knicks putting the feet forward and again forward in back of Forever Corner until he had reached the door to the fence at the limit of the garden. I find tiresome to describe every action of Rufous Knicks when I already know where he is going and when and many details concerning his destination. Nor would it be just as interesting to arrive properly without malingering on the travel? Then. I will omit from here to there.

Rufous Knicks entered the building through blown-apart front. Had arrived by straightforward route. Rufous was not the kind to take laborious mappy when the straight line could be put in place end over end in which you can finish by arrival. Inside the building birds bunched on attic rubble at the far end waiting for something. These birds did have bad blood in them, or appeared. But Rufous unslung his rifle and made as if to shoot at them, but the birds did not wow or flutter, but continued to wait only for the something. Black eyes followed Rufous as he forwarded through the main hall and up the stony staircase, mightily damaged but not fallen, into the upstairs room where Madame Salamander Pi held her cabinet on most mornings and some of the afternoons.

Madame Salamander Pi was a gross person. In this way she demonstrated her superior skill-set in the department of living, and was awed by others who had no comparables towards acquiring sustenance and in which consequence were meager in size. Certain, Rufous was twangy in which comparison to Mme. Pi. But he had a compensating vigor but an excellent aim with respect to his rifling but a speed and range of motion but was difficult to tackle. Had he the knowledge of keeping things for long times no one doubts whereby he would on the other hand challenge Mme. Pi for the charge in which she held.

He had no complaint or intent to challenge in mind today’s morning, but Madame Salamander Pi could never know this advanced of the moment, and so her aides dispatched themselves to greet Rufous Knicks before he could attain the threshold of her cabinet. These were two name of Sham and Polish but, in no which gross, still you could say largely in frames.

“What is your business with Madame Salamander Pi?” asked Sham.

“I wish to ask her advice on a project of mutual beneficence,” said Rufous Knicks.

He struggled in the grasp of meaty claws but not too much.

“I do not understand these words,” said Polish, or Sham.

“I have a desire to confer with Mme. Pi. It is a matter she will understand but I do not think that you will, judging from the lack in which you have lately demonstrated ensuing from my prior words.”

“We will have to ask Mme. Pi, or the patron, as we call her, if she wants to conference with you,” said Sham, or Polish.

Rufous Knicks indicated that he understood this act as a necessary, and would wait in the grip of only Sham or Polish while Polish or Sham performed a liaison with Mme. Pi.

While Polish or Sham was gone Sham or Polish said to Rufous “I hope you do not understand our actions to be a counter-temps. It is a duty that we must convey as part of our boss.”

“I confess a petty perturbation, in which is not your fault, and do not blame you,” said Rufous. “My argument is with the order of things. As much with the crows and this exploded wreck as with any person.”

“What you say to me is not meant for me, in which it is okay for me to hear, but your talk is one-sided and does not require a response,” said Polish. Or Sham. “Here is Sham or Polish, come from Mme. Pi, the patron, with informations.”

Sham or Polish rejoined his colleague and said to Rufous Knicks, “Mme. Pi has interest in listening to you, Rufous Knicks, if it is not a trouble to come with us to her cabinet.”

“It is not a trouble,” said Rufous Knicks. “Let’s go.”

I need not add that I have only imaginaried the talk between Rufous, Sham, and Polish, as I was not present and did not have afterwards a chance in which to unpack the exact wording of the exchange from Rufous, as he lay dying.

I will now indicate the camber of time by use of an eclipse.

….

Rufous though mortal of wounds made strong effort to retrieve his corpse to backyard of Forever Corner, at which one saw each other as I marched my circle of deliverance the daily pain. I found him slouched against the wall at step bottom.

“What has passed?” I asked Rufous, who though smeary with blood and shallow respired, had no look of great trouble on his visage.

“Your head,” joked Rufous.

“I mean in really,” I said.

“There was disaccord between me and Salamander Pi,” he said after a while and with some difficulty.

“Of what nature?”

“Of a nature in which she had a mistake of my intent, in which I finished on the wrong side.”

“Well obvious,” I said.

“I have a secret I would like to tell you, now that I am dying,” said Rufous Knicks.

“Tell me your secret, Rufous,” I said.

He made a clan of eye and motioned by which I should come closer.

