An emotion.

Quicksilver tingling rush. Tendrils of curiosity tighten around the ache to know more. Sudden flash of tenderness. Frantic haunting need to possess. Drive to acquire more knowledge of the subject in&question. See also: want, passion, lust. Caution: Subject can become an obsession.

In the Western world, desire is considered the way of life. After all, this is the land where dreams come true. In this society you must always be reaching for something better, something more. People at the top of society are considered successful, while those that live a simple life of peace and serenity are looked down upon because of their lack of life goals and aspirations. Why is it this way? Shouldn’t people who are at peace be the epitome of our society? With the desire to always be something more comes a lack of being comfortable with the place in life that you are. In this way, Americans can be very self-loathing for not being what they would consider the “perfect” person.

On the other hand, people that live by the Tao will never feel upset or disappointed by their lives. There will be no self-pity as whatever happens to them is the only thing that could have happened to them. There will be no envy of others. A person who is at peace and lives a simple life is considered a wise and knowledgeable person, quite a contrast to the beliefs held in Western culture.

According to the Tao, “Free from desire, you realize the mystery,” pointing out that your mind will be at peace and not worrying about your desires. Yet it also points out that desire comes from darkness, the same place that manifestations and falsities of the mind stem from. Therefore, it does not say that having desire is bad, as it comes from the same source as non-desire, but you can live more at peace without it. There is no right or wrong, but there are extremes. Having too much desire will whither the heart, blinding you from the beauty and greatness around you. Having too little will deprive you of any joy, and possibly even life if the desire to eat, drink, or live is lost.

The way of the Tao is not right or wrong, but finding a middle way that does not block you off from the world. It should not limit your ability to enjoy all things. You should not live unhappy and without hope, but you should also not live focused on one main thing as it will control your life and leave you with tunnel vision.

When I feel a wanting for something for a long time and focus on achieving it, it soon envelops my life. I am constantly thinking about it and it prevents me from dealing with life at hand. I can be witnessing some of the most beautiful things I have ever seen, but if my mind is elsewhere, I will not experience it. While reaching for something-greater will blind you from enjoying life, so will not looking to a higher place. If I feel that I am worthless and cannot achieve anything greater and hold no ambition to be better than I am, I become caught in a web of doubt and loneliness. Everything seems bland, nothing is good, and life is bad. I personally hate this state even more than the former, because it causes you to have doubt in yourself. Doubting yourself is one of the worst symptoms of American culture. Everyone is either cocky or suffers from low self-esteem. It is a plague that threatens the lives of every American and is constantly striking everywhere. It does however, lead to some more, shall we say, "interesting", music. On one side we have the Tommy Hilfiger “I’m all that and a bag of chips, so don’t mess with me as I brag about it in my next song” attitude, and on the other side we have the ripped jeans and metallica t-shirt “I suck, you’re perfect, why can’t I be like you, let’s write angsty music” attitude.

The only cure for our culture is for everyone to look around and say “I’m pretty, you’re pretty, let’s all go dance in a field of flowers and play beautiful music.” Without an accepting attitude everyone will either be putting himself or herself down, or putting others down. This is not in accordance to the Tao and there will be no peace. The Tao is not about a set of rules to live by, but basically tells every person to look inside their heart and do what they truly believe is right. In this way nothing is truly bad, everything has a purpose, and it sure prevents crusades, jihads, and holocausts from happening.

In the perfect world, the Tao is what everyone would live by. To achieve the perfect world, all it takes is one person to live by it, you. When you live by the Tao, the entire world is perfect. All addictions are bad. There are people who neglect other aspects in life because they are so focused on one thing. It leads them to become unbalanced in life. When new situations arise, you fall back on previous knowledge to guide you through them. With previous knowledge only in one thing, you will not be able to ease your way through many situations and will cause many conflicts. Neutrality is good. Extremes are bad. You should never be so focused on one thing that it dictates your life, leaving you without the freedom to try new things or experience the world outside that which you are focused on. Desire leaves your mind cluttered. In order to be at peace your mind must be free of preoccupation and thought. While living in desire this state cannot be reached. While living in the opposite you will also be preoccupied with negative thoughts of yourself.

