People were always getting ready for tomorrow. I didn’t believe in that. Tomorrow wasn’t getting ready for them. It didn’t even know they were there.
Just remember that the things you put into your head are there forever, he said. You might want to think about that.You forget some things, dont you?Yes. You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget.
Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave.
He stood at the window of the empty cafe and watched the activites in the square and he said that it was good that God kept the truths of life from the young as they were starting out or else they’d have no heart to start at all.
Anything that doesn’t take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing.
He could not construct for the child’s pleasure the world he’d lost without constructing the loss as well and he thought perhaps the child had known this better than he.
Keep a little fire burning; however small, however hidden.
You think when you wake up in the mornin yesterday don’t count. But yesterday is all that does count. What else is there? Your life is made out of the days it’s made out of. Nothin else.
I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt.
He knew only that his child was his warrant. He said: If he is not the word of God God never spoke.
Deep in each man is the knowledge that something knows of his existence. Something knows, and cannot be fled nor hid from.
I always thought when I got older that God would sort of come into my life in some way. He didn’t. I don’t blame him. If I was him I’d have the same opinion about me that he does.
He believed in God even if he was doubtful of men’s claims to know God’s mind. But that a God unable to forgive was no God at all.
I never had any doubts about my abilities. I knew I could write. I just had to figure out how to eat while doing this., New York Times, April 19, 1992]
You keep runnin that mouth and I’m goin to take you back there and screw you.
This is what the good guys do. They keep trying. They don’t give up.
Can you do it? When the time comes? When the time comes there will be no time. Now is the time. Curse God and die.
Every day is a lie. But you are dying. That is not a lie.
And the dreams so rich in color. How else would death call you? Waking in the cold dawn it all turned to ash instantly. Like certain ancient frescoes entombed for centuries suddenly exposed to the day.
He never sleeps, the judge. He is dancing, dancing. He says that he will never die.
This is my child, he said. I wash a dead man’s brains out of his hair. That is my job.
Can you do it? When the time comes? When the time comes there will be no time. Now is the time. Curse God and die. What if it doesn’t fire? It has to fire. Could you crush that beloved skull with a rock?
I don’t know why I started writing. I don’t know why anybody does it. Maybe they’re bored, or failures at something else.
My perfect day is sitting in a room with some blank paper. That’s heaven. That’s gold and anything else is just a waste of time.
Whatever in creation exists without my knowledge exists without my consent.
Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.
What is it?Nothing. I had a bad dream.What did you dream about?Nothing.Are you okay?No.He put his arms around him and held him. It’s okay, he said.I was crying. But you didnt wake up.I’m sorry. I was just so tired.I meant in the dream.
In the end we all come to be cured of our sentiments. Those whom life does not cure death will.
I dont believe knowing can save us. What isconstant in history is greed and foolishness and a love of blood and this is a thing that even God—who knows all that can be known—seems powerless to change.
War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.
This country was filled with violent children orphaned by war.
What he could bear in the waking world he could not by night and he sat awake for fear the dream would return.
in dreams it is often the case that the greatest extravagances seem bereft of their power to astonish and the most improbable chimeras seem commonplace.
And the dreams so rich in color. How else would death call you? Waking in the cold dawn it all turned to ash instantly.
Here beyond men’s judgments all covenants were brittle.
There is no forgiveness. For women. A man may lose his honor and regain it again. But a woman cannot. She cannot.
A goodlookin horse is like a goodlookin woman, he said. They’re always more trouble than what they’re worth. What a man needs is just one that will get the job done.
I just meant maybe you could set here and drink one of em with me.He squinted at her. You ever notice how women have trouble takin no for a answer? I think itstarts about age three.What about men?They get used to it. They better.
All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one’s heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.
The soul might be silent but the servant of the soul has always got a voice and it has got one for a reason.
…the space which [books] occupied was itself an expectation.
I can normally tell how intelligent a man is by how stupid he thinks I am.
At one time in the world there were woods that no one owned
Creative work is often driven by pain. It may be that if you don’t have something in the back of your head driving you nuts, you may not do anything. It’s not a good arrangement. If I were God, I wouldn’t have done it tha
When you’re a kid you have these notions about how things are going to be…. You get a little older and you pull back on some of that. I think you wind up just tryin to minimize the pain.
