Paragraphs…

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“…’Do you know what a poem is, Esther?’
No, what?I would say.
A piece of dust.’ Then just as he was smiling and starting to look proud, I would say, ‘So are the cadavers you cut up. So are the people you think you’re curing. They’re dust as dust as dust.   I reckon a good poem lasts a whole lot longer than a hundred of those people put together.’ And of course Buddy wouldn’t have any answer to that, because what I said was true. People were made of nothing so much as dust, and I couldn’t see that doctoring all that dust was a bit better than writing poems people would remember and repeat to themselves when they were unhappy or sick and couldn’t sleep…” (The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath)

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”…There were so many men, so many women, who had breathed the sweetness of spring nights just as fervently and for whom the world no longer existed. Was there really no recourse against death? Could they not be brought to life again, just for an hour? She had forgotten her name, her past, her face. There was only the sky, the humid breeze and that indefinable bitterness in the tender evening air. I am neither myself, nor am I like them; yet they exist as much as I do…” (All Men Are Mortal, Simone de Beauvoir)

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“…Because genetics is so often asked to test beliefs about what it means to be human, it is a science closer to moral and religious doctrine than any other. The Bible, the Torah and the Koran all explore the rules by which existence is governed: creation, inheritance, man’s place in nature, good, evil, fate and salvation. The Old Testament was the first genetics text of all. It is largely a record of separation: of who is among the chosen. The idea of universal relatedness, a common humanity, is restricted to the New. Like most religious writings, both are codes for regulating society. Some people are labelled as inferior, others as born to rule. In biblical times, as now, human qualities were seen as innate and beyond control; the future, for good or ill, was set at birth. Kinship ruled those ancient lands and, in spite of the supposed tolerance of the times in which we live, it retains its power today.  ” (In The Blood: God, Genes and Destiny, Steve Jones) 

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”…I often go for walks in graveyards. I sit down on a marble edge and read names and dates, or I muse over faded medallions of a young soldier slain on the field of battle, of the lovely Adele who died in childbirth, of a baby wrapped in lace. <<Eternal regrets>>: the words reappear from tomb to tomb, stamped on marble, engraved in stone, set among multicolored ceramic flowers, or prettily traced on the black-bordered white enamel hearts of earlier days. You, the forever dead-the living regret you in black-and-white and in color, and they’ve written down their regrets one last time; but for what kind of eternity? The living weep over you, and their tears turn hard as these sealed stones, they rust away with the iron fences of your enclosures and wither with the chrysanthemums. Do they ever think of the regrets heaped underground with your remains? Do they ever hear you chanting litanies of regrets for your lost dreams, your heartaches, your wasted efforts, your failed lives? A hymn of despair, trailing in the night wind…Eternal regrets. And also: <<Time passes, memories remain>>. I enjoy speaking courteously to those unknown dead, all beautiful now as they meet and mingle under their cloak of earth. I have no fear of their ashes, their roots, their composted nails and braids, their wasted rags, their skeletons still stippled with flesh or perfectly smooth, cleaned and polished by subterranean time, or their bony architectures (vaults, nodes, caverns, whitened ledges, sunken cathedrals), not even the empty sockets of their eyes and their vermin. They are there, and that’s all. I don’t think with horror that I shall be a body destroyed and consumed; nor, poetically, that I shall no longer be a body at all but ashes to nourish the earth, with starry grasses springing from my brow. I simply don’t think about it. They’re below ground, I’m above; they’re darkness, I’m daylight; they sleep when I lie sleepless; they have forgotten what they were searching for, which is what I’m searching for too, sure of not knowing any more about it than they. They’re there beneath my feet, they no longer hear me, their skulls are hollow as bubbles, and they couldn’t care less. Go on sleeping, beautiful dead ones; we keep our vigils in a dream and shed our tears for pictures…  (Silences, or a Woman’s Life, Marie Chaix)

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“…And I want to play hide-and-seek and give you my clothes and tell you I like your shoes and sit on the steps while you take a bath and massage your neck and kiss your feet and hold your hand and go for a meal and not mind when you eat my food and meet you at Rudy’s and talk about the day and type up your letters and carry your boxes and laugh at your paranoia and give you tapes you don’t listen to and watch great films and watch terrible films and complain about the radio and take pictures of you when you’re sleeping and get up to fetch you coffee and bagels and Danish and go to Florent and drink coffee at midnight and have you steal my cigarettes and never be able to find a match and tell you about the tv programme I saw the night before and take you to the eye hospital and not laugh at your jokes and want you in the morning but let you sleep for a while and kiss your back and stroke your skin and tell you how much I love your hair your eyes your lips your neck your breasts your arse your     and sit on the steps smoking till your neighbour comes home and sit on the steps smoking till you come home and worry when you’re late and be amazed when you’re early and give you sunflowers and go to your party and dance till I’m black and be sorry when I’m wrong and happy when you forgive me and look at your photos and wish I’d known you forever and hear your voice in my ear and feel your skin on my skin and get scared when you’re angry and your eye has gone red and the other eye blue and your hair to the left and your face oriental and tell you you’re gorgeous and hug you when you’re anxious and hold you when you hurt and want you when I smell you and offend you when I touch you and whimper when I’m next to you and whimper when I’m not and dribble on your breast and smother you in the night and get cold when you take the blanket and hot when you don’t and melt when you smile and dissolve when you laugh and not understand why you think I’m rejecting you when I’m not rejecting you and wonder how you could think I’d ever reject you and wonder who you are but accept you anyway and tell you about the tree angel enchanted forest boy who flew across the ocean because he loved you and write poems for you and wonder why you don’t believe me and have a feeling so deep I can’t find words for it and want to buy you a kitten I’d get jealous of because it would get more attention than me and keep you in bed when you have to go and cry like a baby when you finally do and get rid of the roaches and buy you presents you don’t want and take them away again and ask you to marry me and you say no again but keep on asking because though you think I don’t mean it I do always have from the first time I asked you and wander the city thinking it’s empty without you and want what you want and think I’m losing myself but know I’m safe with you and tell you the worst of me and try to give you the best of me because you don’t deserve any less and answer your questions when I’d rather not and tell you the truth when I really don’t want to and try to be honest because I know you prefer it and think it’s all over but hang on in for just ten more minutes before you throw me out of your life and forget who I am and try to get closer to you because it’s beautiful learning to know you and well worth the effort and speak German to you badly and Hebrew to you worse and make love with you at three in the morning and somehow somehow somehow communicate some of the overwhelming undying overpowering unconditional all-encompassing heart-enriching mind-expanding on-going never-ending love I have for you…”  (Crave, Sarah Kane)

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