There’s nothing wrong with the world. What’s wrong is our way of looking at it.

Henry Miller, Big Sur, and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch

. . . that’s the main business of the poem! — to see if you can’t make up a language that sets all your selves talking at once — all of them being fair to each other.

Richard Wilbur

Good lovers have known for centuries that the hand is probably the primary sex organ.

Eleanor Hamilton

To fall in love is to create a religion that has a fallible God.


The bed must always be a beautiful place, not only because you make love there but because you dream there as well.

Anaïs Nin

Man’s curiosity searches past and future
And clings to that dimension. But to apprehend
The point of intersection of the timeless
With time, is an occupation for the saint —
No occupation either, but something given
And taken, in a lifetime’s death in love,
Ardour and selflessness and self-surrender.

T.S. Eliot

Actually, however, there is no cause to recoil from the “historian” tag. Hardly a pure science, history is closer to animal husbandry than it is to mathematics in that it involves selective breeding. The principal difference between the husbandryman and the historian is that the former breeds sheep or cows or such and the latter breeds (assumed) facts. The husbandryman uses his skills to enrich the future, the historian uses his to enrich the past. Both are usually up to their ankles in bullshit.

Tom Robbins, Another Roadside Attraction

The process of artistic creation is always the same — from inwardness to lucidity.

Arthur Schnabel

Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years.

Richard Bach, Illusions

There are many objects of desire, and therefore many desires. Some are born with us, hunger, yearning, and pride of place, and some are of the foolishness of the world, such as the desire to eat off silver plates. Desire is a wild horse to be tamed. Virtue is habit long continued. The taming of desire is like the training of the athlete. Discipline is not the restraint but the use of energy. . . . When I forbid myself what I may have, no man is going to tempt me with what is truly forbidden.

Guy Davenport

It is like coming across a light in thick darkness; it is like receiving treasure in poverty. The four elements and the five aggregates are no more felt as burdens; so light, so easy, so free are you. Your very existence has been delivered from all limitations; you have become open, light and transparent.


We could not live with your women — our customs are quite different from theirs. To draw the bow, to hurl the javelin, to bestride the horse, these are our arts — of womanly employments we know nothing. Your women . . . stay at home in their wagons, engaged in womanish tasks, and never go out to hunt, or to do anything.

Amazons to Scythians, quoted by Herodotus

There are no true beginnings but in pain. When you understand that and can withstand pain, then you’re almost ready to start.

Leslie Woolf Hedley

If you don’t chew your food, who will?

Sign on the wall of Royal American Restaurant, Oakland, California

Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only for food. Frequently, there must be a beverage.

Woody Allen