Cities At Night Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Cities At Night. Here they are! All 200 of them:

No! Please! I'll tell you whatever you want to know!" the man yelled. "Really?" said Vimes. "What's the orbital velocity of the moon?" "What?" "Oh, you'd like something simpler?
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
And one by one the nights between our separated cities are joined to the night that unites us.
Pablo Neruda
I was thinking about the first time I ever saw you," he said, "and how after that I couldn't forget you. I wanted to, but I couldn't stop myself. I forced Hodge to let me be the one who came to find you and bring you back to the Institue. And even back then, in that stupid coffee shop, when I saw you sitting on that couch with Simon, even then that felt wrong to me-- I should have been the one sitting with you. The one who made you laugh like that. I couldn't get rid of that feeling. That it should have been me. And the more I knew you, the more I felt it--it had never been like that for me before. I'd always wanted a girl and then gotten to know her and not wanted her anymore, but with you the feeling just got stronger and stronger until that night when you showed up at Renwick's and I knew.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
We who think we are about to die will laugh at anything.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
Jace perched on the windowsill and looked down at him. "You really don't get this bodyguard thing, do you?" "I didn't even think you liked me all that much," said Simon. "Is this one of those keep-your-friends-close-and-your-enemies-closer things?" "I thought it was keep your friends close so you have someone to drive the car when you sneak over to your enemy's house a night and throw up in his mailbox." "I'm pretty sure that's not it
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
Is this Clarissa Fray?" The voice on the other end of the phone sounded familiar, though not immediately identifiable. Clary twirled the phone cord nervously around her finger. "Yeees?" "Hi, I'm one of the knife-carrying hooligans you met last night in Pandemonium? I"m afraid I made a bad impression and was hoping you'd give me a chance to make it up to-" "SIMON!" Clary held the phone away from her ear as he cracked up laughing. "That is so not funny!" "Sure it is. You just don't see the humor." "Jerk." Clary sighed, leaning up against the wall.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Simon looked from one of them to the other, and shook his head. “ When did you two get so buddy-buddy? Last night it was all, ‘I’m the most elite warrior!’ ‘ No, I’m the most elite warrior!’ And today you’re playing Halo and giving each other props for good ideas.
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
But here's some advice, boy. Don't put your trust in revolutions. They always come around again. That's why they're called revolutions.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (Nature and Selected Essays)
Black for hunting through the night For death and mourning the color's white Gold for a bride in her wedding gown And red to call the enchantment down White silk when our bodies burn Blue banners when the lost return Flame for the birth of a Nephilim And to wash away our sins. Gray for the knowledge best untold Bone for those who don't grow old Saffron lights the victory march Green to mend our broken hearts Silver for the demon towers And bronze to summon wicked powers -Shadowhunter children's rhyme
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
Well, I'd certainly hate to interrupt your pleasant night stroll with my sudden death." He blinked. "There is a fine line between sarcasm and outright hostility, and you seem to have crossed it. What's up?
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
You have something on your neck. What Looks like a bite mark, what were you doing out all night, anyway? Nothing. I went walking in the park. Tried to clear my head. And ran into a vampire What? No! I fell. On your neck?
Cassandra Clare
I have been one acquainted with the night. I have walked out in rain - and back in rain. I have outwalked the furthest city light. I have looked down the saddest city lane. I have passed by the watchman on his beat And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.
Robert Frost
I get it,' said the prisoner. 'Good Cop, Bad Cop, eh?' If you like.' said Vimes. 'But we're a bit short staffed here, so if I give you a cigarette would you mind kicking yourself in the teeth?
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
The moon will guide you through the night with her brightness, but she will always dwell in the darkness, in order to be seen.
Shannon L. Alder
Clary, Despite everything, I can't bear the thought of this ring being lost forever, any more then I can bear the thought of leaving you forever. And though I have no choice about the one, at least I can choose about the other. I'm leaving you our family ring because you have as much right to it as I do. I'm writing this watching the sun come up. You're asleep, dreams moving behind your restless eyelids. I wish I knew what you were thinking. I wish I could slip into your head and see the world the way you do. I wish I could see myself the way you do. But maybe I dont want to see that. Maybe it would make me feel even more than I already do that I'm perpetuating some kind of Great Lie on you, and I couldn't stand that. I belong to you. You could do anything you wanted with me and I would let you. You could ask anything of me and I'd break myself trying to make you happy. My heart tells me this is the best and greatest feeling I have ever had. But my mind knows the difference between wanting what you can't have and wanting what you shouldn't want. And I shouldn't want you. All night I've watched you sleeping, watched the moonlight come and go, casting its shadows across your face in black and white. I've never seen anything more beautiful. I think of the life we could have had if things were different, a life where this night is not a singular event, separate from everything else that's real, but every night. But things aren't different, and I can't look at you without feeling like I've tricked you into loving me. The truth no one is willing to say out loud is that no one has a shot against Valentine but me. I can get close to him like no one else can. I can pretend I want to join him and he'll believe me, up until that last moment where I end it all, one way or another. I have something of Sebastian's; I can track him to where my father's hiding, and that's what I'm going to do. So I lied to you last night. I said I just wanted one night with you. But I want every night with you. And that's why I have to slip out of your window now, like a coward. Because if I had to tell you this to your face, I couldn't make myself go. I don't blame you if you hate me, I wish you would. As long as I can still dream, I will dream of you. _Jace
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
And as I sat there brooding on the old, unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night. Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter—to-morrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning—— So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
Is this one of those keep-your-friends-close-and-your-enemies-closer things?" "I though it was keep your friends close so you have someone to drive the car when you sneak over to your enemy's house at night and throw up in his mailbox.
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
Did you ever want to set someone's head on fire, just to see what it looked like? Did you ever stand in the street and think to yourself, I could make that nun go blind just by giving her a kiss? Did you ever lay out plans for stitching babies and stray cats into a Perfect New Human? Did you ever stand naked surrounded by people who want your gleaming sperm, squirting frankincense, soma and testosterone from every pore? If so, then you're the bastard who stole my drugs Friday night. And I'll find you. Oh, yes.
Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, Vol. 5: Lonely City)
Are you a lucky little lady in the City of Light? Or just another lost angel... City of Night?
Jim Morrison
An unfamiliar city is a fine thing. That's the time and place when you can suppose that all the people you meet are nice. It's dream time.
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Journey to the End of the Night)
Night poured over the desert. It came suddenly, in purple. In the clear air, the stars drilled down out of the sky, reminding any thoughtful watcher that it is in the deserts and high places that religions are generated. When men see nothing but bottomless infinity over their heads they have always had a driving and desperate urge to find someone to put in the way.
Terry Pratchett (Jingo (Discworld, #21; City Watch, #4))
He’s not feeling well,” Clary said, catching at Simon’s wrist. “We’re going.” “No,” Simon said. “No, I — I need to talk to him. To the Inquisitor." Robert reached into his jacket and drew out a crucifix. Clary stared in shock as he held it up between himself and Simon. “I speak to the Night’s Children Council representative, or to the head of the New York clan,” he said. “Not to any vampire who comes to knock at my door —“ Simon reached out and plucked the cross out of Robert’s hand. “Wrong religion,” he said.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
What about little microphones? What if everyone swallowed them, and they played the sounds of our hearts through little speakers, which could be in the pouches of our overalls? When you skateboarded down the street at night you could hear everyone's heartbeat, and they could hear yours, sort of like sonar. One weird thing is, I wonder if everyone's hearts would start to beat at the same time, like how women who live together have their menstrual periods at the same time, which I know about, but don't really want to know about. That would be so weird, except that the place in the hospital where babies are born would sound like a crystal chandelier in a houseboat, because the babies wouldn't have had time to match up their heartbeats yet. And at the finish line at the end of the New York City Marathon it would sound like war.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
What did I tell you about Mister Safety Catch?' said Vimes weakly. When Mister Safety Catch Is Not On, Mister Crossbow Is Not Your Friend,' recited Detritus, saluting.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
So you interrupted my date to make fun of me for still living with my parents. Couldn't you have done that on a night I didn't have a date? That's most nights, in case you're curious.
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
Magnus stood up and went to the window. He pushed the curtain back, letting in just enough light to silhouette his hawklike profile. "Blood," he said, half to himself. "I had a dream two nights ago. I saw a city all of blood, with towers made of bone, and blood ran in the streets like water." Simon slewed his eyes over to Jace. "Is standing by the window muttering about blood something he does all the time?" "No," said Jace, "sometimes he sits on the couch and does it.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
Yet, as only New Yorkers know, if you can get through the twilight, you'll live through the night.
Dorothy Parker
I am not a graceful person. I am not a Sunday morning or a Friday sunset. I am a Tuesday 2 a.m., gunshots muffled by a few city blocks, I am a broken window during February. My bones crack on a nightly basis. I fall from elegance with a dull thud, and I apologize for my awkward sadness. I sometimes believe that I don’t belong around people, that I belong to all the leap days that didn’t happen. The way light and darkness mix under my skin has become a storm. You don’t see the lightning, but you hear the echoes.
Anna Peters
Night falls. Or has fallen. Why is it that night falls, instead of rising, like the dawn? Yet if you look east, at sunset, you can see night rising, not falling; darkness lifting into the sky, up from the horizon, like a black sun behind cloud cover. Like smoke from an unseen fire, a line of fire just below the horizon, brushfire or a burning city. Maybe night falls because it’s heavy, a thick curtain pulled up over the eyes. Wool blanket.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
Well I'd certainly hate to interrupt your pleasant night stroll with my sudden death.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Assassination is an art, milord. And I am the city's most accomplished artist.
Brent Weeks (The Way of Shadows (Night Angel, #1))
Never build a dungeon you wouldn't be happy to spend the night in yourself. The world would be a happier place if more people remembered that.
Terry Pratchett (Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch, #1))
Ninety percent of most magic merely consists of knowing one extra fact.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.
Taylor Caldwell (A Pillar of Iron)
Black for hunting through the night For death and sorrow, the color’s white Gold for a bride in her wedding gown, And red to call enchantment down.
Cassandra Clare
With the whole Mark of Cain thing, does that mean if I accidentally kick you during the night, I get kicked in the shins seven times by an invisible force?
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
This could be the last night of our lives, certainly the last even barely ordinary one. The last night we go to sleep and get up just as we always have. And all I could think of was that I wanted to spend it with you." Her heart skipped a beat. "Jace-" "I don't mean it like that," he said. "I won't touch you, not if you don't want me to. I know it's wrong - God, it's all kinds of wrong - but I just want to lie down with you and wake up with you, just once, just once ever in my life." There was desperation in his voice. "It's just this one night. In the grand scheme of things, how much can this one night matter?" ...There was nothing she had ever wanted in her life more than she wanted this night with Jace. "Close the curtains, then, before you come to bed," she said. "I can't sleep with this much light in the room.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Keep up," said an irritable voice in her ear. It was Jace, who had dropped back to walk beside her. "I don't want to have to keep looking behind me to make sure nothing's happened to you." "So don't bother." "Last time I left you alone, a demon attacked you," he pointed out. "Well, I'd certainly hate to interrupt your pleasant night stroll with my sudden death." He blinked. "There is a fine line between sarcasm and outright hostility, and you seem to have crossed it.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Talent must be a fanatical mistress. She's beautiful; when you're with her, people watch you, they notice. But she bangs on your door at odd hours, and she disappears for long stretches, and she has no patience for the rest of your existence; your wife, your children, your friends. She is the most thrilling evening of your week, but some day she will leave you for good. One night, after she's been gone for years, you will see her on the arm of a younger man, and she will pretend not to recognize you.
David Benioff (City of Thieves)
In the words of the philosopher Sceptum, the founder of my profession: am I going to get paid for this?
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
Clary closed her eyes. Remembering the way Jace had looked at her the night she'd freed Ithuriel, she couldn't help but imagine the way he'd look at her now if he saw her trying to lie down to die on the sand beside him. He wouldn't be touched, wouldn't think it was a beautiful gesture. He'd be angry at her for giving up. He'd be so--disappointed.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Two types of people laugh at the law: those that break it and those that make it.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
There’s so much more to life than finding someone who will want you, or being sad over someone who doesn’t. There’s a lot of wonderful time to be spent discovering yourself without hoping someone will fall in love with you along the way, and it doesn’t need to be painful or empty. You need to fill yourself up with love. Not anyone else. Become a whole being on your own. Go on adventures, fall asleep in the woods with friends, wander around the city at night, sit in a coffee shop on your own, write on bathroom stalls, leave notes in library books, dress up for yourself, give to others, smile a lot. Do all things with love, but don’t romanticize life like you can’t survive without it. Live for yourself and be happy on your own. It isn’t any less beautiful, I promise.
Emery Allen
His hands lay flat on either side of him, his arms at his sides. He seemed barely to be breathing; she wasn't sure she was breathing herself. She slid her own hand across the bedsheet, just far enough that their fingers touched-so lightly that she would have probably hardly been aware of it had she been touching anyone but Jace; as it was, the nerve endings in her fingertips pricked softly, as if she were holding them over a low flame. She felt him tense beside her and then relax. He had shut his eyes, and his lashes cast fine shadows against the curve of his cheekbones. His mouth curled into a smile as if he sensed her watching him, and she wondered how he would look in the morning, with his hair messed and sleep circles under his eyes. Despite everything, the thought gave her a jolt of happiness. She laced her fingers through his. "Good night," she whispered. With their hands clasped like children in a fairy tale, she fell asleep beside him in the dark.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
An Assassin, a real Assassin, had to look like one - black clothes, hood, boots, and all. If they could wear any clothes, any disguise, then what could anyone do but spend all day in a small room with a loaded crossbow pointed at the door?
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
Green-eyed monsters,” said Magnus, and grinned. He deposited Chairman Meow on the ground, and the cat moved over to Alec, and rubbed against his leg. “The Chairman likes you.” “Is that good?” “I never date anyone my cat doesn’t like,” Magnus said easily, and stood up. “So let’s say Friday night?” A great wave of relief came over Alec. “Really? You want to go out with me?” Magnus shook his head. “You have to stop playing hard to get, Alexander. It makes things difficult.” He grinned.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
He wants her in his bedroom. And not in that way — no girl has ever been in his bedroom that way. It is his private space, his sanctuary. But he wants Clary there. He wants her to see him, the reality of him, not the image he shows the world. He wants to lie down on the bed with her and have her curl into him. He wants to hold her as she breathes softly through the night; to see her as no one else sees her: vulnerable and asleep. To see her and to be seen.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Hi, I'm one of the knife-carrying hooligans you met last night in Pandemonium? I'm afraid I made a bad impression and was hoping you'd give me a chance to make it up to-" "SIMON!
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Acquainted with the Night I have been one acquainted with the night. I have walked out in rain—and back in rain. I have outwalked the furthest city light. I have looked down the saddest city lane. I have passed by the watchman on his beat And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain. I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet When far away an interrupted cry Came over houses from another street, But not to call me back or say good-bye; And further still at an unearthly height, One luminary clock against the sky Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right. I have been one acquainted with the night.
Robert Frost (West-Running Brook)
That was always the dream, wasn't it? 'I wish I'd known then what I know now'? But when you got older you found out that you NOW wasn't YOU then. You then was a twerp. You then was what you had to be to start out on the rocky road of becoming you now, and one of the rocky patches on that road was being a twerp.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
I meet you. I remember you. Who are you? You’re destroying me. You’re good for me. How could I know this city was tailor-made for love? How could I know you fit my body like a glove? I like you. How unlikely. I like you. How slow all of a sudden. How sweet. You cannot know. You’re destroying me. You’re good for me. You’re destroying me. You’re good for me. I have time. Please, devour me. Deform me to the point of ugliness. Why not you? Why not you in this city and in this night, so like other cities and other nights you can hardly tell the difference? I beg of you.
