Loss Prelude

March 31, 2018

after Op. 28, No. 13

This lake is, in part, us. It hoards our stones,
our faces after we have gone. This blue
reflection stains and ghosts its soft scales through
the dirt beneath our nails. We are but bones.

The boat, like grief or a collapsed lung, groans.
We call it our Chopin. We bend it to
our will with hands that shake. We throw a shoe
to hear the thud in different undertones.

Each note vibrates its emptiness. We hold
this fishnet to the moon – in doing so,
we find the holes that we were made to keep.

This music is a thread, a thirst, an old
belief destined to die the way we know
the lake is waiting to be put to sleep.

Arlene Ang

Exploring the “shadow” within ourselves is not a “bad” thing, nor is it something to be feared or condemned. It is simply an opportunity to experience the polarity of the light. The Dark Mother is calling us to witness her death and destruction at the hands of the tyrant. We are a microcosm within a macrocosm. By taking such paths and finding where they lead, we can better walk the 180 degrees around the circle and reemerge into the daylight. The return of Quetzalcoatl, the winged serpent who unites the power of sexuality with the purity of spirit, taking both to a higher level, is eminent. By “becoming” our dominating parents, we can understand, forgive, and heal their behaviours so that we do not perpetrate “insanity” on the next generation. We see the light only because we experience darkness. The cycle is endless as is the Great Mother in her many guises and rotations. It is up to us to find the balance point, to seek to raise conscious awareness, to find and found a new Earth-centred religion that seeks to honour the Great Mother in all her forms and guises, to honour the feminine and, most of all, to reclaim our sacred sexuality. It is time to reinstate the sacred “prostitute” to a place of honour, for through her we reach the Goddess within ourselves, a Goddess who exists within men as well as women.

Aryll Argon
She’s Back
The Beltane Papers winter 2009/2010

white bare white body

March 31, 2018

All known all white bare white body fixed one yard legs joined like sewn. Light heat white floor one sure yard never seen. White walls one yard by two white ceiling one square yard never seen. Bare white body fixed only the eyes only just. Traces blurs light grey almost white on white. Hands hanging palms front white feet heels together right angle. Light heat white planes shining white bare white body fixed ping elsewhere.

Samuel Beckett
Ping

bad energy

March 31, 2018

Dolls are one of the most likely objects to become haunted. Why is this?

Dolls that have human forms are ideal vessels for residual energy and spirits. Owners, whether adult or child, often form strong emotional bonds to dolls — they become human substitutes.

If something tragic happens to the owner, or if the owner suffers intense unhappy and negative feelings, the bad energy can be transferred to the doll. This energy is residual, but if it is strong enough, it can take on a thought-form presence as a “bad” personality of the doll.

Residual energy can be dormant for long periods of time, but if the doll goes to a new home and owner, and the place and person have the right energy, the residual personality can become activated and cause phenomena in the new house.

There are other ways that dolls can become haunted. Spirits can be attracted to dolls and take up residence in them. They may be attracted by the doll’s owner, by the residual energy lodged in the doll, or other unknown factors. Spirits can range from low-level tricksters to more hostile and powerful entities.

They, too, can be dormant until activated by the right circumstances.

In some cases, the spirit might be the earthbound soul of a person, someone who has not made a full transition to the afterlife. An example is a doll owner who dies suddenly and tragically and for various reasons does not cross over because they were lost, confused, or hanging on to unfinished business.

Dolls can also become haunted if they are deliberately used in spirit summoning and spellcasting work. In such cases, spirits are invited to inhabit the dolls.

Removing the doll from the premises alleviates the haunting phenomena in the house in most cases. Sometimes binding spells must be performed on dolls to keep pesky spirits from getting loose and causing havoc.

Earthbound souls need to be helped to the afterlife. If a doll becomes attached due to a spirit attachment to a person, then that becomes an entirely different issue that must be addressed accordingly.

Rosemary Ellen Guiley
Foreword to Norman by Stephan Lancaster

true supernatural horror

March 31, 2018

Halloween boy and ghost

Atmosphere is the all-important thing, for the final criterion of authenticity is not the dovetailing of a plot but the creation of a given sensation. We may say…that a weird story whose intent is to teach or produce a social effect, or one in which the horrors are finally explained away by natural means, is not a genuine tale of cosmic fear; but it remains a fact that such narratives often possess, in isolated sections, atmospheric touches which fulfil every condition of true supernatural horror literature. Therefore we must judge a weird tale not by the author’s intent, or by the mere mechanics of the plot; but by the emotional level which it attains at its least mundane point…The one test of the really weird is simply this — whether or not there be excited in the reader a profound sense of dread, and of contact with unknown spheres and powers; a subtle attitude of awed listening, as if for the beating of black wings or the scratching of outside shapes and entities on the known universe’s utmost rim.

