"With greedy hands he digs for treasures and is happy if he finds worms"
Birth I gave you in a desert
not by chance,
for no king would ever hazard
Seeking you in it, I figure
won’t be wise
since its winter cold is bigger
than its size.
As you suck my breast, this vastness,
all this width,
feeds your gaze the human absence
it’s filled with.
Grow accustomed to the desert
as to fate,
lest you find it omnipresent
much too late.
Some get toys, in piles and layers,
wrapped or bound.
You, my baby, have to play with
all the sand.
See that star, at terrifying
Say, this void just helps it, eyeing
Grow accustomed to the desert.
underfoot, for all it isn’t,
it’s most firm.
In it, fate rejects a phantom
faint or gross:
one can tell for miles a mountain
by a cross.
Paths one sees here are not really
but the centuries’ which freely
through it pass.
Grow accustomed to the desert:
flesh is not —
as the speck would sigh, wind-pestered —
all you’ve got.
Keep this secret, child, for later.
That, I guess,
may just help you in a greater
Which is like this one, just ever-
in it love for you shows where
it might end.
Grow accustomed to the desert
and the star
pouing down its incandescent
rays, which are
just a lamp to guide the treasured
child who’s late,
lit by someone whom that desert
taught to wait.
"toska [tohs-kah]"- (noun) A Russian word – “Vladmir Nabokov describes it best: ‘No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody or something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.’” (via ancient-serpent)
Joseph Brodsky’s poignant late poem to his infant daughter, “Lullaby” (“Birth I gave you in a desert”) echoes one of W. H. Auden’s most beautiful early lyrics, “Lullaby” (“Lay your sleeping head, my love”). Reetika Vazirani (1962–2003) wrote a startling and inconsolable three-line poem called “Lullaby” (2002), which wounds:
"I would not sing you to sleep.
I would press my lips to your ear
and hope the terror in my heart stirs you.”
“Cities have often been compared to language: you can read a city, it’s said, as you read a book. But the metaphor can be inverted. The journeys we make during the reading of a book trace out, in some way, the private spaces we inhabit. There are texts that will always be our dead-end streets; fragments that will be bridges; words that will be like the scaffolding that protects fragile constructions. T.S. Eliot: a plant growing in the debris of a ruined building; Salvador Novo: a tree-lined street transformed into an expressway; Tomas Segovia: a boulevard, a breath of air; Roberto Bolano: a rooftop terrace; Isabel Allende: a (magically real) shopping mall; Gilles Deleuze: a summit; and Jacques Derrida: a pothole. Robert Walser: a chink in the wall, for looking through to the other side; Charles Baudelaire: a waiting room; Hannah Arendt: a tower, an Archimedean point; Martin Heidegger: a cul-de-sac; Walter Benjamin: a one-way street walked down against the flow.”
— Valeria Luiselli, “Relingos: The Cartography of Empty Spaces”
"There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors."