stained glass windows keep the cold outside while the hypocrites hide inside …
‘Economic injustices, including ”the hoarding of goods on a great scale”, may create “a climate of growing hostility and even violence, and ultimately undermine the very foundations of democratic institutions”.’
… not for one race, one creed, one world; but for money. effective. absurd.[Public Image, Ltd. - ‘Religion I’]
veiled in irony, and out of existence.
silent, like a thread worm.
and not knowing why your knees are blue or why the words aren’t where you remember leaving them.
but those are trivial. those are decisions. quiet those.
they say that we fear what is unknown. I fear what might become known. I fear nostalgia. I fear how far feelings might compound, but not the inevitability of them defeating me.
I want to do as much good as I can. I want to impact as little as I can.
I am sick of being a challenge: sick with it. most days, I’d cut out part of my soul … if that was possible, and if it meant I’d be a little less intense.
I want to fade like a fucking ghost into nothing, just now.
if there was a God, I might pray for it.
please, God, take this back. please, another talent. please, another mistake. please, don’t be a fucker.
and Jesus just stood there and everyone admired his new undercut.
my contemporary reproduction of the play Salome—and its hideous orange cover—is one of the greatest things I own. and possibly one of the coolest things about me. gush.
the play was a collaboration (of sorts) between Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley. who were two rad dudes. who hated on each other. and who made a lot of shit I love. Salome re-imagines the mythology of the notorious bible character and was considered pretty risqué and things. Wilde wrote the text in French (in part, to escape English-language censors) and Beardsley was commissioned to supply illustrations (in part, because he wasn’t known for prudishness).
as a series, Beardsley’s illustration of Salome is my favourite of his oeuvre. it includes some of his most incredible line work and—I think—represents the most focussed project of his life.
the text is both like and unlike Wilde’s English works (of which I’ve always been fond). other than being an untraditional adaptation of a religious story (thus a subversion) and—okay—the strip/dance, and the suggestion that—maybe—there is a lot of nakedness … I don’t see why censorship was a concern. it is heavily poetic … but in a good way. and Salome’s dialogue with Iokaanan (essentially a series of monologues) is absolutely, completely, the greatest prose I have ever read.
here is some:
It is of thy hair that I am enamoured, Iokanaan.
Thy hair is like clusters of grapes, like the clusters of black grapes that hang from the vine-trees of Edom in the land of the Edomites.
Thy hair is like the cedars of Lebanon, like the great cedars of Lebanon that give their shade to the lions and to the robbers who would hide them by day.
The long black nights, when the moon hides her face, when the stars are afraid, are not so black as thy hair. The silence that dwells in the forest is not so black.
There is nothing in the world that is so black as thy hair … Suffer me to touch thy hair.
having feelings now. good night.
[image: Aubrey Beardsley, ‘John and Salome’ (1907); Oscar Wilde, Salome: a tragedy in one act [trans. Alfred Douglas] (1894). held as print at V&A: London.]
Gustav KLIMT, Judith I (1901), painting: oil and gold leaf on canvas, 84.0 x 42.0 (Österreichische Galerie Belvedere)
The portrait features a woman; displayed from her hips, to the top of her tremendous quiff. She is fixed within the frame by intricate gold-leafing that spreads inwards, to her block-like collar. The effect flattens the picture space, but its contrast with the dynamic, portrait-like figure emphasises her ethereal—spiritual—separation from its allegory.
Her gown covers half her chest (barely), leaving one breast exposed. Her right arm extends across her body. Its hand rests upon the head of Holofernes, which is just squeezed into the corner of the frame.
Nonetheless, the viewer is not captivated by the decapitated head, or the woman’s bare chest, but with her intense, defiant gaze. She is attractive and seductive, beautiful and grotesque; but she is also powerful and untouchable.