bruise him

July 1, 2018

I kissed him passionately, I even wanted to bruise him, so that he would not be able to forget me.

Françoise Sagan
Bonjour Tristesse

This body has known the darkest of sensual and carnal delights. This skin is etched with livid lash-strokes reflecting beliefs and personal tastes held for years to be the central core of my sexual being. I am my scars; my scars are me.

Gray Wolf

Sadism Sunday

July 1, 2018

I’m two seconds away from castrating you with my heel.

Christina Lauren
Beautiful Bastard

Simple truths are best

June 24, 2018

ribbons and bows

Sadomasochism has always been the furthest reach of the sexual experience: when sex becomes most purely sexual, that is, severed from personhood, from relationships, from love. It should not be surprising that it has become attached to Nazi symbolism in recent years. Never before was the relation of masters and slaves so consciously aestheticized. Sade had to make up his theatre of punishment and delight from scratch, improvising the decor and costumes and blasphemous rites. Now there is a master scenario available to everyone. The colour is black, the material is leather, the seduction is beauty, the justification is honesty, the aim is ecstasy, the fantasy is death.

Susan Sontag
Fascinating Fascism The New York Review of Books, 6 February 1975

shrink unfaithful lovers

June 12, 2018

witch - digital painting by webneel_com (6)

We chant around the grill in our backyard every Friday the 13th to scare the neighbours who told the Homeowners’ Association our violet paint job was garish. We powder newt tongue and kitten whiskers into hangover smoothies. We concoct lipstick out of rose petals and rattlesnake blood. We whisper made-up spells when telemarketers call until they, unnerved, hang up. We zap our router in frustration when the Wi-Fi goes out until it collapses into ash. We zip catcallers’ lips shut. We push fraternity brothers off bus seats with our minds til they sprawl in the aisle. We steal male colleagues’ best ideas from their stress-dreams. We send packages to the news station with dirty lingerie and sex tapes featuring town councilmen who say thirteen women living in a house together must be operating a brothel. We shrink unfaithful lovers’ penises. We stick needles into poppets dressed with our mothers’ grayest hairs to silence their daily nagging calls. We steal our high school rivals’ babies from their cribs and draw bulls-eyes on their dimpled bellies with Magic Marker before returning them unharmed. We laugh over blood orange mimosas. We go on Sunday drives in our gold hearse. We hold hands around the table in the snootiest farm-to-table restaurant in town while other patrons glare at us. We hum spells until their wine glasses shatter. We leave a $666 tip for the waitress as an apology. We trip over to the nearest dive bar with sticky floors. We win every game of pool and darts. We leave men floating helplessly in the air if they try to cop a feel. We return to the backyard and chant, as t-bone steaks and marinated tofu sizzle on the grill. We hope the neighbours are watching.

Anna Cabe
Coven

Oh, so true

June 3, 2018

I can see you

Religions may begin as vehicles of longing for mysteries beyond description, but they end up claiming exclusive descriptive rights to them. They segue the ardour and uncertainty of seeking to the confidence and complacence of possession. They shift from poetry to packaging. Which is what people want. They don’t want to spend years wandering in the wilderness of doubt. They want the promised land of certainty, and religious realists are quick to provide it for them. The erection of infallible systems of belief is a well-understood device to still humanity’s fear of being lost in life’s dark wood without a compass. ‘Supreme conviction is a self-cure for the infestation of doubts.’ That is why David Hume noted that, while errors in philosophy were only ridiculous, errors in religion were dangerous. They were dangerous because when supreme conviction is threatened it turns nasty.’

Richard Holloway
Leaving Alexandria: A Memoir of Faith and Doubt

in a strange way

May 21, 2018

words2

Usually the idea for a novel comes to me, in a strange way, from reading rather than from living or observation. It’s often what I can only call an intellectual concern – some sort of large issue I’ve got very interested in. The operation of memory is an obvious one because several novels have been prompted by that. Or again the nature of evidence – that’s another important theme to me. Then the problem is to find the vehicle, to find the story and the characters and the backdrop, because they’re going to be the vehicle for this idea. Because then I don’t want the idea to show very much; I want the idea to be a sort of seven-eighths of the iceberg, a kind of ballast, but without which the whole novel would flounder.

Penelope Lively
On writing: authors reveal the secrets of their craft
The Guardian, 26th March 2011

burried

The techniques for mystifying women’s lives and belittling women’s writing that I have described work by suppressing context: writing is separated from experience, women writers are separated from their tradition and each other, public is separated from private, political from personal – all to enforce a supposed set of absolute standards. What is frightening about black art or women’s art or Chicano art – and so on – is that it calls into question the very idea of objectivity and absolute standards:

This is a good novel.

Good for what?

Good for whom?

One side of the nightmare is that a privileged group will not recognize that ‘other’ art, will not be able to judge it, that the superiority of taste and training possessed by the privileged critic and the privileged artist will suddenly vanish.

The other side of the nightmare is not what is found in the ‘other’ art will be incomprehensible, but that it will be all too familiar. That is:

Women’s lives are the buried truth about men’s lives.

The lives of people of colour are the buried truth about white lives.

The buried truth about the rich is who they take their money from and how.

The buried truth about ‘normal’ sexuality is how one kind of sexual expression has been made privileged, and what kinds of unearned virtue and terrors about identity this distinction serves.

Joanna Russ
How to Suppress Women’s Writing