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Richard Siken quotes (showing 1-30 of 111)

“You’re in a car with a beautiful boy, and he won’t tell you that he loves you, but he loves you. And you feel like you’ve done something terrible, like robbed a liquor store, or swallowed pills, or shoveled yourself a grave in the dirt, and you’re tired. You’re in a car with a beautiful boy, and you’re trying not to tell him that you love him, and you’re trying to choke down the feeling, and you’re trembling, but he reaches over and he touches you, like a prayer for which no words exist, and you feel your heart taking root in your body, like you’ve discovered something you didn’t even have a name for.”
Richard Siken
“Eventually something you love is going to be taken away. And then you will fall to the floor crying. And then, however much later, it is finally happening to you: you’re falling to the floor crying thinking, “I am falling to the floor crying,” but there’s an element of the ridiculous to it — you knew it would happen and, even worse, while you’re on the floor crying you look at the place where the wall meets the floor and you realize you didn’t paint it very well.”
Richard Siken
“Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us.
These, our bodies, possessed by light.
Tell me we'll never get used to it.”
Richard Siken, Crush
“I'm battling monsters, I'm pulling you out of the burning buildings/ and you say I'll give you anything but you never come through.”
Richard Siken, Crush
“We have not touched the stars,
nor are we forgiven, which brings us back
to the hero’s shoulders and the gentleness that comes,
not from the absence of violence, but despite
the abundance of it.”
Richard Siken, Crush
“Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of the lake
                                                                                and dress them in warm clothes again.
          How it was late, and no one could sleep, the horses running
until they forget that they are horses.
                    It’s not like a tree where the roots have to end somewhere,
          it’s more like a song on a policeman’s radio,
                              how we rolled up the carpet so we could dance, and the days
were bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple
                                                                                                                        to slice into pieces.
Look at the light through the windowpane. That means it’s noon, that means
          we're inconsolable.
                                                            Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us.
These, our bodies, possessed by light.
                                                                                          Tell me we’ll never get used to it.”
Richard Siken, Crush
“You go to work the next day pretending nothing happened.
Your co-workers ask
if everything's okay and you tell them
you're just tired.
And you're trying to smile. And they're trying to smile.”
Richard Siken
“A man takes his sadness down to the river and throws it in the river
                    but then he’s still left
with the river. A man takes his sadness and throws it away
                                                                        but then he’s still left with his hands.”
Richard Siken, Crush
“I’ve been rereading your story. I think it’s about me in a way that might not be flattering, but that’s okay. We dream and dream of being seen as we really are and then finally someone looks at us and sees us truly and we fail to measure up. Anyway: story received, story included. You looked at me long enough to see something mysterioso under all the gruff and bluster. Thanks. Sometimes you get so close to someone you end up on the other side of them.”
Richard Siken
“Sorry about the blood in your mouth. I wish it was mine.

I couldn't get the boy to kill me, but I wore his jacket for the longest time.”
Richard Siken, Crush
“The way you slam your body into mine reminds me I’m alive, but monsters are always hungry, darling, and they’re only a few steps behind you, finding the flaw, the poor weld, the place where we weren’t stitched up quite right, the place they could almost slip right into through if the skin wasn’t trying to keep them out, to keep them here, on the other side of the theater where the curtain keeps rising. I crawled out the window and ran into the woods. I had to make up all the words myself. The way they taste, the way they sound in the air. I passed through the narrow gate, stumbled in, stumbled around for a while, and stumbled back out. I made this place for you. A place for to love me. If this isn’t a kingdom then I don’t know what is.”
Richard Siken, Crush
“Every morning the maple leaves.
Every morning another chapter where the hero shifts
from one foot to the other. Every morning the same big
and little words all spelling out desire, all spelling out
You will be alone always and then you will die.
So maybe I wanted to give you something more than a catalog
of non-definitive acts,
something other than the desperation.
Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I couldn’t come to your party.
Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I came to your party
and seduced you
and left you bruised and ruined, you poor sad thing.
You want a better story. Who wouldn’t?

A forest, then. Beautiful trees. And a lady singing.
Love on the water, love underwater, love, love and so on.
What a sweet lady. Sing lady, sing! Of course, she wakes the dragon.
Love always wakes the dragon and suddenly
flames everywhere.
I can tell already you think I’m the dragon,
that would be so like me, but I’m not. I’m not the dragon.
I’m not the princess either.
Who am I? I’m just a writer. I write things down.
I walk through your dreams and invent the future. Sure,
I sink the boat of love, but that comes later. And yes, I swallow
glass, but that comes later.

Let me do it right for once,
for the record, let me make a thing of cream and stars that becomes,
you know the story, simply heaven.
Inside your head you hear a phone ringing
and when you open your eyes
only a clearing with deer in it. Hello deer.
Inside your head the sound of glass,
a car crash sound as the trucks roll over and explode in slow motion.
Hello darling, sorry about that.
Sorry about the bony elbows, sorry we
lived here, sorry about the scene at the bottom of the stairwell
and how I ruined everything by saying it out loud.
Especially that, but I should have known.

