If you let people into your life a little bit, they can be pretty damn amazing.
He loved her, of course, but better than that, he chose her, day after day. Choice: that was the thing.
Life is a constant struggle between being an individual and being a member of the community.
Poetry = Anger x Imagination
If you're good at it, and you love it, and it helps you navigate the river of the world, then it can't be wrong.
I think all of us are always five years old in the presence and absence of our parents.
Poverty doesn’t give you strength or teach you lessons about perseverance. No, poverty only teaches you how to be poor.
The world, even the smallest parts of it, is filled with things you don't know.
We all have to find our own ways to say good-bye.
There are all kinds of addicts, I guess. We all have pain. And we all look for ways to make the pain go away. (107)
What kind of life can you have in a house without books?
If you care about something enough, it’s going to make you cry. But you have to use it. Use your tears. Use your pain. Use your fear. Get mad. Arnold, get mad.
Do you know why the Indian rain dances always worked? Because the Indians would keep dancing until it rained.
If one reads enough books one has a fighting chance. Or better, one's chances of survival increase with each book one reads.
That's right, I am a book kisser.
I was studying the sky like I was an astronomer, except it was daytime and I didn't have a telescope, so I was just an idiot.
I suddenly understood that if every moment of a book should be taken seriously, then every moment of a life should be taken seriously as well.
Nervous means you want to play. Scared means you don't want to play.
She wanted to be buried in a coffin filled with used paperbacks.
We're all travelling heavy with illusions.
You have to love somebody that much to also hate them that much, too. (191)
I've learned that the worst thing a parent can do is ignore their children
Drinking would shut down my seeing and my hearing and my feeling,' she used to say. 'Why would I want to be in the world if I couldn't touch the world with all of my senses intact?
Read. Read 1000 pages for every 1 page that you write.
Coach said. "the quality of a man's life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence, regardless of his chosen field of endeavor".
I think the world is a series of broken dams and floods, and my cartoons are tiny little lifeboats.
If it's fiction, then it better be true.
I learned how to stop crying. I learned how to hide inside of myself. I learned how to be somebody else. I learned how to be cold and numb.
I didn't know what to say to her. What do you say to people when they ask how it feels to lose everything? When every planet in your solar system has exploded?
Your past is a skeleton walking one step behind you, and your future is a a skeleton walking one step in front of you. Maybe you don't wear a watch, but your skeletons do, and they always know what time it is.
When it comes to death, we know that laughter and tears are pretty much the same thing.
When you resort to violence to prove a point, you’ve just experienced a profound failure of imagination.
Books and beer are the best and worst defense.
Humor was an antiseptic that cleaned the deepest of personal wounds.
We only know how to lose and be lost.
I used to sleep with my books in piles all over my bed and sometimes they were the only thing keeping me warm and always the only thing keeping me alive. Books are the best and worst defense.
I feel like a carton of eggs holding up an elephant.
You should approach each book -- you should approach life -- with the real possibility that you might get a metaphorical boner at any point.
We Indians really should be better liars, considering how often we've been lied to.
The world is divided by two different tribes. The people who are assholes and the people who are not.
That's the whole point of life, you know? To meet new people.
She was in pain and I loved her, sort of loved her, I guess, so I kind of had to love her pain, too.
At the halfway point of any drunken night, there is a moment when an Indian realizes he cannot turn back toward tradition and that he has no map to guide him toward the future.
Somebody dies and people eat your food. Funny how that works.
He made me realize that hard work--that the act of finishing, of completing, of accomplishing a task--is joyous
My school and my tribe are so poor and sad that we have to study from the same dang books our parents studied from. That is absolutely the saddest thing in the world.
Listen you have to read a book three times before you know it.
If I wasn't writing poems, I'd be washing my hands all the time.
I'm a poet who can whine in meter
She told me that every other step was just for me.' But that's only half of the dance,' I said. Yeah,' my father said. 'She was keeping the rest for herself. Nobody can give everything away. It ain't healthy.
And believe me, a good piece of chicken can make anybody believe in the existence of God.
But we danced, under wigs and between unfinished walls, through broken promises and around empty cupboards.
In the middle of a crazy and drunk life, you have to hang onto the good and sober moments tightly.
Is God a man or a woman? God could be an armadillo. I have no idea.
