compass

While I’m adjusting to New York’s cold, dry, horizonless space after being in colourful, horizonful, familyful Australia for the holidays, I, Sophie Ward, have found the days jetting by just like the electrons whizzing in circulation around the proton-neutron mass of my body. I don’t quite understand why time is going so fast, and I’m having trouble keeping up without getting either whiplash or jetlag. I have so much to do and so much I want to write about; how do I manage it all? I manage it moment by moment, that’s how.

The world will not end because I have not written the piece I want to write about overlapping vision perceptions creating concrete manifestations of commonly desired realities. The magnets will not flip violently due to my not being able to write more than a few things a day, chipping away, on the novel and screenplay I intend to birth forth from out of me. Surely the birds will still fly and life will go on even if I don’t create what I want to create: although for some reason, deep down, I find this hard to believe? The indestructible sense of immortality within the youthful mind is mind-boggling, even for she who witnesses it. I can’t help but feel that I simply MUST do what I do, for without it, the world just might not go on as it would?

And when it goes on under the enriching umbrella of the following comments, I can’t help but want to continue pulling my load and planting my seeds and watering my garden, which grows.

What follows is a list of the comments that have soldered me to the inimitable task of writing and continuing writing. Comments like these are 500% golden, and they deserve to be upheld in post form alongside philosophies, Prince Henri’s, and poetries. (I have italicised the most galvanizing reflections.) Consider this a Visitors Hall of Fame. Thank you to all who have contributed such blessings to the expedition. You bring explanation to the inexplicability of this journey.

“This blog always basically blows my mind. Like literally with a dynamite blowdryer. And then it picks up the pieces and puts them back in their places, but inside out. So that was a weird way of saying that I love it!”  – sketchydiamond.blogspot.com

“Thank you for a great year of inspiring words.” – Rachel Bui

“This form of expression makes my heart so happy.”  – Petrina

“I stopped breathing whilst reading this…so I’d say this is breathtaking! I always want to thank you, so I will (again.) Thank you Sophie.” – Lissy

“I’m just speechless… This video is absolutely incredible!!” – Andra

“Thank you for devoting time to research and write this article” – Vy

“You are mad like a “hatter.” I love that about the “you” you are defining without any labels. I have no label for you other than I long to be let into that world you play in. And chat lots about it. This should be the new definition of rebellion.” – Petrina

“Aren’t you being someone, and making something of yourself everyday already…by being Sophie Ward? Yes, you have been Sophie Ward all along. And I’m sure your readers are glad because as vast as this online space that is the internet, it is so hard to come by writing that is worth reading.” – Rachel Bui

“Outstanding post!” – Jessica

“Amazing! This post reflects exactly the way I feel. Thank you Sophie!”

“Thank you for being the strength that some of us need, and forget to look for. We tend to think of only the now and the excitement and thrill of a model’s life and leave ourselves behind, our real selves. We forget how unimportant it is actually, how silly. How temporary. But how fun it can be too. I guess it’s the unknown we are drawn to, we can’t help but be curious. “The cure for boredom is curiosity, there is no cure for curiosity” I’ve only read this one post and look forward to reading more. You remind me of me. Weird since I don’t know you, really, or me, really.” – Annette

“How is it possible that a writer can inspire an amateur guitarist so much? You inspired me with this post more than the other guitar players who are actually my influences!!! By the way, I wish your novel “The Beginning of an Inexplicable Journey” will be an inspiration to a lots of people and be a success. I will keep climbing to the top of the mountains of guitar.” – Chuck

“This post really push me to face forward and go for it because it teaches me how to do it. The metaphor using the image of the mountain made of words and novels was really intriguing…. Thanks for the inspiration and good luck for your novel. I wish it will be a great success…” – Chuck, on How to Win A Nobel Prize

“Wow. Sophie, this is incredible. You encapsulated so eloquently EXACTLY what I was trying to express in my last blog post.”

“I love your writing, it is simply a delight to read.” – Laurel

“Amazing. Somehow I always ended back here when all breaks loose in my head. ” – Rachel

“I love who you are. Beautiful. I can see you speaking those words. Can’t wait to visit you and your magical family on that stormy island!” – Petrina

“Thank you Sophie. I was lucky, because the person I sought answers from for this story turned out to be more generous, worldly and intelligent than I could ever have imagined. I look forward to reading The Beginning of an Inexplicable Journey.” – Dani, interviewer from An Illuminating Inter View

“It’s just gone 10 am here in Perth, days are really hard to start at the moment, but reading this has made today feel a little easier. Thank you Sophie” – Lissy

“The ending is amazing. It made me think of the possibility that even here, in my own room there are also dinosaurs, advanced civilizations and myself but older or younger only we live on different membranes. Well at least according to M Theory. If you don’t mind Sophie who is the author?” – Andra on Green Glimmery (The author is me!)

