Thursday, November 09, 2006

what a tart...

so i've been labelled on the strengths (or apparent weaknesses) of my profile picture. a tart. and what a tart i must be. there is a fine line between art and trash, pornography and art, trash and pornography. i'm sure its not worth my while to show you the trash, and yet, when the beauty and naive essence of the human figure is the question, where is the line drawn between art for arts sake, and art for pleasure's? isn't the purpose of all art to provoke pleasure? or at the very least a response?

and 'tart', (see comments on my last post) whomever you may be, thankyou for rewarding me with such a response. i'd very much like to read what else you have to say, feel free to comment as you would. i cannot justify your opinion, but you are welcome to it. for such a strong label, based on an image, it does not have much to back it up. on the other hand, there is art.

an image by polish artist tamara de lempicka - she stares at the viewer, completely comfortable in who she is, baring her breast almost daintily, like forbidden fruit, amused to incite a response, but too blaise to really mind.

another lempicka - one of my favourites. she revels in her body, curvaceous and voluptuous, she looks to be basking in post orgasmic bliss. but shock, if i liken art to pornography.

this is art, people. these artists are revered world wide, they celebrate humanity. and so they should. don't even get me started on the beauteous creations of the renaissance period. one can hardly call boticelli or ghirlandaio's curvaceous muses by the trashy title of 'tart'.

Armadeo Modigliani's reclined nude hints at sunday mornings after nights of revelry. her toned body and perky breasts arouse images of sex, purely and simply. she stretches like a cat, waiting for her lover to return to bed. what an outcry there would have been if the jewish community (of which modigliani was a fervent member) had thought this to be tarty pornography, especially in the early 1900's.

Man Ray - pioneer in the photographic world. world reknowned, he took enormous leaps and bounds both pushing the boundaries of art and exploring a new medium. and yet, all of his muses were whores, happy to get off the street and pose. its rare to see one looking happy, and even in modern pornography, it is rare to see a girl with a genuine smile on her face. and yet, this too, is art.

Paul Wunderlich, respected professor of graphic art and painting at the University of Fine Arts, Hamburg for many years, took this photo of a reclining nude in 1971. a fairly liberal period, i know, however he has been awarded extensive acclaim by many art organisations across the world - hardly the reward deserving of a pornographer.

and now to the final inquest. where is the line drawn between a celebration of the human anatomy, and pornography? to me, it is only the base nature of humanity that creates the concept of 'pornography' and attaches such a negative allegory to it. if i am guilty of posting a pornographic image (or tarty, as my anonymous recreant critic would put it), i am only guilty of one thing. in my mind, that is art. in yours? perhaps therein lies a deeper question.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

and pearl buttons...

this one's for jade. the little girl that lives in our back room, taking the red pill to stay in wonderland and see just how far the rabbit hole goes.

a bitter pill to swallow, but better for it. we're proud of you.

missing him, missing myself...

i keep the windows shut, as much to keep the world out as to keep his smell in. the apartment, exactly as he left it, is slightly dusty, particles of dirt from the building site down the road somehow finding their way inside. its only been two weeks, but as i sit here in his space, i feel lonely.

why i long for someone so desperately, why i cannot be happy in my own company - this strikes me as both odd and tragic. indeed, the tragedy is laudable, as are my promises never to attach myself so physically and emotionally irredeemably, to someone else. i am not a limpet. and yet, as i sit here, looking at the eclectic mix of frequent flyer paraphernalia, usb keys and rollie papers on his coffee table, my body longs for him with a passionate pain that shocks me - i hadn't realised i'd fallen so hard for him till now.

part of my brain finally switches into gear and asks the inevitable 'why?'. i can't answer it. he's a beautiful boy, true, but how on earth he makes me feel this way and why i long for him so badly are questions to which the answers belong in a mystical land just like elves, gremlins and eskimos.

i open his fridge, and suddenly i grin. half an avocado, gone hard enough to break a window, languishes next to sour cream expiring over a month ago. tomatoes (at least, red furry blobs that smell like italian corpses) canker along with a leathery lettuce and another avocado that, when poked, oozes a mystery substance that looks like it belongs in a diaper.

i explore, relishing the freedom to poke into corners of his life i've not seen before. there isn't much i haven't - he's not a hoarder like me. its minimalistic - the random old cards and mail, a set of mint coins to celebrate his graduation. i didn't realise he graduated with honours. i feel so stupid. i should be studying. damn this blog.

as i give up, and go to bed in his unwashed sheets dressed in one of his shirts, i read his last sms again and a smile creeps onto my face. its nice to be in love.

