Tender Buttons

Excerpt from Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons, from 1914


What is the current that makes machinery, that makes it crackle, what is the current that presents a long line and a necessary waist. What is this current.
What is the wind, what is it.
Where is the serene length, it is there and a dark place is not a dark place, only a white and red are black, only a yellow and green are blue, a pink is scarlet, a bow is every colour. A line distinguishes it. A line just distinguishes it.


A dark grey, a very dark grey, a quite dark grey is monstrous ordinarily, it is so monstrous because there is no red in it. If red is in everything it is not necessary. Is that not an argument for any use of it and even so is there any place that is better, is there any place that has so much stretched out.


A blue coat is guided guided away, guided and guided away, that is the particular colour that is used for that length and not any width not even more than a shadow.


If the speed is open, if the colour is careless, if the selection of a strong scent is not awkward, if the button holder is held by all the waving colour and there is no colour, not any colour. If there is no dirt in a pin and there can be none scarcely, if there is not then the place is the same as up standing.
This is no dark custom and it even is not acted in any such a way that a restraint is not spread. That is spread, it shuts and it lifts and awkwardly not awkwardly the centre is in standing.


A widow in a wise veil and more garments shows that shadows are even. It addresses no more, it shadows the stage and learning. A regular arrangement, the severest and the most preserved is that which has the arrangement not more than always authorised.
A suitable establishment, well housed, practical, patient and staring, a suitable bedding, very suitable and not more particularly than complaining, anything suitable is so necessary.
A fact is that when the direction is just like that, no more, longer, sudden and at the same time not any sofa, the main action is that without a blaming there is no custody.
Practice measurement, practice the sign that means that really means a necessary betrayal, in showing that there is wearing.
Hope, what is a spectacle, a spectacle is the resemblance between the circular side place and nothing else, nothing else.
To choose it is ended, it is actual and more than that it has it certainly has the same treat, and a seat all that is practiced and more easily much more easily ordinarily.
Pick a barn, a whole barn, and bend more slender accents than have ever been necessary, shine in the darkness necessarily. Actually not aching, actually not aching, a stubborn bloom is so artificial and even more than that, it is a spectacle, it is a binding accident, it is animosity and accentuation.
If the chance to dirty diminishing is necessary, if it is why is there no complexion, why is there no rubbing, why is there no special protection.


A bag which was left and not only taken but turned away was not found. The place was shown to be very like the last time. A piece was not exchanged, not a bit of it, a piece was left over. The rest was mismanaged.


A purse was not green, it was not straw colour, it was hardly seen and it had a use a long use and the chain, the chain was never missing, it was not misplaced, it showed that it was open, that is all that it showed.


What was the use of not leaving it there where it would hang what was the use if there was no chance of ever seeing it come there and show that it was handsome and right in the way it showed it. The lesson is to learn that it does show it, that it shows it and that nothing, that there is nothing, that there is no more to do about it and just so much more is there plenty of reason for making an exchange.


Enough cloth is plenty and more, more is almost enough for that and besides if there is no more spreading is there plenty of room for it. Any occasion shows the best way.


An elegant use of foliage and grace and a little piece of white cloth and oil.
Wondering so winningly in several kinds of oceans is the reason that makes red so regular and enthusiastic. The reason that there is more snips are the same shining very coloured rid of no round colour.


Enthusiastically hurting a clouded yellow bud and saucer, enthusiastically so is the bite in the ribbon.


Within, within the cut and slender joint alone, with sudden equals and no more than three, two in the centre make two one side.
If the elbow is long and it is filled so then the best example is all together.
The kind of show is made by squeezing.


A colour in shaving, a saloon is well placed in the centre of an alley.


A blind agitation is manly and uttermost.


No cup is broken in more places and mended, that is to say a plate is broken and mending does do that it shows that culture is Japanese. It shows the whole element of angels and orders. It does more to choosing and it does more to that ministering counting. It does, it does change in more water.
Supposing a single piece is a hair supposing more of them are orderly, does that show that strength, does that show that joint, does that show that balloon famously. Does it.


A courteous occasion makes a paper show no such occasion and this makes readiness and eyesight and likeness and a stool.


The meaning of this is entirely and best to say the mark, best to say it best to show sudden places, best to make bitter, best to make the length tall and nothing broader, anything between the half.


Water astonishing and difficult altogether makes a meadow and a stroke.


A season in yellow sold extra strings makes lying places.


The sudden spoon is the same in no size. The sudden spoon is the wound in the decision.


Colouring high means that the strange reason is in front not more in front behind. Not more in front in peace of the dot.


A light white, a disgrace, an ink spot, a rosy charm.


A star glide, a single frantic sullenness, a single financial grass greediness.
Object that is in wood. Hold the pine, hold the dark, hold in the rush, make the bottom.
A piece of crystal. A change, in a change that is remarkable there is no reason to say that there was a time.
A woollen object gilded. A country climb is the best disgrace, a couple of practices any of them in order is so left.


A pleasant simple habitual and tyrannical and authorised and educated and resumed and articulate separation. This is not tardy.


A shining indication of yellow consists in there having been more of the same colour than could have been expected when all four were bought. This was the hope which made the six and seven have no use for any more places and this necessarily spread into nothing. Spread into nothing.