Yep, my daddy was an undependable drunk. But he'd never missed any of my organized games, concerts, plays, or picnics. He may not have loved me perfectly, but he loved me as well as he could. (189)
When a glass sits on a table here, people don't wonder if it's half filled or half empty. They just hope it's good beer.
It's not oil that runs the world, it's shame.
...And nostalgia is a cancer. Nostalgia will fill your heart up with tumors. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's what you are. You're just an old fart dying of terminal nostalgia.
I wasn't just defending myself. I was defending Indians, black people, and buffalo.
I realized that I might be a lonely Indian boy, but I was not alone in the loneliness. There were millions of other Americans who had left their birthplaces in search of a dream. (217)
I drew because words were too unpredictable. (5)
Is revenge a circle inside of a circle inside of a circle?
I think I was born with a suitcase.
Like officer Dave.He's never said much about his life, but I can tell he's scarred. And he knows I'm scarred too. The wounded always recognize the wounded. We can smell each other.
The ordinary can be like medicine.
It was so quiet, a reservation kind of quiet, where you can hear somebody drinking whiskey on the rocks three miles away.
What if someone picks on me?" I asked Then I'll pick on them". What if someone picks my nose?" I asked. The I'll pick your nose, too" Rowdy said.
Summer coming like a car from down the highway.
I'm quite aware of my differences. I wouldn't classify them as weird
Well of course man. We Indians have lost everything. We lost our native land, we lost our languages, we lost our songs and dances. We lost each other. We only know how to lose and be lost.
Everybody likes to have a place to think, to meditate, to eat a burrito...
They put me in a holding cell with a black kid and a white kid and a Chinese kid. We're the United Nations of juvenile delinquents.
It's way too early for him to be talking anyhow but I see in his eyes something and I see in his eyes a voice and I see in his eyes a whole new set of words
He wanted the songs, the stories, to save everybody.
Pain is never added to pain. It multiplies.
Rowdy fought everybody. He fought boys and girls. Men and women. He fought stray dogs. Hell, he fought the weather. He'd throw wild punches at rain. Honestly.
I was emotionally erect.
And then she asks me how many sexual partners I've had and I say one or two depending on your definition of what I did to Custer . . .
I knew I was being an idiot. But I figured if I kept being an idiot, if I didn't actually accept the truth, then the truth would become false.
The world, even the smallest parts of it, is filled with things you don’t know.
Gay people could do anything. They were like Swiss army knives.
(So I heard the boom of my fathr's rifle when he shot my best friend.) A bullet only costs about two cents, and anybody can afford that.(14)
Those Montana Indians were so tough that white people were scared of them. Can you imagine a place where white people are scared of Indians and not the other way around? That's Montana.
He likes to pretend he lives inside the comic books. I guess a fake life inside a cartoon is a lot better than his real life.
Like any good shaman, professional baseball player, or politician, my mother always answered questions with questions.
He could see his uncles slugging each other with such force that they had to be in love. Strangers would never want to hurt each other that badly.
That's right, I am a book kisser. Maybe that's kind of perverted or maybe it's just romantic and highly intelligent.
Seems like the cold would never go away and winter would be like the bottom of my feet but then it is gone in one night and in its place comes the sun so large and laughable.
He looked into the crowd for approval, saw his mother and father. He waved and they waved back. Smiles and Indian teeth. They were both drunk. Everything familiar and welcome. Everything beautiful.
Every book is a mystery. And if you read all the books ever written, it's like you've read one giant mystery. And no matter how much you learn, you just keep on learning there is so much more you need to learn.
Then I remember that God is really, really old. So maybe God has God arthritis. And maybe that's why the world sucks. Maybe God's hands and fingers don't work as well as they used to.
I don't think you should run through life with a real erect penis. But you should approach each book - you should approach life - with the real possibility that you might get a metaphorical boner at any point.
Estranged from the tribe that gives no protection, What happens to the soul that hates its reflection?
I ain't interested in the truth. I'm interested in the way things should be.
(I think Rowdy might be the most important person in my life. maybe more important than my family.) Can your best friend be more importamt than your family? (24)
But I'm also addicted to books. And I know there has never been a human being or a television show, no matter how great, that could measure up to a great book.
For the rest of our lives, all we can hear are our names chanted over and over, until we are deaf to everything else.
Funny how a little politeness can change people's minds.
If you’re good at it, and you love it, and it helps you navigate the river of the world, then it can’t be wrong.
That's one more thing people don't know about Indians: We love to talk dirty.