Quotes By What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire

“I remember awakening one morning and finding everything smeared with the color of forgotten love.”


“I wish to weep
but sorrow is
stupid.
I wish to believe
but belief is a
graveyard.”


“and when love came to us twice
and lied to us twice
we decided to never love again
that was fair
fair to us
and fair to love itself.

we ask for no mercy or no
miracles;
we are strong enough to live
and to die and to
kill flies,

attend the boxing matches, go to the racetrack,
live on luck and skill,
get alone, get alone often,
and if you can't sleep alone
be careful of the words you speak in your sleep;
and
ask for no mercy
no miracles;

and don't forget:
time is meant to be wasted,
love fails
and death is useless.”


“Finally there is nothing here for death to take away.”


“When a hot woman meets a hermit one of them is going to change.”


“What's genius? I don't know but I do know that the difference between a madman and a professional is that a pro does as well as he can within what
he has set out to do and a madman does exceptionally well at what he can't help doing.”


“the whole world is caught in her glance
and at last
the universe is
magnificent.”


“It was like a church in there as only the truly lost sit in bars on Tuesday mornings at 8:00 a.m.”


“and the color in my eyes
has gone back into the sea.”


“I have been treated better than I should have been---not by life in general nor by the machinery of things but by women.”


“love
iz
a
big
fat
turkey
and
every
day
iz
thanksgiving”


“I like the way Mahler wandered about in his music and still retained his
passion. He must have looked like an
earthquake walking down the street.”


“Christmas poem to a man in jail

hello Bill Abbott:
I appreciate your passing around my books in
jail there, my poems and stories.
if I can lighten the load for some of those guys with
my books, fine.
but literature, you know, is difficult for the
average man to assimilate (and for the unaverage man too);
I don't like most poetry, for example,
so I write mine the way I like to read it.”


“all theories
like cliches
shot to hell,
all these small faces
looking up
beautiful and believing;
I wish to weep
but sorrow is
stupid.
I wish to believe but believe is a
graveyard.
we have narrowed it down to
the butcherknife and the
mockingbird
wish us
luck.”


“a pro does as well as he can within what
he has set out to do
and a madman
does exceptionally well at what
he can't help
doing.”


“it is all ash
and dry leaves
and grief gone
like an ocean liner.”


“you fall into the mirror,
come through the other
side
staring at a lightbulb.”


“I’ve memorized all the fish in the sea
I’ve memorized each opportunity strangled
and
I remember awakening one morning
and finding everything smeared with the color of
forgotten love
and I’ve memorized
that too.

I’ve memorized green rooms in
St. Louis and New Orleans
where I wept because I knew that by myself I
could not overcome
the terror of them and it.

I’ve memorized all the unfaithful years
(and the faithful ones too)
I’ve memorized each cigarette that I’ve rolled.
I’ve memorized Beethoven and New York City
I’ve memorized
riding up escalators, I’ve memorized
Chicago and cottage cheese, and the mouths of
some of the ladies and the legs of
some of the ladies
I’ve known
and the way the rain came down hard.
I’ve memorized the face of my father in his coffin,
I’ve memorized all the cars I have driven
and each of their sad deaths,
I’ve memorized each jail cell,
the face of each new president
and the faces of some of the assassins;
I’ve even memorized the arguments I’ve had with
some of the women
I’ve loved.

best of all
I’ve memorized tonight and now and the way the
light falls across my fingers,
specks and smears on the wall,
shades down behind orange curtains;
I light a rolled cigarette and then laugh a little,
yes, I’ve memorized it all.

the courage of my memory.”


“sometimes you die sometimes you don’t.”


“I write poetry, worry, smile,
laugh
sleep
continue for a while
just like most of us
just like all of us;
sometimes I want to hug all
Mankind on earth
and say,
god damn all this that they've brought down upon us,
we are brave and good
even though we are selfish
and kill each other and
kill ourselves,
we are the people
born to kill and die and weep in dark rooms
and love in dark rooms,
and wait, and
wait and wait and wait.
we are the people.
we are nothing
more.”


“do it, do it, do it. do it. all the way all the way.”


“all the poets wanted to get disability insurance it was better than immortality.”


“Everywhere, Everywhere"

amazing, how grimly we hold onto our
misery,
ever defensive, thwarted by
the forces.
amazing, the energy we burn
fueling our anger.
amazing, how one moment we can be
snarling like a beast, then
a few moments later,
forgetting what or
why.

not hours of this or days or
months or years of this
but decades,
lifetimes
completely use up,
given over
to the prettiest
rancor and
hatred.

finally
there is nothing here for death to
take
away.”