Well, I guess in all honesty I would have to say that I never knew nor did I ever hear of anybody that money didnt change.
The names of entities that have the power to constrain us change with time. Convention and authority are replaced by infirmity. But my attitude toward them has not changed. Has not changed.
Long before morning I knew that what I was seeking to discover was a thing I’d always known. That all courage was a form of constancy. That it is always himself that the coward abandoned first. After this all other betrayals come easily.
I knew that what I was seeking to discover was a thing I’d always known. That all courage was a form of constancy. That it was always himself that the coward abandoned first. After this all other betrayals came easily.
A man is always right to pursue the thing he loves.No matter even if it kills him?I think so. Yes. No matter what.
He thought each memory recalled must do some violence to its origins. As in a party game. Say the words and pass it on. So be sparing. What you alter in the remembering has yet a reality, known or not.
What you alter in the remembering has yet a reality, known or not.
Dope.They sell that shit to schoolkids.It’s worse than that.How’s that?Schoolkids buy it.
By the time I was sixteen I had read many books and I had become a freethinker.
Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.
No one can tell you what your life is goin to be, can they?No. It’s never like what you expected.Quijada nodded. If people knew the story of their lives how many would then elect to live them?
Deployed upon that plain they moved in a constant elision, ordained agents of the actual dividing out the world which they encountered and leaving what had been and what would never be alike extinguished on the ground behind them.
Even a nonbeliever might find it useful to model himself after God. Very useful, in fact.
They passed, leaving a trail of foxfire shuffled up out of the wet leaves like stars plowed in a ship’s wake.
Summer was full on and the nights hot. It was like lying in warm syrup there in the dark under the viaduct, in the steady whine of gnats and nightbugs.
Summer was full on and the nights hot. It was like lying in warm syrup there in the dark under the viaduct, in the steady whine of gnats and nightbugs
A big lemoncolored cat watched him from the top of a woodstove. He turned his head to see it better and it elongated itself like hot taffy down the side of the stove and vanished headfirst in the earth without a sound.
Words are things. The words he is in possession of he cannot be deprived of. Their authority transcends his ignorance of their meaning.
The closest bonds we will ever know are bonds of grief. The deepest community one of sorrow.
Sorry. Don’t need sorry. Not in this house. Sorry laid the hearth here. Sorry ways and sorry people and heavensent grief and heartache to make you pine for your death.
Don’t take in no strangers while I’m gone.She sighed deeply. They ain’t a soul in this world but what is a stranger to me, she said.
Finally he said that among men there was no such communion as among horses and the notion that men can be understood at all was probably an illusion.
Life is a memory, then it is nothing. All law is writ in a seed.
His mind was betraying him. Phantoms not heard from in a thousand years rousing slowly from their sleep.
Each memory recalled must do some violence to its origins.
They spoke less and less between them until at last they were silent altogether as is often the way with travelers approaching the end of a journey.
On this road there are no godspoke men. They are gone and I am left and they have taken with them the world.
Each man is the bard of his own existence. This is how he is joined to the world.
Your heart’s desire is to be told some mystery. The mystery is that there is no mystery.
It howled execration upon the dim camarine world of its nativity wail on wail while he lay there gibbering with palsied jawhasps, his hands putting back the night like some witless Paraclete beleaguered with all limbo’s clamor.
He is where he is supposed to be. And yet the place he has found is also of his own choosing. That is a piece of luck not to be despised.
If you pursue this road that you’ve embarked upon, you will eventually come to moral decisions that will take you completely by surprise
Nights dark beyond darkness and the days more gray each one than what had gone before.
People always getting ready for tomorrow. I didn’t believe in that. Tomorrow wasn’t getting ready for them. It didn’t even know they were there.
Maybe it’s like Mac says. Ever man winds up with the horse that suits him.
Suppose you were the last one left? Suppose you did that to yourself?
He thought each memory recalled must do some violence to its origins. As in a party game. Say the word and pass it on. So be sparing. What you alter in the remembering has yet a reality,known or not.
Do you think I lie to you?No.But you think I might lie to you about dying.Yes.Okay. I might. But we’re not dying.Okay.