Life is experiencing everything and its beauty. As long as there is anything preventing you from appreciating the world around you, it is blocking you from having a happy and fulfilled life. As long as desire is alive, fulfillment can never be reached.

Contrary to popular belief, Desire is not personified in such a way as to insure immediate love and adoration for anyone as soon as they see him/her. S/He can chooose to encourage such a response if s/he so desires to do so. However, who would want such attention all the time? It gets tiresome. S/he can turn it on and off at whim and will.

Desire is one of The Endless as depicted in Neil Gaiman's popular and critically acclaimed comic book series The Sandman, and a personification of concepts and ideas and presences in the universe that have existed since before mankind dreamt of gods and will exist long after the last god has died. Appearing in the story as an hermaphrodite this was a way of avoiding the whole sexual thing by attacking it directly. Desire can be desirous to everyone at all times, but this is metaphorical of the very essense of desire: you can't always get what you want and when you do get it you often find it's not at all what you had in mind.

His/Her brothers and sisters are Destiny, Death, Dream, Destruction, Delirium and Despair. S/he tends to be closest to Despair, but that is probably because they used to be twins. Well they still are, sort of. It's also because Desire finds Despair the easiest to manipulate. Destruction refuses to talk to Desire and has refused for many centuries, since he quit his job as a member of the Endless, no longer having any desire to keep up his own facade. His/her relationships with the other siblings in the Endless are often two-tiered. There's a false front of security and general concern for their well-being, but usually s/he's often conniving behind their backs, trying to achieve more than his/her share, or just opting to insure people get what's coming to them. S/he's incredibly egocentric, wholly amoral, and participates in Narcissism disguised as introspection. S/he wouldn't know sincerity if it married him/her and bore his/her children. In fact, it probably has.

Desire enjoys his/her place in the universe entirely too much, believing it to be the center of the universe, and if s/he's not, well it should be! S/He really knows how to throw some mean parties.

Desires are what Plato said should be controlled by the temperance and reason of our soul. But why? What is so bad about capturing, obtaining, acheiving, or fulfilling one's desires?

When a desire is satisfied it is understood that the pleasure that ensues is beyond anything explainable in words. It is an emotion that all of us enjoy and strive to repeat, and this journey to repeat was what Plato feared most. In essence the journey is nothing but an establishment of greed, which is the poison that plagues the soul of every man in society. After one desire is satisfied, a man expects another one to be satisfied as well, as well as another and another. But what, if for one instant, those desires could not be satisfied with the conditions at hand?

Man has proven that he will do anything to get what he wants if it is not easily acheived. Take, for instance, the United States of America. Today the U.S. has decided to attack the Taliban forces in Afghanistan simply because they are harboring a terrorist leader that they wish to have in their custody. Now think about that for one second. The United States of America has satisfied almost every attainable desire in their short run as a nation. Today the States are not able to capture one man, and that so called unattainable desire seems to be the only reason for its existence.

Let's tone down the example a little bit and look at something like that in one man. If a man is married to a young wife who has dinner waiting for him when he comes home every day for a week, it is assumed that he will get it the next week if timely possible. But what if the wife decides that she doesn't want to do that any more. In fact, she wishes that the husband would cook once and a while. Now this man has tasted dinner for the last week and it's something that he has grown accustomed to and desires every day after work. What would this man most likely do? I, myself, as many men would also do, would try to con my way into having her cook by telling her that "I'm too tired to do it" or "I don't have time after days like this." I would do this because I want that dinner, and I don't want to have to make it myself. I want to satisfy my desire by any means necessary so that I can feel that pleasure every day of my life. So what does that mean to you?

Desire takes over every man, and sometimes he doesn't even know about it. Just remember to take notice. Be aware of your surroundings and your actions, and know why you're doing them because your desires may be conquering your reasoning, and reason is what tells you what is right or wrong, not deisre. Desire will wreak havoc over your body until nothing else in your life matters except for that single feeling of pleasure

"Cogito, igitur, sum."

