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To the Vexed, Voracious and Voluptuous



A.J. Goldmann's literary and cinematic experimentations



Updated: 2015-01-23T00:58:57.861-08:00

 



Guided Tours of Hell

2010-08-14T05:09:33.582-07:00

Dear Readers,

Two weeks ago, I took part in a study tour of Auschwitz for young journalists. I am attached an album of the photos I took there (and on route in Krakow). The portfolio's title derives from a book by Francine Prose.

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Under the Lotus Tree

2010-07-13T08:00:47.394-07:00

Dear Readers,

Thanks to my growing obsession with issuu, I present the following for your delectation and delight: an album of color photography from my 2006 trip to India with a class of masters students at the Columbia Journalism School.

Enjoy!




Le Monde Renversé

2010-07-09T02:27:06.641-07:00


Having recently discovered the superb online publishing platform ISSUU, I submit for your delectation and delight a revised, formatted collection of the stories that have hitherto appeared on this blog. Enjoy!


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Lilith

2008-10-10T03:39:08.788-07:00

She was 5’6” standing in black stockings and leg warmers
All ruddy cheeks and cold feet
Breasts that heaved with confusion and longing
The velvet landscape of her belly resolving into a slender triangle

She was hungry kisses and soft piercing eyes
Long white legs oddly rooted to the red floor
Draped in my linen blazer, reluctant to leave
On her way to use the toilet

She was sensitive and flattering in my bed
Wincing at my scratches and biting oscillations
Swooning as I drew her up
In a rocking coital posture

She was mine for a thousand musical kisses
Aching suspensions and flying crescendos
The pitch-perfect violin to my scordatura viola
In Mozart’s sublime Sinfonia Concertante

She was beauty waking up at twilight
Made even lovelier by fatigue
Stubborn to bid goodbye to obfuscating night
Until our polyglot communion faded into silence

There is a burning in my ribs



The World Turned Upside Down: #114

2007-11-02T07:43:55.660-07:00

“The Axe Already Lies in the Roots”Adam Joachim Goldmann Bantcho Bantchevsky slept late on Saturdays. He would allow himself to rise at noon, having spent the nightlong dreaming of the opera he had seen the previous evening, and would awake, refreshed, to a morning ritual of coffee and the Arts & Leisure section of the Times. The rarebit he usually made himself at midnight before retiring would aid the vividness of these reveries, which he considered as essential epilogues to the performances themselves. What’s more, these dreams had a corrective effect on the imperfections and kinks in the actual production, and would grant him an opportunity to experience as if anew the work in a flawless and perfectly realized incarnation. Every aspect was meticulously replicated: the most dazzling sets; the most powerful lyrical and dramatic singers. As he rose to great the day, Batcho would relish the aesthetic experience possible only in the privacy of his unconscious. This gave him a certain degree of pride. He felt that few, if any, of the countless opera-lovers he knew were capable of such sheer, unadulterated artistic enjoyment. This is not to say that he often felt the performances he did attend almost ritualistically (had for the past 30 years been attending almost nightly) in any major way deficient. He knew well the opera houses of Europe from his travels before the war and had known all the great European singers of the day, many intimately. As much as he admired the artistry and integrity of the European tradition, he found himself at odds with the direction in which European opera had run in the wake of the Second World War. As much, his greatest admiration was reserved for the Met, and their unparalleled roster of talent, the sheer enormity of their stage and the delirious and unmatched spectacle they brought to him nightly. Yet even these could not begin to compete with the nocturnal imaginings he experienced once he returned home, ate his rarebit and laid his head down on his feather pillow, his one material extravagance. He would then become the supreme artistic and musical director of the only opera house he praised and lauded without reservation, the one inside his own head. There the great singers of the past sang their roles with technical and expressive perfection. There one never had to worry about uneven tempi or overpowering brass: about awkward scenery or stiff acting. Every element was as it should be, the platonic ideal of the Gesamtkunstwerk. He knew that he would never die in his own bed, the theater of his grand operatic imagination. Though a widower and a private singing teacher, Bantcho was very much a public personality. And even if he hadn’t found the theatrical success that he’d expected to when he arrived in New York 35 years ago, he had still managed to hang out with the right crowd, the fashionable set of the New York classical music scene. Over the years he had secured invitations to parties, receptions and cocktail hours at some of the city’s most exclusive nightclubs, and had hobnobbed with Bernstein and Domingo (he kept a framed picture of himself and Domingo in his bathroom). He had lost precious little of his charm through the years. At 80, he was still as charismatic as when he’d arrived some 30 years ago, shortly after the war, those perhaps not so much as in his great performing days before the war. Yes, he had hoped that New York would have been more willing to employ his talent. But he had arrived in the mid-1950s, a middle-aged man with a thick accent, no longer the youthful charlatan who had taken Sofia by storm a quarter century earlier. He knew well that he was charismatic, but he had not altogether succeeded in turning this talent into a sellable commodity. Still, he was loved and respected by his few pupils, friends at the opera who furnished him with free tickets and passes, and the four adorable grandchildren who wrote to him constantly fr[...]



