“For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then?”—George Orwell, 1984
You make me think of fireflies and precisely five tiny beads of sweat on her Coppertoned neck, which was mine one weekend long ago. You make me taste buttered popcorn and Junior Mints and feel the scuffed movie theater seat on my bare calves, and you inspire visions of barbecued hamburgers and pudgy strawberries, purple soap and faded blue sheets.
- Pour l’honneur, laisse-moi rire, l’honneur c’est une idée d’aristocrate, tout le monde n’a pas les moyens d’avoir de l’honneur. L’ouvrier, le paysan, le boutiquier qui patauge dans la boue, reçoit des bombes sur la tête et des balles dans le corps, il s’en fout de l’honneur. Ce qu’il veut, c’est ne pas crever comme un chien et que cela s’arrête n’importe comment, mais que ca s’arrête à n’importe quel prix. Cette guerre, il ne l’a pas voulue, il ne la comprend pas.
- Il n’a pas voulu la guerre, c’est vrai, mais ce n’est pas vrai qu’il veut qu’elle se termine à n’importe quel prix.
“In many ways the easy course for a president … is to adopt a truculent, publicly bold, almost insulting attitude,” he said, speaking directly to the interventionist wing of his own party. “That would be the easy way, for this reason: Those actions lead toward war,” he warned; and when America goes to war, “there occurs automatically a unification of our people. … [T]he nation closes ranks behind the leader. The job to do becomes simply understood—it is to win the war. There is a real fervor developed throughout the nation that you can feel everywhere you go. There is practically an exhilaration about the affair.”—Dwight Eisenhower
We live in a modern society. Husbands and wives don’t
grow on trees, like in the old days. So where
does one find love? When you’re sixteen it’s easy,
like being unleashed with a credit card
in a department store of kisses. There’s the first kiss.
The sloppy kiss. The peck.
The sympathy kiss. The backseat smooch. The we
shouldn’t be doing this kiss. The but your lips
taste so good kiss. The bury me in an avalanche of tingles kiss.
The I wish you’d quit smoking kiss.
The I accept your apology, but you make me really mad
sometimes kiss. The I know
your tongue like the back of my hand kiss. As you get
older, kisses become scarce. You’ll be driving
home and see a damaged kiss on the side of the road,
with its purple thumb out. If you
were younger, you’d pull over, slide open the mouth’s
red door just to see how it fits. Oh where
does one find love? If you rub two glances, you get a smile.
Rub two smiles, you get a warm feeling.
Rub two warm feelings and presto-you have a kiss.
Now what? Don’t invite the kiss over
and answer the door in your underwear. It’ll get suspicious
and stare at your toes. Don’t water the kiss with whiskey.
It’ll turn bright pink and explode into a thousand luscious splinters,
but in the morning it’ll be ashamed and sneak out of
your body without saying good-bye,
and you’ll remember that kiss forever by all the little cuts it left
on the inside of your mouth. You must
nurture the kiss. Turn out the lights. Notice how it
illuminates the room. Hold it to your chest
and wonder if the sand inside hourglasses comes from a
special beach. Place it on the tongue’s pillow,
then look up the first recorded kiss in an encyclopedia: beneath
a Babylonian olive tree in 1200 B.C.
But one kiss levitates above all the others. The
intersection of function and desire. The I do kiss.
The I’ll love you through a brick wall kiss.
Even when I’m dead, I’ll swim through the Earth,
like a mermaid of the soil, just to be next to your bones.”—Jeffrey McDaniel