I was naturally a loner, content just to live with a woman, eat with her, sleep with her, walk down the street with her. I didn't want conversation, or to go anywhere except the racetrack or the boxing matches. I didn't understand t.v. I felt foolish paying money to go into a movie theatre and sit with other people to share their emotions. Parties sickened me. I hated the game-playing, the dirty play, the flirting, the amateur drunks, the bores.
naturally quotesloner quotescontent quoteslive quoteswoman quoteseat quotessleep quoteswalk quotesstreet quotesconversation quotesracetrack quotesboxing quotesmatches quotesunderstand quotestv quotesfelt quotesfoolish quotespaying quotesmoney quotesmovie quotestheatre quotessit quotespeople quotesshare quotesemotions quotesparties quotessickened quoteshated quotesgameplaying quotesdirty quotesplay quotesflirting quotesamateur quotesdrunks quotesbores quotes
There are no good wars or bad wars. The only thing bad about a war is to lose it. All wars have been fought for a so-called good Cause on both sides. But only the victor's Cause becomes history's Noble Cause. It's not a matter of who is right or who is wrong, it's a matter of who has the best generals and the better army!
There may not be a hell, but those who judge may create one. I think people are over-taught. They are over-taught everything. You have to find out by what happens to you, how you will react. I'll have to use a strange term here... "good." I don't know where it comes from, but I feel that there's an ultimate strain of goodness born in each of us. I don't believe in God, but I believe in this "goodness" like a tube running through our bodies. It can be nurtured. It's always magic, when on a freeway packed with traffic, a stranger makes room for you to change lanes... it gives you hope.
hell quotesjudge quotescreate quotespeople quotesovertaught quotesovertaught quotesfind quotesreact quotesstrange quotesterm quotesgood quotesfeel quotesultimate quotesstrain quotesgoodness quotesborn quotesgod quotesgoodness quotestube quotesrunning quotesbodies quotesnurtured quotesmagic quotesfreeway quotespacked quotestraffic quotesstranger quotesmakes quotesroom quoteschange quoteslanes quoteshope quotes
Thanksgiving. It proved you had survived another year with its wars, inflation, unemployment, smog, presidents. It was a grand neurotic gathering of clans: loud drunks, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, screaming children, would-be suicides. And don't forget indigestion. I wasn't different from anyone else: There sat the 18-pound bird on my sink, dead, plucked, totally disemboweled. Iris would roast it for me.
thanksgiving quotesproved quotessurvived quotesyear quoteswars quotesinflation quotesunemployment quotessmog quotespresidents quotesgrand quotesneurotic quotesgathering quotesclans quotesloud quotesdrunks quotesgrandmothers quotessisters quotesaunts quotesscreaming quoteschildren quoteswouldbe quotessuicides quotesforget quotesindigestion quotessat quotes18pound quotesbird quotessink quotesdead quotesplucked quotestotally quotesdisemboweled quotesiris quotesroast quotes
That moment - to this ... may be years in the way they measure, but it's only one sentence back in my mind - there are so many days when living stops and pulls up and sits and waits like a train on the rails. I pass the hotel at 8 and at 5; there are cats in the alleys and bottles and bums, and I look up at the window and think, I no longer know where you are, and I walk on and wonder where the living goes when it stops.
moment quotesyears quotesmeasure quotessentence quotesback quotesmind quotesdays quotesliving quotesstops quotespulls quotessits quoteswaits quotestrain quotesrails quotespass quoteshotel quotes8 quotes5 quotescats quotesalleys quotesbottles quotesbums quoteswindow quoteslonger quoteswalk quotesstops quotes
The Laughing Heart your life is your life don't let it be clubbed into dank submission. be on the watch. there are ways out. there is a light somewhere. it may not be much light but it beats the darkness. be on the watch. the gods will offer you chances. know them. take them. you can't beat death but you can beat death in life, sometimes. and the more often you learn to do it, the more light there will be. your life is your life. know it while you have it. you are marvelous the gods wait to delight in you.
morning night and noon the traffic moves through and the murder and treachery of friends and lovers and all the people move through you. pain is the joy of knowing the unkindest truth that arrives without warning. life is being alone death is being alone. even the fools weep morning night and noon.
unless it comes out of your soul like a rocket, unless being still would drive you to madness or suicide or murder, don't do it. unless the sun inside you is burning your gut, don't do it. when it is truly time, and if you have been chosen, it will do it by itself and it will keep on doing it until you die or it dies in you. there is no other way. and there never was.
