That was it, the longest night of the year. It’s over now. I didn’t send out a solstice greeting yesterday or last night because I was otherwise engaged. You might remember that last year on the winter solstice I hinted that we were involved in an obelisk improvement project:
Last night the birds and I were so anxious and excited you’d have thought we were landing a capsule on a comet! Our engineering feats were stone-age in sophistication, but considering the primary workmen were birds who have not evolved opposable thumbs, we are justifiably proud.
I think this is the coolest present the birds have ever given me, if you except the time black swan helped me get up here.
A niche! I’ve always wished I had a niche. Of course I’ve self-sequestered myself in an obelisk and an odalisque who shuns the world and makes a random scrapbook of fragments and bizarre conversations about birds, flinging that scrapbook out into a world where everyone is obviously sharing everything they make/do/think everyday in their very actual, materially measurable lives for un-anonymous readers to “identify with”, has no obvious niche. Once there was a niche, but it was unsatisfactory. It involved Moroccan tiles, a titillating fountain, perhaps a voluptuous urn, and a conspicuous absence of clothing around key body parts. Later, our niche was behind the heavy european draperies of studios and salons. Blessedly, we escaped those niches.
Where is the niche for an odalisque in an obelisk who converses with birds?
HERE IT IS. I have a niche. Right here in my obelisk. And this niche…it is VERY SPECIAL which is why I did not send you any solstice greetings to get you through that long dark night (at least it wasn’t so cold this year). I have been fixedly watching, with all birds, MY NICHE.
This is what happened when, from the longest long night, the sun crept over the horizon, slipping the first frugal but encouraging slivers through my single window:
Wait…what WAS that?
Don’t find your niche, make one. With the help of your friends.
Astronomically significant greetings to you and all your beloveds this winter season,
Owl has recorded a dream which belongs to HAZEL.
The movie is very obscure and I’ve yet to figure out what really happens. In fact, I don’t think I’ve actually seen the entire film.
But I know that this song belongs to HAZEL.
Owl says this dream is not cosmic dream radio: it’s arcade fire on radio earth.
Great, I say. More messages on fire. !?!
Owl records my dreams. You can hear them all here.
Did you feel it? Just then. We sat up straight and faced the sun. One minute later and we’re already leaning back in our gravity chair. Today tonight there was balance: dark and light. Tomorrow we begin accumulating minutes of dark, minutes like black commas erased from a worn-out page.
Owl found this. It feels like dark minutes, in the months ahead, accumulating:
The near future I commit to crow. I will scrapbook a phenomenology of crow morphology.
I’m also working on a piece of fan-fiction, a fiction by which I fan my fire for my favorite movie.
May your mind be electrified. May many small lights turn on.
The only way I can express the DELIGHT I take in the DELIGHTFUL solstice gift I received from Hawk is
to make a special scrapbook page so you, too, can APPRECIATE the CLEVERNESS, THOUGHTFULNESS, SPEED, PRECISION and PROWESS that is Hawk. Hawk has provided just what I always wanted–no, WANT is too paltry a word for that which the soul has PINED without even knowing it pined, so nonexistent was the pining.
I have always wanted a SQUIRREL TAIL.
Why does an odalisque want a squirrel tail?
Why WOULDN’T she want a squirrel tail? Think of all the exciting things one can DO with a squirrel tail.
Are you thinking of these wonderful things?
I am thinking of them, too, or trying my best, as I hold this severed fur marvel in my hands, stupefied with
FASHIONABLE it is. Thank you, Hawk, for this VERY FASHIONABLE gift.
oh no. alas alack. Owl is swallowing my newest fashion accessory. alack alas.
ODALISQUE DOES NOT SAY HELLO NO SHE DOES NOT.
I AM SORRY.
I AM TRYING TO RECORD HER DREAMS IT IS VERY HARD.
MAYBE I WILL SHARE ONE SOON.
I AM SORRY SHE HAS NOTHING TO SAY.
I HAVE THINGS TO SAY.
