Archive | April 2012

my first letter

I got a letter!


The owl suggests that, after my recent rampage through gloom, bleakness, and crepuscular carnage, I write about something fun and frivolous to acquaint you with the more adorable side of an odalisque.   Fun, frivolous– both start with F suggesting I write about FASHION, one of wordpress’ more popular topics.  There are lots of very enjoyable blogs about what to wear/when to wear/ways to wear/what other people are wearing.

You may have noticed that most of the time I am wearing nothing but my head.

O!  My heads!  I’m sure it is my heads that wear my body.  My heads, like monks, waitresses, and attendants to flight, always don the same bodily uniform.  But they themselves are rapturous conglomerations of fallacy, frenzy, fortitude, fantasy and fanfare…words that start with F just like FASHION.

My heads are made of paper, tarnished pewter, fire, lapis lazuli, gold-leaf.  I have been known to bedeck my neck with samurai lanterns and a saint’s garland, a compass,  or no more than a feather!

I like to accessorize my heads with arrows.  Recently, when portraying gloom, I let loose the ornament of my hair.

I do have traditional clothing.  Have you admired my fantastic coat which I sometimes wear around my waist, other times draped around my shoulders?  My coat changes size…sometimes it’s so large it shelters me like a tent!   Or, it’s quite small– I tuck it inside a teapot to hide it from the crow, who is attracted to its shiny threads.  Every odalisque needs a fantastic coat to keep her warm and dazzling in dark times.

I also have an Edo period kimono, a gauze dress, a swim-suit, and a favorite party outfit.

I’ll write more about these topics in weeks to come.

Why does the phoenix want me to garb myself in fire?

–The Odalisque


[       ] Odalisque.

click to enlarge.

Fig. 1


Fig.2 (Verso)


(ghosts carry blessings & strange dreams around sharp corners through cracks in the sill.)

(moonlight turns the turn of the stair into an ascension.)

(nails loosen.)

(boards creak.)

(ghosts carry blessings and strange dreams in their open palms.)



they are exquisitely delicate


(tangles of dust pins string hair.)

conversations with birds: starlings

bleakness shimmers

odalisques & the ocean

There are many things in my life which begin with the letter O.  O radiant heaven, an odalisque in an obelisk lives near the ocean!  You can see this on the map of where I live, posted on the about page.  The ocean is to the East, which means the sun rises out of it, and the moon.  As you can see from the map, there is a sand path sifted out of dunes that runs to the shore.  I have not yet taken it.

I have not left the obelisk.

From my high position, I see everything around me.  But vantage obscures detail, scope excludes intimacy (as the birds know, from their dreams).   I am not intimated in the sift of sand, the sting of salt.   I am not intimated in the shore’s cemetery, where the sea spits up its dead, only to scarf them down again.

I cannot always see the ocean from my window and this is fortunate because when I can see it, it demands all my attention.    I do not understand how people live right on the ocean because I do not understand how, if they live there, they accomplish anything.   The ocean demands attention, its variant surfaces of mood and weather, its volume, its aggression and retreat.  Fluctuation is its constant, yet, on solid earth,  it orients the movement of stars– I watch astronomical bodies revolve over it.

Ships never appear, wrecked in storms and on rocks, no doubt.  Lured by turbulent dreaming, the imaginary things with which we populate the earth’s teeming, indifferent mess.   Whirlpools.  Sirens.  Storm gods.  Monstrous sea-snakes.   Full fathom five who there lies?  Pearls and monsters are more palatable than fact: the ocean seethes with crepuscular carnage.   Tier upon tier of species, bioluminescent or dark as shadows, colorful as glass or amorphous.  Furred, tentacled, wormy, lidless, blind,  all feed on one another.   Swallow.  Scavenge.  Catabolize excrement.

I watch the ocean when it is in the window of my obelisk.

The birds say it is very pleasant on the shore, when the sun is middling high and breezes blow.  That I should put on some clothes and go for a stroll.  Take a parasol.  Some scissors.  A picnic.  A towel.

But I have not walked there.  I have not walked there.

One day I will go.

–The Odalisque

still life

The day (Sunday) being breezy easy and nothing to do

I sit in the window arranging grass in glass bottles.

This is my life, you see, and I’ve a blue box of a room,  but all, in its arrangement, is still.

This is my life, you see,  but all is restful, all is still.

sometimes I do

Sometimes I do feel faintly sad

like a flower in the mossy shadow

of an earth-shaped bowl.

conversations with birds: the crow cracks one eye

Night is as still as a flock sleeping among shadowed hills.

The bed is tender as a throat I am glad to go to it.  In every dream

the clock strikes like hooves against stone the wind scrapes like steel against stone I

Awaken.  Night is still.  Still as the shadows of stones on flocked hills.

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