Thursday, September 8, 2016

Slaves of New York Book Review

 

 

 
 
 
Slaves of New York
by Tama Janowitz
 
 
Must have more. Need more now. Send help soon. I am not sure I will survive without more from this author immediately. I need it and I cannot go on without...more!!.

Please, tell me that her other works are congruent with this one. Because this is BRILLIANCE! Pure sheer brilliance. I laughed hysterically, but it was more like scream laughing, it was seriously that funny. And it felt good to laugh that deep into my soul. I suggest you go purchase the movie as well, they are both amazing, and different yet similar.

I relate to Eleanor so hard, we share the same awkward clumsy eccentric social anxiety ridden traits. Please tell me there is more, you can not just simply take this away from me, I want to read it for the rest of my life. Eleanor is my NEW spirit animal. 
 

I savored the last 40 pages as long as I could, begrudgingly seeing the end approaching....NO!
 I forced myself to set the book down every chapter, snapping the book shut.
Can't I still carry it around with me, pretending I am still reading it? *wails*
This moved swiftly upward my list into my top 5 favorites of all times. If you are looking for one clear concise story, move right along nothing to see here. This is more then an ordinary front to back story, this is an accumulation of eccentric artistic souls from the 80s  wave in NYC.

I hate to compare, absolutely LOATH to compare, especially when I am doing a female vs. male author,
BUUUUUUUUUUT-
If you love Brett Easton Ellis as much as I do, you will love her. I am not quite sure what makes them so strikingly similar, their knack for hilarious story telling when it is only a "day in the life of" type of book that focuses on location and character studies. Or, their HILARIOUS dry wit, filled to the brim with delicious sarcasm and satire. Maybe it is their ability to dive straight into the trash and nitty gritty without appearing to lose their prestige.

They both need to produce more novels, similar to these fanatical stories. I mean otherwise I will wither up and die... we don't want that riiight!?
Ok Bye, go read it, right now.
 
Go!
 
BYE!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Midori Snyder: King of Crows

This story is absolutely beautiful! I had to share!

Please visit Midori Snyder's webpage at http://www.midorisnyder.com

 

