The Vampire

September 18, 2016

vampire11

She rose among us where we lay.
She wept, we put our work away.
She chilled our laughter, stilled our play;
And spread a silence there.
And darkness shot across the sky,
And once, and twice, we heard her cry;
And saw her lift white hands on high
And toss her troubled hair.

What shape was this who came to us,
With basilisk eyes so ominous,
With mouth so sweet, so poisonous,
And tortured hands so pale?
We saw her wavering to and fro,
Through dark and wind we saw her go;
Yet what her name was did not know;
And felt our spirits fail.

We tried to turn away; but still
Above we heard her sorrow thrill;
And those that slept, they dreamed of ill
And dreadful things:
Of skies grown red with rending flames
And shuddering hills that cracked their frames;
Of twilights foul with wings;

And skeletons dancing to a tune;
And cries of children stifled soon;
And over all a blood-red moon
A dull and nightmare size.
They woke, and sought to go their ways,
Yet everywhere they met her gaze,
Her fixed and burning eyes.

Who are you now, —we cried to her—
Spirit so strange, so sinister?
We felt dead winds above us stir;
And in the darkness heard
A voice fall, singing, cloying sweet,
Heavily dropping, though that heat,
Heavy as honeyed pulses beat,
Slow word by anguished word.

And through the night strange music went
With voice and cry so darkly blent
We could not fathom what they meant;
Save only that they seemed
To thin the blood along our veins,
Foretelling vile, delirious pains,
And clouds divulging blood-red rains
Upon a hill undreamed.

And this we heard: “Who dies for me,
He shall possess me secretly,
My terrible beauty he shall see,
And slake my body’s flame.
But who denies me cursed shall be,
And slain, and buried loathsomely,
And slimed upon with shame.”

And darkness fell. And like a sea
Of stumbling deaths we followed, we
Who dared not stay behind.
There all night long beneath a cloud
We rose and fell, we struck and bowed,
We were the ploughman and the ploughed,
Our eyes were red and blind.

And some, they said, had touched her side,
Before she fled us there;
And some had taken her to bride;
And some lain down for her and died;
Who had not touched her hair,
Ran to and fro and cursed and cried
And sought her everywhere.

“Her eyes have feasted on the dead,
And small and shapely is her head,
And dark and small her mouth,” they said,
“And beautiful to kiss;
Her mouth is sinister and red
As blood in moonlight is.”

Then poets forgot their jeweled words
And cut the sky with glittering swords;
And innocent souls turned carrion birds
To perch upon the dead.
Sweet daisy fields were drenched with death,
The air became a charnel breath,
Pale stones were splashed with red.

Green leaves were dappled bright with blood
And fruit trees murdered in the bud;
And when at length the dawn
Came green as twilight from the east,
And all that heaving horror ceased,
Silent was every bird and beast,
And that dark voice was gone.

No word was there, no song, no bell,
No furious tongue that dream to tell;
Only the dead, who rose and fell
Above the wounded men;
And whisperings and wails of pain
Blown slowly from the wounded grain,
Blown slowly from the smoking plain;
And silence fallen again.

Until at dusk, from God knows where,
Beneath dark birds that filled the air,
Like one who did not hear or care,
Under a blood-red cloud,
An aged ploughman came alone
And drove his share through flesh and bone,
And turned them under to mould and stone;
All night long he ploughed.

Conrad Aiken

 

solitude of writing…

September 18, 2016

a-solitary-figure

Writing is saying to no one and to everyone the things it is not possible to say to someone. Or rather, writing is saying to the no one who may eventually be the reader those things one has no someone to whom to say them. Matters that are so subtle, so personal, so obscure, that I ordinarily can’t imagine saying them to the people to whom I’m closest. Every once in a while I try to say them aloud and finds that what turns to mush in my mouth or falls short of their ears can be written down for total strangers. Said to total strangers in the silence of writing that is recuperated and heard in the solitude of reading
.
Is it the shared solitude of writing, is it that separately we all reside in a place deeper than society, even a society of two? Is it that the tongue fails where the fingers succeed, in telling truths so lengthy and nuanced that they are almost impossible aloud?

Rebecca Solnit
The Faraway Nearby

invisible architecture…

September 18, 2016

a-field

There is an invisible architecture often supporting the surface of the poem, interrupting the progress of the poem. It reaches into the poem in search for an identity with the poem, its object is to possess the poem for a brief time, even as an apparition appears. An invisible architecture upholds the poem while allowing a moment of relaxation for the unconscious. A period of emotional suggestion, of lapse, of reliance on the conscious substitute words pushed toward the bridge of the architecture. An architecture in the period before the poem finds an exact form and vocabulary – before the visible appearance of the poem on the page and the invisible approach to its composition. Reaching out to develop the poem there are interruptions, some apparently for no reason—something else is happening the poet has no control—the poem begins to quiver, to hesitate, to become insubstantial the desire of poetry to elevate itself, to become stronger. The poem is fragile. It needs to reach through the armed vehicle of the poem, to loosen the armed hand.

Losing the arrogance of dominion over the poem to an invisible hand, the poet campaigns for a passage over which the poet has control. Yet the unstableness of the poem is important. Also the frequent lapses of control of the poem. The writer only slowly retains power over the poem, physical power, when the poem breaks away from the authority of the invisible architecture. This invisible authority may be the unconscious that dwells on the lower level, in a substratum beneath the surface of the poem and possesses its own reference. A fluidity only enters the poem when it becomes more openly aware of itself. By whom or by what agency is the behaviour of the poem suggested, by what invisible architecture, we ask, is the poem developed. The Surrealists taught us to wander freely on the page, releasing mechanical birds, if we so desire, to nest in the invisible handwriting of composition. There is always something within poetry that desires the invisible. The desire of the poet to control. This control was earlier destructive to the interior of the poem, to its infrastructure. There is something deliberate about this practice of control by the conscious. It includes the question that is undefined, the behaviour of the poem. By whom or by what agency is this decided, by what invisible architecture is the poem developed?