I tried to put things in perspective but sometimes you’re just too close to it.
This place aint the same. It never will be. Maybe we’ve all got a little crazy. I guess if everbody went crazy together nobody would notice, what do you think?
Best way to live in California is to be from somewheres else.
You can stay here with your papa and die or you can go with me…. You’ll be all right.
I never had any doubts about my abilities. I knew I could write. I just had to figure out how to eat while doing
His head was pounding and his vision skewed in some way and he was vaguely amazed at being alive and not sure that it was worth it.
This was the perfect day of his childhood. This the day to shape the days upon.
By day the banished sun circles the earth like a grieving mother with a lamp.
How would you know if you were the last man on Earth? He said.I don’t guess you would know it. You’d just be it.
He can neither read nor write and in him broods already a taste for mindless violence. All history present in that visage, the child the father of the man.
I aint sure we’ve seen these people before. Their kind. I dont know what to do about em even. If you killed em all they’d have to build a annex on to hell.
What’s the bravest thing you ever did?He spat in the road a bloody phlegm. Getting up this morning, he said.
The things I believed in dont exist any more. It’s foolish to pretend that they do. Western Civilization finally went up in smoke in the chimneys at Dachau but I was too infatuated to see it. I see it now.
Maybe it’s not logical. I don’t know. I don’t care. I’ve been asked didnt I think it odd that I should be present to witness the death of everything and I do think it’s odd but that doesnt mean it’s not so. Someone has to be here.
Lastly he looked at the face so caved and drawn among the folds of funeral cloth, the yellowed moustache, the eyelids paper thin. That was not sleeping. That was not sleeping.
To make the world. To make it again and again. To make it in the very maelstrom of its undoing.
They camped that night on the foreplain at the foot of a talus slope and the murder that had been reckoned upon took place.
Where all was burnt to ash before them no fires were to be had and the nights were long and dark and cold beyond anything they’d yet encountered. Cold to crack the stones. To take your life.
He watched him stoke the flames, God’s own firedrake. The sparks rushed upward and died in the starless dark. Not all dying words are true and this blessing is no less real for being shorn of its ground.
The man who believes that the secrets of the world are forever hidden lives in mystery and fear. Superstition will drag him down.
you fix what you can fix and you let the rest go. If there ain’t nothin to be done about it it aint even a problem. It’s just a aggravation.
Sometimes you have a little problem and you dont fix it and then all of a sudden it aint a littleproblem anymore.
He tried to read her heart in her handclasp but he knew nothing.
I’ve been at some pains to tell you about myself because among other reasons I think we should know who our enemies are. I’ve known people to spend their lives nursing a hatred of phantoms and they were not happy people.
In the draws the smoke coming off the ground like mist and the thin black trees burning on the slopes like heathen candles.
The judge like a great ponderous djinn stepped through the fire and the flames delivered him up as if he were in some way native to their element.
John Grady looked at the table. The paper cat stepped thin and slant among the shapes of cats thereon. He looked up again. Yessir, he said. Just me and him.
I think if you were Satan and you were settin around tryin to think up somethin that would just bring the human race to its knees what you would probably come up with is narcotics.
You have my whole heart. You always did. You’re the best guy. You always were.
Just take me with you. Please.I cant.Please, Papa.I cant. I cant hold my son dead in my arms. I thought I could but I cant.
I believe that we are arks of the covenant and our true nature is not rage or deceit or terror or logic or craft or even sorrow. It is longing.
You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.
There is no book and your fathers are dead in the ground.
If he is not the word of God, then God never spoke.
There is no such joy in the tavern as upon the road thereto.
He sat a long time and he thought about his life and how little of it he could ever have foreseen and he wondered for all his will and all his intent how much of it was his doing.
There was someone there and they had been there. There was no one there. There was someone there and they had been there and they had not left but there was no one there.
What could a child know of the darkness of God’s plan? Or how flesh is so frail it is hardly more than a dream
The small wad of burning paper drew down to a wisp of flame and then died out leaving a faint pattern for just a moment in the incandescence like the shape of a flower, a molten rose. Then all was dark again.
Every day is a lie, he said. But you are dying. That is not a lie.