Midori Snyder: King of Crows


The day had been hot and dusty, the sky a wide bowl of blue overhead, when Johnny Fahey walked into the canyon. His parched lips parted in surprise at the sudden sweet taste of water in the air. Along the high walls of the canyon, the wind whistled in the deepening crevasses and scattered drifts of pink sandstone. Johnny smiled and then he sighed, his exhalation a dry puff.
He’d walked much of that day and the day before, always on the lookout for the mining camp, the lonely settler, and the small towns with their weddings and wakes. Johnny Fahey had left home many years since, left the green of his own country to wander across the sun-bleached West, the dry flat roads of the plains, and the dark rugged mountains. But no matter where he traveled, stranger though he was, he was never at a loss for words, for he needed none. The music of his fiddle spoke for him, and it was welcomed wherever he went. Doors opened at its sound, a place was made by a campfire, and food and drink appeared. It was a free life, one that chased forward like the sprinkle of notes, each connected for an instant but not remaining.
In a patch of grass, Johnny sat down to rest in the shade. He leaned his back companionably against the rocks and took off his hat. The wind played through his damp blond hair and cooled his forehead. At thirty-odd years, Johnny had the face of a child with china-blue eyes and an easy smile. His cheeks had reddened beneath the sun’s glare, but the skin of his forehead, protected by his hat, was white, and no lines creased the smooth brow beneath the straight fine hair.
He took from his pack a small canteen, shaking it first to hear the splash of its contents. Not much left, came the echoing reply. He opened its lid and drained the last few sips of water. The canyon would provide more. If there was grass, there must be a spring or a stream, he reasoned, somewhere in the heart of the canyon. Johnny closed his eyes and rested, feeling his limbs sink into the yielding grass. It was peaceful after a day’s walk.
But he didn’t rest long. The wind that tugged at his hair brought with it sounds.
Johnny opened his eyes and cocked his head to the wind. There it was again—a sharp shrill call. A bark, he guessed, imagining the coyotes taking their pleasure like himself in the unexpected grass. No, he thought, uncertain now as the wind brought the sound closer. Not a bark, but the harsh cawing of crows, their raucous voices rising from the hidden basin of the canyon.
Johnny stood up and, shouldering his pack and fiddle, walked deeper into the canyon. The road twisted and turned through the high-walled corridors until at last the canyon opened into a wide grassy field. Spread across the field were crows, fanning their black wings over the grass. He stopped, awed at the sight of so many, their necks thrown back as they called to one another. The swirling flocks settled themselves uneasily, stalking through the long grass, their heads reared to catch the sunlight. And with a common cry, they shook their feathers, beaks breaking and limbs stretching until they had shaped themselves into the semblance of human form. Now standing before him were men and women striding over the green, their wings transformed into cloaks of black silk and velvet.
And among them was one who caught Johnny’s gaze. Her face was moon-white in the night sweep of her long hair. Across her forehead the black brows arched over eyes of glittering jet, and her pouting lips were stained mulberry. A black velvet ribbon fluttered at her white throat. The black cloak was draped over her rounded shoulders that perched above small breasts and a slender waist. As Johnny Fahey gazed at her, music burst in his head into a loud and joyous peal, the reels tripping over the stately waltzes, the fast jigs into the slow aires; and the more the music tumbled, the more his heart felt driven by the girl with black eyes and the moon-white skin. He had no fear of the strange assembly, for the music coursing in his veins had chased it out, and, without another thought, he walked into the green field where the crows stood arguing in the rough shouts of human speech.
“The King must name his successor!” cried a man whose dusty black cloak carried a border of gray diamonds. “Before it is too late!”
“He has a daughter!” cried out a woman, her hands curled tightly around the billowing folds of a rebellious cape.
“But she must have a mate! The law requires it. And she refuses!”
“Do you blame her?” a younger woman cackled to her companion. “Not one among them would I choose if it were up to me.”
“It isn’t up to you anyway,” the second snipped in return. “But who would you pick?”
“The one with the loudest voice, who else? To be heard over this!” the companion answered, shaking the folds of her light cape.
“Rilka has to choose among us!” came a new chorus. “She must marry! There must be a new King crowned before the end of the season.”
Johnny felt the earth tremble through his feet as he approached the court of crows. The whistled wind was hushed beneath their loud cries, and the crickets were silent between the rocks. Johnny bowed his head, the sounds of their rising arguments clashing in his ears. They did not listen to each other, but each voice shouted more loudly until they merged into a single cacophony of sound.
The crows parted at Johnny’s approach, some turning astonished faces at his unexpected presence, but never stopping in their cries. It wasn’t until Johnny stood before the girl with the white skin and the black hair that the violent arguments subsided into grumbles and then at last into an uneasy silence. The girl stared at him with curiosity, her head tilted to one side as the glittering eyes fastened on his face. A smile crooked the edges her mouth, and the arched brows drew together in a challenge.
“Who are you?” she asked, voice sharp as a scythe.
“No one as grand as you,” he answered softly.
She lifted her chin proudly, the sweep of black hair flowing over the curve of her back. Opals sparkled in her earlobes like tiny stars, and around her waist she wore a belt of turquoise and fresh water pearls.
“What are you?” she demanded, shoulders hunched and face thrust forward.
“A musician,” he said, arms resting at his sides.
The cloaks of the crows fluttered in the rising wind with a dry chaffing noise.
“Play for us,” she ordered.
“Rilka, we’ve no time for this!” a man barked. Johnny Fahey turned to the man, hearing immediately the authority in this voice. A singular voice after so much discord. The man was old, the plumage of his cloak speckled at the breast and dull and ragged along the hem. But circling his forehead was a narrow crown of silver, set with turquoise. There was still power in his carriage, the heavy body leaning over his hips, his shoulders arched back. In one hand he held a scepter made from a fresh stalk of corn that gleamed as bright as newly minted gold. Johnny had no doubt but this was the King of Crows. He looked back at the girl called Rilka, and the music in his heart stumbled as he realized that the girl with moon-white skin and black hair was the King’s daughter. No chance for you, the sad chords played, no chance this haughty creature could be charmed by the fiddle’s song.
“I want to hear it, Father,” the girl demanded, “if only to hear something other than their bickering,” and she tossed her head toward the line of men who stood glowering at the quiet figure of Johnny Fahey.
The King rolled his eyes to the blue bowl sky.
“Spoiled bitch,” came a nasty whisper followed by snickering.
“Play then!” the King roared, turning on the restless court to silence them.
Rilka lowered her face, the shadow of her hair on her cheek not quite hiding the angry blush. Johnny winced seeing how the insult cut her pride to the quick. But he took out his fiddle and tucked it under his chin. He rested the bow over the strings and waited a moment more to hear what the wind would bring him. A tune came from listening, knowing what was already playing in the hearts of those gathered. He thought he could well guess at the tunes a crow might wish — something wild, with the harsh rasps of the double-stops. Then Rilka lifted her face, and he saw in the dark eyes an unexpected hint of longing, of gentleness.
The soft whisper of her sigh touched him, and without intending to, he lowered his fiddle again and began to sing slowly in a clear tenor voice.
I met a fairy woman
At the river’s eddy.
And I asked her
Would anything unlock love?
She said to me in whispered words,
When it enters the heart
It will never be released.
There followed a silence, filled only with the rise and hollow of the wind in the grass. Johnny Fahey heard the slow beat of his filled heart. Abruptly he put the fiddle beneath his chin again and played a reel as fast as his song had been slow. He might gain her, the notes sang, but how could he keep her? He might lose her now, but she would be forever in his thoughts. Amber rosin smoked over the strings and the white hairs of his bow broke like the strands of a clinging web. He drove the tune, as if to empty the sight of her face from his heart, and yet as he finished the last notes he looked up and her glittering eyes snared him.
“Teach me to do that!” she demanded.
Johnny gave a weary smile. “To play the fiddle?” he asked. “It’s not that easily done.”
“No, not the fiddle,” she answered shaking her head, her black hair shimmering blue in the sunlight. “Teach me to sing.”
The King, silent until now, threw back his head and roared with laughter. Around him the court followed suit, their strident cries glancing off the stones and circling the air. Rilka’s white face flamed and she turned angrily to the King, her fists clenched.
“Laugh if want, but I won’t choose a mate until I have learned to sing!” she proclaimed.
“You already sing well enough!”
“No, not like that. A sweet voice, that’s what I want.”
“No!” the King protested. “You are my daughter, a crow, and must call with a crow’s voice.”
“I’ll learn to sing, or I’ll not be married!” Rilka cried again, stamping her foot.
The King frowned, his expression sour, but his daughter crossed her arms and stood stubbornly facing him, the flaming cheeks adamant.
Johnny gave a slight smile. “I’ll teach your daughter to sing,” he said quietly. “But on one condition.”
“A waste of time,” the King said gruffly.
“I’m in no hurry,” Johnny replied.
“What’s your condition?” Rilka asked, eagerly.
“That if I succeed, I be made the King of Crows,” Johnny said, surprised by his own boldness. But how else to gain her? he thought.
The King laughed again and the court followed in a clamoring chorus. The King’s cloak snapped fitfully in the rising wind and he lunged toward Johnny. A gnarled fist grabbed Johnny around the collar of his old shirt and lifted him up on his toes. The King searched Johnny’s face, the black eyes piercing.
“You think she’s a woman. Make no mistake musician, she’s a crow. And harsh though her call, she’ll be no other thing but what she is. Your offer is foolish and has the mark of a man stupid enough to love a creature beyond his reach.”
“And still I make the offer,” Johnny said calmly, though his heart was pounding. The King slowly released his hold and Johnny felt the soles of his feet returning to the earth.
“Fair enough. You will have until the end of summer. If you succeed I will relinquish this crown to you, though I’ve no fear that this will happen. And when he fails,” the King turned to his daughter, “I’ll choose your mate, and the matter will be settled once and for all.”
Rilka opened her mouth to speak, but the King’s upraised hand commanded silence. “Think well on it, daughter. You’re a crow, the daughter of the King of Crows, and there is no musician that can alter that truth.”
“I’ll learn to sing,” Rilka said tartly.
“And then what?” the King asked. “Whom will you sing for? For us?” He opened wide his arms to the court of crows.
“I’ll sing for myself.”
“Then you’ll sing alone, my daughter,” the King replied. “But so be it, you’ll learn the hard way that you are a crow.” The King looked over his restless court and exclaimed, “I am done here.”
All around him the waiting court burst into noise, the shrill cawing and harsh scraping of their voices breaking the spell that held their forms. Their cloaks flapped wildly, lifting the dust from between the bladed grass, and in the swirling clouds, they gave themselves over to flight. Johnny held his hand over his face to protect it from the seething dust, glimpsing in the turquoise sky the black veins of their parting. And then the winds quieted, the dust was exhaled back to the earth, and the sky shone clear again. Johnny Fahey found himself alone with Rilka, daughter to the King of Crows.
“What are you called?” she demanded.
“Johnny Fahey.”
“What sort of name is that?” she asked, head cocked back as she looked up at him with her sharp eyes.
“One without shame,” he shrugged.
“And where did you learn to sing?”
Johnny smiled remembering. “It was all around me. I had only to listen. My mother —”
“— Just listen?” Rilka interrupted. “That doesn’t sound right. Surely there were people who taught you, gave you the know-how so you didn’t make a fool of yourself. That’s what my father says. You have to get the way of it from someone who knows, otherwise you’re stuck, flying in a circle with just one wing. Have you ever seen the deserts from up high? Of course you haven’t. You can’t fly. Well, I have and let me tell you— ”
And on she went, not stopping for a breath or pause, scarcely caring whether he answered her rapid questions or not. Johnny’s face turned slowly to stone, the constant rattle of her voice hammering against his ear. It amazed him, for on the one hand, as a crow she had seen a great deal of the world and was only too willing to talk and talk and talk about it. In small spoonfuls, it might have been interesting. But the words poured from her in a deluge as if all her life she had stored them up, waiting for this moment to release them.
The sun rose higher in the sky, tinting the green grass to a fallow gold, and still Rilka talked. It was only when the sun had reached the lip of the high canyon wall that Johnny stuttered to life and caught the girl by the shoulders.
“That’s enough for today’s lesson,” he blurted out, exhausted.
“But you didn’t do anything,” she said peevishly. “I didn’t do anything.”
“You did quite a bit,” Johnny said. “And now it’s time to end. Tomorrow I’ll try again.” Johnny stumbled wearily to where his pack lay and made camp for the night. Rilka watched him and he heard the flurry of angry wings as she transformed herself and flew away into the dimming sky.
That night as he lay beside his fire, listening to the sound of the dry wood sigh itself into ash, Johnny wondered how he was going to reach beyond Rilka’s chatter. She talks, he thought, because among the crows listening is not valued. She talks, he thought, because no one has ever listened to her. Until now. Did he have the patience, he wondered, to listen while she talked, while she emptied herself of all the words she needed to say before she could listen? He would have to teach her how to listen without words. He stirred the fire and in the black coals rimmed with white-hot flames saw her cheek against the black hair. He chuckled, knowing himself to be smitten, and for that, he would listen a long time. And maybe there were small things, gestures that might gentle her tongue and make her settle into quiet. Only then would she be able to hear the songs that waited inside her voice.
When he woke in the morning, Rilka was beside him, stirring up the campfire. He got up from his blanket, shyly, and she laughed at his hair that stuck out over his head like so much thistledown. He combed it with his fingers good-naturedly and offered her coffee. She nodded yes and began again to talk. She chattered on about the world, about the tops of the mountains, the sea, the stupidity of the court, even about her own beauty. The morning sun caught her face, and the white skin glowed. And in Johnny Fahey’s heart, the day began.
Johnny said not one word, but did his work. Moving slowly round her, where she sat on a stone by the fire. He mixed the dough for biscuits, he ground the coffee beans in their burlap sack between two stones and set them in a pot of water to boil. He soaked the beans and bacon in a second pot and set them over the fire. He hummed as he worked, his voice a subtle background to the constant prattle of her voice. He touched her hand from time to time, putting a cup in it, a biscuit, every gesture in the rhythm of his hummed tune. The flow of Rilka’s words broke and stumbled with the touch, but just as quick returned. Only Johnny heard the moment her speech began to flow with the rhythm of his tune. She smiled now as she spoke, almost without realizing that his song carried her along, changed the harsh tone of her chatter into a sweeter babble. But babble it still was, and Johnny was glad when they ate, for it gave him a moment’s respite from all her talk.
And so it went throughout that day and the next and the next; Johnny saying little, only a nod, a murmured reply between the softly whistled tune to show that he heard her. He wondered that it didn't drive him away, so much empty talk. But something in the soft pleading of her eyes, in the need to speak so much, stayed him. And gradually, he heard the torrent of words begin to exhaust itself. Passages of silence broke in, like sunlight sparkling in a cloud break at the end of a long storm. One day she sighed, folded her hands into her lap, and said nothing for a long time.
“Is it done, you are?” Johnny asked, taking out his fiddle.
Rilka nodded.
Johnny smiled and put the fiddle beneath his chin. He played a sweet aire, slick as new grass and sad as the bent bough. Rilka heard it and tears gathered in her eyes. Johnny stopped playing and put away his fiddle.
“Come on, then,” he said, giving her his hand. “Walk a ways with me.”
They walked through the canyon walls, then climbed the back of the high escarpments. Along the rim of the canyon, Johnny whistled a tangled tune, and far in the distance, coyotes yipped.
“Can you hear it?” he asked her, the flow of sound touching him. A jig, he thought, to shape the barks of the coyotes.
“Hear what?” Rilka asked, puzzled.
Johnny touched her softly, a finger gently tracing the outline of her ear, inviting. “It’s there,” he whispered.
She raised her face, waiting, almost afraid. And then her eyes hardened. “I hear nothing.”
“It’ll come,” he promised, and let his hand hold her chin. Her upturned mouth was so close that he leaned in to kiss her.
She pulled her head free from his hand and bristled angrily. “But I want to sing. Make me sing!”
“Rilka,” he said softly, stepping back from her. “You will sing, but first you must hear.”
“That’s ridiculous! I’m sure I hear well enough,” she replied hotly.
“If you can hear the tune, then you can sing it.”
“Is that all there is to it?” Rilka threw back her head, her white throat to the sun, and opened her mouth to sing. But out came only the harsh cries of a crow, and the harder she tried to sweeten her voice, the louder she croaked and cawed. At last, stamping her foot in frustration, she leapt from the canyon wall, and in the open air transformed into a crow. But Johnny saw her face just before the black feathers claimed it, and it was hurt and sad.
“Well,” he muttered as she flew away, “you’ve unraveled that.” And he walked slowly down the trail to the camp.
He couldn’t bring himself to leave the canyon just yet. He’d enough food and water, and so he remained there, one eye glancing hopefully at the horizon for sight of her. Almost a month passed before Rilka returned again. She came one morning early, walking through the long grass, dew spangled on the hem of her dress. Her expression was pensive, her hands clasped together.
Johnny nodded in greeting and quietly set about making coffee. He mixed the dough for biscuits and set the beans on to boil. And when it was done, he held her hands lightly before he gave her the coffee cup and touched her on the shoulder when he handed her the biscuits. She sighed deeply and shook out her long hair.
And then she talked again, her voice hard–edged but not hurried as it once had been. She talked about the court, about her father’s wish to end his reign, and about the life that was being shaped for her among the court of crows.
Johnny heard the somber pitch of sorrow in her voice. He wanted to hold her and shelter her from whatever sadness had brought her to him now. She was proud, but her pride had bowed before defeat. There was no eagerness, no arrogance in her voice, and she sat hunched, arms folded over her chest.
“I am to be married,” she declared at last. “For I sing like a crow and will never be anything other. Or at least my father has told me. I don’t like the mate he has chosen, but he has a strong voice and will be heard over the racket of the others,” she added bitterly.
Johnny trembled as he took her hands between his, rosin leaving a pale gold dust on her palms. “No,” he said, “no, give it more time. Give yourself another chance yet. At least until the end of summer.”
She gazed sharply at him. “It would be a waste of time. I learned that on the cliffs.”
“No that isn’t true. Listen to me, Rilka.”
She stiffened, pulling her hands free of his grasp. “No. I couldn’t hear it then, and I won’t hear it now,” she said angrily.
She started to stand but Johnny held her by the shoulders and kissed her on the mouth.
On his tongue her soft lips tasted of elderberries, and her cheek smelled of sage. At first Rilka didn’t move, startled Johnny thought, as was he, by his boldness. And then she leaned into the kiss, her face tilted up to meet him. Her hands circled his neck and Johnny felt her cool fingers lace through his hair. He embraced her, pulling her body close to his chest, to hear the rapid beating of her heart and the soft murmured sighs of her throat. It was a long kiss, and when they broke apart, there were no words to match its fire. He stroked her cheek, his eyes never leaving her face. She held him by the waist, and smiled.
They stayed together that day, wandering through the canyon and marking the slow passage of the sun. In the night Rilka lay beside Johnny, and in the moonlight, the length of her bare skin blazed like a comet beneath the black velvet cloak. He called her name over and over and it carried a tune all its own. She answered and the words breathed from her mouth into his and back again until it was all one song. And late in the night, when both grew weary, Johnny laid his head against the pillow of her white breast and slept, hearing the wind shiver through the long grass.
He woke in the morning to find himself alone. He sat up, confused, not knowing when she had left him. He walked through the grass, following the trail of dew-damp footprints until they disappeared abruptly. He searched the pale morning sky and knew, by the utter silence, that she was gone.
He stayed another week, stubbornly refusing to believe that she had returned to the court of crows. But the wind shifted, growing colder, and he felt the summer come to a close. If he remained much longer in the canyon, hoping against hope to see her again, he would be trapped when the winter came with its blinding snowstorms. Reluctantly he packed his dwindling food supplies. He filled his canteen at the spring, and with slow, heavy steps he left the canyon.
On the following day the court of crows returned. They flapped their wide black wings in the air, descending into the grass with their shrill caws. Once transformed into human form, they continued bickering, tugging at wedding gifts and challenging each other for the right to stand beside the bride and groom.
The groom preened himself, stopping now and again to crack out orders to his attending men. He was tall and stood erect, his inky hair slicked down over his proud head. He shook out his cloak, straightened the fine embroidered vest and glanced occasionally where his bride stood, silent among the noisy throng. He frowned at her, wishing she’d more to say for herself.
Rilka looked around in the canyon. She had not thought to see any signs of Johnny Fahey, and yet his absence pained her terribly. She knew how much she had silently hoped for another sight of him. Her arms felt heavy at her sides, her hands empty. She raised her hands, looking at her palms, seeing again the faint dust of rosin from his touch. And then she remembered with a smile that he was always putting a cup into them, or a biscuit. Always giving something of himself to her without a word. And she heard in her ear like the sudden lilt of the thrush the constant tune he had hummed. She shook her head, the black veil rustling, and this she heard as music. He had taught her to listen, not by words, but in his deeds and touch. Her constant chatter had deafened her to his message and she had fled, humiliated by her own ugly voice. She had blamed him for her failure until that last day when she had come to see him once more. In a single day he had surrendered everything of himself to her, his body, his love, even the music. But she had held back, fearing the ugliness of her crow’s voice. It was her vanity that made her leave him in the morning and not return.
Her serving women crackled and groused, pulling her dress into place, lowering the black veil and smoothing the train behind her. But all Rilka could hear now was the sorrow in her heart. Her vanity had cost her Johnny Fahey’s love; it had made her deaf to the music. And now she would marry a man like herself: a crow, sharp-tongued and loud. Through the burn of tears, she recalled Johnny’s smile and she touched her lips through the veil remembering the soft fullness of his mouth, the breath that even as he kissed her carried a tune. And as Rilka swallowed, her throat was filled with the thick sweet taste of wild honey.
“Wait,” she cried to the assembled court.
“For what?” demanded the groom.
“I will sing,” she said softly.
“Rilka, enough of your foolishness,” the King of Crows declared. But already summer had aged him, and his voice was subdued.
“I will sing, Father, and we will see who is the King of Crows.”
Rilka lifted her veil and brushed it back from her face. She gazed up into the sky, blue as Johnny’s eyes and started to sing. She knew at once the words and the tune; it was his song. He had sung it often to her when they had sat together by the fire or walked along the rim of the canyon, though she had scarce heard through her chatter. Now it was in her ear as clear and insistent as the sweet piping of finches.
Her voice rose in her chest and traveled the length of her honey–coated throat until it issued forth beyond her lips. Not a crow’s voice at all, but a low hollow sound, sad and haunting as she continued to sing. The long black veil faded into a fine ivory lace and the black wedding dress softened into a pale smoky silk. Rilka let the song change her, bleed the color from her shining black hair and her jet black eyes until her cloak was a soft gray and her eyes red with weeping.
And before the astonished court she shuddered out of her human form and took the air as a dove. She flew over the high walls of the canyon, and her mournful cry was carried aloft by the wind.
The court of crows disbanded, for according to the King’s own bargain, Johnny Fahey was the rightful King of Crows and he could not be found. The crows searched, but every time they met, they scrabbled and fought, and news that might have aided their search was dropped like useless scraps.
Johnny Fahey had made his way through the mountains until he had come to a small farmhouse nestled in a grove of cedar trees. There he met a woman with hair the color of wheat and an easy grace. He married her, and the children came, one, two and three. He played the fiddle for the weddings and the wakes, and in the winter months he played for his family.
But always in the spring, when the birds returned to the cedar grove, Johnny Fahey would find himself alone late at night standing on the porch of his house. His wife and children asleep, he would listen to the sad song of a mourning dove hidden among the fragrant trees, and without knowing why, he would lower his head and the tears would come.
 