The World Turned Upside Down Part 13: The Blockdragger

2007-04-26T11:50:39.145-07:00

Adam Joachim GoldmannProverb no. 13 - He who drags the block is an individual unhappy in love: who loves but is unloved in return.We see a solitary figure in red stocking, a cap and black shoes dragging a wooden stool to the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea. A few hours and the horrid year would be over. Gustav, of course, knew that no magical transformation would accompany the ringing of bells from Martinskirche. Still, he fooled himself into thinking that this arbitrary marker of time not only symbolized, but could in fact, accelerate his long-hoped-for departure. He had, for some time, felt as if a movement in the symphony of his life were drawing slowly to a close. Now, he was sure that the mere act of scribbling “1896” at the top of his letter to Johanna the next morning would bring him appreciably closer to leaving Kassel. He still had no fixed destination; Leipzig and Prague attracted him greatly (although both his applications were pending.) He was certain of returning in time to Vienna: but that goal was a long way off. He could reach the imperial capital – the only place where he felt a sense of home – only after much wandering. In the coach, he glanced over the letter that had been brought to him during the afternoon’s rehearsal. He knew immediately from the neat and ornamented chirography that it was in Frau Neumann’s hand. “Herr Mahler,” it began. Even on the page, that form of address coming from her rang false. It was a silly precaution that came from a woman who lived in fear of her husband’s jealousy. The contents of the letter were chaste and proper, without a hint of intrigue. “Enjoyed greatly your Freischütz of Thursday last...expecting great things from Robert le diable (although, don’t you feel that Meyerbeer gets dull after a while)…the critic from the Kasseler Zeitung (a friend of Herr Neumann’s) was over last night and said he hoped your contact would be renewed…Warm wishes for the new year.” The coach stopped and Gustav folded the letter up. He was about to stuff it back when he noticed a hastily written Nachscrift on the reverse side. The light was bad and he had to squint through his glasses to make the message out. “Won’t you come over one of these days and tell me about Fraulein Richter, who I hear is your latest découvertement. Who knows, you may yet raise her talent up to the level of her beauty.” Gustav became aware of a chill pervading the carriage and saw that the coachman held open his door. He heard the clamor of people on the sidewalk on the way to festivities. He waited in the coach until they passed, pressing his hands against his temples, which suddenly ached from the chatter of passers-by. Gustav was irked that his secret had come into Frau Neumann’s hands. Kassel ladies were not such great gossips as the Viennese, whose salons – the most fashionable ones especially – were rumor mills that saw the birth of a dozen new scandals nightly. In Kassel, people tended to mind their own business: a fact that made Frau Neumann’s discovery a greater source of confusion and concern. Gustav wondered how much she knew. He reckoned that she had started with little concrete knowledge and had guessed the rest. Perhaps he had even aided her in the discovery: inadvertently providing valuable clues by dint of telltale variations in his recent behavior. The affair with Johanna was still fresh enough to pique the world’s sensual consciousness. These past few weeks, it had been as if Gustav were wearing a new pair of spectacles and had, furthermore, been hearing the sounds of nature with heightened pitch and frequency. Perhaps Frau Neumann noticed this sudden youthful flush in him and knew instinctively that she could not be its cause. Slowly he began to feel the unforgiving winter seep into his heart. Springtime had taken up residence without attracting attention. But now the secret was out, and breach of confiden[...]