I lapsed into my pathetic cut-off period. Often with humans, both good and bad, my senses simply shut off, they get tired, I give up. I am polite. I nod. I pretend to understand because I don't want anybody to be hurt. That is the one weakness that has lead me into the most trouble. Trying to be kind to others I often get my soul shredded into a kind of spiritual pasta. No matter. My brain shuts off. I listen. I respond. And they are too dumb to know that I am not there.
lapsed quotespathetic quotescutoff quotesperiod quoteshumans quotesgood quotesbad quotessenses quotessimply quotesshut quotestired quotesgive quotespolite quotesnod quotespretend quotesunderstand quoteshurt quotesweakness quoteslead quotestrouble quoteskind quotessoul quotesshredded quotesspiritual quotespasta quotesmatter quotesbrain quotesshuts quoteslisten quotesrespond quotesdumb quotes
I remembered my New Orleans days, living on two five-cent candy bars a day for weeks at a time in order to have leisure to write. But starvation, unfortunately, didn't improve art. It only hindered it. A man's soul was rooted in his stomach. A man could write much better after eating a porterhouse steak and drinking a pint of whiskey than he could ever write after eating a nickel candy bar. The myth of the starving artist was a hoax.
remembered quotesorleans quotesdays quotesliving quotesfivecent quotescandy quotesbars quotesday quotesweeks quotestime quotesorder quotesleisure quoteswrite quotesstarvation quotesimprove quotesart quoteshindered quotesmans quotessoul quotesrooted quotesstomach quotesman quoteswrite quoteseating quotesporterhouse quotessteak quotesdrinking quotespint quoteswhiskey quotesnickel quotesbar quotesmyth quotesstarving quotesartist quoteshoax quotes
I sit here drunk now. I am a series of small victories and large defeats and I am as amazed as any other that I have gotten from there to here without committing murder or being murdered; without having ended up in the madhouse. as I drink alone again tonight my soul despite all the past agony thanks all the gods who were not there for me then.
They have no idea that it can be done by a bus driver, a field hand, or a fry cook. They have no idea where it comes from. It comes from pain, damnation and impossibility. The blow to the soul of the gut. It comes from getting burned and seared and slugged. It comes from...new and awful places and the same old places.
alone with everybody the flesh covers the bone and they put a mind in there and sometimes a soul, and the women break vases against the walls and them men drink too much and nobody finds the one but they keep looking crawling in and out of beds. flesh covers the bone and the flesh searches for more than flesh. there's no chance at all: we are all trapped by a singular fate. nobody ever finds the one. the city dumps fill the junkyards fill the madhouses fill the hospitals fill the graveyards fill nothing else fills.
flesh quotescovers quotesbone quotesput quotesmind quotessoul quoteswomen quotesbreak quotesvases quoteswalls quotesmen quotesdrink quotesfinds quotescrawling quotesbeds quotessearches quotesflesh quoteschance quotestrapped quotessingular quotesfate quotescity quotesdumps quotesfill quotesjunkyards quotesmadhouses quoteshospitals quotesgraveyards quotesfills quotes
A yet women -good women- frightened me because they eventually wanted your soul, and what was left of mine, I wanted to keep. Basically I craved prostitutes, base women, because they were deadly and hard and made no personal demands. Nothing was lost when they left. Yet at the same time I yearned for a gentle, good woman, despite the overwhelming price.
women quotesgood quoteswomen quotesfrightened quoteseventually quoteswanted quotessoul quotesleft quotesmine quotesbasically quotescraved quotesprostitutes quotesbase quoteswomen quotesdeadly quoteshard quotesmade quotespersonal quotesdemands quoteslost quotesleft quotestime quotesyearned quotesgentle quotesgood quoteswoman quotesoverwhelming quotesprice quotes
Somebody at one of these places asked me: "What do you do? How do you write, create?" You don't, I told them. You "don't try". That's very important: not to try, either for Cadillacs, creation or immortality. You wait, and if nothing happens, you wait some more. It's like a bug high on the wall. You wait for it to come to you. When it gets close enough you reach out, slap out and kill it. Or if you like it's looks, you make a pet out of it.