Monday, February 29, 2016

The Magic of oils



• Almond Oil- This pale golden oil is extracted from almond kernels. Apart from vitamin E it also contains vitamin D and other nutritious components including essential minerals such as magnesium, calcium and rich, natural fats. This oil is easily absorbed and will not clog pores, making it ideal for the scalp and face as well as hair.

• Amla-Infused Sesame Oil- Amla oil has a long tradition in being used for improving the health of hair and scalp. It is one of the world's oldest natural hair conditioners. Our amla oil easily absorbs into, and moisturizes your hair. Amla has been traditionally used in ayurvedic medecine.

• Argan oil, dubbed as Miracle oil; extracted from kernels of Argan fruit by crushing, is swiftly taking the place of other natural oils for hair protection and treatment. Argan oil contains tocopherols (vitamin E), phenols, carotenes, squalene, and fatty acids, making it both light and great for brittle hair.

• Avocado Oil- This deep golden oil is an edible oil pressed from the fruit of the Persea americana (avocado). It is used for lubrication and in cosmetics where it is valued for its regenerative and moisturizing properties. Rich in nutrients, amino acids, and essential fatty acids, this nutritional oil is excellent for enhancing hair health. It supplies vitamins A, B, D, and E to nourish both hair follicles and the scalp. Vitamin E also acts as a protective antioxidant. It has natural humectant properties, adding and locking in moisture. The monounsaturated fatty acids will give hair a glossy shine and silky texture. The amino acids will promote the growth of new hair cells.