“Your words make me see things with fresh eyes. Thank you.” – Lexxabel

“This is immensely exciting Sophie!! I await both releases with the greatest anticipation. You forever amaze and inspire with your words, thoughts, and wisdom! Every time I come back to visit your site, I feel enlightened and refreshed, my thoughts are provoked, my feelings ignited… Thank you!!” – Shawden

“The way you talk is very profound and is very similar to those of the philosophers. If you’re interested in movies, I recommend you the legendary american movie director Terrence Malick. His movies talk with the images. (“The Days of Heaven”,”The Thin Red Line”)” – Alex

“I’ve been out of body several times since I started lucid dreaming but the truth is after I separate from my physical body I have no clue if I’m in my etheric, astral or dream body. And I’ve never actually seen my physical body because it always happened when it was dark but once I had trouble getting my head out although the rest of my body was already floating. I had to use my hands and force it to get out. Anyways the experience is amazing I can tell you that much and if it weren’t for you I might have never had such experiences.”

“You are such a beautiful soul Sophie. I find you are a very interesting and open minded person which is very rare in this conservative world we live in. I wish there were more people like you…”

“I love the way you write very much. I have been stumbling on your blog some time ago, although we dont know each other and ever since I have been reading it with joy. Every now and then I read books I fall in love with and that’s always because the author writes in a way that goes straight to my heart. You write exactly this way! I’m in love with the way you write” – Bambi

“Sophie – I’ll start by saying that I have been going through something lately that is both exhilarating and frightening. I believe that I am approaching a precipice and all signs read: “Unknown, radical and imperative jump ahead.” I have been on this leg of my journey for a couple of years now and the other day I stumbled upon your article in V Magazine. Simply put, this blog you have here has, for me anyway, a sort of galvanizing effect. It is a delightful confirmation that there are others out there. It’s not a dream of mine… It’s really, really happening. It’s akin to searching for extra-terrestrial life and finally getting the signal that you’ve been waiting for! Your posts are a source of both inspiration and motivation and I feel as though each one is a message that you speak into an empty can, which then travels along an electric thread and finally lands in the can in my ear. I guess I just want you to know that I’m listening…and that your words are powerful and filled with a wisdom that I understand. I look forward to reading more and isn’t it exciting to know that we are evolving?!” – Jessica

“Top website, I hadn’t come across papercastlepress.com before in my searches! Carry on the superb work!” – Shaun

“It’s funny, when I read your words I can read them so fast as if you were talking them to me, there are no awkward points that usually come with reading (especially reading on a screen) where I pause and have to check a word or…I don’t know, it’s fantastic. It does not happen to me with a lot of writers. Good luck beating the sadness, I feel as if that is all I ever do lately.” – Alice

““I saw birds flying when I lay outside just now, and wondered whether they hear some kind of similar music; whether their joy is their flying, their solitude, their communing with the sky, and with all of the other edgeways birds who fly close but not too close, far and not too far.” That is a great line.” — Henry

“I have been waiting to read a blog like this, and “The shape of feeling alive” for so very long. Thanks.” – Rachna Sundaram

“Sophie, Since graduating university in November of last year with the absolute belief that I would have a job in journalism or PR in no time, and with endless motivation, initiative and love for the world, I have seen the past 6 months fly by with very few job prospects, low finances and new relationships. It has been an extremely trying and desperate time for me, full of dark days. I honestly wondered what the point was during some of the worst days. I am 20 years old, haven’t got a full time job in my industry that I so vitally crave, and don’t see too many lights at the end of my convoluted tunnels. Then – the other night – I read this piece. After I finished, I cried. This is exactly the type of motivation I needed. Not to go job hunting. Not to edit my portfolio. BUT TO SEIZE LIFE! I’d let the negatives of what I didn’t have override the positives of what I do have – a great partner, a stable place to live, health and dreams. I know a job will come. Maybe it will take a while, maybe it will be tomorrow. But in the meantime, I’ll keep returning to this post to quell my worries and move on, seizing the day. Thanks, Soph, for always being my first stop when in need of optimism. T x” – Tammi

“Oh Sophie, it’s so rare to find somebody who believes in the intensity of life as much as you do. I don’t know why, but this post reminded me of one of my favourite moments at uni, when my then-tutor told us that Percy Shelley died with a book of Keats’s poetry in his pocket. I have no idea why this revelation stuck in my mind and why it affected me so much, but as I was sitting in the class, I realised I had to go read Keats immediately. And you remind me of him, in the sense that his every word was intense, and filled with such an overwhelming desire to experience life. Have you read his letters? I’ll stop rambling, but I find this post so touching.” – Hila

