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Andrea Gibson quotes (showing 1-30 of 92)

“Autumn is the hardest season. The leaves are all falling, and they're falling like
they're falling in love with the ground.”
Andrea Gibson
“I want you to tell me about every person you’ve ever been in love with.
Tell me why you loved them,
then tell me why they loved you.

Tell me about a day in your life you didn’t think you’d live through.
Tell me what the word home means to you
and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mother’s name
just by the way you describe your bedroom
when you were eight.

See, I want to know the first time you felt the weight of hate,
and if that day still trembles beneath your bones.

Do you prefer to play in puddles of rain
or bounce in the bellies of snow?
And if you were to build a snowman,
would you rip two branches from a tree to build your snowman arms
or would leave your snowman armless
for the sake of being harmless to the tree?
And if you would,
would you notice how that tree weeps for you
because your snowman has no arms to hug you
every time you kiss him on the cheek?

Do you kiss your friends on the cheek?
Do you sleep beside them when they’re sad
even if it makes your lover mad?
Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion
or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain?

See, I wanna know what you think of your first name,
and if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mother’s joy
when she spoke it for the very first time.

I want you to tell me all the ways you’ve been unkind.
Tell me all the ways you’ve been cruel.
Tell me, knowing I often picture Gandhi at ten years old
beating up little boys at school.

If you were walking by a chemical plant
where smokestacks were filling the sky with dark black clouds
would you holler “Poison! Poison! Poison!” really loud
or would you whisper
“That cloud looks like a fish,
and that cloud looks like a fairy!”

Do you believe that Mary was really a virgin?
Do you believe that Moses really parted the sea?
And if you don’t believe in miracles, tell me —
how would you explain the miracle of my life to me?

See, I wanna know if you believe in any god
or if you believe in many gods
or better yet
what gods believe in you.
And for all the times that you’ve knelt before the temple of yourself,
have the prayers you asked come true?
And if they didn’t, did you feel denied?
And if you felt denied,
denied by who?

I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror
on a day you’re feeling good.
I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror
on a day you’re feeling bad.
I wanna know the first person who taught you your beauty
could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass.

If you ever reach enlightenment
will you remember how to laugh?

Have you ever been a song?
Would you think less of me
if I told you I’ve lived my entire life a little off-key?
And I’m not nearly as smart as my poetry
I just plagiarize the thoughts of the people around me
who have learned the wisdom of silence.

Do you believe that concrete perpetuates violence?
And if you do —
I want you to tell me of a meadow
where my skateboard will soar.

See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living.
I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving,
and if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes.
I wanna know if you bleed sometimes
from other people’s wounds,
and if you dream sometimes
that this life is just a balloon —
that if you wanted to, you could pop,
but you never would
‘cause you’d never want it to stop.

If a tree fell in the forest
and you were the only one there to hear —
if its fall to the ground didn’t make a sound,
would you panic in fear that you didn’t exist,
or would you bask in the bliss of your nothingness?

And lastly, let me ask you this:

If you and I went for a walk
and the entire walk, we didn’t talk —
do you think eventually, we’d… kiss?

No, wait.
That’s asking too much —
after all,
this is only our first date.”
Andrea Gibson
“and I wonder if Beethoven held his breath
the first time his fingers touched the keys
the same way a soldier holds his breath
the first time his finger clicks the trigger.
We all have different reasons for forgetting to breathe.”
Andrea Gibson
“I said to the sun, ‘Tell me about the big bang.’ The sun said, ‘it hurts to become.”
Andrea Gibson
“That night when you kissed me, I left a poem in your mouth, and you can hear some of the lines every time you breathe out.”
Andrea Gibson
“Before I die, I want to be somebody’s favorite hiding place, the place they can put everything they know they need to survive, every secret, every solitude, every nervous prayer, and be absolutely certain I will keep it safe. I will keep it safe.”
Andrea Gibson
“I want you to tell me about every person you've ever been in love with. Tell me why you loved them, then tell me why they loved you. Tell me about a day in your life you didn't think you’d live through. Tell me what the word “home” means to you and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mothers name just by the way you describe your bed room when you were 8. See, I wanna know the first time you felt the weight of hate and if that day still trembles beneath your bones. Do you kiss your friends on the cheek? Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain? See, I wanna know what you think of your first name. And if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mothers joy when she spoke it for the very first time. I want you tell me all the ways you've been unkind. Tell me all the ways you've been cruel.Do you believe that Mary was really a virgin? Do you believe that Moses really parted the sea? And if you don’t believe in miracles, tell me, how would you explain the miracle of my life to me? And for all the times you've knelt before the temple of yourself, have the prayers you've asked come true? And if they didn't did you feel denied? And if you felt denied, denied by who[m]? I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling good. I wanna know what you see in the mirror on a day a day you’re feeling bad. I wanna know the first person who ever taught you your beauty could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass. If you ever reach enlightenment, will you remember how to laugh? Have you ever been a song? See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living. I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving. And if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes. I wanna know if you bleed sometimes through other people’s wounds. And if you dream sometimes that this life is just a balloon that if you wanted to you could pop—but you never would because you’d never want it to stop.”
Andrea Gibson
“The nutritionist said I should eat root vegetables.
Said if I could get down thirteen turnips a day
I would be grounded, rooted.
Said my head would not keep flying away
to where the darkness lives.

