Don’t worry. Everything will make sense. Just not our kind of sense with our kind of senses.
The pyramids were built on sand and that is why they last.
Petunias, the exuberant and yet sad flower: Judy Garland without show business.
The sea is not impressed by anything. Even if the sea crawls past us onto land. Even if the sea evolves.
Much of the mystery of childhood may be attributed to our height at the time.
Nudity is not for clowns. It’s serious.
Hippos’ ears are slightly haired at the tips, like Venus fly traps.
Your hands: at least they have each other.
Someone is making excuses for the Vikings and the Huns. Genghis Khan—we got him wrong, he’s just one of us. We need our own (more tolerant) historians.
If beauty rides in on a wave in a shell, truth flies out in a gull.
Prometheus: treated like renewable livestock.
There’s the word hellish, so why not hellness and hellicity.
What is cognac to the fly circling the glass? Sunset off the deck of an aircraft carrier.
I see you for what you are: we can only say such a thing after we stop looking.
Some of us think of the past as a great power behind us. Like an angel’s wings are behind her.
That ivory fan you inherited. What lies behind it: a huge stumbling and crash.
Even paradise is inadequate. It won’t let us rescue those we love or even those we don’t love.
T. S. Eliot: There’s a lot to be said for fog. It’s just that not everyone’s saying it. Fog. Fog and cats.
Question-and-answer session with the long-lived, highly-awarded novelist. First question from a first-year student: “How do I stay humble?”
The children from our childhood have a second life in our dreams.
Revenge stalks comedy. The true last act.
A secondary life: the extended obituary that biography is.
Mastodon to elephant: We went extinct first. That’s an achievement.
To a spring lamb a field is a trampoline.
Why do we say the same things over and over again since Sappho?
Would you prefer to wear hooves or antlers?
The cat watches the fire, suspicious—as if the flames are eating something the cat deserves. Result of long habitation with humans.
My friend was so handsome that people stared at him as if he couldn’t stare back. Like a corpse.
I was told not to be helpful, that being helpful was annoying. I keep that in mind and treat all according to their ability to tolerate kindness.
What disguise does camouflage wear?
His temper: a grand piano taking up most of the entire apartment. Twice weekly
Jellyfish: the poached egg of the waves, little hamper of steam, watertight parachute for bees, a rainstorm under a bell jar, skimmings off a tub of lard, Odysseus tattered and floating into the harbor, sopping heroin in a baggy, veiled Salomé, a dumpy bride with a long veil of razors, drain clogger, all belly and belly tattoo. . . stop me before I drown in The Sea of Metaphor.
Some people end all their sentences with a question mark? He’s worse. He ends his with a comma.
The way a dog lifts its head into the wind and half-closes its eyes: an invisible crown of dignity is lowered upon that dog and it doesn’t matter how hard the dog’s ears are flapping.
Earlier generations: Who did they think they were? Young? Their ideas never entirely leave us although now wearing plaid hats.
Perennial dissatisfaction: The window washer just got here. Now how are we going to look out the window?
Cleopatra sent herself to Caesar rolled in a carpet. That worked. Anything would have. She could have sent herself rolled in nuts.
False generalization: Your cake is made of crumbs.
Any letter that begins “I regret to inform you” is already a lie.
A low flying plane shrinks to the size of a thimble. A purr amplifies and stuns a whale. Which of the above better describes the effects of gin?
The glaze on some ancient vases: like clouds crushed into a lake or the skin of an old face seen underwater.
Narcissus never once recognized his own reflection in the water. After all, he wasn’t a narcissist.
If God wanted men to be polygamists he wouldn’t have extracted just one rib. He would have extracted a rack of lamb.
You could pull off one of his legs and kick him in the head with it and he’d still want to negotiate for common ground.
He wouldn’t understand our lives even if forced to live them.