Thursday 31 January 2008

das Dämonische hat mich getroffen

Shortly after meeting Hannah Arendt, Heidegger wrote: "The demonic has struck me. Nothing like this has ever happened to me. In the rainstorm on the way home, you were even more beautiful and impressive. I should have liked to wander with you for nights on end".

Das Dämonische hat mich getroffen. Nie noch ist mir so etwas geschehen. Im Regensturm auf dem Rückweg warst du noch schöner und größer. Und ich hätte mit Dir Nächte durchwandern können.

the white queen dreaming of white flowers...

The flake of snow grew larger and larger; and at last it was like a young lady, dressed in the finest white gauze, made of a million little flakes like stars. She was so beautiful and delicate, but she was of ice, of dazzling, sparkling ice; yet she lived; her eyes gazed fixedly, like two stars; but there was neither quiet nor repose in them. She nodded towards the window, and beckoned with her hand. The little boy was frightened, and jumped down from the chair; it seemed to him as if, at the same moment, a large bird flew past the window.

Andersen, The Snow Queen

Wednesday 30 January 2008

the woman and the cat

not long ago, I saw a picture of a woman and a cat. the woman was beautifully riped, contained within herself, peacefully glowing, as the poet would have put it, "like a fruit full of sweetness and dark". she was caressing the cat, and the cat's ecstasy was such that the air stood still. it was a languid afternoon making all angles soft, and the light suffused with a voluptuous tremble. you could almost wonder which was which. the woman the cat the cat the woman. I took my camera, and started to take pictures of the cat and the woman in front of me. but my woman was a girl. she was tall and slender, moved quickly through her own dreams, and her shapes were that of a young warrior. the camera couldn't capture her swift pulsating blood. then the cat - so young also - went once around the flower vase, and when she turned to look at me, I shuddered.

Tuesday 29 January 2008

flowers and the Tree of Life 1

Simplitatea nu este un ţel în artă, dar ajungi fără voie la ea pe măsură ce te apropii de sensul real al lucrurilor.
Constantin Brancusi

Simplicity is not an aim in art, but one reaches it unwillingly, as one approaches the real meaning of things.

flowers and the Tree of Life 2

flowers and the Tree of Life 3

Sunday 27 January 2008

Das Spiel ist aus

Mein lieber Bruder, wann bauen wir uns ein Floss
und fahren den Himmel hinunter?
Mein lieber Bruder, bald ist die Fracht zu gross
und wir gehen unter.

Mein lieber Bruder, wir zeichnen aufs Papier
viele Länder und Schienen.
Gib acht, vor den schwarzen Linien hier
fliegst du hoch mit den Minen.

Mein lieber Bruder, dann will ich an den Pfahl
gebunden sein und schreien.
Doch du reitest schon aus dem Totental
und wir fliehen zu zweien.

Ingeborg Bachmann

The Game is Over

My dear brother, when will we build a raft
to float down the sky on?
My dear brother, soon our load will be so heavy
that we'll sink.

My dear brother, onto paper
we'll draw many countries and tracks.
Watch out for the black lines
or you'll fly sky high with the land mines.

My dear brother, I want to be tied to a stake
and scream.
Already you ride out of death valley
and together we will flee.

Saturday 26 January 2008


I find her to be the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. But I am resolved never to tell her, never to speak my mind in front of her.

For I cannot bear to look upon her as she stands in front of me, breaking the chrysanthemum between her fingers.

Wednesday 23 January 2008


remembering some Chinese calligraphy ponds I saw sometimes ago. a little sad, a little dreamy. my lake is not chinese, but maybe it is just for the better. I can imagine the whole trip to that distant misty country, myself by the border of those chimeric lakes, again and again, untainted by memory.

Tuesday 22 January 2008

I wonder about the name of this one.

Being perfect artists and ingenuous poets, the Chinese have piously preserved the love and holy cult of flowers; one of the very rare and most ancient traditions which has survived their decadence. And since flowers had to be distinguished from each other, they have attributed graceful analogies to them, dreamy images, pure and passionate names which perpetuate and harmonize in our minds the sensations of gentle charm and violent intoxication with which they inspire us. So it is that certain peonies, their favorite flower, are saluted by the Chinese, according to their form or color, by these delicious names, each an entire poem and an entire novel: The Young Girl Who Offers Her Breasts, or: The Water That Sleeps Beneath the Moon, or: The Sunlight in the Forest, or: The First Desire of the Reclining Virgin, or: My Gown Is No Longer All White Because in Tearing It the Son of Heaven Left a Little Rosy Stain; or, even better, this one: I Possessed My Lover in the Garden.

Octave Mirbeau, Torture Garden, "The Garden," Chapter 5.

Monday 21 January 2008

purple mistake (1)

"in your pink bedroom, and I could never understand it, pink doesn't agree with you at all", she said, and I could have almost slapped her.
Pink! How dared she. Through your painfully tightly-shut eyelids, my dear, I'll teach you the colours, I'll teach you lilac, because this is my flower in the spring rain, I'll teach you purple and thistle, palatinate purple even, I'll give you amethyst and heliotrope, and maybe even a drop of fuchsia, you could have said lavender if you had wanted, when I was little I thought, for no reason that I can think of, lavender was the colour of courtesans, especially Zola's Nana, you could have said whisteria, because it's fuji in japanese and it's in my Genji's name, you could have even said mauve, with a slight french accent that would have made you look playful.

