Some Random Quotes, Poems, and Personal Thoughts from the Past Two Years

Just some quotes, poems, and thoughts I’ve written down in the past two years and have yet to note on my Medium…

Evan Jack
17 min readOct 25, 2023

“If you accept death, then you are all powerful”

— Sylvère Lotringer, “Baudrillard and Bataille”

“You are a human labyrinth, son”

— Not my father, personal conversation

As I walk up each stair,
You yell at me,
You chase me,
I flee because of your affair

I laugh at you,
For being with him,
For the embrace of his naked skin,
You are past being threw

In your rage,
You gain velocity,
And reach me with animosity,
And in doing so you set the stage

I turn around,
I’m startled by your monstrous presence,
Soon I’ll embrace your essence
There is only the absence of sound

In this split second before the fall,
I see your face,
How I’ve secretly longed for your embrace,
Our distance, small

I have avoided what is to come,
All I’ve done to avoid this,
Was nothing more than a miss,
There is nowhere to run

I am seized by your presence,
Such a seizure,
Such a fever,
Throws me into your essence

Our lips lock,
Once, twice, thrice
How can such a thing come out of vice,
Passion shatters rock
Intensity goes beyond the cock

Complete reversal,
My eyes shut,
Your eyelids uncut,
My mind admits of this event no real mnemonic rehearsal

I’m opened by the slit,
That is the conjunction of your lips,
Our lips eclipse,
My history split

My being yearns,
And desires,
For such intensity found only in fires,
My being burns

“I grew up in the swamp”

— Not my father, personal conversation

I just saw the most beautiful woman,
Her blue eyes just gave me a glance,
Having looked away, she continued to walk down the street.
I will never see her again, the most beautiful woman.

I will have forgotten about her blonde hair,
Her pretty skin,
The composition of her face.
Soon, I’ll forget about her eyes.
I’ll forget all about her, the most beautiful woman.

One day, I’ll see another woman and think she is the most beautiful woman,
I will eventually forget about her too,
And then I’ll see another who I’ll forget.
How said it must be to be the most beautiful girl.

“You’re both going to Hell”

— Not my father, personal conversation

She knows how to touch me
Her touch reminds me of the touch of my first love
She isn’t all that, but she thinks she is and it shows when she grabs my chest

She knows how to kiss me
Again, it reminds me of my first lover
She always moves her body close to me
She always touches me

But she doesn’t know how to talk to me

He knows how to talk to me

He knows how to make me think of my childhood
He gets me to think about that one comic book character
He reminds me of an old video game we both happened to play or an old movie we both watched

He is all that
No other is like him
He is unique and causes a deep, shy joy to stir in me

His very being knows how to spark in my head the question, “Who else could be my friend?”

I love him

I’ll never lover her
She doesn’t even warrant that

He, however… he warrants that
He is one of the few men in my life whom I know is a brother of mine
I only wish to do right by him


She is full of herself
She is inadvertently mean
She wants to capture and analyze me
I warrant no analysis
I am not an object of her desire
I am more than that

He is not full of himself
He is inadvertently nice
He appreciates and embraces me
I warrant only joy
I am the object of his friendship
I am happy to be that

How sweet terror is. … [N]ot a single line, or a ray of morning sunlight fails to contain the sweetness of anguish.

— Georges Bataille, “À perte de vue”

Something many of my academic colleagues have lost sight of is man’s existential condition. What I absolutely loved about Bataille and Land, for example, was their focus on human subjectivity. I will never forget the words: “[b]odies are not volumes but coastlines; irresolvable but undelimitable penetrabilities, opportunities for the real decomposition of space” (The Thirst for Annihilation, 161; emphasis mine).

But, I get it. Even I’m focused on truth and clarification, things existential quandaries seem allergic to. What Bataille and Land did are very foreign to me now. They make me scratch my head. I, like Land, have been to death and back, but having been back so long, I’m domesticated once more.