“Congratulations genius.” – Scott Stephenson

“Oh I am just too excited by everything at the moment. I seem to be carving out this monumental existence that seems so phenomenally in sync with my being. It is incredibly satisfying. I am content and ambitious. I come here and read about half salads, simplicity in chance meetings, and wisdom. I leave with a grin, and the satisfaction that I haven’t and will not miss a shot, ever.” – Scott Stephenson

So beautiful. There is so much in what your wrote here to feed the soul.” – AB

“OH! How your mind works! Its so beautiful!!! It really is!” – Alexandra

“YOU have so many creative projects and you are DO them. You get out in the world and you do what you want to do! Thats AMAZING! You are still as curious as they day you were born, and THAT, gives me hope and inspires me to RISE ABOVE MEDIOCRITY. I am in charge of my own destiny. You’re extraordinary.” – Alexandra

“Hello there ! Thank you for your wonderful poetic insight, Thank You, Thank you so much for caring for this world and its future. It is a pleasure to know that there are people like you with some common sense. Simple is better, and it is inside you to know what’s best, it is your natural human spark of goodness. I don’t buy any more of that junk. It is really hard to find anything in the grocery store without all that junk it almost seems as if  it has taken over the world. Or is doing it slowly to people without an open mind to reality that money is where you put your decisions on good and evil. Evil = unhealthy. Thank you for telling on them! You are a good human.” – Leticia

“It’s very enthralling so far! Keep writing, it’s magic.” – Debra (on Prince Henri)

Hello Sophie, I must say a big, wonderous, warm, familiar, homely thank you for all that you continue give to this big oyster-world. Another way of thinking and viewing the world, your thoughts and crystal wisdom is beyond what the majority ever come to learn about themselves and what the alleyways and underdogs give when you look and listen. You are an amazing human being, and not for the first time do I tell you this, but you are an inspiration to me. I can be anyone when I read your words that are so incredibly sensitive and human, just like me. We are sensitive beings who are born from special people, who somewhere in our upbringing nurture a gene that makes us high voltage to experience, sensation, emotion. You write, I act. When I walk the streets of NYC in a month, I will certainly be thinking of the windows in which writers have crouched and whose pens have bled souls and inspiration has struck – maybe even yours. I will think of how lucky I am to be Me, to be Free, and to be in NYC. Thank you is all I can really say – you’re extraordinary. I love what you do with your brain and your heart. X LOVE from Melbourne” – Alexandra

“Hey. What I often find fascinating about your blog is that you write using exact words by other people in lengthy passages. These are not your words and yet you “wear” them as your own in certain ways… Often I find I have to check back for the quotation marks to see if it is YOU speaking or someone else you adore. In a way this is a diminishing of Ego almost… which can easily be experienced here as elevating and independent of such trivial aspects as ownership (whether thoughts, words, ideas)… But I find, even while your selections are lovely and always worth reading… that I want to KNOW when precisely Sophie Ward is writing. Like in BOLD lettering!! Is it wrong to want that?” – Dan Ouellette

“The “plastic beauty”, doesn’t help a human being to re-join the Source… Will beauty save the word? Yes, of course… when the beauty streams from your soul and deep inner!” – Claudine Giovanni

“Why do I always cry when I read your entries. They come up on my bloglovin and I stop everything I’m doing, or save them away for when I have time to give all my attention to them. Thank you sophie. You deserve all the love in the world.” – Lissy

“Hello Sophie, Sounds like you are on a Transcendental Journey.. Think you should become a Buddhist & get away from all of that Concrete, cant be good for the Soul.” – Dominic Bryant

“Brilliant young woman I can’t wait to read your words.” – Sophie H.

“Sophie, I have been reading your blog for quite some time now; this moment being the first wherein I’ve decided to comment! I must say, your compositions extending far back to the first entry have always been watered with such beauty and intelligence. It is an immense opportunity for me as a reader to feel as though I’m a fully engaged participant, riding along on your wondrous river raft of thoughts, imagination, and potent intellectualism. Thank you for the inspiration, and I’m elated for the release of your book(s)!” – Lulu

“Hi, I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and I’m constantly uplifted by the way you see the world – and reminded to not let life in the big city drag you down, or take you somewhere you don’t want to be.” – Sophie Johnston

“I like you heaps my life sponge friend.” – Petrina

“Amazing” – Twix

“The best of writers grant their readers an escape, from life, in their words, while still, mysteriously, making them ponder life, all along. You are one of them.” – Susanna Cole King

“I never thought of you as sad, just one who thinks very deeply. But, then again, how can one think deeply and not be sad? This is very beautiful Soph.” – Julia Croon

“”Stumbled upon your website and I absolutely love it – you’re really quite insightful and so incredibly inspirational. Have a lovely day!” – Thao