• Borage Oil- Borage is also sometimes known as starflower, and grows wildly in many parts of the world. The use of borage in various medications dates back at least to Roman times, during which several writers described the mysterious healing properties of borage leaves (steeped in wine, which may also have contributed to said ‘healing properties’.) Borage oil is extracted from the seeds of the borage plant, and its essential ingredient has been found to be gamma linolenic acid, commonly known as GLA, which is an essential fatty acids. One experiment found that skin creams which contained borage oil were markedly more effective in replenishing dry, damaged skin than those creams which contained no borage. These results have been taken as evidence that borage oil proves a replenishing effect on the skin and hair, and is able to restore moisture and elasticity where it had previously been lost.

• Camelina Oil was known as the "gold of pleasure" to Europeans not long ago. Rich in natural antioxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids, tocopherols, and high in vitamin E content; Camelina oil is truly under appreciated. Camelina oil also has incredibly high in both alpha-linolenic and linoleic acid contents, and proportions this large are more typically found in linseed oil and fish oil.

• Castor-Oil- Long revered for its hair growth and regrowth properties, the high amounts of ricinoleic acid also makes it an effective anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent. It is also high in omega 9 fatty acids, which are nourishing to both the hair and follicle, as well as the surrounding scalp.

• Coconut oil fractionated- Coconut oil is excellent as a skin moisturizer and softener. A study shows that extra virgin coconut oil is effective and safe when used as a moisturizer, with absence of adverse reactions. A study found that coconut oil helped prevent protein loss from the wet combing of hair when used for fourteen hours as a conditioner before washing the hair.

• Emu oil - This fast-absorbing oil hypoallergenic oil benefits people with dry skin or scalp conditions like psoriasis and eczema. Emu oil contains natural healing properties that can decrease the appearance of scars, stretch marks, burns, and even reverse the effects of hair loss. Two of the key natural properties found in emu oil are linolenic acid and oleic acid, both of which have healing and anti-inflammatory properties.

• EVOO (Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil)- This golden-green oil is heavier than some of the others and has a long history of homeopathic uses. Known to strengthen hair, reduce dandruff when applied to the scalp and even aid nail and cuticle health.

• Evening Primrose Oil– This oil comes from the pressed the seeds of the Evening Primrose plant, Oenothera biennis . The yellow flowers only open in the evening, hence their common name. Evening Primrose Seed Oil is a rich source of gamma linoleic acid, an Omega 6 fatty acid and nourishes the scalp, hair, and even your nails.

• Foraha (Tamanu) Oil- Contains a unique fatty acid, calophyllic acid, which has antibiotic properties and non steroidal agent the callophyllolide which is anti inflammatory. A good choice for dry skin/scalps, and helps restore smoothness and shine to damaged hair.

• Hazelnut Oil- Considered valuable in giving facial and body massages. It has a high content of essential fatty acids like linoleic acid. Hazelnut oil has a very light, pleasing sweet aroma, which is also somewhat nutty. It is a highly unsaturated vegetable oil that boasts of its fine texture. Hazelnut oil provides numerous health benefits for which it is being increasingly preferred in the preparation of carrier oil blend. The best part about using this carrier oil is that, it does not leave an oily feel behind. The oil is also known to efficiently play the role of an astringent.

• Hemp seed Oil- Hemp seed oil is made up of 80% essential fatty acid, the highest amount of any other plant. Hemp seed oil prevents moisture loss on a physiological level; it does just not merely "coat" the skin or hair as do other oils. Hemp so closely matches our own skins lipids it is able to penetrate inside our cells and lubricate the surface between. Not only does Hemp seed oil contribute greatly to the barrier function and appearance it also has other skin benefits such as offering relief to acne, minor abrasions, psoriasis and eczema. Hemp is also the only plant oil containing Vitamin D, which is necessary for Calcium absorption, especially useful to vegans. Using Hemp seed oil is a great way to achieve soft, smooth and hydrated skin.


• Jojoba Oil- Jojoba Oil is found to be an ideal moisturizer and conditioner which is derived from a natural plant. Jojoba oil is produced from a desert plant called Simmondsia Chinensis whose oil is highly regarded as an effective conditioner, moisturizer, cleanser and softener for the skin and hair. This deep golden oil is considered to be the closest to the sebum naturally produced by the body, making it a customer favorite.


• Kukui Oil- The people of Hawaii would anoint their infants with Kukui Nut Oil, protecting them from the ravages of the salt, the sun, the wind, and other elements. Not coincidentally the word "Kukui" means "Enlightenment" in Hawaiian. This oil is quick-absorbing, luxuriant and versatile for both skin and hair.

• Macadamia Oil- Macadamia oil, derived from macadamia nuts, is a slightly nutty-tasting oil is a light amber color and is liquid at room temperature. It is composed of 60% oleic acid, 9% palmitoleic acid, 1-3% Linoleic acid and 1-2% Linolenic acid. Some varieties contain roughly equal amounts of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Antioxidants are well-known elements that protect the body from the damaging effects of free radicals. Macadamia oil carries tocopherols and tocotrienols, which are derivatives of Vitamin E, selenium, and phytosterols such as sitosterol. The oil also contains phytonutrients such as flavonoids, phytic acids, saponins and phtoestrogens.

• Meadowfoam Oil- Meadowfoam Oil is pressed from the seeds of Meadowfoam (Limnanthes alba), a plant which received its name because of its resemblance while in bloom to the white foam blowing on the ocean. Meadowfoam oil contains higher quality triglyceride levels when compared to other vegetable oils It also has amazing moisturizing and rejuvenating capabilities and is very stable, meaning it keeps a long time. When applied to the skin, it forms a moisture barrier and will assist the skin with preventing moisture loss. It is a key ingredient in many different products such as massage oils and lotions, facial creams, sunblock, hair and scalp products, cosmetics, body lotions, and shaving creams. In hair care products, it will add shine and moisture to the hair, and will remedy dry or damaged hair.

• Neem Oil- Neem oil is a natural substance extracted from the seeds of the neem tree (Azadirachta indica), an evergreen native to India. Long used in certain systems of traditional medicine (such as ayurveda). Neem oil contains several fatty acids thought to be beneficial to the skin, such as oleic acid and linoleic acid. Neem relieves symptoms of scalp psoriasis, as well as giving you silky, shiny, stronger hair and encourage growth. Neem is also antibacterial, antifungal, and treats head lice, so it's perfect for problematic scalps.

• Pumpkin Seed Oil- Pumpkin seeds contain fatty oils with linoleic acid and oleic acid, both known to prevent cancer-causing cell production. They are also an excellent source of vitamins A, B6 and C. In addition, the seeds contain beneficial nutrients like zinc, magnesium, calcium and iron. Perhaps most important to those suffering from hair loss, the seeds contain cucurbitin, a unique amino that may be responsible for pumpkin seeds' effects on hair growth. There is conjecture that when consumed internally pumpkin seed oil it is a DHT blocker and can aid in treating baldness or hair loss, though no clinical study has been done.

• Rose hip Oil- is extracted from the seeds contained in the intensely red berry-like fruits -or hips- of a wild rose-bush that grows in the cool, lush mountain rainy valleys of the southern Andes, in Chile. It is a superb hydrator with a high absorbing level, penetrating dry skin and hair almost instantly to restore a much needed moisture balance frequently lost by climatic and environmental conditions such as dryness and air toxicity.

• Safflower Oil- also known as Carthamus tinctorius, functions as an emollient when applied topically, helping to keep skin and hair hydrated and moisturized. Safflower oil is a source naturally high in the vitamin E antioxidant, which helps reduce surface roughness.

• Shea Nut Oil- A beautiful oil with a deep golden color which is made by cold-pressing the nut seed of the Shea (Karite) Tree. Shea oil is a byproduct of Shea butter production where the pressing of the seeds produces a fractionated oil. This oil leaves a smooth and healthy feel to the skin and hair buy helping rough and upraised cells smooth back into place. It offers benefits for numerous skin problems including dermatitis, eczema, burns, cutaneous dryness and other irritations. Highly recommended as a protective agent against harsh weather conditions where a mild barrier against the elements is desired.

• Soy Oil (certified organic, non-GMO)- A pale golden oil with a nutty scent, soybean oil is rich in omega three fats and other oils. This light oil helps keep moisture in the hair without weighing it down.

• Sunflower Oil Organic Cold–Pressed Unrefined– An oil wealthy in Oleic acids with high amounts of Vitamins A, D, and E, also has beneficial amounts of lecithin, and unsaturated fatty acids. Deeply nourishing and conditioning for the skin and hair it is a natural emollient (meaning it corrects scaling and dryness), by helping upraised skin and hair cells lay flat, helping to increase shine and keep in moisture. Cold-pressed oil, also called cold-drawn, or virgin, oil, is purer than oil expressed with the aid of heat and retains more of its natural benefits.

• Walnut Oil- A pale golden oil, it good moisturizing, anti-aging, regenerative, emollient and toning properties. Walnuts are unique among nuts because the essential fat they contain is primarily polyunsaturated (the source of omega-3 fatty acids.) as well as a host of other important vitamins and minerals. Walnut oil is a clear, grease-less, penetrating oil, that is a rich source of fatty acids.

