Category Archives: Love

Parallels 14 – Piss, like Love

I loved you
like a man loves a woman he never touches, only
writes to, keeps little photographs of. I would have
loved you more if I had sat in a small room rolling a
cigarette and listened to you piss in the bathroom,
but that didn’ happen. your letters got sadder.
your lovers betrayed you. kid, I wrote back, all
lovers betray. it didn’ help.

– excerpt from Charles Bukowski’s An Almost Made Up Poem, USA, sometime between 1960 and 1990

Karen, take me to the nearest famous city middle
Where they hang the lights
Where it’s random, and it’s common versus common
La di la

I have weird memories of you
Wearing long red socks and red shoes
I have weird memories
I have weird memories of you
Pissing in a sink, I think

I have weird memories of you
The National (lyrics Matt Berninger), City Middle, USA, 2005


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Love (28)

Please pardon the absence; been busy and oddly happy.

We looked closely at the Kharg root. Without admitting it to ourselves, we sensed that there was something feminine about its shape. It was, in fact, a kind of plump, dark-hued pear, with a skin like suede, slightly cracked, the underside was covered in purplish down. From top to bottom the root was divided by a groove that resembled the line of a vertebral column.

The Kharg was very pleasant to touch. Its velvety skin seemed to respond to contact with the fingers. This bulb with its sensual contours hinted at a strange life that animated its mysterious interior.

Intrigued by its secret, I made a scratch on its chubby surface with my thumbnail. A blood-red liquid poured into the scratch mark. We exchanged puzzled looks. “Let me see,” demanded Samurai, taking the Kharg from my hands.

He produced his knife and cut into the bulb of the root of love, following the groove. Then, thrusting his thumbs into the down at the base of the fleshy oval, he pulled them apart smartly.

We heard a kind of brief creak — like the sound of a door frozen fast with ice when it finally yields under pressure.

We all bent forward to get a better view. Within a pinkish fleshy lap we saw a long, pale leaf. It was cuffed up with that moving delicacy often encountered in nature. And it inspired mixed feelings in us: to destroy, to smash this useless harmony, or… We really did not know what should be done with it. And thus for several moments we gazed at the leaf; it was reminiscent of the transparency and fragility of the wings of a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis.

Even Samurai seemed vaguely embarrassed, faced with this unexpected and disconcerting beauty.

Finally, with a brisk movement, he stuck the two halves of the Kharg together and thrust the root into a pocket of his knapsack.
Andrei Makine, Once Upon the River Love, trans. Geoffrey Strachan, Russia/France, 1994

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Love (26)

As it was Nietzsche’s 169th birthday yesterday, here’s a quote from the introduction to Derrida’s Of Grammatology, talking about his La Question du style:

A general reading of Nietzsche’s text would see him as a raging misogynist. But Derrida’s careful reading disengages a more complex collection of attitudes toward woman. Derrida breaks them into three and suggests that each Nitzschean attitude is contiguous with a psychoanalytical “position” – a modality of the subject’s relationship with the object. Summarized, the “positions” would be as follows:

The woman…condemned as…figure or power of lying… He was, he feared such a castrated woman…
The woman… condemned as… figure or power of truth… He was, he feared such a castrating woman…
The woman… recognized, beyond this double negation, affirmed as the affirmative, dissimulating, artistic, Dionysiac… He was, he loved such an affirmative woman.
(QS 265, 267)

– Spivak’s Preface to Derrida’s “Of Grammatology”, quoting Derrida’s “La Question du style”. 1967 in French/France, 1976 in English, USA.

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Love (25)

I see you drinking at a fountain with tiny
blue hands, no, your hands are not tiny
they are small, and the fountain is in France
where you wrote me that last letter and
I answered and never heard from you again.
you used to write insane poems about
ANGELS AND GOD, all in upper case, and you
knew famous artists and most of them
were your lovers, and I wrote back, it’ all right,
go ahead, enter their lives, I’ not jealous
because we’ never met. we got close once in
New Orleans, one half block, but never met, never
touched. so you went with the famous and wrote
about the famous, and, of course, what you found out
is that the famous are worried about
their fame –– not the beautiful young girl in bed
with them, who gives them that, and then awakens
in the morning to write upper case poems about
ANGELS AND GOD. we know God is dead, they’ told
us, but listening to you I wasn’ sure. maybe
it was the upper case. you were one of the
best female poets and I told the publishers,
editors, “ her, print her, she’ mad but she’
magic. there’ no lie in her fire.” I loved you
like a man loves a woman he never touches, only
writes to, keeps little photographs of. I would have
loved you more if I had sat in a small room rolling a
cigarette and listened to you piss in the bathroom,
but that didn’ happen. your letters got sadder.
your lovers betrayed you. kid, I wrote back, all
lovers betray. it didn’ help. you said
you had a crying bench and it was by a bridge and
the bridge was over a river and you sat on the crying
bench every night and wept for the lovers who had
hurt and forgotten you. I wrote back but never
heard again. a friend wrote me of your suicide
3 or 4 months after it happened. if I had met you
I would probably have been unfair to you or you
to me. it was best like this.

