Thursday, August 27, 2009

Before the Man-Moth there was... the Time-Moth

Before the Man-Moth there was... the Time-Moth:

I have killed the moth flying around my night-light; wingless and dead

it lies upon the floor.

(O who will kill the great Time-Moth that eats holes in my soul

and that burrows in and through my secretest veils!)

My will against its will, and no more will it fly at my night-light

or be hidden behind the curtains that swing in the winds.

(But O who will shatter the Change-Moth that leaves me in rags —

tattered old tapestries that swing in the winds that blow out of Chaos!)

Night-Moth, Change-Moth, Time-Moth, eaters of dreams and of me!

-- Benjamin De Casseres, aphorist, diarist, egotist, via Joshua Cohen, who presents this De Casseres Chrestomathy:

A practical man should have knuckles in his eyes; a poet should have them in his images.

To almost any American “thinker”: the feet of your thoughts are always asleep.

All summits are cemeteries.

Art can only influence artists.

If you have no ideas, beware of your tenses and your grammar.

An emotion has more reality than a nail.

Hope is the promise of a crucifixion.

Whatever we do is a remedy.

Beauty is distance.

Only the ugly are modest.

Identity is partisanship.

The difference between Science and Theology is that Science is evolving ignorance and Theology is static ignorance.

We used to say, “It is raining.” Now (1930) it would be more appropriate to say: “The bladders of the atoms have opened and torrents of electronic urine lave the asphalt.”

Symbol. — I live behind a statue of myself.

Esoteric.— If you swallow your jewels you will have to recover them in your excrement.

Things that intoxicate me. — Gardens; the sea; mountain solitudes; great poetry and great prose; abstract ideas; profound sleeps; twilight; music; God, the sense of Wonder and Mystery; Satan; amorous sports; Bio’s love; the peace of death; wine; fastflying automobiles when I am in one; the voice of little children; the word Shelley; the word Baudelaire; the words Victor Hugo; imaged coitions with ideal women of an impossible beauty; well-buttered lima-beans; spaghetti; the flash of a metaphor through my brain; praise from superior minds; the stars; checks, checks, checks.

Keep the masses happy. Unhappiness should be the privilege of the few.

To have written a book that no one has ever read is like having a face that no one has ever looked at.

Pleasure has no eyes.

All life aspires to mirrors.

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