• Wheat germ Oil- Dark in color with a robust aroma reminiscent of grain, wheat germ oil is removed during the processing of whole wheat grains to white flour. Wheat germ is the nutrient-rich center of the wheat seed, and it is highly concentrated in vitamins E, A and D.

-----------------------------------------



• Amyris Chamomile Essential Oil– Distilled from the Amyris tree, this wood essential is warm and soothing. Promotes cell regeneration in skin and fights dryness. Possesses both antiseptic and sedative qualities.

• Bay Essential Oil– Bay is a scalp stimulant and antiseptic astringent and was very popular with the Romans, who thought Bay was a symbol of wisdom, peace and protection. The Latin Laudis means “to praise,” which is why the victors at the Olympic games were presented with a Laurel (Bay) Wreath. The priestesses at Delphi sat over the burning fumes to increase their prophetic visions.

• Birch Essential Oil– Birch oil is another herb that is believed to help promote hair growth. This herb is often recommended to people who may be experiencing hair thinning, as it is also known to slow down hair loss.

• Catnip Essential Oil- A stimulant, catnip can increase blood flow to the scalp, encouraging growth. It's astringent properties help tighten miscles and skin, helping to reduce shedding in some cases. Catnip is also reputed to assist in reducing split ends.

• Cedarwood Essential Oil– Excellent for both hair and skin care. It balances oily skin, soothes and helps to heal skin rashes, reduces oil in hair and skin. Famed cedars of Biblical times (Lebanon cedar) provided one of the world’s earliest perfumes. Other ancient cultures used cedarwood for sarcophagi and palace and temple building material.

• Clove Essential Oil- This warm and spicy oil aids in circulation and is recommended for skin care, especially to acne patients.

• Cornmint Essential Oil (Wild Mint)- a species of mint native to the temperate regions of Europe and western and central Asia, east to the Himalaya and eastern Siberia. Improves circulation to the scalp.

• Eucalyptus Essential Oil- One of the oldest native medicines used in Australia. It is known now for its use in inhalants and vapor rubs, but is also soothing to an irritated scalp.

• Frankincense Essential Oil- Frankincense Oil is extracted from gum or resin of Frankincense or Olibanum tree. Apart from being used as a cosmetic and as a fragrance, it has numerous other benefits including being an antiseptic and disinfectant. It is also a cicatrisant, helping reduce scars and easing tight skin.

• German Chamomile Essential Oil– Promotes hair growth, scalp soother and hair conditioner. This most soothing of herbs was used in ancient Egyptian medicine as an emblem of the omnipotence of Ra through its power to restore wholeness to the Self.

• Grapefruit Essential Oil- Like the fruit itself, the essential oil of Grapefruit is rich in anti oxidants. Primarily, in Vitamin-C. It's antimicrobial properties are great for scalps that like an astringent environment. Helps reduce oil production.

• Hinoki (Chamaecyparis obtusa) Essential Oil - The Japanese Cypress has long been used for building Japanese wooden tubs to create an aromatic and soothing experience. It has a woody, therapeutic scent. Hinoki oil has been shown to encourage hair growth in studies and blends well with Jasmine, Ylang Ylang or Cypress.

• Jasmine Essential Oil- This oil helps to bust stress- which can drain nutrients from the body. Using jasmine oil along with coconut oil has Shown to encourage hair growth. Along with adding to the volume and length, it gives dry hair a radiant lustre.

• Lavender Essential Oil– Enhances hair growth by stimulating the scalp. The name “lavender” is derived from the Latin lavare, meaning, “to wash” and was known as one of the seven polyvalents (effective against many toxins). Greeks and Romans perfumed their bathwater with lavender, burned lavender incense to appease their wrathful gods, and believed the scent of lavender to be soothing to untamed lions and tigers.

• Lemon Essential Oil- This refreshing oil is an antifungal and antibacterial. It also promotes circulation of the scalp.

• Lime Peel Essential Oil– A bright scent, lime is antiviral, astringent, and bactericidal. It is at once a cleansing and moisturizing oil, helping with dandruff and scalp buildup.

• Myrrh Essential Oil- The essential oil of Myrrh is extracted from the resin of Myrrh. Myrrh, in scientific nomenclature system, is called Commiphora Myrrha and is a native to Egypt. While the resin was in use in incenses and perfumes in ancient Egypt, the oil obtained from it was used for healings wounds in ancient Greece. Myrrh is an antimicrobial and astringent oil. It also helps promote circulation and soothes skin diseases such as eczema, ringworm, itches etc.

• Nettle-Infused Oil– Fixed or essential oils are not obtained from this plant but extracts are produced, although not by distillation. The plant, organically grown, is macerated in virgin olive oil to produce nettle oil which contains the lipid soluble constituents. Used for treating eczema and other conditions causing itching of the skin and is natural deep cleanser useful for oily skin and hair. Nettle is also said to promote hair growth.

• Neroli Essential Oil- With its light, citrusy scent, neroli has antibacterial properties that helps keep scalps healthy. Cytophylactic, it promotes the generation of new cells and stimulates the health of those already present.

• Nutmeg Essential Oil- has a sweet, warm, spicy scent similar to the spice commonly used in cooking. Comforting and soothing, nutmeg helps boost energy. It also supports nervous and endocrine systems and prostaglandin balance.

• Peppermint Essential Oil- Peppermint and it's name has it's roots in Greek mythology. Pluto - god of the dead - fell in love with Minthe, herself a beautiful nymph. Pluto's goddess wife Persephone became jealous and turned Minthe into a plant, but out of respect for her beauty, she ensured that she would have a wonderful and fragrant aroma. Peppermint stimulates the scalp and aids circulation while soothing irritation.

• Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium)- Made from the leaves and twigs of this amazing tree, it is antiseptic, antispasmodic, a natural deodorant, and nervine. Use in a hair oil will leave hair and scalp fragrant (petitgrain has woody, citrus and floral notes all in one!), while soothing and preventing bacterial and fungal growth. Blends well with lavender, rose, and sandlawood.

• Red Thyme Essential Oil– Helps control an oily scalp and stimulates the scalp, promoting hair growth. So important was the herb’s aroma that its name was culled from the Greek thymon, meaning, “to fumigate.” Indeed Roman soldiers bathed in thyme before entering a battle, and in the Middle Ages sprigs of thyme were woven into the scarves of knights departing for the Crusades. Most present-day research has centered on thyme’s ability as an antibacterial and anti-infectious agent, even when diffused in the air.

• Rose Essential Oil- Soothes an irritated or sensitive scalp due to its anti-inflammatory benefits that reduce redness and can relieve a dry, tender scalp. It also has antibacterial properties, helping elmininating fungus and bacteria on the scalp. Packed full of antioxidants, like Geraniol, it can help eliminate any impurities and protect the scalp and hair from oxidative stress.

• Rosemary Essential Oil– An antimicrobial/antiseptic scalp stimulant and soother; to the ancient Greeks and Romans the plant was sacred, symbolic of loyalty, death, and remembrance, as well as scholarly learning. At weddings and important occasions, wherever solemn vows were made, garlands and headdresses of rosemary were worn, as an emblem of trust and constancy.

• Sage Essential Oil– A scalp soother and astringent, the herb is of ancient repute, valued as a culinary and medicinal plant – called herba sacra, ‘sacred herb’, by the Romans

• Sandalwood Essential Oil- An anti-inflammatory with a warm woody scent, it soothes tender scalps and can help help heal eczema and psoriasis, soothe, shrink pimples and reduce dandruff.

• Sea Buckthorn Oil– So rich in vitamins and nutrients that it has been even speculated that the plant must have been cultivated by some ancient plant-breeder. A useful, highly prized, and specific oil typically used to treat damaged skin, ulcerations, scar tissue, wrinkles, eczema, burns, etc. Cold extracted from whole Sea Buckthorn berries, it is a moisturizing and anti-inflammatory, scalp soother. This oil is exceptionally rich in essential fatty acids, carotenes, tocopherols, and phytosterols.

• Sweet Orange Essential Oil- A zesty citrus, sweet, strong aroma, Sweet Orange is cheering, refreshing, uplifting, and comforting. Orange, like all citrus fruits, plays an important role in Chinese medicine.

• Tea Tree Essential Oil– A long-reputed herb for its ability to sooth irritated skin, this oil reduces the itching of an irritated scalp. The aboriginal peoples of Australia soaked the pungent leaves in hot water and used them in all manner of medicinal treatment.

• Ylang–Ylang Essential Oil– The extract of lilies, this oil is a scalp soother and follicle stimulator. Indonesians spread the luxuriant flowers on the marriage bed of the newly weeded couples. Ylang means “flowers of flowers,” sometimes called “the perfume tree.”