The World Turned Upside Down Part 94: The Blue Coat

2007-03-20T02:23:42.745-07:00

The following story is part of a larger collection and should be regarded as a work in progressAdam Joachim Goldmann Proverb no. 94 – “Any women who gladly accepts offers here and there must hang the blue cloak on her husband.” (We see a younger woman in a red gown drape a turquoise cape over an elderly man. Her eyes are downcast, her expression stern. He is hunched over, looking away, and clutches at a wooden cane. ) Everett McCay was known as the toughest Yankee businessman this side of the Atlantic. But, he had not entirely withstood the lure of culture and tradition during his long period of self-imposed exile, both in Britain and on the continent. Foremost among these effects was the deep love that he harbored for the European stage. He could be found most nights at one of the many playhouses that were scattered along the West End. He considered his tastes neither conservative nor modern: merely refined. As such he would not have them pigeonholed and resented the canonizing tendencies of certain theatrical societies. He was especially fond of Chekhov, Strindberg and Ibsen, but not – as was fashionable at the time among certain coxcombical critics - to the expense of Shaw and Wilde, and certainly not of the Bard himself. Still, he surprised not a few of his friends when, in his 60th year, the perennial bachelor determined to give his patronage in the form of nuptials. The lady in question was a gifted actress attached to an artistically progressive and modern troupe that McCay suspected of harboring socialist allegiances. She had recently started her career, but was such a presence, that even in the bit roles, which she was given, she managed to steal the performance away from her more established costars. She was still in the first flush of youth and her talent and beauty commingled to mesmerize and enchant audiences. Everett, who knew well the dangers of speculating, was certain that she was destined for great things. Otherwise, why would he have made it his business to support her fledgling career? He had, in the past placed his money on all sorts of ventures, gold digging in the Yukon and diamond harvesting in Africa. The days of great adventure and activity were behind him. Since the war broke out, he had confined himself to less daring enterprises, such as importing American cotton and wool to the allied countries. War was good for business, even if dealing in fabrics and dealing in jewelry were not equally profitable. And though he had, of late, parted with more capital that was his wont, he still had more than a little to gamble on an ingénue. An old business associate who knew of McCay’s love for the theater had recommended the small theater and it’s troupe, which called itself the Laughing Cock. McCay had neglected to find the small stage near Charing Cross, where nightly a small band of actors, lead by their French director Pierre Jalousie night-after-night brought to life intriguing entertainments in innovative and inventive productions. McCay instead found himself at a fundraiser dinner for the Laughing Cock. McCay, though unused to the relative frugality and squalor of the theater, with its modest dimensions, seemed untroubled by the lack of ornament and formality. The table was set upon the stage and McCay found that he shared company with some wealthy eccentrics – attired as elegantly as he - who bankrolled the theatres and made its patronage their business, and the varied members of the troupe, who ranged in age from fourteen to fifty seven. At dinner, he sat next to one of the troupe’s most recent additions and youngest members, Lynn Callow, a self-possessed Manchesterian. Quite without realizing it, the girl worked her charms on the aging businessman, who had recently been prone to meditating on mortality and had been more and more in want of steady companionship. As far as Lynn could tell, that first meeting was [...]



New Photography Site

2007-02-10T13:06:42.040-08:00

Hello All,

I've set up a new site for my photography. It's called Theater of Desire and can be accessed at:
http://theaterofdesire.blogspot.com



COMIX

2007-02-09T08:52:44.302-08:00

Greetings to my throngs of fans! I'm taking this comic book class with Art Spiegelman, yes. The Art Spiegelman. Anyway, it's really given me a renewed appreciation for comixs, such as I never ever had growing up. My dad got a new macbook and I see that one of the applications loaded onto it is a primitive comicbook making software, so I used it in conjunction with photo booth (which my father can't get over) and had a little with it this morn'. Anyway, the rather hair-raising result of my kibitzing can be found by following the thumbnail below. Enjoy.

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A Short Film About Killing

2006-12-10T12:57:52.665-08:00

USA / 2006 /6 mins/ DV / Color / dir. Adam Joachim Goldmann & Abraham Lev Weiss
Music: Radiohead, Pachabel, Manchini, Nina Simone

Dedicated to the memory of Kieslowski

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The Jewish Wife

2006-10-17T16:25:42.426-07:00

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Production History:


