Ode to Walt Whitman

Samuel Hollyer’s steel engraving of Walt Whitman based on a daguerreotype by Gabriel Harrison (original lost). Published in 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass

 
 

I do not remember
at what age
nor where:
in the great damp South
or on the fearsome
coast, beneath the brief
cry of the seagulls,
I touched a hand and it was
the hand of Walt Whitman.
I trod the ground
with bare feet,
I walked on the grass,
on the firm dew
of Walt Whitman.
During
my entire
youth
I had the company of that
hand,
that dew,
its firmness of patriarchal
pine, its
prairie-like expanse,
and its mission of
circulatory peace.
Not
disdaining
the gifts
of the earth,
nor the copious
curving of the column’s
capital,
nor the purple
initial
of wisdom,
you taught me
to be an American,
you raised
my eyes
to books,
towards
the treasure
of the grains:
broad,
in the clarity
of the plans,
you made me see
the high
tutelary
mountain. From
subterranean
echoes,
you gathered
for me
everything;
everything that came forth
was harvested by you,
galloping in the alfalfa,
picking poppies for me,
visiting
the rivers,
coming into the kitchens
in the afternoon
But not only
soil
was brought to light
by your spade:
you unearthed
man,
and the
slave
who was humiliated
with you, balancing
the black dignity of his
stature,
walked on, conquering
happiness.
To the fireman
below,
in the stoke-hole,
you sent
a little basket
of strawberries.
To every corner of your
town
a verse
of yours arrived for a visit,
and it was like a piece
of clean body,
the verse that arrived,
like
your own fisherman beard
or the solemn tread of your
acacia
legs.

 
 

Pablo Neruda

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Ode to Federico García Lorca

Federico García Lorca (left) and Chilean poet Pablo Neruda

 
 

If I could weep with fear in a lonely house,
if I could pluck out my eyes and eat them,
I’d do it for your mourning orangetree voice
and for your poetry that flies up shouting.

For they paint the hospitals blue for you,
and the schools and maritime districts grow,
and the wounded angels are covered with feathers,
and the nuptial fish are covered with scales,
and the hedgehogs go flying to heaven:
for you the tailorshops with their black membranes
fill with spoons and with blood,
swallow torn ribbons, kill themselves with kisses,
and dress in white.

When you fly dressed in peach,
when you laugh with a laugh of hurricane rice,
when you flap your arteries and teeth to sing,
your throat and your fingers,
I could die for the sweetness you are,
I could die for the crimsom lakes
where you live in the midst of Autumn
with a fallen charger and a bloodied god,
I could die for the graveyards that pass at night
like ashen rivers, with water and graves,
between muffled bells:
rivers dense as dormitories
of sick soldiers, that suddenly swell
towards death in rivers with marble numbers
and rotten garlands, and funeral oils:
I could die from seeing you at night
watching the drowned crosses pass,
afoot and weeping,
because you weep before the river of death,
abandoned and wounded,
you weep weeping, your eyes filled
with tears, with tears, with tears.

At night, desperately alone, if I could gather
forgetfullness, shadow and smoke
above railroads and steamships,
with a black funnel,
chewing the ashes,
I’d do it for the tree in which you grow,
for the nests of golden waters you unite,
and for the net that covers your bones
telling you the secret of the night.

 
 

Neruda, Lorca and other guests of a party in Buenos Aires (Argentina). 1934

 
 

Cities with damp onion fragrance
wait for you to pass singing hoarsely,
and silent boats of sperm pursue uyou,
and green swallows nest in your hair,
and snails and weeks too,
furled masts and cherrytrees
circle definitively when your pale head with fifty eyes
and your mouth of submerged blood appear.

If I could fill the mayors’ posts with soot
and throw down watches, sobbing,
it would be to watch: when at your house
summer arrives with broken lips,
a crowd arrives in death-watch clothes,
regions of sad splendor arrive,
dead plows and poppies arrive,
gravediggers and horsemen arrive,
planets and maps of blood arrive,
divers covered with ash arrive,
masqueraders dragging virgins
pierced with large knives arrive,
hospitals, ants, roots, springs and veins arrive,
the night arrives with the bed on which
a lonely Hussar dies among the spiders,
a rose of hatred and pins arrives,
a yellowed embarkation arrives,
a windy day with a child arrives,
I arrive with Oliverio and Norah,
Vicente Aleixandre, Delia,
Maruca, Malva Marina, María Luisa y Larco,
la Rubia, Rafael, Ugarte,
Cotapos, Rafael Alberti,
Carlos, Bebé, Manolo Altolaguirre, Molinari,
Rosales, Concha Méndez,
and others I’ve forgotten.
Come to what crowns you, youth of health,
gay butterfly, youth pure
as a black lightning perpetually free;
and talking between ourselves.
now, when no one is left among the rocks,
let us speak simply, as you are, as I am:
what are the verses for, if not for the dew?
What are the verses for, if not for this night
in which a bitter dagger finds us out, for this day,
for this twilight, for this broken corner
where the beaten heart of man prepares to die?