Sunday 20 January 2008

purple jazz-girl-rattling-nights (2)

but among my lilac still lifes, in the amaranth shades of my bedroom, I long for the dusking jazz girls, for their glamorous blood and swift breath which will never be mine, wondering about the wild men with their jazz-girl-rattling nights:

Und unsere Mädchen, die haben denselben hitzigen Puls in den Händen und Hüften. Und ihr Lachen ist heiser und brüchig und klarinettenhart. Und ihr Haar, das knistert wie Phosphor. Das brennt. Und ihr Herz, das geht in Synkopen, wehmütig wild. Sentimental. So sind unsere Mädchen: wie Jazz. Und so sind die Nächte, die mädchenklirrenden Nächte: wie Jazz: heiß und hektisch. Erregt.

Wer schreibt für uns eine neue Harmonielehre? Wir brauchen keinewohltemperierten Klaviere mehr. Wir selbst sind zuviel Dissonanz.Wer macht für uns ein lilanes Geschrei? Eine lilane Erlösung ? Wir brauchen keine Stilleben mehr. Unser Leben ist laut.Wir brauchen keine Dichter mit guter Grammatik. Zu guter Grammatik fehlt uns Geduld. Wir brauchen die mit dem heißen heiser geschluchzten Gefühl. Die zu Baum Baum und zu Weib Weib sagen und ja sagen und nein sagen: laut und deutlich und dreifach und ohne Konjunktiv.

Für Semikolons haben wir keine Zeit und Harmonien machen uns weich und die Stilleben überwältigen uns: Denn lila sind nachts unsere Himmel. Und das Lisa gibt keine Zeit für Grammatik, das Lila ist schrill und ununterbrochen und toll. Über den Schornsteinen, über den Dächern : die Welt: lila.
(Wolfgang Borchert)

And our girls, they have the same fevered pulse in their hands and hips. And their laughter is hoarse and brittle and hard as a clarinet. And their hair, it
crackles like phosphorus. It burns. And their heart, it has a syncopated beat, wistfully wild. Sentimental. Our girls are like that: like jazz. And so are our
nights, the girl-rattling nights: like jazz, hot and hectic. Aroused.
Who will write new laws of harmony for us? We no longer need well-tempered pianos. We ourselves are too much dissonance.
Who will make a purple shout for us? A purple deliverance? We no longer need any still-lives. Our life is loud.
We don't need poets with good grammar. We lack patience for good grammar. We need those with the hot feeling that's been sobbed hoarse. Who call a tree tree
and a woman woman and say yes and say no: loud and distinctly and threefold and without a subjunctive.
For semicolons we have no time and harmonies make us weak and the still-lives overwhelm us: for purple are our skies at night. And the purple gives no time for
grammar, the purple is shrill and incessant and mad. Above the chimneys, above the roofs: the world: purple.

Saturday 19 January 2008

colours amidst today's snow, remembering the autumn leaves starting to fall

Christine told me in class some time ago that she was also fond of photography. This image is for her.

Friday 18 January 2008


the gods have turned blind.
our prayers are taken for blasphemy.
the angels have died on our lips.
in silence we are waiting
for the last snow.
it could never be whiter
than our thin bones.
the gods have turned blind.

Wednesday 16 January 2008

silence. happiness.

Tuesday 15 January 2008

keine Rettung mehr

Zu Bacharach am Rheine
Wohnt eine Zauberin,
Sie war so schön und feine
Und riß viel Herzen hin.

Und brachte viel zu schanden
Der Männer rings umher,
Aus ihren Liebesbanden
War keine Rettung meh

Near Bacharach on the Rhine
lived a witch.
She was so beautiful and fine,
and seduced many hearts.

And she brought many men
to shame all around her;
From her love's bindings
there was no rescue.

(Clemens Brentano, Lore Lay ballad)

Sunday 13 January 2008

and what is it to be the sister (4)

ein flammender Demon, die Schwester.

(a flaming demon, the sister)

Trakl, aus "Traum und Umnachtung"

Wednesday 9 January 2008

and the dark red flowers are always...

gladiolus means sword and it was the official symbol of gladiators preparing to die. especially red gladiolus stands for martyrdom.

Monday 7 January 2008

King of pain

If you were Queen of pleasure
And I were King of pain
We'd hunt down Love together,
Pluck out his flying-feather,
And teach his feet a measure,
And find his mouth a rein;
If you were Queen of pleasure
And I were King of pain.

(Swinburne - A Match)

Sunday 6 January 2008

Tomorrow doesn't exist

Amanhã não existe. Meu somente
É o momento, eu só quem existe
Neste instante, que pode o derradeiro
Ser de quem finjo ser.

Tomorrow doesn't exist. This moment
Alone is mine, and I am only who
Exists in this instant, which might be the last
Of the self I pretend to be.

(Fernando Pessoa)