The stars … blindly run; A web is wov’n across the sky; From our waste places comes a cry, And murmurs from the dying sun.

— Alfred, Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam A. H. H.

My greatest pleasures are found in music, thought, people, and fiction.

[T]he sun, the human eye flees it … God’s skull bursts … and no one hears.

— Georges Bataille, Inner Experience

I wish I could write her the most beautiful poem
A poem that would change our lives
I wish I could write her a poem that got us money
Allowed us to live the most joyous of highs
I wish I could write her a poem that made her smile
One she would look at every once in a while

The world is everything that is the case.

— Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

After that first encounter, I became an obsessive … My nights became increasingly sleepless ... My days consisted of … my work. I wrote … and worked … I began to realize that my incapacitation to this process was so deep that not only was escaping it no longer an option but also that I didn’t have any desire to escape it.

The greatest stress. — How, if some day or night a demon were to sneak after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you, “This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything immeasurably small or great in your life will must to return to you — all in the same succession and sequence — even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned over and over, and you with it, a dust grain of dust.” Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or did you once exeprience a tremendous moment when you would have answered him, “You are a god, and never have I heard anything more godly.” If this thought were to gain possession of you, it would change you, as you are, or perhaps crush you. The question in each and every thing, “Do you want this once more and innumerable times more?” would weigh upon your actions as the greatest stress. Or how well diposed would you have to become to yourself and to life to crave nothing more fervently than this ultimate eternal confirmation and seal?

— Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science

Sometimes the strength of Being falters — I waver.

I’ll be 19-years-old in 21 days and for the first time in my life, my body has entered into a near total exhaustion — all that exists in me is fantasy and desire.

To redeem those who live in the past and to recreate all ‘it was’ into a ‘thus I willed it’ — that alone should I call redemption. Will — that is the name of the liberator and joy-bringer; thus I taught you, my friends. But now learn this too: the will itself is still a prisoner. Willing liberates; but what is it that puts even the liberator himself in fetters? ‘It was’ — that is the name of the will’s gnashing of teeth and most secret melancholy. Powerless against what has been done, he is an angry spectator of all that is past. The will cannot will backwards; and that he cannot break time and time’s covetousness, that is the will’s loneliest melancholy. … Willing liberates; what means does the will devise for himself to get rid of his melancholy and to mock his dungeon? Alas, every prisoner becomes a fool; and the imprisoned will redeems himself foolishly. That time does not run backwards, that is his wrath; ‘that which was’ is the name of the stone he cannot move. And so he moves stones out of wrath and displeasure, and he wreaks revenge on whatever does not feel wrath and displeasure as he does. Thus the will, the liberator, took to hurting; and on all who can suffer he wreaks revenge for his inability to go backwards. This, indeed this alone, is what revenge is: the will’s ill will against time and its ‘it was.’ … Verily, a great folly dwells in our will; and it has become a curse for everything human that this folly has acquired spirit. … The spirit of revenge, my friends, has so far been the subject of man’s best reflection; and where there was suffering, one always wanted punishment too. … For ‘punishment’ is what revenge calls itself; with a hypocritical lie it creates a good conscience for itself. … Because there is suffering in those who will, inasmuch as they cannot will backwards, willing itself and all life were supposed to be — a punishment. And now cloud upon cloud rolled over the spirit, until eventually madness preached, ‘Everything passes away; therefore everything deserves to pass away. And this too is justice, this law of time that it must devour its children.’ Thus preached madness. … ‘Things are ordered morally according to justice and punishment. Alas, where is redemption from the flux of things and from the punishment called existence?’ Thus preached madness. … ‘Can there be redemption if there is eternal justice? Alas, the stone It was cannot be moved: all punishments must be eternal too.’ Thus preached madness. … ‘No deed can be annihilated: how could it be undone by punishment? This, this is what is eternal in the punishment called existence, that existence must eternally become deed and guilt again. Unless the will should at last redeem himself, and willing should become not willing.’ But, my brothers, you know this fable of madness. … I led you away from these fables when I taught you, ‘The will is a creator.’ All ‘it was’ is a fragment, a riddle, a dreadful accident — until the creative will says to it, ‘But thus I willed it.’ Until the creative will says to it, ‘But thus I will it; thus shall I will it.’

— Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

I continually have the thought that I do not matter, that everything I have done is for nothing.

I think of my past with so much joy. I’ve had a great life. I think of those summer days in 2021 when I was so caught up in Bataille and Land — such beautiful words and thoughts.

My body shivers and convulses into a state of nostalgic frenzy.

Every night I think about disappointment. I think about disappointing others and myself.

I itch and itch and itch for greatness. I cannot be great like others in history, though. My greatness is reserved for the pages of literature, not the fields of battle. I feel what Nietzsche felt. I am Dionysus too. My tears fall because of an illusory sadness. There is no disenchantment. There is no fear of the unknown. There is just a shuddering in the face of the black, dark ocean.

There is just collapse. Collapse into ecstasy. I reach for the blanket to stop my shivering. I am warm. I lean back. And I scratch the right side of my head.

Do I matter? I know I matter to people. But do I matter in some sense independent from the stances of people? Obviously not.

From off my bed the moonlight dies.

— Alfred, Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam A. H. H.

The Song of the Sacred

I see the word “scared,”
And I read “sacred.”
Have no ill will toward all that is naked,
For from such a thing, you were bared.

“I didn’t know I was such a muse”
— Not my father, personal conversation

The Song of Summer

O’ Summer
What journey does Thou hold for me?
O’ Summer,
Wilt’st One give me a memory
Of a summer day,
A single light ray?

O’ Summer,
What is it that You have in store for me?
A tributary of sorts? Will I be lost like a river is lost into the sea?

O’ Summer,
Are You to curse me with love
For the very first time?
Wilt’st I be made blind
To the seductive powers of
Summertime’s temptress?
Will it be her kiss
That anniliates me
In hot catastrophe

O’ Summer,
Will sweet guitars play
Songs both sad and gay?
Is dance the harmony of Your Hand?
Is pleasure a cool drink of Summertime’s band?

O’ Summer,
Can thou leave me anything other than satisfied?
Must You leave me laid open, rendered unable to hide?

O’ Summer,
Can anything better describe You than a drink?
A prolonged blink.

O’ Summer,
What do You give me as Your guide?
Is disorganized play that thing on which all Summertime things relied?

O’ Summer,
What of me doth You command?
By way of what waters must I reach land?
Does my voyage begin in the month of May?
Does it begin when I see the liminal sky gray?

O’ Summer,
I am filled with glee
When Your Hand takes me
To the vineyard of Dionysus
A place of primordial bliss.
Drinking Dionysus’ wine, Summertime’s blood,
Seems like a crime,
But how could it be base when it is sublime?
The pouring of the wine is a serendiptious flood.

O’ Summer,
What will I be
At the end of Your Majesty?
O’ Summer,
What do You get out of Your stay?
Is it this song we all play?

Somtimes You unfold perfectly
And when you do, O’ Summer,
There is nothing better than Thee.
My song for you, O’ Summer.

For the new year. — I still live, I still think: I still have to live, for I still have to think. Sum, ergo cogito: cogito, ergo sum. Today everybody permits himself the expression of his wish and his dearest thought; hence I, too, shall say what it is that I wish from myself today, and what was teh first thought to run across my heart this year — what thought shall be for me the reason, warranty, and sweetness of my life henceforth. I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Looking away shall be my only negation. And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer.

— Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science

It was one in the morning. The sky outside was a whispered gray. My room felt like all there was, though it was nothing more than an atom compared to the totality of existence. My bedside light was on its dimmest setting; any less illumination would have made the coming conversation hard to have. I heard the late-night train blare its horn in the distance.

