[for Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts]

But he who is wisest among you, he also is only a discord
and hybrid of plant and of ghost.
                              —Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra


[for Region of Unlikeness]

And being thus admonished to return to myself, I entered into my innermost being. I was able to do this because you were my helper. I entered into myself… and by my soul's eye, such as it was, I saw above the eye of my soul, above my mind, an unchangeable light… I trembled with love and awe, and found myself to be far from you in a region of unlikeness.
Augustine, Confessions


But I was intent upon things that are contained in space, and in them I found no place to rest.
                            —Augustine, Confessions


You hear what we speak by the freshly sense, and you do not want the syllables to stand where they are; rather you want them to fly away so that others may come and you may hear a whole by the succession of parts; such a whole would please us much more if all the parts could be perceived at once rather than in succession.
                            —Augustine, Confessions


Then the mind compared these words sounding in time with your eternal Word in its silence and said, "It is different, it is far different. These words are far behind me. They do not exist…"
                           —Augustine, Confessions


That we have still not come face to face… that we are still not thinking, is by no means only because man does not yet turn sufficiently toward that which, by origin and innately, desired to be thought about… Rather, that we are still not thinking stems from the fact that the thing itself that must be thought about turns away from man, has turned away long ago.
                          —Heidegger, What Is Called Thinking?

What withdraws from us, draws us along by its very withdrawal, whether or not we become aware of it. Once we are drawn into the withdrawal, we are drawing toward what attracts us by its withdrawal. And once we, being so attracted, are drawing toward what withdraws, our essential nature already bears the stamp of "drawing toward." … We are who we are by pointing in the direction.
Heidegger, What Is Called Thinking?


And what withdraws in such a manner keeps and develops its own, incomparable nearness—
Heidegger, What Is Called Thinking?


To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I me equal? saith the Holy One
                       —Isaiah, 40,25

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: / And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. / … And the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for the devour her child as soon as it was born. / And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up into God, and to his throne. / And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score days. / And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.
                    —Revelations, 12, 1-4


"Swim away from me, do ye?" murmured Ahab.
Melville, Moby-Dick

It is a sad, hard but determined gaze—an eye that looks out…
Friedrich Nietzsche

[for Materialism]

We have but one simple method of delivering our sentiments, namely, we must bring men to particulars and their regular series and order, and they must for a while renounce their notions and begin to form an acquaintance with things…

Yet the human understanding resembles not a dry light, but admits a tincture of will and the passions­­­­­­—hence contemplation mostly ceases with sight, and a very scanty or perhaps no regard is paid to invisible objects…

And, too, the human understanding is by its own nature prone to abstraction. It supposes that which is fluctuating to be fixed. But it is better, much better, to dissect than abstract…
                       —Sir Francis Bacon


Well then, added Socrates, let us suppose that there are two sorts of existence—one seen, the other unseen.
Let us suppose them.
The seen is the changing, and the unseen is the unchanging?
That may also be supposed.
And, further, is not one part of us body, another part soul?
To be sure.
And is the soul seen or not seen?
Not seen?
Unseen then?
The soul is more like the unseen, and the body to the seen?
And were we not saying long ago that the soul when using the body as an instrument of perception—that is to say, when using the sense of sight or hearing or some other sense­­—were we not saying that the soul too is then dragged by the body into the region of the changeable, and wanders, and is confused­­—the world spins round her­­—and she is like a drunkard when she touches change?

And is it not an odd jealousy, that the poet finds himself (herself) not ever near enough to his object? The pinetree, the river, the bank of flowers before him––there is always this sense of stillness that follows a pageant which has just gone by; always a referred existence, an absence, never a presence and a satisfaction…What shall we say of this flattery and balking, of this use that is made of us?


Appearances, now or henceforth, indicate what you are;

Thrive, cities! bright your freight, bring your shows, ample and sufficient rivers;

Expand, being; keep your places objects.

We descend upon you and all things­­­­—we arrest you all;
We realize the soul only by you, you faithful solids and fluids;
Through you color, form, location, sublimity, ideality,
Through you every proof, comparison, and all the suggestions
                  and determinations of ourselves.

You have waited, you always wait, you dumb, beautiful ministers!

We receive you with free sense at last, and are insatiate hence-
Not you any more shall be able to foil us, or withhold yourselves
                  from us;
We use you, and do not cast you aside—we plant you perma-
nently within us;
We fathom you not—we love you.

"Crito, we owe a cock to Asclepios. Pay my debt. Do not forget."

 [for The Errancy]

Since in a net I seek to hold the wind

For someone a fresh breeze blows.
For someone the sunset luxuriates-
                      —"Requim," Anna Akhmatova

[for Swarm]

To say I love you is to say I want you to be
                      —St. Augustine


[for Never]

"How can I believe in that? Surely it cannot be?"
                      —John Keats
                     (upon first viewing the scenery of the Lake District)


[for Overlord]

Belief is like a guillotine, just as heavy, just as light.
                     —Franz Kafka

The gods keep changing, but the prayers stay the same.
                     —Yehuda Amichai

Before a war breaks out, it has long begun in the hearts of the people.
                     —Leo Tolstoy


[for Fast]

 Then the good minute goes.

Already how am I so far
Out of that minute?
                  —Robert Browning

Collected by Juleen Johnson