For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can't readily accept the God formula, the big answers don't remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.
god quotesbig quotesquestions quotesanswered quotesreadily quotesaccept quotesgod quotesformula quotesanswers quotesremain quotesstonewritten quotesadjust quotesconditions quotesdiscoveries quotespliable quoteslove quotescommand quotesfaith quotesdictum quotesgod quotesunlearn quotesteachings quoteschurch quotesstate quoteseducational quotessystem quotesdrink quotesbeer quoteskill quoteswar quoteslaugh quotesodds quoteslive quoteslives quotesdeath quotestremble quotes
Beasts bounding through time. Van Gogh writing his brother for paints Hemingway testing his shotgun Celine going broke as a doctor of medicine the impossibility of being human Villon expelled from Paris for being a thief Faulkner drunk in the gutters of his town the impossibility of being human Burroughs killing his wife with a gun Mailer stabbing his the impossibility of being human Maupassant going mad in a rowboat Dostoevsky lined up against a wall to be shot Crane off the back of a boat into the propeller the impossibility Sylvia with her head in the oven like a baked potato Harry Crosby leaping into that Black Sun Lorca murdered in the road by the Spanish troops the impossibility Artaud sitting on a madhouse bench Chatterton drinking rat poison Shakespeare a plagiarist Beethoven with a horn stuck into his head against deafness the impossibility the impossibility Nietzsche gone totally mad the impossibility of being human all too human this breathing in and out out and in these punks these cowards these champions these mad dogs of glory moving this little bit of light toward us impossibly
beasts quotesbounding quotestime quotesvan quotesgogh quoteswriting quotesbrother quotespaints quoteshemingway quotestesting quotesshotgun quotesceline quotesbroke quotesdoctor quotesmedicine quotesimpossibility quoteshuman quotesvillon quotesexpelled quotesparis quotesthief quotesfaulkner quotesdrunk quotesgutters quotestown quotesburroughs quoteskilling quoteswife quotesgun quotesmailer quotesstabbing quotesmaupassant quotesmad quotesrowboat quotesdostoevsky quoteslined quoteswall quotesshot quotescrane quotesback quotesboat quotespropeller quotessylvia quoteshead quotesoven quotesbaked quotespotato quotesharry quotescrosby quotesleaping quotesblack quotessun quoteslorca quotesmurdered quotesroad quotesspanish quotestroops quotesartaud quotessitting quotesmadhouse quotesbench quoteschatterton quotesdrinking quotesrat quotespoison quotesshakespeare quotesplagiarist quotesbeethoven quoteshorn quotesstuck quotesdeafness quotesnietzsche quotestotally quotesbreathing quotespunks quotescowards quoteschampions quotesdogs quotesglory quotesmoving quotesbit quoteslight quotesimpossibly quotes
Style is the answer to everything. A fresh way to approach a dull or dangerous thing To do a dull thing with style is preferable to doing a dangerous thing without it To do a dangerous thing with style is what I call art Bullfighting can be an art Boxing can be an art Loving can be an art Opening a can of sardines can be an art Not many have style Not many can keep style I have seen dogs with more style than men, although not many dogs have style. Cats have it with abundance. When Hemingway put his brains to the wall with a shotgun, that was style. Or sometimes people give you style Joan of Arc had style John the Baptist Jesus Socrates Caesar Garcea Lorca. I have met men in jail with style. I have met more men in jail with style than men out of jail. Style is the difference, a way of doing, a way of being done. Six herons standing quietly in a pool of water, or you, naked, walking out of the bathroom without seeing me.