Over everything at night,
at night there are many stars,
all within a river
like a ribbon beside the windows
of houses filled with poor people.

Someone they know has died,
maybe they’ve lost their jobs in the offices,
in the hospitals, in the elevators, in the mines;
they endure their purpose stubbornly, wounded,
and there’s purpose and weeping everywhere:
while the stars flow on in an endless river
there is much weeping in the windows,
the thresholds are worn by the weeping,
the bedrooms are soaked by the weeping
that comes in the shape of a wave to corrode the carpets.

Federico,
you see the world, the streets,
the vinegar,
the farewells in the stations
where the smoke lifts its decisiive wheels
toward where there is nothing but some
separations, stones, iron tracks.

There are so many people asking questions everywhere.
There’s the bloodied blind man, and the angry man,
the discouraged man,
the miserable man, the tree of fingernails,
the thief with envy riding his back.

Life’s like this, Federico; here you have
the things my friendship can offer you,
from a melancholy manly man.
Already you’ve learned many things by yourself,
and slowly you will be learning more.

 

Pablo Neruda

(This poem was written in 1935, a year before Lorca was murdered by the Spanish Nationalistic forces)

Birds of Passage

McQueen haven’t released an Ad Campaign from 2003. Craig McDean was the photographer of his 2008-2009 Autumn/Winter Collection, Tabita Simmons was the stylist and Alice McGibb was the model.

 
 

Alexander McQueen at the the ending of his AW 2009-2010 fashion show

 
 

254. Song of the Universal

 

“Come said the Muse,

Sing me a song no poet yet has chanted,

Sing me the universal.

In this broad earth of ours,

Amid the measureless grossness and the slag,

Enclosed and safe within its central heart,

Nestles the seed Perfection.”

 

Walt Whitman

A Poet in New York

 
 

By the East River and the Bronx
boys were singing, exposing their waists
with the wheel, with oil, leather, and the hammer.
Ninety thousand miners taking silver from the rocks
and children drawing stairs and perspectives.

But none of them could sleep,
none of them wanted to be the river,
none of them loved the huge leaves
or the shoreline’s blue tongue.

By the East River and the Queensboro
boys were battling with industry
and the Jews sold to the river faun
the rose of circumcision,
and over bridges and rooftops, the mouth of the sky emptied
herds of bison driven by the wind.

But none of them paused,
none of them wanted to be a cloud,
none of them looked for ferns
or the yellow wheel of a tambourine.

As soon as the moon rises
the pulleys will spin to alter the sky;
a border of needles will besiege memory
and the coffins will bear away those who don’t work.

New York, mire,
New York, mire and death.
What angel is hidden in your cheek?
Whose perfect voice will sing the truths of wheat?
Who, the terrible dream of your stained anemones?

Not for a moment, Walt Whitman, lovely old man,
have I failed to see your beard full of butterflies,
nor your corduroy shoulders frayed by the moon,
nor your thighs pure as Apollo’s,
nor your voice like a column of ash,
old man, beautiful as the mist,
you moaned like a bird
with its sex pierced by a needle.
Enemy of the satyr,
enemy of the vine,
and lover of bodies beneath rough cloth…

Not for a moment, virile beauty,
who among mountains of coal, billboards, and railroads,
dreamed of becoming a river and sleeping like a river
with that comrade who would place in your breast
the small ache of an ignorant leopard.

Not for a moment, Adam of blood, Macho,
man alone at sea, Walt Whitman, lovely old man,
because on penthouse roofs,
gathered at bars,
emerging in bunches from the sewers,
trembling between the legs of chauffeurs,
or spinning on dance floors wet with absinthe,
the faggots, Walt Whitman, point you out.

He’s one, too! That’s right! And they land
on your luminous chaste beard,
blonds from the north, blacks from the sands,
crowds of howls and gestures,
like cats or like snakes,
the faggots, Walt Whitman, the faggots,
clouded with tears, flesh for the whip,
the boot, or the teeth of the lion tamers.