“A knowing hole of great significance has been opened. I think that Salamander Pi has recognition of this hole, and will take steps to control the results. You must fill your lack, in which you have no fault, to the best delay. Salamander Pi cannot take consequence of the fruits of the secret.”

“I wonder myself that I have in no sense understood your import,” I said.

“I will ask a small favor of you.”

“It does not matter what.”

Rufous Knicks smiled in which his teeth were not seen. He spit on the ground and there followed either a laugh or a cough or a laugh in which became a cough.

“You have ever been a good friend,” he said. “Truth, I crawled back here and waited in hope of your arrival. I had a luck.”

It was a trouble to put my attention in the direction of Rufous Knicks’ purpose, because I was rapt by the seeing of cracked skin around his sharp knuckles. The skin itself looked a separate organ to the underlying bone and filament, undulant independent of hand movement, as if possessed of intelligence its own.

Having essayed some further paroles, Rufous Knicks ceased to inspire. In agreement with his ask, I did not attend to dispose of his corpse but passed to the voluntary in which he had given to me instructions very specific.

I will now indicate the camber of time by use of an eclipse.

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Is your name Hyacinth? Do you bloom in pairs?
I ask a flower question I expect the leaves to turn.
There’s blood in the dirt. There’s an easier road
To the moss-covered ruin, where for a few months
We didn’t sleep from fear of sprayed guts
Or sudden bullets. It’s all mixed up, you see,
It’s one plus one makes three in every physics
I have ever understood. I see things so.
It’s not good. A white fir can stand
For hundreds of years, but I prefer to lie.

Subway posters with scratched-out eyes. Dragonflies.
Everything taped to the wall: matchbook covers,
Cut-out dolls of Elvis, photo of magician w/ cards on fire,
Bridesmaid’s hat (formed webbing), postcard
Of Dorothy’s slippers. Blue marlins taped to bathtub.

Injecting home-made recipe from her mother’s mixing bowl.
Showing tracks on both arms, obligingly. “Modern art.”
Papered with boxscores that almost glitter. The Ex-Pilot Group.
Level is a palindrome. Poem is a conditorium of words.
We are eating the god. Have eaten the godly god. And belch.
I love you as if I knew you, and my feet itch. Martyr me.

What was I born for? thought Thomas, sitting at his desk, copying the last few lines of his work. What was anybody born for?

The sun had long since floated past the lid of his window, over the gray slate roof, and begun to set. He could see its rubescent face reflected in the windows from the building across the street, where for all he knew there was an exact duplicate of himself, doing the same thing, but with perhaps a better understanding of the basic questions.

Thomas absent-mindedly scratched his cheek with the tip of his pen. When he realized what he was doing, he took the index finger of his right hand and rubbed the spot where he had scratched, hoping to erase the inky blotch he was sure must be there. He did not bother to check.

Put the pen down, shuffled the papers on the desk before him. More than twenty, covered with tiny, neat handwriting on both sides. Examined the last lines he had written:

 

That you cannot know the terror in a word. That it will not be the worst you fear. That you bring to the last the first sign. That you choose what to disappear.

 

“That you choose what to disappear.” The last four lines: these were the most important, the ones Caeli had insisted he take down word-for-word, with exactly that punctuation, exactly those rhythms. Apparently the words were a magic. It was not clear what sort of a magic, nor for what purpose, when everything had become so useless. But Caeli had insisted that he not leave Paris without finishing the manuscript, which he now stacked and straightened and slipped inside a clear plastic folder with an elastic fastener. He took the folder, stacked it with other folders, similarly transparent but tinted different colors—gold, green, blue—and slipped the stack in his briefcase.

Rising from the desk he walked over the Persian carpet towards the coat rack and removed his tan raincoat.

There was a knock at the door. Soft but insistent.

Thomas looked through the peep-hole. Furrowed his brow, unfastened the lock and opened the door.

“What are you doing here?” he asked the small, stout, balding, round-faced man who stood before him.

“Sorry to bother you,” said the man, in heavily-accented French. “But we can’t let you leave.”

“What? Don’t be ridiculous. ”

“I’m serious.” To demonstrate his intent, the man produced a snub-nosed revolver from under his coat.

“All right, all right. Put that thing away, Charles, you look ridiculous. Do you even know how to use it?”

Thomas stood aside and gestured Charles into the room.

