Séverine in Summer School

January 5, 2019

Naked for twenty-four of our last thirty-six
Hours together, and I mean museum-quality, sex-
Shop, God-riddling naked, sapping gold
Light from the windows of her hundred-year-old
Baltimore dorm, we were hungry for selling
Points, like a couple in a showroom. Compelling
Arguments were made to close the deal
And children were discussed. I kissed her from heel
To head in a shower without water;
Then with. Nude, she read me a letter as a waiter
Would his specials, and I couldn’t keep
My eyes off: smooth shoulders, belly, pelvis,
Deep olive skin all a balm against sleep.
It was from her sexy grandmother in Dieppe
And Séverine translated, both of us
Somehow drawn to this third party in a tidal
Sort of way, her lunar candour, her antipodal
Ease with words and the world. We were difficult,
Séverine and I, a beautiful strain, a cult
Of two. Even eating, we made lots of noise.
Even resting in bed, watching the trees,
Our lighter breathing, our limb-shifting, sheet-
Rustling, even our dreaming had fight.
Her heart was exceptionally loud – not with love,
But with knowing. Knowing what to be afraid of

Rex Wilder

I Wish

January 5, 2019

I wish people enjoy poetry as much as hypocrisy.
I wish they created art rather than wars.
I wish they discuss atoms, aliens, sex, science, music instead of rating each other by ethnicity, religion and nationality.
I wish they had a twisted mind who speak with emotion and kindness, not with hate and blindness.

Rim Zeiny

The night, the sex, the wandering…and the need to photograph it all, not so much the perceived act but more like a simple exposure to common and even extreme experiences…It is an inseparable part of photographic practice, in a certain sense, to grasp at existence or risk, desire, the unconsciousness and chance, all of which continue to be essential elements. No moral posturing, no judgement, simply the principle of affirmation, necessary to explore certain universes, to go deep inside, without any care. A ride into photography to the vanishing point of orgasm and death.

I try to establish a state of nomadic worlds, partial and personal, systematic and instinctual, of physical spaces and emotions where I am fully an actor. I avoid defining beforehand, what I am about to photograph. The shots are taken randomly, according to chance meetings and circumstances. The choices made, considering all the possibilities, are subconscious. But the obsessions remain constant: the streets, fear, obscurity, and the sexual act…Not to mention perhaps, in the end, the simple desire to exist.

Beyond the subject, the lost souls and the nocturnal drifting, the scenes of fellatio and of bodies in utter abandon, I seek to reveal some kind of break up through the mixture of bodies and feelings, to reveal fragments of society that escape from any analysis and instant visualization of the event, but nonetheless, are its principal elements.

The brutality of the form, the intensity of the vision obligates us, still more than images that pretend to document, to involve ourselves with the reality of what we are seeing. The spectator can exist then, no longer finding himself in the position of voyeur or consumer but as sharing an extreme experience, wondering about the state of the world and of himself.

The sense of losing sight of the subject may seem like a paradox in a documentary genre where I try to impose my subjective point of view, in an autobiography born from travels and from wandering. But the emotional strip tease, which lets me enter into the pages of this intimate, photographic diary seems to carry me inevitably towards this vanishing point.

A photograph is nothing but a lie. The space is cut off, the time, manipulated. They are two uncontrollably false appearances of an image condemned to choose between hypocrisy – and good conscience – and being fake. The language used is often one of class: dominator but alienated, unaware of the actual matter at hand: appearance, ambiguity, the imaginary. In my photographs, in my every day practice of the lie, I cannot pretend to describe anything but my situation itself – my normal states of being, my kinky intimacies…I can only comment on the mere insignificance of the photographic moment.

Assigned to the anthology of a reduced knowledge, of castrated experiences, the photographer appropriates himself the gestures, diverts the acts and regurgitates signals that “indicate” our relationship with the images and determine our perception of a reality that has become hypothetical. And so, the world limits itself to icons, an altar in direct opposition to the rituals the photographer practices. But if the liturgy, the prayer and the sermon are still instruments of a vigorous cult, then for photographers, truth and freedom are found only in the realm of confession.

I try to distance myself from a certain type of documentary photography that often avails itself of symbols that are too easy to read and assimilate in order to present a complex reality in a balance that is endlessly discussed over and over between photography as an instrument of documentation and photography as being completely subjective. It isn’t the eye that photography poses on the world that interests me but its most intimate rapport with that world.