Marguerite Duras (Hiroshima Mon Amour)
I'll watch the night turn light blue, it's not the same without you cause it takes two to whisper quietly
Owl City
They had just showed up, Amatis had said. Which meant Simon had spent the entire night at Isabelle's. She stared at him. He didn't look any different.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Who doesn't want to just disappear, at some point in the day, in a year, to just step off the map and float?
Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City)
There was a sky somewhere above the tops of the buildings, with stars and a moon and all the things there are in a sky, but they were content to think of the distant street lights as planets and stars. If the lights prevented you from seeing the heavens, then preform a little magic and change reality to fit the need. The street lights were now planets and stars and moon.
Hubert Selby Jr. (Requiem for a Dream)
His movements could be called cat-like, except that he did not stop to spray urine up against things.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
No, the last thing she cared about was whether people were staring at the boy and girl kissing by the river, as London, it's cities and towers and churches and bridges and streets, circled all about them like the memory of a dream. And if the Thames that ran beside them, sure and silver in the afternoon light, recalled a night long ago when the moon shone as brightly as a shilling on this same boy and girl, or if the stones of Blackfriars knew the tread of their feet and thought to themselves: At last, the wheel comes to a full circle, they kept their silence.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
There are all kinds of silences and each of them means a different thing. There is the silence that comes with morning in a forest, and this is different from the silence of a sleeping city. There is silence after a rainstorm, and before a rainstorm, and these are not the same. There is the silence of emptiness, the silence of fear, the silence of doubt. There is a certain silence that can emanate from a lifeless object as from a chair lately used, or from a piano with old dust upon its keys, or from anything that has answered to the need of a man, for pleasure or for work. This kind of silence can speak. Its voice may be melancholy, but it is not always so; for the chair may have been left by a laughing child or the last notes of the piano may have been raucous and gay. Whatever the mood or the circumstance, the essence of its quality may linger in the silence that follows. It is a soundless echo.
Beryl Markham (West with the Night)
Will you listen to me just this once?” he nearly yelled. “I . . . I like you, Maddy. I mean, more than just as a friend. Are you so stubborn you can’t see that? Maybe last night meant nothing to you, but it meant something to me.” His eyes were vulnerable, almost tortured. “Did you ever even consider that I might love you, you stubborn, impossible girl?
Scott Speer (Immortal City (Immortal City, #1))
Truth! Freedom! Justice! And a hard-boiled egg!
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
That's a sweet piece," said Jean, briefly forgetting to be aggravated. "You didn't snatch that off a street." "No," said Locke, before taking another deep draught of the warm water in the decanter. "I got it from the neck of the governor's mistress." "You can't be serious." "In the governor's manor." "Of all the -" "In the governor's bed." "Damned lunatic!" "With the governor sleeping next to her." The night quiet was broken by the high, distant trill of a whistle, the traditional swarming noise of city watches everywhere. Several other whistles joined in a few moments later. "It is possible," said Locke with a sheepish grin, "that I have been slightly too bold.
Scott Lynch (Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard, #2))
You just put that sword away, sir, please," said the voice of Lance-Constable Vimes. "You will not shoot me, you young idiot. That would be murder," said the captain calmly. "Not where I'm aiming, sir.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
Before we invented civilization our ancestors lived mainly in the open out under the sky. Before we devised artificial lights and atmospheric pollution and modern forms of nocturnal entertainment we watched the stars. There were practical calendar reasons of course but there was more to it than that. Even today the most jaded city dweller can be unexpectedly moved upon encountering a clear night sky studded with thousands of twinkling stars. When it happens to me after all these years it still takes my breath away.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
I've been sleeping with the night light unplugged With a note on the rocking chair It says I'm dreaming of the life I once loved So wake me if you're out there
Owl City
I’ve been wandering around all night—I couldn’t sleep—and I kept finding myself walking here. To you.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Do you remember when we stood together on Blackfriars Bridge?” he asked softly, and his eyes were like that night had been, all black and silver. “Of course I remember.” “It was the moment I first knew I loved you,” Jem said. “I will make you a promise. Every year, Tessa, on one day, I will meet you on that bridge. I will come from the Silent City and I will meet you, and we will be together, if only for an hour. But you must tell no one.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
But drenched in vanilla twilight I'll sit on the front porch all night Waist deep in thought because when I think of you I don't feel so alone
Owl City
At night too, she puzzled the mystery of her desperate need of kindness. As other girls prayed for handsomeness in a lover, or for wealth, or for power, or for poetry, she had prayed fervently: let him be kind.
Anaïs Nin (A Spy in the House of Love (Cities of the Interior, #4))
Foes and false friends are all around me, Lord Davos. They infest my city like roaches, and at night I feel them crawling over me.” The fat man’s fingers coiled into a fist, and all his chins trembled. “My son Wendel came to the Twins a guest. He ate Lord Walder’s bread and salt, and hung his sword upon the wall to feast with his friends. And they murdered him. Murdered, I say, and may the Freys choke upon their fables. I drink with Jared, jape with Symond, promise Rhaegar the hand of my own beloved granddaughter…but never think that means I have forgotten. The north remembers, Lord Davos. The north remembers, and the mummer’s farce is almost done. My son is home.
George R.R. Martin (A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5))
And so the children of the revolution were faced with the age-old problem: it wasn't that you had the wrong kind of government, which was obvious, but that you had the wrong kind of people. As soon as you saw people as things to be measured, they didn't measure up.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
Simon?" she asked. "I have a stupid question." "What is it?" "Did you sleep with Isabelle?" Simon made a choking sound. Clary swiveled slowly around to look at him. "Are you okay?" she asked. "I think so," he said, recovering his poise with apparent effort. "Are you serious?" "Well, you were gone all night.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Do you remember, the night of the battle on Valentine's ship, when I needed some of your strength?" "Do you need it again now?" Alec said. "Because you can have it." "I always need your strength, Alec," Magnus said, and closed his eyes as their intertwined fingers began to shine, as if between them they held the light of a star.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
There are many ways to drown, only the most obvious wave their arms as they're going under.
Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City)
All the speed he took, all the turns he'd taken and the corners he'd cut in Night City, and still he'd see the matrix in his sleep, bright lattices of logic unfolding across that colorless void...
William Gibson (Neuromancer (Sprawl, #1))
There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born here, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size and its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter — the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is the New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. ...Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness; natives give it solidity and continuity; but the settlers give it passion.
E.B. White (Here Is New York)
And I want to play hide-and-seek and give you my clothes and tell you I like your shoes and sit on the steps while you take a bath and massage your neck and kiss your feet and hold your hand and go for a meal and not mind when you eat my food and meet you at Rudy's and talk about the day and type up your letters and carry your boxes and laugh at your paranoia and give you tapes you don't listen to and watch great films and watch terrible films and complain about the radio and take pictures of you when you're sleeping and get up to fetch you coffee and bagels and Danish and go to Florent and drink coffee at midnight and have you steal my cigarettes and never be able to find a match and tell you about the tv programme I saw the night before and take you to the eye hospital and not laugh at your jokes and want you in the morning but let you sleep for a while and kiss your back and stroke your skin and tell you how much I love your hair your eyes your lips your neck your breasts your arse your and sit on the steps smoking till your neighbour comes home and sit on the steps smoking till you come home and worry when you're late and be amazed when you're early and give you sunflowers and go to your party and dance till I'm black and be sorry when I'm wrong and happy when you forgive me and look at your photos and wish I'd known you forever and hear your voice in my ear and feel your skin on my skin and get scared when you're angry and your eye has gone red and the other eye blue and your hair to the left and your face oriental and tell you you're gorgeous and hug you when you're anxious and hold you when you hurt and want you when I smell you and offend you when I touch you and whimper when I'm next to you and whimper when I'm not and dribble on your breast and smother you in the night and get cold when you take the blanket and hot when you don't and melt when you smile and dissolve when you laugh and not understand why you think I'm rejecting you when I'm not rejecting you and wonder how you could think I'd ever reject you and wonder who you are but accept you anyway and tell you about the tree angel enchanted forest boy who flew across the ocean because he loved you and write poems for you and wonder why you don't believe me and have a feeling so deep I can't find words for it and want to buy you a kitten I'd get jealous of because it would get more attention than me and keep you in bed when you have to go and cry like a baby when you finally do and get rid of the roaches and buy you presents you don't want and take them away again and ask you to marry me and you say no again but keep on asking because though you think I don't mean it I do always have from the first time I asked you and wander the city thinking it's empty without you and want what you want and think I'm losing myself but know I'm safe with you and tell you the worst of me and try to give you the best of me because you don't deserve any less and answer your questions when I'd rather not and tell you the truth when I really don't want to and try to be honest because I know you prefer it and think it's all over but hang on in for just ten more minutes before you throw me out of your life and forget who I am and try to get closer to you because it's beautiful learning to know you and well worth the effort and speak German to you badly and Hebrew to you worse and make love with you at three in the morning and somehow somehow somehow communicate some of the overwhelming undying overpowering unconditional all-encompassing heart-enriching mind-expanding on-going never-ending love I have for you.
Sarah Kane (Crave)
One of the hardest lessons in young Sam's life had been finding out that the people in charge weren't in charge. It had been finding out that governments were not, on the whole, staffed by people who had a grip, and that plans were what people made instead of thinking.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
It was a movie about American bombers in World War II and the gallant men who flew them. Seen backwards by Billy, the story went like this: American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France, a few German fighter planes flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation. The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers , and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous devices of their own, which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few wounded Americans though and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France though, German fighters came up again, made everything and everybody as good as new. When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground, to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody ever again.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
This night is sparkling, don't you let it go I'm wonderstruck, blushing all the way home I'll spend forever wondering if you knew I was enchanted to meet you too.
Owl City
Beware the darkness of dragons, Beware the stalker of dreams, Beware the talons of power and fire, Beware one who is not what she seems. Something is coming to shake the earth, Something is coming to scorch the ground. Jade Mountain will fall beneath thunder and ice Unless the lost city of night can be found.
Tui T. Sutherland
Yeah, all right, but everyone knows they torture people," mumbled Sam. "Do they?" said Vimes. "Then why doesn't anyone do anything about it?" "'cos they torture people.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
There are not many persons who know what wonders are opened to them in the stories and visions of their youth; for when as children we learn and dream, we think but half-formed thoughts, and when as men we try to remember, we are dulled and prosaic with the poison of life. But some of us awake in the night with strange phantasms of enchanted hills and gardens, of fountains that sing in the sun, of golden cliffs overhanging murmuring seas, of plains that stretch down to sleeping cities of bronze and stone, and of shadowy companies of heroes that ride caparisoned white horses along the edges of thick forests; and then we know that we have looked back through the ivory gates into that world of wonder which was ours before we were wise and unhappy.
H.P. Lovecraft
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night, who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz, who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated, who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war,
Allen Ginsberg (Howl and Other Poems)
That's a nice song," said young Sam, and Vimes remembered that he was hearing it for the first time. "It's an old soldiers' song," he said. "Really, sarge? But it's about angels." Yes, thought Vimes, and it's amazing what bits those angels cause to rise up as the song progresses. It's a real soldiers' song: sentimental, with dirty bits. "As I recall, they used to sing it after battles," he said. "I've seen old men cry when they sing it," he added. "Why? It sounds cheerful." They were remembering who they were not singing it with, thought Vimes. You'll learn. I know you will.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
Jace whistled. "Raphael is really having an exceptionally bad night." -Jace, pg.283-
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Alcohol is the river we sit on the banks of, contemplating. Sometimes we watch ourselves float past, sometimes we watch ourselves sink.
Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City)
The world of literature has everything in it, and it refuses to leave anything out. I have read like a man on fire my whole life because the genius of English teachers touched me with the dazzling beauty of language. Because of them I rode with Don Quixote and danced with Anna Karenina at a ball in St. Petersburg and lassoed a steer in "Lonesome Dove" and had nightmares about slavery in "Beloved" and walked the streets of Dublin in "Ulysses" and made up a hundred stories in the Arabian nights and saw my mother killed by a baseball in "A Prayer for Owen Meany." I've been in ten thousand cities and have introduced myself to a hundred thousand strangers in my exuberant reading career, all because I listened to my fabulous English teachers and soaked up every single thing those magnificent men and women had to give. I cherish and praise them and thank them for finding me when I was a boy and presenting me with the precious gift of the English language.
Pat Conroy
By the time they got to Denholm Street, day had been beaten back and the night was soaking through the city.
Derek Landy (Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant, #1))
Raising the flag and singing the anthem are, while somewhat suspicious, not in themselves acts of treason.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
Hat = wizard, wizard = hat. Everything else is frippery.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
I felt lethal, on the verge of frenzy. My nightly bloodlust overflowed into my days and I had to leave the city. My mask of sanity was a victim of impending slippage. This was the bone season for me and I needed a vacation.
Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho)
So tonight I reach for my journal again. This is the first time I’ve done this since I came to Italy. What I write in my journal is that I am weak and full of fear. I explain that Depression and Loneliness have shown up, and I’m scared they will never leave. I say that I don’t want to take the drugs anymore, but I’m frightened I will have to. I am terrified that I will never really pull my life together. In response, somewhere from within me, rises a now-familiar presence, offering me all the certainties I have always wished another person would say to me when I was troubled. This is what I find myself writing on the page: I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long. I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it—I will love you through that, as well. If you don’t need the medication, I will love you, too. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and Braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me. Tonight, this strange interior gesture of friendship—the lending of a hand from me to myself when nobody else is around to offer solace—reminds me of something that happened to me once in New York City. I walked into an office building one afternoon in a hurry, dashed into the waiting elevator. As I rushed in, I caught an unexpected glance of myself in a security mirror’s reflection. In that moment, my brain did an odd thing—it fired off this split-second message: “Hey! You know her! That’s a friend of yours!” And I actually ran forward toward my own reflection with a smile, ready to welcome that girl whose name I had lost but whose face was so familiar. In a flash instant of course, I realized my mistake and laughed in embarrassment at my almost doglike confusion over how a mirror works. But for some reason that incident comes to mind again tonight during my sadness in Rome, and I find myself writing this comforting reminder at the bottom of the page. Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a FRIEND… I fell asleep holding my notebook pressed against my chest, open to this most recent assurance. In the morning when I wake up, I can still smell a faint trace of depression’s lingering smoke, but he himself is nowhere to be seen. Somewhere during the night, he got up and left. And his buddy loneliness beat it, too.
Elizabeth Gilbert
She laced her fingers through his. "Good night," she whispered. With their hands clasped like children in a fairy tale, she fell asleep beside him in the dark.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Well done,' said a voice somewhere behind him. 'Consciousness to sarcasm in five seconds!
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
I comma square bracket recruit's name square bracket comma do solemnly swear by square bracket recruit's deity of choice square bracket to uphold the Laws and Ordinances of the City of Ankh-Morpork comma serve the public truƒt comma and defend the ƒubjects of his ƒtroke her bracket delete whichever is inappropriate bracket Majeƒty bracket name of reigning monarch bracket without fear comma favour comma or thought of perƒonal ƒafety semi-colon to purƒue evildoers and protect the innocent comma comma laying down my life if neceƒsary in the cauƒe of said duty comma so help me bracket aforeƒaid deity bracket full stop Gods Save the King stroke Queen bracket delete whichever is inappropriate bracket full stop.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
What welcome?” Magnus asked. “I’d say it was a pleasure to meet you, but it wasn’t. Not that you aren’t all fairly charming, and as for you—” He dropped a glittery wink at Alec, who looked astounded. “Call me?” Alec blushed and stuttered and probably would have stood there all night if Jace hadn’t grasped his elbow and hauled him toward the door, Isabelle at their heels.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Taxation is just a sophisticated way of demanding money with menaces.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
Night City was like a deranged experiment in social Dar- winism, designed by a bored researcher who kept one thumb permanently on the fast-forward button.