The Ecuadorean poet Charles Panic walked in and sat down in the chair by the window where Caeli usually sat. He looked at the gun in his hand as if suddenly seeing it for the first time. Slipped it into the pocket of his raincoat.

“No. I don’t know how to use it. But they insisted.”

“They.”

“The Collective.”

“I thought you weren’t with them anymore.”

“I’m not. I mean, I wasn’t. They knew that we’re friends, and they thought I could persuade you to stay. So they forced me, in the way that I’m supposed to force you now.”

Thomas slumped down in the chair at his writing table without taking off his overcoat.

“Charles, I have to go. Caeli’s waiting for me.”

Pater noster, qui est in caelis…”

“Don’t.”

“Will you come with me?”

Thomas scoffed. “Obviously not.”

“You should know that it’s not just me. There are five more downstairs. All armed. All much bigger than me.”

“But can any of them write, Charles? Do any have talent?”

Charles was silent for a moment.

“No. The Collective no longer believes in talent as a mark of distinction. They prize strength over subtlety. They’ve become moralists, Thomas. It’s really quite sad.”

“I told you it would turn out that way.”

“You have to belong to something.”

“The idea of community is a dangerous fiction.”

Charles took out a handkerchief from the inside pocket of his jacket and mopped his brow.

“I’m sure that’s an impressively original thought, Thomas, but we don’t have time for this.”

“You’re right. We don’t. I have to be Auvers-sur-Oise in two hours, and you have to fuck off back to the catacombs to die.”

“I told you. It’s not just me.”

“And I heard you. Good-bye, Charles.”

Thomas went to the window, opened wide the white wood panes, and fluttered down the street below. I learned more than one thing from Caeli, he thought.

He looked back up at his open window, through which Charles Panic was staring, wide-eyed, down at the street. He knew that Charles could not see him, but he was unused to invisible mode, and instinctively ducked for shelter under the awning of the Halle des Chaussures. Across the street, at the entrance to his building, Thomas noticed four or five heavy-set men in long black overcoats.

He jammed his hands in his pockets and walked down the street towards his car, murmuring to himself, careful not to attract attention. “I am the boy. Who can enjoy. Invisibility.”

Charles turned away from the window.

“I wish things were different,” said Charles. He shrugged his shoulders, and his jowls quivered.

“I’m not sure that’s true,” said Thomas. He sighed and stood up. Smoothed the folds in his tan raincoat. “Anyway, let’s go.”

 

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I could break the shell of myself, if you want, or you could try to fail. Here’s how the thing works: some injustice must be left un-righted. Some tumescent flaw must be kept in the perfectly silvered surface of your Venetian mirror, set in the bark of a living tree.

In a stand of reflected catalpas, on each broad leaf, a poem appears in dendriform. In the grass we sit broadside down, and read the fallen leaves, turning pages and colors and sheaves of wheat-seeded idea. From this time to that time is the distance of dewdrop from its source.

Outside the shell, a sinewy thread connects consciousness to individual spirit. The desultations of philosophy, according to some lispy Latin (twining his elder Pliny with De Rerum), are essentially binding, essentially religious. The trinity is one God, four Gospels, and a multitude of loafs. A Character-Not-Yet-Invented hovers over mother-father earth, investing via uncreated breath each holy relic, each storm-born hiccup, with a sailing grace. In order to grit out the truth you have to tell stories that are not stories.

Frank the letters I gift you. Resist upon the justness of my claws. Have prayings for the marks and stick-matter of poor Mary’s rosy crux. Did she treat you well, muttering?

Sing to me now of infinity. Sing infinitely well, and finish with a flourish. Whose fingers now are stained with what type of sin? The devil you say. Named after light but hiding in the dark. In the beginning was the bird. The bird was made fish. Everybody, hellbound pelican or lofty perch, must eat. Must take part or partake, body and blood of Jack Christmas. Each act of kindness is a hopeful mistake.

The old man slumped at the table in a suit spun of flax. “I offer my heart to anyone in need of a muscle to move the lever that moves the world.”

Gemmules of inspiration pop like dolorous spit bubbles. Everything proceeds. Momentum of the moment, refracted in the prison of sight. Uncountable fragments that, together, unreveal a pattern no one stoops to admire.

The shell of the constructed self cracks like brittle candy on the rocks that shift, with predatory intent, from ship to shore. I think, therefore I’m not who you think I am.

