Jean Gabriel Daragnès & Paul Verlaine

Recently went through the archives of Cabinet of the solar plexus and found the work of Jean Gabriel Daragnès, here some woodcuts used for Paul Verlaine’s Femmes. Gorgeous erotica, exquisite, accompanied by Verlaine’s Moonlight.

Your soul is like a landscape fantasy,
Where masks and Bergamasks, in charming wise,
Strum lutes and dance, just a bit sad to be
Hidden beneath their fanciful disguise.
Singing in minor mode of life’s largesse
And all-victorious love, they yet seem quite
Reluctant to believe their happiness,
And their song mingles with the pale moonlight,
The calm, pale moonlight, whose sad beauty, beaming,
Sets the birds softly dreaming in the trees,
And makes the marbled fountains, gushing, streaming—
Slender jet-fountains—sob their ecstasies.




conversation by ai ogawa


We smile at each other
and I lean back against the wicker couch.
How does it feel to be dead? I say.
You touch my knees with your blue fingers.
And when you open your mouth,
a ball of yellow light falls to the floor
and burns a hole through it.
Don’t tell me, I say. I don’t want to hear.
Did you ever, you start,
wear a certain kind of dress
and just by accident,
so inconsequential you barely notice it,
your fingers graze that dress
and you hear the sound of a knife cutting paper,
you see it too
and you realize how that image
is simply the extension of another image,
that your own life
is a chain of words
that one day will snap.
Words, you say, young girls in a circle, holding hands,
and beginning to rise heavenward
in their confirmation dresses,
like white helium balloons,
the wreathes of flowers on their heads spinning,
and above all that,
that’s where I’m floating,
and that’s what it’s like
only ten times clearer,
ten times more horrible.
Could anyone alive survive it?

Poem by mike meraz

It’s the usual

Thing, she

Finds out

You’re a


And you

Go from a

6 to an

Then the



And the


And the first

Thing she

Says is

Writing is

And so



the same things

Funny how sometimes you get to the conclusion that you did something radical or irrational in moments of madness. It was just being crazy and it’s over now. And then, it all resurfaces. As if a dormant broth, simmering slowly under the covers. And you desire the same things again, want and need the same things again…willing to risk it all for the same things again.

twenty year marriage


Twenty-year Marriage

You keep me waiting in a truck
with its one good wheel stuck in the ditch,
while you piss against the south side of a tree.
Hurry. I’ve got nothing on under my skirt tonight.
That still excites you, but this pickup has no windows
and the seat, one fake leather thigh,
pressed close to mine is cold.
I’m the same size, shape, make as twenty years ago,
but get inside me, start the engine;
you’ll have the strength, the will to move.
I’ll pull, you push, we’ll tear each other in half.
Come on, baby, lay me down on my back.
Pretend you don’t owe me a thing
and maybe we’ll roll out of here,
leaving the past stacked up behind us;
old newspapers nobody’s ever got to read again.

I Crave Your Mouth, Your Voice, Your Hair by Pablo Neruda

I Crave Your Mouth, Your Voice, Your Hair

I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.

I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.

Translated by Stephen Tapscott


alone with everybody by charles bukowski

Alone With Everybody


the flesh covers the bone
and they put a mind
in there and
sometimes a soul,
and the women break
vases against the walls
and the men drink too
and nobody finds the
but keep
crawling in and out
of beds.
flesh covers
the bone and the
flesh searches
for more than

there’s no chance
at all:
we are all trapped
by a singular

nobody ever finds
the one.

the city dumps fill
the junkyards fill
the madhouses fill
the hospitals fill
the graveyards fill

nothing else


the poet

There’s this person I really respect and care deeply about.

We have a professional relationship, but a really deep, meaningful one.

I have gone over our written communication to try and figure out where the attachment occurred.

I could never really figure out exactly why I feel such a connection to this man, until one day, he explained the whole phenomenon by saying: “I write poetry.”

I could actually sense the poetry in him from way down beneath our purely professional written communication.

Sense it, you know. Like a fragrance, or the sound of a familiar voice…I just seem to naturally have a poetry detector and if it’s on the same frequency setting as my own radar, deep meaning just start oozing out of everything.

some leonard

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.”

 Some Poems I love

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





Excerpts from Roberto Bolaño’s collection of poetry, Tres.