The psychic told me my heart carries too much weight.
Said for twenty dollars she’d tell me what to do.
I handed her the twenty. She said, “Stop worrying, darling.
You will find a good man soon.”

The first psycho therapist told me to spend
three hours each day sitting in a dark closet
with my eyes closed and ears plugged.
I tried it once but couldn’t stop thinking
about how gay it was to be sitting in the closet.

The yogi told me to stretch everything but the truth.
Said to focus on the out breath. Said everyone finds happiness
when they care more about what they give
than what they get.

The pharmacist said, “Lexapro, Lamicatl, Lithium, Xanax.”

The doctor said an anti-psychotic might help me
forget what the trauma said.

The trauma said, “Don’t write these poems.
Nobody wants to hear you cry
about the grief inside your bones.”

But my bones said, “Tyler Clementi jumped
from the George Washington Bridge
into the Hudson River convinced
he was entirely alone.”

My bones said, “Write the poems.”
Andrea Gibson, The Madness Vase
“A doctor once told me I feel too much. I said, so does god. that’s why you can see the grand canyon from the moon.”
Andrea Gibson
tags: moon
“But whatever
However
Whenever this ends I want you to know
That right now
I love you forever”
Andrea Gibson, How It Ends
“Forests may be gorgeous but there is nothing more alive than a tree that learns how to grow in a cemetery.”
Andrea Gibson
“I’m never gonna wait
that extra twenty minutes
to text you back,
and I’m never gonna play
hard to get
when I know your life
has been hard enough already.
When we all know everyone’s life
has been hard enough already
it’s hard to watch
the game we make of love,
like everyone’s playing checkers
with their scars,
saying checkmate
whenever they get out
without a broken heart.
Just to be clear
I don’t want to get out
without a broken heart.
I intend to leave this life
so shattered
there’s gonna have to be
a thousand separate heavens
for all of my flying parts.”
Andrea Gibson
“My mouth is a fire escape.
The words coming out
don’t care that they are naked.
There is something burning in there.”
Andrea Gibson, The Madness Vase
“The trauma said, ‘Don’t write these poems.
Nobody wants to hear you cry about the grief inside your bones.”
Andrea Gibson, The Madness Vase
“I could never trust anyone who's well adjusted to a sick society.”
Andrea Gibson
“I know you think this world is too dark to even dream in color,
but I’ve seen flowers bloom at midnight.
I’ve seen kites fly in gray skies
and they were real close to looking like the sunrise,
and sometime it takes the most wounded wings
the most broken things
to notice how strong the breeze is,
how precious the flight.”
Andrea Gibson
“Our hearts beat so loud the neighbours think we’re fucking when I’m just trying to find the nerve to touch your face.”
Andrea Gibson
“For Jenn

At 12 years old I started bleeding with the moon
and beating up boys who dreamed of becoming astronauts.
I fought with my knuckles white as stars,
and left bruises the shape of Salem.
There are things we know by heart,
and things we don't.

At 13 my friend Jen tried to teach me how to blow rings of smoke.
I'd watch the nicotine rising from her lips like halos,
but I could never make dying beautiful.
The sky didn't fill with colors the night I convinced myself
veins are kite strings you can only cut free.
I suppose I love this life,

in spite of my clenched fist.

