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The Madness Vase

Andrea Gibson

Top 10 Best Quotes

“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.”

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

“My mouth is a fire escape. The words coming out don’t care that they are naked. There is something burning in there.”

“..when a war ends, what does that look like exactly? do the cells in the body stop detonating themselves? does the orphanage stop screaming for its mother? when the sand in the desert has been melted down to glass and our reflection is not something we can stand to look at does the white flag make for a perfect blindfold? yesterday i was told a story about this little girl in Iraq, six-years-old, who cannot fall asleep because when she does she dreams of nothing but the day she watched her dog eat her neighbor's corpse. if you told her war is over do you think she can sleep?”

“Remind me that the most fertile lands were built by the fires of volcanoes.”

“My mouth is a fire escape. The words coming out don't care that they are naked. There is something burning in here. When it burns I hold my own shell to my ear, listen for the parade from when I was seven, when the man who played the bagpipes wore a skirt. He was from Scotland. I wanted to move there. Wanted my spine to be the spine of an unpublished book, my faith the first and last page. The day my ribcage became monkey bars for a girl hanging on my every word they said, "You are not allowed to love her." Tried to take me by the throat to teach me, "You are not a boy." I had to unlearn their prison speak, refusing to make wishes on the star on the sheriff's chest. I started taking to the stars in the sky instead. I said, "Tell me about the big bang." The stars said, "It hurts to become.”

“Love isn't always magic. But if I offered my body to the magician, if I told him to cut me in half so after that I could come to you whole and ask for you back would you listen for this dark alley love song? For the winter we heated our home from the steam off our own bodies?”

“I wish for a heart you can see straight through, for a voice that glows in the dark, and a few really good friends to say, “That’s the way to go.”

“We were the letters sent to the wrong address, but opened anyway.”

“It's turning the thunder into grace, knowing sometimes the break in your heart is like the hole in the flute. Sometimes it's the place where the music comes through.”

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Book Keywords:

nature, grief, bones, close-for-comfort, gospel-salt, andrea-gibson, madness, i-sing-the-body-electric, fire, writing, war, fertile, fertility, poetry, volcano, the-madness-vase, trauma, land

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