“Very real writing” – Eamon Loingsigh

“One of the main reasons I visit your blog is this: While I plow through my daily challenges, as we all do, I rarely find a voice to lift me from the drudgery with any success. Work is work for me with all the requisite stresses and struggles normally associated with… well, WORK. Somehow you manage to find a voice within your work and lay it out here in the blog… a voice which reconnects me with the passions that delivered me to working on whatever it is I’m working on. You help remind me that I wanted to get to this damned work in the first place… which frankly makes it all much more pleasant. Thanks. A constant reminder, ever vigilant, that it is the doing, not the end result, that matters most.” – Dan Ouellette

“I recently stumbled upon your blog and it’s superb! Quirky and poetic at once. Just wanted to say thank you for inspiring me as it’s been a long time since a writer has been able to do that” – Catherine

“I wish I could identify the global perspective you lay out… It has such a magic yet intrinsically true quality to it. I suppose it’s because I want to be a part of the whole world and feel its secrets out in my own daily life. Can’t wait to get my hands on your book!”  – Madeline

“Hi, Sophie. I think you’re wonderful, intuitive, and a great role model for other young girls. You are for me, anyway. It’s just so refreshing to see someone who’s been in the modeling industry, notorious for being “fake” and “materialistic” to be so grounded and reject a superficial outlook on life. It’s obvious you haven’t lost yourself in the craziness of it all, and that’s very inspiring.”  – Debra

“Sophie, your post reminds me of Leibniz’s philosophies, specifically monads. Each monad is a mirror of the universe, and each person is a monad. So, in a sense, we are all a reflection of the universe; we’re all little mirrors reflecting the perfectness of it.”  – Christine

Read more

In the spirit of a new dawn and decade, I want to share with you some of the streams of words that have arrived at my fingertips over the last year. Eamon Loingsigh has written a book called An Affair of Concoctions, which you may find at The Strand bookstore in New York, as well as on Amazon.com. He has a passion, and a spiritual, historical memory of the literary soul, which I love listening to and sharing with him. We begin with one of his poems, “The Vacant Sunrise of Nihility,” followed by the “Manifest Maudit” which never ceases to inspire. I have emboldened the parts that I particularly love (not that I don’t love all of it) especially seeing as I am the “publisher” he refers to, as well as the fact taht we did speak exactly that way moving towards Bleeker!

Secondly, Rebecca Kuo of the blog “Peaches in Wonderland” has sent me “Streams of Consciousness” – a piece about the fractured explosions that are capable of being created by human beings in love. “I am also a thief because I strip you of the seeds of Karma that I find hidden within your body.” She writes of lovers taking naps together, baking cookies at midnight, and other delights of love and companionship. But first,

The Vacant Sunrise of Nihility by Eamon Loingsigh

“Buffoonery has no limits here and the patron saint of vulgarity secretly justifies his reign in a smack of guffaws hidden by the wind in our ears.
It’s a curse, I promise!
What’s worse, we’re coaxed into this shmeer of disingenuous hoarse-calls by the bane of boredom and a fear of the frivolous.
Crowds learn to call it revelry, even seeing piety in its seemingly ignorant direction, like a showboat of imbeciles coasting clumsily nowhere on the barmy seas.
I reel in disgust,
My eyes roll off like a patch of rotted hair on an arrogant old vagabond-tomcat.
Go on,
Keep at it,
Keep pretending your about to enter the central approach to the high altar and secretly tug & fondle each other’s moldy grommets with your flaccid poetry.
Fleets of you, stoned on doctor’s orders,
To keep the devil away,
So you can frolic on the decks of sanctity, debating clumsily the bastions of mendacity on the way to the vacant sunrise of nihility!”

MANIFESTE MAUDIT by Eamon Loingsigh

BROOKLYN – “Oh, fuck yeah! A breakneck stroll with waving arms and excited ideas with my publisher through the West Village at dusk and promises of “yeah, yeah, yeahs” and vehement “it’s gonna be greats” and here comes life again rushing through the corporeal currents to catch the subway at Bleeker! And maybe here comes my time or maybe yeah, it will be great!

How many times? How many writers swam through these old streets with hopes of literary explosions on their brows? Stunning, ingenious, wonderful, foresighted works that would certainly detail the next generation’s guttural wails and subconscious motives?

But then I think, then I bother to wonder again… What’s in the mind of our excited synapse-shooters now? What’s on the horizon of fertile minds looking for a brawl? Have we yet gotten over the “I’m a looser, baby, so why don’t you kill me” pot smoker ‘cause I’m bored with everything style of thinking? Are we energized for a fight and to love a new kind of experimental love-love? Are we destined to break something important in order to create anew? What are we doing? Where am I? No, seriously? Where are we?

Then I know it for sure, without caveats and check-ins with my big-headed intellectual friends and their wicked heroin-headed, spontaneous, speaking-in-tongued inspirational leaders of instinct and damned genius, I know it: Literature here in New York has been put to sleep like an old chubby beast lounging in the suburban sun, put to rest, pastured to looking-back status, retired, passed away… so I ask myself this:
“Where are the snows of yesteryear?”