Without his coat he believes himself naked, and that unreal nakedness drives him nuts.

Which is the true grammar? Break me if you will. Will me to break myself, to hoist surrender to an army that seeks to conquer itself. O Lord of guests, bid me to build myself a lighter limb, and chatter like a bird. I know, now, I cannot fly. I can only fall.

 

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From the vast North of Onhava archives:

 

 

“Full of grace my ass. Every one of them too goddamn tall. And doubtless crazy as swans. ” The young man was annoyed. He banged his bottle on the wet wood of the bar.

“Perhaps that’s true, but you didn’t stick around long enough to find out.” His companion, a much older man, talked from the side of his mouth, but his words were perfectly clear to anyone who wanted to hear. His eyes were fixed on the ceiling fan in the middle of the small room. The ceiling fan rotated so slowly that it was impossible to tell whether it was turning by electric power or the currents of the barroom’s fetid air.

“What, to see if one was maybe shorter than six foot two? I will not dance with a woman who’s taller than me. It’s not a question of prejudice, simply logistics.”

The old man took off his straw hat and set it on an empty barstool. “Name one thing that’s not a question of logistics,” he said. “Name one.”

(The process of naming, if done properly, kills the sense of the thing named. Like pinning a butterfly.)

“That’s poetry,” muttered the young man, spitting flat beer back into the bottle. He signaled to the woman, thin and sallow under neon beerlight. “Another.”

“That’s not poetry. That’s beyond language. No — you’re right. Tenderly, straight as a curving arrow, that can be poetry.”

“Did you see the way that one redhead was boring straight through me with her red hair and her green eyes? Her red hair? Red?”

“I saw her,” said the older man.

The woman brought a bottle of beer for the young man. He took the bottle and held its coldness to his forehead.

She gave an inquiring look to the older man, who considered his glass of whiskey. He nodded. The nod meant “yes.”

“Boring through me. I was transparent to her, but she was transparent, too. Didn’t think I’d notice. I noticed.”

“It’s good to get out once in a while, see how the other half drinks,” said the old man. “You can tell a lot of things that way.”

“Did you say tell or spell?” asked the younger man. The woman brought a fresh glass of whiskey, sans ice, for the old man, who nodded gratefully. The nod meant “thanks.”

“I’m not sure I understand your meaning,” said the older man, sipping his drink.

“The brunette with glasses? What kind of plan or mission or hidden agenda was up her nose? Shifty, that one. Shifty and tall equals danger. You know what color were her eyes? Because I don’t! She kept shifting them around  their orbits so fast you couldn’t catch the hue.”

“I remember the brunette with glasses,” said the old man, wistfully. “I remember all the brunettes with glasses.”

The younger man had an abstract look. He leafed through a book on the bar in front of him, abstractedly looking at a point in the distance, somewhere past the edge of the page.

“There was only one brunette with glasses,” said the younger man after a time.

Here are the words that the younger man was not reading, but nevertheless had open in front of him:

You are reluctant to state the purpose of your being here. Your reluctance derives from fear and from the certain knowledge that purposes cannot be stated. A purpose stated is a purpose thwarted. Into the blackness of: night, into the blackness of: sea,  from the blackness of: solitude, longing, and despair.

“I wasn’t talking about just tonight’s brunette with glasses. I was talking about all the brunettes with glasses, past, present, and future.” The older man finished his whiskey with a single swallow.

“Time, gentleman!” called the woman, dishtowelling an empty glass. “Time!”

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In with the good, out with the bad. But it’s not air of which the teacher speaks. Something more valuable. Essence. Out with ignorance, in with wisdom. Knowledge of the self means knowledge of things hidden in plain sight. When you can see what’s in front of you these hidden things will be revealed. Because when you let out what is in you, that is creative. Held inside (which does not mean withhold from say another person but from existence) these uncreated forms living in darkness will consume you like the fires of hell. Speaks a lot about consuming, and fire. Equating fire with bodily lusts, whether for food or sex or material possessions. That is the hell that will destroy you. Ignorance of that causes madness — you can see that our world is becoming more and more mad, driving more and more ignorant souls mad, because it is a push in the wrong direction.

