“Fact: Love does not come in a card. Love does not come in a basket.” ~ R.I.D. from Red Blood, Black Ink

Carson McCullers Ballad of the Sad Cafe


Reblogged from inkskinned

Fact: Saint Valentine refused to renounce his faith and on the 14th day of February was beaten to death with clubs and beheaded. Over his bones, Hallmark has made a fortune in stale chocolates and constant reminders that if you are single on this day, you’ll be single forever.Fact: The word holiday stems from the term “holy day,” meaning a day of religious reverence. It turns out you can build an entire empire on sacred grounds, structures of cards and dying flowers. It turns out you can sell love in a package. I know this because one of my exes once opened her mouth and let the wasps fall out, a whole hoard of grievances about how a small handmade card wasn’t proof enough of how I felt – I wanted to explain that my love is not a roller coaster that climbs to the top on the fourteenth of the month, that I love steady and hard – but instead I sat with my head in my hands and a bottle of vodka by my side and apologized for ruining a day that was made up by a company.

It’s just that I find love in better places than in balloons and teddy bears. I find love in better places than romance movies. I find love, and maybe that’s what’s wrong with me: I don’t need a wedding ring to know that I’m happy.

I find love in the girl with hair like the sunset, always changing with the weather, a girl that picks up her soul and shares it with me no matter how many times I hurt her, I find love in her calm voice and her constant assurances that one day I will be better, I find love in her loyalty and friendship and honesty, I find love in her writing, I find love in our four-hour phone conversations that are only cut short because my battery is always dying, I find love.

I find love in a boy who is no longer with us but still brings a smile to my lips when I think of him, I find love in how his family still talks to me, how his sister is basically related to me, how once in a while she and I get drunk and cry a lot and feel better for it. I find love in healing, in getting over it. I find love in learning you can be hurt but still one day get better – that even if you’re not the same, you learn how to deal with being different.

I find love in a lady who can speak fluent spanish better than I can as a native speaker, I find love in how she holds herself together, I find love in how we have both stared into the darkness and neither of us will let the other one flinch, I find love in her hands, soft and stained with ink, I find love in her dreams that inspire me to find freedom, I find love in how she skins her knees but always stands back up again, I find love in how she opens her ribs for anyone who wants in because she is naturally trusting, I find love in how it doesn’t matter how many times other people will scar her, she always still opens her heart.

I find love in a boy who is all that I love and if he doesn’t know how I feel, I haven’t done my job well enough.

I find love in one of my oldest friends, a girl with blue eyes and brown hair and who carries the sun in the palm of her hands. I find love in how she knows I’m bad at connecting and still finds ways to bring me back home again. I find love in her endless cheer and incredible mind, I find love in how dance is really more of her language than it is of mine but at parties the two of us start doing combinations, I find love in her laughter that follows her like a train, how she finds light in the smallest things, I find love in her acceptance of working to make this society change. I find love.

Fact: Love does not come in a card. Love does not come in a basket. The harder you look, the more you will glance over it. Love is just a chemical imbalance, love is formulated as 5 + (-sqrt(1-x^2-(y-abs(x))^2))*cos(30*((1-x^2-(y-abs(x))^2))), x is from -1 to 1, y is from -1 to 1.5, z is from 1 to 6.

Fact: Somebody loves you. You are enough.


Music by Elvis Costello, “Alison”

“There are endings so sad I want the morning light | to scourge the fields. Endings that are only what the river | dreams when it dries up. Endings that are constant echoes.” ~ Richard Jackson, from “Alternate Endings”

Sophia Laskaridou, Night Fantasy aka The Lady of the Cape 1908
“Night Fantasy (The Lady of the Cape)”, (1908)
by Sophia Laskaridou


“We listen to the inexhaustible chant of the sea within us, as it rises and falls in our heads, like the approach and retreat of the strange desire we have for heaven, for love, and all that we cannot touch with our hands.” ~ Jean-Michel Maulpoix, from “We know love exists through hearsay”

Patience, please. The words are many, but I am not yet able to shape them. The air outside is so cold, as cold as the dark pit in my heart.

