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.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


It was the best race he had ever seen. He had never seen old Jake go that fast, and nobody had ever known Tomey's Turl to go faster than his natural walk, even riding a mule. Uncle Buck whooped once from the woods, running on sight, Black John came out of the trees, driving, soupled out flat and level as a hawk, with Uncle Buck right up behind his ears now and yelling so that they looked exactly like a single black hawk with a sparrow riding it, across the field and over the ditch and across the next field, and he was running too; the mare went out before he even knew she was ready, and he was yelling too.

William Faulkner, "Was," the first story in Go Down, Moses (1942)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Signature Of Things: A Novel

"I believe that we are all transient,' she began. She thought for a while and added, "I believe that we are half-blind and full of errors. I believe that we understand very little, and what we do understand is mostly wrong. I believe that life cannot be survived -- that is evident! -- but if one is lucky, life can be endured for quite a long while. If one is both lucky and stubborn, life can sometimes even be enjoyed."

Elizabeth Gilbert, The Signature Of All Things: A Novel (2013)

A Place At The Table

Third Person

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Jackass In A Hailstorm

Being president is like being a jackass in a hailstorm. There's nothing to do but stand there and take it.

Lyndon Johnson

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Singapore Grip

When he turned over to swim to the side he could no longer hear her voice, but she was still there, kneeling in tears of rage at the side of the pool, hammering at it with a piece of broken wood. As he gripped the rounded lip of the pool and heaved himself out of the water he glanced at her, musing on the wonder of a beautiful woman with a disagreeable personality. Such a woman, he mused, was like a lovely schooner with a mad captain. The custodian of this lovely body was a hardhearted bitch. It was altogether astonishing.

J G Farrell, The Singapore Grip (1978)


Mipso, at Ashland Coffee & Tea (7/17/14):

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Thing About December

Sometimes you didn't know how you would feel about doing a thing until you went and did it. And then it's too late; you can never undo it.

Donal Ryan, The Thing About December (2013)

Sunday, July 13, 2014


I went down and ate macaroons and then two men came to the door selling lines for a raffle whose proceeds, they said, would go towards putting a new roof on the school.

'Of course,' Kinsella said.

'We didn't really think--'

'Come on in,' Kinsella said. 'Just 'cos I've got none of my own doesn't mean I'd see the roof falling in on anyone else's.'

Claire Keegan, Foster (2008)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Temporary Gentleman

1922. There she was, the first time I ever saw her, sailing along in her loose black skirts, her lovely face above a long-boned frame, on the cinder path of the university, hidden by tree trunks and then revealed, so that she whirred in my eyes like a film reel, a shadow half-ruined by sunlight under the famous plane trees. Her blouse so white, with the soft bosom moving plainly within, that it was a bright shield in the underwood. And myself still very young, when the brain seemed to brook no real thought of the past or the future -- the movement of time and the world stilled. I watched her from under the dark arch of the entrance to the quadrangle. It was still my first year in the university, in the time of the civil war.

Sebastian Barry, The Temporary Gentleman (2014)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Suddenly you're in this enclosure, a green room, and the wave has broken completely over you. If you want, you can yodel or yell and the noise bounces off the side of the walls. You go on like this for a while, then you go flying out of the other end of this tube into daylight.

Bob Simmons

The wave threw a sheet of water over my head and engulfed me. Then for a split second the whole scene froze forever in my mind. There I was, in that liquid green room...

Greg Noll

Some West Covina barney dropped in on me and I was like, "Meet on the beach, kook!"


Quoted in Surfing: A Year in Pictures Day by Day, (Jim Heimann, 2014)