Quotes By The Pleasures of the Damned

“in this room
the hours of love
still make shadows.”


“we
sat there
smoking
cigarettes
at
5
in the morning.”


“There is a loneliness in this world so great
that you can see it in the slow movement of the hands of a clock”


“peace of mind and heart
arrives
when we accept what is:
having been
born into this
strange life
we must accept
the wasted gamble of our
days
and take some satisfaction in
the pleasure of
leaving it all
behind.”


“The centuries are sprinkled with rare magic
with divine creatures
who help us get past the common and extraordinary ills that beset us”


“A smile to remember


we had goldfish and they circled around and around
in the bowl on the table near the heavy drapes
covering the picture window and
my mother, always smiling, wanting us all
to be happy, told me, “be happy, Henry!”
and she was right: it’s better to be happy if you
can
but my father continued to beat her and me several times a week while
raging inside his 6-foot-2 frame because he couldn’t
understand what was attacking him from within.


my mother, poor fish,
wanting to be happy, beaten two or three times a
week, telling me to be happy: “Henry, smile!
why don’t you ever smile?”
and then she would smile, to show me how, and it was the
saddest smile I ever saw.


one day the goldfish died, all five of them,
they floated on the water, on their sides, their
eyes still open,
and when my father got home he threw them to the cat
there on the kitchen floor and we watched as my mother
smiled.”


“magic persists without us
no matter what we may do to try to spoil it”


“And then she would smile, to show me how, and it was the saddest smile I ever saw.”


“we waste days like mad blackbirds and pray for alcoholic nights
our silk-sick human smiles wrap around us like somebody else's confetti”


“we are a scene chalked out with the sick white brush of age”


“About church: the trouble with a mask is it never changes.”


“they say that nothing is wasted: either that or it all is.”


“I did not like war, even when it was the popular thing to do.”


“art as the spirit wanes the form appears.”


“no leaders, please invent yourself and then reinvent yourself, don’t swim in the same slough. invent yourself and then reinvent yourself and stay out of the clutches of mediocrity. invent yourself and then reinvent yourself, change your tone and shape so often that they can never categorize you. reinvigorate yourself and accept what is but only on the terms that you have invented and reinvented. be self-taught. and reinvent your life because you must; it is your life and its history and the present belong only to you.”


“that boy was ready for his life to come, he would undoubtedly be highly successful, the lying little prick.”


“fuck everybody.”


“I felt better when everything was in
disorder. It will take me some months to get back to normal: I can't even find a roach to commune with. I have lost my rhythm. I can't sleep. I can't eat. I have been robbed of my filth.”


“I felt better when everything was in disorder. It will take me some months to get back to normal: I can't even find a roach to commune with. I have lost my rhythm. I can't sleep. I can't eat. I have been robbed of my filth.”


“a poem is a city burning”


“it’s half-past nowhere everywhere.”


“people who believe in politics are like people who believe in god: they are sucking wind through bent straws. there”


“it’s not the large things that send a man to the madhouse. death he’s ready for, or murder, incest, robbery, fire, flood … no, it’s the continuing series of small tragedies that send a man to the madhouse …”


“it's when you're on the row
that you notice that
everything
is owned
and that there are locks on
everything
this is the way a democracy
works:
you get what you can,
try to keep that
and add to it
if possible”


“my poems are only bits of scratching
on the floor of a
cage.”


“a man can be old and a fool
many are
a man can be young and wise
few are”


“some men never die and some men never live but”


“invent yourself and then reinvent yourself, change your tone and shape so often that they can never categorize you. reinvigorate”


“the history of a tough motherfucker he”