The Myth of Persephone:

The Myth of Persephone:
Greek Goddess of the Underworld



Interpretation by Laura Strong, PhD)

It was a beautiful day like all the others in this land, the sun shone brightly in the sky, the hills were lush and green, and flowers blossomed from the earth. The lovely young maiden, Persephone, frolicked with her friends upon the hillside, as her mother Demeter sat near by, and her father Zeus peered down from the sky above. Laughter could be heard in between the young girls' whispered secrets, as they gathered handfuls of purple crocuses, royal blue irises and sweet-smelling hyacinths. Persephone thought to bring some to her mother, but was soon distracted by a vision of the most enchanting flower she had ever seen. It was a narcissus, the exact flower her father hoped that she would find.  As she reached down to pluck it from its resting place, her feet began to tremble and the earth was split in two. Life for Persephone would never be the same again.
From this gaping crevice in the ground emerged the awe-inspiring God of the Underworld, Hades, and before Persephone could even think to utter a word, she was whisked off her feet onto the God's golden chariot. As the crack of the whip upon his majestic horses brought her to her senses, she realized she was about to taken into the black depths from which he'd come. The thought of this brought terror to her heart, yet any screams of protest were soon lost within the darkness, as they descended quickly into the Underworld below.
While Persephone's cries could not be heard above the ground, the pain in Demeter's heart quickly alerted her to the fact that something was terribly wrong. She searched high and low for her dear daughter, who had vanished from both the heavens and the earth. Consumed by depression over the loss of her child, she soon ceased to remember her worldly duties as Goddess of Grain and Growth. As she watched the plants wither and die all around her, she felt her own hopes begin to fade as well.
At the same time, deep down in the realm of the dead, Hades hoped to explain his actions to the sweet Persephone. Professing his love, he told her of the plan her father helped deploy and begged her to stay and be his wife. Yet, Persephone longed for something more, the comforts of her mother's home and a view of the lush green grass and blue sky up above.
Far above the darkness of the Underworld, her mother continued to wander the forlorn earth. Eventually she found her way to the town of Eleusis, where she rested by a flowing fountain. Stripped of all her vital energy, she appeared old and wrinkled beyond her years. Soon four young females found the aging Goddess, and agreed to take her home. Their parents were glad to offer the elderly woman lodging and a stable position caring for their little son. Wishing to reward the family for their kindness, Demeter attempted to offer the child the gift of immortality, by sticking him in the fire each night and removing him every morning before dawn. When the child's mother found him in the flames, she was horrified. Her mortal mind could not comprehend the actions of the Goddess, and she asked her to leave their home at once. This immediately brought back Demeter's fighting spirit, who surprised them by exposing her true self. The family begged the Goddess for forgive them and in return agreed to her demands: "A temple would be built in my honor, and you will teach the world my secret to immortality." Within no time, the town built a beautiful temple on the hillside, which the Goddess blessed before continuing on her journey.
Yet it didn't take long for Demeter's happiness to be replaced with rage, as she recalled the disappearance of her daughter. She flew to the home of Zeus and demanded that Persephone be found at once. She also questioned every immortal she could find and eventually uncovered Zeus' plot. In an attempt to appease Demeter's growing anger, he dispatched a messenger to retrieve their daughter from the depths.
Upon his entry to the Underworld, the messenger Hermes was amazed at what he found. Instead of finding a frail and fearful Persephone, he found a radiant and striking Queen of the Dead. She had adjusted well to her new position, saying she had even found her calling. The Goddess was now in charge of greeting the new arrivals and helping them adapt to their new life. While she wished to see her mother up above, she was torn by her desire to remain Hades' wife.
Hoping to comfort Persephone in her confusion, Hades came to his Queen's side. He gently kissed her forehead and urged her, "Do not fret, eat instead from this fruit I know you will like." As she pressed the red pomegranate seeds to her lips, she listened to his words. He told her he would miss her very much, but her duties as a daughter mattered too. So, she climbed into the chariot and bid her husband farewell, as Hermes sped them off to the middle realm of mother earth, the home of her devoted mother.
The flowers sang joyfully of her return, while her mother beamed with pride. Yet, the child that she had born and raised had changed while she was gone. She had grown into a goddess, one both beautiful and wise and the more that Demeter inquired about her experiences below, the more she came to worry that the life they knew was gone. She recalled a declaration Zeus had made from the heavens up above: in order for Persephone to return to the home and life she had known, the young goddess must be as pure as the day she left her mother's side. However, the ruby stain upon her lips spoke of the beauty's fate. Persephone had tasted of the fruit of life. It could not be erased.
Even so, Zeus loved his daughter too much to send her back to Hades without the hope of returning to her mother's abode above. So, each spring Persephone comes back with the flowers that pave her way, to tell the story of rebirth, hope and harmony. And each fall when she leaves again for the Underworld below, her mother mourns and winter comes, while she waits for her return. Yet, for Persephone there is no remorse. She looks forward to the time she spends as Hades' Queen and wife, and to guiding those who have lost their way to the next phase of their life.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Arthur Rimbaud

Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud
 
20 October 1854 – 10 November 1891


Arthur was a French poet born in Charleville, Ardennes. He influenced modern literature and arts, inspired various musicians, and prefigured surrealism. He started writing poems at a very young age, while still in primary school, and stopped completely before he turned 21. He was mostly creative during the age of 17–20. His genius,  flowering, explosion and sudden extinction, still astonishes.
Rimbaud was known to have been a libertine and for being a restless soul. He traveled extensively on three continents before his death from cancer just after his thirty-seventh birthday. (From Wiki)

I find him to be beautifully wicked! What a shame he didn't continue to write and what a young age to perish! He feels reminiscent of my beloved Baudelaire!




Faun's Head

Among the foliage, green casket flecked with gold;
in the uncertain foliage that blossoms
with gorgeous flowers where sleeps the kiss,
vivid, and bursting through the sumptuous tapestry,
a startled faun shows his two eyes
and bites the crimson flowers with his white teeth.
Stained and ensanguined like mellow wine,
his mouth bursts out in laughter beneath the branches.
And when he has fled - like a squirrel -
his laughter still vibrates on every leaf,
and you can see, startled by a bullfinch,
the Golden Kiss of the Wood,
gathering itself together again.

A Winter Dream

In winter we’ll travel in a little pink carriage
With cushions of blue.
We’ll be fine. A nest of mad kisses waits
In each corner too.
You’ll shut your eyes, not to see, through the glass,
Grimacing shadows of evening,
Those snarling monsters, a crowd going past
Of black wolves and black demons.
Then you’ll feel your cheek tickled quite hard…
A little kiss, like a maddened spider,
Will run over your neck…
And you’ll say: “Catch it!” bowing your head,
– And we’ll take our time finding that creature
– Who travels so far…

Fairy

For Helen, in the virgin shadows and the
impassive radiance in astral silence,
ornamental saps conspired.
Summer's ardour was confided
to silent birds and due indolence
to a priceless mourning boat
through gulfs of dead loves
and fallen perfumes.
-After the moment of the woods women's song
to the rumble of the torrent in the ruin of the wood,
of the tinkle of the cowbells to the echo of the vales,
and the cries of the steppes.
- For Helen's childhood, furs and shadows trembled,
and the breast of the poor and the legends of heaven.
And her eyes and her dance superior
even to the precious radiance,
to cold influences, to the pleasure of the unique
setting and the unique hour.

Being Beauteous

Against a fall of snow, a Being Beautiful, and very tall.
Whistlings of death and circles of faint music
Make this adored body, swelling and trembling
Like a specter, rise...
Black and scarlet gashes burst in the gleaming flesh.
The true colors of life grow dark,
Shimmering and separate
In the scaffolding, around the Vision.
Shiverings mutter and rise,
And the furious taste of these effects is charged
With deadly whistlings and the raucous music
That the world, far behind us, hurls at our mother of beauty...
She retreats, she rises up...
Oh! Our bones have put on new flesh, for love.
Oh ash-white face
Oh tousled hair
O crystal arms!
On this cannot I mean to destroy myself
In a swirling of trees and soft air!

Sun and Flesh

Birth of Venus
I
The Sun, the hearth of affection and life,
Pours burning love on the delighted earth,
And when you lie down in the valley, you can smell
How the earth is nubile and very full-blooded;
How its huge breast, heaved up by a soul,
Is, like God, made of love, and, like woman, of flesh,
And that it contains, big with sap and with sunlight,
The vast pullulation of all embryos!
And everything grows, and everything rises!
- O Venus, O Goddess!
I long for the days of antique youth,
Of lascivious satyrs, and animal fauns,
Gods who bit, mad with love, the bark of the boughs,
And among water-lilies kissed the Nymph with fair hair!
I long for the time when the sap of the world,
River water, the rose-coloured blood of green trees
Put into the veins of Pan a whole universe!
When the earth trembled, green,beneath his goat-feet;
When, softly kissing the fair Syrinx, his lips formed
Under heaven the great hymn of love;
When, standing on the plain, he heard round about him
Living Nature answer his call;
When the silent trees cradling the singing bird,
Earth cradling mankind, and the whole blue Ocean,
And all living creatures loved, loved in God!
I long for the time of great Cybele,
Who was said to travel, gigantically lovely,
In a great bronze chariot, through splendid cities;
Her twin breasts poured, through the vast deeps,
The pure streams of infinite life.
Mankind sucked joyfully at her blessed nipple,
Like a small child playing on her knees.
- Because he was strong, Man was gentle and chaste.
Misfortune! Now he says: I understand things,
And goes about with eyes shut and ears closed.
- And again, no more gods! no more gods! Man is King,
Man is God! But the great faith is Love!
Oh! if only man still drew sustenance from your nipple,
Great mother of gods and of men, Cybele;
If only he had not forsaken immortal Astarte
Who long ago, rising in the tremendous brightness
Of blue waters, flower-flesh perfumed by the wave,
Showed her rosy navel, towards which the foam came snowing
And , being a goddess with the great conquering black eyes,
Made the nightingale sing in the woods and love in men's hearts!
The Birth of Venus

