I love getting messages from you, even though I sometimes don’t understand them. This one, for instance, which Owl brought me today:
JOIN SEXY WOMEN IN THEIR BEDROOMS
Name: Jocelyn Age: 19 Turn Ons: horny gentle men I love to please and willing to do anything to satisfy and make your visit one to remember! Hey Hun I`m giving away free passes to see me naked on my webcam! All you have to do is click the link below and you can start chating with me INSTANTLY!!
JOIN SEXY WOMEN IN THEIR BEDROOMS suggests that this is a new liberation movement that supports odalisques in pursuit of their own obelisks! Come be one of us! My obelisk is even better than a bedroom! It is a living room for all that living requires! For me, that means a decadent bed, a teapot, my desk, an easel, pen, paper, glue, a glass bottle for flowers from the black swan, and a window to look out. I would love to be part of a world-wide liberation of odalisques into self-sequestration, the privacy and comfort of their own rooms!
But the message itself suggests no such solidarity. Jocelyn is only 19, and although revolutions generally start among the young, she loves to please which isn’t a desirable characteristic in a leader for social or aesthetic change. She turns on when horned men appear–satyrs, I guess. Or fauns. She must have some kind of button or switch, and it is apparently connected to a “webcam” which she reclines naked upon. Webcams must be webbed, (cane?) récamiers, as all odalisques recline on elaborate furniture.
Why does she call me Hun? I have nothing against any group who terrorized conquering Rome, both treated odalisques barbarically, but I don’t think Huns had much use for odalisques, seeing as they were nomads and we are very stationary.
Dear Jocelyn,I am always happy to hear from fellow odalisques! I imagine you reclined in your sumptuous web cam. This would be a soul-cheering image–if your letter did not make me worry about you. When love is escapism…you are trapped. It’s a common problem for us odalisques–mal-using “love” to make us feel real, to pad the emptiness we cannot face in ourselves. Will you let me advise you, as an older, if still un-wise, comrade?I know it is hard to believe now, but we all encase an emptiness which it is best not to fill–not until we can populate it wisely. Let your emptiness compel you towards a wholeness which escapes the confines of your ego. Let the emptiness fill you like air fills a balloon. Eventually, it is true, you may burst. But then–oh yes, then–you will truly be in this world!Thank you for the free pass to unlock your door (that’s what you mean by ‘click your link’, right?) and chate with you. I stopped chating when I gave up frenemies. It happens too INSTANTLY like cheap coffee or a merciful death. The world may not be white (friends) and black (enemies), but everything, blessedly, is not a shade of grey. My friends are very colorful. And they fly!“All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.” A wise odalisque cultivates rarity. She will be treasured, or she will be alone. Either is preferable to an easily clicked link. Lock your door!When I read the title of your message, I thought it was a rallying cry for odalisques worldwide!Just a thought.Your friend,–The OdalisquePS: I am not a Hun.
If you write me, I will reply. Ask questions etc. as a comment on a post, or at:
It came it came! A letter via staghorn post from Henriette! (read about Henriette here)
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.
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.
Did you ever figure out how to LOVE someone?
The birds all say hi.
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