The aspirant must work in solitude, because only then comes the ability to know yourself. Without distraction. Without guidance, except that which answers the bell of the mind. Word the teacher used was gnosis, but which seems mistranslated merely as knowledge, because some knowledge is empty learning, whose purpose is empty because not aimed correctly. Hamartia the Hebrew word for sin — derived from archery: missing the mark. Who sets the mark? The archer. The two words which interest us most are therefore gnosis and logos. Gnosis better translated as insight or vision, and logos as proclaimed by the teacher (who reserves the term for himself, and thus represents the highest form of being): truth.

To uncover, to disclose, to reveal: apocalypse. When I shed my clothes I am an apocalypt. Every moment has that potential, of showing something hidden. Every person carries his apocalypse within, every person his logos. These are neither subject to nor subjective of, but connected strands of the same unity. Who can through hard work of the spirit achieve true insight will be greatly troubled, and astonished, tells the teacher, but will never die. Much confusion over the use of that word: death. In some accounts does not exist, in others a condition of ignorance to which most are condemned. Talks a great deal about light, as representative of the true condition of anthropos. We are the sons of the Anthropos. Or of the source of the source of the source, higher than any source.

His usage of light distinguishes between even the light of the sun, which is an artificial light, because made by the maker. And the maker himself made, in some versions, by those he made. Did we create the sun or did the sun create us? Or did something else create both, or have we always existed, but in different, possibly less cumbrous, form and content? Or — do we exist in different form even now but lack the means to see? Willful ignorance, everything returns to that. If you do not know the manner of your coming you cannot know how to go.

Painting: Paul Nash, Totes Mere

 

Gardenias. Heavy scent borne on the evening breeze, through two windows facing the street. The red Mercedes had seemed to come out of nowhere.

“Listen. I met a girl.”

In fading sun the row of bougainvillea overflowing chain link fence across the street flushes pinkly, nodding (sweet, demure) at passersby.

“I love Dave, don’t you?”

He hadn’t seen the car until it juddered into his, obliquely, at low speed, denting the hood over the right headlight and smashing the blinker to yellow shards, scattered on the road. Useless blinker guts hung from exposed wires, sadly on the bumper, a gouged eye dangling from its socket by a bloody thread.

“He thinks I’m trashing him. And of course I am, I mean whenever you break up with somebody….”

Night wearily shrugs on pinpricked overcoat. He sits in blue chair facing the windows. Cars roll by, eachly different by susurrus, by timbre of engine-stroke and brake-squeak. Bursts of conversation from sidewalkers in brief spaces between rumbly belching and whispering cars. Palpates parts of his face with one indifferent hand. Still there. Still.

“I don’t involve myself with anything to do with Allen.”

Can you feel his fingers moving slowly over your body? he wondered. Hot dry lips on slender shoulder, breathing in your ear, blowing strands of hair from your eyes? Like fine sand drifting in sea-air. You might not have noticed. Bastard didn’t even apologize. Not a flicker of regret. The look in his eyes as dead as will. We all. Being. Unwell. Stand. Windowsill. Understood. Will understand.

“I was in shock, just complete… shock….”

Photo: Still from Mimesis (2006)

As many of you know the trivium derives from the introductory curriculum in many medieval universities, where it involved the study of grammar, rhetoric, and logic. The word is Latin in derivation, perhaps obviously, and literally means the place where three (tri-) roads (via) meet. Our modern word trivia is loosely, and I think unfairly, connected by blood relation to trivium, by way of the altogether vulgar (in its literal sense) trivialis. Compare this with the quadrivium, similarly medieval, and comprising the four “mathematical” arts: arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music. An example of someone who would have excelled at the quadrivium is Brian May, the guitarist from Queen.

By way of illustration, I present the following story, or proselet, which is not a word I expect to catch on. It incorporates two quotations that one might find in any trivium worthy of the name, but places them in a setting of cheap jewelry that I hope makes some kind of emotional sense.

The Man Called Marriage

Two bursts of light, in rapid succession, woke him from a dreadful dream. A car turning around in the driveway, most likely. He shifted from his side onto his back, flinging a sleep-deadened arm across his chest. He enjoyed the way feeling would slowly creep back into the lifeless arm and hand.

He raised his head and looked at the pillow next to his on the bed. He knew she wasn’t there, knew that she had not been there for months, knew that barring some unforeseeable fold in the fabric of time she would never be there again. But he couldn’t help checking.