Without music, life would be a mistake.

— Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols

Then the disturbed and diseased poet came upon me. I was curled up against the headboard of my bed, losing tears because of a recent breakup. Seeing that despair was the entirety of my nightly business, he proposed a thought experiment: “What if a demon appeared to you and said that you would live this life as you live it now, not a single moment changed, over and over again? How would you respond?” Without giving me time even to think, he said, “I would tell the demon, ‘You are a god, and never have I heard something so divine!’” He continued, “For, it is in my embrace of life that I turn all ‘that was’ into ‘that which I’ve willed.’” That night he continued to speak of his ideas, of his philosophy, and I, for the first time in my entire life, was caught up in a state of pure astonishment.

When I feel such pangs of lust, I know best what I am.

— Georges Bataille, Guilty

The Song of Woe

I feel a slight pain
Accentuated in my left ear.
Music takes my tear
And on my shirt is a stain.

I think about my life.
I wonder about my death.
What was it like when I took my first breath?
What will it be like when there is no more strife?

I worry about what I will achieve.
I want to do something great.
O’ Fortuna, why is it left up to you? Left up to fate…
Oh, but it isn’t! For my destiny is for my will to weave.

I am on the edge of annihilation,
Where epsitemic anxiety
Cripples me,
Yet I know my vocation

Doubt throws me to the
Limit of thought.
I will not let it be all for naught,
I will triumph in the name of the sea.

Heretofore, I was.
Yet father back, I was not.
To be here, many battles I have fought,
As one does…

I stand up and
My body is too weak.
I fall to the ground, bleak
Is my fiate, yet I take my final stand.

What if it is all for naught?
Shall I give up and die?
Is there not some lesson I will have been taught?

Sometimes it feels as if one cannot breathe,
Yet one can.
My throat is ran
And my spirit wants to leave.

I touch my face,
I feel its smoothness,
Its bumpiness, and its hairiness,
Is this not grace?

What happens once we die
Is not a worry
Of mine, for whether it be a flurry
Of light, or bleak darkness, my body, still will it lie.

Whether there is an afterlife
Or not is of no concern
To me, because I will learn
To appreciate Death’s playing of his fife.

Whether or not there is a Heaven and a Hell,
Nothingness, maybe reincarnation,
Maybe eternal return is not any kind of provocation
To my mind, for it is well.

So many are concerned with what happens when they die,
But not me.
I am free.
I say to them, “Oh, but not I.”

Eternal life, eternal damnation, fiery bellows, heavenly highs.
Such is, such is.
This life is not a quiz.
Surely, surely, God will appreicate those that are wise.

I know not what happens after I die.
Why be obsessed with knowing something you cannot?
Look at what you have wrought!
O’ young man, worry not; drink up that rye!

Rimbaud said he was a POET!!!
I say I am a LOVER OF SOPHIA!!!
I have an idea
And he knows it!

I am not of my mother.
Discord is all that she brings.
Strife is all that he strings.
I am not of my father.

What do you bring?
May I suggest the spring,
Teeming with life, with first breath?

O’ Worry,
Harbinger of fall,
Why must you undermine it all,
And make things so blurry?

Some ask me if I think God will cast me to Hell.
I say, I say,
“Not at all, for to blame I am not on this day,
For instead of God, I’m under Reason’s spell.”

Those that look for the truth,
But all they can find turns them from God,
Should not be punished with the rod,
For it is not their fault they missed the sooth.

Those that really tried to find what is true,
But did not succeed,
Need not feel God’s punishment and bleed,
For they have done only what they could do.

O’ Lord, punish not all that fail to believe in Thee,
For some look for wisdom and fail.
It’s not their fault they cannot see behind Māyā’s Veil.
My King, can’t you hear? They cry out only to see!

I do not believe
In God, Yet
No worries have I, for met
I am only with what I perceive.

