I had recognized Him not

Noli Me Tangere-Titian c 1514

The ceaseless tears
Rained down my cheeks,
My breathes ragged gulps
In between a wail and a sob,
A heart riven twice again
My stricken rent soul
Searching in this isolated place:
I ask the angels,
Where is the body of My Lord?
Where has my Beloved gone?
But only silence
I turn around
To see a man, a stranger
Possibly the groundskeeper
A tiller of soil, a planter of seeds
He asks me gently
As to the reason for my distress
I answer that I need to find him,
My brother, my father,
My companion, my son,
The one who gave me succour
In the darkness,
Cast out the seven demons
With ease and gentleness,
If you know where he has been taken
Tell me so that I may tend to his body;
To which he simply said Mary:
I had recognized Him not.
How could I have not known
It was Rabboni
Heavenly consort
Transformed with inner light,
I rushed over
But he stilled me, saying,
Do not touch me
Mary, my tower of strength,
My sister, my child,
My bride, my mother,
Divine Sophia
For although I have descended
To harrow Hell
I have yet to ascend
To the One,
Beyond this realm of matter,
To the father and mother of us all
Not the mother who bears
Not the father who raises
Not the creator of this world
But the Source of the Word
Go now, my Beloved,
You who always understood me the best,
Be the apostle to the apostles
And tell them where I am going.

Floating City VI

Last Year in Marienbad-Alain Renais 1961

This outer dazzling radiance
Imbues with melting desire
Refracting in stained glass
Shines over frothing waves
Casts over sundial shadows
Haloes the heroic statuary
Banished within four walls
Where silence, solitude reign
Realm of inner marvels

Meant to Be

Last Year in Marienbad
Last Year in Marienbad

Is this the way it was meant to be?
I remember the future differently,
But then again when could memory
Ever be trusted or relied upon,
Just raw rushes to be edited
Into a consoling, coherent fiction,
A vain attempt at a narrative
That lends structure, meaning,
To this messy rambling series
Of unfortunate events we group
Together and present as a
Distinct entirety called Life.

Is this the way it was meant to be?
I look in the mirror and I can’t
Recognise the figure I see staring
Nonchalantly back at me.
I am pursued by echoes, traces,
Vestiges of many different selves,
Degraded remnants of cancelled tomorrows,
Events that never happened that have
Yet retained a hold upon my senses
Far greater than any actuality
That may appeared to have perhaps
Occurred sometime in a half
Forgotten and ill-defined past.

Is this the way it was meant to be?
This era of ontological uncertainty,
At one point I may have seen a light
That drove me onward towards
A destination that I thought was home,
But it was switched off, extinguished,
Or maybe it just burnt itself out:
So now I spectrally waver,
Phantasmally flicker at the edge
Of your vision, waiting for you
To catch a glimpse, recognise
Love, give outline to desire,
Make the blood flow again
And shape my flesh to your will.

Dreams of Desire 67 (Lucien Clergue)

Lucien Clergue-Zebra Nude
Lucien Clergue-Zebra Nude

Despite the fact that Surrealism was involved in literature, illustration, painting, film, architecture, philosophy and politics, the area where it achieved its greatest impact and subsequent influence is undoubtedly the field of photography (see Dreams of Desire 2, 3, 21Angel and many others for examples of Surrealist and Surrealist inspired photography).

This influence can be seen in the nudes of the French photographer Lucian Clergue, who at the age of 21 in 1955 struck up a friendship with Picasso that was to last until the great modern master’s death in 1973. Clergue’s nude photographs often feature the zebra effect which creates a distancing coolness and abstraction to the exposed flesh. The model (or models) are defined by the interplay of light and shadow. In other studies the model is placed in natural surroundings where the body merges into the landscape in the manner of Magritte.

Dreams of Desire 45 (Leebra)

Man Ray-Portrait of Lee Miller (Leebra) 1930
As regulars visitors will know, I have an unending fascination with the romance and creative collaboration between Man Ray and Lee Miller. I recently discovered this wonderful and wittily titled photograph of Lee taken by Man Ray in The Lives of Lee Miller written by her son Antony Penrose.

Man Ray work frequently featured the technique of light patterns upon the body and face, a striking way to render the familiar unfamiliar and by doing so adding an extra erotic allure, which was the essence of the Surrealist attitude to desire.