Friday, November 03, 2006

second class citizen.

i live with a ghost. never here, in body and in mind, rarely here in either. in body - her mind is elsewhere, thinking about Him. He fills her days, her every waking hour. and leaves me behind in His wake. i sit, alone on the couch, thoughts of her, i miss her. its a strange feeling to cohabitate with someone, to know them, and to know that they don't know you. to know that you play second fiddle to everything else in their life.

and when she is here, she complains of her 'second class citizen feelings'. He exults his car, and leaves her behind. and yet, it is his passion. and so, she accepts. am i, then, to accept that He, in turn, is her passion; to take a back seat to their relationship? or is it just that i am jealous? put that way, it seems unjustifiable that i feel the way i do. and who am i to be jealous, anyway? merely a second class citizen. merely her best friend.

i come home, after promises of time to spend together. a promise to get home soon, a promise to do girly things and hang out on the couch. i've had a bad day, and she knows it. and all i want is a little time with her. she's not here. she's never here. she's gone, like a scent lingering on a summer breeze - full of promise but unable to be caught, leaving yet more promises in her wake. she'll be home soon. i give up after an hour and leave.

they pass us in the car as we walk down the street. i don't think they saw us. i walk, determined, to my destination, and drown my sorrows in rum. home again - i sneak in around the back, but lack the perserverance to bother sneaking through my own house to catch them unawares. its not worth the effort.

the effortlessness is mutual.

'oh, you're home'. yes. yes i am, i live here too, apparently. cohabitation is not a prerequisite for communication, i have found. oh, you had a nice night working on the car? good for you, i hope you burn in hell. i'm going to sit here and pout and be selfish. i don't like you right now.

i don't like you at all. go to sleep.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

the basketball bride... part 2

he looks good on the court tonight. tallest of the team, he strides, confident, smiling, waiting for the game to begin. the melee starts; he runs - his long legs outstride the others' two to one, when he wants them to. they steal the ball, he shakes his head and runs, beats them to the other end and stands, shoulders flexed.

he is the rock.

in posession of the ball, his team mate tries and fails to find the basket. surrounded by the enemy, he plucks the ball from their hands and, seemingly effortlessly, tips it into the ring.

he makes it look so easy.

he looks focussed, sitting on the bench, his eyes rarely leaving the game. quarter time, i notice the absence of their coach. they're playing the best i've seen them, and the uptight wog is not even there to see. a brilliant rebound, a simple, fluid move.

glancing over to locate his teammate on the wing, he catches my eye in the bleachers and grins. a split second diversion - he snaps back to the game. they try a messy combination to set up a shot - rebounds, and again. my defender - he pauses for a moment, and in his passivity loses his chance for the ball. they convert and pelt away from him down the court, leaving him to grimace and shake his head. time out, and he is left on the bench. they are deep in discussion - seems to me that they do better to coach themselves. he sits off to the side, still irritated, but moves in to discuss their next attack. in their arrogance, the other team practices shots. they're down four points but, also without a coach, do not lack the self-assuredness to ignore that fact. still on the bench, he stands, hands on hips as i've seen a thousand times before, and watches the other defender bumble through a move.

subbed in, he stands again, defensive, elbows out. he is my rock. the enemy halts before him. not quite, but he makes for a formiddable defense. i need to learn the rules of this game. but this like any other game, is complex, with fouls and signals i don't understand.

they're starting to tire. i now understand the arrogance of the other team. they're fit, and they know it. as my boys begin to flag, their lead diminishes then disappears. 48 them, 42 us. again, my boy tower grabs a rebound from the ring. dribbling it down to their circle, a cross by one of the little guys is too fast for him. again, he shakes his head. down their end, frustrated, he fouls, slamming a palm down onto the hands holding the ball. a minute later, he is there again, all frustration gone as he jokes with the ref. i smile.

they frustrate easily, these boys. five fouls are on the board, against the other team's zero. if that means what i think it means, they'll lose a player next. i hope its the tall blonde oaf. my man sits on the sideline whilst this six foot four ox plays almost a whole game. he carries his weight heavily, lacking the grace his tall frame requires, that so casually carried off by his six-seven teammate. again, their tactics are beyond me.

they've lost it. a minute and a half to play what started off as their best game, and they're nine points down. a shame. they played well though. especially my boy.

defender. tower. strength.

discussions of the soul...

all he could talk of was 'tomorrow', a shining morrow of peace and love and justice in which the human soul, ever through history striving for harmony and perfection, would at last achieve it. and to the coming century he looked for the delivery of the concentrated essence of all the good things of that ideal 'tomorrow'.


'first place, what is the 'soul' of which you speak? show me its location in the human anatomy and then i might believe in it. second place, as we say in our country - 'tomorrow never comes'. we live, always in the here and now, the present. to pin your hopes upon the future is to consign those hopes to a hypothesis, which is to say, a nothingness. here and now is what we have to contend with. third place, how shall you recognise 'perfection' when you see it? you can only define the 'future perfect' by the 'present imperfect', and the present, in which, inevitably, we all live, always seems imperfect to somebody.

'if we abandon the grammatical metaphor, i'd certainly agree with you that this present which we contemporaneously inhabit is 'imperfect' to a degree. but this grievous condition has nothing to do with the soul, or as you might call it, removing the theological connotation, 'human nature'. what we have to contend with here, my boy, is the long shadow of the 'past hist'ric' (reverting back to the grammatical analogy, for a moment), that forged the institutions which create the human nature of the present in the first place.

'its not the human 'soul' that must be forged on the anvil of history, but the anvil itself myst be changed in order to change humanity. then we micht see, if not perfection, then something a little better, or, not to raise too many false hopes, a little less bad.'

--Nights at the Circus, Angela Carter. p240