Michael Cisco Quotes
“Poetry restores language by breaking it, and I think that much contemporary writing restores fantasy, as a genre of writing in contrast to a genre of commodity or a section in a bookstore, by breaking it. Michael Moorcock revived fantasy by prying it loose from morality; writers like Jeff VanderMeer, Stepan Chapman, Lucius Shepard, Jeffrey Ford, Nathan Ballingrud are doing the same by prying fantasy away from pedestrian writing, with more vibrant and daring styles, more reflective thinking, and a more widely broadcast spectrum of themes.”
“Anyone could say that a miracle is something impossible, but they say it thoughtlessly, mindlessly, because most people have such weak imaginations they couldn’t possibly understand what they’re saying when they say that a miracle is something impossible. Ask anyone what that means, what it means to see a miracle, and they will say that it’s something impossible, but they mean that a miracle is something formerly believed to be impossible that turns out not to be, not to be impossible, in other words, but possible after all. If this were really true, then miracles would be the most ordinary things in the world, the most uninspiring things in the world, and what can one expect from people who have never been anything but ordinary and uninspired.”
“Echoing streets melt into dark autumn rooms—melt to black plastic bags inflated by the wind and spinning on playground blacktop like free-floating punctuation...the horizon is just a line and past it there's only black dark...that rolls toward her as she walks in its direction...smooth-worn wooden chairs at the bakery where ella sits tea on the table in front of her, it's getting dark but the girl behind the counter hasn't turned on a single light yet...Ella animal staring into the street: “Did I ever touch him?”
“My exuberance breaks things, breaks me. It marches me up to people and elicits from me declarations of love, if only to give me the satisfaction of disappointment, to know that I am in love. I am forever building up this edifice of love and happiness, which would get to be as big as the world, or bigger, if it weren't for the storms, eruptions, convulsions, that tear it all down again. When any of it comes down, it all comes down. Although these catastrophic failures deeply wound me, still I am grateful for the opportunity to rebuild, and to renew my trust with the world. I do everything on the scale of the world, as the only thing commensurate to my happiness.”
“Ask anyone what that means, what it means to see a miracle, and they will say that it's something impossible, but they mean that a miracle is something formerly believed to be impossible that turns out not to be, not to be impossible, in other words, but possible after all. If this were really true, then miracles would be the most ordinary things in the world, the most uninspiring things in the world, and what can one expect from people who have never been anything but ordinary and uninspired.”
“She starkly sees her inanimate future blocked out before her right through to her own end—without him...
...and worst of all, she knows she will be asked about him and be called upon to talk about him and tell the story again and again...her jaws will work without end with all that talking her jaws will chew up the ravel of all her remaining life, telling the same story until it becomes bare and alien and something blunt to her; more the belonging of other people, and no longer hers.
Now she has to live ordinarily...she's going to have to numb herself if she's going to go on—no going on from this point without getting numb.”
“Alienation from nature is supernatural. This alienation acts by prompting human beings to deceive themselves about their own natures, especially with respect to freedom or happiness. These are impossible, he argues, but it is impossible to do without these ideas, and yet those of us who aren’t stupid can’t fail to realize all of the above. Confusion or bad conscience, or both, result … Horror appears where there can be no question of your intervention, and accompanies that recognition of impotence.”
“I was told, or read, that everyone visits Veciofeni’s cave sooner or later. He stood in there and wept himself to death, evidently, and this manner of dying, so gently incremental, brought about the perfect preservation of his body as a consequence of his mummy-like dehydration and the saturation of his person with his own lachrymal salt.”
“So much strain and muscular labor involved in absorbing food. I’m exhausted just watching it. But above all there is speech, incessant speaking, where the inflated edges of the tube are stretched and contracted, knotted and unknotted, ripped open or pressed shut, flued and drummed, hammered and gnawed. Licked. That tube has two ends. To the far end goes all ignominy, and to the fore end all the glory, hymns of praise. Her lips were lovely. The swollen ring at one end of the tube, fastened to rings and riggings of muscle. All these sounds. It’s exhausting. I notice the upper jaw doesn’t move at all, only the lower. You see the skull so clearly I wonder people don’t think of death whenever they witness speech, or speak themselves, feeling that hinge flap up and down, and even back and forth a bit—how can it go back and forth? Is the socket that loose, or is it something else, like a leather hinge, like a book binding?”