Saturday, July 31, 2010


Androgyne, mon amour,
brochette de coeur was plat du jour,
(heart lifted on a metal skewer,
encore saignante et palpitante)
where I dined au solitaire,
table intime, one rose vase,
lighted dimly, wildly gay,
as, punctually, across the bay
mist advanced its pompe funèbre,
its coolly silvered drift of gray,
nightly requiem performed for
mourners who have slipped away...
Well, that's it, the evening scene,
mon amour, Androgyne.
Noontime youths,
thighs and groins tight-jean-displayed,
loiter onto Union Square,
junkies flower-scattered there,
lost in dream, torso-bare,
young as you, old as I, voicing soundlessly
a cry,
oh, yes, among them
revolution bites its tongue beneath its fiery
waiting stare,
indifferent to siren's wail,
ravishment endured in jail.
Bicentennial salute?
Youth made flesh of crouching brute.
(Dichotomy can I deny of pity in a lustful eye?)

Androgyne, mon amour,
shadows of you name a price
exorbitant for short lease.
What would you suggest I do,
wryly smile and turn away,
fox-teeth gnawing chest-bones through?
Even less would that be true
than, carnally, I was to you
many, many lives ago,
requiems of fallen snow.
And, frankly, well, they'd laugh at me,
thick of belly, thin of shank,
spectacle of long neglect,
tragedian of public mirth.
(Chekhov's Mashas all wore black
for a reason I suspect:
Pertinence? None at all—
yet something made me think of that.)
"Life!" the gob exclaimed to Crane,
"Oh, life's a geyser!"
Oui, d'accord—
from the rectum of the earth.
Bitter, that. Never mind.
Time's only challenger is time.

Androgyne, mon amour,
cold withdrawal is no cure
for addiction grown so deep.
Now, finally, at cock's crow,
released in custody of sleep,
dark annealment, time-worn stones
far descending,
no light there, no sound there,
entering depths of thinning breath,
farther down more ancient stones,
halting not, drawn on until
Ever treacherous, ever fair,
at a table small and square,
not first light but last light shows
(meaning of the single rose
where I dined au solitaire
sous l'ombre d'une jeunesse perdue?)
A ghostly little customs-clerk
("Vos documents, Mesdames, Messieurs?")
whose somehow tender mockery
contrives to make admittance here
at this mineral frontier
a definition of the pure...
Androgyne, mon amour.

- Androgyne, Mon Amour - Tennessee Williams San Francisco, 1976

quoth the madman

"Homsickness is just a state of mind for me. I’m always missing someone or someplace or something, I’m always trying to get back to some imaginary somewhere. My life has been one long longing."

- Elizabeth Wurtzel

ladies cultural awareness day

Sarah Paxton Ball Dodson, Une Martyre (Saint Thechla*), 1891
* the patron saint of computers

ladies cultural awareness day

Une semaine de bonté - [A Week of Kindness or Seven Deadly Elements] *A surrealistic novel in collage by Max Ernst,1934
[Frontispiece] Quatrième cahier [Fourth Book] Mercredi [Wednesday] Element Le sang [Blood] Example: Oedipus

quoth the madman

"I disregard the proportions, the measures, the tempo of the ordinary world. I refuse to live in the ordinary world as ordinary women. To enter ordinary relationships. I want ecstasy. I am a neurotic — in the sense that I live in my world. I will not adjust myself to the world. I am adjusted to myself."

- Anaïs Nin - March 25, 1933 Incest

Friday, July 30, 2010


How I loved those spiky suns, rooted stubborn as childhood in the grass, tough as the farmer’s big-headed children—the mats of yellow hair, the bowl-cut fringe.
How sturdy they were and how slowly they turned themselves into galaxies, domes of ghost stars barely visible by day, pale cerebrums clinging to life on tough green stems. Like you.
Like you, in the end. If you were here, I’d pluck this trembling globe to show how beautiful a thing can be a breath will tear away.

-A Dandelion for My Mother - Jean Nordhaus


dead hearts

blood and thunder


“Memory takes a lot of poetic license. It omits some details; others are exaggerated, according to the emotional value of the articles it touches, for memory is seated predominantly in the heart.”
The Glass Menagerie - Tennessee Williams

quoth the madman

“Everything you’ve learned in school as ‘obvious’ becomes less and less obvious as you begin to study the universe. For example, there are no solids in the universe. There’s not even a suggestion of a solid. There are no absolute continuums. There are no surfaces. There are no straight lines. ”

—R. Buckminster Fuller


Thursday, July 29, 2010


The south-wind strengthens to a gale,
Across the moon the clouds fly fast,
The house is smitten as with a flail,
The chimney shudders to the blast.

