“When your beauty struck me, it dissolved me. Deep down, I am not different from you. I dreamed you, I wished for your existence. I see in you that part of me which is you. I surrender my sincerity because if I love you it means we share the same fantasies, we share the same madness.” —Anaïs Nin
“Our thoughts are shackled by the familiar. The brain is a neural tangle of near infinite possibility, which means that it spends a lot of time and energy choosing what not to notice. As a result, creativity is traded away for efficiency; we think in literal prose, not symbolist poetry. A bit of distance, however, helps loosen the chains of cognition, making it easier to see something new in the...
“Intersectionality is not optional. It is not something you can take off and put back on again at will, when you feel like it. An intersectional lens should inform any critical evaluation of a subject, because these connections are key to understanding the web of oppression that weighs down on us all. These interconnections, too, are very weblike in their nature, because when you tweak one...
“A blank sheet of paper is God’s way of saying it’s not so easy to be God.” — Absent Things as if They Are Present
SHABAZZ, THE FELT, THE SEED
I’ve recently found myself reinvesting in my engagement with Shabazz Palaces, a Seattle-based experimental and afrofuturist hip-hop collective led by Ishmael Butler of Digable Planets. My re-interest was sparked by their recently released music video for the song “Are You…Can You…Were You? (Felt),” which explores the ways in which our responses to feelings—physical, emotional and intellectual—are...
“Who said time heals all wounds? It would be better to say that time heals everything except wounds. With time, the hurt of separation loses its real limits. With time, the desired body will soon disappear. And if the desiring body has already ceased to exist for the other then what remains is a wound; disembodied.” —Chris Marker, Sans Soleil, 1983
”Insurgent movements are not the product of ‘hard times’; they are the product of insurgent cultures…. Effective insurgent cultures offer people hope. And from this starting point, political movements are possible—especially if times are hard.” —Lawrence Goodwyn
“Under your skin the moon is alive.” —Pablo Neruda, Ode to a Naked Beauty
“If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, that’s not progress. If you pull it all the way out, that’s not progress. The progress comes from healing the wound that the blow made. They haven’t even begun to pull the knife out. They won’t even admit the knife is there.” —Malcolm X
“We tell ourselves stories in order to live. The princess is caged in the consulate. The man with candy will lead children into the sea. The naked woman on the ledge outside the window on the sixteenth floor is a victim of accidie, or the naked woman is an exhibitionist, and it would be “interesting” to know which. We tell ourselves it makes some difference whether the naked woman is about to...
STOKELY CARMICHAEL, BLACK POWER ADDRESS AT UC...
“Thank you very much. It’s a privilege and an honor to be in the white intellectual ghetto of the West. We wanted to do a couple of things before we started. The first is that, based on the fact that SNCC, through the articulation of its program by its chairman, has been able to win elections in Georgia, Alabama, Maryland, and by our appearance here will win an election in California, in...
“My quietness has a man in it, he is transparent and he carries me quietly, like a gondola, through the streets. He has several likenesses, like stars and years, like numerals. My quietness has a number of naked selves, so many pistols I have borrowed to protect myselves from creatures who too readily recognize my weapons and have murder in their heart! though in winter they are warm as roses,...
M.I.A. SHOULDN’T HAVE APOLOGIZED →
“The outrage is tiresome and deeply hypocritical, in all the tiresome ways you’ve been tired out by before. M.I.A. was illustrating her line, acting out the attitude of the words: performing. Fine, it may not be legal to flip the bird on television, but that’s simply a remnant of the fifties we haven’t shaken. Unless somebody was handing out Xanax with the foam fingers, Lucas Oil Stadium...
“We all have our little solipsistic delusions, ghastly intuitions of utter singularity: that we are the only one in the house who ever fills the ice-cube tray, who unloads the clean dishwasher, who occasionally pees in the shower, whose eyelid twitches on first dates; that only we take casualness terribly seriously; that only we fashion supplication into courtesy; that only we hear the whiny...
“So therefore, I dedicate myself to myself, to my art, my sleep, my dreams, my labors, my suffrances, my loneliness, my unique madness, my endless absorption and hunger- because I cannot dedicate myself to any human being.” —Jack Kerouac