William Gibson (Neuromancer (Sprawl, #1))
I thought it was keep your friends close so you have someone to drive the car when you sneak over to your enemy's house at night and throw up in his mailbox," -Jace
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?... The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If...if...We didn't love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation.... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956 (Abridged))
Murder was in fact a fairly uncommon event in Ankh-Morpork, but there were a lot of suicides. Walking in the night-time alleyways of The Shades was suicide. Asking for a short in a dwarf bar was suicide. Saying 'Got rocks in your head?' to a troll was suicide. You could commit suicide very easily, if you weren't careful.
Terry Pratchett (Men at Arms (Discworld, #15; City Watch, #2))
I reach out to touch one of the walls, imagining that I can feel his life and warmth through it, and I look around again, up toward the rooftops and then all the way to the night sky where a few faint stars can be seen, and there I think I really can see him. I can feel his presence here in every stone he has touched, every person he has lifted up, every street and alley and city that he has changed in the few years of his life, because he is the Republic, he is our light, and I love you, I love you, until the day we meet again I will hold you in my heart and protect you there, grieving what we never had, cherishing what we did. I wish you were here. I love you, always.
Marie Lu (Champion (Legend, #3))
A glass poured to air for the one who sits with us unseen; the patron and protector, the Crooked Warden, the Father of Necessary Pretexts. Thanks for deep pockets poorly guarded. Thanks for watchmen asleep at their posts. Thanks for the city to nurture us and the night to hide us. Thanks for friends to help us spend the loot.
Scott Lynch (The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1))
I lived in the royal library, among all the books." "You resided in a... library?" "There were suites inside and great balconies that overlooked the city, but yes. I was most content among those shelves, so one night, I simply never left.
Kresley Cole (Shadow's Claim (Immortals After Dark, #12; The Dacians, #1))
Cities at night, I feel, contain men who cry in their sleep and then say Nothing. It's nothing. Just sad dreams. Or something like that...Swing low in your weep ship, with your tear scans and sob probes, and you would mark them. Women--and they can be wives, lovers, gaunt muses, fat nurses, obsessions, devourers, exes, nemeses--will wake and turn to these men and ask, with female need-to-know, "What is it?" And the men will say, "Nothing. No it isn't anything really. Just sad dreams.
Martin Amis (The Information)
On more than one occasion I have been ready to abandon my whole life for love. To alter everything that makes sense to me and to move into a different world where the only known will be the beloved. Such a sacrifice must be the result of love... or is it that the life itself was already worn out? I had finished with that life, perhaps, and could not admit it, being stubborn or afraid, or perhaps did not known it, habit being a great binder. I think it is often so that those most in need of change choose to fall in love and then throw up their hands and blame it all on fate. But it is not fate, at least, not if fate is something outside of us; it is a choice made in secret after nights of longing. ... I may be cynical when I say that very rarely is the beloved more than a shaping spirit for the lover's dreams... To be a muse may be enough. The pain is when the dreams change, as they do, as they must. Suddenly the enchanted city fades and you are left alone again in the windy desert. As for your beloved, she didn't understand you. The truth is, you never understood yourself.
Jeanette Winterson (Sexing the Cherry)
With so many trees in the city, you could see the spring coming each day until a night of warm wind would bring it suddenly in one morning. Sometimes the heavy cold rains would beat it back so that it would seem that it would never come and that you were losing a season out of your life. This was the only truly sad time in Paris because it was unnatural. You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintry light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person had died for no reason. In those days, though, the spring always came finally but it was frightening that it had nearly failed.
Ernest Hemingway (A Moveable Feast)
Because salvation is by grace through faith, I believe that among the countless number of people standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands (see Revelation 7:9), I shall see the prostitute from the Kit-Kat Ranch in Carson City, Nevada, who tearfully told me that she could find no other employment to support her two-year-old son. I shall see the woman who had an abortion and is haunted by guilt and remorse but did the best she could faced with grueling alternatives; the businessman besieged with debt who sold his integrity in a series of desperate transactions; the insecure clergyman addicted to being liked, who never challenged his people from the pulpit and longed for unconditional love; the sexually abused teen molested by his father and now selling his body on the street, who, as he falls asleep each night after his last 'trick', whispers the name of the unknown God he learned about in Sunday school. 'But how?' we ask. Then the voice says, 'They have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb.' There they are. There *we* are - the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, and bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life's tribulations, but through it all clung to faith. My friends, if this is not good news to you, you have never understood the gospel of grace.
Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out)
That's the way it was. Privilege, which just means 'private law.' Two types of people laugh at the law; those that break it and those that make it.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
all those nights with the phone warming the side of my face like the sun. you made jokes and sure, i may have even laughed a little but mostly you were not funny. mostly you were beautiful. mostly you were unremarkable, even your mediocrity was unremarkable. when friends would ask ‘what do you like about him?” i would think of you holding a bouquet against the denim of your shirt. i mean, you had my face as your screensaver for gods sake, do you know what that does for the self-esteem of girl with an apparition for a father? hey, do you remember the quiet between us in all those restaurants? all the other couples engrossed in deep conversation and us, as quiet as a closed mouth. that one afternoon when i asked ‘why do you love me?’ and you replied as quick as a toin coss ‘because you’re mad, because you’re crazy’ and i said ‘why else?’ and you said ‘that mouth, i love that mouth’ and i collapsed into myself like a sheet right out of the dryer. you clean, beautiful, unremarkable boy, raised by a pleasant mother, was i just a riot you loved to watch up close? there were times i picked arguments just so that we could have something to talk about. last week, i walked through the part of the city i loved when i still loved you, our old haunts. you know, even the ghosts have moved on.
Warsan Shire
Woman’s role in creation should be parallel to her role in life. I don’t mean the good earth. I mean the bad earth too, the demon, the instincts, the storms of nature. Tragedies, conflicts, mysteries are personal. Man fabricated a detachment which became fatal. Woman must not fabricate. She must descend into the real womb and expose its secrets and its labyrinths. She must describe it as the city of Fez, with its Arabian Nights gentleness, tranquility and mystery. She must describe the voracious moods, the desires, the worlds contained in each cell of it. For the womb has dreams. It is not as simple as the good earth. I believe at times that man created art out of fear of exploring woman. I believe woman stuttered about herself out of fear of what she had to say. She covered herself with taboos and veils. Man invented a woman to suit his needs. He disposed of her by identifying her with nature and then paraded his contemptuous domination of nature. But woman is not nature only. She is the mermaid with her fish-tail dipped in the unconscious.
Anaïs Nin
But the helmet had gold decoration, and the bespoke armorers had made a new gleaming breastplate with useless gold ornamentation on it. Sam Vimes felt like a class traitor every time he wore it. He hated being thought of as one of those people that wore stupid ornamental armor. It was gilt by association.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
Suppose neutral angels were able to talk, Yahweh and Lucifer – God and Satan, to use their popular titles – into settling out of court. What would be the terms of the compromise? Specifically, how would they divide the assets of their early kingdom? Would God be satisfied the loaves and fishes and itty-bitty thimbles of Communion wine, while Satan to have the red-eye gravy, eighteen-ounce New York Stakes, and buckets of chilled champagne? Would God really accept twice-a-month lovemaking for procreative purposes and give Satan the all night, no-holds-barred, nasty “can’t-get-enough-of-you” hot-as-hell-fucks? Think about it. Would Satan get New Orleans, Bangkok, and the French Riviera and God get Salt Lake City? Satan get ice hockey, God get horseshoes? God get bingo, Satan get stud poker? Satan get LSD; God, Prozac? God get Neil Simon; Satan Oscar Wilde?
Tom Robbins
Sometimes I come up here at night...just to look at the city. I like to imagine that the world is one big machine. You know, machines never have any extra parts. They have the exact number and type of parts they need. So I figure if the entire world is a big machine, I have to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.
Brian Selznick (The Invention of Hugo Cabret)
A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret; that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it!
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
Antonio: Will you stay no longer? nor will you not that I go with you? Sebastian: By your patience, no. My stars shine darkly over me; the malignancy of my fate might, perhaps, distemper yours; therefore I shall crave of you your leave that I may bear my evils alone. It were a bad recompense for your love to lay any of them on you.
William Shakespeare (Twelfth Night)
Some part of me knew he would show up, that if I stood in one place long enough he would find me, like you're taught to do when you're lost. But they never taught us what to do if both of you are lost, and you both end up in the same place, waiting.
Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City)
We're called Shadowhunters. At least, that's what we call ourselves. The Downworlders have less complimentary names for us." "Downworlders?" "The Night Children. Warlock. The Fey. The magical folk of this dimension." Clary shook her head. "Don't stop there. I suppose there are also what, vampires and werewolves and zombies?" "Of course there are," Jace informed her. "Although you mostly find zombies farther south, where the voudun priests are." "What about mummies? Do they only hang around Egypt?" "Don't be ridiculous. No one believes in mummies." "They don't?" "Of course not.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
i am a little church(no great cathedral) far from the splendor and squalor of hurrying cities --i do not worry if briefer days grow briefest, i am not sorry when sun and rain make april my life is the life of the reaper and the sower; my prayers are prayers of earth's own clumsily striving (finding and losing and laughing and crying)children whose any sadness or joy is my grief or my gladness around me surges a miracle of unceasing birth and glory and death and resurrection: over my sleeping self float flaming symbols of hope,and i wake to a perfect patience of mountains i am a little church(far from the frantic world with its rapture and anguish)at peace with nature --i do not worry if longer nights grow longest; i am not sorry when silence becomes singing winter by spring,i lift my diminutive spire to merciful Him Whose only now is forever: standing erect in the deathless truth of His presence (welcoming humbly His light and proudly His darkness)
E.E. Cummings
For the sake of a few lines one must see many cities, men and things. One must know the animals, one must feel how the birds fly and know the gesture with which the small flowers open in the morning. One must be able to think back to roads in unknown regions, to unexpected meetings and to partings which one had long seen coming; to days of childhood that are still unexplained, to parents that one had to hurt when they brought one some joy and one did not grasp it (it was joy for someone else); to childhood illness that so strangely began with a number of profound and grave transformations, to days in rooms withdrawn and quiet and to mornings by the sea, to the sea itself, to seas, to nights of travel that rushed along on high and flew with all the stars-and it is not enough if one may think all of this. One must have memories of many nights of love, none of which was like the others, of the screams of women in labor, and of light, white, sleeping women in childbed, closing again. But one must also have been beside the dying, one must have sat beside the dead in the room with the open window and the fitful noises. And still it is not enough to have memories. One must be able to forget them when they are many, and one must have the great patience to wait until they come again. For it is not yet the memories themselves. Not until they have turned to blood within us, to glance, to gesture, nameless and no longer to be distinguished from ourselves-not until then can it happen that in a most rare hour the first word of a verse arises in their midst and goes forth from them.
Rainer Maria Rilke (The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge)
The key to winning, as always, was looking as if you had every right, nay, duty to be where you were. It helped if you could also suggest in every line of your body that no one else had any rights to be doing anything, anywhere, whatsoever.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
If you listen, you can hear it. The city, it sings. If you stand quietly, at the foot of a garden, in the middle of the street, on the roof of a house. It's clearest at night, when the sound cuts more sharply across the surface of things, when the song reaches out to a place inside you. It's a wordless song, for the most, but it's a song all the same, and nobody hearing it could doubt what it sings. And the song sings the loudest when you pick out each note.
Jon McGregor (If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things)
Who knew what evil lurked in the hearts of men? A copper, that's who. (...)You saw how close men lived to the beast. You realized that people like Carcer were not mad. They were incredibily sane. They were simply men without a shield. They'd looked at the world and realized that all the rules didn't have to apply to them, not if they didn't want them to. They weren't fooled by all the little stories. They shook hands with the beast.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
Night falls; the traveler must pass down village streets, between the houses with yellow- lit windows, and on out into the darkness of the fields. Each alone, they go west or north, towards the mountains. They go on. They leave Omelas, they walk ahead into the darkness, and they do not come back. The place they go towards is a place even less imaginable to most of us than the city of happiness. I cannot describe it at all. It is possible that it does not exist. But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas)
You took an oath to uphold the law and defend the citizens without fear or favor," said Vimes. "And to protect the innocent. That's all they put in. Maybe they thought those were the important things. Nothing in there about orders, even from me. You're an officer of the law, not a soldier of the government.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
Winder's mind felt even fuzzier than it had done over the past few years, but he was certain about cake. He'd been eating cake, and now there wasn't any. Through the mists he saw it, apparently close but, when he tried to reach it, a long way away. A certain realization dawned on him. "Oh," he said. YES, said Death. "Not even time to finish my cake?" NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
Dawn's faint breath breathes with your mouth at the ends of empty streets. Gray light your eyes, sweet drops of dawn on dark hills. Your steps and breath like the wind of dawn smother houses. The city shudders, Stones exhale— you are life, an awakening. Star lost in the light of dawn, trill of the breeze, warmth, breath— the night is done. You are light and morning.
Cesare Pavese
It's my motto," said Isabelle, with a sultry smile. 'Nothing less than seven inches.' Meliorn gazed at her stonily. 'I'm talking about my heels,' she said. " It's a pun. You know? A play on-" "Come," the faerie knight said. "The Queen will be growing impatient." He headed down the corridor without giving Isabelle a second glance. "I forgot," Isabelle muttered as the rest of them caught up to her. " Faeries have no sense of humor." "Oh, I wouldn't say that," said Jace. "There's a pixie night club called Hot Wings. Not," he added," that I have ever been there.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret; that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it! Something of the awfulness, even of Death itself, is referable to this. No more can I turn the leaves of this dear book that I loved, and vainly hope in time to read it all. No more can I look into the depths of this unfathomable water, wherein, as momentary lights glanced into it, I have had glimpses of buried treasure and other things submerged. It was appointed that the book should shut with a a spring, for ever and for ever, when I had read but a page. It was appointed that the water should be locked in an eternal frost, when the light was playing on its surface, and I stood in ignorance on the shore. My friend is dead, my neighbour is dead, my love, the darling of my soul, is dead; it is the inexorable consolidation and perpetuation of the secret that was always in that individuality, and which I shall carry in mine to my life's end. In any of the burial-places of this city through which I pass, is there a sleeper more inscrutable than its busy inhabitants are, in their innermost personality, to me, or than I am to them?
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
[...] Technology has tended to devaluate the traditional vision-inducing materials. The illumination of a city, for example, was once a rare event, reserved for victories and national holidays, for the canonization of saints and the crowning of kings. Now it occurs nightly and celebrates the virtues of gin, cigarettes and toothpaste.
Aldous Huxley (The Doors of Perception / Heaven and Hell)
Julian's skin was cold, as if he'd been leaning out the window into the night air. She turned his hand and drew with her finger on his bare forearm. It was something they’d done since they were small children and didn't want to get caught talking during lessons. Over the years they'd gotten so good at it that they could map out detailed messages on each other's hands, arms, even their shoulders through their T-shirts. D-I-D Y-O-U E-A-T? she spelled out. Julian shook his head, still staring at Livvy and Ty. His curls were sticking up in tufts as if he’d been raking his hands through his hair. She felt his fingers, light on her upper arm. N-O-T H-U-N-G-R-Y.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
In my experience, whatever happens clings to us like barnacles on the hull of a ship, slowing us slightly, both uglifying and giving us texture. You can scrape all you want, you can, if you have money, hire someone else to scrape, but the barnacles will come back or at least leave a blemish on the steel.
Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City)
Fill yourself up with love. Become a whole being on your own. Go on adventures, fall asleep in the woods with friends, wander around the city at night, sit in a coffee shop on your own, write on bathroom stalls, leave notes in library books, dress up for yourself, give to others, smile a lot. Live for yourself and be happy on your own.
Emery Allen
Beauty makes me hopeless. I don't care why anymore I just want to get away. When I look at the city of Paris I long to wrap my legs around it. When I watch you dancing there is a heartless immensity like a sailor in a dead-calm sea. Desires as round as peaches bloom in me all night, I no longer gather what falls.
