Passages records the books I'm reading, the live music I'm hearing, and the movies I'm seeing. Every now and then I'll throw in a passage from a book I read a while back or a trailer from a old favorite movie. Occasionally, there is something that simply caught my eye. But most of it is what I'm reading and hearing and watching in real time.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Love And Summer

She tried to think about all that, to see before she came to it another blackened area, a different place from last time, his way of keeping the track clear. Badgers had been here once and he had shown her their setts. It was easier not to feel a stranger to herself here, to tell herself that she had allowed a convent-child's make-belief to have its way with her, to be ashamed and know it was right to be ashamed. It was easier because everything around her made sense in a way she understood. The confusion of thoughts that did not feel her own made no sense at all.

William Trevor, Love And Summer (2009)

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Name Of The World

I doubt there were more than a dozen others at the tables around us. All men. Middle-aged, middle income, midwestern. Golfers. In this twilight they were more imagined than seen, but I felt surrounded by the practitioners of a sacred mediocrity cloistering inaccessible tortures. I don't know quite how to put it. People, men, proud of their cliches yet full of helpless poetry. Meanwhile the music whamming and bamming. The women shaking themselves almost shyly.

Denis Johnson, The Name Of The World (2000)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Lines Of Vision: Irish Writers On Art

Works of art that arrest our attention, stop us in our tracks and consume us with possibilities are often not mirrors of our lives but rather they are prisms that we subtly adjust to reflect other peoples' experiences in broken parallels to our own. We do not see our past, we see another past and, with a jolting empathy, it can cut to the core of our being, in a reflection of our lives and, sometimes, our loss.

Bernard Farrell, "A Painting and a Poem" (2014)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Andy Zipf

Ray Bonneville


All I knew then was that this was my country, my home, without a beginning and without an end, and that to be Jewish was fundamentally no more significant than to be born with dark hair and not with red. Foremost we were Swabians, then Germans and then Jews. How else could I feel? How could my father feel otherwise? Or my father's grandfather? We were not poor 'Pollacken' who had been persecuted by the Czar. Of course we could not and would not deny that we were 'of Jewish extraction', any more than anybody would dream of denying that my Uncle Henri, whom we had not seen for ten years, was one of the family. But this 'Jewish extraction' meant little more than that once a year, on the Day of Atonement, my mother would go to a synagogue and my father would neither smoke nor travel, not because he believed in Judaism but because he didn't want to hurt other people's feelings.

Fred Uhlman, Reunion (1971)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

My Lensless Imaging

Willie Anne Wright, My Lensless Imaging / Pinhole Photographs and Photograms: 1972-2002 (2003)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Revelers

The Poets' Wives

She knows that the greatest source of their power, a power that seems to endure, is that they have silenced the voices. And not just the voices of political dissent but also the voices of the artists - writers, composers, painters, playwrights. All of them bound to a lifetime of artistic servitude. She believes that Osip was right when he declared that in their country poetry was held in such high esteem that a poem could cost you your life. They had come to know the bitter truth of that.

David Park, The Poets' Wives (2014)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Shall We Gather At The River

He learns that language is power, in law, politics, poetry, church or state. A preacher must dominate his congregation the way some folk command animals, for man is like any other beast: sometimes you have to shout to get his ear, sometimes you must pin him down like a snake, or smack him on the nose like a disobedient mutt. But above all a preacher must speak in his own voice, forged of his own experience, for the Holy Spirit is the agent of the original, not the counterfeit, and that is why the Devil is jealous of the Almighty: the Devil is limited to imitation of what is, unable to create what is not. He is a trickster who can throw his voice but never once strikes an original note.

Peter Murphy, Shall We Gather At The River (2013)