II

I believe! I believe in you! divine mother,
Sea-born Aphrodite! - Oh! the path is bitter
Since the other God harnessed us to his cross;
Flesh, Marble, Flower, Venus, in you I believe!
- yes, Man is sad and ugly, sad under the vast sky.
He possesses clothes, because he is no longer chaste,
Because he has defiled his proud, godlike head
And because he has bent, like an idol in the furnace,
His Olympian form towards base slaveries!
Yes, even after death, in the form of pale skeletons
He wishes to live and insult the original beauty!
- And the Idol in whom you placed such maidenhood,
Woman, in whom you rendered our clay divine,
So that Man might bring light into his poor soul
And slowly ascend, in unbounded love,
From the earthly prison to the beauty of day,
Woman no longer knows even how to be a Courtesan!
- It's a fine farce! and the world snickers
At the sweet and sacred name of great Venus!
III

If only the times which have come and gone might come again!
- For Man is finished! Man has played all the parts!
In the broad daylight, wearied with breaking idols
He will revive, free of all his gods,
And, since he is of heaven, he will scan the heavens!
The Ideal, that eternal, invincible thought, which is
All; The living god within his fleshly clay,
Will rise, mount, burn beneath his brow!
An when you see him plumbing the whole horizon,
Despising old yokes, and free from all fear,
You will come and give him holy Redemption!
- Resplendent, radiant, from the bosom of the huge seas
You will rise up and give to the vast Universe
Infinite Love with its eternal smile!
The World will vibrate like an immense lyre
In the trembling of an infinite kiss!
- The World thirsts for love: you will come and slake its thirst.
.................................. ..................
O! Man has raised his free, proud head!
And the sudden blaze of primordial beauty
Makes the god quiver in the altar of the flesh!
Happy in the present good, pale from the ill suffered,
Man wishes to plumb all depths, - and know all things! Thought,
So long a jade, and for so long oppressed,
Springs from his forehead! She will know Why!...
Let her but gallop free, and Man will find Faith!
- Why the blue silence, unfathomable space?
Why the golden stars, teeming like sands?
If one ascended forever, what would one see up there?
Does a sheperd drive this enormous flock
Of worlds on a journey through this horror of space?
And do all these worlds contained in the vast ether,
tremble at the tones of an eternal voice?
- And Man, can he see? can he say: I believe?
Is the langage of thought anymore than a dream?
If man is born so quickly, if life is so short
Whence does he come? Does he sink into the deep Ocean
Of Germs, of Foetuses, of Embryos, to the bottom
of the huge Crucible where Nature the Mother
Will resuscitate him, a living creature,
To love in the rose and to grow in the corn?...
We cannot know! - We are weighed down
With a cloak of ignorance, hemmed in by chimaeras!
Men like apes, dropped from our mothers' wombs,
Our feeble reason hides the infinite from us!
We wish to perceive: - and Doubt punishes us!
Doubt, dismal bird, beat us down with its wing...
- And the horizon rushes away in endless flight!...
............................... ........................
The vast heaven is open! the mysteries lie dead
Before erect Man, who folds his strong arms
Among the vast splendour of abundant Nature!
He sings... and the woods sing, the river murmurs
A song full of happiness which rises towards the light!...
- it is Redemption! it is love! it is love!...

IV
O splendour of flesh! O ideal splendour!
O renewal of love, triumphal dawn
When, prostrating the Gods and the Heroes,
White Callipyge and little Eros
Covered with the snow of rose petals, will caress
Women and flowers beneath their lovely outstretched feet!
- O great Ariadne who pour out your tears
On the shore, as you see, out there on the waves,
The sail of Theseus flying white under the sun,
O sweet virgin child whom a night has broken,
Be silent! On his golden chariot studded with black grapes,
Lysios, who has been drawn through Phrygian fields
By lascivious tigers and russet panthers,
Reddens the dark mosses along the blue rivers.
- Zeus, the Bull, cradles on his neck like a child
The nude body of Europa who throws her white arm
Round the God's muscular neck which shivers in the wave.
Slowly he turns his dreamy eye towards her;
She, droops her pale flowerlike cheek
On the brow of Zeus; her eyes are closed; she is dying
In a divine kiss, and the murmuring waters
Strew the flowers of their golden foam on her hair.
- Between the oleander and the gaudy lotus tree
Slips amorously the great dreaming Swan
Enfloding Leda in the whiteness of his wing;
- And while Cypris goes by, strangely beautiful,
And, arching the marvellous curves of her back,
Proudly displays the golden vision of her big breasts
And snowy belly embroidered with black moss,
- Hercules, Tamer of beasts, in his Strength,
Robes his huge body with the lion's skin as with glory
And faces the horizons, his brow terrible and sweet!
Vaguely lit by the summer moon,
Erect, naked, dreaming in her pallor of gold
Streaked by the heavy wave of her long blue hair,
In the shadowy glade whenre stars spring in the moss,
The Dryade gazes up at the silent sky...
- White Selene, timidly, lets her veil float,
Over the feet of beautiful Endymion,
And throws him a kiss in a pale beam...
- The Spring sobs far off in a long ectasy...
Ii is the nymph who dreams with one elbow on her urn,
Of the handsome white stripling her wave has pressed against.
- A soft wind of love has passed in the night,
And in the sacred woods, amid the standing hair of the great trees,
Erect in majesty, the shadowly Marbles,
The Gods, on whose brows the Bullfinch has his nest,
- the Gods listen to Men, and to the infinite World!


My Little Lovelies

A tearful tincture washes
Cabbage-green skies;
Beneath the dribbling bushes
Your raincoats lie;
Pale white in private moonlight,
Like round-eyed sores,
Flap your scabby kneecaps apart,
My ugly whores!
We loved each other in those days,
Ugly blue whore!
We ate boiled eggs
And weed.
One night you made me a poet,
Ugly blond whore.
Get between my legs,
I'll whip you.
I puked up your greasy hair,
Ugly black whore;
You tried to unstring
My guitar.
Blah! Some of my dried-up spit,
Ugly red whore,
Still stinks in the cracks
Of your breast.
O my little lovelies,
I hate your guts!
Go stick big blisters
On your ugly tits!
Break the cracked bottles and jars
Of my feelings;
Come on! Be my ballerinas
Just for a while!
Your shoulder blades are twisted back,
My masterpieces!
Stick stars in your snatches and shake
Them to bits!
And it was for you hunks of meat
I wrote my rhymes!
My love was sticky self-deceit
And dirty games!
Dumb bunch of burnt-out stars,
- Against the walls!
Go back to God, croak in corners
Like animals!
Pale white in private moonlight,
Like round-eyed sores,
Flap your scabby kneecaps apart,
My ugly whores!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Reincarnation: A grotesque short story by Victoria Vassilious


Reincarnation
 By Victoria Vassilious


 

I was first suffocated and then raped by a serial killer. I was his 23rd Victim.  I was found in pieces along side the highway in a ditch. I was the 23rd victim he hacked to pieces with a pickax found close nearby.  My body parts had been laying there for 5 straight days in the 105 degree August sun.  I didn’t find the scent of my own rotting carcass too pleasing. Occasionally; black crows would show up and begin to peck on my decomposing flesh, but even they didn’t find me too pleasurable.

After days of laying in pieces sizzling in this hazy heat; my mind became infused with straight delirium.  Am I dead? How am I aware of my surroundings? Over top of me a giant black portal unexpectedly appeared.  A large metal claw came down and grabbed the entire earth around my mutilated limbs. Up I went, and when I arrived inside this foreign unidentified craft, I was promptly thrown into a black garbage bag.

It was a frightening bumpy ride in which my head rolled from side to side. My severed toes kept lodging themselves into my nostrils and I was forced to inhale the putrefied remains.

The strange aircraft took me straight up through the hemisphere and soon entered a dark warehouse. I could hear the commotion of industrial sounds from outside of my garbage bag.  

So there I sat in my bag, merely just a pile of mutilated flesh, when I jerked forward and my remains toppled over.  I was finally able to peer out the drawstring opening of the bag.  I soon discovered I was sitting in a line on a conveyer belt with other human bodies that were severely disfigured.

“NEXT”

                There were hundreds of bodies in front of me and in back of me. Yet I appeared to be the only one that was dismembered and  crudely shoved inside a garbage bag. The man in front of me was clearly deceased with half his brain exposed and his jaw hanging on by a thread.  But somehow he still managed to stand upright, though he was swaying back and forth.  The conveyer belt alternated between creaking forward slowly and stopping abruptly until finally the man in front of me was first in the line.

From the cracks I watched as a team of surgeons sewed his face back together.  They then pressed his brains back inside his head and crudely stitched the cranium to one piece. He stood up and turned around to face me. He noticed me and smiled and I noticed his blood stained teeth. They swiftly sprayed him down with a high pressured water hose. The workers then placed him on a separate conveyer belt which sent him downwards along to the next terminal.

