Tag Archive | journal

Fig. 16 (enough) shimmer

A series this week!  On the complex concept, “enough”

[click to enlarge]

[Figure 16: Variation]

enough_text_emptiness

[Emptiness, she thinks, is the reward of an open heart.]

enough she thinks

Fig. 18 (enough) bleakness

A series this week!  (Read intro here.)

[click to enlarge]

enough_text_whenisee

enough_bleakness_ship_qtrszenough_text_starspebbles

[Fig. 18]

enough_bleakness_qtrszenough_text_traveler

[You were always welcome here, traveler]

transparent bar

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

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

movie poster

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

my first movie poster

FEATURING (in order of appearance)

The Odalisque

A Fish

A Coat

Crow

Phoenix

Starlings

Black Swan

Hawk

and a minor, unmemorable appearance by a typical siren.

staghorn post

me wearing red harem pants in odalisque solidarity

I have decided to send a secret message to Henriette.  Carrier pigeon post was not an option as she is incarcerated in a basement, which I assume has no windows.  Therefore, I am using staghorn post.   This  service, with their wide net-work of inconspicuous agents, will be able to return any messages to me even though only a single agent (who lives here in the obelisk) knows of my actual location.

I have placed a misleading return address in case my message is intercepted.  Just let those authorities try to find me on the open seas where I will never, never go again!!

More as the situation develops.

(Read about my imprisoned friend, Henriette, here.)

–The Odalisque

Henriette

I’ve had terrible news.  Owl breezed in with all-the-news-fit-to-print, in which I found an article about an old friend, Henriette.  (read the article Odalisque in Red Pants here.)

me & Henriette back in the day

Henriette has, for the past decade or so,  led an austere, artistic life in the southwest desert, as the article states.   She was an example to me, The Odalisque, when I came to my obelisk.  I have these snapshots from Henriette …it’s hard to even look at them now….

snapshots from Henriette in the desert

Henriette has been captured!  Packed in a red tube (don’t let that industry double-speak fool you…she was bound in red harem pants,  then rolled up in a sumptuous Turkish rug) and handed off to authorities who will return her to a dank basement where, the article says, no one will appreciate her!

Can you imagine what it means for an odalisque to be amongst people who do not appreciate her?  It is one thing to be a solitary odalisque as I am, but to be in the public eye but dismissed?!   Even worse, the article says she will be spited as a bourgeois.   Henriette?  A bourgeois?  Long, long ago poor odalisques ASPIRED to the bourgeoisie.  No more!  Henriette and I are beyond your conventions oh wretched outer-world.  Leave us alone!

I want to help Henriette  if only with kind words and assurance that she has a friend.  I blush with shame at my hesitation.  For I, The Odalisque, am afraid.  If “they” know about me, will they snatch me, too?  Where would they take me, these authorities?

I comfort myself with the thought that I have birds for friends…far more useful than the company of bones, which Henriette preferred.   Birds can fly and spy and deflect and bring warnings.

What should I do for pauvre Henriette?

Here is the picture that keeps appearing in the newspapers.  What no one but I notice–because I, also, am an odalisque– is that Henriette still has her COAT.  As I said in an earlier post…every odalisque needs a fantastic coat for dark times…

figures (obelisk triangulation)

[click to enlarge]

figure [unenumerated]:  boreal

(cross-reference)

figure 2: perspective/aquatic

(cross-reference & view verso)

figure [unenumerated]: astral/beloved

figure 17:  traverse  (the obelisk)

figures (o’er the hills), soliloquy, stage directions

[click to enlarge]

figure [unenumerated]: boreal

ODALISQUE

Midway on life’s journey, the right road lost, I find myself in dark woods

pursued by armed men crying: Nymph!  Goddess!  Celestial Queen!

They say they are artists.

Their eyes are on me.

They do not presume that my solitary repose is neither for being seen nor to better see them.

(I include the confounding nor:  boys, you forget how

pretty you are.)

I will not play hunter, bewitcher, or conquered prey in this interminable masquerade.

Is there love otherwise made?

Leave me alone.  Go away.

(foot fiercely stomped.)

(bows lustily drawn. )

(swift incurable flight.  hooves.)


figure 7: boreal (otherwise)

otherwise

portraits: transitive property

Portrait of the Odalisque as a young girl:

Portrait of the young girl as an artist:

Portrait of the artist as odalisque:

figures (overwhelm)

Figures [click to enlarge]:

fig. 1

figures 3, 5, & 22

Early morning

when birds start the grey rustling of their undergarments and dawn spills into its bowl like piss

I look up

like I’ve fallen down stairs.

why does the phoenix want to garb me in fire?

I first asked this question in my post on fashion.

[click to enlarge]

[cued]

 


( Phoenix: no fear of darkness.  darkness/fathoms/fire.  journey/easy. it circles/home.  ODALISQUE ODALISQUE ODALISQUE/you’re afraid of fire.  I bring a light/a match/and strike it.  FORGET MYSELF AND WATCH YOU.  COLLAPSE/LIKE WAX/COLLAPSES.  AROUND AN INTERIOR FLAME.)

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