HELLO I AM OWL.
in a dark and dated hotel room with the boy you tried to kiss his name the name of greek statues the ones that hold up temple porches
get ready. before a plate glass mirror get ready
to fly north for an event.
planes to catch in metallic hangars it is so hard to get to these planes.
city streets treacherous they all drop down into round-a-bout bottoms like the bottoms of bowls. bowl bottom is stable equilibrium says math class. no catching a plane in the bottom of a bowl without a dose of irrational energy.
i fly. afraid to lose the earth. no worries. boy and girl are bound to earth. i bear them.
sidewalk man in suspenders makes chalk mandalas on the concrete very colorful they are.
maybe he is the one.
that girl has fantastic boots. red cross-stitched.
maybe she is the one.
will the bicycle make it up the hill, out of the city, to that dark road running home? see road slope and curve beneath o’erhanging trees shadow trees where insects sing.
we / land / ground / earth on a paved plaza.
event hotel! off-center lobby. elevators to rooms where folded schedules are forgotten. long brown halls. stumble upon an intimate, semi-circular hall where businesspeople in frumpy suits karaoke made-up lyrics to classic rock songs. in one room girl having an argument with staff about what she knows to be true. time to go home. surely the event is practically over time to catch another plane. for vacation. girl can’t find keys to room where her things are and can’t remember where her room is but
look a forest. a cube of forest bounded by glass. stunning concept. balanced with fore-thought / but wild. red leaves / peacock blues of ever-greens. deep deep ground forest sunk so to see into canopy
technicolor forest caged between glass viewing corridors of event hotel.
here was well thought-out. here is worthy of contemplation. here be still.
There are no birds in this picture. Saturn and his wise centaurs. All a-flutter and creepy-crawly. Floriferous, sword in scabbard and spear.
Rummaging through loose papers to find out where on earth/in space I found that face! Faces are unusual in my scrapbook! Here’s the only other one I can think of. It’s from my favorite movie.
Are you bringing me flowers? I like flowers. Particularly the ones that open themselves so fully they fall apart. Hearts do this, and the ego, yearning for transcendence. So, too, the prismatic doors of glass, with no hinges and no handle. You (yes you) must crash through. Oh the light, smashing everywhere and glass shattering like a fist smashed into still water drops like glass throwing light.
My favorite flower, the petals dropleted with moisture, shatters on the sill.
Wait, just a little bit. I will make you a bouquet.
I have nothing to say but I do have a valentine.
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–
it is the ultimate of talk–
the impotence to tell–
It doesn’t matter what we say. It matters what we do.
Do something good.
Happy New Year! Here on the seashore, we operate on obelisk time, and two years ago today I moved into my towering home. Happy New Year!
Last year we celebrated with fire. This year I’m just chilling in my teapot. It is very cold in the obelisk.
This year Henriette escaped from her prison (where is she where is she?), I watched the same movie over and over again, Crow became Parrot and started asking existential questions, I dreamed in sound, the phoenix sent me several flaming notes, and I redid my home page.
These are my favorite scrapbook pages from the past year:
- Ruined Valentine–My MOST VIEWED page!
- I go with my parrot to London, Paris, Bermuda…or…I would if I wanted to…
- What words do I teach my parrot-who-was-crow?
- Hello. I am an astrolisque and I travel in space.
- I receive a piece of spam and think it is a call to arms (join sexy women in their bedrooms!)
- Birds dress-up for dancing and I have to choose.
- Welcome to the winter solstice. The world will not end (yet).
- My weird dream about true love (black black bulldog).
Thank you everyone who shared my scrapbook pages with their friends…more people saw me because of you!
Quiet, please, quiet.
Let me sleep.
Let me pull this darkness (this darkness that is still natural in many places of this world) over my face like a black hood wrung in cool water.
Let me be blind inside it.
Let me sleep as deeply as sleepers in the dark regions.
Let me sleep, fists curled like a skinned animal who dreams of the moldy earth, of thick plush fur.
A dream that closes on waking like a heavy door heaved against a beast who wants to tear my bones away from themselves with its jeweled claws.