No sound but a few weary crickets, whether inside or out he could not tell. Dark of night had swallowed the room. Only blurred and mobile shapes. Shadows and deeper shadows.

Darkness has no lines, only depth, he thought. His eyes, adjusting to the murk, recovered what might be a chair, what might be a lamp, what might be a network of twigs on the ash tree outside his window, laying odds on how long till the sun comes up.

The sun is impossible to catch, he thought. Many things are thought impossible, but later turn out possible all along. It’s possible, he thought, that all things are possible, or will turn out to be possible. Two robins settled on the hickory tree outside his kitchen window. He was standing in the kitchen making coffee. Light from the morning sun, filtered by the greasy dirt on his unwashed windows, lay wan and shapeless on the counter and the dull tiles of the floor.

“Our separated dust, after so many pilgrimages and transformations into the parts of minerals, plants, animals, elements, shall at the voice of God return into their primitive shapes, and join again to make up their primary and predestinate forms.” He remembered the quote clearly but could not remember who said or wrote these words that he once believed.

He stood in the room where his books were lined against the wall. He held a long, serrated kitchen knife in his right hand, methodically scarring the spines of his books. He slashed diagonally, from top to bottom, left to right, in the same direction in which he used to read, it occurred to him, as he slashed the first volume of The Alexandria Quartet, without understanding why, without self-examination or emotion.

In the zoo, sidling up to the aviary, he saw parakeets varicolored like the desert sun setting on a cloudless night. A small snow-owl, half-blind from daylight, peered through slitted eyes at the end of all diseases of the flesh. The snow-owl, he thought, is a curious bird. He keeps most of what he knows to himself. But not all, he thought, and chuckled.

You could set the snow-owl free right now, but the snow owl would always be in prison. Once you injure something it stays injured. Fetters cannot be removed by any human hand.

One time he dreamed that he was walking along the red clay bank of a warbling creek, and saw an injured sparrow. He was overwhelmed with pity at the sight of the poor bird, and fell to his knees, cupping the sparrow in his hands and blowing gently on its feathers, thinking that somehow the blowing would reassure the tiny creature. The next part of the dream he couldn’t remember exactly, whether the bird simply died or immediately healed and flew away. Either way, he knew he had lost the sparrow for good, and knew, too, as one knows things in dreams that one could never guess in waking life, that the bird was her, and that she was gone.

Inner duration, perceived by consciousness, is nothing else but the melting of states of consciousness into one another, and the gradual growth of ego. Another useless quote, but why, he wondered, did this fragment of knowledge reduce him to helpless tears?

Wind snapped a branch outside and he woke. Tears streamed down his cheeks; his pillowcase was soaked.

“I am unbelievably happy,” he whispered to the empty room. And thought: I am unbelievably happy.

 

“[I] laugh at the vanities and the fopperies of the time, to see men so empty of virtuous actions, to hunt so far after gold, having no end of ambition; to take such infinite pains for a little glory, and to be favoured of men…. Some to desire to be obeyed in many provinces, and yet themselves will know no obedience. Some to love their wives dearly at first, and after a while to forsake and hate them; begetting children, with much care and cost for their education, yet when they grow to man’s estate, to to despise, neglect, and leave them to the world’s mercy. Do these behaviors not express their intolerable folly? When men live in peace, they covet war, detesting quietness, deposing kings, and advancing others in their stead, murdering some men in order to beget children of their wives. How many strange humours are in men! When they are poor and needy, they seek riches, and when they have them, they do not enjoy them, but hide them underground, or else wastefully spend them… I laugh at such things being done, but much more when no good comes of them, and when they are done to so ill purpose. There is no truth or justice found amongst them, for they daily plead one against another… and all this for riches, whereof after death they cannot be possessors…. Others affect difficult things; if they dwell on firm land they will remove to an island, and thence to land again, being no way constant to their desires… It were enough to make them wise, if they would but consider the mutability of this world, and how it wheels about, nothing being firm and sure.”

Democritus (ca. 460 BCE – ca. 370 BCE) as quoted in Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy (1621)

Screen cap from Le Samouraï (1967) by Jean-Pierre Melville

Dimitri Blagodarov | Empire Medical Training | I should write my essay with best service

Theme music: “Car Wash”

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