The only photographs that truly exist are the “innocent” images. We find them in the family photo albums or in the police archives. Beyond serving as a simple documentation of reality or of a certain aesthetic sense, they attest to the role of the photographer, of his implication, of the authenticity of his position in that moment. The compositions of light, narrative, are no longer, for me, fundamental problems but superfluous lies. What interests me today in an image? The perspective that has justified the act of photography, the interference of the experience, of the ongoing scene, the texture, the material, the meaning of the self-portrait, of the individual, the incoherence of the unfolding sequence, the maniacal reconstruction of the random experience – the photographs, like words, are meaningless when isolated…

To criticize in a coherent manner, the dominant image actually demands from a photo that it is lucid in the midst of its messy situation, from the experience between a glance and a good, hard look, the camera and the unconscious, in its fundamentally tainted rapport with reality and fiction. This approach cannot conceive that within multiplicity, associating technique and practice, sometimes opposite each other in their use of the photographic language, I seek to reveal the inherent contradictions to the “use” of documentary photography, that should supposedly transcribe tangible reality while at the same time, do nothing more than report a myriad of experiences.

I can then make use of the world for my own ends and in a basically solitary experience, remodel it, and transform it at will, almost as if without images, the world no longer exists.

Antoine D’Agata
Until the World No Longer Exists

Vulnerability Study

September 23, 2018

your face turning from mine
to keep from cumming

8 strawberries in a wet blue bowl

baba holding his pants
up at the checkpoint

a newlywed securing her updo
with grenade pins

a wall cleared of nails
for the ghosts to walk through

Solmaz Sharif

young lover required

Now that I have your attention, what I really want to talk about is…sex. I’ve discovered that, contrary to popular opinion, the carnal urge does not decrease with age. Even after a quad bypass, raging emphysema, sags and wrinkles where once there were lithe curves, I’m as lustful now as I was forty years ago.

Back then, men were as numerous as New York taxis and as easy to catch. As soon as one ride was over, there was always another waiting to pick me up, flag up and engine revving. It never occurred to me that they would one day stop running and slow down to a tottering walk.

Not that I couldn’t still nail some old geezer with the aid of a Viagra cocktail or two, but the very thought of touching one of those saggy bags of bones makes me gag. The fact is, no matter how old I get, prime man is still prime man (35-45) and he is the one who still catches my eye and jolts my libido. In other words, despite the depredations time has inflicted upon my corporeal body, the hot twenty-something girl who resides between my ears still rules my loins.

Unfortunately, the men who attract my attention don’t see her. What they see is just another anonymous old lady among the thousands of others who reside in America’s penis. If they do happen to glance my way, they either ignore me completely or ask if they can help me across the street, neither of which option is very satisfying. Evidently, drooling with desire is easily mistaken for drooling with senility.

I keep musing about “Harold and Maude”, deeply envious of the Ruth Gordon character, fully grasping the not-so-subtle subtext of the film. Unfortunately, the chances of finding my Harold are severely limited. I can’t exactly drive my scooter backwards down the street, trolling for boys, or even play grab-ass with the bag boy at Publix without fear of arrest. And even if I were lucky enough to find some hot kid with an unlimited sense of adventure, how could I expect him to undergo the trauma of finding himself on top of a dead lady, regardless of the smile on her face?

I used to think I wanted to die by being shot by a jealous wife, but now I think I just want to be screwed to death. Imagine the wonder of coming and going simultaneously! Sadly, I’m afraid I’ll never know. I’ve finally come to accept the fact that of all the aches, pains, losses and disappointments that accompany the aging process, knowing that I’ll never again feel a hard young body grinding against mine is the most difficult to accept.

So I gave myself a birthday present. I went to the dildo store, bought a lovely little device called a rabbit and named it “Harold”.

Wish me luck.

Ruth Dickson
SEX

preventative masturbation

August 5, 2017

“Along with heavy drinking, I do preventative masturbation four or five times a day so that I can go out in public.”

This all sounded oddly familiar. Then I reassured myself: I might have shared some of his symptoms, but that can be said for most psychiatric illnesses.

“Why do you think this has happened to you?” I asked. “Maybe you should see Oliver Sacks. It could be neurological. Like the man who thought his wife was a cocktail waitress.”

“I don’t get any sex. That’s my problem. I’m thirty-one; I haven’t had sex in nine years.”

