Archive | February 2014

fig. 1158 (flaming valentine)

I have nothing to say but I do have a valentine.

pleasure to/hearth

fig. 1158: pleasure to/hearth

Last year’s valentine was my most popular post!  It was full of ruins.  This one has a hearth, which they say is the center of a home.

I hope you like this one, too, even though I don’t have much to say about it.

Here’s something someone else said:

if what we could–were what we would–
criterion–be small–
it is the ultimate of talk–
the impotence to tell–

(emily dickinson)

It doesn’t matter what we say.  It matters what we do.

Do something good.

–The Odalisque


Henriette has a job

Finally a letter from Henriette!  (Read the last one here.)

Dear Odalisque,

Thank you for your invitation to visit.  I have never been in an obelisk, and ah! the aeons since I last saw an ocean, don’t remind me of them, unless I may count the flat deserts that were sea floors.  I stood at the bottom of those oceans and drowned myself in a fire-dry sky.  Then, I was much happier.  When night came, the stars were very friendly, a school of bio-luminescent fish curious about me in my glass bowl.

I have been very busy since October, when the Christmas season began in Venezuela.  I have taken a position in the new Ministry of Supreme Happiness.  I’ve enclosed a snapshot of this position: does it o’erwhelm you with exalted felicity?  So it intends.  The shovel intends to remind you that Chavez now hangs out with the people underground.   Not in the grave, but in tunnels.  Perhaps you’d like to dig yourself one, to reconnoiter with le President?  Reports vary as to whether he is still a bird.

When I die (do odaliques ever get to die?)  I will return, not as a bird, but as a wolf.

Don’t tell your friends. 

Did you ever think you’d see an odalisque draped in blue, blue of Mary’s color?

Hello to the birds, says wolf, salivating.

love & toilet paper,


henriette felicidad

Dear Henriette,

Congratulations on your new position!  Will you get a day off?

The birds say they know a very fancy song called Peter and the Birds.  The birds, assisted by Peter, trap a wolf.  The wolf winds up in a zoo.

But don’t worry.  I’m no Peter.  And in their song, the wolf manages to eat one bird…duck, I think?

Black swan (who most resembles a duck) says he doesn’t remember anything about that.

I asked the birds if odalisques die.  Phoenix got very excited and tried to turn my scrapbook into a pyre.  The rest of us aren’t sure.  Owl points out that we’re art.  Black swan believes we are therefore immortal.  Hawk suspects we can die, but we’ll be created at another time in a new, more relevant form.  Hawk sees no reason why that form couldn’t be a wolf, so that should please you.  Crow (did I tell you crow turned into a parrot?) says “all all perishes.” All, I suppose, includes odalisques, and even the impulse towards art.

I can’t find the starlings, not that it matters as they don’t seem to think actual thoughts.  They are feeding on and fertilizing some forsaken marsh.

Mary!  How’d you wind up with her coat?  Sacre Couer!  An odalisque, in Mary’s coat?!  What’s she wearing?  Have you seen her?

Will we see you soon?

your friend,

The Odalisque


And now I have to wait and wait, for another missive from Henriette.

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