Photo of Richard Brautigan

Richard Brautigan // "I drank coffee and read old books and waited for the year to end."

Photo of Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski // "Too many writers write for the wrong reasons. They want to get famous or they want to get rich or they want to get laid by the girls with bluebells in their hair... When everything works best it's not because you chose writing but because writing chose you. It's when you're mad with it, it's when it's stuffed in your ears, your nostrils, under your fingernails. It's when there's no hope but that. Once in Atlanta, starving in a tar paper shack, freezing. There were only newspapers for a floor. And I found a pencil stub and I wrote on the white margins of the edges of those newspapers with the pencil stub, knowing that nobody would ever see it. It was a cancer madness. And it was never work or planned or part of a school. It was. That's all... We work too hard. We try too hard. Don't try. Don't work. It's there. It's been looking right at us, aching to kick out of the closed womb... It's all free, we needn't be told. Classes? Classes are for asses. Writing a poem is as easy as beating your meat or drinking a bottle of beer. Look. Here's one: Mother saw the racoon, my wife told me. Ah, I said. And that was just about the shape of things tonight. Happy New Year."

Photo of Patti Smith

Patti Smith // "Put down your cell phones, put everything away, and feel your blood pulsing in you, feel your creative impulse, feel your own spirit, your heart, your mind. Feel the joy of being alive and free."

Photo of Philippe Petit

Philippe Petit // "My journey has always been the balance between chaos and order."

Photo of Banksy

Banksy // "I don't know why people are so keen to put the details of their private life in public; they forget that invisibility is a superpower."

Photo of Bjork

Bjork // "Iceland is weird. It doesn’t really have a, you’ll see the president at the supermarket. If you’re in a bar and the music’s not good, you fix it. When I’m with my Icelandic friends, they’ll be like, 'Ugh, this is rubbish,' and plug their phone in at the bar. We have this group mentality, a strange mix of anarchy and a total hate of authority. We don’t like being told what to do."

Photo of David Lynch

David Lynch // "The day you catch an idea you fall in love with, even a small one, is a beautiful day."

Photo of Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski // "I will remember your small room, the feel of you, the light in the window, your records, your books, our morning coffee, our noons, our nights, our bodies spilled together, sleeping, the tiny flowing currents, immediate and forever. Your leg, my leg, your arm, my arm, your smile and the warmth of you who made me laugh again."

Photo of Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers // "I wish I could tell you it gets better, but it doesn't get better. You get better."

Photo of Ram Dass

Ram Dass // "When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying, 'You’re too this, or I’m too this.' That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are."

Photo of Bill Murray

Bill Murray // "When my kids ask what I want for my birthday or Christmas or whatever, I use the same answer my father did: 'Peace and quiet.' That was never a satisfactory answer to me as a kid...I wanted an answer like, 'A pipe.' But now I see the wisdom of it: All I want is you at your making this an easier home to live in, you thinking of others."

Photo of James Baldwin

James Baldwin // "Any real change implies the breakup of the world as one has always known it, the loss of all that gave one an identity, the end of safety. And at such a moment, unable to see and not daring to imagine what the future will now bring forth, one clings to what one knew, or dreamed that one possessed. Yet, it is only when a man is able, without bitterness or self-pity, to surrender a dream he has long cherished or a privilege he has long possessed that he is set free...he has set himself free...for higher dreams, for greater privileges."