Musings of a Common Reader

February 4, 2013

Quotecard: “The Citizens of the Streets”

Walkers are “practitioners of the city,” for the city is made to be walked. A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities. Just as language limits what can be said, architecture limits where one can walk, but the walker invents other ways to go.—Rebecca Solnit,
February 5, 2013

February Poem Series | Charles Simic’s Love Poem

Feather duster. Birdcage made of whispers. Tail of a black cat. I’m a child running With open scissors. My eyes are bandaged. You are a heart pounding In a dark forest. The shriek from the Ferris wheel. That’s it, bruja With arms akimbo Stamping your foot. Night at the fair. Woodwind band. Two blind pickpockets in the crowd.
February 13, 2013

February Poem Series | Billy Collins’ Love

The boy at at the far end of the train car kept looking behind him as if he were afraid or expecting someone and then she appeared in the glass door of the forward car and he rose and opened the door and let her in
February 14, 2013

Resil Mojares’ “Heart and Liver”

How did it come to pass that we should love with our hearts instead of the liver? The pre-Spanish Filipino, like many of his contemporaries in Southeast Asia, believed that the liver (atay) is the seat of love. More: it is the bodily center of a person’s being, the source of power, courage, and strength. It is named in Philippine languages—atay, atey, hatay, ati—and has spawned numerous derivations that signify what is treasured, affective and elemental.