32. I dreamt I was dreaming and I came home

too late. In my bed I found Mário de Sá-Carneiro

sleeping with my first love. When I uncovered them

I found they were dead and, biting my lips till they

bled, I went back to the streets.



36. I dreamt I was 69ing with Anaïs Nin on an

enormous basaltic flagstone.


37. I dreamt I was fucking Carson McCullers in a

dim-lit room in the spring of 1981. And we both felt

irrationally happy.



42. I dreamt I was 18 and saw my best friend at

the time, who was also 18, making love to Walt

Whitman. They did it in an armchair, contemplating

the stormy Civitavecchia sunset.



44. I dreamt I was translating the Marquis de Sade

with axe blows. I’d gone crazy and was living in the



poems and haikus by Kerouac

Today is lets perve over Kerouac day. (my birthday)

In Vain

The stars in the sky
In vain
The tragedy of Hamlet
In vain
The key in the lock
In vain
The sleeping mother
In vain
The lamp in the corner
In vain
The lamp in the corner unlit
In vain
Abraham Lincoln
In vain
The Aztec empire
In vain
The writing hand: in vain
(The shoetrees in the shoes
In vain
The windowshade string upon
the hand bible
In vain—
The glitter of the greenglass
In vain
The bear in the woods
In vain
The Life of Buddha
In vain)



The taste

The taste
of rain
– Why kneel? 13b0098040fe345a7d09eec984d6c55a

Birds singing
in the dark
—Rainy dawn.jack-kerouac-tune-radio

Men and women
Yakking beneath
the eternal void


Walking on water wasn’t
Built in a day


an afrikaans poem

Little Prince


daardie dag toe ek hom gesien

mik het vir die hek was die stad

wyd oop soos kake en sy klein

liggaam ‘n kwesbare bokkie oor

die rugbyveld onder die bome deur


en vir ‘n oomblik was alles net stil.

‘n spartelende swart voëltjie wat

rigting verloor het in die baai se wind

en dalk nooit weer sou terugdraai

om by my op die trap te kom sit


ek wou hom leer wat die wêreld is,

ek is mos nie sy ma nie; sy god nie

maar toe hy hek toe waai wou ek net keer

dat die strate hom vang; sy veiligheid skielik

‘n verlammende begeerte in my bors

terwyl ek magteloos gewag het





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



(Maiden, Mother, Crone)

soms is ‘n volmaan
‘n bitter pil om te sluk
rooilip-morestond lil-lets
as die winde plukpluk
en hormone waai soos blare

angstige vrugte raak sag
my liggaam, my vieslike
velligheid wat soek en leegloop
en uitloop, eventually, soos
fokken Days of our Lives
like sand through the hourglass



It’s so hard for me putting my poetry out there. I have no issues with putting my art out there, but poetry! I fear those eyes on my words: so clumsy they are and so raw.

Here is one of my poems in Afrikaans, I’ll slowly put them out there.

vir Armanda

Venus, jou mooi-dy, jou kurwe-vallei
rooigrond vrugte juwele van jou wande
openblou blouer die blouste mooi berge

ons staan hier op die hoogste kop
(ek en Armanda, net 10 jaar oud,
die kamera swaar in haar hand)

ma poseer verloor haar klere
lense maak oop en die berge blaf
sonmantels dek die ma-lyf se lyne

sy praat met skedelbok
sweef jy nog hier rond?
sy lê op die klippe en proe aan die water
sy loop in die aarde en sluk baie son

Luister! kind van net net 10
hoor die damwal se Druising!
Godswater oor Akker-krag
die Bokke, Bojane, die Bosbok
die Spekboom, die Loeries!

en luister vir Sarah se mooi-dy, kurwe vallei
hoor haar stiltekrag dreunend agter mure
klanke van vrou verdwyn in skakerings
soos haar wye liggaam strek oor duisende myle


want, by gretchen marquette

When I was twelve, I wanted a macaw
but they cost hundreds of dollars.
If we win the lottery? I asked.
Macaws weren’t known to be great talkers,
but they were affectionate.
Yes, my mother said. If we win the lottery.
I was satisfied, so long as it wasn’t impossible.
The macaw would be blue.

I can taste it

I can taste it

To think I was afraid of losing you.
To think I had fear of being free.
How sometimes we fear the freedom!
Four years later I am finally tasting
the first few weeks of not thinking of you.

It tastes better than the thought of you ever did.