I recently came across this 16mm short that I made during one very dull day over winter break several years ago. I enlisted the aid of my faithful hound, Alfie the Pomeranian and my trusty Czech marionette Franz Kafka. Together, we read through a stack of scripts until deciding on a one act by Bert Brecht. While the stars rehearsed their lines, I loaded my Krasnagosk-3 with a reel of Kodak B&W reversable and got my studio ready, cleaning up, laying down the rug and deploying props with discernment. I borrowed an old phone from a neighbor and used a few spare lamps for the lighting. The result - as I hope you will be able to see - far exceeded my wildest expectations. In post-production, I got a call from my producer that Saul Bass, who was originally to do the titles, had died. Quickly, I scrambled to see what last minute provisions I could make. In the end, I convinced Peter Greenaway to design the intertitles. He faxed them over from his estate - Swineshire - in the marshes of Wales. I was splicing the film together when the most beautiful music drifted my way. It was the opera singer upstairs who was rehearsing for a concert that evening of Kindertotenlieder. I made a bootleg and used it as the soundtrack. The premiere took place later that evening in the Red Room Cinema. Both the stars were in attendence, while Brecht, Mahler and Saul Bass watched from above.


It was an historic event, a truly historic event.





Self-Portraits

2006-09-18T20:58:28.866-07:00

Here's a selection from a series of Self-Portraits I did last Spring and recently digitized. Sorry for the lousy resolution.

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Symphony in H

2006-09-18T23:09:28.730-07:00

You await me in perfect stillness
Naked body glistening
Skin soft with dew
Hair the fragrance of orchids

My approach dissolves your statuesque poise
As you lengthen to admit me
Hands smoothing and caressing
To the tempo of our desire
Shaping and crafting
The symphony of our two bodies

With small gestures, we hush the strings or rouse the oboes
And grasp the air that carries the sweet music
As it transitions gracefully: Vivace-Allegro-Allegretto

From the infectious rondo to the melancholy adagietto
We entangle in aching suspensions
Yearning diminishments, blissful resolutions

Pulses quickening at the snare drums’ fearful entrance
Steadying at the agile bounce of the cellos’ glissando
Leaping at the violas’ playful pizzicato
Halting at the wail of a clarinet

At the cymbal crash of the crescendo
Every muscle thrills and tightens
Then melts and thaws
As the winds thin out



Berlin

2006-08-09T12:28:03.696-07:00

Soon, now, my darling, we shall meet
In the reunified city
Where East meets West
And Old meets New
A city that makes everything
A thing of beauty
So burdened with history and so free

We shall make this land
Our home for a day or two
Set out on a scavenger hunt
To find the remnants
Of all, that once was
And will never be again

But we will dance in the colonnades
And sing in the boulevards
And laugh in the bars
While the monuments
Testament to a chartered past
Bear witness to our love

The pigeons themselves
Squatters, unofficial residents
Of the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate
Will testify to the miracle of our reunion

The gold stones themselves
Will rise up from the earth
To rejoice in our delight

The books of the Opernplatz
Their pages will flap felicitously
To see us so much alive

Victory herself will smile at us
And the needle at Alex will broadcast
Our joy into every living room

We will sail through the streets on a mighty ship
Eight sails and fifty canons strong
Toppling the remains of an imaginary wall
Liberating millions in our wake

Parading our love through the grass
Hanging ribbons and streamers from branches and lampposts
Swinging open the iron gates of sprawling cemeteries
To raise the dead from the sleep of centuries

Then at night in our bed
We will draft a new constitution
Our lips will seal the pact
Your arms will vouchsafe for security
And we will wake to reap the fruits
Of our revolution



Tea Ceremony

2006-07-03T15:09:09.653-07:00

Between a cedar and a willow
A low table of petrified wood
Its roots fastened to the thirsty earth
Its bejeweled surface warmed by the sun’s soft kisses

You fold back the linen cover
Careful not the upset the faint blue patterns
Of dragons playing amid the milky white

From the jewel-box of your bosom
You select a young tea, plucked in early April
Bearing the aroma of salt from the ocean winds

In my ears echo
The sound of waves breaking
And the rocking of the sea

And you, froth on the daydream
Bend over the stone well
Kindle the lime wood fire

Steamy waters, refreshing mist
Open my pores with soothing minerals
While you irrigate the forest floor

Awake, o, latent spice and flavor
Perform your liquid alchemy
And lull me into a hazy, somnambulistic state

Let flow the life-granting dew
In a fine, steady stream
Gentle bubbles to the surface float

Imagining the lips concealed from view
I kiss the tea as I would kiss you
And feel the balm of boiling liquid
Like the caress of your soft palms
On the back of my mouth

Tea sucks me up
Making every artery, every limb
Pulsate, tinge and tingle
Purging and anointing me

