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Quotes tagged “Poetry”

'If this were the beginning of a poem, he would have called the thing he felt inside him the silence of snow.' -Orhan Pamuk

Before the hanging cross, the girls
take turns standing at attention before
us with eyes closed or hands clasped,

headbands bright green or bangles
yellow, glints that fill the silence like
falling snow. They recite poems they

have carried in their mouths for days,
and my desire to go back, to be one
among these slender, long-haired girls

is a thistle, sharp and twisting at my
side. The words psalm, blessing, lord
rise in me like bees heavy with pollen,

and the teenager I once was unzips
herself from me, shows up, a crocus
bristling through snow. She’s back

in the old chapel where the priest
again lifts into the air the Bible,
declaims about the kingdom of God,

gifts promised only the righteous—
the girl I was, heavy and slow in her
thick glasses, knew she would never

enter heaven, never be these pretty girls
singing, arms pale and slim as the white
birch whose branches, dappled with gold,

shade the stained glass window. In Pamuk’s
novel, Snow, the headscarf girls in Eastern Turkey
hang themselves rather than go uncovered,

and still I want that certainty of conviction,
even as the self beside me pulls on her hair,
sucks long strands of it deep into her mouth—

so I gather her in my arms, shake her, tell
her to listen, that the sky will always happen,
these branches. Sometimes, it causes me

to tremble, tremble,
she sings beside these
girls who will grow into or away from their
bodies, and I know I must push the heavy

amber of her back inside me. Help me, Lord.
There are so many bodies inside this one.”
“A classmate and I chose pendulums,
what happens when a pendulum

hangs from a pendulum?
How does gravity work then?

We were studying invisible forces
and left the classroom, heading into

the world with just our two bodies,
which were to be both string and bob.

In the woods behind school, he climbed into a tree
and lowered himself down,

holding a branch.
I reached up to his thin ankles

and lifted my bare feet off the ground.
Someone must have been there to try to make us swing,

record the harmonic oscillations,
and take the polaroids,

still stapled to this yellowed lab report.
It’s haunting to discover it now, to see in the photos

how we hung there smiling, white,
safe and dumb.

How little history we knew.
If only all feet could come back

to stand on the ground,
not get buried under it,

left to hang above, left outside
in the told and untold,

in the toll of hot municipal suns.
We didn’t understand much of anything

but completed the assignment,
typed up the results, passed physics,

went to college and typed and typed
and never took another science class,

we were humanities majors.
Sometimes when I’m not typing now

I run lines with an actor friend
and can’t get them out of my head.

Another heavenly day,
says Winnie as the curtain rises.

She’s buried to her waist in earth
and for a while you think it can’t get any worse.

The humanities.
What are they, really?

Don’t let me sleep on.”
“When the bass drops on Bill Withers’
Better Off Dead, it’s like 7 a.m.
and I confess I’m looking
over my shoulder once or twice
just to make sure no one in Brooklyn
is peeking into my third-floor window
to see me in pajamas I haven’t washed
for three weeks before I slide
from sink to stove in one long groove
left foot first then back to the window side
with my chin up and both fists clenched
like two small sacks of stolen nickels
and I can almost hear the silver
hit the floor by the dozens
when I let loose and sway a little back
and just like that I’m a lizard grown
two new good legs on a breeze
-bent limb. I’m a grown-ass man
with a three-day wish and two days to live.
And just like that everyone
knows my heart’s broke and no one is home.
Just like that, I’m water.
Just like that, I’m the boat.
Just like that, I’m both things in the whole world
rocking. Sometimes sadness is just
what comes between the dancing. And bam!,
my mother’s dead and, bam!, my brother’s
children are laughing. Just like—ok, it’s true
I can’t pop up from my knees so quick these days
and no one ever said I could sing but
tell me my body ain’t good enough
for this. I’ll count the aches another time,
one in each ankle, the sharp spike in my back,
this mud-muscle throbbing in my going bones,
I’m missing the six biggest screws
to hold this blessed mess together. I’m wind—
rattled. The wood’s splitting. The hinges are
falling off. When the first bridge ends,
just like that, I’m a flung open door.”
“Because words dazzle in the dizzy light of things
and the soul is like an animal–hunted and slow–
this buffalo walks through me every night as if I was
some kind of prairie and hunkers against the cold dark,
snorting under the stars while the fog of its breathing
rises in the air, and it is the loneliest feeling I know
to approach it slowly with my hand outstretched
to tenderly touch the heavy skull furred and rough
and stroke that place huge between its ears where
what I think and what it thinks are one singing thing
so quiet that, when I wake, I seldom remember
walking beside it and whispering in its ear quietly
passing the miles, the two of us, as if Cheyenne or
the lights of San Francisco were our unlikely destination
and sometimes trains pass us and no one leans out hard
in the dark aiming to end us and so we continue on
somehow and today while the seismic quietness of
the earth spun beneath my feet and while the world
I guess carried on, that lumbering thing moved heavy
thick and dark through the dreams I believe we keep
having whether we sleep or not and when you see it
again say I’m sorry for things you didn’t do and
then offer it some sweet-grass and tell it stories
you remember from the star-chamber of the womb
or at least the latest joke, something good to keep it
company as otherwise it doesn’t know you are here
for love, and like the world tonight, doesn’t really
care whether we live or die. Tell it you do and why.”

About The Authors

This page was created by our editorial team. Each page is manually curated, researched, collected, and issued by our staff writers. Quotes contained on this page have been double checked for their citations, their accuracy and the impact it will have on our readers.

Kelly Peacock is an accomplished poet and social media expert based in Brooklyn, New York. Kelly has a Bachelor's degree in creative writing from Farieligh Dickinson University and has contributed to many literary and cultural publications. Kelly assists on a wide variety of quote inputting and social media functions for Quote Catalog. Visit her personal website here.

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