Anne Carson (Plainwater: Essays and Poetry)
You'd like Freedom, Truth, and Justice, wouldn't you, Comrade Sergeant?' said Reg encouragingly. 'I'd like a hard-boiled egg,' said Vimes, shaking the match out. There was some nervous laughter, but Reg looked offended. 'In the circumstances, Sergeant, I think we should set our sights a little higher--' 'Well, yes, we could,' said Vimes, coming down the steps. He glanced at the sheets of papers in front of Reg. The man cared. He really did. And he was serious. He really was. 'But...well, Reg, tomorrow the sun will come up again, and I'm pretty sure that whatever happens we won't have found Freedom, and there won't be a whole lot of Justice, and I'm damn sure we won't have found Truth. But it's just possible that I might get a hard-boiled egg.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
startling! such determination in the dull and uninspired and the copyists. they never lose the fierce gratitude for their uneventfulness, nor do they forget to laugh at the wit of slugs; as a study in diluted senses they'd make any pharaoh cough up his beans; in music they prefer the monotony of dripping faucets; in love and sex they prefer each other and therefore compound the problem; the energy with which they propel their uselessness (without any self-doubt) toward worthless goals is as magnificent as cow shit. they produce novels, children, death, freeways, cities, wars, wealth, poverty, politicians and total areas of grandiose waste; it's as if the whole world is wrapped in dirty bandages. it's best to take walks late at night. it's best to do your business only on Mondays and Tuesdays. it's best to sit in a small room with the shades down and wait. the strongest men are the fewest and the strongest women die alone too.
Charles Bukowski (The People Look Like Flowers at Last)
One thought alone preoccupies the submerged mind of Empire: how not to end, how not to die, how to prolong its era. By day it pursues its enemies. It is cunning and ruthless, it sends its bloodhounds everywhere. By night it feeds on images of disaster: the sack of cities, the rape of populations, pyramids of bones, acres of desolation.
J.M. Coetzee (Waiting for the Barbarians)
A sickening howl stopped her, sucking the air out of her lungs. The night's chatter silenced, even the loitering city rats pausing to listen. Scarlet had heard wild wolves before, prowling the countryside in search of easy prey on the farms. But never had a wolf's howl send a chill down her spine like that.
Marissa Meyer (Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2))
There was no moon but the night sky was a riot of crisp and glittering autumn stars. There were streetlights too and lights on buildings and on bridges which looked like earthbound stars and they glimmered repeated as they were reflected with the city in the night water of the Thames. It’s fairyland thought Richard.
Neil Gaiman (Neverwhere (London Below, #1))
Vimes felt his hand begin to move of its own accord-- And stopped. Red rage froze. There was The Beast, all around him. And that's all it was. A beast. Useful, but still a beast. You could hold it on a chain, and make it dance, and juggle balls. It didn't think. It was dumb. What you were, what you were, was not The Beast.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
There were plotters, there was no doubt about it. Some had been ordinary people who'd had enough. Some were young people with no money who objected to the fact that the world was run by old people who were rich. Some were in it to get girls. And some had been idiots as mad as Swing, with a view of the world just as rigid and unreal, who were on the side of what they called 'the people'. Vimes had spent his life on the streets, and had met decent men and fools and people who'd steal a penny from a blind beggar and people who performed silent miracles or desperate crimes every day behind the grubby windows of little houses, but he'd never met The People. People on the side of The People always ended up disappointed, in any case. They found that The People tended not to be grateful or appreciative or forward-thinking or obedient. The People tended to be small-minded and conservative and not very clever and were even distrustful of cleverness. And so the children of the revolution were faced with the age-old problem: it wasn't that you had the wrong kind of government, which was obvious, but that you had the wrong kind of people. As soon as you saw people as things to be measured, they didn't measure up. What would run through the streets soon enough wouldn't be a revolution or a riot. It'd be people who were frightened and panicking. It was what happened when the machinery of city life faltered, the wheels stopped turning and all the little rules broke down. And when that happened, humans were worse than sheep. Sheep just ran; they didn't try to bite the sheep next to them.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
Sometimes when she is able to spend the night with him they are wakened by the three minarets of the city beginning their prayers before dawn. He walks with her through the indigo markets that lie between South Cairo and her home. The beautiful songs of faith enter the air like arrows, one minaret answering another, as if passing on a rumor of the two of them as they walk through the cold morning air, the smell of charcoal and hemp already making the air profound. Sinners in a holy city.
Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient)
eat, baby. eat. chew. please. I know it hurts. I know it doesn’t feel good. please. I know your hunger is different than mine. I know it doesn’t taste the same as mine. imagine you could grow up all over again and pinpoint the millisecond that you started counting calories like casualties of war, mourning each one like it had a family. would you? sometimes I wonder that. sometimes I wonder if you would go back and watch yourself reappear and disappear right in front of your own eyes. and I love you so much. I am going to hold your little hand through the night. just please eat. just a little. you wrote a poem once, about a city of walking skeletons. the teacher called home because you told her you wished it could be like that here. let me tell you something about bones, baby. they are not warm or soft. the wind whistles through them like they are holes in a tree. and they break, too. they break right in half. they bruise and splinter like wood. are you hungry? I know. I know how much you hate that question. I will find another way to ask it, someday. please. the voices. I know they are all yelling at you to stretch yourself thinner. l hear them counting, always counting. I wish I had been there when the world made you snap yourself in half. I would have told you that your body is not a war-zone, that, sometimes, it is okay to leave your plate empty.
Caitlyn Siehl
I was trying to go... somewhere. But I kept getting pulled back here. I couldn't stop walking, couldn't stop thinking. About the first time I ever saw you, and how after I couldn't forget you. I wanted to, but I couldn't stop myself. I forced Hodge to let me be the one who came to find you and bring you back to the Institute. And even back then, in that stupid coffee shop, when I saw you with Simon, even then that felt wrong to me-- I should have been the one sitting with you. The one who made you laugh like that. I couldn't get rid of that feeling. That it should have been me. And the more I knew you, the more I felt it-- it had never been like that for me before. I'd always wanted a girl and then gotten to know her and not wanted her anymore, but with you the feeling just got stronger and stronger until that night when you showed up at Renwick's and I knew. And then to find out the reason I felt like that-- like you were some part of me I'd lost and never ever knew I was missing until I saw you again-- that the reason was that you were my sister, it felt like some cosmic joke. Like God was spitting on me. I don't even know for what-- for thinking that I actually get to have you, that I would deserve something like that, to be happy. I couldn't imagine what it was I'd done that I was being punished for--
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Boast of Quietness Writings of light assault the darkness, more prodigious than meteors. The tall unknowable city takes over the countryside. Sure of my life and death, I observe the ambitious and would like to understand them. Their day is greedy as a lariat in the air. Their night is a rest from the rage within steel, quick to attack. They speak of humanity. My humanity is in feeling we are all voices of that same poverty. They speak of homeland. My homeland is the rhythm of a guitar, a few portraits, an old sword, the willow grove's visible prayer as evening falls. Time is living me. More silent than my shadow, I pass through the loftily covetous multitude. They are indispensable, singular, worthy of tomorrow. My name is someone and anyone. I walk slowly, like one who comes from so far away he doesn't expect to arrive.
Jorge Luis Borges
The boy's eyes went to him, and a shock passed through Magnus. They were not Will's eyes, the eyes Magnus remembered being as blue as a night sky in Hell, eyes Magnus has seen both despairing and tender. This boy has shining golden eyes, like crystal glass filled brimful with crisp white wine and held up to catch the light of a blazing sun. If his skin was luminous, his eyes were radiant. Magnus could not imagine these eyes as tender. The boy was very, very lovely, but his was a beauty like that of Helen of Troy might have had once, disaster written in every line. The light of his beauty made Magnus think of cities burning.
Cassandra Clare (The Midnight Heir (The Bane Chronicles, #4))
He's not feeling well," Clary said, catching at Simon's wrist. "We're going." "No," Simon said. "No, I — I need to talk to him. To the Inquisitor." Robert reached into his jacket and drew out a crucifix. Clary stared in shock as he held it up between himself and Simon. "I speak to the Night’s Children Council representative, or to the head of the New York clan," he said. "Not to any vampire who comes to knock at my door—" Simon reached out and plucked the cross out of Robert's hand. "Wrong religion," he said.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
He belonged to a walled city of the fifteenth century, a city of narrow, cobbled streets, and thin spires, where the inhabitants wore pointed shoes and worsted hose. His face was arresting, sensitive, medieval in some strange inexplicable way, and I was reminded of a portrait seen in a gallery I had forgotten where, of a certain Gentleman Unknown. Could one but rob him of his English tweeds, and put him in black, with lace at his throat and wrists, he would stare down at us in our new world from a long distant past—a past where men walked cloaked at night, and stood in the shadow of old doorways, a past of narrow stairways and dim dungeons, a past of whispers in the dark, of shimmering rapier blades, of silent, exquisite courtesy.
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
You must look for constellations in the orange city lights. View each streetlamp as a star that's simply fallen from the night. So that even tired of footsteps feel like learning how to fly, and you're never truly trapped right where the earth touches the sky. Then when your world is turned upside down, you'll know no matter where you are, that you will always have the chance to fall asleep among the stars.
Erin Hanson
The first thing you notice about New Orleans are the burying grounds - the cemeteries - and they're a cold proposition, one of the best things there are here. Going by, you try to be as quiet as possible, better to let them sleep. Greek, Roman, sepulchres- palatial mausoleums made to order, phantomesque, signs and symbols of hidden decay - ghosts of women and men who have sinned and who've died and are now living in tombs. The past doesn't pass away so quickly here. You could be dead for a long time. The ghosts race towards the light, you can almost hear the heavy breathing spirits, all determined to get somewhere. New Orleans, unlike a lot of those places you go back to and that don't have the magic anymore, still has got it. Night can swallow you up, yet none of it touches you. Around any corner, there's a promise of something daring and ideal and things are just getting going. There's something obscenely joyful behind every door, either that or somebody crying with their head in their hands. A lazy rhythm looms in the dreamy air and the atmosphere pulsates with bygone duels, past-life romance, comrades requesting comrades to aid them in some way. You can't see it, but you know it's here. Somebody is always sinking. Everyone seems to be from some very old Southern families. Either that or a foreigner. I like the way it is. There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better. There's a thousand different angles at any moment. At any time you could run into a ritual honoring some vaguely known queen. Bluebloods, titled persons like crazy drunks, lean weakly against the walls and drag themselves through the gutter. Even they seem to have insights you might want to listen to. No action seems inappropriate here. The city is one very long poem. Gardens full of pansies, pink petunias, opiates. Flower-bedecked shrines, white myrtles, bougainvillea and purple oleander stimulate your senses, make you feel cool and clear inside. Everything in New Orleans is a good idea. Bijou temple-type cottages and lyric cathedrals side by side. Houses and mansions, structures of wild grace. Italianate, Gothic, Romanesque, Greek Revival standing in a long line in the rain. Roman Catholic art. Sweeping front porches, turrets, cast-iron balconies, colonnades- 30-foot columns, gloriously beautiful- double pitched roofs, all the architecture of the whole wide world and it doesn't move. All that and a town square where public executions took place. In New Orleans you could almost see other dimensions. There's only one day at a time here, then it's tonight and then tomorrow will be today again. Chronic melancholia hanging from the trees. You never get tired of it. After a while you start to feel like a ghost from one of the tombs, like you're in a wax museum below crimson clouds. Spirit empire. Wealthy empire. One of Napoleon's generals, Lallemaud, was said to have come here to check it out, looking for a place for his commander to seek refuge after Waterloo. He scouted around and left, said that here the devil is damned, just like everybody else, only worse. The devil comes here and sighs. New Orleans. Exquisite, old-fashioned. A great place to live vicariously. Nothing makes any difference and you never feel hurt, a great place to really hit on things. Somebody puts something in front of you here and you might as well drink it. Great place to be intimate or do nothing. A place to come and hope you'll get smart - to feed pigeons looking for handouts
Bob Dylan (Chronicles: Volume One)
They ask me how did you get here? Can’t you see it on my body? The Libyan desert red with immigrant bodies, the Gulf of Aden bloated, the city of Rome with no jacket. I hope the journey meant more than miles because all of my children are in the water. I thought the sea was safer than the land. I want to make love, but my hair smells of war and running and running. I want to lay down, but these countries are like uncles who touch you when you’re young and asleep. Look at all these borders, foaming at the mouth with bodies broken and desperate. I’m the colour of hot sun on the face, my mother’s remains were never buried. I spent days and nights in the stomach of the truck; I did not come out the same. Sometimes it feels like someone else is wearing my body.
Warsan Shire (Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth)
At the very moment that humans discovered the scale of the universe and found that their most unconstrained fancies were in fact dwarfed by the true dimensions of even the Milky Way Galaxy, they took steps that ensured that their descendants would be unable to see the stars at all. For a million years humans had grown up with a personal daily knowledge of the vault of heaven. In the last few thousand years they began building and emigrating to the cities. In the last few decades, a major fraction of the human population has abandoned a rustic way of life. As technology developed and the cities were polluted, the nights became starless. New generations grew to maturity wholly ignorant of the sky that had transfixed their ancestors and that had stimulated the modern age of science and technology. Without even noticing, just as astronomy entered a golden age most people cut themselves off from the sky, a cosmic isolationism that ended only with the dawn of space exploration.
Carl Sagan (Contact)
And what does the rain say at night in a small town, what does the rain have to say? Who walks beneath dripping melancholy branches listening to the rain? Who is there in the rain’s million-needled blurring splash, listening to the grave music of the rain at night, September rain, September rain, so dark and soft? Who is there listening to steady level roaring rain all around, brooding and listening and waiting, in the rain-washed, rain-twinkled dark of night?
Jack Kerouac (The Town and the City)
Let me tell you a little story. You may have heard it before. It's a story about a butcher named Barry. Once upon a time, in central city, there was a butcher named Barry. Barry loved to chop up meat more than anything in the world. But one day, when Barry got tired of just chopping up cows and pigs... ...He found something NEW to chop up-- PEOPLE. And so, he went out night after night in search of fresh meat. Eventually, Barry was caught, but not before he had slaughtered 23 victims!!! For terrorizing the poor people of central city, Barry was sent straight to the gallows...And everyone else lived happily ever after!
Hiromu Arakawa (Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 3 (Fullmetal Alchemist, #3))
For Jenn At 12 years old I started bleeding with the moon and beating up boys who dreamed of becoming astronauts. I fought with my knuckles white as stars, and left bruises the shape of Salem. There are things we know by heart, and things we don't. At 13 my friend Jen tried to teach me how to blow rings of smoke. I'd watch the nicotine rising from her lips like halos, but I could never make dying beautiful. The sky didn't fill with colors the night I convinced myself veins are kite strings you can only cut free. I suppose I love this life, in spite of my clenched fist. I open my palm and my lifelines look like branches from an Aspen tree, and there are songbirds perched on the tips of my fingers, and I wonder if Beethoven held his breath the first time his fingers touched the keys the same way a soldier holds his breath the first time his finger clicks the trigger. We all have different reasons for forgetting to breathe. But my lungs remember the day my mother took my hand and placed it on her belly and told me the symphony beneath was my baby sister's heartbeat. And I knew life would tremble like the first tear on a prison guard's hardened cheek, like a prayer on a dying man's lips, like a vet holding a full bottle of whisky like an empty gun in a war zone… just take me just take me Sometimes the scales themselves weigh far too much, the heaviness of forever balancing blue sky with red blood. We were all born on days when too many people died in terrible ways, but you still have to call it a birthday. You still have to fall for the prettiest girl on the playground at recess and hope she knows you can hit a baseball further than any boy in the whole third grade and I've been running for home through the windpipe of a man who sings while his hands playing washboard with a spoon on a street corner in New Orleans where every boarded up window is still painted with the words We're Coming Back like a promise to the ocean that we will always keep moving towards the music, the way Basquait slept in a cardboard box to be closer to the rain. Beauty, catch me on your tongue. Thunder, clap us open. The pupils in our eyes were not born to hide beneath their desks. Tonight lay us down to rest in the Arizona desert, then wake us washing the feet of pregnant women who climbed across the border with their bellies aimed towards the sun. I know a thousand things louder than a soldier's gun. I know the heartbeat of his mother. Don't cover your ears, Love. Don't cover your ears, Life. There is a boy writing poems in Central Park and as he writes he moves and his bones become the bars of Mandela's jail cell stretching apart, and there are men playing chess in the December cold who can't tell if the breath rising from the board is their opponents or their own, and there's a woman on the stairwell of the subway swearing she can hear Niagara Falls from her rooftop in Brooklyn, and I'm remembering how Niagara Falls is a city overrun with strip malls and traffic and vendors and one incredibly brave river that makes it all worth it. Ya'll, I know this world is far from perfect. I am not the type to mistake a streetlight for the moon. I know our wounds are deep as the Atlantic. But every ocean has a shoreline and every shoreline has a tide that is constantly returning to wake the songbirds in our hands, to wake the music in our bones, to place one fearless kiss on the mouth of that brave river that has to run through the center of our hearts to find its way home.