I’m reading 10 books at once, and no one dares go mad for literature any longer. No one! In the streets on their knees blaspheming God, barber-surgeons of stanzas breaking wind on the scholarly standards of past poets who’d spent their time studying in halls of languor and balanced diets, where are you now? We need a leader to start a new literary movement and, of course, when fools begin to use its name for personal gain, our leader damns it as a bad idea from the get-go, fucking genius! A leader though… Wow, yes, a leader, and maybe we never even recognize he’s a leader until he’s dead and gone, but a leader to pull us out of this indifferent generation of commercialized-control-coercion. And if he is going to lead us out of this September slumber, then he must use words as explosive devices… YES, a literary terrorist!

I catch the L-Train and warbling under the Hudson, I stand in the middle aisle on the pole dreaming, dreaming and I know that I’m seen as a tourist to New York and an outsider because I lean on that pole in PB Shelley-styled stance. I know it, and I don’t care about it because I have to know. You must tell me, please! Please give it to me!

Who is the next Maudit? Where is he? Tell me, tell me! Now!

And I realize we need a manifesto! And Brooklyn is the place to have it! That’ll do it, that’ll shoo him out! Begin this insurgency in your name! A revolt of poetic brilliance against the powers of organized logic once again! And what a perfect enemy too, all lined up for us to laugh at! They! They, who seek to quell the fires of fruitful angst by way of diversions such as gadgets, boobies, sports, gossip, somas, rent, diets and the fear of unhealthy diets! Lots of sex and the fear of too much sex! This organized logic, replete with enemies and heroes and victims and legends gather over our childhoods and melt into our starry-eyed-violent-love youth and batter and beat and bludgeon them into a soft and submissive state of useless serenity, NEVERMORE!

Everywhere I go: Greenpoint, Bushwick, Williamsburg… everything is “May, 1968,” and “Paris student revolt, man” and dressed in mime shirts and tight pants, the beaus stare at the femmes in their mini-skirts and go-go boots pitching for a battle. And in their eyes I can see the love of Antonin Artaud and on the L-Train I can see his morose facial beauty in the New York stare of Brazilian Bricklayers, Kenyan Car-Detailers, Philippine Pipe Layers and Laotians who’ve traveled the oceans to hold the city upright and support its mad past.  And I can’t wait till I get off the subway to call my publisher that I’m going to write a book of poems that has an exclamation point behind every sentence!

Female hipsters, beautiful skirted girls with a shaved head, maybe sleeves of tattoos taught to punish her own body because certainly there must be a problem with her head since this recognized, austere, facile, competent, effectual and aversive American garden of fertility portrayed on television verifies finally that LOVE IS SUBURBAN MATRIARCHY!

We come from all over the states; from Duluth, Minnesota; Fairfax County, Connecticut; Littleton, Colorado; Buford, Georgia… we come headlong to the Brooklyn warehouse district looking for a foe to fight and a friend to fornicate and just a little taste of truth, for something worth our graceful indignation, for anything valuable enough for our inclusive artistic sarcasm and find instead “a violent paradise of runaway sneers” and more glorified self-hatred as a flaccid means of rebellion, NEVERMORE!

A movement, a meaning to our passions. No more communes, no more chaos theories, no more Hollywood and no more commercials to define our men as beer-drinking duds that follow the lead of our suburban matriarchs to some horrific artificial destination of docile domesticity. We need great young men and women of volatile volition. In short… we need a spark: An accursed poet whose spirit has been hijacked by the Gods and reads to us all his fierce incantations.

Jim Morrison had Rimbaud, Kerouac had Neal Cassady, the Surrealists had Lautréamont, Henry Miller had Tante Melia and where is our Maudit? Where is our madman seer? And why isn’t he leading us into battle, arm-in-arm with our women like the Spanish in the Anarchist revolution of the 1930s? Where is our Allen Ginsberg/Ken Kesey? And where is our Sid Vicious/Darby Crash? Why have we spent the first half of this century dormant? Catatonic? Staring emasculatingly into the puppetry of conspired entertainments? Contrived detainments? Where am I? Where are we?

I get off the subway at Morgan St. and walk towards Flushing Ave. In this Brooklyn where the river is still “spinach green” and the old neighborhoods are hooded with spray-paint and industrial dusts and so many fond memories, I think about my great-grandfather who came here from Ireland in 1899 and steered two generations worth of passion, love and most importantly struggle until my parents finally made it! Long Island! Where they consummated their DIVORCE!

The night has dropped again on this old town and the bass of Puerto Rican low-riders and the Arabic chants inside the corner stores remind me that they are the beautiful morose faces of American struggle and that now I; the Irish, Jewish and Italian of old America are now the “natives” that were so battered by the WASPS upon arrival, the refugee savages of wild country.