Now a darker, stronger brew thrills me
Silencing all the past sniffling of my heart
Creating a beautiful white
Where my mind once was

A soft blanket of quiet swaddles me
And on the forest, a vibrant hush
For we communicate without words

Next I feel a cooler, milder embrace
Slither through me with delicious ease
Its sweetness travels straight to my throbbing breast
Which urges softly for your trust

For I am by love fully infused
Deeply steeped in the waters I drain
As you read in the leaves my fate
And kneel beside me to refill my cup

Lips find their way unguided
Slurping greedily the sweetness of this final cup
In my mind and on my tongue
An exquisite arrangement

The harmony of flavors sings in my body
Kissing away all strife and bitterness
Plunging me into tranquil waves of tea

My cup drifts gently away and I swim to you
My darling, my Darjeeling
With effortless thrusts and strokes
To the rhythm of the singing source



Journey to the East

2006-06-18T15:54:40.650-07:00

Adam Joachim Goldmann

At night I take my Journey to the East
Lying beside you on a bed perfumed with exotic spices

Slowly, I draw back the finely woven silken sheet
Which floats away on the gentle waves
To rest, with my ship, on the ocean’s floor

And I gaze on the map of your body
As an explorer to a brave new continent come

For my Journey to the East is
A journey through your body
Ever fresh, ever new

I wander the slender peninsulas of your legs
Looking out over the waters that bore me to you
As the wind makes ripples in the sand
Of the smooth beaches of your hips

Then I travel the Silk Road of your wavy silhouette
And climb the wooden ladder of your rib cage
Which rocks gently to the beating of your heart, a ginger root

I run up the gentle mounds of your turmeric-scented breasts
Finding solace in the shade of your miso colored areolas

For my journey to the East is
A journey through your body
Full of spice and relief

And I read with delight the pillow book of your body
Which I write with a soft yet firm brush
Lengthwise along the fertile plain of your arched back
As you dictate, in foreign syllables and tones, my path

The land grows dark as I wander on
Through the valley into which you usher me
The air speaks my name
Echoing from peaceful mountaintops
And a narrow trail of sesame guides my way

For my journey to the East is
A journey through your body
An unfathomable mystery

“Go on,” you say, “into the forest of my Hermit Kingdom,
Where you will marvel at sights beautiful and strange.”

Down by a babbling brook where unborn children sing
I pluck a lotus that contains a single black pearl
That stares back at me from the mirror
Of the life-giving stream

For my journey to the East is
A journey through your body
Rich with wonder and shimmering possibility

And I kiss the wet lotus petals of your lips
As I stare into the watery pearls of your eyes
Smoothing back the soft seaweed of your hair
As I clutch the ripe, narrow bamboo of your spine
And grip the moist shells of your shoulder blades

For my journey to the East is
A journey through your perfect body
Small, dark and delicate

And I bring the lotus and the pearl
To the temple of our love
And offer it up on the altar of our bed
With jasmine and with juniper
While you sing with ecstasy the Song of the Earth

Sing those incomprehensible words
Whose music I so love to hear
As I draw gently on the opium pipes of your nipples
And drink, like tea, your tears of joy

For my journey to the East is a journey
Through the landscape of my dreams
Through the landscape of my dreams