Andrea Gibson
From space, astronauts can see people making love as a tiny speck of light. Not light, exactly, but a glow that could be mistaken for light--a coital radiance that takes generations to pour like honey through the darkness to the astronaut's eyes. In about one and a half centuries--after the lovers who made the glow will have long been laid permanently on their backs--metropolises will be seen from space. They will glow all year. Smaller cities will also be seen, but with great difficulty. Shtetls will be virtually impossible to spot. Individual couples, invisible. The glow is born from the sum of thousands of loves: newlyweds and teenagers who spark like lighters out of butane, pairs of men who burn fast and bright, pairs of women who illuminate for hours with soft multiple glows, orgies like rock and flint toys sold at festivals, couples trying unsuccessfully to have children who burn their frustrated image on the continent like the bloom a bright light leaves on the eye after you turn away from it. Some nights, some places are a little brighter. It's difficult to stare at New York City on Valentine's Day, or Dublin on St. Patrick's. The old walled city of Jerusalem lights up like a candle on each of Chanukah's eight nights...We're here, the glow...will say in one and a half centuries. We're here, and we're alive.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything is Illuminated)
Zhi yin. Jem had told her once that it meant understanding music, and also a bond that went deeper than friendship. Jem played, and he played the years of Will's life as he had seen them. He played two little boys in the training room, one showing the other how to throw knives, and he played the ritual of parabatai: the fire and the vows and burning runes. He played two young men running through the streets of London in the dark, stopping to lean up against a wall and laugh together. He played the day in the library when he and Will had jested with Tessa about ducks, and he played the train to Yorkshire on which Jem had said that parabatai were meant to love each other as they loved their own souls. He played that love, and he played their love for Tessa, and hers for them, and he played Will saying, In your eyes I have always found grace. He played the too few times he had seen them since he had joined the Brotherhood- the brief meetings at the Institute; the time when Will had been bitten by a Shax demon and nearly died, and Jem had come from the Silent City and sat with him all night, risking discovery and punishment. And he played the birth of their first son, and the protection ceremony that had been carried out on the child in the Silent City. Will would have no other Silent Brother but Jem perform it. And Jem played the way he had covered his scarred face with his hands and turned away when he'd found out the child's name was James. He played of love and loss and years of silence, words unsaid and vows unspoken, and all the spaces between his heart and theirs; and when he was done, and he'd set the violin back in its box, Will's eyes were closed, but Tessa's were full of tears. Jem set down his bow, and came toward the bed, drawing back his hood, so she could see his closed eyes and his scarred face. And he had sat down beside them on the bed, and taken Will's hand, the one that Tessa was not holding, and both Will and Tessa heard Jem's voice in their minds. I take your hand, brother, so that you may go in peace. Will had opened the blue eyes that had never lost their color over all the passing years, and looked at Jem and then Tessa, and smiled, and died, with Tessa's head on his shoulder and his hand in Jem's.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
On moonlight nights the long, straight street and dirty white walls, nowhere darkened by the shadow of a tree, their peace untroubled by footsteps or a dog's bark, glimmered in the pale recession. The silent city was no more than an assemblage of huge, inert cubes, between which only the mute effigies of great men, carapaced in bronze, with their blank stone or metal faces, conjured up a sorry semblance of what the man had been. In lifeless squares and avenues these tawdry idols lorded it under the lowering sky; stolid monsters that might have personified the rule of immobility imposed on us, or, anyhow, its final aspect, that of a defunct city in which plague, stone, and darkness had effectively silenced every voice.
Albert Camus (The Plague)
He reassures her, but he feels her soft laughter travel through their joined hands — how did that happen? — as they make their way downstairs. And he understands. He understands why people hold hands: he’d always thought it was about possessiveness, saying This is mine. But it’s about maintaining contact. It is about speaking without words. It is about I want you with me and don’t go. He wants her in his bedroom. And not in that way — no girl has ever been in his bedroom that way. It is his private space, his sanctuary. But he wants Clary there. He wants her to see him, the reality of him, not the image he shows the world. He wants to lie down on the bed with her and have her curl into him. He wants to hold her as she breathes softly through the night; to see her as no one else sees her: vulnerable and asleep. To see her and to be seen.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
From p. 40 of Signet Edition of Thomas Wolfe's _You Can't Go Home Again_ (1940): Some things will never change. Some things will always be the same. Lean down your ear upon the earth and listen. The voice of forest water in the night, a woman's laughter in the dark, the clean, hard rattle of raked gravel, the cricketing stitch of midday in hot meadows, the delicate web of children's voices in bright air--these things will never change. The glitter of sunlight on roughened water, the glory of the stars, the innocence of morning, the smell of the sea in harbors, the feathery blur and smoky buddings of young boughs, and something there that comes and goes and never can be captured, the thorn of spring, the sharp and tongueless cry--these things will always be the same. All things belonging to the earth will never change--the leaf, the blade, the flower, the wind that cries and sleeps and wakes again, the trees whose stiff arms clash and tremble in the dark, and the dust of lovers long since buried in the earth--all things proceeding from the earth to seasons, all things that lapse and change and come again upon the earth--these things will always be the same, for they come up from the earth that never changes, they go back into the earth that lasts forever. Only the earth endures, but it endures forever. The tarantula, the adder, and the asp will also never change. Pain and death will always be the same. But under the pavements trembling like a pulse, under the buildings trembling like a cry, under the waste of time, under the hoof of the beast above the broken bones of cities, there will be something growing like a flower, something bursting from the earth again, forever deathless, faithful, coming into life again like April.
Thomas Wolfe (You Can't Go Home Again)
Once I passed through a populous city imprinting my brain for future use with its shows, architecture, customs, traditions, Yet now of all that city I remember only a woman I Casually met there who detained me for love of me, Day by day and night by night we were together—all else Has long been forgotten by me, I remember I say only that woman who passionately clung To me, Again we wander, we love, we separate again, Again she holds me by the hand, I must not go, I see her close beside me with silent lips sad and tremulous.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
I’ve got so much inside me I have no idea about. I’m like the mayor of a city I’ve never seen.” He smiles at my phrasing. “If you knew the kind of little miracles happening every moment you breathe in, you wouldn’t be able to handle it. A valve could close and not open; an artery could split, you could die. At any moment. It’s nothing but miracles inside your tiny city.” He presses a kiss to my temple. “Holy shit.” I clutch at him. “You wouldn’t believe the stats on people who go to bed one night and never wake up. Normal, healthy people who aren’t even old.” “Why would you tell me this? Is this what you think about?” There’s the longest pause. “I used to. Not so much anymore.” “I think I preferred it when I thought I was full of white bones and red goo. Why am I now thinking about dying tonight?” “Now you see why I can’t do small talk. 
Sally Thorne (The Hating Game)
But if a man be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and vulgar things. One might think the atmosphere was made transparent with this design, to give man, in the heavenly bodies, the perpetual presence of the sublime. Seen in the streets of cities, how great they are! If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (Nature)
with the night falling we are saying thank you we are stopping on the bridge to bow from the railings we are running out of the glass rooms with our mouths full of food to look at the sky and say thank you we are standing by the water looking out in different directions back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging after funerals we are saying thank you after the news of the dead whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you in a culture up to its chin in shame living in the stench it has chosen we are saying thank you over telephones we are saying thank you in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators remembering wars and the police at the back door and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you in the banks that use us we are saying thank you with the crooks in office with the rich and fashionable unchanged we go on saying thank you thank you with the animals dying around us our lost feelings we are saying thank you with the forests falling faster than the minutes of our lives we are saying thank you with the words going out like cells of a brain with the cities growing over us like the earth we are saying thank you faster and faster with nobody listening we are saying thank you we are saying thank you and waving dark though it is
W.S. Merwin
I am, and always have been - first, last, and always - a child of America. You raised me. I grew up in the pastures and hills of Texas, but I had been to thirty-four states before I learned how to drive. When I caught the stomach flu in the fifth grade, my mother sent a note to school written on the back of a holiday memo from Vice President Biden. Sorry, sir—we were in a rush, and it was the only paper she had on hand. I spoke to you for the first time when I was eighteen, on the stage of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, when I introduced my mother as the nominee for president. You cheered for me. I was young and full of hope, and you let me embody the American dream: that a boy who grew up speaking two languages, whose family was blended and beautiful and enduring, could make a home for himself in the White House. You pinned the flag to my lapel and said, “We’re rooting for you.” As I stand before you today, my hope is that I have not let you down. Years ago, I met a prince. And though I didn’t realize it at the time, his country had raised him too. The truth is, Henry and I have been together since the beginning of this year. The truth is, as many of you have read, we have both struggled every day with what this means for our families, our countries, and our futures. The truth is, we have both had to make compromises that cost us sleep at night in order to afford us enough time to share our relationship with the world on our own terms. We were not afforded that liberty. But the truth is, also, simply this: love is indomitable. America has always believed this. And so, I am not ashamed to stand here today where presidents have stood and say that I love him, the same as Jack loved Jackie, the same as Lyndon loved Lady Bird. Every person who bears a legacy makes the choice of a partner with whom they will share it, whom the American people will “hold beside them in hearts and memories and history books. America: He is my choice. Like countless other Americans, I was afraid to say this out loud because of what the consequences might be. To you, specifically, I say: I see you. I am one of you. As long as I have a place in this White House, so will you. I am the First Son of the United States, and I’m bisexual. History will remember us. If I can ask only one thing of the American people, it’s this: Please, do not let my actions influence your decision in November. The decision you will make this year is so much bigger than anything I could ever say or do, and it will determine the fate of this country for years to come. My mother, your president, is the warrior and the champion that each and every American deserves for four more years of growth, progress, and prosperity. Please, don’t let my actions send us backward. I ask the media not to focus on me or on Henry, but on the campaign, on policy, on the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans at stake in this election. And finally, I hope America will remember that I am still the son you raised. My blood still runs from Lometa, Texas, and San Diego, California, and Mexico City. I still remember the sound of your voices from that stage in Philadelphia. I wake up every morning thinking of your hometowns, of the families I’ve met at rallies in Idaho and Oregon and South Carolina. I have never hoped to be anything other than what I was to you then, and what I am to you now—the First Son, yours in actions and words. And I hope when Inauguration Day comes again in January, I will continue to be.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
The minute you land in New Orleans, something wet and dark leaps on you and starts humping you like a swamp dog in heat, and the only way to get that aspect of New Orleans off you is to eat it off. That means beignets and crayfish bisque and jambalaya, it means shrimp remoulade, pecan pie, and red beans with rice, it means elegant pompano au papillote, funky file z'herbes, and raw oysters by the dozen, it means grillades for breakfast, a po' boy with chowchow at bedtime, and tubs of gumbo in between. It is not unusual for a visitor to the city to gain fifteen pounds in a week--yet the alternative is a whole lot worse. If you don't eat day and night, if you don't constantly funnel the indigenous flavors into your bloodstream, then the mystery beast will go right on humping you, and you will feel its sordid presence rubbing against you long after you have left town. In fact, like any sex offender, it can leave permanent psychological scars.
Tom Robbins (Jitterbug Perfume)
I have never been much of a patriot. My father would not have allowed such a thing while he lived, and his death insured that his wish was carried out. Piter commanded far more affection and loyalty from me than the nation as a whole. But that night, running across the unplowed fields of winter wheat, with the Fascist invaders behind us and the dark Russian woods before us, I felt a surge of pure love for my country. We ran for the forest, crashing through the stalks of wheat, beneath the rising moon and the stars spinning farther and farther away, alone beneath the godless sky.
David Benioff (City of Thieves)
I am convinced that poets are toddlers in a cathedral, slobbering on wooden blocks and piling them up in the light of the stained glass. We can hardly make anything beautiful that wasn’t beautiful in the first place. We aren’t writers, but gleeful rearrangers of words whose meanings we can’t begin to know. When we manage to make something pretty, it’s only so because we are ourselves a flourish on a greater canvas. That means there’s no end to the discovery. We may crawl around the cathedral floor for ages before we grow up enough to reach the doorknob and walk outside into a garden of delights. Beyond that, the city, then the rolling hills, then the sea. And when the world of every cell has been limned and painted and sung, we lie back on the grass, satisfied that our work is done. Then, of course, the sun sets and we see above us the dark dome of glittering stars. On and on it goes, all the way to the lightless borderlands of time and space, which we come to discover in some future age are but the beginnings or endings of a single word spoken from the mouth of God. Some nights, while I traipse down the hill, I imagine that word isn’t a word at all, but a burst of laughter.
Andrew Peterson
And give me some coffee. Black as midnight on a moonless night." Harga looked surprised. That wasn't like Vimes. "How black's that, then?" he said. "Oh, pretty damn black, I should think." "Not necessarily." "What?" "You get more stars on a moonless night. Stands to reason. They show up more. It can be quite bright on a moonless night." Vimes sighed. "An overcast moonless night?" he said. Harga looked carefully at his coffee pot. "Cumulus or cirro-nimbus?" "I'm sorry? What did you say?" "You get city lights reflected off cumulus, because it's low lying, see. Mind you, you can get high-altitude scatter off the ice crystals in--" "A moonless night," said Vimes, in a hollow voice, "that is as black as coffee.
Terry Pratchett (Men at Arms (Discworld, #15; City Watch, #2))
Everything in New York is a photograph. All the things that are supposed to be dirty or rough or unrefined are the most beautiful things. Garbage cans at the ends of alleyways look like they've been up all night talking with each other. Doorways with peeling paint look like the wise lines around an old feller's eyes. I stop and stare but can't stay because men always think I'm selling something. Or worse, giving something away. I wish I could be invisible. Or at least I wish I didn't look like someone they want to look at. They stop being part of the picture, they get up from their chess game and come out of the frame at me, blocking my view.
Ann-Marie MacDonald (Fall on Your Knees)
Long Time. The famous seventeenth-century Ming painter Chou Yung relates a story that altered his behavior forever. Late one winter afternoon he set out to visit a town that lay across the river from his own town. He was bringing some important books and papers with him and had commissioned a young boy to help him carry them. As the ferry neared the other side of the river, Chou Yung asked the boatman if they would have time to get to the town before its gates closed, since it was a mile away and night was approaching. The boatman glanced at the boy, and at the bundle of loosely tied papers and books—“Yes,” he replied, “if you do not walk too fast.” As they started out, however, the sun was setting. Afraid of being locked out of the town at night, prey to local bandits, Chou and the boy walked faster and faster, finally breaking into a run. Suddenly the string around the papers broke and the documents scattered on the ground. It took them many minutes to put the packet together again, and by the time they had reached the city gates, it was too late. When you force the pace out of fear and impatience, you create a nest of problems that require fixing, and you end up taking much longer than if you had taken your time.
