In Artaud’s poetics, art (and thoughts) is an action —and one that, to be authentic, must be brutal —and also an experience suffered, and charged with extreme emotions. Being both action and passion of its sort, iconoclastic as well as evangelical in its fervor, art seems to require a more daring scene, outside the museums and legitimate showplaces, and a new, ruder form of confrontation with its audience. —Susan Sontag, Under the sigh of Saturn
The two women that never stop to inspire me.
Recently my grandmother found out I’m queer. Her response was to tell me that she disapproves of me living with my “friend” (i.e. my girlfriend) and that I should give up my vile queer ways and become a Christian (Lol). She even sent me a bible. Here are its remains, which I made into black-out poetry.
Poem 1: Bisexual (from Leviticus 19:9)— “Have sexual relations with her. Have sexual relations with him. Have sexual relations with both a woman and a man. Have sexual relations with yourself. Vomit on everyone who does not respect you.”
Poem 2: Fisting (from Judges 8:5)— “water/ lap the water/ drink/go down to drink/your hands/go down/I give into your hands/go down/encouraged/down/on the seashore/the whole hand/your hand/inside/I get to the edge/and shout/grasping/crying out/Beth/Beth/Beth/Beth/Beth/God/I came”
Poem 3: A Letter to the Exiles (from Jeremiah 28:13) — “Ze said: ‘Do not let lies name you, nor harm your heart. Gather. Raise the sword against them. They scorn and reproach, for they have not listened— again and again have not listened.’ “
Poem 4: Child (from Ezekiel 16:22) — “Your father and your mother rubbed salt in. No one looked on you with pity or had compassion enough for you, for on the day you were born you were despised. Live! Grow. I looked at you and saw you were enough.”
Poem 5: Father (from Ezekiel 16:22) — “You never adored us. You became very angry. You took some out on us. Your sons and daughters were not enough? You slaughtered— in all your detestable practices— our youth.”
Poem 6: Misandry (from Acts 27:41) — “Dangerous men should be broken.”
The Empyrean, from The Divine Comedy (1861-1868), Gustave Doré
The Empyrean, “from the Medieval Latin empyreus, an adaptation of the Ancient Greek ἔμπυρος empyrus ”in or on the fire (pyr)”, is a region described in the the Paradiso portion of Dante’s Divine Comedy as a place beyond even the highest spheres of Heaven, the dwelling place of God and angels. In The Divine Comedy, Dante is “enveloped by [a] veil of radiance” as he ascends to the Empyrean.
Some medieval writers conceived of it as a celestial sphere formed from pure fire, but others contested that it burned with light rather than elemental fire, as Thomas Aquinas described in the Summa Theologica: "wholly luminous… that heaven is called the empyrean, not from its fiery heat, but from its brightness".
“No greater grief than to remember days
Of joy, when misery is at hand. That kens
Thy learn’d instructor. Yet so eagerly
If thou art bent to know the primal root,
From whence our love gat being, I will do
As one, who weeps and tells his tale. One day,
For our delight we read of Lancelot,
How him love thrall’d. Alone we were, and no
Suspicion near us. Oft-times by that reading
Our eyes were drawn together, and the hue
Fled from our alter’d cheek. But at one point
Alone we fell. When of that smile we read,
The wished smile so raptorously kiss’d
By one so deep in love, then he, who ne’er
From me shall separate, at once my lips
All trembling kiss’d. The book and writer both
Were love’s purveyors. In its leaves that day
We read no more.” While thus one spirit spake,
The other wail’d so sorely, that heart-struck
I, through compassion fainting, seem’d not far
From death, and like a corse fell to the ground.
The Divine Comedy, Inferno V: Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta. John Flaxman, The Lovers Surprised and The Lovers Punished.