Dusk

“Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon fields; the sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgundy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries.”
― Jack Kerouac

Carmine

“March 1898

What a strange dream I had last night! I wandered in the warm streets of a port, in the low quarter of some Barcelona or Marseille. The streets were noisome, with their freshly-heaped piles of ordure outside the doors, in the blue shadows of their high roofs. They all led down towards the sea. The gold-spangled sea, seeming as if it had been polished by the sun, could be seen at the end of each thoroughfare, bristling with yard-arms and luminous masts. The implacable blue of the sky shone brilliantly overhead as I wandered through the long, cool and sombre corridors in the emptiness of a deserted district: a quarter which might almost have been dead, abruptly abandoned by seamen and foreigners. I was alone, subjected to the stares of prostitutes seated at their windows or in the doorways, whose eyes seemed to ransack my very soul.

They did not speak to me. Leaning on the sides of tall bay-windows or huddled in doorways, they were silent. Their breasts and arms were bare, bizarrely made up in pink, their eyebrows were darkened, they wore their hair in corkscrew-curls, decorated with paper flowers and metal birds. And they were all exactly alike!

They might have been huge marionettes, or tall mannequin dolls left behind in panic – for I divined that some plague, some frightful epidemic brought from the Orient by sailors, had swept through the town and emptied it of its inhabitants. I was alone with these simulacra of love, abandoned by the men on the doorsteps of the brothels.

I had already been wandering for hours without being able to find a way out of that miserable quarter, obsessed by the fixed and varnished eyes of all those automata, when I was seized by the sudden thought that all these girls were dead, plague-stricken and putrefied by cholera where they stood, in the solitude, beneath their carmine plaster masks… and my entrails were liquefied by cold. In spite of that harrowing chill, I was drawn closer to a motionless girl. I saw that she was indeed wearing a mask… and the girl in the next doorway was also masked… and all of them were horribly alike under their identical crude colouring…

I was alone with the masks, with the masked corpses, worse than the masks… when, all of a sudden, I perceived that beneath the false faces of plaster and cardboard, the eyes of these dead women were alive.

Their vitreous eyes were looking at me…

I woke up with a cry, for in that moment I had recognised all the women. They all had the eyes of Kranile and Willie, of Willie the mime and Kranile the dancer. Every one of the dead women had Kranile’s left eye and Willie’s right eye… so that every one of them appeared to be squinting.

Am I to be haunted by masks now?”

― Jean Lorrain

xx PIERRE xx | our red vibrations [12 Sept 1968 – 11pm]

“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It’s not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time.”

― John Steinbeck

N E V U S

“Do we not each dream of dreams? Do we not dance on the notes of lost
memories? Then are we not each dreamers of tomorrow and yesterday, since dreams
play when time is askew? Are we not all adrift in the constant sea of trial and when all is done, do we not all yearn for ships to carry us home?”
~ Nathan Reese Maher

C O N D I T I O N I N G

We must protect the skin of our babies, and in summer, the responsibility of tempering their exposure to heat becomes magnified. But as they get older, I find sunscreen a metaphor asking me to teach them not to be fearful of life’s rays that they not restrain themselves from swimming in the oceans of their rawness.
~ V

F U R N I S H E D

Do not borrow your neighbors tools because he uses them to construct his own reality. Determine first what you are fixing and who you are fixing it for, then retract your request in remembrance that the tools required are within you already…