He’s one, too! That’s right! Stained fingers
point to the shore of your dream
when a friend eats your apple
with a slight taste of gasoline
and the sun sings in the navels
of boys who play under bridges.

But you didn’t look for scratched eyes,
nor the darkest swamp where someone submerges children,
nor frozen saliva,
nor the curves slit open like a toad’s belly
that the faggots wear in cars and on terraces
while the moon lashes them on the street corners of terror.

You looked for a naked body like a river.
Bull and dream who would join wheel with seaweed,
father of your agony, camellia of your death,
who would groan in the blaze of your hidden equator.

Because it’s all right if a man doesn’t look for his delight
in tomorrow morning’s jungle of blood.
The sky has shores where life is avoided
and there are bodies that shouldn’t repeat themselves in the dawn.

 
 

Drawing by García Lorca

 
 

Agony, agony, dream, ferment, and dream.
This is the world, my friend, agony, agony.
Bodies decompose beneath the city clocks,
war passes by in tears, followed by a million gray rats,
the rich give their mistresses
small illuminated dying things,
and life is neither noble, nor good, nor sacred.

Man is able, if he wishes, to guide his desire
through a vein of coral or a heavenly naked body.
Tomorrow, loves will become stones, and Time
a breeze that drowses in the branches.

 
 

Portraits of García Lorca by Gregorio Prieto

 
 

That’s why I don’t raise my voice, old Walt Whitman,
against the little boy who writes
the name of a girl on his pillow,
nor against the boy who dresses as a bride
in the darkness of the wardrobe,
nor against the solitary men in casinos
who drink prostitution’s water with revulsion,
nor against the men with that green look in their eyes
who love other men and burn their lips in silence.

But yes against you, urban faggots,
tumescent flesh and unclean thoughts.
Mothers of mud. Harpies. Sleepless enemies
of the love that bestows crowns of joy.

Always against you, who give boys
drops of foul death with bitter poison.
Always against you,
Fairies of North America,
Pájaros of Havana,
Jotos of Mexico,
Sarasas of Cádiz,
Apios of Seville,
Cancos of Madrid,
Floras of Alicante,
Adelaidas of Portugal.

Faggots of the world, murderers of doves!
Slaves of women. Their bedroom bitches.
Opening in public squares like feverish fans
or ambushed in rigid hemlock landscapes.

No quarter given! Death
spills from your eyes
and gathers gray flowers at the mire’s edge.
No quarter given! Attention!
Let the confused, the pure,
the classical, the celebrated, the supplicants
close the doors of the bacchanal to you.

And you, lovely Walt Whitman, stay asleep on the Hudson’s banks
with your beard toward the pole, openhanded.
Soft clay or snow, your tongue calls for
comrades to keep watch over your unbodied gazelle.

Sleep on, nothing remains.
Dancing walls stir the prairies
and America drowns itself in machinery and lament.
I want the powerful air from the deepest night
to blow away flowers and inscriptions from the arch where you sleep,
and a black child to inform the gold-craving whites
that the kingdom of grain has arrived.

 

Federico García Lorca

 
 

Ode to Walt Whitman, a passionate meditation on homosexuality in a society that proscribes it, is perhaps the best-known book to have come out of the poet’s New York Cycle of poems. It was quoted in two scenes of the Spanish movie To an Unknown God. Original title: A un dios desconocido (Jaime Chávarri, 1977)

Out of the Rolling Ocean…

Dewdrop (1948), MC Escher

 
 

Out of the rolling ocean, the crowd, came a drop gently to me,
Whispering I love you, before long I die,
I have travel’d a long way merely to look on you to touch you,
For I could not die till I once look’d on you,
For I fear’d I might afterward lose you.
Now we have met, we have look’d, we are safe,
Return in peace to the ocean my love,
I too am part of that ocean my love, we are not so much separated,
Behold the great rondure, the cohesion of all, how perfect!
But as for me, for you, the irresistible sea is to separate us,
As for an hour carrying us diverse, yet cannot carry us diverse forever;
Be not impatient–a little space–know you I salute the air, the
ocean and the land,
Every day at sundown for your dear sake my love.

 

Walt Whitman

Great Piece of Turf

Das große Rasenstück (Great Piece of Turf), Albretch Dürer. 1503

 
 

6

“A child said, What is the grass?

fetching it to me with full hands;

How could I answer the child?..

I do not know what it is any more than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition,

out of hopeful green stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,

A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,

Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners,

that we may see and remark, and say Whose?