BERLIN 2006



Love and Death at the Cine Ideal

2006-04-02T14:56:11.900-07:00

Adam Joachim Goldmann“Look what Mr. Kubrick says here, he says ‘a film is or should be more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings.’” Alejandro folds back the pages of the issue of Cahiers du Cinema that his uncle has brought back for him from Paris. The other boys crowd around, looking at the pictures. He is the only one who speaks French and might, for all they know, be making it up. But they trust him, since he was the oldest. That and they don’t think he could come up with something that elegant on the spot.It is noisy inside the club and Luis, who has arrived late and pulled up a chair behind the smallish table, has difficulty making out the conversation. He taps on Javier’s shoulder to ask what has been said, but Javier is busy discussing the point with Alejandro. Luis tries for several minutes to try and piece together the tête-à-tête, but several other boys quickly chime in, raising their voices and gesticulating. Luis gives up and leans back in the unadorned wooden chair. He takes another sip of port and, for lack of anything better to do, fumbles for a cigarillo. He lights up and makes a renewed attempt to join the conversation.“There can be little doubt that Mr. Kubrick is both a philosopher and a poet.” Luis looks around at the older faces, some of them sprouting facial hair, to see if his comment has registered. Alas, it seems his words are lost somewhere in the ever-thickening cloud of smoke that hangs in the poorly lit room. He looks around at the others. There are five of them, all older boys. They meet every Monday in the smoke-and-booze laced atmosphere of La Fidula to discuss fine things like film and poetry, and listen to jazz. Luis, who is only 13, has impressed Raul with his knowledge of cinema and literature and has for the past few weeks been admitted as a guest to these weekly gatherings. Mostly, Luis is in awe of Alejandro. He is only three years Luis’ senior, but already possesses so great an amount of refinement, maturity and charisma. Poetry seems constantly to be rolling off his tongue with clarity and ease. His eloquence is matched by his physical grace; every gesture seems at once perfectly calculated yet utterly spontaneous. Luis’ observes Alejandro and essays to perfect the nonchalance with which he pulls gently on a cigarillo or downs a shot of whiskey; and no one is as well versed in all fields of literature, music, politics and film. Luis would be glad assume the mantle of disciple, if the older boy did not treated him with such indifference and outright dismissiveness. Luis fears that Alejandro secretly despises him - for what? his youth, his ignorance and his pretensions – and only allows him to be part of the weekly gatherings to humor Raul.Again, Luis’ spine meets the unforgiving lounge chair and he takes a long drag on his cigarillo. Luis tries to enjoy the sweet smoke that swirled around in his mouth, and forget how out of place he always feels at these gatherings. Soon the musicians shuffle across the floor and over to the ancient upright piano at the front of the room. “Oh, that saxophonist’s quite superb,” Alejandro points out authoritatively. “He’s from Barcelona. It will be interesting to see what he does.”The Catalan musician wets his lips and raises the instrument to his mouth. He lets out a wailing E and climbs up solemnly to an A. “Why if it isn’t Els Segadors!” Alejandro chuckles. There are scattered boos and hisses from dark corners of the club. A table in the very front clears out and leaves. But mostly, warm applause ripples throughout the audience. In t[...]



Photo Gallery #1

2006-02-28T00:58:03.013-08:00

I'm currently taking a photo course and will be posting some of my recent work shortly. For the time being, here's a selection of photographs that I snapped over the past 6 months or so. Enjoy!



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3 Stories

2006-03-01T22:47:11.936-08:00

This posting contains three short stories that were written over the past five months. The first appears in its second draft; the second in its third; and the first in its first. Enjoy! I. A Nice Pair of LegsAdam Joachim Goldmann “The attraction of the connoisseur to any work of art is in part beyond description, and it is generally agreed that the desire to possess constitutes but a fraction of the attraction. While the eye may be the organ initially stimulated, the affair is soon transmuted to something beyond mere infatuation: namely understanding. It is thus that, at the risk of sounding obvious, we say that in order to truly see art, it is incumbent on the viewer to have some requisite knowledge in how to look at it.” The pencil was poised threateningly at the paragraph it had just written. Its owner’s eyes quickly scanned it three times over. It was no good. Murray had asked for something simple and to the point: half-a-dozen lines that would inspire confidence and good cheer as a word of greeting for the company’s homepage. The man rubbed the eraser vigorously on his moleskin. Pinkish residue spilled onto the description of Lot 576, a Klee watercolor. He dusted it off the catalogue and onto the pants-legs of his silver Brooks Brothers suit. At a slight tug on the fabric that clung snugly to his left knee, the pinkish particles dispersed. He continued with his revision, indifferent to the auctioneeress’ fierce determination. The lot in question was a minor work, barely identifiable as a Klee, and it could hardly be expected to fetch more than a fraction of the opening bid. The well-dressed gentleman retracted the tip of his pencil and stuck it behind his ear, feeling as he did so, the exquisite softness of his prematurely graying hair. He turned again to the catalogue and flipped to a dog-eared page. Again, he reviewed the description and provenance of the work he knew well. It gave him a special thrill to think that he had charted Lot 616’s trajectory with such doggedness. For nearly half-a-year now, he had barely pursued anything aside from this monumental work. Surely, such an acquisition would represent the greatest triumph of his short and unusually blessed career. The artist of Lot 616 was barely known outside his native Holland, and even there he was considered by the critics and public alike as an essentially provincial, even marginal figure whose importance for art – if indeed his work had any – could scarcely have a wide-reaching influence. But the graying man in the silver suit saw through what his detractors had termed “cold, inhuman tones” and “derivative prosaic form” and found in the aging Dutchman’s work a surprising deal of human sympathy and genuine originality. For some months now, the artist in question had been gravely ill. Some of Holland’s more youthful voices had been clamoring for recognition of his singular genius and stature. So far, their pleas and proclamations had fallen on mostly deaf ears. The man in the silver suit hoped that their impassioned voiced would continue to go unheeded: at least, that is, until he succeeded in acquiring a sizable collection of the work of an artist whose death – like his neglect – was an event that was to be both tragic and propitious. The man in the silver suit sat impatiently in the fourth row, shifting his weight this way and that, crossing, uncrossing and re-crossing his legs with as much frequency as his pencil, which kept dashing out the more cumbersome words and clauses, while adding new ones of grace and simplicity. The man persist[...]



