from Tender Buttons, by Gertrude Stein.

A PIECE OF COFFEE.

More of double.

A place in no new table.

A single image is not splendor. Dirty is yellow. A sign of more in not mentioned. A piece of coffee is not a detainer. The resemblance to yellow is dirtier and distincter. The clean mixture is whiter and not coal color, never more coal color than altogether.

The sight of a reason, the same sight slighter, the sight of a simpler negative answer, the same sore sounder, the intention to wishing, the same splendor, the same furniture.

The time to show a message is when too late and later there is no hanging in a blight.

A not torn rose-wood color. If it is not dangerous then a pleasure and more than any other if it is cheap is not cheaper. The amusing side is that the sooner there are no fewer the more certain is the necessity dwindled. Supposing that the case contained rose-wood and a color. Supposing that there was no reason for a distress and more likely for a number, supposing that there was no astonishment, is it not necessary to mingle astonishment.

The settling of stationing cleaning is one way not to shatter scatter and scattering. The one way to use custom is to use soap and silk for cleaning. The one way to see cotton is to have a design concentrating the illusion and the illustration. The perfect way is to accustom the thing to have a lining and the shape of a ribbon and to be solid, quite solid in standing and to use heaviness in morning. It is light enough in that. It has that shape nicely. Very nicely may not be exaggerating. Very strongly may be sincerely fainting. May be strangely flattering. May not be strange in everything. May not be strange to.

Gertrude Stein on the cover of Time, 1933

I love Gertrude Stein’s work.  This is an extract from ‘Tender Buttons’ a prose poem sequence.  You can read the full work here: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/15396/15396-h/15396-h.htm

Gertrude Stein (1874 – 1946) was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania in America, but spent most of her life in France.  She was a writer, poet, feminist, thinker, playwright and a key figure in modern art and literature.  Her salon at Rue de Fleurus attracted many great artists and writers (such as Picasso, Matisse and Hemingway).  Her romantic relationship with Alice B Toklas lasted forty years.

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