Or I guess the grass is itself a child

. . . .the produced babe of the vegetation.

Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,

And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow zones,

Growing among black folks as among white,

Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff,

I give them the same, I receive them the same…”

 

(Taken from Song of Myself)

Walt Whitman

Photogenesis of an Auteur

Catalogue of Stanley Kubrick’s exposition presented in Milan (Italy)

 
 

“Ever the dim beginning,
Ever the growth, the rounding of the circle,
Ever the summit and the merge at last, (to surely start again,)
Eidolons! eidolons!…”

 
 

 
 

“…The whole or large or small summ’d, added up,
In its eidolon…”

 
 

 
 

“…Battles, the horrors of fratricidal war, the fever of doubtful news, the fitful events; These come to me days and nights and go from me again, But they are not the Me myself…”

 
 

 
 

“To a certain cantantrice: ..I see that what I was reserving belongs to you just as much as to any”

 
 

 
 

“Beginning my studies the first step pleas’d me so much,
The mere fact consciousness, these forms, the power of motion…”

 
 

 
 

“Sometimes with one I love I fill myself with rage for fear I effuse
unreturn’d love,
But now I think there is no unreturn’d love, the pay is certain one
way or another,
(I loved a certain person ardently and my love was not return’d,
Yet out of that I have written these songs.) …”

 
 

 
 

“O YOU whom I often and silently come where you are, that I may be with you;
As I walk by your side, or sit near, or remain in the same room with you,
Little you know the subtle electric fire that for your sake is playing within me…”

 
 

 
 

“…I think I could turn and live with the animals, they are so placid and self contained. I stand and look at them long and long…”

 
 

 
 

“I am the man, I suffered, I was there.”

Quoted on Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976) and in the epigraph of Giovanni’s Room, the novel written by James Baldwin

 
 

Series of Rocky Graziano’s portraits. Day of the Fight (1951), the first short documentary directed by Stanley Kubrick, is about the life of the boxer Walter Cartier.

 
 

“Battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won.”

 
 

Photographs by Stanley Kubrick
Excerpt of poems from Walt Withman’s Leaves of Grass

Coming Out of the Cocoon

Dedicated to my boyfriend Paul

 
 

It was the third and final single off Björk’s Vespertine. The music video was as controversial as the previous one for Pagan Poetry (Nick Knight). Cocoon video was directed by Japanese multi-disciplinary artist Eiko Ishioka. Björk wrote the lyrics along Danish electronic musician Thomas Knak. In some verses there are sexual-erotic euphemisms and metaphors depicting how a girl is feeling since love took has taken her by surprise.

 
 

Front and back cover from Björk’s Volumen Plus (2002).

 
 

Crumbs Off a Master’s Table

Robert Crumb’s Self-portrait

 
 

Walt Kelly

 
 

Popeye, The Sailor(1933)

 
 

Uncle Scrooge

 
 

Harvey Kurtzman’s comic

 
 

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that Robert Crumb, being as irreverent as he is, made his first sketches imitating the candid contours taken from animated characters created by E. C. Seglar (Popeye), Walt Kelly (Pogo), Carl Barks (Donald Duck) and many more artists from the same batch. What better source for a young boy, whose only amusement and motivation relies on comic books and nothing else?

 
 

Crumb brothers

 
 

This delight was fomented by Robert Crumb’s older brother, Charles. But it was Robert, who, on a most uncommon occasion, asserted his authority on Charles and pressed him to point toward a new direction. Eventually, Robert, Charles and Maxon (the younger brother who is also a talented illustrator) drew scenes from Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. The Crumb brothers’ newly created version of the novel was presented to the rest of “Crumb Comic Company” members: Carol and Sandy; their sisters. Those times would be joyous for the party of five; the sons and daughters of Charles Vincent, their draconian U.S. Marine and Beatrice, their ultra-catholic mother with family ties to Andrew Jackson.

 
 

Girl Standing at the Window (1925), Salvador Dalí

 
 

Young Virgin Auto-Sodomized by the Horns of Her Own Chastity (1954), Dalí

 
 

 
 

Robert Crumb was born on August 30, 1943, in Philadelphia, the city where America declared its independence from the English crown and fittingly, Robert declared his own independence as soon as he could. At an early age he liberated himself from the religious beliefs and severe discipline that would be a spanner in his childhood works. Crumb did serve in the Army, though little of that time is worth noting.