Georges Hendrik Breitner Moonlight Effect 1887-89 oil on canvas
“Moonlight Effect” (1887-89, oil on canvas)
by Georges Hendrik Breitner

What It’s Called
Skocjan, Slovenia

It’s called the Shepherd of the Snakes, this black
butterfly with white spots. It’s called Heart in a Sling,
this small, heavy flower reaching down towards the earth.

I learned this the other day from a man whose name dissolved
into this limestone earth. Learned, later, that I have been
living directly over the fault line of Mala Dolina,
the little sinkhole, directly over the Reka river that appears
and disappears like a snake in the grass. Eventually,
everything we see commits a kind of suicide. Eventually,

every star becomes a heap of cinders floating aimlessly.
It’s nearly 6 PM and I can hear the horses calling from
somewhere beyond the rock wall. You can smell the rain
in the air before it starts to rain, but there’s nothing about
the soul’s weather we can know until later. It’s called
the soul’s scar tissue, this distance from the dead.

It’s called the borja, the wind that tears across
the stone roofs of this village at a hundred miles an hour.
Beneath me, a people whose names have been lost
for thousands of years took refuge by climbing into
the caves hidden in these cliffs. The floors there are
made of fallen roofs and hopes, broken histories.

It means we are always walking above ourselves down there.
It means we are walking above time. Above me now
Jupiter and Venus echo each other from two corners of
the sky. Beneath them the village graveyard holds the man
who mapped the caves. The dead keep dying within us.
It’s like a drowned man’s watch that still keeps time.

The early bats are tying the air, the heart, into knots. They
fly on the wings of grief. The late butterfly follows them
over the edge of the cliff where the earth becomes the air
we turn into. It’s called mirror vision when we see what isn’t
here. The kind of faith that fails at unexpected moments
the way a climber reaches for a hold that will never

in his life, be there. It’s called despair
when we open the door of a heart that no longer exists.

Jim Simmerman, 1954-2006

~ Richard Jackson


Harry Linder Moonlit Silhouette
“Moonlit Silhouette” (nd)
by Harry Linder


Starting today I will be invisible.
I will be consecrated,
and everything corruptible, time
and the soul, will slip off me, sleek
against my skin. I will use all my good fortune
to resist the hours, how they pool
so lovingly in the light. Starting now.
Will watch without rancor
as the afternoon sharpens its knives.
Will live in perfect solitude
like the moth, whose idea of God
must be reckless attraction,
radiant and extinguishing.
And if I have ever offended God,
let the records state my doubt
is a failure of the intellect,
not the will. One shock,
one turn on the road is all it takes,
one Zen zap and the mind
is fallen, and suddenly it makes sense,
all this burning. But it is the darkness
I keep seeing, the shocked silence
between the apparition
and the saint. Something I can write over,
so I can say this night is for light
to fill. Sorrow is a vessel so deep
it can hold anything, even its own absence.
Let the demons of unhappiness
look away. Or their eyes burn
with hate as I pass by.

~ Eric Gamalinda

Music by A Fine Frenzy, “Near to You”

“These perfect and private things, walling us in, have imperfect and public endings—” ~ Weldon Kees


Taking whatever beauty I can find right now . . .

Two for Tuesday: Weldon Kees

The Smiles of the Bathers

The smiles of the bathers fade as they leave the water,
And the lover feels sadness fall as it ends, as he leaves his love.
The scholar, closing his book as the midnight clock strikes, is hollow and old:
The pilot’s relief on landing is no release.
These perfect and private things, walling us in, have imperfect and public endings—
Water and wind and flight, remembered words, and the act of love
Are but interruptions. And the world, like a beast, impatient and quick,
Waits only for those who are dead. No death for you. You are involved.”


Late Evening Song

For a while
Let it be enough:
The responsive smile,
Though effort goes into it.

Across the warm room
Shared in candlelight,
This look beyond shame,
Possible now, at night,

Goes out to yours.
Hidden by day
And shaped by fires
Grown dead, gone gray,

That burned in other rooms I knew
Too long ago to mark,
It forms again. I look at you
Across those fires and the dark.


Delibes “Flower Duet”