"Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires."
Fernanda Barriga attempted to enter the bedroom.
This poor orphan liked women so much,” she said, “he can’t die without one at his beside, even if she’s as OLD and Ugly and useless as I am.”
They would not permit it. And so she sat outside the window, trying to sanctify the pagan ravings of the dying man with her prayers. And there she stayed, living on public charity, submerged in eternal mourning, until the age of a hundred and one.
p263 general in his labyrinth
There must be something we can do he said even if it’s taking a good bath in purple verbena. And not just us the whole liberating army.
"In the euphoria of victory he had taught them to speak to him this way, with the truth in their mouths. But now truth had changed masters."
The bookcases in the various houses he lived in were always crammed full and the bedrooms and hallways were turned into narrow passes between steep cliffs of books and mountains of errant documents that proliferates as he passed and pursued him without mercy in their quest for archival peace.
On the broad beaches the alligators lay motionless for hours on end, their jaws open to catch butterflies.
-the general in his labyrinth p92
Accustomed to his gallant repentances colonel Wilson yielded to him one more time. He continued to ride at a slow page with the feverish hand of the most glorious invalid in the Americas clothing like a hunting falcon at his forearm.
Epiphenomon by Karen Skolfield
I spend a long time considering pillowcases.
Which pillowcase does my head want for rest?
A lace edge so that the cheek does not grow bored?
All night the face turns on its pillow, bridging the day gone with its divination of tomorrow. The brain sleeps but the body twitches and kicks, lashes out, steals the sheets, twists the blankets into thick, furred knots. Thomas Huxley believed
the mind’s shrill whistle contributed nothing
to the locomotive body; Plato, that the mind
knows great truths while the body lives in shadows.
What I know is how sleep releases the body
from me telling it where to put its feet, its fingers,
how the tongue should roll its Rs, when the teeth
may bite or gnash.
I give it my consideration of pillowcases, of lotions and textures it may like, or farther afield—an actual field—clover against the skin. The sound of insects rising as the sun sets, the head leaned back into a cradle of hands, how the head adores the hands though they are separated by so much and the jealousy of arms.
Body, I will lay you down beside
another body you have grown to love.
I will bid you still in the moments before sleep
and then I will hand you the keys to the house
and let you spend the night plying all the locks.
In the morning I will wash you with care
and lead you around and treat you kindly
and if there is sobbing it is not my sobbing
and we will both pretend not to hear it.
“I know very little about philosophy, but I delved into it when I began writing this poem and considering our sleeping selves—how in sleep we roll over, we dream; sometimes we speak out loud, all without conscious thought. In philosophy, epiphenomenon refers to a mental world that runs parallel to the physical world; various philosophers have argued which world has control and whether free will exists. It was my pleasure to dip into these philosophers’ collective musings, and it was a chance to speak to the body, my body, lovingly, to console.”