Crumb’s personal and artistic transcendence occurred when he was still very much an introverted and shy boy. But like Stevenson’s Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, young Robert turned into a fearless ‘monster’ while he was drawing. That peculiar hormonal boiling, felt by every adolescent, ran alongside society’s collective interest in sex which was in the air at that time. 1955’s Kinsey Report and the debut of Playboy magazine with Marilyn Monroe on the cover and centerfold in 1953 literally thrust the topic of sex squarely in the public eye.

There are some critics who have vehemently compared him with the great satirists François Rabelais, Jonathan Swift and Mark Twain. The fact is, nobody can be indifferent in front of a Crumb drawing (you love it or you hate it). Due to the polarized reception of his work, he has been wrongly accused by some of misogyny, meanness and downright immaturity. That lack of understanding is actually due to the overwhelming honesty expressed in his drawings. For someone with a narrow, square mind it might be uncomfortable or difficult to digest Mr. Crumb’s autobiographic Epicureanism, as it is rife with explicit sexual connotations. As for subjects, style and generation, he is closer to Henry Miller, Céline, Norman Mailer and Charles Bukowski (who Crumb would later collaborate with). To a man, none of the aforementioned has been known to be interested in pleasing well-mannered crowds or being politically corrects.

 
 

 
 

In his youth, Crumb often showed his classmates the comics he was doing. In one of those panels was the prototype of what later became the milestone character from the crumbianesque iconography: Fritz the Cat. (Initially titled Fred the Cat.) He kept the idea in the inkwell until 1965, when he decided to publish it in Help!, a magazine by James Warren. A year before, Crumb illustrated his Big Yum Yum Book, which he drew in 1963 and which was finished the year he met Dana, his first wife.

Help! showcased several artists whose works were part of the counter-culture movement of the comic underground: Skip Williamson, Gilbert Shelton and Jay Lynch. Along with Crumb they would quake the foundations of comics, a land heretofore strictly reserved to children and teen readers but not anymore. Before Help! Crumb launched Foo, a humorous fanzine inspired by Mad. As a staunch follower of Harvey Kurtzman, illustrator and director of Mad, Crumb concocted a plan to get an interview with Kurtzman, who was impressed enough that he employed him at the subversively juvenile magazine.

 
 

Mr. Natural

 
 

In 1967 he moved to the hippie movement epicenter, San Francisco, where Mr. Natural was born. Philadelphia’s Yarrowstalks had provided the fertile ground from which would spring, Mr. Natural. Throughout this period, Crumb tried hard to be hip; he wanted to enjoy free love, but alas, he couldn´t get laid. He claimed he didn’t fit in because he looked like a cop from the “vice squad.” Janis Joplin (by this time, he had drawn the artwork for Big Brother and The Holding Company’s Cheap Thrills album cover) once asked him: “Crumb, what’s the matter, don’t you like girls?” She advised him to get with the program; grow his hair long, wear billowy shirts, satin jackets and platform shoes but Crumb, an iconoclast, refused to wear the fashions of the day.

 
 

 
 

Although he eschewed the trappings of hippiedom, Crumb experimented heavily with LSD. It was while he was having a “bad trip” in 1965 or 1966 thereabouts, that Robert Crumb’s style of drawing changed radically. He began sketching characters that were more cartoonish, wearing high-heel shoes and images he never drew before. Crumb’s comic artwork started to elicit harsh commentary. Numerous critics cited his pictures of overly sexualized women, often in subservient roles, calling him “the chief sexist of underground comics”. It could be said that on one hand, due to the LSD, he lost consistency but, on the other hand, he was able to create comics thoughtlessly. He didn’t give a damn if they were silly. He only cared about his sordid epiphany and those ideas were immediately accepted. Psychedelic and hippie aesthetic were in bloom all around Fog City.

 
 

And talking about shoes, in 2009 Crumb collaborated with a collection for Vans. Model Sk8 Hi (Mr. Natural‘s artwork featured on both the upper and the sole) and Slip-on (Fritz the Cat art extended all over the upper)

 
 

Despite the smashing success of the film and the societal borders it overstepped (it was the first “X Rated” animated movie), Crumb loathed the cinematographic adaptation of Fritz the Cat (1972), directed by Ralph Bakshi. During the seventies Crumb and his second wife, Aline Kominsky, lived in isolation on a farm far from the city. Aline shared his passion for illustration. During this time, somewhat surprisingly to those who didn’t know him, Crumb opted not to design a sleeve for The Rolling Stones. He was developing an autobiographic comic book based on his troubles with women. He admitted cynically that those troubles finished when he finally achieved his fame.