On such a night, when Air has loosed
Its guardian grasp on blood and brain,
Old terrors then of god or ghost
Creep from their caves to life again;

And Reason kens he herits in
A haunted house. Tenants unknown
Assert their squalid lease of sin
With earlier title than his own.

Unbodied presences, the pack’d
Pollution and remorse of Time,
Slipp’d from oblivion reënact
The horrors of unhouseld crime.

Some men would quell the thing with prayer
Whose sightless footsteps pad the floor,
Whose fearful trespass mounts the stair
Or burts the lock’d forbidden door.

Some have seen corpses long interr'd
Escape from hallowing control,
Pale charnel forms—nay ev’n have heard
The shrilling of a troubled soul,

That wanders till the dawn hath cross’d
The dolorous dark, or Earth hath wound
Closer her storm-spredd cloke, and thrust
The baleful phantoms underground.

- Low Barometer - Robert Bridges

robot ballet

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
“Live in the layers,
not on the litter.”
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.

The Layers ~Stanley Kunitz


“We all have to die a bit every now and then and usually it’s so gradual that we end up more alive than ever. Infinitely old and infinitely alive. ”
—Roberto Bolaño - The Skating Rink

quoth the madman

“Your death is always with you and it is the most attractive part of you. When people tell you they love your eyes, Or the way you walk, It is your mortality they’re seeing. ”
— Paul Williams

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

objets trouvés

Found in a paperback left at Cc's coffee house.

Monday, July 26, 2010


"I am not what I am.
My essence escapes me.
Here “A” does not equal “A.”
It is a durable achievement of existential philosophy to remind us that we should not think of our past as definitely settled, for we are not a stone or a tree.
In other words, my past changes every minute according to the meaning given it now, in… this moment."

—Czeslaw Milosz - Unattainable Earth

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Under the harvest moon,
When the soft silver
Drips shimmering
Over the garden nights,
Death, the gray mocker,
Comes and whispers to you
As a beautiful friend
Who remembers.

Under the summer roses
When the flagrant crimson
Lurks in the dusk
Of the wild red leaves,
Love, with little hands,
Comes and touches you
With a thousand memories,
And asks you
Beautiful, unanswerable questions

- Under the Harvest Moon — Carl Sandburg


No one worth possessing
Can be quite possessed;
Lay that on your heart,
My young angry dear;
This truth, this hard and precious stone,
Lay it on your hot cheek,
Let it hide your tear.
Hold it like a crystal
When you are alone
And gaze in the depths of the icy stone.
Long, look long and you will be blessed:
No one worth possessing
Can be quite possessed.

Advice to a girl
- Sara Teasdale


Each one of us has with a Destroyer that is in league with death, that loves death. It is this shadow Destroyer that in the modern world tries to destroy Soul to the ends of the Ego. The Destroyer tries to save our Ego by attacking Soul to defend who we are. Ultimately, the Destroyer will also attack our defenses, opening the door for us to encounter our deeper selves.

— Carol S. Pearson - Awakening The Heroes Within


Who hasn’t asked himself, am I a monster or is this what it means to be human?

— Clarice Lispector - The Hour of the Star

quoth the madman

"There is courtship, and there is hunger.
I suppose there are grips from which even angels cannot fly.
Even imagined ones."

- Mary Szybist

ladies cultural awarenesss day

Francesco Hayez (1791–1882): La Meditazione, 1851


I marveled at an Ocean without shore,
and at a Shore that did not have an ocean;
And at a Morning Light without darkness,
...and at a Night that was without daybreak;
And then a Sphere with no locality
known to either fool or learned scholar;
And at an azure Dome raised over the earth,
circulating 'round its center -- Compulsion;
And at a rich Earth without o'er-arching vault
and no specific location, the Secret concealed . . . .

I courted a Secret which existence did not alter;
for it was asked of me: "Has Thought enchanted you?"
-- To which I replied: "I have no power over that;
I counsel you: Be patient with it while you live.
But, truly, if Thought becomes established
in my mind, the embers kindle into flame,
And everything is given up to fire
the like of which was never seen before!"
And it was said to me: "He does not pluck a flower
who calls himself with courtesy 'Freeborn'."
"He who woos the belle femme in her boudoir, love-beguiled,
will never deem the bridal-price too high!"

I gave her the dower and was given her in marriage
throughout the night until the break of Dawn --
But other than Myself I did not find. -- Rather,
that One whom I married -- may his affair be known:
For added to the Sun's measure of light
are the radiant New Moon and shining Stars;
Like Time, dispraised - though the Prophet (Blessings on him!)

