It's funny how we can be in love with someone one day, and the next we can easily fall in love with someone else.

The light was draining out of the room, going back through the window where it had come from.

Write what you know, and what do you know better than your own secrets?

When you live in the dark for so long, you begin to love it. And it loves you back, and isn’t that the point? You think, the face turns to the shadows, and just as well. It accepts, it heals, it allows. But it also devours.

A boy and girl in love, burning with it.

The fiction I'm most interested in has lines of reference to the real world.

But dying is for the sweetest ones. And he remembers sweetness, when life was sweet, and sweetly he was given that other lifetime.

My circumstances of unrelieved responsibility and permanent distraction necessitated the short story form.

Nights without beginning that had no end. Talking about a past as if it'd really happened. Telling themselves that this time next year, this time next year, things were going to be different.

Though he continued to take classes here and there in the sciences and in business, Ralph also took some classes in philosophy and literature and felt himself on the brink of some kind of huge discovery about himself. But it never came.

Get in, get out. Don't linger. Go on.

In the beginning, when I was trying to write, I couldn't turn off the outside world to the extent that I can now.

The memory of being that intimate with somebody. We were so intimate I could puke. I can't imagine ever being that intimate with somebody else.

Hummingbird FOR TESS Suppose I say summer, write the word hummingbird, put it in an envelope, take it down the hill to the box. When you open my letter you will recall those days and how much, just how much, I love you.

When I'm writing, I write every day. It's lovely when that's happening. One day dovetailing into the next. Sometimes I don't even know what day of the week it is.

He was going somewhere, he knew that. And if it was the wrong direction, sooner or later he'd find it out.

I am too nervous to eat pie.

It's something that I feel I know about, relationships between men and women. I like to write from the woman's point of view now and again, to get inside her head, to feel what she's feeling.

I am a cigarette with a body attached to it.

Suppose I say summer, write the word "hummingbird", put it in an envelope, take it down the hill to the box. When you open my letter you will recall those days and how much, just how much, I love you.

Drinking's funny. When I look back on it, all of our important decisions have been figured out when we were drinking. Even when we talked about having to cut back on drinking, we'd be sitting at the kitchen table or out at the picnic table with a six-pack or whiskey.

There was this funny thing of anything could happen now that we realized everything had.

How far would you run with a piece of lead in your heart?

That's all we have, finally, the words, and they had better be the right ones, with the punctuation in the right places...

Then I said something. I said, Suppose, just suppose, nothing had ever happened. Suppose this was for the first time. Just suppose. It doesn't hurt to suppose. Say none of the other had ever happened. You know what I mean? Then what? I said.

Then i don't know I remembered how he was when he was nineteen, the way he looked, running across this field to where his dad sat on a tractor, hand over his eyes, watching Wes run toward him - Chef's House.

For a long time I wanted to do the kind of work my dad did. He was going to ask his foreman at the mill to put me on after I graduated. So I worked at the mill for about six months. But I hated the work and knew from the first day I didn't want to do that for the rest of my life.

But I guess even the knights were vessels to someone. Isn't that the way it worked? But then everyone is always a vessel to someone.

Booze takes a lot of time and effort if you're going to do a good job with it.

We opened our eyes and turned in bed to take a good look at each other. We both knew it then. We'd reached the end of something, and the thing was to find out where new to start.

Something's died in me, she goes. It took a long time for it to do it, but it's dead. You've killed something, just like you'd took an axe to it. Everything is dirt now.

I lifted him out. I held him. I held that half of him.

That morning she pours Teacher's over my belly and licks it off. That afternoon she tries to jump out the window.

I could hear my heart beating. I could hear everyone's heart. I could hear the human noise we sat there making, not one of us moving, not even when the room went dark.

That's all we have, finally, the words, and they had better be the right ones.

My lungs are thick with the smoke of your absence.

I'm always learning something. Learning never ends.

The places where water comes together with other water. Those places stand out in my mind like holy places.

But here is the thing. When he gets on me, I suddenly feel I am fat. I feel am terrifically fat, so fat that Rudy is a tiny thing and hardly there at all.

I'm saying that at the end of the summer she let the blind man run his hands over her face, said good-bye to him, married her childhood etc., who was now a commissioned officer, and she moved away from Seattle.

He seemed full of some goodness she didn't understand.

I'd like to go out in the front yard and shout something. None of this is worth it! That's what I'd like people to hear.

All I know about this fine, sweaty life, my own or anyone else's, is that in a little while I'll rise up and leave this astonishing place that gives shelter to dead people. This graveyard. And go. Walking first on one rail and then the other.

Life and death matters, yes. And the question of how to behave in this world, how to go in the face of everything. Time is short and the water is rising.

Mel thought real love was nothing less than spiritual love. He'd said he'd spent five years in a seminary before quitting to go to medical school. He said he still looked back on those years in the seminary as the most important years of his life.

They talked on into the early morning, the high, pale cast of light in the windows, and they did not think of leaving.

What’s there to tell? The people over there embrace for a minute, and then they go inside the house together. They leave the light burning. Then they remember, and it goes out.

Woke up this morning with a terrific urge to lie in bed all day and read.

It's possible, in a poem or short story, to write about commonplace things and objects using commonplace but precise language, and to endow those things—a chair, a window curtain, a fork, a stone, a woman's earring—with immense, even startling power.