Robert Crumb is a famous, if compulsive, collector of early blues recordings and he founded his own old-timey revival band, R. Crumb and His Cheap Suits Serenaders in which he plays the banjo. Serendipitously, thanks to his addiction to old recordings, Crumb would meet Harvey Pekar at a record shop. Together, they would create the epic comic book American Splendor (1976) with Pekar writing the text and Crumb illustrating the panels.

In March 1981, Crumb created the comics anthology, Weirdo. After only ten issues, Crumb handed over the direction of the magazine to Peter Bagge who had approached him with the same youthful exuberance which Crumb had exhibited when he met Kurtzman at Mad. After 17 issues, the editorial reins went to Crumb’s wife, cartoonist Aline Kominsky-Crumb (except for issue #25, which was again edited by Bagge). The three editorial tenures were known respectively as Personal Confessions, the Coming of the Bad Boys, and the Twisted Sisters.

In 1993, Crumb and Aline settled down in a small village near Sauve, in the south of France. It was there that Terry Zwigoff went looking for Mr. Natural’s author to get permission for Zwigoff to do a documentary about his life and work, simply titled Crumb (1994). The film was critically acclaimed, winning the Grand Jury Prize for documentary at 1995’s Sundance festival, Best Documentary 1995 by the National Board of Review and many other awards for non-fiction and documentary films. Zwigoff would continue to pay homage to Crumb in Ghost World (2000), his adaptation of Daniel Clowes’ eponymous graphic novel. Zwigoff added a character into the plot: Seymour, a blues music collector performed by Steve Buscemi.

Crumb-Kominsy couple conceived an “editorial child”, Self-Loathing Comics. It is, as the name suggests, a dark humor series about their experiences in the French village where they live.

In 2012 Crumb appeared on 5 episodes of John’s Old Time Radio Show where he talked about old music, sex, aliens, Bigfoot and played 78rpm records from his record room in Southern France.

Although Robert Crumb is not publishing as often as he used to, whenever he does it, he never disappoints the gourmands of Made in USA comics.

 
 

 

English grammar corrections by Paul Klees

The Voices From Other Rooms

“The brain may take advice, but not the heart, and love, having no geography, knows no boundaries: weight and sink it deep, no matter, it will rise and find the surface: and why not? any love is natural and beautiful that lies within a person’s nature; only hypocrites would hold a man responsible for what he loves, emotional illiterates and those of righteous envy, who, in their agitated concern, mistake so frequently the arrow pointing to heaven for the one that leads to hell… ”

Truman Capote
Excerpt from Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948)

 

Truman Capote. Photographs by Richard Avedon. October 10, 1955

I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed


Janis Joplin in Pearl ‘s album sleeve. Photo: Barry Feinstein, 1970

 
 

I taste a liquor never brewed —
From Tankards scooped in Pearl —
Not all the Vats upon the Rhine
Yield such an Alcohol!

 
 

Amy Winehouse

 
 

Inebriate of Air — am I —
And Debauchee of Dew —
Reeling — thro endless summer days —
From inns of Molten Blue —

When “Landlords” turn the drunken Bee
Out of the Foxglove’s door —
When Butterflies — renounce their “drams” —
I shall but drink the more!

Till Seraphs swing their snowy Hats —
And Saints — to windows run —
To see the little Tippler
Leaning against the — Sun —

 
 

Poem #214

Emily Dickinson

Whip the Gift

“When God hands you a gift, he also hands you a whip; and the whip is intended for self-flagellation solely.”
 
Truman Capote

 
 

Pedro Almodóvar quoted Capote on a scene of his awarded movie All About My Mother (1999). Photo: Bruce Weber for Vogue Paris, December 2010

 
 

Marcello Mastroianni in  (Federico Fellini, 1963)

 
 

Erotica music video (Fabien Baron, 1992)

 
 

Human Nature music video (Jean-Baptiste Mondino, 1995)

 
 

cess_madonna_07_h

Madonna in a Steve Klein’s photo-shoot for a W Magazine issue. June 2006

 
 

Model Gail Cook and Andy Warhol. Photo: Francesco Scavullo.

 
 

Halston and his collaborators. Photo: Jean-Paul Goude. Esquire magazine. August, 1975.

 
 

Woody Allen’s portrait by Steve Shapiro

 
 

Betty Page

 
 

Drew Barrymore and Ellen Page, who was the leading actress of Whip It (2009), directed by Barrymore