- An Ocean Without a Shore - Ibn Arabi


Fairy tales are full of impossible tasks:
Gather the chin hairs of a man-eating goat,
Or cross a sulphuric lake in a leaky boat,
Select the prince from a row of identical masks,
Tiptoe up to a dragon where it basks
And snatch its bone; count dust specks, mote by mote,
Or learn the phone directory by rote.
Always it’s impossible what someone asks—

You have to fight magic with magic. You have to believe
That you have something impossible up your sleeve,
The language of snakes, perhaps, an invisible cloak,
An army of ants at your beck, or a lethal joke,
The will to do whatever must be done:
Marry a monster. Hand over your firstborn son.

- Fairy-tale Logic - A.E. Stallings

today in history

Jul 25 1485
In Toledo, Spain, over 400 dead bodies are charged with heresy and burned in effigy, in a great public spectacle. What a wonderful thing, this Spanish Inquisition.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


After the words of the magnificence and doom,
After the vision of the splendor and the fear,
They go out slowly into the flowery meadow,
Carrying the casket, and lay it in the earth
By the grave’s edge. The daisies bend and straighten
Under the trailing skirts, and serious faces
Look with faint relief, and briefly smile.
Into this earth the flesh and wood shall melt
And under these familiar common flowers
Flow through the earth they both have understood
By sight and touch and daily sustenance.
And this is comforting;
For heaven is a blinding radiance where
Leaves are no longer green, nor water wet,
Milk white, soot black, nor winter weather cold,
And the eyeless vision of the Almighty Face
Brings numbness to the untranslatable heart.

- Country Burial - Janet Loxley Lewis

Friday, July 23, 2010

dream I

religious girls

pill wonder




“Let my edges that cut be stroked by sand and salt
let my slick surface coarsen till it’s crushed to bits
let my colors soften as they scrape the bottom
let the waves love me in their rough way
let me be changed by that love
let me not forget I held another
yet fully inhabit my particularity
let me be smooth enough to be rubbed by small fingers
and slipped inside a pocket or a bowl
let me prove that beauty is born when something breaks ”

- Let Me Be Beautiful Like Sea Glass — Gwynn O’Gara

Thursday, July 22, 2010

quoth the madman

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

quoth the madman

‎"Pleasure only starts once the worm has got into the fruit, to become delightful happiness must be tainted with poison"
-Georges Bataille

Quoth the madman

"They are my impressions of the strange life of New Orleans. They are dreams of a tropical city. There is one twin-idea running through them all--Love and Death. And these figures embody the story of life here, as it impresses me...There are tropical lilies which are venomous, but they are more beautiful than the frail and icy-white lilies of the North."
--Lafacadio Hearn

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


The etymology of the word “nightmare”:
The word is derived from mara, a Scandinavian mythological term referring to a spirit sent to torment or suffocate sleepers.
The mare is similar to the mythical creatures succubus and incubus, and was likely inspired by sleep paralysis. The early meaning of “nightmare” included the sleeper’s experience of weight on the chest combined with sleep paralysis, dyspnea, or a feeling of dread.


Whenever I walk to Suffern along the Erie track
I go by a poor old farmhouse with its shingles broken and black.
I suppose I've passed it a hundred times, but I always stop for a minute,
And look at the house, the tragic house, the house with nobody in it.
I never have seen a haunted house, but I hear there are such things;
That they hold the talk of spirits, their mirth and sorrowings.
I know this house isn't haunted, and I wish it were, I do;
For it wouldn't be so lonely if it had a ghost or two.
This house on the road to Suffern needs a dozen panes of glass,
And somebody ought to weed the walk and take a scythe to the grass.
It needs new paint and shingles, and the vines should be trimmed and tied;
But what it needs the most of all is some people living inside.
If I had a lot of money and all my debts were paid
I'd put a gang of men to work with brush and saw and spade.
I'd buy that place and fix it up the way it used to be,
And I'd find some people who wanted a home and give it to them free.
Now, a new house standing empty, with staring window and door,
Looks idle, perhaps, and foolish, like a hat on its block in the store.
But there's nothing mournful about it; it cannot be sad and lone
For the lack of something within it that it has never known.
But a house that has done what a house should do, a house that has sheltered life,
That has put its loving wooden arms around a man and his wife,
A house that has echoed a baby's laugh and held up his stumbling feet,
Is the saddest sight, when it's left alone, that ever your eyes could meet.
So whenever I go to Suffern along the Erie track
I never go by the empty house without stopping and looking back,
Yet it hurts me to look at the crumbling roof and the shutters fallen apart,
For I can't help thinking the poor old house is a house with a broken heart.

