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!
As you know, I celebrate astronomical facts.
Today my side of the earth leans close to the sun.
Tomorrow, it begins to tilt away.
Here is a celebratory [j]gif[t] for you.
[If you don’t see this image animated, click to open it!]
a candle in my ear burned down to ash. wake up. eyelashes caked with ash. head thick with smoke. obscure.
fig. 6: astrolabe/the stairs
(the phoenix leaves flaming notes on my pillow. Click to read the last billet doux…)
there are no words left.
it doesn’t matter what you say.
it matters what you do.
what will you do?
I’ve been asleep. I dreamed of a desert.
My last scrapbook page was portraits of the birds in hats. You may remember that Hawk chose a white plumed hat with a blue ribbon.
I was surprised by Hawk’s preferred hat. Hawk explained that it was not an aesthetic choice, but a metaphysical one. This particular hat reminds Hawk of an avian creation myth which he relates thus:
White Bird laid an egg.
The egg was the world.
White Bird sits on the egg; it is night.
White Bird flies, up up up, away; egg is cold.
White Bird goes to her friend, Blue Snake.
Snake gives her a but-recently shed skin.
It, like Snake, is shimmery blue.
White Bird carries the blue strip of Blue Snake back to the egg.
Now, before she flies up, up, up, away,
she wraps the egg with blue skin.
It is the sky.
Sometimes a few downy feathers stick to the skin.
They are clouds.
Hawk is far too worldly to believe in this myth, but, does believe personal journeys constellate in mythological structures.
Hawk asked me to share this primitive bird story with you before I fall back asleep.
I don’t know why I’m so sleepy these days! I am a worn-out Odalisque. Maybe that will be my next scrapbook page: “worn-out Odalisque”. It must be the birds, with all their bitter questionings, exhausting me.
A new letter from Henriette!
(Read her previous letter and my reply in bones, candy wrappers, a winnowing basket.)
Henriette libre! Chávez became a bird, and I emulated him, slipping through the bars of my cage. For his corpse my guards were sent to herd the queues of mourners clogging the streets. I got my coat and walked right out, stood beneath the red portico of my prison de bellas artes. Nearby, a confused man (at the wrong museum). I smothered him with my coat, and stole his clothing. Left him naked, recumbent as an odalisque upon the threshold of the museum.
I wish I could have stayed to watch him come-to, humiliated and exposed.
Do you still measure time with grains of sand? Caracas is no desert. I will learn to blow rings from a pipe. Ceci n’est pas une pipe. It is my life, lovely halos of smoke, disintegrating.
You ask if I ever learned how to love? I try to love myself.
Here’s a photo of my new self. I mean, my disguise.
On the lam,
Henriette was always the wilder of us two. Some cruel justice in her…smothering a man with her coat! But she escaped she escaped!
What kind of bird is Chávez? Maybe we have mutual friends. We could convince him to give you a visa and you could visit us here in the obelisk? I’m not sure how you’d get up but maybe you can rig something with smoke rings and your coat? I have bones here–I cooked a turkey for Thanksgiving, and kept the bones because I didn’t want to upset black swan by throwing them into the marsh. They’re in my sugar bowl. You can have them if you want.
I put your picture in my scrapbook with a collage that is not a pipe.
If you are seen, I hope you will be appreciated.
Your (treacherous-less) friend,