What could I say to comfort him? Nine years was a terribly long time. One hardly goes nine years without doing most things, except maybe trips to the Far East…

Jonathan Ames
Wake Up Sir

Diary 14th April

In ‘Crowds of Power’, Elias Canetti gives us an example of inter-tribal warfare in South America. A Taulipang tribal warrior tells how they wiped out a neighbouring tribe, the Pishauko. According to Canetti, the Taulipang launched a surprise night attack on their enemies village. Apparently the Pishauko witch doctor sensed their approach from the ‘spirit dimension’ and warned everyone of danger, but the villagers ignored him. The Taulipang warriors dully appeared and began clubbing the Pishauko to death. They set fire to the huts and tossed all the Pishauko children into the flames.

How did the Pishauko witch doctor ‘sense’ the impending attack?

We know that Neanderthal man buried his dead with some sort of ritual (seeds of brightly coloured flowers were interred with the corpse – probably, they were woven into somekind of shroud). Chunks of manganese dioxide have been found in their caves worn down on one side as if used as crayons. Ritual art is a strong possibility. Undoubtedly, Neanderthal man and woman had religion (indicated also by the stone spheres representative of the Sun and Moon found in their habitations), and religion is obviously the outcome of thinking about the Universe.

200,000 years ago at Pech de l’Aze in the Dordogne, homo erectus took time out to engrave the rib bone of an ox – the engraving, the earliest we know of, is of three arc-like patterns overlapping. Is this, too, a representation of symbolic (religious?) significance?

175,000 years ago Cro-Magnon man was busy painting the walls of caves – in the deepest, darkest, remotest parts of caves. Vivid paintings of bison, deer, wild boar and wild horses. It was Salomon Reinach in 1903 who suggested the probable magical significance of these paintings; magic ritual to lure the animals to Cro-Magnon traps; lure the food to the table.

Alexander Marshack in his book ‘The Roots of Civilization’ suggests the Cro-Magnons were far less primitive than previously thought: they recorded a basic calendar on animal bones to anticipate the seasonal migration of animals, their food supply. In effect they invented a simple form of writing!

It is speculative, but a strong possibility, that religious art extended far back in time beyond the highly developed art of the Cro-Magnon people. It is probable that homo erectus, over 200,000 years ago, with their much enlarged brain capacity, used ritual magic in an attempt to control nature, to control their food supply.

So, you might ask, what has this to do with that Pishauko witch doctor?

Well, ancient man had no need to ask questions about the forces of nature; he FELT them around him, as a fish feels every change in water pressure through nerves in its sides. The result was most likely a curious sense of unity with the earth and heavens that homo sapiens – us, in other words – generally lost a long time ago. Ancient mans religion, his rituals, weren’t an attempt to ‘explain’ his world – it was a natural response to its forces.

In much the same way, the Pishauko witch-doctor was able to FEEL the approach of his enemies. All shamans, witch-doctors, magicians, witches and sacred priests, throughout human history, have claimed they derive their powers from ‘spirits’, often those of the dead. Sure we can dismiss this as primitive superstition – but we’ll be missing the point if we consider it an attempt to explain ‘life’ after death. Shamans do NOT believe in ‘spirits’; they EXPERIENCE them first hand – or at least, experience something they accept as the ‘spirit world’. Thus, boys and girls, I’d suggest it unlikely Neanderthal man performed burial rites because he ‘believed’ in life after death. He performed them because he took it for granted that he was surrounded by ‘spirits’, and these included the ‘spirits’ of the dead and the spirits of nature – otherwise known to us as ‘elementals’. Our Pishauko witch doctor, engaging in a ‘magic’ ritual to help a sick tribe member, and communicating with his ‘spirit guides’ was promptly alerted to the impending danger of attack.

#

What will happen on Beltane?

We’ll take part in the Great Rite, of course – experience the type of sex where we are so deeply entwined, so far in to each other’s darknesses and each other’s souls that we will be as one. Passionate, lustful, almost savage fucking. That’s what will happen.

For Beltane is a time for love. A time for merging with the goddess; for seeing the world through each other’s eyes. It is a time for bonfires and dancing. It is a time to be joined by spirits, in celebration of the Earth’s great fecundity. See their ghost shapes, milky white, dancing beside you in the trailing smoke from the bonfire. Eat, drink, love…

john-currin

What if every person in the world made love the same way? Men way A, women way B. No matter who you looked at: pretty or ugly, old or young, tall or short, Mexican or Mauritanian, you knew exactly what they would be like in bed because all men did it Way A, women Way B. How would that affect human relationships / sexuality / monogamy, etcetera? When this thought crossed my mind this morning, I immediately asked someone’s opinion. They said knowing all people were the same in bed wouldn’t change things. Because everyone has a different smell, personality, feel to their body…the desire to experience a variety of others sexually would remain. But I don’t know.