style quotesanswer quotesfresh quotesapproach quotesdull quotesdangerous quotesthing quotesstyle quotespreferable quotescall quotesart quotesbullfighting quotesboxing quotesloving quotesopening quotessardines quotesdogs quotesmen quotesstyle quotescats quotesabundance quoteshemingway quotesput quotesbrains quoteswall quotesshotgun quotespeople quotesgive quotesjoan quotesarc quotesjohn quotesbaptist quotesjesus quotessocrates quotescaesar quotesgarcea quoteslorca quotesmet quotesmen quotesjail quotesjail quotesdifference quotesherons quotesstanding quotesquietly quotespool quoteswater quotesnaked quoteswalking quotesbathroom quotes
After dinner or lunch or whatever it was - with my crazy 12-hour night I was no longer sure what was what - I said, "Look, baby, I'm sorry, but don't you realize that this job is driving me crazy? Look, let's give it up. Let's just lay around and make love and take walks and talk a little. Let's go to the zoo. Let's look at animals. Let's drive down and look at the ocean. It's only 45 minutes. Let's play games in the arcades. Let's go to the races, the Art Museum, the boxing matches. Let's have friends. Let's laugh. This kind of life like everybody else's kind of life: it's killing us.
dinner quoteslunch quotescrazy quotes12hour quotesnight quoteslonger quotesbaby quotesrealize quotesjob quotesdriving quotescrazy quotesgive quoteslay quotesmake quoteslove quoteswalks quotestalk quoteszoo quotesanimals quotesdrive quotesocean quotes45 quotesminutes quotesplay quotesgames quotesarcades quotesraces quotesart quotesmuseum quotesboxing quotesmatches quotesfriends quoteslaugh quoteskind quoteslife quoteselses quoteslife quoteskilling quotes
Yes?' he asked, looking at me over the sheet. 'I'm a writer temporarily down on my inspirations.' 'Oh, a writer, eh?' 'Yes.' 'Are you sure?' 'No, I'm not.' 'What do you write?' 'Short stories mostly. And I'm halfway through a novel.' 'A novel, eh?' 'Yes.' 'What's the name of it?' ''The Leaky Faucet of My Doom.'' 'Oh, I like that. What's it about?' 'Everything.' 'Everything? You mean, for instance, it's about cancer?' 'Yes.' 'How about my wife?' 'She's in there too.
yes quotesasked quotessheet quotesim quoteswriter quotestemporarily quotesinspirations quotesoh quoteswriter quoteseh quotesyes quotesare quotessure quotesno quotesnot quoteswhat quoteswrite quotesshort quotesstories quoteshalfway quotesnovel quotesa quoteswhats quotesit quotesthe quotesleaky quotesfaucet quotesdoom quotesabout quoteseverything quoteseverything quotesinstance quotescancer quoteshow quoteswife quotesshes quotes
Censorship is the tool of those who have the need to hide actualities from themselves and from others. Their fear is only their inability to face what is real, and I can't vent any anger against them. I only feel this appalling sadness. Somewhere, in their upbringing, they were shielded against the total facts of our existence. They were only taught to look one way when many ways exist.
sleeping in the rain helps me forget things like I am going to die and you are going to die and the cats are going to die but it's still good to stretch out and know you have arms and feet and a head, hands, all the parts, even eyes to close once more, it really helps to know these things, to know your advantages and your limitations, but why do the cats have to die, I think that the world should be full of cats and full of rain, that's all, just cats and rain, rain and cats, very nice, good night.
sleeping quotesrain quoteshelps quotesforget quotesthings quotesdie quotescats quotesgood quotesstretch quotesarms quotesfeet quoteshead quoteshands quotesparts quoteseyes quotesclose quotesthings quotesadvantages quoteslimitations quotesdie quotesworld quotesfull quotesrain quotescats quotesnice quotesnight quotes
when Whitman wrote, 'I sing the body electric' I know what he meant I know what he wanted: to be completely alive every moment in spite of the inevitable. we can't cheat death but we can make it work so hard that when it does take us it will have known a victory just as perfect as ours
The place trembled with sound. I didn't need to do anything. They would do it all. But you had to be careful. Drunk as they were they could immediately detect any false gesture, any false word. You could never underestimate an audience. They had paid to get in; they had paid for drinks; they intended to get something and if you didn't give it to them they'd run you right into the ocean.