Woman Enough by Erica Jong


Because my grandmothers hours
were apple cakes baking,
& dust motes gathering,
& linens yellowing
& seams and hems
inevitably unraveling
I almost never keep house
though really I like houses
& wish I had a clean one.

Because my mothers minutes
were sucked into the roar
of the vacuum cleaner,
because she waltzed with the washer-dryer
& tore her hair waiting for repairmen
I send out my laundry,
& live in a dusty house,
though really I like clean houses
as well as anyone.

I am woman enough
to love the kneading of bread
as much as the feel
of typewriter keys
under my fingers
springy, springy.
& the smell of clean laundry
& simmering soup
are almost as dear to me
as the smell of paper and ink.

I wish there were not a choice;
I wish I could be two women.
I wish the days could be longer.
But they are short.
So I write while
the dust piles up.

I sit at my typewriter
remembering my grandmother
& all my mothers,
& the minutes they lost
loving houses better than themselves
& the man I love cleans up the kitchen
grumbling only a little
because he knows
that after all these centuries
it is easier for him
than for me.

© Erica Mann Jong

forgetting you

You were never a person. Sure, I always realized that there must be blood in your fingertips as they played sweet keyboard serenades. I also knew that the sound of your breath must have air coming from your lungs; your beating chest must have a heart in there keeping pace. Your cock too: very real. Hard and sticky; a beautiful architectural structure built with text and fantasy. You were, to me,  pathology, a mirage, a memory : a hollowness where my cunt and I could find some rest. But you were never a person. People can forget about people, they do it all the time.

human hides

This man lives in the building next door. He gyms everyday. So tonight, it’s a hot one. Like thirty some degrees outside. I’m standing on the balcony watching the half moon and this man gets out of his car in the dark. He must have been sitting there for a while listening to radio or something. And I look down and I catch a glimpse of his immaculate topless body glistening in the moonlight. It was the most beautiful thing I’ve seen all week. How flesh moves when it’s proud and warm. Objects, walking to heartbeats, treading on lust: human hides floating above the heat.

my favourite poem by erica jong

My Love is Too Much

My love is too much
it embarrasses you
blood, poems, babies,
red needs that telephone
from foreign countries,
black needs that spatter
the pages
of your white papery heart.

You would rather have a girl
with simpler needs:
lunch, sex, undemanding
dinner, wine, bed,
the occasional blow-job
& needs that are never
red as gaping wounds
but cool & blue
as television screens
in tract houses.

Oh my love,
those simple girls
with simple needs
read my books too.

They tell me they feel
the same as I do.

They tell me I transcribe
the language of their hearts.
They tell me I translate
their mute, unspoken pain
into the white light
of language.

Oh love,
no love
is ever wholly undemanding.
It can pretend coolness
until the pain comes,
until the first baby comes,
howling her own infant need
into a universe
that never summoned her.

The love you seek
cannot be found
except in the white pages
of recipe books.

It is cooking you seek,
not love,
cooking with sex coming after,
cool sex
that speaks to the penis alone,
& not the howling chaos
of the heart.

© Erica Mann Jong

middle aged lovers by erica jong

Middle Aged Lovers, I

Unable to bear
the uncertainty
of the future,
we consulted seers,
mediums, stock market gurus,
psychics who promised
happiness on this
or another planet,
astrologists of love,
seekers of the Holy Grail.

Looking for certainty
we asked for promises,
lovers knots, pledges, rings,
certificates, deeds of ownership,
when it was always enough
to let your hand
pass over my body,
your eyes find the depths of my own,
and the wind pass over our faces
as it will pass
through our bones,
sooner than we think.

The current is love,
is poetry,
the blood beat
in the thighs,
the electrical charge
in the brain.

Our long leap
into the unknown
began nearly
a half century ago
and is almost

I think of the
amphorae of stored honey
at Paestum
far out-lasting
their Grecian eaters,
or of the furniture
in a pharoahs tomb
on which
no one sits.

Trust the wind,
my lover,
and the water.

They have the
to all your questions

and mine.

Middle Aged Lovers, II

You open to me
a little,
then grow afraid
and close again,
a small boy
fearing to be hurt,
a toe stubbed
in the dark,
a finger cut
on paper.

I think I am free
of fears,
enraptured, abandoned
to the call
of the Bacchae,
my own siren,
tied to my own
both Circe
and her swine.

