Tag Archive | scrapbook

figures (obelisk triangulation)

[click to enlarge]

figure [unenumerated]:  boreal


figure 2: perspective/aquatic

(cross-reference & view verso)

figure [unenumerated]: astral/beloved

figure 17:  traverse  (the obelisk)

fashionable owl!

I forgot the owl!

Owl was not into fashion like the other birds.

Regard Owl, irritated, on the shoulder of an odalisque.

fashionable Owl/contorted Odalisque

fashionable birds part 3

Third in a series of Immortal Portraits of my FASHIONable friends.

fashionable phoenix

fashionable starlings

(Conversations with both birds are indexed in the categories to your right.)

fashionable birds part 2

Second in a series of Immortal Portraits of my very FASHIONable friends:

As usual, hawk was torn between el duende and the desire for repose.   We went with el duende, I am delighted to say.

trying on repose

fashionable hawk (el duende)

(Conversations with hawk are indexed in the “hawk” category to your right.)

fashionable birds

Sunday I published a post on FASHION.   Monday morning, I was abruptly aroused  by a commotion.  The birds were prodding, poking, mooning at the window, desperate for me to roll over and let them in.

Miffed by their presumptuousness, but now awake,  I climbed out of bed to make a small breakfast.  I watched the kettle boil (it does happen, but it takes a long long time, as I anticipated), and sat idle for a full six-minute tea steep.  I baked a bun from scratch, ate it morsel by morsel, dropping all sorts of desirable crumbs which the birds could not eat.   I read my very first piece of mail seven times seven times over.    At last, I opened the window.

To a spazzle-dazzle flurry of highly-excited, almost agitated birds.

Apparently, birds are very FASHIONable, a fact I had failed to observe in all my days in the obelisk (though I had noticed the black swan’s exorbitant vanity).

All week damask and leather occlude my view, collars and pantaloons sail over my head, shifts and roses hover mid-air, borne in beaks of birds.  Or claws.  There are swords in here.  Ridiculous stockings.  A crook-necked staff?  Jewel boxes.

FASHION squawk the birds, preening.  REGARD ME.

To appease them, I’m making portraits.   Immortal Portraits of my FASHIONable friends, the birds.


First, the black swan, of course:

fashionable black swan

(Conversations with the black swan are indexed in the “Black Swan” category to your right.)


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.)

learning to wait

1.  Slumber.

2.  Take a lover.


3.  Obscure all outlets of communication.

4.  Exhaust yourself with a task that is never completed.

5.  Exhaust yourself by uncompleting your completion of a task.

6.  Slumber.

7.  Imagine the seeds in the earth.

If it is summer, and it has rained, imagine the seeds need to be scarified by cold, thus cannot sprout.

If it is winter, know it is not spring.

If it is spring, imagine it is unnaturally dry. Imagine the prescience of a seed that knows it is not yet time.

Imagine yourself slumbering like a seed in the earth but

Panic.  Swift flight from time, the static time, which you must spend waiting.  For?   If you are longing for a man (that man) do not think of death, of your body languishing, a flower with no fruit. You do not want to bear children but to be held full in the grip of a man, as he might take a fruit, whole in his mouth. What ripeness before rotting and how many men wait

with just the right curve o’ their lips, strength o’ their hands, for grasping, for lifting to their lips therefore to turn o’er upon the tongue?

You may–

(Snakes converge like sperm from all directions to the black stone, warm from a whole day’s sun, beneath which they nest.)

–find that waiting is only for death, all said and done, and that your most fertile preparation is for the moment of no personage when you fall without ceasing to stillness (not conscious of any distinction between the two) into a darkness that might be like earth or like outer-space, or the consciousness that there is no difference between them.  How does a bird distinguish earth from sky?  The earth offers roost and sustenance, the sky is ascent, never ascended.  Between them, the space it travels through.

But you are not a bird.  You are waiting.  You are turning yourself over like earth, in preparation.





Lovers!   Do not fling your carefully embroidered coat beneath the feet of your beloved!  His beauty is appallingly evident but

you’ve pretty plumage, too.   Keep the coat.  There is a field littered with the stones that struck the sky’s tarnished mirror.  The cracks in its mirror are trees.  When you walk that field, wrap your coat close.  It will startle the landscape with a mis-stroke of color.  Tenderly, tenderly it will open (like an undergarment) for whomever watches, waits (tending what sure fire?)  for you to come home.

I am not afraid of night.

I am…but I will not be

when the moon rises.

conversations with birds: the swan drifts

(the swan drifts over the reflection of real ruins around which an architect has arranged lake and trees:)

I am not pure enough to believe in
love, its archaic masquerade.  I am
not pure enough to believe its silken
cords won’t fray but

Is there a love otherwise made?  Of stone?
Its architecture, yes, toppled in weeds,
though an entablature on slipped columns
remains to frame the inorderable sky.

I could think:  Marking a grave.  Or
Its austere grace!  What time cracks falls away
to reveal a more essential beauty.

The ruins memorialize themselves.
Two might still walk among them hand in hand.

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