Archive | November 2012

bones, candy wrappers, a winnowing basket

It came it came!  A letter via staghorn post from Henriette!  (read about Henriette here)

Dear Odalisque,

Everyone I know, used to know, is trashed and wavering in filthy board-rooms, louche galleries, swanky trashheaps.   I hear their twinkling laughter, drunken howls and outrageous tweets even here, in my climate-controlled basement.  I know they mean no harm.  They are indifferent to me.

Thank you for writing.  It is true I still have my coat, moth-eaten but sustainable, in this old trunk Matisse sketched for me.  It is true I have few visitors–but few is more than I’m used to, having desired only solitude, like you.  I with the company of bones.

Oh the bones, Odalisque.  Lacunae of exquisite topology, elaborate curvatures, like dessicated ovaries flowering against a shockingly blue sky.  Fractal erections.  Antlers.  Femurs.  Knucklebones.

We are not growing young.  It is only with labor, much much labor, that our extinguishment is not a snuffing out, but an ecstatic obliteration in light.

A guard is coming.  He will peer closely at me to assure himself I haven’t disintegrated into an obvious fake.

Write soon.

Your friend,

Henriette

On my very first scrapbook page I wrote these words:  “I will write no more of love.  Is anyone ever satisfied?”  Henriette and I both experienced a disillusionment with “love”, whatever “love” is when you’re an odalisque who everyone wants to look at.   At some point, bathed in gazes, thoughtful odalisques react to submersion in viscous adoration with the apparently outrageous question “What am I?”

Lovers come, lovers go, the retreat of street-shoes across elaborate carpets upon which we, barefoot, barely concealed by shimmering drapery, lie.  What does an odalisque feel?  Who is there, not feeling, not known?  I felt trapped inside my own desirability.   Inches beneath my skin I felt a barricade between all-but-my-surface and everything else: an unknown quantity <– my skin–> the world.  The “real” world.  I could see it, as if through chinks of  mounded rubble.   But what or who was in there looking out, so fiercely protected from invasion or intimacy?  I felt a faint wind.  I could see nothing, and the sound was a soft emptiness, a downiness into which too much had collapsed and suffocated.

The options available to Henriette & I ?  Jaded hedonism, vengeful vampishness, feverish tragedy, or domestication, a settling down, settling in.  We considered our options and cried “fuck this!”  We meant these words metaphorically, not literally, and that, that delineated something raw and fibrous  that we resolved to call “I”.  We grabbed our coats and ran.

We were never afraid of living our lives alone.

I WAS afraid of becoming brittle and sopped, trash spit out of the ocean that crumbles at a touch–corroded aluminum, brittle cellophane, the shattered foil wrapper of something toxic and sweet.  Better to be a seashell, empty and clean, or a beat-up piece of glass.  Better to be a crab scuttling away from the encroaching foam, or even the dry rasp of the dune grass, if not the dunes,  if not the collapsed lungs of the sea creatures upon the sand, if not the moon’s liquidity on the ocean’s trembling musculature, or the moon itself.  No, not the moon.  The winnowing basket woven across the sky by its mensual arcs.

That yes that.

Dear Henriette,

Did you ever figure out how to LOVE someone?

The birds all say hi.

Your friend,

The Odalisque

figures (overwhelm) redux

I feel overwhelmed.  So I decided to reblog these figures from some time ago.  Figures, as I mention on my about page,  are what I use to illustrate complex concepts.   I am working on some new figures, too, which I will publish later.  I think they are about the word ENOUGH, but we’ll see.

Black swan would like you to know that he is overwhelmed, too.  He is squawking and flapping his wings in the tidal marsh below to communicate his persistent shock and dismay.   We ate TURKEY on Thursday,  not swan, but it still was not a good day for the black swan.  (click here if you don’t know what I’m talking about).  Soon,  I’m going to have to dump out the bones, and I just hope they’ll fall somewhere he’ll never see them.

So here’s  an old post, on the word OVERWHELM.

Figures [click to enlarge]:

fig. 1

figures 3, 5, & 22

I look up

like I’ve fallen down stairs.

be what (text excavation)

moon.  across.  sun.

seize [   ]

breath

startle.  her

flock scatters

breath [   ]  swells

[  ]  [   ]  [   ]

be what.    rush of feathers

thousand-fold

zeppelins?

I was so focused on my first movie!  Now that it is released, wide swathes of  languor billow in the obelisk, revealing sun, casting shade.   I sit inside it.  Mindlessness after intense focus is very pleasant for a while.

My first movie was a response to a question from a reader….how did I get into my obsidian obelisk?  Please do not hesitate to ask me any questions you might have about odalisque-hood!  It is my custom to be as forthright and delightful as possible.  You can ask questions via the comments, or by email at:

One reader question that I have not answered?   Odalisque, would you accept a caller who arrived by zeppelin?

My first exploration of this question resulted in this image:

Hmmm.  I will consider the implications of this image, and by so doing, the question.

More on that later.

Owl has buried the cupid costume in my heap of sand.  I’m still waiting for word of Henriette.

–The Odalisque

Sand [y]

It’s sandy here.  I don’t know what happened.   Wind outlandish wind a storm of wind that rattled the bed frame and deflowered windows, shattering glass.  In the morning, a pile of sand, like an hourglass emptied on the floor of my obelisk.  What duration was being measured?  What, now that the sand has sifted, will soon cease?  Is it bad luck to smash a glass of hours?  What will I do with this temporal pile of sand?

Crow would like me to build an impermanent castle.  Black swan says sand is good for wallowing in, shuffling grit into the itchy place between the wings.  The starlings swoon in discrete calculations- one grain per pursed beak, which will be more numerous?

Hawk sees in the pile of sand a microcosmic manifestation of our parched souls.

I need a broom.  It was Halloween and I wanted to be a witch because that’s what you call women who fly.  I want to fly but I don’t have a broom, so I dressed up as Owl instead.  Owl took one look at my costume and said “isn’t that a bit like gilding the lily?”  I’m not sure if “lily” refers to me or Owl.

Owl was disgruntled with all costume choices.  “Why can’t I be a fish or a movie star or a fantastic aviation device?” moaned Owl, clearly under the influence of my first movie (have you watched it?)  No, Owl is, this year, a very perturbed cupid.  Here we are, with my inexplicable heap of sand:

Owl has no access to electrical equipment at this time, so we had to take a photograph of ourselves in our costumes.  I will post a scanned version, soon.

-The Odalisque

**Here’s the scanned version of our Halloween costumes.  It enlarges :

Halloween, 2012

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