I am a free man―and I need my freedom. I need to be alone. I need to ponder my shame and my despair in seclusion; I need the sunshine and the paving stones of the streets without companions, without conversation, face to face with myself, with only the music of my heart for company. What do you want of me? When I have something to say, I put it in print. When I have something to give, I give it. Your prying curiosity turns my stomach! Your compliments humiliate me! Your tea poisons me! I owe nothing to any one. I would be responsible to God alone―if He existed!

— Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer


The dark veil enshrouding the ancient pictures had not yet wholly passed away from before them; but he already saw something in them, though in private he did not agree with the professor that the secrets of the old masters are irremediably lost to us.

— Nikolai Gogol, from The Mysterious Portrait

my heart

why are you crying?

has life not been fair to you—

not been good to you?

have you stopped beating for beautiful things?

are you company-starved—

yet company no longer warms you?

i wonder that myself sometimes…

you take in so much—

you must burst!

but it becomes everything or nothing—


every impression, every notion, every sound

humans turn to moving dots

cold and soft

floating across the fields of vision

while few remain in your heart

will they too float away

like yourself some day—

and then

who ever held yours?