Torea Frey

Editor, writer, photographer, observer on the street.

The Assumption of the Rogues & Rascals, Elizabeth Smart

I'd written down on a piece of scrap paper an Elizabeth Smart title---By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept---that I wanted to pick up, but I couldn't find a copy at the library, and so I took a chance on one of Smart's other books. The Assumption of the Rogues & Rascals is short, hardly a hundred pages, the prose rather poetic (or the poetry rather prose-like?).

I found myself scribbling down passages almost every other page.

On the changing of seasons:

Out in the garden it is May, but the sun keeps going in, and I have been frustrated too many times to be able to withstand its uncertainty. The lilacs and the fields of buttercups and the birds' eggs in the hedges are mere statistics, like the inventory of a house whose inmates have no meaning or connection, a catalogue of the world, without passion or caprice.
Who can I talk to? Who can I be angry with?

On writing: 

A pen is a furious weapon. But it needs a rage of will. Everything physical dies but you can send a mad look to the end of time. You can manipulate the bright distracting forever-escaping moment.

On keeping on:

You brought it upon yourself. You have only yourself to blame. True. True. Perfectly true. Too late to desert. Too late to heave off your crippling kit and head for the hills. The problem now is how to put one foot forward, never mind best, just foot, foot, foot. Forward. On. Just keeping your feet from going numb. Just keeping them functioning.