But I too
am afraid:
I know where
life leads.

The impulse
to join,
to confess all,
is followed
by the impulse
to renounce,

and love–
imperishable love–
must die,
in order
to be reborn.

We come
to each other
veterans of other
divorce warrants
in our hands
which we would beat
into blossoms.

But blossoms
will not withstand
our beatings.

We come
to each other
with hope
in our hands–
the very thing
Pandora kept
in her casket
when all the ills
and woes of the world

© Erica Mann Jong


self portrait by erica jong

From Loveroot

She was not a slender woman,
but her skin was milk
mixed in with strawberry jam
& between her legs the word purple was born
& her hair was the color of wheat & yellow butter.

Her eyes were dark as the North Atlantic sea.

She learned the untranslatable words of dawn.
She studied her own fear & wrote its verses.
She used the hole in her heart to play wind-music.
She built her book-houses over her empty cellar.

She nursed on the muse at first,
then became her own mother.

© Erica Mann Jong

patti smith on writing

“I don’t consider writing a quiet, closet act.
I consider it a real physical act.
When I’m home writing on the typewriter, I go crazy.
I move like a monkey.
I’ve wet myself, I’ve come in my pants writing.”
                –Patti Smith Patti-Smith-Nude

a cheap poem

I think the iage can be a metaphor for relationships I have with special people. I write all over it. My own ideas. My own thoughts and opinions. My own fucked up ego, scratching it all out, or altering it the way I want it. People who inspire me are few. Very, very few. The day I send them running, the day they clear out, I realize: having them in my life was a fucking bargain! Them! Great Ones! What valuable contribution to my soul/mind/heart/cunt/life/art!  And there I go and send’ em running. Idiot. I do call myself that…way too often.

Image reblogged from here


bye bye again

It’s incredible, the repetitive outcome of cycles.


We unfriended and befriended and unfriended again.

I swore to myself that this time it was not to happen again.

That I wouldn’t invade you again. I wouldn’t distract you again.

I wouldn’t dare approach you again.

I wouldn’t dare want a small and very specific part of your beautiful mind all to myself.

I wouldn’t dare to own this part, this little part.

I wouldn’t make you avoid me like a plague again.


And there you go again. And here I am again.

discussions on modern shunga

  • DB2Fabrizio Baudino: Yes, the authentic shunga were more refined and charming than these trivialized pictures for spineless teens…
    Cecilia Ferreira: it’s also in the style, Fabrizio. the lines. the minimalism. I’m sure, actually, I’m positive, you know exactly what I mean.
    Cecilia Ferreira: and the placing, where shunga is tied to nature, and sure, the modern ones are brilliant in the sense that it DOES portray nature, but technological nature, and artificial nature…it’s just not mountains, it aint waves, it aint …..squids.
    Fabrizio Baudino:I guess so: shunga is a sort of calligraphy of Eros, they are more poetic and then more deeply exciting. These modern (ugly, IMHO) copies are pornographic that’s that.
    Fabrizio Baudino: But that’s another point: as you know, Cecilia, I prefer trying to understand to merely judging. Judging is a shut and unproductive fact. Trying to understand is an open an fertile state. Ancient shunga are very explicit too and sometimes detail nearly gynecologic images, but I feel they express a sort of poetry of desire: Eros is condensed in willowy lines and release its power even in dreamlike forms (the squids copulating with a woman), you are about to sense the fluids and the scent of the embrace. Probably original shunga come from a society where sex and love were somewhat a precious moment, desired and fantasized. Faerber’s version of shunga give me the impression of absent and solipsistic practice of sex: I don’t feel the trembling of the encounter, every character seeming absorbed in his own pleasure or, what’s even more disturbing to me, in other activities at all. Perhaps these aren’t properly pornographic but the consequence of a society accustumed to pornography, where sex is no more a mystery that brings us beyond us…
    Cecilia Ferreira : True, Fabrizio. 
    Shunga is entirely poetic and there is no poetry in porn. I do think the ‘new shunga’ portrayed here is brilliant in the sense that it represents this plastic, one-dimensional sexuality due to screens. Shunga is so closely related to nature, the very term meaning ‘picture of spring’ whereas pornography, internet actually contra nature (plastic lights, plastic boobs, plastic sound etc.)I also love shunga because in almost all shunga the characters are fully clothed. Nudity wasn’t a particularly an erotic thing back then, and the clothes accentuate the parts revealed. Normal porn is so naked, so open, so non-mysterious that, for a poetic, artistic mind it is often quite bland. We live in an age where so much is lost in screens. As if screens actually swallows half our existence.
    Fabrizio Baudino:  I guess nudity was so common in ancient Japan, due the bathing tradition, that it had nearly no erotic implications.
    Cecilia Ferreira : exactly. interesting how little eroticism there is in the common, or in the every-day. eroticism is the appetite of the mind linked to sexuality, whereas sex is a biological hunger of the body. In ancient Japan, the pattern on a piece of fabric perhaps held more erotic meaning than flesh, or a naked body.
    Fabrizio Baudino : From a certain point of view, this fact is similar to what happens in the life of a couple living together: reciprocal nudity becomes so normal that it cannot be no more a unique reason of eroticism.
    Cecilia Ferreira :familiarity and flames…rarely seen together. so much recreation, reinvention to tickle our erotic antenae.