- The House with Nobody in it - Joyce Kilmer

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

quoth the madman

"Some people are so vain, they think that a pocket mirror is one of the simple machines, on par with the lever, pulley and fulcrum."
-Brian Kulesza

Monday, July 19, 2010





At sixteen he dismisses his mother with contempt.
She hears with dread the repulsive wave’s approach
and her fifty-year-old body smothers under water.

An old man loses half his weight, as if by stealth,
but finds in his shed his great-grandfather’s knobbly cane,
and hobbles toward youth beside the pond’s swart water.

She listens to the dun-colored whippoorwill’s
three-beat before dawn, and again when dusk
enters the cornfield parched and wanting water.

He imagines but cannot bring himself to believe
that the dead woman enters his house disguised
or that the young rabbi made vin rouge from water.

Within the poem he and she—hot, cold, and luke—
converge into flesh of vowels and consonant bones
or into uncanny affection of earth for water.

- Convergences - Donald Hall

quoth the madman

“Reality is for those who cannot tolerate the dream. “Reality” is a fantasy-construction which enables us to mask the Real of our desires. ”
—Jacques Lacan - The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis (Harmondsworth, 1979)


It was not death, for I stood up,
And all the dead lie down.
It was not night, for all the bells
Put out their tongues for noon.
It was not frost, for on my flesh
I felt siroccos crawl,
Nor fire, for just my marble feet
Could keep a chancel cool.
And yet it tasted like them all,
The figures I have seen
Set orderly for burial
Reminded me of mine,
As if my life were shaven
And fitted to a frame
And could not breathe without a key,
And 'twas like midnight, some,
When everything that ticked has stopped
And space stares all around,
Or grisly frosts, first autumn morns,
Repeal the beating ground;
But most like chaos, stopless, cool,
Without a chance, or spar,
Or even a report of land
To justify despair.

- Emily Dickinson - It was not death, for I stood up

Sunday, July 18, 2010

quoth the madman

“I think it’s very important to realize the infantile character of eroticism in general.
To feel eroticism is to be fascinated like a child that wants to take part in a forbidden game. And a man fascinated by eroticism is like a child before his parents.
He’s afraid of what might happen to him, and he never stops until he has a reason to be afraid. It’s not enough for him to only do what normal adults content themselves with.
He has to become scared. He has to find himself in the same situation as when he was a child and constantly afraid of being scolded and even punished in an unbearable way. ”
Comment on L’Erotism - Georges Bataille

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

quoth the madman

"Sadness is the matrix from which wit and irony spring; sadness is uncomfortable and creative, which is why consumer society cannot tolerate it."
- Germaine Greer


Thursday, July 15, 2010

ladies cultural awareness day

Vanity - Frank Cadogan Cowper, 1907

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


My mouth blooms like a cut.
I've been wronged all year, tedious
nights, nothing but rough elbows in them
and delicate boxes of kleenex calling crybaby
crybaby, you fool !

Before today my body was useless.
now it's tearing at its square corners.
it's tearing old mary's garments off, knot by knot
and see -- now it's shot full of these electric bolts.
zing! a resurrection!

Once it was a boat, quite wooden
and with no business, no salt water under it
and in need of some paint. It was no more
than a group of boards. but you hoisted her, rigged her.
she's been elected.

My nerves are turned on. I hear them like
musical instruments. where there was silence
the drums, the strings are incurably playing. you did this.
pure genius at work. darling, the composer has stepped
into fire.

-The Kiss - Anne Sexton

Tuesday, July 13, 2010



Agalmatophilia: sexual attraction to statues or mannequins or immobility

grave babies

Monday, July 12, 2010


“Get rid of meaning,
your mind is a nightmare that has been eating you:
now eat your mind. ”
—Kathy Acker - Empire of the Senseless

quoth the madman

What the paradox was to me in the sphere of thought, perversity became to me in the sphere of passion. Desire, at the end, was a malady, or a madness, or both.
-Oscar Wilde

quoth the madman

“I used to be an atheist until I realized that I was God. ”
—Deepak Chopra


“I have traveled farther into myself and nothing can ever be quite the same again”
-André Brink - An Instant in the Wind

overheard at a wake in new mexico

Older lady: "How's my hair?"
Older lady's sister: "Tedious."
Older lady's other sister: "Age appropriate."

