A new letter from Henriette!
(Read her previous letter and my reply in bones, candy wrappers, a winnowing basket.)
Henriette libre! Chávez became a bird, and I emulated him, slipping through the bars of my cage. For his corpse my guards were sent to herd the queues of mourners clogging the streets. I got my coat and walked right out, stood beneath the red portico of my prison de bellas artes. Nearby, a confused man (at the wrong museum). I smothered him with my coat, and stole his clothing. Left him naked, recumbent as an odalisque upon the threshold of the museum.
I wish I could have stayed to watch him come-to, humiliated and exposed.
Do you still measure time with grains of sand? Caracas is no desert. I will learn to blow rings from a pipe. Ceci n’est pas une pipe. It is my life, lovely halos of smoke, disintegrating.
You ask if I ever learned how to love? I try to love myself.
Here’s a photo of my new self. I mean, my disguise.
On the lam,
Henriette was always the wilder of us two. Some cruel justice in her…smothering a man with her coat! But she escaped she escaped!
What kind of bird is Chávez? Maybe we have mutual friends. We could convince him to give you a visa and you could visit us here in the obelisk? I’m not sure how you’d get up but maybe you can rig something with smoke rings and your coat? I have bones here–I cooked a turkey for Thanksgiving, and kept the bones because I didn’t want to upset black swan by throwing them into the marsh. They’re in my sugar bowl. You can have them if you want.
I put your picture in my scrapbook with a collage that is not a pipe.
If you are seen, I hope you will be appreciated.
Your (treacherous-less) friend,
A series this week! On the complex concept, “enough”
[click to enlarge]
[Fig. 1 DETAIL]
[With words a beautiful, strange creature, all scales and song and shimmering fins, I bring out of the deep]
[for you to give you con ]
[The beast sings in the air then submerges. The sea folds over it.]
Wake up. The phoenix staked another billet-doux through my pillow with a splinter of arrowwood.
It is on fire.
Fizzling like a sparkler.
Billets hard to hold through waking. They sizzle at the edge of dream. Wake up. They burn themselves out. Pillow ash brings intense, peripheral feelings, mis-sequenced, uncertain, numinous.
(click to read the first billet-doux)
BURNING DOOR. IN AND OUT AND IN
LET US BE WITH EACH OTHER
THE DAYS COUNT THEM]S[?]
IT IS NICE TO BURN
INTOXICATING THE LIGHT
One of you, fair readers, wrote: “Odalisque, your obelisk is very tall, and you say it is made of obsidian–a glass-like volcanic rock–with ‘no chinks for the intrepid to grip‘. So how did you get into it?”
I rested my chin in my palm and got all misty-eyed, gazing towards an empty sea.
Why do I hate the ocean? What good are bird friends? Why does every odalisque need a fantastic coat? I, The Odalisque, reveal all (even my head) in my first very low-budget movie (shot entirely on scrapbook paper): everything I remember about HOW I GOT INTO THE OBELISK.
Rated X for cerebral exposure and unexpected violence.
See the movie poster
See the publicity photos
Read about my heads
Read about my coat
My feelings about the ocean
How I avoid type-casting
BONUS FEATURE: my SWIM-SUIT
Thank you for looking. Thank you.
Hot off the press! The publicity poster for my home-made movie, which will soon be released.
COMING SOON TO A GLOWING SCREEN VERY NEAR YOU
HOW I GOT INTO THE OBELISK
a movie shot entirely on paper
FEATURING (in order of appearance)
and a minor, unmemorable appearance by a typical siren.