anne sexton on a certain criticism


Interviewer: Louis Simpson criticized your poetry, saying, “A poem titled ‘Menstruation at Forty’ was the straw that broke this camel’s back.” Is it only male critics who balk at your use of the biological facts of womanhood?
Sexton: I haven’t added up all the critics and put them on different teams. I haven’t noticed the gender of the critic especially. I talk of the life-death cycle of the body. Well, women tell time by the body. They are like clocks. They are always fastened to the earth, listening for its small animal noises. Sexuality is one of the most normal parts of life. True, I get a little uptight when Norman Mailer writes that he screws a woman anally. I like Allen Ginsberg very much, and when he writes about the ugly vagina, I feel awful. That kind of thing doesn’t appeal to me. So I have my limitations, too. Homosexuality is all right with me. Sappho was beautiful. But when someone hates another person’s body and somehow violates it–that’s the kind of thing I mind.

on poets

part of a letter to a poet-friend of mine:

“poets, it’s a tender subject in my life.
some of them scar you, some of them create a distance, some are pure
fucking psychopaths.
I don’t like poets as a norm, they are too volatile, too fragile
but they are also semi-gods to me, for writing what they write,
if one has to distinguish between a poet and a human being, i would love poets.
but I guess because one cannot, therefor don’t.
but look at us. we are still talking. miraculously.
I think that’s a fucking milestone.

dead girl

once, only once, I called you
on your land line, in the middle
of the morning, like ten, or so
i knew it was psycho and all, just
to call, no hello, no breathing at all
because you know, you’ve always left me

completely breathless.

the long tunnel of wanting you by sylvia plath



This is the long tunnel of wanting you
Its walls are lined with remembered kisses
wet & red as the inside of your mouth,
full & juicy as your probing tongue,
warm as your belly against mine,
deep as your navel leading home,
soft as your sleeping cock beginning to stir,
tight as your legs wrapped around mine,
straight as your toes pointing toward the bed
as you roll over & thrust your hardness
into the long tunnel of my wanting,
seeding it with dreams & unbearable hope,
making memories of the future,
straightening out my crooked past,
teaching me to live in the present present tense
with the past perfect and the uncertain future
suddenly certain for certain
in the long tunnel of my old wanting
which before always had an ending
but now beings & begins again
with you, with you, with you

vagina sonnet by joan larkin


Got this amazing little book from the library, a collection of poems compiled by channel 4’s the raving beauties during the eighties. This poem by larkin really made me smile.

‘Vagina’ Sonnet
by Joan Larkin

Is ‘vagina’ suitable for use
in a sonnet? I don’t suppose so.
A famous poet told me, ‘Vagina’s ugly.’
Meaning, of course, the sound of it. In poems.
Meanwhile he inserts his penis frequently
into his verse, calling it seriously, ‘My
Penis’. It is short, I know, and dignified.
I mean of course the sound of it. In poems.
This whole thing is unfortunate, but petty,
like my hangup concerning English Dept memos
headed ‘Mr/Mrs/Miss’ — only a fishbone
In the throat of the revolution —
a waste of brains — to be concerned about
this minor issue of my cunt’s good name.


by joop bersee

I thought I heard you scream, outside.
But no it can’t be. Out there in the dark
You float, fly from car to car like a slightly
Drunk butterfly. Scared that someone finds out
About the wig you wear, hiding the illness
Which drips like raindrops on your sexy shoes.