He will not punish all those who lack belief and faith,
For what one believes is not up to some. Hence
Not all can be to blame, not all commit an offense.
No more must one saith!

Whether death be the end or not,
Is not a care I share
With the many whom despair
At the very thought.

My mind
Is undermined when
I think again
And the more do I find.

O’ Woe,
These songs are to Thee
So hear my one plea!
Let us be one another’s friend not foe.

Sickness is something I understand.

— Nick Land, The Thrist for Annihilation

To love

To love is to be in agony
To love is to love to die
L’appel du vide
All these things make want to cry

And death is not mine alone. We all die incessantly. The little time that separates us from emptiness has the flimsiness of a dream.

— Georges Bataille, VI

A conversation with a schizophrenic, syphilitic German poet has determined the rest of my life. No exchange caused my soul to stir as this one did, not even those I had with lovers. I will never forget how it took place…

Life will dissolve itself in death, rivers into the sea, the known into the unknown.

— Georges Bataille, Inner Experience

I was so amazed that I had to take a puff of my inhaler to assure myself that I could breathe. With each word he said, my incapacitation became greater, and once he had left, I wept.

I abandon myself to peace, to the point of annihilation. … The noises of struggle are lost in death, as rivers are lost in the seas, as stars burst in the night. The strength of combat is fulfilled in the silence of all action. I enter into peace as I enter into a dark unknown. I fall in this dark unknown. I myself become this dark unknown. … I AM joy before death. Joy before death carries me. Joy before death hurls me down. Joy before death annihilates me. … I remain in this annihilation and, from there, I picture nature as a play of forces expressed in multiplied and incessant agony. … I slowly lose myself in unintelligible and bottomless space. I reach the depths of worlds. I am devoured by death. I am devoured by fever. I am absorbed in somber space. I am annihilated in joy before death. … I AM joy before death. … The depth of the sky, lost space is joy before death: everything is profoundly cracked. … I imagine the earth turning vertiginously in the sky. I imagine the sky itself slipping, turning, and lost. The sun, comparable to alcohol, turning and bursting breathlessly. The depth of the sky like an orgy of frozen light, lost. Everything that exists destroying itself, consuming itself and dying, each instant producting itself only in the annihilation of the preceding one, and itself existing only as mortally wounded. Ceaselessly destroying and consuming myself in myself in a great festival of blood. I imagine the frozen instant of my own death. … I focus on a point before me and I imagine this point as the geometric locus of all existence and all unity, of all separation and all dread, of all unsatisfied desire and all possible death. … I adhere to this point and a profound love of what I find there burns me, until I refuse to be alive for any reason other than for what is there, for this point which, being both the life and death of the loved one, has the blast of a cataract. … And at the same time it is necessary to strip away all external representations from what is there, until it is nothing but a pure violence, an interiority, a pure inner fall into a limitless abyss; this point endlessly absorbing from the cataract all its inner nothingness, in other words, all that has disappeared, is ‘past,’ and in the same movement endlessly prostituting a sudden apparition to the love that vainly wants to grasp that which will cease to be. … The impossibility of satisfaction in love is a guide toward the fulfilling leap at the same time that it is the nullification of all possible illusion. … If I imagine myself in a vision and in a halo that transfigures the ecstatic and exhausted face of a dying being, what radiates from that face illuminates with its necessity the clouds in the sky, whose grey glow then becomes more penetrating than the light of the sun itself. In this vision, death appears to be of the same nature as the illuminating light, to the extent that light is lost once it leaves its source: it appears that no less a loss than death is needed for the brilliance of life to traverse and transfigure dull existence, for it is only its free uprooting that becomes in me the strength of time. In this way I cease to be anything other than the mirror of death, just as the universe is only the mirror of light.

— Georges Bataille, “The Practice of Joy Before Death”



Evan Jack

How sweet terror is, not a single line, or a ray of morning sunlight fails to contain the sweetness of anguish. - Georges Bataille