Quintet

2006-02-27T10:09:07.113-08:00

EveningWhen the evening was spentAnd you were tiredWe covered ourselves with baby blanketsAnd laid down to restWe spoke of many thingsOf parents, careers and LoveI listened as best I could but could not refrainFrom weeping my pathetic songSweetly you asked how you could helpAnd touched my hand (or offered your own)I clung to your fingers despairinglyFearing they might forever slip from my graspSitting in fearful contemplationI admired your sleeping self'Doubting, dreaming dreams –'And then followed suiteIn the morning you awokeYour eyes fluttering, your lips tremblingAnd said that you'd been dreaming Of me.I Am Starved For YouI am starved for you, my loveHave I really gone so long without a kiss or a caressLying here in bed, fasting, I am powerlessTo put you from my mindAnd the emptiness that comes from lack of foodIs nothing next to the void I've felt since you left meYes, we have but a little more time to waitAnd then, you'll return to me, changed perhaps, but not too muchAnd I'll kiss your kiss-deprived lipsAnd stroke your stroke-deprived bodyThe grumblings of my stomach contractingAre nothing compared to the howling of my lovesick and lonely spiritAnd it seems as though going without food and drinkHas made me focus more acutely on how muchI miss you and how much it pains meThat I can't be there with youWe read last night in the book of LamentationsOf the sack of Jerusalem – Jerusalem the whoreSitting on the floor with the lights dimmedYet my grief had no object but youI am starved for you, my loveI lie here thinking what I would doIf you were at my side:I'd feast myself on your loveAnd hold you so you'd never run awayI crave you like a junkie craves cokeAnd the smell of you is enoughTo pique my monstrous appetiteBe glad that you're far awayFor I would devour you entirely with my loveSwallow you up completely and leave no trace of youWinterThough nineteen winters I have seen;Nineteen seasons of snow and frostOf snuggling up by the fireplaceAnd sipping hot cocoa while watchingOld films on TVThough I am no stranger to the bitter coldThe stinging wind and the biting frostI cannot help but await the twentiethWith immense impatienceFor I shall have you by my sideTo warm me and to snuggle with meTo take care of me should I fall illAnd come down with a coldOr else to lay me out on a blanket of snowAnd curl up alongside me like a snow angelGiving me Eskimo kisses and pressing your purple lips to mineSeeking my warmth in the snow palace of Central ParkAnd I shall spread you over me like a woolen blanketAnd cuddle you close to meSipping your kisses like hot chocolateTo warm me up on a icy winter's daySaturdayLast Saturday I kept you waitingOut in the cold, alone with GoetheAs we ascended in the elevatorEmitting strange music, youObserved, "The queue was short"(I concurred)As we waltzed, half tagging alongWith the guided-tour throughCanvases, installations, projections and SandcastlesI inhaled your presence and fed on your soulEven if I kept my distanceOn the descent we held hands,Slowly nearing the end of the rainbow arm-in-armOn the street, in our endless search for a reading roomYou showered me with spontaneous affection…Please forgive me, who have so much to forgive you forMateriaIn a labyrinth of desire and lossMy spirit felt at one with its surroundingsUnburdened by the weight of antiquityTitian's saturated palette gave wayTo a sky the colour of your eyesAnd the air, unpolluted by the dust of ruinsCarried the sweet fragrance of your hairThe decaying city, sinking into its fetid canalsSeduced me with its sini[...]



The Vineyard

2006-02-19T18:13:04.396-08:00

I.