And I think! While exchanging text messages with Ilene Lush about my possible permanent move here that WE NEED MORE TEARS. Because when she tells me that I’m so full of baloney, I almost immediately begin to fall into a hurtful vat of self-pity then JUMP at the chance to smile confidently through the morass and make it out the other end better for it.

Great bulbous red tears and jerking gasps of FREEDOM flowing floweringly forward so that now, YES! Now I can finally see you now that I’ve been cleansed by the salt of the purity in my objections! And tomorrow I will do it again in front of all my friends and dance on the stage of cruelty for joy and truth!

TRUTH! Oh Lord if you do watch us, what a deliverance it is! Truth is mania in a world shadowed by lies and maybe that is just how you got your grip on us. Truth means no more connivance or contrivance. Truth is admitting your shortfalls admittingly and having others love you for it.

And who is it that can bring us these truths and these tears in the form of words… words that bring us to where we can “break on through to the other side”? And can’t you feel the frantic sadness of Henry Miller weeping when he brings his Mele to the asylum when we read, “there’s something wrong with people who are too good.” Who can help us but a tortured genius? Where is our generation’s clumsy tormented golden elegant matador of brilliance? Search the nuthouses and look for truth in the words of your black-sheep uncle because we need more blind madness instead of cautionary construction.

Madness? Why madness to define a new literature? Certainly Harold Bloom would ask, and so I shall answer in one suicidal word “invincibility.” When Artaud fought to justify his demons, he created the “Theatre of Cruelty,” which failed but left a wondrous scar on the theatre. When finally the sun shone again on his face after shock-treatments at the Asylum Rodez, he had dropped all inhibitions and fallen into a deeply self-assured madness that produced his most breath-takingly honest poetry caused by the invincibility of his paranoia, speaking only now in absolutes, Artaud cried “everything which is not tetanus of the soul… is not real and cannot be considered poetry.”

Artaud’s influence on French theatre and cinema was mostly realized after his death, of course. And when the wonderfully beligerant thespian students living in Brooklyn speak so highly of him, I can’t help but think of the beautiful relationship France has with its artists and compare it to this shining American “shithole,” waiting to fill itself up again looking to find a new underground hero because although Artaud was considered an outsider even to the Surrealist movement during that time, André Breton later spoke highly of his intensity, “this fury, by its astonishing cantagious power, profoundly influenced the course of Surrealism.”

And then I think of a word that grates against metal on metal in my ears. One single incredibly symbolic word; “submission” and that’s what you’ve got to do today when you would like others to see your work. You must submit yourself through some vainglorious and vaunted establishment that seeks to stave your inspiration, pressure you into signing as crappy a contract as they can get away with and make more money off your words than even you.

We don’t need any more control, what we need is more air! This self-serving sycophantic slutty-holed morality has subordinated us long enough. We need more TRUTH, be it unvarnished or brutal, to gather in pubs and cafés without pouring shame on each other, to throw our eyes closed and to let our conscience stream itself to heal and when the night is over we can then go off and make love to each other as monuments to our need for beauty or death in this war on indifference. To forget the horror and yawn of our bore! A delusive Ashbery yore! You will not be young for so long, you have to stand now and rage against the dying of your Brooklyn nights! Drink with wine and poetry because “it is time to be drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of time”!

And that’s where I’ll be! Waiting for you… I’ll keep my window open, I love you!”

~ Fall 2009 ~

TWO EXTREME VIEWS UPON LOVE by Rebecca Kuo

“It would be difficult to argue that the word “love” didn’t entail a significant amount of universal pertinence. And I believe that this word is embedded within two extremes– love as a drug and love as a ticking time bomb.

Two lovers at the verge of a split are living like they are combating against a war. Living in the fear of the next explosion, they clutch spitefully at every small move. Not calling when advised and not paying enough attention become blown out of proportion. Love becomes a manipulative tug of war game of give and take.

Each will try to gain from this war as much as possible, like the conquerors looting the defeated. Both parties become accustomed experts at playing these foolish games, but in reality there is no winner. Once the time bomb stops ticking – then explodes –both sides have lost because both hearts have simultaneously been shattered.

A pair of lovers in a happy relationship are inseparable, and this is not in any way catalysed though mere obligation to be with one another. Spending time together becomes part of their daily routine and they will nap together like an old married couple. Knowing how to create a smile is simply an intuition- and they will rub their cheeks together after a kiss as it comes through second nature. Baking cookies together past midnight becomes their own invented custom – one that only the two of them will share. After all that’s been said and done, although the pair may not be in love, love is a drug because there is an essential difference between obligation and addiction.

In many ways, through my eyes, human beings are all like little jigsaw puzzles. Because sometimes, in life, when you least expect it, the wholesome way you pieced yourself together to be becomes entirely destroyed by a single individual who you have just met for the first time.