“NEXT”

It was finally my turn. A uniformed worker rushed forward and picked up the garbage bag that contained my remains. He handed the bag over to the team of surgeons. They all made a collective sigh and murmured amongst themselves. They tore open the bag and dumped out the contents. My eyes on my severed head flinched at the bright exposed light overhead of me.

“What the heck is this?”

“This must be the latest victim from The Jersey Torso murderer.”    

They spread my severed limbs across a steel table. Each one of my fingers was removed from my hand which was removed from my arm which was removed from my headless torso.

“UGGH! This is going to take forever!”  A masked surgeon exclaimed.

 “This body will take entirely too long to repair.” Another surgeon shook his head.

They hastily sewed my limbs and head back to my torso. They made a vertical clean slice along my spine and packed the wound full of menthol rub, healing bacitracin and bandages. There was a large hump where the packed medicine slowly leaked back into my body; I felt the cooling sensation begin coursing through my veins. I almost resembled a turtle from how much medicine was packed deep into the crevice of my back.

 My body was swollen and saggy and resembled the tumor ridden elephant man.  Dried blood was crusted along the sutures. There were jagged deep cuts across my face and my lips had been removed so they injected a bit of silicone to create new lips except my yellow teeth remained fully exposed when I attempted to close my mouth.

“Ok guys, this is as good as it gets, let the machine do the rest of the work.”

I slowly began moving my legs and brought myself to an upright position on the steel table.

“Ok lady, get a move on it!” the workers hoisted me off the table and shoved me onto another conveyer belt. The belt creaked downward at a faster pace.  I stood, swaying, dizzy and discombobulated feeling the blood oozing from my wounds. The pain was unbearable. It felt like every part of my body was in flames. My feet were ballooned to triple the size of normal with bloody sutures around my ankles.

When the belt finally came screeching to a halt I was deposited into a heap of crawling bodies. One by one the workers hastily grabbed us and connected us into the machine that had millions of tubes coming from each direction. The tubes holders protruded from my “turtle” back.  One tube was connected to a pain killer, the next was connected to the nutrients, and the next was connected to the “vitality” liquid.  

There I remained for the next few decades, slowly repairing from the inside out.

Here I remained for the next few decades, until I was fully restored and degenerated back into a miniature human embryo, in which they would at last thrust me back out into the world through a human vagina.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

“What are your thoughts on God and Satan”

Someone recently asked me a generic question that could not be simply answered.
“What are your thoughts on God and Satan”
It seems they may put some value into what my opinion on this topic is. I told them I am considering writing them an essay if they were genuinely interested in my thoughts, as this can not be answered simply. I think they meandered away... hoping that I didn't bombard them with my heavy thoughts on such matters.
To be honest, I have been on a spiritual path ever since I was a kid. I have briefly spoken on this blog about my own spiritual experiences, and how I live a life full of symbolic hidden meanings and the constant reminder of synchronicity. Plainly put; I am an empath, with a vast amount of morals and a melting pot of beliefs, But you can not label me.
I have had enough of feeling shamed when I know in my heart I am a good person that does good deeds out of the goodness of my heart - even when I proudly proclaim I am a misanthrope. I do hate people in general, I deeply love the few and far between special people who will love and accept you regardless of your differences, whether it is sexuality, your culture or religious beliefs.
I don’t feel comfortable inside churches, unless OF COURSE, it is historic church with beautiful architecture, or a Greek orthodox church. Then I am simply enjoying the visual pleasantries of my surroundings, the art, the colors, the rituals, the history and the smells. A Greek orthodox church is a product of my youth, and I find the music calming, but, I have never known what they were saying. I can honestly admit, I was probably only there to appease my father. I will still go, perform the rituals, and sit in the pews with fond memories.
When I have attempted to go to regular Sunday mass , I felt shamed, outcast and judged. I felt heads swivel to eye me and what I am wearing. Afterwards; it is a fact that most of the members will go home to gossip and judge each other. Be honest! You are!
I decided, I want no parts of a church establishment. Too much greed, dishonesty, judgement, & all things I personally find morally wrong. I can not help these feelings, feel free to judge me on them, in my age I have started to care less. I want to live a conscious free life, and feel no shame, and live my life in connection to my heart, and to reach spiritual enlightenment to its fullest.
I feel the modern religion is too violent, and has separated humans for far too long. I feel it is way too closeminded and judgemental.
Entirely too many people have died in the name of religion. Too many fiscal gains have been made out of the name of religion, and I find that entire thing disgusting. Religion is a franchise, a product of our culture. Everyone wants to argue on who is right and who shall be judged while a commercial for the latest church flashes on the screen… BUY OUR PRODUCT - SUPPORT OUR FAITH- DONATE TO OUR CAUSE-JOIN US IN RIGHTIOUSNESS.
On Christianity, I think it has been attempted to be forced down my throat, as I am an american and that is what our prominant religion is. A lot of my friends and family have used the bible as their guideline to life.
I simply can not. I have found too many inconsistencies in the bible. It makes me question the morale of the entire religion. I could NEVER follow a book that has such cruelty and violence in it. I am too sensitive and can't even stomach it to sit and read it... although I am sure there are many beautiful passages that I could instill in my life.... I can't get past the blatant cruelty. According to their guidelines, I would have been murdered- repeatedly. I would love for someone with patience to sit and calmly explain to me how they are able to look past this prominant theme. I am genuinely curious. it seems no one who follows the bible faithfully can even question these things without a distinct look of fear in their eye. I would love to get inside their brain to understand it. But - its so personal that simply a discussion of this nature will severe friendships and family members. It is so hostile, and cut and dry, black and white. The bible makes God out to be a villian! The God I know and love is kind and loving, more on this later.
Of course I will cite some bible passages for example:
Cruel God
I will fill your mountains with the dead. Your hills, your valleys, and your streams will be filled with people slaughtered by the sword. I will make you desolate forever. Your cities will never be rebuilt. Then you will know that I am God.” (Ezekiel 35 1 - God)
Directing man to murder innocent women and children
"Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, "Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all – old and young, girls and women and little children. But do not touch anyone with the mark. Begin your task right here at the Temple." So they began by killing the seventy leaders. "Defile the Temple!" the LORD commanded. "Fill its courtyards with the bodies of those you kill! Go!" So they went throughout the city and did as they were told." (Ezekiel 9:5-7 NLT)
Then direct man to murder everyone who is different
If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you. You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. And all Israel, hearing of this, shall fear and never do such evil as this in your midst.(Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB)
Sexism
"But if [a girl wasn't a virgin on her wedding night] and evidence of the girl's virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her father’s house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against God’s people by her unchasteness in her father's house. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst."
(Deuteronomy 22:20-21 NAB)
There are also quite a few passages where God directs man to sacrifice animals.
I’ve pretty much had enough of the violence and killing, the animal sacrifices, the mistreatment and murdering of women and children. No, I will not turn a blind eye to it.... I can't even swallow it. Like I said earlier, I am a true empath. The suffering of innocents? I feel that… and it hurts. I understand it was written a long time ago, and things have changed… and exactly that… THINGS HAVE CHANGED. I am free to have an open mind on my own personal spiritual path.
I am not here to judge you, or to change your mind. There is no persuasive techniques here, I am simply answering the generic  question with entirely too much depth, but it has turned to a complete dissection of my brain. I have been quiet and respectful of everyone else’s opinion far too long, its past due I set my mind free.
I’ve never been one to digest what people give me. In fact, I want to take everything apart and examine it before I blindly accept something into my routine. Which started my path on literature. There are so many beautiful books that you can use as a guide to live a happy fulfilled life.
I simply  do not belong in man made establishments when attempting to spiritually grow. My place of worship is outdoors. I like to go straight to the source to seek information. I like to go outdoors when I am feeling stressed and soak up all the good energies from the universe.  
Are you wondering what I do believe in? I don’t think people are very accepting of the things I believe in. I think you will try to force me into a label, and I will not fit perfectly.
I recently stumbled on ancient readings by Hermes/Thoth that spoke true to my soul. Apparently an ancient religion is something I have always subconsciously believed in. Followers of this beautiful belief system have been burned at the stake by catholic priests who attempted to exterminate ancient religion… (Giordano Bruno)
Ancient religions are now referred to as the occult, which leave a bit of a sour taste on the populations tongue- occult-/A CULT   think about why? Control, power, ego.
Really my beliefs are simple, and based on LOVE, and RESPECT. In my beliefs, God loves humans.  I feel God wants us to love the earth, and its creations. And if we  do this fully with our intention, we can receive more blessings.
I think Earth is God and should be worshipped, and respected. I think Sun is God, it keeps everything alive. I think the Moon is God, Water is God & I think the Universe is God, as it exists infinitely without explanation or constraints to time. I think we are all reflections of the all encompassing God. BUT,  I think man has been too curious and analyzed and murdered the simple beauty that is life and have been restrained from our full potential because of it. I think Man has so much potential to be better reflections of God, but we are constrained by the hands of time, controlled by our egos and hate, and have been a source of mass destruction to our planet.
 We should only be ashamed of ourselves in the way we treat our planet, our animals, our people, its time for a change.
 
This post is just about God, I will have to save the topic of Satan for another blog.