“In the four hundred years since the last devouring soul appeared; the last man to know the meaning of ecstasy, there has been a constant and steady decline of man in art, in thought, in action. The world is pooped out: there isn’t a dry fart left.”
– Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer
“Personally, I’d rather burn than rot. I’d rather have gone in the direction of commitment, hoping it doesn’t lead to disaster and trying to avert it, than feeling predisposed to the cynicism that allows for inaction. And allows you to stay on the sidelines and jeer the others.” —Frederic Tuten, BOMB 25/Fall 1988.
“You can never guard yourself against absolute stupidity. People are so desperate for certainties that they would rather art were not art. They would rather it were history or autobiography because art’s really scary. If you’re saying this comes from nowhere, then they have to contemplate that.”
—Jeanette Winterson, BOMB 43, Spring 1993
It’s not the darkness that suffocates.
My own hands, alien and strange
Grip my neck,
Until my spirit lies still and weak.
As life swirls around me;
A beautiful blur of racing colors.
“America is such a strange culture. It has all this wildness in it. And yet the heart is so dead.” — James Purdy, BOMB 5/Spring 1983
Have you ever seen a fish
Shoot out of the water
Like a slimy torpedo?
All awkward acrobatics
And synchronized belly-flops;
A frenzied, abnormal dance.
Falling back to the water
With a crash, I wonder if
It gets an awful headache.
I laugh each time I see
A lolloping mullet dance
Clumsily down the river.