 And as they take each piece of the puzzle from you one by one, you don’t know why but it doesn’t feel like they are stealing from you. And as they continue to break more and more of your perfect puzzle, without noticing, you find yourself with a few of their pieces, too. 

By the end of this game, you are both left incomplete, broken and shattered – holding only onto the myriad scattered remains. And not knowing what it is you should be doing with them.”

LET US REVISE:

“My Father’s name is Caravaggio, an artist & a thief.

 I am also a thief because I strip you of the seeds of Karma that I find hidden within your body. I am an artist and you are a cartographer within an undiscovered landscape, mapping and inscribing my body within an element of your own, until one day our bodies will interlock.”

– Read more by Rebecca Kuo @ Peaches in Wonderland.

– Read more Eamon Loingsigh here, and here, and right here on this blog. I will be posting more of his pulsating, punishing, passionate poems soon.

PS. AS OF JANUARY 1, 2010, I WILL BE KEEPING A PHOTO JOURNAL ON AUSTRALIA’S GREAT UHH.COM.AU! I AM SO EXCITED TO JOIN THE RANKS OF YANG LI, JEFF BURCH, RON RADGE, LIAM ANDREWS, AND SIMON CHARLES TAYLOR… (ANYONE ELSE THINK IT’S ABOUT TIME A GIRL ENTERED THE CLUB? YAY!!) YOU WILL SEE MY PHOTOS FROM ADVENTURES ALL ABOUT THE LAND INCLUDING, DURING THE NEXT SIX MONTHS: NEW ORLEANS, FRANCE, LOS ANGELES, AND OF COURSE, NEW YORK.

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I carry a compass that is attached to my keys in New York. Being back here is complicit in my mind with having my whole head be the compass, and this city be my magnet: However, every way is North, and every other way is West, and East is South and South doesn’t exist. In other words, my wheels are spinning, my head is spinning, and upon hitting this cement pavement each day, my eyes are roving over every gum stain and secret garden, the long-haired Woodstockians in Veselka eating burgers, the pairs of anti-establishmentarian punks, the gaggles of gay boys looking more beautiful than me. This is amazing, amazing, amazing to feel, and it is nurturing something else wider and bigger within and amongst me. I feel like this is the very beginning of the rest of my life.

Cliche or not, it might just be true. I have had a rough couple of years, (it might not look it from the contents of this B.L.O.G, or maybe it does look gnarly?), full of depressions, the down-falls of souls close to me, as well as occasionally mine: There has been illness, anxiety, long isolations and hard, hard work. I am not exaggerating each of those points. In fact it just took a rather numerous count of moments to ponder the best way to put with brevity what are really quite serious and strenuous life-challenges.

Of course, we all know challenges make the sun shine brighter and the popcorn smell sweeter, but I think it’s funny that when I’m in the side-halls of a challenge, and then going through it, it’s not as hard as I would have thought. I guess because I always knew I was going to need to go through things like a) absences from loved ones & cities, b) melancholy and isolation, and c) the selfless giving of support, and receiving of support, from healthy friends in better spirits than thou, and to others who are not doing too well. “In times when you feel like you can’t give any more, give more,” confided director Matt Amato of The Masses to me recently, quoting his St Louis residing mother, the champion of all givers, he says. It’s always your choice anyway, I do recognize that. I don’t have to stay for any longer than I decide. It’s all your car – this life, it’s ALL your automobile, you get behind the wheel now, ya hear me! (that’s how I imagine anyone in the south with a porch-house would talk)

As for New York City – well, upon arrival I have aptly been treated like a queen – as anyone who has just gone through a) b) and c) should be. (Even I myself recognize that I deserve this, and I’m not usually focused on myself – which might be the problem and why I suffered through a) b) and c) in the first place…) For example, I had a free cab ride home with a gentleman who mentioned writing agents/ managers here, which definitely peaked my interest, as I don’t have anything like that, not even in Australia. Secondly, I was treated to a midnight Veselka snack as well as Sushi a lunch by my twin brothers and their friend Andy Burns, the next Andy Warhol of the Rock & Roll scene. Thirdly, I woke up with the Eurythmics ‘There Must Be an Angel’ rolling through my head (It’s true, there must be, and I think her name is Gemma W.) Fourthly, (yes there are still more) I walked past a vintage store, chose a few things and went to the dressing room where I was offered extra-special treatment again, ‘You want the MVP suite?’ my friend smiled, holding the Empresses new clothes (I assure you I wasn’t naked.)