Youthful innocence
Fore’er lock’d
Bows to the touch
And ne’er to be pluck’d

Seducing, seduc’d; both found success
The vintner presses not, content to kiss
Herein a delicate tradedy
Of rak’d vantage; attained luxury

Was vantage that permit’d passion’s slave:
Findingart to avarice in the asking?
For though attain’d by that divine enclave
Purely filter’d, tast’d and enjoy’d in basking

Thus assured, surrender, submit
Amusing, amus’d both in wit

II.

Yard to yard the vintner goes
Marking the yield, sampling few
‘Til chancing ought freshly sown;
Velveteen skin; delicate hue

Gleaming from out the prease
A fragile ruby seeming
The divine complexion leased
Upon this praise ahearing

And rapt, her stem does unfix itself
To be plucked, yet my fingers round her
Crop sensibly that ambrosial pelf
That in descent should suffer

By and by such caress finds no gripe
Ever more the sweet, no more the ripe

III.

Forsak’d amidst the sand
Heaven’s dew attending
Parch’d and arid stands
Unappeas’d, her trunk unbending

In this thirst a wil’d refuse
To petals made poist: precious abuse
As patient, she would, delicate mirage
To have lips enshrined in her visage

Parting her petals most gracious
The self-produc’d dew alfowing
To quench both thirsts rapacious
And aid each other’s growing



More poems and explanation

2006-02-19T17:54:44.616-08:00

Hello there,
As I set this blog up, I'm going through my various papers and document in hopes of locating hitherto lost poems. Here are two more I recently came upon:

The Third Dialogue

I.
You invited me and I accepted
Most willingly I stayed with you
Until words became irrelevant

You turned to me and asked
If we could just let it slide
My lips sealed the pact

I encountered no resistance
No protest or respose
I sought so badly to elicit

The most you did was squeeze my arm
And even that seemed disingenuous
A poor excuse for affection

Neither water nor soap
Succeed in tearing you
From my grip

II.

He's come here doubtless expectant; and I am not able to deny him; though I love him not; though I cannot love
Where the irritant and where the balm; he searches and finds not; he disappoints and is disappointed
The sun also rises; he goes off in its pursuit; I am thus released; go I then to my ablutions

III.

No art could lend its meaning to the experience
Nor find its likeliness in our embrace
Were that beautiful lies could perfume
The repulsive stench of that evening

IV.
12:ooam
Got tipsy on fruit and vinegar; the holy tongue profaned; lending a certain magnetic gravity

1:00am
Stumbled back together; ins Bett legen and sprechen; dann kussen und liebkosen.

2:00am
Peaceful and calm; slipping from his grasp; deforested, dehydrated, and deluded

V.
3:00am
A corpse in sheets; scattered limbs fragmented and numb; idealist's tragedy

4:ooam
Drawing to a close; corrupt barter; sullied by utter lack of artifice; depravity, malaise; stepped into sunlight and greeted the day.

The Youthful Garden

As when the darkened sky
Cues the world to rest
And begs each watchful eye
Host a phantom guest

Steal I thus in shifty fashion
Into her youthful garden
In a fit of boisterous passion
To beg my lady's pardon

My presence sensed she shows concern
For what I will to beg of her
No words from me alas do earn
What tender tact alone can cure

I hold her close and then release
And find to my surprise
My former paramour has ceased
Has changed before my eyes

Lifting the veil, to day I wake
Craving night to cloak heartbreak



Two Nocturnal Poems

2006-02-19T18:40:55.350-08:00

A Valediction: Forbidding Slumber

As we talk and breathe
Inside this glass
The desert does invert itself
With scope and pace so fearsome
None can be but buried
Towards this end we rehearse each night:
To hasten our entombment
In those sands left as souvenirs
On our lashes and eyelids
And so seldom do we dream
What we ought to or desire
And rarer still are these imaginings
Our remembrance granted.
And still, of our age one third is dreamt
Had languor an antidote
I would be first to imbibe
Spending day and night wide awake
To make heard my voice from out the desert

Nightly Deception

When pupils’ reflection
Our senses preclude
This foolish quartet waxes upset

With nightly deception
The eyes are imbued
Tainted a dual flibbertigibbet

By this delusion, do they
Being sound, smell, touch and taste
Purport an unconscious foray
Furtive cravings exhumed and graced

Yet relations rest not their place
Or fate in dreamy guile
In daytime, lovers be got with grace
Though their duties be nocturnal



Inaguration

2006-02-19T11:07:20.460-08:00

This blog is an online journal of my writings. Enjoy!