I open my palm and my lifelines look like branches from an Aspen tree,
and there are songbirds perched on the tips of my fingers,
and I wonder if Beethoven held his breath
the first time his fingers touched the keys
the same way a soldier holds his breath
the first time his finger clicks the trigger.
We all have different reasons for forgetting to breathe.

But my lungs remember
the day my mother took my hand and placed it on her belly
and told me the symphony beneath was my baby sister's heartbeat.
And I knew life would tremble
like the first tear on a prison guard's hardened cheek,
like a prayer on a dying man's lips,
like a vet holding a full bottle of whisky like an empty gun in a war zone…
just take me just take me

Sometimes the scales themselves weigh far too much,
the heaviness of forever balancing blue sky with red blood.
We were all born on days when too many people died in terrible ways,
but you still have to call it a birthday.
You still have to fall for the prettiest girl on the playground at recess
and hope she knows you can hit a baseball
further than any boy in the whole third grade

and I've been running for home
through the windpipe of a man who sings
while his hands playing washboard with a spoon
on a street corner in New Orleans
where every boarded up window is still painted with the words
We're Coming Back
like a promise to the ocean
that we will always keep moving towards the music,
the way Basquait slept in a cardboard box to be closer to the rain.

Beauty, catch me on your tongue.
Thunder, clap us open.
The pupils in our eyes were not born to hide beneath their desks.
Tonight lay us down to rest in the Arizona desert,
then wake us washing the feet of pregnant women
who climbed across the border with their bellies aimed towards the sun.
I know a thousand things louder than a soldier's gun.
I know the heartbeat of his mother.

Don't cover your ears, Love.
Don't cover your ears, Life.
There is a boy writing poems in Central Park
and as he writes he moves
and his bones become the bars of Mandela's jail cell stretching apart,
and there are men playing chess in the December cold
who can't tell if the breath rising from the board
is their opponents or their own,
and there's a woman on the stairwell of the subway
swearing she can hear Niagara Falls from her rooftop in Brooklyn,
and I'm remembering how Niagara Falls is a city overrun
with strip malls and traffic and vendors
and one incredibly brave river that makes it all worth it.

Ya'll, I know this world is far from perfect.
I am not the type to mistake a streetlight for the moon.
I know our wounds are deep as the Atlantic.
But every ocean has a shoreline
and every shoreline has a tide
that is constantly returning
to wake the songbirds in our hands,
to wake the music in our bones,
to place one fearless kiss on the mouth of that brave river
that has to run through the center of our hearts
to find its way home.”
Andrea Gibson
“Lately I've been thinking about who I want to love, and how I want to love, and why I want to love the way I want to love, and what I need to learn to love that way, and how I need to become to become the kind of love I want to be. And when I break it all down, when I whittle it into a single breath, it essentially comes out like this: before I die, I want to be somebody's favorite hiding place, the place they can put everything they need to survive, every secret, every solitude, every nervous prayer, and be absolutely certain I will keep it safe. I will keep it safe.”
Andrea Gibson
“How many wars will it take us to learn that only the dead return?”
Andrea Gibson
“To think, a sweater, is made entirely of knots. My stomach could clothe a village.”
Andrea Gibson
“Your ignorance keeps dismembering every piece of patience I have left.”
Andrea Gibson
“Do you think anger is a sincere emotion or the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain?”
Andrea Gibson
“Yesterday i carved your name into the surface of an ice cube
then held it against my chest til it melted into my aching pores
today i cried so hard the neighbors knocked on my door
and asked if I wanted to borrow some sugar.”
Andrea Gibson
“Safety isn't always safe. You can find one on every gun.”
Andrea Gibson
“I would kiss you in the middle of the ocean during a lightning storm cuz I'd rather be left for dead than wondering what thunder sounds like.”
Andrea Gibson
“she's wondering how many women are walking around this world
feeling the tingling of their amputated wings
remembering what it was to fly to sing”
Andrea Gibson
“We all have different reasons for forgetting to breathe.”
Andrea Gibson
“You can stand on the cliff of my heart and shout nothing but ‘ugly’ through me. I promise all I will echo back is ‘Beauty, beauty, you have always been beauty”
Andrea Gibson
“I can guarantee a haircut will never tell you anything about someone's gender, who they love, or how they fuck.”
Andrea Gibson

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