Jonathan Carroll
Blog

Home

January 2, 2017

after-the-party

Diary 1st January

2017, and home again. Our Manor House break was terrific – we overindulged terribly. We eat, drank and made love to excess…compensated for this in part with long walks beside the Stroudwater canal. Fed the swans. Saw and photographed a female Sparrow hawk resting on an ancient tombstone in St Cyr’s churchyard. Played naughty smothering games, and as Rabelais says (in his prologue to the Tiers Livre):

Bon espoir y gist au fond.
Good hope lies at the bottom…

Wishing everyone a happy new year. May all your dreams come true in 2017.

lightening

Diary 27th November

Sunday. Up before the lark. Cold and dark, but no rain. The wind seems to have let up somewhat, which is a small blessing. To the pub, later, after a soggy walk across the moor. Drunkenness is its own consolation…

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Yesterday she said, ‘Why on earth did Aliester Crowley put that “K” on the end of magic, Peedeel?’

‘His motives were sexual,’ I replied, my attention mainly devoted to stroking the cat on my lap.

‘Of course,’ Jay-Jay said. ‘Typical Peedeel answer. It’s all about sex…’

‘Crowley needed to differentiate his brand of magic from the popular stage magic of the day. To the forefront of his mind was the initiation of all those nice boys and their virile penises. He had a vigorous sex life as a young man. Indulged himself with multitudinous street prostitutes. But, perhaps, inevitably, he eventually extended his sexual range to include homosexuality. Crowley liked best the passive role in these practices. Throughout his life he took part in the rituals of sex magic…or sex magick, if you prefer.

‘Crowley initially took the word magick from a translation of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa’s “De occulta philosophia libri tres”. He liked that ‘K’ because it is the eleventh letter of a number of alphabets. And eleven is a magical number, a power number attributed to the Qliphoth. More than that, however, it stands for Kteis, the vagina, counterpart to the magician’s wand or phallus. So, you see, it is very sexual…’

#

A number of countries have experienced declining birth rates over the past decade. So much so that their death rates exceeded their birth rates. Germany, for example. Canada, too. Both of these countries, consequently, have opened the door to widespread immigration and their populations are now growing.

Japan, however, poor overcrowded Japan, has witnessed a huge decline in births, well under the number of deaths. And there’s no solution in sight for this problem. The Japanese hate the idea of ‘immigration’ (who does that remind you of, boys and girls?). In fact, to generalise, they hate foreigners. Traditionally it was believed in Japan that to be truly accepted in their society, one must have the blood (Japanese blood), the Japanese language, and be from Japan. It is practically impossible for a foreigner to follow the social protocols that exist throughout every level of Japanese society. Even the Japanese word for foreigner, “gaijin”, once carried the connotation of “barbarian”.

So Japan has fewer and fewer young people, but a substantial elderly population that ultimately will have no one to look after it. I suspect that Japan, and to an extent China, with their anti-immigration policies, will probably experience a shit-storm of biblical proportions before the end of this century, unless, of course, their attitudes change to immigration and outsiders.

As for the UK with its armies of ‘little Englanders’ and ‘little Scotlanders’ what can I say? We are all brothers under the skin…

And in the US? Well, they don’t have a declining birth rate, not yet. But they do have a downer on immigrants (foreigners), and apparently wish to build walls between themselves and their neighbours. Before too long, alas, they will learn those walls will make a prison from which there’ll be no easy escape; such walls will simply compound many of the ills besetting that country.

#

And Caitlín R. Kiernan posted on Facebook the other day:

‘I think that tonight I am at the lowest point I’ve been since election night. I cannot imagine a way forward. I’m more than half a century old, and never in my life has our country faced such a crisis. Ignorance, stupidity, prejudice, fear, greed, selfishness, and cynicism have won out. The lessons of the American Civil War, two world wars, the Holocaust, the Cold War, and the American Civil Rights Movement have been forgotten. We’ve allowed a grotesque billionaire clown to seize the highest office in the free world, and he’s building an administration of monstrosities. This is not business as usual. This is not Nixon, Reagan, George Bush, or W. Bush. This is not normal. Across Europe and America, populism and fascism are again on the rise – and winning. And the truth is I don’t have hope. This is so much bigger than so many seem to comprehend. Tonight, I am only afraid and exhausted and horrified.’

As are all “thinking” human beings.