Barbara Guest
Invisible Architecture

a-girl-and-her-pets

a-room-the-damned

It was a sound and a movement that brought me back into myself. The great clock at the farther end of the room just then struck the hour of three. That was the sound. And the movement – ? I was aware that a figure was passing across the distant centre of the floor. Instantly I dropped back into the arena of my little human terror. My hand again clutched stupidly at the pistol butt. I drew back into the folds of the heavy curtain. And the figure advanced.

I remember every detail. At first it seemed to me enormous – this advancing shadow – far beyond human scale; but as it came nearer, I measured it, though not consciously, by the organ pipes that gleamed in faint colours, just above its gradual soft approach. It passed them, already halfway across the great room. I saw then that its stature was that of ordinary men. The prolonged booming of the clock died away. I heard the footfall, shuffling upon the polished boards. I heard another sound – a voice, low and monotonous, droning as in prayer. The figure was speaking. It was a woman. And she carried in both hands before her a small object that faintly shimmered – a glass of water. And then I recognized her.

There was still an instant’s time before she reached me, and I made use of it. I shrank back, flattening myself against the wall. Her voice ceased a moment, as she turned and carefully drew the curtains together behind her, closing them with one hand. Oblivious of my presence, though she actually touched my dressing gown with the hand that pulled the cords, she resumed her dreadful, solemn march, disappearing at length down the long vista of the corridor like a shadow.

But as she passed me, her voice began again, so that I heard each word distinctly as she uttered it, her head aloft, her figure upright, as though she moved at the head of a procession:

“A drop of cold water, given in His name, shall moisten their burning tongues.”

It was repeated monotonously over and over again, droning down into the distance as she went, until at length both voice and figure faded into the shadows at the farther end.

For a time, I have no means of measuring precisely, I stood in that dark corner, pressing my back against the wall, and would have drawn the curtains down to hide me had I dared to stretch an arm out. The dread that presently the woman would return passed gradually away. I realized that the air had emptied, the crowd her presence had stirred into activity had retreated; I was alone in the gloomy under-space of the odious building…. Then I remembered suddenly again the terrified women waiting for me on that upper landing; and realized that my skin was wet and freezing cold after a profuse perspiration. I prepared to retrace my steps. I remember the effort it cost me to leave the support of the wall and covering darkness of my corner, and step out into the grey light of the corridor. At first I sidled, then, finding this mode of walking impossible, turned my face boldly and walked quickly, regardless that my dressing gown set the precious objects shaking as I passed. A wind that sighed mournfully against the high, small windows seemed to have got inside the corridor as well; it felt so cold; and every moment I dreaded to see the outline of the woman’s figure as she waited in recess or angle against the wall for me to pass.

Was there another thing I dreaded even more? I cannot say. I only know that the first baize doors had swung to behind me, and the second ones were close at hand, when the great dim thunder caught me, pouring up with prodigious volume so that it, seemed to roll out from another world. It shook the very bowels of the building. I was closer to it than that other time, when it had followed me from the goblin garden. There was strength and hardness in it, as of metal reverberation. Some touch of numbness, almost of paralysis, must surely have been upon me that I felt no actual terror, for I remember even turning and standing still to hear it better. “That is the Noise,” my thought ran stupidly, and I think I whispered it aloud; “the Doors are closing.” The wind outside against the windows was audible, so it cannot have been really loud, yet to me it was the biggest, deepest sound I have ever heard, but so far away, with such awful remoteness in it, that I had to doubt my own ears at the same time. It seemed underground – the rumbling of earthquake gates that shut remorselessly within the rocky Earth -stupendous ultimate thunder. They were shut off from help again. The doors had closed.

THE DAMNED
Algernon Blackwood

Good day sexy Sunday…

September 18, 2016

juarez-machado

Diary 17th / 18th September

Just a fistful of fast, challenging, hot-wired mind-bites!

Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves.
(T S Elliot, The Hollow Men)

I love being inside her. Slow, deep thrusts are best. Then buried to the hilt and grinding, roughly. Her hands become fists in the sheets, and as she tips over the edge, she bites the pillowcase, while making snorting noises through her nose. I love that momentary loss of control she experiences; that savage cum-face she shows.

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Sunday is a day designed for sex…

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We used to masturbate to Radiohead
or slide in some Nine Inch Nails and hook
our thumbs around the jutting hip bones
of some skinny messy boy.
The world was ours enough at least to piss
and puke and fuck on.
(Mindy Nettifee, When the Economy Was Booming)

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When I took your virginity,
I did it carelessly, like a dog
left alone in a butcher shop.
I taught you the way adults love
(quick, dry, no eye contact.)
A year later, in the back of your car,
you showed me what you had learned,
what kind of man I had trained you to be.
(Sierra DeMulder, Come. Sit. Heel. Stay)

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And yet one arrives somehow,
finds himself loosening the hooks of
her dress
in a strange bedroom –
feels the autumn
dropping its silk and linen leaves
about her ankles.
(William Carlos Williams, Arrival)

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Making love is like the sound of rain drops on crisp fallen leaves in the Autumn. It is condensation on bedroom windows and a beautiful kind of agony – like claw marks on your soul. It is the sound of animals fighting to the death, of racing heartbeats and the unleashing of the most primal part of your being.

It is a taste of heaven.

And of hell…

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HOW TO WIN AN ARGUMENT
1. Have a vagina
2. That’s it
3. You win
4. Congratulations