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
Isabelle had been trained to wake up early every morning, rain or shine, and a slight hangover did nothing to prevent it from happening again. She sat up slowly and blinked down at Simon. She'd never spent and entire night in a bed with anyone else, unless you counted crawling into her parents bed when she was four and afraid of thunderstorms. She couldn't help staring at Simon as if he were some exotic species of animal. He lay on his back, his mouth slightly open, his hair in his eyes. Ordinary brown hair, ordinary brown eyes. His t-shirt was pulled up slightly. He wasn't muscular like a shadowhunter. He had a smooth flat stomach but no six-pack, and there was still a hint of softness to his face. What was it about him that fascinated her? He was plenty cute, but she had dated gorgeous faerie knights, sexy shadowhunters... "Isabelle," Simon said without opening his eyes. "Quit staring at me.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
What are the dead, anyway, but waves and energy? Light shining from a dead star? That, by the way, is a phrase of Julian's. I remember it from a lecture of his on the Iliad, when Patroklos appears to Achilles in a dream. There is a very moving passage where Achilles overjoyed at the sight of the apparition – tries to throw his arms around the ghost of his old friend, and it vanishes. The dead appear to us in dreams, said Julian, because that's the only way they can make us see them; what we see is only a projection, beamed from a great distance, light shining at us from a dead star… Which reminds me, by the way, of a dream I had a couple of weeks ago. I found myself in a strange deserted city – an old city, like London – underpopulated by war or disease. It was night; the streets were dark, bombed-out, abandoned. For a long time, I wandered aimlessly – past ruined parks, blasted statuary, vacant lots overgrown with weeds and collapsed apartment houses with rusted girders poking out of their sides like ribs. But here and there, interspersed among the desolate shells of the heavy old public buildings, I began to see new buildings, too, which were connected by futuristic walkways lit from beneath. Long, cool perspectives of modern architecture, rising phosphorescent and eerie from the rubble. I went inside one of these new buildings. It was like a laboratory, maybe, or a museum. My footsteps echoed on the tile floors.There was a cluster of men, all smoking pipes, gathered around an exhibit in a glass case that gleamed in the dim light and lit their faces ghoulishly from below. I drew nearer. In the case was a machine revolving slowly on a turntable, a machine with metal parts that slid in and out and collapsed in upon themselves to form new images. An Inca temple… click click click… the Pyramids… the Parthenon. History passing beneath my very eyes, changing every moment. 'I thought I'd find you here,' said a voice at my elbow. It was Henry. His gaze was steady and impassive in the dim light. Above his ear, beneath the wire stem of his spectacles, I could just make out the powder burn and the dark hole in his right temple. I was glad to see him, though not exactly surprised. 'You know,' I said to him, 'everybody is saying that you're dead.' He stared down at the machine. The Colosseum… click click click… the Pantheon. 'I'm not dead,' he said. 'I'm only having a bit of trouble with my passport.' 'What?' He cleared his throat. 'My movements are restricted,' he said. 'I no longer have the ability to travel as freely as I would like.' Hagia Sophia. St. Mark's, in Venice. 'What is this place?' I asked him. 'That information is classified, I'm afraid.' 1 looked around curiously. It seemed that I was the only visitor. 'Is it open to the public?' I said. 'Not generally, no.' I looked at him. There was so much I wanted to ask him, so much I wanted to say; but somehow I knew there wasn't time and even if there was, that it was all, somehow, beside the point. 'Are you happy here?' I said at last. He considered this for a moment. 'Not particularly,' he said. 'But you're not very happy where you are, either.' St. Basil's, in Moscow. Chartres. Salisbury and Amiens. He glanced at his watch. 'I hope you'll excuse me,' he said, 'but I'm late for an appointment.' He turned from me and walked away. I watched his back receding down the long, gleaming hall.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
An incomplete list: No more diving into pools of chlorinated water lit green from below. No more ball games played out under floodlights. No more porch lights with moths fluttering on summer nights. No more trains running under the surface of cities on the dazzling power of the electric third rail. No more cities. No more films, except rarely, except with a generator drowning out half the dialogue, and only then for the first little while until the fuel for the generators ran out, because automobile gas goes stale after two or three years. Aviation gas lasts longer, but it was difficult to come by. No more screens shining in the half-light as people raise their phones above the crowd to take pictures of concert states. No more concert stages lit by candy-colored halogens, no more electronica, punk, electric guitars. No more pharmaceuticals. No more certainty of surviving a scratch on one's hand, a cut on a finger while chopping vegetables for dinner, a dog bite. No more flight. No more towns glimpsed from the sky through airplane windows, points of glimmering light; no more looking down from thirty thousand feet and imagining the lives lit up by those lights at that moment. No more airplanes, no more requests to put your tray table in its upright and locked position – but no, this wasn't true, there were still airplanes here and there. They stood dormant on runways and in hangars. They collected snow on their wings. In the cold months, they were ideal for food storage. In summer the ones near orchards were filled with trays of fruit that dehydrated in the heat. Teenagers snuck into them to have sex. Rust blossomed and streaked. No more countries, all borders unmanned. No more fire departments, no more police. No more road maintenance or garbage pickup. No more spacecraft rising up from Cape Canaveral, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, from Vandenburg, Plesetsk, Tanegashima, burning paths through the atmosphere into space. No more Internet. No more social media, no more scrolling through litanies of dreams and nervous hopes and photographs of lunches, cries for help and expressions of contentment and relationship-status updates with heart icons whole or broken, plans to meet up later, pleas, complaints, desires, pictures of babies dressed as bears or peppers for Halloween. No more reading and commenting on the lives of others, and in so doing, feeling slightly less alone in the room. No more avatars.
Emily St. John Mandel (Station Eleven)
What about a teakettle? What if the spout opened and closed when the steam came out, so it would become a mouth, and it could whistle pretty melodies, or do Shakespeare, or just crack up with me? I could invent a teakettle that reads in Dad’s voice, so I could fall asleep, or maybe a set of kettles that sings the chorus of “Yellow Submarine,” which is a song by the Beatles, who I love, because entomology is one of my raisons d’être, which is a French expression that I know. Another good thing is that I could train my anus to talk when I farted. If I wanted to be extremely hilarious, I’d train it to say, “Wasn’t me!” every time I made an incredibly bad fart. And if I ever made an incredibly bad fart in the Hall of Mirrors, which is in Versailles, which is outside of Paris, which is in France, obviously, my anus would say, “Ce n’étais pas moi!” What about little microphones? What if everyone swallowed them, and they played the sounds of our hearts through little speakers, which could be in the pouches of our overalls? When you skateboard down the street at night you could hear everyone's heartbeat, and they could hear yours, sort of like sonar. One weird thing is, I wonder if everyone's hearts would start to beat at the same time, like how women who live together have their menstrual periods at the same time, which I know about, but don't really want to know about. That would be so weird, except that the place in the hospital where babies are born would sound like a crystal chandelier in a houseboat, because the babies wouldn't have had time to match up their heartbeats yet. And at the finish line at the end of the New York City Marathon it would sound like war.
Jonathan Safran Foer
I'm in love with New York. It matches my mood. I'm not overwhelmed. It is the suitable scene for my ever ever heightened life. I love the proportions, the amplitude, the brilliance, the polish, the solidity. I look up at Radio City insolently and love it. It's all great, and Babylonian. Broadway at night. Cellophane. The newness. The vitality. True, it is only physical. But it's inspiring. Just bring your own contents, and you create a sparkle of the highest power. I'm not moved, not speechless. I stand straight, tough and I meet the impact. I feel the glow and the dancing in everything. The radio music in the taxis, scientific magic, which can all be used lyrically. That's my last word. Give New York to a poet. He can use it. It can be poetized. Or maybe that's mania of mine, to poetize. I live lightly, smoothly, actively, ears or eyes wide open, alert, oiled! I feel the glow and the dancing in every thing and the tempo is like that of my blood. I'm at once beyond, over and in New York, tasting it fully.
Anaïs Nin
You’re right,” Jacks said. “You’re not part of my world. You’re not one of those girls. And maybe that’s why.” “Why what?” “Why I can’t stop thinking about you.” Maddy rolled her eyes. “Guys like you don’t say that to girls like me.” “I’ve never said that to anyone, actually,” Jacks corrected. “In fact, I’ve never done anything like this before.” He let out a little laugh. “How am I doing?” He swallowed hard, trying to push down his nervousness. He was astonished to realize he was nervous. Somehow being around Maddy just put him in a different space. Jacks felt so present. Maddy stared at him, letting the anger and frustration surge through her. “Why are you doing this to me?” she asked finally. He paused, considering. “I’m being honest. I know you may not believe me. But I haven’t been able to not think about you. When we were in the back at the restaurant, and . . .” Jacks’s voice trailed off, his face coloring. “I still feel terrible about what I did. I lied to you and, even though I had good reasons for it, it was wrong of me.” Maddy studied him. Was he telling the truth? Jacks smiled. “I mean this in the best possible way: I’m not going to leave you alone until you let me make it up to you. I’m serious. I’ll be here every night. You might as well get me some pajamas and a toothbrush.” Despite her best efforts not to, Maddy laughed. She looked at Jacks and could see the faintest twinkle of light in his eyes. “So what you’re saying is that I should just give in and let you make it up to me. Otherwise you’ll be tormenting me like this for the rest of my life?” “Pretty much. Yeah.” “Well.” She sighed. “What do you have in mind?” “Come fly with me.
Scott Speer (Immortal City (Immortal City, #1))
Old Money Blue hydrangea, cold cash, divine, Cashmere, cologne and white sunshine. Red racing cars, Sunset and Vine, The kids were young and pretty. Where have you been? Where did you go? Those summer nights seem long ago, And so is the girl you used to call, The Queen of New York City. But if you send for me you know I'll come, And if you call for me you know I'll run. I'll run to you, I'll run to you, I'll run, run, run. I'll come to you, I'll come to you, I'll come, come, come. Ohh, Ohh. Ahh, Ahh. The power of youth is on my mind, Sunsets, small town, I'm out of time. Will you still love me when I shine, From words but not from beauty? My father's love was always strong, My mother's glamour lives on and on, Yet still inside I felt alone, For reasons unknown to me. But if you send for me you know I'll come, And if you call for me you know I'll run. I'll run to you, I'll run to you, I'll run, run, run. I'll come to you, I'll come to you, I'll come, come, come. Ohh, Ohh. Ahh, Ahh. And if you call, I'll run, run, run, If you change your mind, I'll come, come, come. Ohh, Ohh. Ahh, Ahh. Blue hydrangea, cold cash, divine, Cashmere, cologne and hot sunshine. Red racing cars, Sunset and Vine, And we were young and pretty.
Lana Del Rey
Rose, I’m sorry I had to leave so quickly, but when the Alchemists tell me to jump … well, I jump. I’ve hitched a ride back to that farm town we stayed in so that I can pick up the Red Hurricane, and then I’m off to Saint Petersburg. Apparently, now that you’ve been delivered to Baia, they don’t need me to stick around anymore. I wish I could tell you more about Abe and what he wants from you. Even if I was allowed to, there isn’t much to say. In some ways, he’s as much a mystery to me as he is to you. Like I said, a lot of the business he deals in is illegal—both among humans and Moroi. The only time he gets directly involved with people is when something relates to that business—or if it’s a very, very special case. I think you’re one of those cases, and even if he doesn’t intend you harm, he might want to use you for his own purposes. It could be as simple as him wanting to contract you as a bodyguard, seeing as you’re rogue. Maybe he wants to use you to get to others. Maybe this is all part of someone else’s plan, someone who’s even more mysterious than him. Maybe he’s doing someone a favor. Zmey can be dangerous or kind, all depending on what he needs to accomplish. I never thought I’d care enough to say this to a dhampir, but be careful. I don’t know what your plans are now, but I have a feeling trouble follows you around. Call me if there’s anything I can help with, but if you go back to the big cities to hunt Strigoi, don’t leave any more bodies unattended! All the best, Sydney P.S. “The Red Hurricane” is what I named the car. P.P.S. Just because I like you, it doesn’t mean I still don’t think you’re an evil creature of the night. You are.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
Night, forever. But within it, a city, shadowy and only real in certain ways. The entity cowered in its alley, where the mist was rising. This could not have happened! Yet it had. The streets had filled with… things. Animals! Birds! Changing shape! Screaming and yelling! And, above it all, higher than the rooftops, a lamb rocking back and forth in great slow motions, thundering over the cobbles… And then bars had come down, slamming down, and the entity had been thrown back. But it had been so close! It had saved the creature, it was getting through, it was beginning to have control… and now this… In the darkness of the inner city, above the rustle of the never-ending rain, it heard the sound of boots approaching. A shape appeared in the mist. It drew nearer. Water cascaded off a metal helmet and an oiled leather cloak as the figure stopped and, entirely unconcerned, cupped its had in front of its face and lit a cigar. Then the match was dropped on the cobbles, where it hissed out, and the figure said: “What are you?” The entity stirred, like an old fish in a deep pool. It was too tired to flee. “I am the Summoning Dark.” It was not, in fact, a sound, but had it been, it would have been a hiss. “Who are you?” “I am the Watchman.” “They would have killed his family!” The darkness lunged, and met resistance. “Think of the deaths they have caused! Who are you to stop me?” “He created me. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who watches the watchmen? Me. I watch him. Always. You will not force him to murder for you.” “What kind of human creates his own policeman?” “One who fears the dark.” “And so he should,” said the entity, with satisfaction. “Indeed. But I think you misunderstand. I am not here to keep the darkness out. I am here to keep it in.” There was a clink of metal as the shadowy watchman lifted a dark lantern and opened its little door. Orange light cut through the blackness. “Call me… the Guarding Dark. Imagine how strong I must be.” The Summoning Dark backed desperately into the alley, but the light followed it, burning it. “And now,” said the watchman, “get out of town.
Terry Pratchett (Thud! (Discworld, #34; City Watch, #7))
The Beat Generation, that was a vision that we had, John Clellon Holmes and I, and Allen Ginsberg in an even wilder way, in the late forties, of a generation of crazy, illuminated hipsters suddenly rising and roaming America, serious, bumming and hitchhiking everywhere, ragged, beatific, beautiful in an ugly graceful new way--a vision gleaned from the way we had heard the word 'beat' spoken on streetcorners on Times Square and in the Village, in other cities in the downtown city night of postwar America--beat, meaning down and out but full of intense conviction--We'd even heard old 1910 Daddy Hipsters of the streets speak the word that way, with a melancholy sneer--It never meant juvenile delinquents, it meant characters of a special spirituality who didn't gang up but were solitary Bartlebies staring out the dead wall window of our civilization--the subterraneans heroes who'd finally turned from the 'freedom' machine of the West and were taking drugs, digging bop, having flashes of insight, experiencing the 'derangement of the senses,' talking strange, being poor and glad, prophesying a new style for American culture, a new style (we thought), a new incantation--The same thing was almost going on in the postwar France of Sartre and Genet and what's more we knew about it--But as to the actual existence of a Beat Generation, chances are it was really just an idea in our minds--We'd stay up 24 hours drinking cup after cup of black coffee, playing record after record of Wardell Gray, Lester Young, Dexter Gordon, Willie Jackson, Lennie Tristano and all the rest, talking madly about that holy new feeling out there in the streets- -We'd write stories about some strange beatific Negro hepcat saint with goatee hitchhiking across Iowa with taped up horn bringing the secret message of blowing to other coasts, other cities, like a veritable Walter the Penniless leading an invisible First Crusade- -We had our mystic heroes and wrote, nay sung novels about them, erected long poems celebrating the new 'angels' of the American underground--In actuality there was only a handful of real hip swinging cats and what there was vanished mightily swiftly during the Korean War when (and after) a sinister new kind of efficiency appeared in America, maybe it was the result of the universalization of Television and nothing else (the Polite Total Police Control of Dragnet's 'peace' officers) but the beat characters after 1950 vanished into jails and madhouses, or were shamed into silent conformity, the generation itself was shortlived and small in number.