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I went back to the tree where I carved my initials, and the eighth grade desk where I scrawled the word fuck,
and the subway wall where I spray painted my tag, and it's all gone.
You try to leave your mark on this chalkboard of a world, and they always wash it over, scrub you out, say you ain't gonna be nobody, and the Hollywood thing seems so big, but even those stars aren't permanent, they grow old and fall apart, despite their little handprints in the cement outside Mann's Chinese, as if they could say halt to eternity.

But where are all those people who passed through the subway station in my chest, who dropped in a token? Like those kids I used to hang with on Philly street corners when I was thirteen and sporting a silver rope chain and a tank top that covered half my abdomen, tube socks shooting up my calves, and my first hairs cutting through my genitals, how it was all one big explosion down there.

And now I'm thirty-five and can see the life that's ahead of me, and the life behind me, can see where my biceps will turn into mush, where my lungs will unravel like a cashmere sweater. And what about when the person you're out of touch with has your eyes and freckles and inflections, sucked from the same it as you?

Got hit with the same hairbrush as you, hopped the same fences as you, and that person can't even leave his room, like he's under some personal house arrest, and you know the feelings in his head are so compressed you're worried his brain might explode like a bottle of soda left overnight in the freezer.

And just hearing the word family sends a rat running through you because the one you came out of was broken, and you tell yourself it's ok to be the one egg that didn't get crushed in the carton.
And you think of all those people that have moved through this heart, this Grand Central station in your chest
big enough for them to reach their hands in and press their fingers into the wet cement.

~Jeffrey McDaniel - The Quicksand Hourglass

quoth the madman

“I assess the power of a will by how much resistance, pain, torture it endures and knows how to turn to its advantage. ”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Though he, that ever kind and true,
Kept stoutly step by step with you,
Your whole long, gusty lifetime through,
Be gone a while before,
Be now a moment gone before,
Yet, doubt not, soon the seasons shall restore
Your friend to you.
He has but turned the corner — still
He pushes on with right good will,
Through mire and marsh, by heugh and hill,
That self-same arduous way —
That self-same upland, hopeful way,
That you and he through many a doubtful day
Attempted still.
He is not dead, this friend — not dead,
But in the path we mortals tread
Got some few, trifling steps ahead
And nearer to the end;
So that you too, once past the bend,
Shall meet again, as face to face, this friend
You fancy dead.
Push gaily on, strong heart! The while
You travel forward mile by mile,
He loiters with a backward smile
Till you can overtake,
And strains his eyes to search his wake,
Or whistling, as he sees you through the brake,
Waits on a stile.

- Consolation - Robert Louis Stevenson

Friday, July 9, 2010


Whose was that gentle voice, that, whispering sweet,
Promised methought long days of bliss sincere!
Soothing it stole on my deluded ear,
Most like soft music, that might sometimes cheat
Thoughts dark and drooping! ’Twas the voice of Hope.
Of love and social scenes, it seemed to speak,
Of truth, of friendship, of affection meek;
That, oh! poor friend, might to life’s downward slope
Lead us in peace, and bless our latest hours.
Ah me! the prospect saddened as she sung;
Loud on my startled ear the death-bell rung;
Chill darkness wrapt the pleasurable bowers,
Whilst Horror, pointing to yon breathless clay,
“No peace be thine,” exclaimed, “away, away!”

-Bereavement - William Lisle Bowles

Thursday, July 8, 2010

quoth the madman

To acknowledge our ancestors means we are aware that we did not make ourselves, that the line stretches all the way back, perhaps, to God; or to Gods.
We remember them because it is an easy thing to forget: that we are not the first to suffer, rebel, fight, love, and die.
The grace with which we embrace life, in spite of the pain, the sorrows, is always a measure of what has gone before.

-Alice Walker

quoth the madman

There is no escape.
You can’t be a vagabond and an artist and still be a solid citizen, a wholesome, upstanding man.
You want to get drunk, so you have to accept the hangover.
You say yes to the sunlight and pure fantasies, so you have to say yes to the filth and the nausea.

Everything is within you, gold and mud, happiness and pain, the laughter of childhood and the apprehension of death.
Say yes to everything, shirk nothing.
Don’t try to lie to yourself. You are not a solid citizen.
You are not a Greek. You are not harmonious, or the master of yourself.
You are a bird in the storm.
Let it storm!
Let it drive you!

How much have you lied!
A thousand times, even in your poems and books, you have played the harmonious man, the wise man, the happy, the enlightened man. I
n the same way, men attacking in war have played heroes, while their bowels twitched.
My God, what a poor ape, what a fencer in the mirror man is- particularly the artist- particularly myself!

-Hermann Hesse