B(o)lloggs

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Anonymous 
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»What is as much yours as you are yourself,and what is as little yours as you are yourself?« Augustine asked long ago, and we begin planning a book without having an answer ready, with an open mouth, a fly catching orifice.

The first step in writing is to bring the people to life on the page. Before you can do that you must imagine them, live with them in your mind, and long before that you must dream them up like a patisseur dreams up cupcakes without worrying about customers, but simply to elevate his own consciousness, coddle his cupcakeness, to entertain his heart, to sweeten the creative deal lest it becomes a deal with the devil, generating beauty not out of reverie and substance but out of hubris and soil. The paradox of all art: is it just for me, or does it go beyond me? Alas, there is not the tiniest space left between those two tempers.

The year is 1000 A.D. The character at hand, on the tip of one’s pen as it were, is a young woman of no more than 15 years, her name is Gisela, who one day as if in a dream becomes queen of a brand new kingdom. But it’s not an altogether pleasant dream: if it were a piece of music it would be an overture, an opening to an unknown future – the first queen of a non-nation, a horde, even if she’s only a girl and comes from far away like a fairy princess, has no power over the minds of the subjects to fall back on — she feels as alone as an orphan, and she is in dire need of an angel who advises her to keep calm and carry on, to uphold one’s faith at the bloody birth of the new realm. She’s small and young in years, but her fate weighs heavily on the globe: it’s going to be a triumph for christendom, and this part of the story is true. 
[click on picture to continue reading]
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EASTER ESSENCE
At Easter the common folks bring their eggs to the Lord. The lidless  leveret lies in the grave, its open eyes directed upwards in death. The egg goes into the Easter bread: it is blamed on the lagomorph. Mixed images: resurrection and spawning, the hare as chicken, the sidestepping and egg painting, the instinct to flee before the crucifixion and after, Saturday’s search for the buried, the Hidden, and above all the sweetness rising from the sadness like a naked fog and dissolving on the tongue when the chocolate egg melts. Stubbornly we move to safety from the power of the old pictures. Rites and processions take place in backyards: their participants are like ghosts. Sung incantations that connect heaven and earth vanish as soon as the first warmth of spring arrives. What is the essence? What is the truth of our time? What forms the center of the egg whose center is an egg?
[German original: Versuch über Ostern; en français: essence de Pâques]
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“It’s hard to communicate anything exactly and that’s why perfect relationships between people are difficult to find.” Gustave Flaubert, Sentimental Education
Permalink ALONE by W H Auden
Each lover has some theory of his ownAbout the difference between the acheOf being with his love, and being alone:
Why what, when dreaming, is dear flesh and boneThat really stirs the senses, when awake,Appears a simulacrum of his own.
Narcissus disbelieves in the unknown;He cannot join his image in the lakeSo long as he assumes he is alone.
The child, the waterfall, the fire, the stone,Are always up to mischief, though, and takeThe universe for granted as their own.
The elderly, like Proust, are always proneTo think of love as a subjective fake;The more they love, the more they feel alone.
Whatever view we hold, it must be shownWhy every lover has a wish to makeSome other kind of otherness his own:Perhaps, in fact, we never are alone.
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THE LATIN LESSON. BE PATIENT AND TOUGH; SOME DAY THIS PAIN WILL BE USEFUL TO YOU. NO ONE PROVOKES ME WITH IMPUNITY.
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«This debut collection mixes the sacred and profane, beauty and beast, the strange and the wondrous. Not necessarily in that order. Or any type of defined order other than The Serious Writer segment  […] Rather, the stories in this book seem quarantined like hungry orphans: Read me, they appear to shout from their temporary cots, take me home and love me; or better yet make love to me. Speh’s voices are consistently on pitch, his plots and settings well defined. There is a clatter in the book similar to the way Chekhov made his stories come alive.»
—from “A Certain Balanced Unbalance”, a review of “Thank You For Your Sperm” in The LitPub by Susan Tepper, author of The Merrill Diaries. Image: Venus of Willendorf.
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new lit mag “Revolution John”
photo: jack gacek, wrestler, 1938