Jack Kerouac
When I got home I mixed a stiff one and stood by the open window in the living room and sipped it and listened to the groundswell of traffic on Laurel Canyon Boulevard and looked at the glare of the big angry city hanging over the shoulder of the hills through which the boulevard had been cut. Far off the banshee wail of police or fire sirens rose and fell, never for very long completely silent. Twenty four hours a day somebody is running, somebody else is trying to catch him. Out there in the night of a thousand crimes, people were dying, being maimed, cut by flying glass, crushed against steering wheels or under heavy tires. People were being beaten, robbed, strangled, raped, and murdered. People were hungry, sick; bored, desperate with loneliness or remorse or fear, angry, cruel, feverish, shaken by sobs. A city no worse than others, a city rich and vigorous and full of pride, a city lost and beaten and full of emptiness. It all depends on where you sit and what your own private score is. I didn't have one. I didn't care. I finished the drink and went to bed.
Raymond Chandler (The Long Goodbye (Philip Marlowe, #6))
There's something about that tunnel that leads to downtown. It's glorious at night. Just glorious. You start on one side of the mountain, and it's dark, and the radio is loud. As you enter the tunnel, the wind gets sucked away, and you squint from the lights overhead. When you adjust to the lights, you can see the other side in the distance just as the sound of the radio fades to nothing because the waves just can't reach. Then, you're in the middle of the tunnel, and everything becomes a calm dream. As you see the opening get closer, you just can't get there fast enough. And finally, just when you think you'll never get there, you see the opening right in front of you. And the radio comes back even louder than you remember it. And the wind is waiting. And you fly out of the tunnel onto the bridge. And there it is. The city. A million lights and buildings and everything seems as exciting as the first time you saw it. It really is a grand entrance.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
A Kite is a Victim A kite is a victim you are sure of. You love it because it pulls gentle enough to call you master, strong enough to call you fool; because it lives like a desperate trained falcon in the high sweet air, and you can always haul it down to tame it in your drawer. A kite is a fish you have already caught in a pool where no fish come, so you play him carefully and long, and hope he won't give up, or the wind die down. A kite is the last poem you've written so you give it to the wind, but you don't let it go until someone finds you something else to do. A kite is a contract of glory that must be made with the sun, so you make friends with the field the river and the wind, then you pray the whole cold night before, under the travelling cordless moon, to make you worthy and lyric and pure. Gift You tell me that silence is nearer to peace than poems but if for my gift I brought you silence (for I know silence) you would say This is not silence this is another poem and you would hand it back to me There are some men There are some men who should have mountains to bear their names through time Grave markers are not high enough or green and sons go far away to lose the fist their father’s hand will always seem I had a friend he lived and died in mighty silence and with dignity left no book son or lover to mourn. Nor is this a mourning song but only a naming of this mountain on which I walk fragrant, dark and softly white under the pale of mist I name this mountain after him. -Believe nothing of me Except that I felt your beauty more closely than my own. I did not see any cities burn, I heard no promises of endless night, I felt your beauty more closely than my own. Promise me that I will return.- -When you call me close to tell me your body is not beautiful I want to summon the eyes and hidden mouths of stone and light and water to testify against you.- Song I almost went to bed without remembering the four white violets I put in the button-hole of your green sweater and how i kissed you then and you kissed me shy as though I'd never been your lover -Reach into the vineyard of arteries for my heart. Eat the fruit of ignorance and share with me the mist and fragrance of dying.-
Leonard Cohen (The Spice-Box of Earth)
Jace, you don’t have to—” “I was trying to go…somewhere,” Jace said. “But I kept getting pulled back here. I couldn’t stop walking, couldn’t stop thinking. About the first time I ever saw you, and how after that I couldn’t forget you. I wanted to, but I couldn’t stop myself. I forced Hodge to let me be the one who came to find you and bring you back to the Institute. And even back then, in that stupid coffee shop, when I saw you sitting on that couch with Simon, even then that felt wrong to me—I should have been the one sitting with you. The one who made you laugh like that. I couldn’t get rid of that feeling. That it should have been me. And the more I knew you, the more I felt it—it had never been like that for me before. I’d always wanted a girl and then gotten to know her and not wanted her anymore, but with you the feeling just got stronger and stronger until that night when you showed up at Renwick’s and I knew. “And then to find out that the reason I felt like that—like you were some part of me I’d lost and never even knew I was missing until I saw you again—that the reason was that you were my sister, it felt like some sort of cosmic joke. Like God was spitting on me. I don’t even know for what—for thinking that I could actually get to have you, that I would deserve something like that, to be that happy. I couldn’t imagine what it was I’d done that I was being punished for—” “If you’re being punished,” Clary said, “then so am I.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Thank you, Mr. Secretary General, UNICEF Executive Director, Excellencies and distinguished guests from across the world. My name is Kim Nam Jun, also known as RM, the leader of the group BTS. It’s an incredible honour to be invited to an occasion with such significance for today’s young generation. Last November, BTS launched the “Love Myself” campaign with UNICEF, building on our belief that “true love first begins with loving myself.” We have been partnering with UNICEF’s #ENDviolence program to protect children and young people all over the world from violence. Our fans have become a major part of this campaign with their action and enthusiasm. We truly have the best fans in the world! I would like to begin by talking about myself. I was born in Ilsan, a city near Seoul, South Korea. It’s a beautiful place, with a lake, hills, and even an annual flower festival. I spent a happy childhood there, and I was just an ordinary boy. I would look up at the night sky in wonder and dream the dreams of a boy. I used to imagine that I was a superhero, saving the world. In an intro to one of our early albums, there is a line that says, “My heart stopped…I was maybe nine or ten.” Looking back, that’s when I began to worry about what other people thought of me and started seeing myself through their eyes. I stopped looking up at the stars at night. I stopped daydreaming. I tried to jam myself into moulds that other people made. Soon, I began to shut out my own voice and started to listen to the voices of others. No one called out my name, and neither did I. My heart stopped and my eyes closed shut. So, like this, I, we, all lost our names. We became like ghosts. I had one sanctuary, and that was music. There was a small voice in me that said, ‘Wake up, man, and listen to yourself!” But it took me a long time to hear music calling my name. Even after making the decision to join BTS, there were hurdles. Most people thought we were hopeless. Sometimes, I just wanted to quit. I think I was very lucky that I didn’t give it all up. I’m sure that I, and we, will keep stumbling and falling. We have become artists performing in huge stadiums and selling millions of albums. But I am still an ordinary, twenty-four-year-old guy. If there’s anything that I’ve achieved, it was only possible because I had my other BTS members by my side, and because of the love and support of our ARMY fans. Maybe I made a mistake yesterday, but yesterday’s me is still me. I am who I am today, with all my faults. Tomorrow I might be a tiny bit wiser, and that’s me, too. These faults and mistakes are what I am, making up the brightest stars in the constellation of my life. I have come to love myself for who I was, who I am, and who I hope to become. I would like to say one last thing. After releasing the “Love Yourself” albums and launching the “Love Myself” campaign, we started to hear remarkable stories from our fans all over the world, how our message helped them overcome their hardships in life and start loving themselves. These stories constantly remind us of our responsibility. So, let’s all take one more step. We have learned to love ourselves, so now I urge you to "speak yourself". I would like to ask all of you. What is your name? What excites you and makes your heart beat? Tell me your story. I want to hear your voice, and I want to hear your conviction. No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin colour, gender identity: speak yourself. Find your name, find your voice by speaking yourself. I’m Kim Nam Jun, RM of BTS. I’m a hip-hop idol and an artist from a small town in Korea. Like most people, I made many mistakes in my life. I have many faults and I have many fears, but I am going to embrace myself as hard as I can, and I’m starting to love myself, little by little. What is your name? Speak Yourself!
Kim Namjoon
Karsa reached down, gathered the skeletal figure into his arms, and then settled back. ‘I stepped over corpses on the way here,’ the Toblakai said. ‘People no one cared about, dying alone. In my barbaric village this would never happen, but here in this city, this civilized jewel, it happens all the time. (...) What is your name?’ ‘Munug.’ ‘Munug. This night – before I must rise and walk into the temple – I am a village. And you are here, in my arms. You will not die uncared for.’ ‘You – you would do this for me? A stranger?’ ‘In my village no one is a stranger – and this is what civilization has turned its back on. One day, Munug, I will make a world of villages, and the age of cities will be over. And slavery will be dead, and there shall be no chains – tell your god. Tonight, I am his knight.’ Munug’s shivering was fading. The old man smiled. ‘He knows.’ It wasn’t too much, to take a frail figure into one’s arms for those last moments of life. Better than a cot, or even a bed in a room filled with loved ones. Better, too, than an empty street in the cold rain. To die in someone’s arms – could there be anything more forgiving? Every savage barbarian in the world knew the truth of this.
Steven Erikson (The Crippled God (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #10))
Each person held aloft a single lit candle—the city’s traditional way to express its appreciation for that year’s peace prize winner. It was a magical sight, as if a pool of stars had descended from the sky; and as Michelle and I leaned out to wave, the night air brisk on our cheeks, the crowd cheering wildly, I couldn’t help but think about the daily fighting that continued to consume Iraq and Afghanistan and all the cruelty and suffering and injustice that my administration had barely even begun to deal with. The idea that I, or any one person, could bring order to such chaos seemed laughable; on some level, the crowds below were cheering an illusion. And yet, in the flickering of those candles, I saw something else. I saw an expression of the spirit of millions of people around the world: the U.S. soldier manning a post in Kandahar, the mother in Iran teaching her daughter to read, the Russian pro-democracy activist mustering his courage for an upcoming demonstration—all those who refused to give up on the idea that life could be better, and that whatever the risks and hardships, they had a role to play. Whatever you do won’t be enough, I heard their voices say. Try anyway.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Let no one reduce to tears or reproach This statement of the mastery of God, Who, with magnificent irony, gave Me at once both books and night Of this city of books He pronounced rulers These lightless eyes, who can only Peruse in libraries of dreams The insensible paragraphs that yield With every new dawn. Vainly does the day Lavish on them its infinite books, Arduous as the arduous manuscripts Which at Alexandria did perish. Of hunger and thirst (a Greek story tells us) Dies a king amidst fountains and gardens; I aimlessly weary at the confines Of this tall and deep blind library. Encyclopedias, atlases, the East And the West, centuries, dynasties Symbols, cosmos and cosmogonies Do walls proffer, but pointlessly. Slow in my shadow, I the hollow shade Explore with my indecisive cane; To think I had imagined Paradise In the form of such a library. Something, certainly not termed Fate, rules on such things; Another had received in blurry Afternoons both books and shadow. Wandering through these slow corridors I often feel with a vague and sacred dread That I am another, the dead one, who must Have trodden the same steps at the same time. Which of the two is now writing this poem Of a plural I and of a single shadow? How important is the word that names me If the anathema is one and indivisible? Groussac or Borges, I see this darling World deform and extinguish To a pale, uncertain ash Resembling sleep and oblivion
Jorge Luis Borges
There is lovemaking that is bad for a person, just as there is eating that is bad. That boysenberry cream pie from the Thrift-E Mart may appear inviting, may, in fact, cause all nine hundred taste buds to carol from the tongue, but in the end, the sugars, the additives, the empty calories clog arteries, disrupt cells, generate fat, and rot teeth. Even potentially nourishing foods can be improperly prepared. There are wrong combinations and improper preparations in sex as well. Yes, one must prepare for a fuck--the way an enlightened priest prepares to celebrate mass, the way a great matador prepares for the ring: with intensification, with purification, with a conscious summoning of sacred power. And even that won't work if the ingredients are poorly matched: oysters are delectable, so are strawberries, but mashed together ... (?!) Every nutritious sexual recipe calls for at least a pinch of love, and the fucks that rate four-star rankings from both gourmets and health-food nuts use cupfuls. Not that sex should be regarded as therapeutic or to be taken for medicinal purposes--only a dullard would hang such a millstone around the nibbled neck of a lay--but to approach sex carelessly, shallowly, with detachment and without warmth is to dine night after night in erotic greasy spoons. In time, one's palate will become insensitive, one will suffer (without knowing it) emotional malnutrition, the skin of the soul will fester with scurvy, the teeth of the heart will decay. Neither duration nor proclamation of commitment is necessarily the measure--there are ephemeral explosions of passion between strangers that make more erotic sense than lengthy marriages, there are one-night stands in Jersey City more glorious than six-months affairs in Paris--but finally there is a commitment, however brief; a purity, however threatened; a vulnerability, however concealed; a generosity of spirit, however marbled with need; and honest caring, however singled by lust, that must be present if couplings are to be salubrious and not slow poison.
Tom Robbins (Still Life with Woodpecker)
This book is dedicated to the Ancient Ones, to the Lord of Abominations, Humwawa, whose face is a mass of entrails, whose breath is the stench of dung and the perfume of death, Dark Angel of all that is excreted and sours, Lord of Decay, Lord of the Future, who rides on a whispering south wind, to Pazuzu, Lord of Fevers and Plagues, Dark Angel of the Four Winds with rotting genitals from which he howls through sharpened teeth over stricken cities, to Kutulu, the Sleeping Serpent who cannot be summoned, to the Akhkharu, who such the blood of men since they desire to become men, to the Lalussu, who haunt the places of men, to Gelal and Lilit, who invade the beds of men and whose children are born in secret places, to Addu, raiser of storms who can fill the night sky with brightness, to Malah, Lord of Courage and Bravery, to Zahgurim, whose number is twenty-three and who kills in an unnatural fashion, to Zahrim, a warrior among warriors, to Itzamna, Spirit of Early Mists and Showers, to Ix Chel, the Spider-Web-that-Catches-the-Dew-of-Morning, to Zuhuy Kak, Virgin Fire, to Ah Dziz, the Master of Cold, to Kak U Pacat, who works in fire, to Ix Tab, Goddess of Ropes and Snares, patroness of those who hang themselves, to Schmuun, the Silent One, twin brother of Ix Tab, to Xolotl the Unformed, Lord of Rebirth, to Aguchi, Master of Ejaculations, to Osiris and Amen in phallic form, to Hex Chun Chan, the Dangerous One, to Ah Pook, the Destroyer, to the Great Old One and the Star Beast, to Pan, God of Panic, to the nameless gods of dispersal and emptiness, to Hassan i Sabbah, Master of Assassins. To all the scribes and artists and practitioners of magic through whom these spirits have been manifested…. NOTHING IS TRUE. EVERYTHING IS PERMITTED.
