i still remember
how your eyes for me
i still remember
how your eyes for me
Below some of Leonard’s poems and where he’d mostly write them:
Sanctuary of a Temporary Kind: Leonard Cohen
reblogged from here
While many are familiar with Leonard Cohen’s memorable songs of erotic encounters in hotel rooms, there is a lesser-known narrative of the hotel that Cohen offers in the 1965 National Film Board documentary, Ladies and Gentlemen… Mr. Leonard Cohen. This was a time when Cohen was known for his poetry rather than his song writing, and the film catches him on a return trip from Greece to his hometown of Montréal. He is staying in a $3-a-night hotel in Montréal’s Tenderloin district–an area of the city centered on the corner of St. Laurent and Ste. Catherine streets.
The hotel room, Cohen says, is a sanctuary, a refuge, an oasis. It is a place to lay low and pursue the five hours of writing that he likes to commit to each day. As he rises from bed, looks out the window and washes up, Cohen’s voiceover offers his appreciation for the room: “You always have a feeling in a hotel room that you are on the lam; and it’s one of the safe moments in the escape, it’s that breathing spot. The hotel room is the oasis of the downtown; it’s a kind of temple of refuge. It’s sanctuary, sanctuary of a temporary kind, therefore all the more delicious. But whenever I come into a hotel room, and there is the moment after the door is shut and the lights you haven’t turned on illumine a very comfortable, anonymous, subtly hostile environment, and you know that you’ve found the little place in the grass and the hounds are going to go by; for three more hours, you’re going to have a drink, light a cigarette, and take a long time shaving.”
Poem 17 (“I perceived the outline of your breasts …”) from “The Energy of Slaves”
I perceived the outline of your breasts
through your Hallowe’en costume
I knew you were falling in love with me
because no other man could perceive
the advance of your bosom into his imagination
It was a rupture of your unusual modesty
for me and me alone
through which you impressed upon my shapeless hunger
the incomparable and final outline of your breasts
like two deep fossil shells
which remained all night long and probably forever
Poem (“I heard of a man …”) from “Let Us Compare Mythologies”
I heard of a man
who says words so beautifully
that if he only speaks their name
women give themselves to him.
If I am dumb beside your body
while silence blossoms like tumors on our lips.
it is because I hear a man climb stairs and clear his throat outside the door.
Summer-Haiku from “The Spice-Box of Earth”
For Frank and Marian Scott
and a deeper silence
when the crickets
Today is lets perve over Kerouac day. (my birthday)
The stars in the sky
The tragedy of Hamlet
The key in the lock
The sleeping mother
The lamp in the corner
The lamp in the corner unlit
The Aztec empire
The writing hand: in vain
(The shoetrees in the shoes
The windowshade string upon
the hand bible
The glitter of the greenglass
The bear in the woods
The Life of Buddha
– Why kneel?
in the dark
Men and women
the eternal void
Walking on water wasn’t
Built in a day
Sometimes I wonder if being a lesbian wouldn’t make it easier being a feminist. One of my main flaws as a feminist is, I think assholes are sexy.
I’ve called three men assholes within the last month to their faces. I think I’m using that word to much, in fact. I never call females assholes. I hardly ever call females any bad words, even when they do something stupid.
But then again, if I was a lesbian, I would still think assholes were sexy, but then the assholes would be women, which wouldn’t cause the conflict feminist wise. In a way heterosexuality really fucks me over, but at the same time, acts as a core for my feminist pendulum to swing from.
On Friday I attended a mothers day show my little one had at school, for us mommies.
Their teacher said “now turn to your mommies and sing this song while you look into her eyes” and she sang so, so sweet, my eyes welled up with tears.
There is no love, NO LOVE, like the love I feel for my girls.
No man, no cock, no drugs, no nothing can make my heart feel like motherhood can. No purpose exist, for me, greater than this purpose.
I am so grateful.
photo me with Cyan, november 2015.
ek wonder of die lewe vinniger beweeg
wanneer ons harte vinniger klop
of gebeur dinge altyd teen dieselfde spoed
selfs al wens ons vir ooblikke saam wat nooit ooit
sy skryf briewe en seël die koevert
met donker rooi warm was
en in die was maak sy afdrukke
van haar mond haar brand haar
harde kont, die regterduim, haar nipple
sy vryf parfuum op, die koevert teen haar nek
en soen die brief voor sy ‘n adres opskryf
wat sy nou al uit haar kop kan sê.
Só connect sy met daai brief
soos ek en jy connect het, ‘n merry teenage camp
onthou jy, love at first fondle, ‘n real deal
ek’s mos meant for you
sy dink eers die brief het verlore geraak in die pos
totdat sy, soos ek, besef het daar was no reply
en haar hourly trips posbus toe was ‘n
moerse mors van tyd
I’ve been fascinated by the tension between the private and the public for a very long time. That curve, that edge where you say what you shouldn’t or not say what you should.
My new performance is about letters and how the written text transgresses to a possible outcome once it’s contained within the boundaries of the envelope. The envelope: thin piece of paper but a wall between here and disaster, or here and the sublime….
This is most definitely not my usual cup of tea. The realist work of John Meyer doesn’t always intrigue me but these sequences are so damn beautiful. Can’t help but admire them for their romanticism (and of course the incredibly skillful painting).
I don’t think this space allows enough men to enter…since it’s mainly feminist, and, sometimes, anti feminist. So I’m starting to dedicate a category on the blog to….males. And if there are males, they might as well be artists/poets whose work I ADORE.x
By Alastair Sooke
The Frenchman was an artist, showman and inventor – who created a hue that had never existed before. How did he achieve this? Alastair Sooke reports
One summer’s day in 1947, three young men were sitting on a beach in Nice in the south of France. To pass the time, they decided to play a game and divide up the world between them. One chose the animal kingdom, another the province of plants.
