Countdown

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The Surrealist-Victor Brauner 1947 The Surrealist-Victor Brauner 1947

Count it down,
Let it begin,
So that we be finished,
Better sooner than later.
We never start something
Without wanting it over,
Done with all that,
Time
To start on something else,
Something brand spanking
New
So in descending order
Because to go down
Is really an ascension
Concentrate hard
On the numbers chosen
Whether it be
696, 695, 694
or
93, 92, 91
Or perhaps just
21
Forever significant
(But everything has significance)
So let the countdown …

She turns over the card and pauses,
Lost in contemplation and glances
Over at the abstracted young man
Looking downwards at the table,
There cannot be any doubt, no,
Not this time for once she is sure:
She waits until his coppered stare
Intermingles with her agate rays
Before speaking, carefully considers
The weight and import of each word
“Do you see this card, Le Bateleur,

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Another Glass of Sangria

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Climax-Gaspar Noé Climax-Gaspar Noé 2018

Near the beginning of Gaspar Noé’s dance-horror movie Climax, we are introduced to the dancers via their audition interviews, which are played on a TV surrounded by VHS titles (it is set in 1996), which include such gonzo avant-garde/horror films as Suspiria, Possession, Salo, Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome and Un Chien Andalou, further signalling (just in case you missed the bloodied body crawling through the snow at the start, and that it is a Noé movie) that what is to follow is going to be a full frontal assault on the senses. Whether you love it or hate it, Climax certainly succeeds as an overwhelming experience.

But before we go down to  Hell, we get a glimpse of Heaven in the extraordinary dance scene. Shot in one very long take, the young and diverse dancers, in their final rehearsal before leaving France to tour America, produce…

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A Mermaid’s Dream House, Casa Battlo

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Deborah J. Brasket

DSCN4459 (2)

When I stepped inside Antoni Gaudi’s Casa Batllo in Barcelona, I felt like I was back on La Gitana, swimming through the coral beds and sea caves. Mesmerized by the mysterious and fantastic shapes I found at every turn, and dazzled by the kaleidoscopic colors that surrounded me, as if refracted through streams of light.

There are no straight lines in this house that floats upward four floors on spiral stairs. The rooms have no corners, only softly rounded contours, detailed by wisps, curls, and bubbles, as if sculpted by waves and etched with sea-foam. Light streams through every window and down stair shafts and through stained glass.

Follow me from ground floor to roof to see more of Gaudi’s masterpiece. All the photos are my own except where otherwise noted. More photos

Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926) was a Spanish architect from Catalonia. His most famous works, Casa Battlo and…

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Tyger Tyger

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The Tyger, written and illustrated by William Blake The Tyger-Written and Illustrated by William Blake from Songs of Experience 1794

The Tyger which was first published in 1794 in  William Blake’s Songs of Experience  was later merged with Blake’s previous collection of 1789 Songs of Innocence as Songs of Innocence and of Experience, showing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul. As with all of Blake’s work it was illuminated and printed by himself.

The Tyger is probably the most famous of Blake’s poems and justifiably so. It is a magical distillation of Blake’s major themes and metaphysics in a short poem of six, four line stanzas with a miraculous melding of form and content. It is in my opinion, the one poem in English literature that comes closest to achieving absolute perfection.

At the time of writing tigers would still have possessed a near mythical status. It is possible that Blake may have seen…

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Occultistry

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Claude Cahun Claude Cahun

Do I need to spell it out for you?
These words of mine are meant
As a spell neither more or less,
A charm to persuade your sweet self
To surrender in absentia and toto,
Give me the power and I promise,
In fact, swear on all that is unholy
To abuse the privilege you
Have so graciously granted, heedlessly,
Recklessly rushing through all
Of love’s myriad delights and mystery,
Imputing a whole lexicon of desire
In the sections of your shadow
Outlined against the bedroom wall,
In the jutting angles of your legs
For I seek the centre, a still point
Where all yearnings will cease
And desist from transmitting
This urgent ungovernable need
To translate the will divine,
This damnable demonic occultistry
That devours yet is never sated.

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The Marriage of Heaven & Hell

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William Blake is the occult artist.  Drawing from the various dissenting and mystical currents that were circulating in late 18th century London he created a personal mythology that is unique in the history of art and literature. As he famously said he must create his own system or be enslaved by another’s man, and Blake followed his own star from beginning to end, never wavering once. Although his later prophetic works are virtually impenetrable, Blake best work (The Songs of Innocence & Expericence; The Marriage of Heaven & Hell, especially the Proverbs of Hell) is incandescent with an unrivalled visionary intensity.

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