Bob Dylan's 1975 followup to his "comeback" record, Blood on the Tracks. Sessions for the "Desire" record began on July 28th, 1975, in New York City. Dylan began with a very large band, including Eric Clapton, Emmylou Harris and an entire 8-piece British pub-rock band, Kokomo. However, the results were uneven, and the bulk of the record was made with a stripped-down lineup of five musicians: Dylan, Emmylou Harris, violinist Scarlet Rivera, and the rhythm section of bassist Rob Stoner and drummer Howie Wyeth.

"Desire" is completely unlike any other Dylan record. The only lead instruments on the record are Dylan's harmonica and Scarlet Rivera's violin, and the only guitar is Dylan's acoustic. This gives it a spare, haunting atmosphere reminiscent of Irish folk songs, or Gypsy ballads. Dylan also co-wrote the lyrics with Jacques Levy. Levy was an interesting character: Originally a clinical psychologist, he moved into musical theatre in the 1960s, and then into songwriting, co-writing several songs, the most famous being Chestnut Mare, with Roger McGuinn.

The record opens with Dylan's last great protest song, Hurricane. The version that appears on "Desire" was recorded several months later, with the full Rolling Thunder Revue band. The original take was replaced because Columbia Records feared a libel suit from Alfred Bello and Arthur Dexter Bradley.

Bello and Bradley were the men who, in Dylan and Levy's account, committed the murders that Rubin "Hurricane" Carter was jailed for. The lyrics as originally written claimed that Bello and Bradley robbed the bodies after the shooting.

Hurricane concerns itself mostly with the shooting and then the subsequent trial of Carter, in some of the most angry and eloquent language of Dylan's career ("and though they could not produce the gun, the DA said he was the one, who did the deed, and the all-white jury agreed!!"). The song is eleven verses and nearly nine minutes long, and rocks VERY hard for a song whose only electric instruments are the bass, and Scarlet Rivera's howling violin.

Thanks in part to Dylan's efforts, Carter was eventually given a new trial, and convicted again. A third trial, in the late 1980s, set him free.

"Desire" switches gears at this point, to Isis, a long piano-driven ballad with oblique lyrics concerning a mythical, goddess-like woman and a failed tomb-raiding expedition. Dylan and Levy claimed to have been influenced by the improvised sung poetry of Patti Smith.

Other standout tracks are the ballads One More Cup of Coffee and Sara, both minor-key violin dirges. "One More Cup of Coffee" is a valentine to a Gypsy princess ("your sister sees the future, like your mama and yourself; you never learned to read or write, there's no books upon your shelf"), and Sara is an emotionally overwrought love song, presumably to his wife, Sara.

Dylan drew some criticism for the song, mainly from Lester Bangs, and later claimed that the song wasn't meant to be taken literally. Elvis Costello, in a Rolling Stone interview several years later, defended Dylan, saying, "If he had meant us to take him literally, he would have included a verse that said: So-and-so, my ex-wife, is a real bitch, this is where she lives, go burn down her house."

The record is not without its missteps, most offensively the insipid travelogue Mozambique, and the 11-minute, historically not-quite-accurate tribute to slain gangster Joey Gallo.

"Desire" was released in January of 1976, and quickly rose to #1 on the album charts. It was to be Dylan's last #1 record. Hurricane was edited down to a 4-minute single that barely cracked the Top 25. It was later used in several films, among them Hurricane (natch) and Dazed and Confused, and still receives a small amount of classic rock airplay.

Desire, the tracklist:
1. Hurricane
2. Isis
3. Mozambique
4. One More Cup of Coffee
5. Oh, Sister
6. Joey
7. Romance in Durango
8. Black Diamond Bay
9. Sara

The other day I was sitting around a table with Bob Dylan and Emmylou Harris, enjoying slow cocktails and coffee. We were on a cobblestone terrace looking down a long avenue. It was a mild August evening, the glow of sunset was deepening to blackness with a few stars behind us.

