Best Thought, Worst Thought: On Art, Sex, Work and Death by Don Paterson

By Don Paterson

“Contentious, impolite, hilarious, relocating, and fair. A ebook you’ll dip into for the remainder of your life.” —Ian RankinThe male genitals are worn externally as evolution is within the means of expelling them from the physique. one other million years and they’ll be kept in a drawer. The award-winning Scottish poet Don Paterson has assembled a comic book, clever, and cranky number of short truths and conjectures and, within the strategy, revitalizes the vintage pith of the aphorism. “The form’s in basic terms advantage is its brevity,” Paterson writes; “at least the reader can't heavily carry that it has wasted their time.”

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Extra info for Best Thought, Worst Thought: On Art, Sex, Work and Death

Sample text

Three-quarters of an hour, my forearms bracing the walls like Samson, attempting to gain one further degree of leverage… When the breakthrough finally came, suddenly and with some violence, I suffered the momentary conviction that I had expelled some vital gland or organ. God knows, the municipal statuary of a less prudish race would reflect something of the feats of raw heroism daily enacted in the narrow room. But now, my belt fastens easily, and I'm a little lighter, a little closer to heaven… Having made my votive offering to gravity, gravity relaxes its grip a little.

Each time I reveal to someone my last deceit, I am compelled to perpetrate another. Something of me always concealed from everyone, I will always know some small part of ghosthood. � How often I've mistakenly returned to an early draft of a poem, and made the same tiny changes I had already made a month earlier. Though I take this less as a token of the work's smooth march to its imago than an identical state of shortfall; others would have done better. Everything might start heading straight towards my dream of it, but is slowed and then halted at the limit of my contract, my karma, my luck.

Stevens: amateurism is generally a huge advantage to a poet, but this led him only to write the first half of his aphorisms. He omits the proof. For the true amateur the slightest literary obligation smacks of a journalistic deadline. � Valéry: if he has one fault, it is that you could always tell he composed his aphorisms horizontally. They taste a little too milky at times, a little too much of sleep. � Cioran: something like Nagarjuna's Western reincarnation. The Buddha, let's remember, required our skepticism; Cioran, possibly alone amongst European writers, refined it to attain a kind of terrible, insomniac enlightenment.

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