Charles Bukowski, An Almost Made Up Poem, USA, can’t find the date, but common sense says it’s between 1960 and 1990.

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Love (24)

That week, in tribute to December, I wrote another bold column: “How to be Happy on a Bicycle at the Age of Ninety.

On the night of her birthday I sang the entire song to Delgadina, and I kissed her all over her body until I was breathless: her spine, the side with the mole, the side of her inexhaustible heart. As I kissed her the heat of her body increased, and it exhaled a wild, untamed fragrance. She responded with new vibrations along every inch of her skin, and on each one I found a distinctive heat, a unique taste, a different moan, and her entire body resonated inside with an arpeggio, and her nipples opened and flowered without being touched. I was beginning to fall asleep in the small hours when I heard something like the sound of multitudes in the sea and a panic in the trees that pierced my heart. I went to the bathroom and wrote on the mirror: Delgadina, my love, the Christmas breezes have arrived.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Memories of My Melancholy Whores (originally Memoria de mis putas tristes, Colombia, 2004

Sorry for disappearing for a bit, currently doing my best not to abandon this blog. The name change is a sign of that, as well as a quote from an absolutely superb bit by W. H. Auden, which I’ll post around here soon enough. If you’re reading this, thanks for sticking around.

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Love (23)

I´d like to say the fridge
was clean, but look at the rusty
streaks down the back wall
and the dusty brown pools
underneath the salad crisper.

And this is where I´ve lived
the past two weeks, since I was pulled
from the vegetable garden.
I´m wild for him: I want to stay crunchy
enough to madden his hard palate and his tongue,
every sensitive part inside his mouth.
But almost hour by hour now, it seems,
I can feel my outer leaves losing resistance,
as oxygen leaks in, water leaks out
and the same tendency creeps further
and further towards my heart.

Down here there´s not much action,
just me and another, even limper, lettuce
and half an onion. The door opens so many,
so many times a day, but he never opens
the salad drawer where I´m curled in a corner.

There´s an awful lot of meat. Strange cuts:
whole limbs with their grubby hair,
wings and thighs of large birds,
claws and beaks. New juice
gathers pungency as it rolls down
through the smelly strata of the refrigerator,
and drips on to our fading heads.

The thermostat is kept as low as it will go,
and when the weather changes
for the worse, what´s nearest
to the bottom of the fridge starts to freeze.
Three times we´ve had cold snaps,
and I´ve felt the terrifying pain
as ice crystals formed at my fringes.

Insulation isn´t everything in here:
you´ve got to relax into the cold,
let it in at every pore. It´s proper
for food preservation. But I heat up
again at the thought of him,
at the thought of mixing into one juice
with his saliva, of passing down his throat
and being ingested with the rest
into his body cells where I´ll learn
by osmosis another lovely version
of curl, then shrivel, then open again to desire.

Jo Shapcott, Vegetable Love, the UK, 1992

Maybe try reading Andrew Marvell’s ‘To his coy mistress’ for some sort of… intertextual background.

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Love (22)

Madame de Saint-Ange: The most entire liberty, Eugenie. On my side, I did everything I wished without his raising any obstacles, but I took no lover: I was too fond of pleasure for that. Unluck woman, she who is attached; she needs but take a lover to be lost, while ten scenes of libertinage, repeated every day, if she wishes, vanish into the night of silence instantly they are consummated. I was wealthy: I had young men in my pay, they fucked me incognito, I surrounded myself with charming valets, assured of tasting the sweetest pleasures with me upon condition of discretion, certain they would be thrown out-of-doors if they so much as opened their mouths. You have no idea, dear heart, of the torrent of delights into which, in this manner, I plunged. Such is the conduct I will always urge upon every woman who would imitate me. During my twelve married years I have been fucked by over ten or twelve thousand individuals… and in the company I keep I am thought well-behaved! Another would have had lovers; by the time she exchanged the first for the second she would have been doomed.
– (predictably) the Marquis de Sade, Philosophy in the Bedroom (La Philosophie dans le Boudoir), France, 1795


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