Inside your head you hear
a phone ringing, and when you open your eyes you’re washing up
in a stranger’s bathroom,
standing by the window in a yellow towel, only twenty minutes away
from the dirtiest thing you know.
All the rooms of the castle except this one, says someone, and suddenly
darkness,
suddenly only darkness.
In the living room, in the broken yard,
in the back of the car as the lights go by. In the airport
bathroom’s gurgle and flush, bathed in a pharmacy of
unnatural light,
my hands looking weird, my face weird, my feet too far away.
I arrived in the city and you met me at the station,
smiling in a way
that made me frightened. Down the alley, around the arcade,
up the stairs of the building
to the little room with the broken faucets, your drawings, all your things,
I looked out the window and said
This doesn’t look that much different from home,
because it didn’t,
but then I noticed the black sky and all those lights.

We were inside the train car when I started to cry. You were crying too,
smiling and crying in a way that made me
even more hysterical. You said I could have anything I wanted, but I
just couldn’t say it out loud.
Actually, you said Love, for you,
is larger than the usual romantic love. It’s like a religion. It’s
terrifying. No one
will ever want to sleep with you.
Okay, if you’re so great, you do it—
here’s the pencil, make it work …
If the window is on your right, you are in your own bed. If the window
is over your heart, and it is painted shut, then we are breathing
river water.

Dear Forgiveness, you know that recently
we have had our difficulties and there are many things
I want to ask you.
I tried that one time, high school, second lunch, and then again,
years later, in the chlorinated pool.
I am still talking to you about help. I still do not have
these luxuries.
I have told you where I’m coming from, so put it together.
I want more applesauce. I want more seats reserved for heroes.
Dear Forgiveness, I saved a plate for you.
Quit milling around the yard and come inside.”
Richard Siken
“Everyone needs a place. It shouldn't be inside of someone else.”
Richard Siken
“I sleep. I dream. I make up things that I would never say. I say them very quietly.”
Richard Siken
“          The blond boy in the red trunks is holding your head underwater
because he is trying to kill you,
                    and you deserve it, you do, and you know this,
                                        and you are ready to die in this swimming pool
          because you wanted to touch his hands and lips and this means
                                                                                your life is over anyway.
                              You’re in eighth grade. You know these things.
          You know how to ride a dirt bike, and you know how to do
                    long division,
and you know that a boy who likes boys is a dead boy, unless
                                                  he keeps his mouth shut, which is what you
                                                                                                              didn't do,
          because you are weak and hollow and it doesn't matter anymore.”
Richard Siken, Crush
“If you love me, Henry, you don’t love me in a way I understand.”
Richard Siken, Crush
“Imagine that the world is made out of love. Now imagine that it isn’t. Imagine a story where everything goes wrong, where everyone has their back against the wall, where everyone is in pain and acting selfishly because if they don’t, they’ll die. Imagine a story, not of good against evil, but of need against need against need, where everyone is at cross-purposes and everyone is to blame.”
Richard Siken
“I woke up in the morning and I didn’t want anything, didn’t do anything, couldn’t do it anyway, just lay there listening to the blood rush
through me and it never made any sense, anything.”
Richard Siken
“You’re falling now. You’re swimming. This is not
          harmless. You are not
                    breathing.”
Richard Siken, Crush
“All night I streched my arms across
him, rivers of blood, the dark woods, singing
with all my skin and bone ''Please keep him safe.
Let him lay his head on my chest and we will be
like sailors, swimming in the sound of it, dashed
to pieces.'' Makes a cathedral, him pressing against
me, his lips at my neck, and yes, I do believe
his mouth is heaven, his kisses falling over me like stars.”
Richard Siken, Crush
“Hello, darling. Sorry about that. Sorry about the bony elbows, sorry we lived here, sorry about the scene at the bottom of the stairwell and how I ruined everything by saying it out loud. Especially that, but I should have known. You see, I take the parts that I remember and stitch them back together to make a creature that will do what I say or love me back.”
Richard Siken, Crush
“Is that too much to expect? That I would name the stars
for you? That I would take you there? The splash
of my tongue melting you like a sugar cube?”
Richard Siken, Crush
“He was pointing at the moon, but I was looking at his hand.”
Richard Siken
tags: sky
“Here is the repeated image of the lover destroyed.”
Richard Siken, Crush
“Tell me we're dead and I'll love you even more.”
Richard Siken, Crush
“Here I am
leaving you clues. I am singing now while Rome
burns. We are all just trying to be holy. My applejack,
my silent night, just mash your lips against me.
We are all going forward. None of us are going back.”
Richard Siken
“I had a dream about you. We were in the gold room
where everyone finally gets what they want.
You said Tell me about your books, your visions made
of flesh and light and I said This is the Moon. This is
the Sun. Let me name the stars for you. Let me take you
there. The splash of my tongue melting you like a sugar
cube…We were in the gold room where everyone
finally gets what they want, so I said What do you
want, sweetheart? and you said Kiss me. Here I am
leaving you clues. I am singing now while Rome
burns. We are all just trying to be holy. My applejack,
my silent night, just mash your lips against me.
We are all going forward. None of us are going back.”
Richard Siken
“We still groped for each other on the backstairs or in parked cars
                                                                                                                                                      as the road around us
grew glossy with ice and our breath softened the view through the glass
                    already laced with frost,
but more frequently I was finding myself sleepless, and he was running out of
                                                                                                                                                                          lullabies.
But damn if there isn’t anything sexier
                                                            than a slender boy with a handgun,
                                                                                                                                  a fast car, a bottle of pills.”
Richard Siken, Crush
“Moonlight making crosses
on your body, and me putting my mouth on every one.”
Richard Siken, Crush
“We laugh & it pits the world against us.”
Richard Siken

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