William S. Burroughs (Cities of the Red Night)
Take me as I am Take me, baby, in stride Only you can save me tonight There's nowhere to run Nowhere to hide You let me in, don't leave me out Or leave me dry Even when I'm alone I'm not lonely I hear the sweetest melodies (sweetest melodies) On the fire escapes of the city Sounds like I am free It's got me singing God bless America, and all the beautiful women in it God bless America, and all the beautiful women in it May you stand proud and strong Like Lady Liberty shining all night long God bless America Take me as I am Don't see me for what I'm not Only you can hear me tonight Keep your light on, babe I might be standing outside You let me in, don't leave me out Or leave me dry Even walking alone, I'm not worried I feel your arms all around me (arms around me) In the air on the streets of the city Feels like I am free It's got me thinking God bless America, and all the beautiful women in it God bless America, and all the beautiful women in it May you stand proud and strong Like Lady Liberty shining all night long God bless America (sweetest melodies) Even with you I've got nothing to lose So you'd better believe that nobody can make me feel lonely Because I hear (sweetest melodies) Even when you talk that talk with those lips I'm most certain in hell I'll never feel, never feel lonely I have no fear It's got me thinking (Yeah) God bless America, and all the beautiful women in it God bless America, and all the beautiful people in it May they stand proud and strong Like Lady Liberty shining all night long God bless America, and all the beautiful people in it And all the beautiful people in it
Lana Del Rey
There is a whirlwind in southern Morocco, the aajej, against which the fellahin defend themselves with knives. There is the africo, which has at times reached into the city of Rome. The alm, a fall wind out of Yugoslavia. The arifi, also christened aref or rifi, which scorches with numerous tongues. These are permanent winds that live in the present tense. There are other, less constant winds that change direction, that can knock down horse and rider and realign themselves anticlockwise. The bist roz leaps into Afghanistan for 170 days--burying villages. There is the hot, dry ghibli from Tunis, which rolls and rolls and produces a nervous condition. The haboob--a Sudan dust storm that dresses in bright yellow walls a thousand metres high and is followed by rain. The harmattan, which blows and eventually drowns itself into the Atlantic. Imbat, a sea breeze in North Africa. Some winds that just sigh towards the sky. Night dust storms that come with the cold. The khamsin, a dust in Egypt from March to May, named after the Arabic word for 'fifty,' blooming for fifty days--the ninth plague of Egypt. The datoo out of Gibraltar, which carries fragrance. There is also the ------, the secret wind of the desert, whose name was erased by a king after his son died within it. And the nafhat--a blast out of Arabia. The mezzar-ifoullousen--a violent and cold southwesterly known to Berbers as 'that which plucks the fowls.' The beshabar, a black and dry northeasterly out of the Caucasus, 'black wind.' The Samiel from Turkey, 'poison and wind,' used often in battle. As well as the other 'poison winds,' the simoom, of North Africa, and the solano, whose dust plucks off rare petals, causing giddiness. Other, private winds. Travelling along the ground like a flood. Blasting off paint, throwing down telephone poles, transporting stones and statue heads. The harmattan blows across the Sahara filled with red dust, dust as fire, as flour, entering and coagulating in the locks of rifles. Mariners called this red wind the 'sea of darkness.' Red sand fogs out of the Sahara were deposited as far north as Cornwall and Devon, producing showers of mud so great this was also mistaken for blood. 'Blood rains were widely reported in Portugal and Spain in 1901.' There are always millions of tons of dust in the air, just as there are millions of cubes of air in the earth and more living flesh in the soil (worms, beetles, underground creatures) than there is grazing and existing on it. Herodotus records the death of various armies engulfed in the simoom who were never seen again. One nation was 'so enraged by this evil wind that they declared war on it and marched out in full battle array, only to be rapidly and completely interred.
Michael Ondaatje
And so we know the satisfaction of hate. We know the sweet joy of revenge. How it feels good to get even. Oh, that was a nice idea Jesus had. That was a pretty notion, but you can't love people who do evil. It's neither sensible or practical. It's not wise to the world to love people who do such terrible wrong. There is no way on earth we can love our enemies. They'll only do wickedness and hatefulness again. And worse, they'll think they can get away with this wickedness and evil, because they'll think we're weak and afraid. What would the world come to? But I want to say to you here on this hot July morning in Holt, what if Jesus wasn't kidding? What if he wasn't talking about some never-never land? What if he really did mean what he said two thousand years ago? What if he was thoroughly wise to the world and knew firsthand cruelty and wickedness and evil and hate? Knew it all so well from personal firsthand experience? And what if in spite of all that he knew, he still said love your enemies? Turn your cheek. Pray for those who misuse you. What if he meant every word of what he said? What then would the world come to? And what if we tried it? What if we said to our enemies: We are the most powerful nation on earth. We can destroy you. We can kill your children. We can make ruins of your cities and villages and when we're finished you won't even know how to look for the places where they used to be. We have the power to take away your water and to scorch your earth, to rob you of the very fundamentals of life. We can change the actual day into actual night. We can do these things to you. And more. But what if we say, Listen: Instead of any of these, we are going to give willingly and generously to you. We are going to spend the great American national treasure and the will and the human lives that we would have spent on destruction, and instead we are going to turn them all toward creation. We'll mend your roads and highways, expand your schools, modernize your wells and water supplies, save your ancient artifacts and art and culture, preserve your temples and mosques. In fact, we are going to love you. And again we say, no matter what has gone before, no matter what you've done: We are going to love you. We have set our hearts to it. We will treat you like brothers and sisters. We are going to turn our collective national cheek and present it to be stricken a second time, if need be, and offer it to you. Listen, we-- But then he was abruptly halted.
Kent Haruf (Benediction (Plainsong, #3))
HOME no one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark you only run for the border when you see the whole city running as well your neighbors running faster than you breath bloody in their throats the boy you went to school with who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory is holding a gun bigger than his body you only leave home when home won’t let you stay. no one leaves home unless home chases you fire under feet hot blood in your belly it’s not something you ever thought of doing until the blade burnt threats into your neck and even then you carried the anthem under your breath only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets sobbing as each mouthful of paper made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back. you have to understand, that no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land no one burns their palms under trains beneath carriages no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled means something more than journey. no one crawls under fences no one wants to be beaten pitied no one chooses refugee camps or strip searches where your body is left aching or prison, because prison is safer than a city of fire and one prison guard in the night is better than a truckload of men who look like your father no one could take it no one could stomach it no one skin would be tough enough the go home blacks refugees dirty immigrants asylum seekers sucking our country dry niggers with their hands out they smell strange savage messed up their country and now they want to mess ours up how do the words the dirty looks roll off your backs maybe because the blow is softer than a limb torn off or the words are more tender than fourteen men between your legs or the insults are easier to swallow than rubble than bone than your child body in pieces. i want to go home, but home is the mouth of a shark home is the barrel of the gun and no one would leave home unless home chased you to the shore unless home told you to quicken your legs leave your clothes behind crawl through the desert wade through the oceans drown save be hunger beg forget pride your survival is more important no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear saying- leave, run away from me now i dont know what i’ve become but i know that anywhere is safer than here
Warsan Shire
Billy looked at the clock on the gas stove. He had an hour to kill before the saucer came. He went into the living room, swinging the bottle like a dinner bell, turned on the television. He came slightly unstuck in time, saw the late movie backwards, then forwards again. It was a movie about American bombers in the Second World War and the gallant men who flew them. Seen backwards by Billy, the story went like this: American planes, full of holes and wounded men and corpses took off backwards from an airfield in England. Over France a few German fighter planes flew at them backwards, sucked bullets and shell fragments from some of the planes and crewmen. They did the same for wrecked American bombers on the ground, and those planes flew up backwards to join the formation. The formation flew backwards over a German city that was in flames. The bombers opened their bomb bay doors, exerted a miraculous magnetism which shrunk the fires, gathered them into cylindrical steel containers, and lifted the containers into the bellies of the planes. The containers were stored neatly in racks. The Germans below had miraculous devices of their own, which were long steel tubes. They used them to suck more fragments from the crewmen and planes. But there were still a few wounded Americans, though, and some of the bombers were in bad repair. Over France, though, German fighters came up again, made everything and everybody as good as new. When the bombers got back to their base, the steel cylinders were taken from the racks and shipped back to the United States of America, where factories were operating night and day, dismantling the cylinders, separating the dangerous contents into minerals. Touchingly, it was mainly women who did this work. The minerals were then shipped to specialists in remote areas. It was their business to put them into the ground., to hide them cleverly, so they would never hurt anybody ever again. The American fliers turned in their uniforms, became high school kids. And Hitler turned into a baby, Billy Pilgrim supposed. That wasn't in the movie. Billy was extrapolating. Everybody turned into a baby, and all humanity, without exception, conspired biologically to produce two perfect people named Adam and Eve, he supposed.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
[excerpt] The usual I say. Essence. Spirit. Medicine. A taste. I say top shelf. Straight up. A shot. A sip. A nip. I say another round. I say brace yourself. Lift a few. Hoist a few. Work the elbow. Bottoms up. Belly up. Set ‘em up. What’ll it be. Name your poison. I say same again. I say all around. I say my good man. I say my drinking buddy. I say git that in ya. Then a quick one. Then a nightcap. Then throw one back. Then knock one down. Fast & furious I say. Could savage a drink I say. Chug. Chug-a-lug. Gulp. Sauce. Mother’s milk. Everclear. Moonshine. White lightning. Firewater. Hootch. Relief. Now you’re talking I say. Live a little I say. Drain it I say. Kill it I say. Feeling it I say. Wobbly. Breakfast of champions I say. I say candy is dandy but liquor is quicker. I say Houston, we have a drinking problem. I say the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. I say god only knows what I’d be without you. I say thirsty. I say parched. I say wet my whistle. Dying of thirst. Lap it up. Hook me up. Watering hole. Knock a few back. Pound a few down. My office. Out with the boys I say. Unwind I say. Nurse one I say. Apply myself I say. Toasted. Glow. A cold one a tall one a frosty I say. One for the road I say. Two-fisted I say. Never trust a man who doesn’t drink I say. Drink any man under the table I say. Then a binge then a spree then a jag then a bout. Coming home on all fours. Could use a drink I say. A shot of confidence I say. Steady my nerves I say. Drown my sorrows. I say kill for a drink. I say keep ‘em comin’. I say a stiff one. Drink deep drink hard hit the bottle. Two sheets to the wind then. Knackered then. Under the influence then. Half in the bag then. Out of my skull I say. Liquored up. Rip-roaring. Slammed. Fucking jacked. The booze talking. The room spinning. Feeling no pain. Buzzed. Giddy. Silly. Impaired. Intoxicated. Stewed. Juiced. Plotzed. Inebriated. Laminated. Swimming. Elated. Exalted. Debauched. Rock on. Drunk on. Bring it on. Pissed. Then bleary. Then bloodshot. Glassy-eyed. Red-nosed. Dizzy then. Groggy. On a bender I say. On a spree. I say off the wagon. I say on a slip. I say the drink. I say the bottle. I say drinkie-poo. A drink a drunk a drunkard. Swill. Swig. Shitfaced. Fucked up. Stupefied. Incapacitated. Raging. Seeing double. Shitty. Take the edge off I say. That’s better I say. Loaded I say. Wasted. Off my ass. Befuddled. Reeling. Tanked. Punch-drunk. Mean drunk. Maintenance drunk. Sloppy drunk happy drunk weepy drunk blind drunk dead drunk. Serious drinker. Hard drinker. Lush. Drink like a fish. Boozer. Booze hound. Alkie. Sponge. Then muddled. Then woozy. Then clouded. What day is it? Do you know me? Have you seen me? When did I start? Did I ever stop? Slurring. Reeling. Staggering. Overserved they say. Drunk as a skunk they say. Falling down drunk. Crawling down drunk. Drunk & disorderly. I say high tolerance. I say high capacity. They say protective custody. Blitzed. Shattered. Zonked. Annihilated. Blotto. Smashed. Soaked. Screwed. Pickled. Bombed. Stiff. Frazzled. Blasted. Plastered. Hammered. Tore up. Ripped up. Destroyed. Whittled. Plowed. Overcome. Overtaken. Comatose. Dead to the world. The old K.O. The horrors I say. The heebie-jeebies I say. The beast I say. The dt’s. B’jesus & pink elephants. A mindbender. Hittin’ it kinda hard they say. Go easy they say. Last call they say. Quitting time they say. They say shut off. They say dry out. Pass out. Lights out. Blackout. The bottom. The walking wounded. Cross-eyed & painless. Gone to the world. Gone. Gonzo. Wrecked. Sleep it off. Wake up on the floor. End up in the gutter. Off the stuff. Dry. Dry heaves. Gag. White knuckle. Lightweight I say. Hair of the dog I say. Eye-opener I say. A drop I say. A slug. A taste. A swallow. Down the hatch I say. I wouldn’t say no I say. I say whatever he’s having. I say next one’s on me. I say bottoms up. Put it on my tab. I say one more. I say same again
Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City)
They said of him, about the city that night, that it was the peacefullest man's face ever beheld there. Many added that he looked sublime and prophetic. One of the most remarkable sufferers by the same axe---a woman---had asked at the foot of the same scaffold, not long before, to be allowed to write down the thoughts that were inspiring her. If he had given an utterance to his, and they were prophetic, they would have been these: "I see Barsad, and Cly, Defarge, The Vengeance, the Juryman, the Judge, long ranks of the new oppressors who have risen on the destruction of the old, perishing by this retributive instrument, before it shall cease out of its present use. I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss, and, in their struggles to be truly free, in their triumphs and defeats, through long years to come, I see the evil of this time and of the previous time of which this is the natural birth, gradually making expiation for itself and wearing out. "I see the lives for which I lay down my life, peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy, in that England which I shall see no more. I see Her with a child upon her bosom, who bears my name. I see her father, aged and bent, but otherwise restored, and faithful to all men in his healing office, and at peace. I see the good old man, so long their friend, in ten years' time enriching them with all he has, and passing tranquilly to his reward. "I see that I hold a sanctuary in their hearts, and in the hearts of their descendants, generations hence. I see her, an old woman weeping for me on the anniversary of this day. I see her and her husband, their course done, lying side by side in their last earthly bed, and I know that each was not more honoured and held sacred in the other's soul, than I was in the souls of both. "I see that child who lay upon her bosom and who bore my name, a man winning his way up in that path of life which once was mine. I see him winning it so well, that my name is made illustrious there by the light of his. I see the blots I threw upon it, faded away. I see him, foremost of just judges and honoured men, brining a boy of my name, with a forehead that I know and golden hair, to this place---then fair to look upon, with not a trace of this day's disfigurement---and I hear him tell the child my story, with a tender and faltering voice. "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
Dear Daniel, How do you break up with your boyfriend in a way that tells him, "I don't want to sleep with you on a regular basis anymore, but please be available for late night booty calls if I run out of other options"? Lily Charlotte, NC Dear Lily, The story's so old you can't tell it anymore without everyone groaning, even your oldest friends with the last of their drinks shivering around the ice in their dirty glasses. The music playing is the same album everyone has. Those shoes, everybody has the same shoes on. It looked a little like rain so on person brought an umbrella, useless now in the starstruck clouded sky, forgotten on the way home, which is how the umbrella ended up in her place anyway. Everyone gets older on nights like this. And still it's a fresh slap in the face of everything you had going, that precarious shelf in the shallow closet that will certainly, certainly fall someday. Photographs slipping into a crack to be found by the next tenant, that one squinter third from the left laughing at something your roommate said, the coaster from that place in the city you used to live in, gone now. A letter that seemed important for reasons you can't remember, throw it out, the entry in the address book you won't erase but won't keep when you get a new phone, let it pass and don't worry about it. You don't think about them; "I haven't thought about them in forever," you would say if anybody brought it up, and nobody does." You think about them all the time. Close the book but forget to turn off the light, just sit staring in bed until you blink and you're out of it, some noise on the other side of the wall reminding you you're still here. That's it, that's everything. There's no statue in the town square with an inscription with words to live by. The actor got slapped this morning by someone she loved, slapped right across the face, but there's no trace of it on any channel no matter how late you watch. How many people--really, count them up--know where you are? How many will look after you when you don't show up? The churches and train stations are creaky and the street signs, the menus, the writing on the wall, it all feels like the wrong language. Nobody, nobody knows what you're thinking of when you lean your head against the wall. Put a sweater on when you get cold. Remind yourself, this is the night, because it is. You're free to sing what you want as you walk there, the trees rustling spookily and certainly and quietly and inimitably. Whatever shoes you want, fuck it, you're comfortable. Don't trust anyone's directions. Write what you might forget on the back of your hand, and slam down the cheap stuff and never mind the bad music from the window three floors up or what the boys shouted from the car nine years ago that keeps rattling around in your head, because you're here, you are, for the warmth of someone's wrists where the sleeve stops and the glove doesn't quite begin, and the slant of the voice on the punch line of the joke and the reflection of the moon in the water on the street as you stand still for a moment and gather your courage and take a breath before stealing away through the door. Look at it there. Take a good look. It looks like rain. Love, Daniel Handler
Daniel Handler