H.P. Lovecraft
Supernatural Horror in Literature

the body is quiescent

March 31, 2018

I work in the morning, but I think the afternoon is a good time to work. Most people sleep in the afternoon. I’ve always found it a good time, especially if one doesn’t have much lunch. It’s a quiet time. It’s a time when one’s body is not at its sharpest, not at its most receptive — the body is quiescent, somnolent; but the brain can be quite sharp. I think, also, at the same time that the unconscious mind has a habit of asserting itself in the afternoon. The morning is the conscious time, but the afternoon is a time in which we should deal much more with the hinterland of the consciousness.

Anthony Burgess
Interview with John Cullinan in Paris Review spring 1973

Late March

March 29, 2018

Again the trees remembered
to make leaves.
In the forest of their recollection
many birds returned
singing.
They sang, they sang
because they forgave themselves
the winter, and all that remained
still bitter.
Yet it was early spring,
when the days were touch and go,
and a late snow could nip a shoot,
or freeze a fledgling in its nest.
And where would we be then?
But that’s not the point.
Do you think the magpie doesn’t know
that its chicks are at risk,
or the peach trees, their too-frail blossoms,
the new-awakened bees, all that is
incipient within us?
We know, but we can’t help ourselves
any more than they can,
any more than the earth can
stop hurtling through the night
of its own absence.
Must be something in the sap,
the blood, a force like gravity,
a trick called memory.
You name it. Or leave it nameless
that’s better —
how something returns
and keeps on returning
through a gap,
through a dimensional gate,
through a tear in the veil.
And there it is again.
Another spring.
To woo loss into song.

Richard Schiffman

The serious writer

March 29, 2018

a city of the future - London

There has always been a difference between the SF author and the author who writes science fiction; the difference, say, between an Isaac Asimov and a George Orwell. These days the difference is becoming increasingly marked. The majority of SF published last year was category fiction, like the western and the detective story, with well-defined conventions within which writers rang changes on familiar themes (space exploration, robots, totalitarian megalopolises) with various degrees of skill. In the past year or so, however, there has been an increase in another kind of SF, written by people whose early reputations were made in the SF magazines but whose work has long since ceased to abide by the category conventions, and which many deny is “proper” SF at all.

When these writers still produce SF it is because they’re moved by the same spirit which produced Wells’ “Time Machine,” Huxley’s “Brave New World,” Orwell’s “1984;” they happen to find certain SF elements useful for expressing their particular moral concerns. These writers include Brian Aldiss, J. G. Ballard, Langdon Jones and Americans like Thomas Disch and Harvey Jacobs. Of late, and with similar moral intention, Jack Trevor Story has started to write SF, as have writers like Paul Ableman and Doris Lessing. The difference is between a writer who uses an SF idea and one who writes SF because he can’t easily do anything else. The only pity is that sometimes the better writers are given the least attention. The serious writer who has left the SF category behind him is often more talented and sophisticated.

I hope that next year we shall see closer attention given, say, to Thomas Disch’s “334,” about ordinary New Yorkers managing to live ordinary lives in a world which would seem hellish to us but which they accept (as people do) as perfectly normal. J. G. Ballard’s new novel, provisionally called “Crash,” will have a present day setting and will continue to define its moral themes in terms of man’s relationship to his technological myths (and to his automobiles in particular).

Some of the new SF novels might contain no SF. I speak from experience. It was only after I had finished my last SF novel that I realised I had included less than 400 words of what might reasonably be called science fiction. It wasn’t intentional: it happens naturally during the process of selecting what you need for your theme and discarding what is useless. A good writer, after all, should create his own conventions. Whatever the best SF is these days, it certainly isn’t SF any more.

Michael Moorcock
What does the future hold for Science Fiction
The Guardian 16th September 1971

writing

Where would Shakespeare have got if he had thought only of a specialized audience? What he did was to attempt to appeal on all levels, with something for the most rarefied intellectuals (who had read Montaigne) and very much more for those who could appreciate only sex and blood. I like to devise a plot that can have a moderately wide appeal. But take Eliot’s The Waste Land, very erudite, which, probably through its more popular elements and its basic rhetorical appeal, appealed to those who did not at first understand it but made themselves understand it. The poem, a terminus of Eliot’s polymathic travels, became a starting point for other people’s erudition. I think every author wants to make his audience. But it’s in his own image, and his primary audience is a mirror.

Anthony Burgess
Interview with John Cullinan in Paris Review spring 1973

Hell Fire

March 27, 2018

Dance like time has no meaning
In closed eyed ecstasy
A hair flipping fantasy
Metronome neck,
Salacious shoulders,
Locomotive arms,
Seesaw hips,
Lovemaking legs,
Made dizzy by the drink of the devil
Stilettos glide along slippery tiled grids
Eyes cast open with a flame, burnt bright with lust
Memory has no place here, trust

Carlena