What was the use of a whole time to send and not send if there was to be the kind of thing that made that come in. A letter was nicely sent.


A winning of all the blessings, a sample not a sample because there is no worry.


A cool red rose and a pink cut pink, a collapse and a sold hole, a little less hot.


In between a place and candy is a narrow foot-path that shows more mounting than anything, so much really that a calling meaning a bolster measured a whole thing with that. A virgin a whole virgin is judged made and so between curves and outlines and real seasons and more out glasses and a perfectly unprecedented arrangement between old ladies and mild colds there is no satin wood shining.


Coloured hats are necessary to show that curls are worn by an addition of blank spaces, this makes the difference between single lines and broad stomachs, the least thing is lightening, the least thing means a little flower and a big delay a big delay that makes more nurses than little women really little women. So clean is a light that nearly all of it shows pearls and little ways. A large hat is tall and me and all custard whole.


A feather is trimmed, it is trimmed by the light and the bug and the post, it is trimmed by little leaning and by all sorts of mounted reserves and loud volumes. It is surely cohesive.


A brown which is not liquid not more so is relaxed and yet there is a change, a news is pressing.


A little called anything shows shudders.
Come and say what prints all day. A whole few watermelon. There is no pope.
No cut in pennies and little dressing and choose wide soles and little spats really little spices.
A little lace makes boils. This is not true.
Gracious of gracious and a stamp a blue green white bow a blue green lean, lean on the top.
If it is absurd then it is leadish and nearly set in where there is a tight head.
A peaceful life to arise her, noon and moon and moon. A letter a cold sleeve a blanket a shaving house and nearly the best and regular window.
Nearer in fairy sea, nearer and farther, show white has lime in sight, show a stitch of ten. Count, count more so that thicker and thicker is leaning.
I hope she has her cow. Bidding a wedding, widening received treading, little leading mention nothing.
Cough out cough out in the leather and really feather it is not for.
Please could, please could, jam it not plus more sit in when.


Elephant beaten with candy and little pops and chews all bolts and reckless reckless rats, this is this.


A table means does it not my dear it means a whole steadiness. Is it likely that a change.
A table means more than a glass even a looking glass is tall. A table means necessary places and a revision a revision of a little thing it means it does mean that there has been a stand, a stand where it did shake.


To be a wall with a damper a stream of pounding way and nearly enough choice makes a steady midnight. It is pus.
A shallow hole rose on red, a shallow hole in and in this makes ale less. It shows shine.


A little monkey goes like a donkey that means to say that means to say that more sighs last goes. Leave with it. A little monkey goes like a donkey.


A white hunter is nearly crazy.


In the middle of a tiny spot and nearly bare there is a nice thing to say that wrist is leading. Wrist is leading.


Suppose it is within a gate which open is open at the hour of closing summer that is to say it is so.
All the seats are needing blackening. A white dress is in sign. A soldier a real soldier has a worn lace a worn lace of different sizes that is to say if he can read, if he can read he is a size to show shutting up twenty-four.
Go red go red, laugh white.
Suppose a collapse in rubbed purr, in rubbed purr get.
Little sales ladies little sales ladies little saddles of mutton.
Little sales of leather and such beautiful beautiful, beautiful beautiful.


A shawl is a hat and hurt and a red balloon and an under coat and a sizer a sizer of talks.
A shawl is a wedding, a piece of wax a little build. A shawl.
Pick a ticket, pick it in strange steps and with hollows. There is hollow hollow belt, a belt is a shawl.
A plate that has a little bobble, all of them, any so.
Please a round it is ticket.
It was a mistake to state that a laugh and a lip and a laid climb and a depot and a cultivator and little choosing is a point it.


Book was there, it was there. Book was there. Stop it, stop it, it was a cleaner, a wet cleaner and it was not where it was wet, it was not high, it was directly placed back, not back again, back it was returned, it was needless, it put a bank, a bank when, a bank care.
Suppose a man a realistic expression of resolute reliability suggests pleasing itself white all white and no head does that mean soap. It does not so. It means kind wavers and little chance to beside beside rest. A plain.
Suppose ear rings, that is one way to breed, breed that. Oh chance to say, oh nice old pole. Next best and nearest a pillar. Chest not valuable, be papered.
Cover up cover up the two with a little piece of string and hope rose and green, green.
Please a plate, put a match to the seam and really then really then, really then it is a remark that joins many many lead games. It is a sister and sister and a flower and a flower and a dog and a coloured sky a sky coloured grey and nearly that nearly that let.


Rub her coke.


Black ink best wheel bale brown.
Excellent not a hull house, not a pea soup, no bill no care, no precise no past pearl pearl goat.


Aider, why aider why whow, whow stop touch, aider whow, aider stop the muncher, muncher munchers.
A jack in kill her, a jack in, makes a meadowed king, makes a to let.


All images by Ishiuchi Miyako from the publication Frida (2013), taken of a collection of Frida Kahlo’s intimate possessions that was discovered in 2004, unopened since the artist’s death in 1954.

Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons was written and published in 1914 by Claire Marie, New York.