Working on the last post, I thought I needed a photo which would mirror that last line, for some reason the image of that ball was very appealing to me. So I took my camera and went to my mother's, who was ready to mock me: "You don't really believe the dark one will comply?" And indeed, the dark one didn't.
I took out all my mother's balls of yarn, I tossed them about, rolled them, dangled them in front of her, called her in all tongues and voices, threatened, begged. Unmoved in her otherworldly sovereignty, without even a look of mercy (disdain would have been sweeter), she kept ignoring me, bathed in her luxurious black languor like a haughty queen whom a writer of a different age would have called Salammbô.
And now I am forced to wonder, yet again, why it is that cats hold this strange power over us, such a mythical mix of fascination and fear. And I remember a certain poet obsessed with the dangerous perfume floating about her body, praying, Come, my fine cat, against my loving heart. Sheathe your sharp claws, and settle. I remember Bastet and also a certain Bysshe, the black cat whose owner, a somewhat demonic figure himself, had recently written to me how possessed he was by this dark love. And I remember Kuroneko, a classic Japanese horror film of the sixties, which shows, in scenes of breathtaking beauty and eroticism despite their inherent violence, two women returning, as evil spirits in the shape of black cats, to avenge their cruel death at the hands of samurai. Or Tanizaki's novel A Cat, a Manand Two Women, in which a man is so in love with his cat, Lily, that he ends up choosing her over the two women in his life, his former and new wife, both sickly jealous of the cat, more than of each other. (Why is it that men are typically subjects of such depictions? What makes them frailer and more easily prey to feline fascination? Or is this just another myth?)
And as I couldn't find the thread leading out of this ball of tangled thoughts and memories, I decided to make a post about it and dedicate it to all the cat-lovers among the Bridge-lovers, some of whom I already know.
i remember us on the bench that has never been, the light playing on our shoulders and what would have been our face, had we really existed. i turn to you, my breath tearing through you like a whip, a silver snake in the dark.
i don't speak. my words echo thus, but not in your mind: on your trembling hands, your bending knees, in your throat.
you haven't come. to what purpose disturb the dust on a bench that has never been, i do not know. other voices inhabit me that you will never know, either.
i turn to you and light my cigarette only because i know you love this burning and mourning of ashes, this beauty of mine now, behind the veil of flesh. i blow the smoke, gently, into what would have been your wound, had you been there, my cry, that we can bear only so much paleness.
i remember the moment that should have been, had the future been your cat's ball of speckled yarn, my poem.
We remained in the station on a wooden bench. We spent the night, and I left before him. Even now I find it really astonishing and very moving. It was a kind of madness, idiocy, to travel from Munich to the Jura to pass a few hours of the night with me. It was utterly inhuman to sit next to a being whom you sense desires you so much and not even to have been touched. Above all, I thought, I must be very careful with everything I say to him because he understands things in quite an alarming way, in an absolute way.
Gabrielle Buffet-Picabia remembering Duchamp, in Calvin Tomkins's Duchamp: A Biography
Note: This is the second in a series of intimate videos in which i intend to express my personal aesthetic views, while questioning myself and how i see the world. You can watch the first of the series,seeing, here ( i posted it a while ago).