Last but not least, (and only because it just happened last night), during dinner on the sidewalk (not literally, we were at a table) a man noticed my brother shooting film on his Pentax, and stopped to talk to us with his notebook. One thing led to another (he thought Henry was my boyfriend, hahah), and he started telling me I reminded him of his old friend Shalom Harlow. Then he started drawing something in his A4 book, all the while still talking to us ‘What’s your name kid?’ ‘Oscar’ Oscar replied. ‘So you’re Felix’ he asked Henry. ‘Are you drawing me?’ I said. ‘Yes, yes I am,’ he responded. Later Andy pointed out that that’s a pretty cool claim, that someone off the street started drawing you. Turns out he was a photographer, a kind of crazy one at that. (He walked off singing Waltzing Matilda at the top of his lungs.) But then again, most people in NYC are. I wonder if I will develop a mild case of mania again. That was the extent of my insanity the last time I was here. But I think it was more of an Annie Lennox style happiness, as seen here: Particularly in the hip wiggling, floor length red velvet dress which she rocks in on stage.

Just wait for the ending too, I am smiling wanly already.

Meanwhile Jon is in Los Angeles riding and walking all day, taking yoga classes (his first ever! I am so amazed and proud!), and generally running away from the tick-bite, towards health. He is, in times of full-health, a ‘human calculator’ as my friend Sara explained, as well as an extraordinarily sensitive human being who extramazingly, apparently feels medicine moving through his bloodstream. I think yoga will be immensely good for someone like him, who is also prone to thinking too much and worrying about what might be, instead of focusing on what is. It’s harder done than said though. I was so happy to see him playing his music again, and eating pizza, and being able to hold longer conversations. To see a loved one deteriorate is a really tough thing to witness. I’m young, and skinny! But this has definitely built up my strength and resistance to hardship, I know.

Which is why I am going to soak up this enjoyment factor that spreads like buttered air, all through this glorious home of an apartment. Let me share. In my immediate vicinity, for example, I see a mahogany-colored electric guitar, the body made of some kind of beautiful wood,  a giant bloom-printed carpet, a half-finished game of speed chess (kind of defeats the purpose…?), an amp, the floor pillows and geometric patterned ottoman I chose three years ago (they withstood the test of time! Three apartments! I am proud), and a really rad white curvy chair with tan leather backing. A couple of Danny’s portraits of Gemma are on the walls, and I am sitting in a big deep armchair I have always loved and which Gem was nearly going to get rid of. It was my office chair. Old habits die hard.

Now, I’d like to share this which I randomly opened to in a scrapbook of mine last night: I have been wrestling with work commitments, tiring of taking on work for free, work that is not mine (except for one, rad, feature script), and realizing that I have to make sure I make time for my own self and my own work. Even if money doesn’t ca-ching out of the computer each time I finish a chapter of my novel, or whatever – it still provides me with immense gratification and joy. That is money enough, for the time being. This excerpt really reminded me why I’m here and why I love Paper Castle so much.

The future is as open as an infinity pool on a hillside on July Fourth (incidentally, that was my July Fourth), and I am looking forward to the time when all this corn starts popping, if you know what I mean.

“As leaders, finding “where we ought to be” in our life and work is a true gift. In today’s world, we can spin our lives in layers of involvement and tiers of actions, reactions, proactions and distress. Finding our place and our calling in clear, simple terms in a frenzied environment frees us to be ourselves and meet our destiny; the place where things fit and feel just right.

Simplicity, getting to the core and cutting through the swamps of politics and procedures, is a hallmark of both leadership and poetry in creating meaning. There is no script to life, and heroes and villains are not always in clear focus. Good leaders share their truth and invoke both wonder and anger and a whole range of emotions in between. The risk of leadership is in allowing people to see our thoughts and emotions, and with it comes great human vulnerability.

Poets speak of vulnerability but being vulnerable is what many leaders fear, seeing it as a sign of weakness. Being vulnerable, however, is an important part of leadership if you are to trust people and put a human face on responsibilities and obligations. The paradox is that leaders desire to touch people’s lives but some want to do so from the antiseptic cocoon of an organizational hierarchy far away from the vulnerability of genuine relationships of openness and candor.” *

Which is just what I love about being at the helm of this B.L.O.G ship, where the crest of the wave crushes over me and I get washed every time I write something and hear your thoughts come back to me in writing. You do realize that the only reason I keep this blog is for you, each and every reader who visits this ‘glistening gash, where envelopes stream…‘ I couldn’t go on without the encouragement and accountability that comes with having eager and loving readers to write to. If some of you recall, I spoke of our newsletter sign-up feature being connected to Paper Castle’s mailbox at the front of the chateau, and how when I was a kid I wanted to be a Postman. This just goes to show that each and every dream of yours actually does come true in very weird ways. Be careful what you wish for is another cliche that scarily, speaks the very truth of the uni/ multiverse with every syllable. I am a Postman – and I am writing to you guys, with my quill and pen, for the sheer joy and love of it, and you all.

* [author George A. Goens, Ph.D. You can read the whole piece here: It’s titled ‘Leadership and Poetry.’]

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