The third man opted for the mineral realm, before lying back and staring up at the ultramarine infinity of the heavens. Then, with the contentment of someone who had suddenly decided what course his life should take, he turned to his friends and announced, “The blue sky is my first artwork.”
That man was Yves Klein, whom the New Yorker’s art critic Peter Schjeldahl described in 2010 as “the last French artist of major international consequence”. In a period of prodigious creativity lasting from 1954 to his death from a third heart attack at the age of 34 in 1962, Klein altered the course of Western art.
He did so thanks to his commitment to the spiritually uplifting power of colour: gold, rose, but above all, blue. In fact, his chromatic devotion was so profound that in 1960 he patented a colour of his own invention, which he called International Klein Blue.
Born in 1928 with two painters for parents, Klein always displayed a penchant for showmanship. He loved magic as well as the arcane rituals of the mystical Rosicrucian society, and the influence of both would later manifest itself in his work.
After spending a year and a half in the early 1950s mastering judo in Japan, where he earned a black belt, he eventually settled in Paris and devoted himself to art. His first exhibition of monochrome paintings in various colours was held in the private showrooms of a Parisian publishing house in 1955.
His short career was characterised by many radical gestures, often touched with his flair for spectacle. To celebrate the opening of a solo exhibition in 1957, for instance, he released 1,001 helium-filled blue balloons in the St-Germain-des-Prés district of Paris. The following year, an exhibition now known as ‘The Void’ consisted of nothing more than an empty gallery – yet it attracted a crowd of 2,500 people that had to be dispersed by police.
Leap Into the Void, his famous black-and-white photograph of 1960, presents Klein soaring upwards from the parapet of a building like a Left Bank Superman. Like all feats of magic, though, the photograph is actually a trick: in this case a montage, so that the tarpaulin held by some friends, which would have softened Klein’s landing, has disappeared.
Perhaps his most notorious performance, though, occurred in March 1960, at the opening of his Anthropometries of the Blue Epoch exhibition in Paris. On this occasion, footage of which can be viewed online, Klein appeared before an audience wearing a formal tailcoat and white bowtie. While nine musicians played his Monotone-Silence Symphony (a single note drawn out for 20 minutes, followed by a further 20 minutes of quiet), Klein directed three naked models as they covered themselves with sticky blue paint, before imprinting images of their bodies upon a white canvas. The models had become, he said, “living brushes”.
“The genius of Klein is becoming more and more apparent,” says Catherine Wood, Tate Modern’s curator of contemporary art and performance. “He has been dismissed by some art historians as a charlatan or – because of his use of naked female models – as conventional and sexist, but his strategies were playfully critical and are becoming more significant in their influence for the younger generation. It could be argued that he was a critical prankster on par with Duchamp.”
Expanding the spectrum
For all his influence on conceptual art, though, Klein was most preoccupied with colour. As early as 1956, while on holiday in Nice, he experimented with a polymer binder to preserve the luminescence and powdery texture of raw yet unstable ultramarine pigment. He would eventually patent his formula as International Klein Blue (IKB) in 1960.
Before that, though, he made his name with an exhibition held in Milan in January 1957 that included 11 of his unframed, identical signature blue monochromes, one of which was bought by the Italian artist Lucio Fontana. This show ushered in what Klein called his “Blue Revolution”, and soon he was slapping IKB onto all sorts of objects, such as sponges, globes and busts of Venus. Even his ‘living brushes’ dipped their flesh in IKB.
Art historians still debate the significance of Klein’s use of ultramarine. For some, it represented a break with angst-ridden abstraction, which was popular in the wake of World War II. Painted mechanically using a roller, Klein’s flat, blank monochromes seemed to rebuff expressionist art.
For other scholars, though, Klein’s depthless monochromes and obsession with ‘the void’ can be understood as expressions of the threat of nuclear holocaust. “We absolutely must realise – and this is no exaggeration – that we are living in the atomic age,” Klein once said, “where all physical matter can vanish from one day to the next to surrender its place to what we can envision as the most abstract.”
Yet perhaps his love of blue is less specific and more profound. Klein was a pious Catholic, and in religious art blue often represents eternity and godliness. For instance, Giotto, whom Klein admired, was a brilliant advocate of blue. Klein’s ultramarine monochromes are not overtly Christian, but he certainly used the sensuousness of IKB to suggest spirituality. As he once said, “At first there is nothing, then there is a profound nothingness, after that a blue profundity.”
Certainly, his rich, radiant monochromes share a singular characteristic: they all have a vertiginous quality that seems to suck us out of reality towards another, immaterial dimension. The effect of looking at them is not dissimilar to meditating upon a deep azure sky – something that Klein perhaps intuited as a young man, on that beach in Nice in 1947.
When considering Klein, then, it is important to remember that for all his stunts and attention-grabbing performances he was a sensualist as much as a provocateur – and that this accounts for his fondness for colour. “For Klein, pure colour offered a way of using art not as a means of painting a picture, but as a way of creating a spiritual, almost alchemical experience, beyond time, approaching the immaterial,” explains Kerry Brougher, who curated the major retrospective Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC, in 2010.
“Out of all the colours Klein used, ultramarine blue became the most important. Unlike many other colours, which create opaque blockages, ultramarine shimmers and glows, seemingly opening up to immaterial realms. Klein’s blue monochromes are not paintings but experiences, passageways leading to the void.”
Alastair Sooke is art critic of The Daily Telegraph