Dylan, after a content sigh of cigarette smoke, tapped ashes and, avoiding my eye, said to me, "Joey, what made them want to blow you away?"

"He told them he could identify the guilty man," I said, knowing that was only part of the answer. "Your daddy he's an outlaw and a wanderer by trade."

Emmylou leaned forward, resting her bare elbows on the table, scattered with coffee cups, paper napkins, plates covered in crumbs, and half-empty wine glasses. She didn't want to have this conversation right now. "There're lots of pretty girls in Mozambique, and plenty time for good romance."

Bob and I looked at each other, the same thought occuring to both of us. She makes a blissful suggestion, but running never helps, and always leads to more trouble.

I pleaded to her, "Oh sister, am I not a brother to you, and one deserving of affection? Here's a ring, it cost a grand." She said "That ain't enough. I was thinking 'bout gold. I was thinking 'bout diamonds."

Clearly she would not be so easily appeased. She fell back in her seat. "Blinded by sleep and in need of a bed." After being in this city together for so long, we were all exhausted. None of us would be the same after we parted.

Bob took the cigarette out of his mouth. "At night I dream of bells in the village steeple," he said. Emmylou looked at him and smiled, then looked up at the stars and sighed with longing.

I knew our time in this city, our time together, was coming to an end. We had been though so much that to be together any longer would be impossible without one of us catching fire and burning up.

Bob knew it too. "I can still hear the sounds of those Methodist bells." His thoughts were of places and people far away. "Sara, oh Sara, beautiful lady so dear to my heart."

I looked at both of my companions. Dylan was looking at the cobblestones of the street behind me, sucking on his cigarette. Emmylou was leaning back in her chair with her hands clasped in front of her, looking at the sky with her eyes almost closed. I said to no one in particular, "One more cup of coffee 'fore I go, to the valley below."



Her footsteps-

black heels on wet payment,

are a cascade in lower keys


Her auburn hair, 

rolls off her bare shoulders

in waves (think undertow) 


Her lips half bitten by sharp teeth

fire engine red, even in dim light  

might be lickable


could be 

Pale dust slid from weeds
on air tasting of skin

Spring apples split
open, their heat swaying up

sparrows bit gravel and
bounced on bright concrete hot

enough to welt
and I thought of you

De*sire" (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Desired (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Desiring.] [F. d'esirer, L. desiderare, origin uncertain, perh. fr. de- + sidus star, constellation, and hence orig., to turn the eyes from the stars. Cf. Consider, and Desiderate, and see Sidereal.]


To long for; to wish for earnestly; to covet.

Neither shall any man desire thy land. Ex. xxxiv. 24.

Ye desire your child to live. Tennyson.


To express a wish for; to entreat; to request.

Then she said, Did I desire a son of my lord? 2 Kings iv. 28.

Desire him to go in; trouble him no more. Shak.


To require; to demand; to claim.


A doleful case desires a doleful song. Spenser.


To miss; to regret.


She shall be pleasant while she lives, and desired when she dies. Jer. Taylor.

Syn. -- To long for; hanker after; covet; wish; ask; request; solicit; entreat; beg. -- To Desire, Wish. In desire the feeling is usually more eager than in wish. "I wish you to do this" is a milder form of command than "I desire you to do this," though the feeling prompting the injunction may be the susage>

C. J. Smith.


© Webster 1913.

De*sire", n. [F. d'esir, fr. d'esirer. See Desire, v. t.]


The natural longing that is excited by the enjoyment or the thought of any good, and impels to action or effort its continuance or possession; an eager wish to obtain or enjoy.

Unspeakable desire to see and know. Milton.


An expressed wish; a request; petition.

And slowly was my mother brought To yield consent to my desire. Tennyson.


Anything which is desired; an object of longing.

The Desire of all nations shall come. Hag. ii. 7.


Excessive or morbid longing; lust; appetite.


Grief; regret.



Syn. -- Wish; appetency; craving; inclination; eagerness; aspiration; longing.


© Webster 1913.

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