I am more than a little uncertain
Though I hesitate to state precisely
The exact nature of my confusion
Regarding the world and the moment.
Surely it cannot possibly be as it seems
I refuse to countenance that it is for real
Friday night and it’s not alright at all
Then Saturfuckingday and I want to rend
Let chaos reign soaking to the bone
Revel in the excesses and movement
From wildly contrasting zones and regions
The Arctic chill of terror icing the veins
Roiling fevers of isolated equatorial lusts
The insanity of an all too vivid lucidity
Divine frenzies of total intoxication
But I tell you something has got to give
We make out like we care but I can sense
The calm expectation before the excitement
Mounts as we approach the end my friend
Let me look in my Book of Miracles my love
For portents signs and omens yes all there
A positively medieval frame of mind
Lets turn back the clocks get the time
To sync break open the seals
Let it come down.
But I always miss a beat…
Just that fraction off,
Forever misreading my cues
Carelessly crashing through
The most unforgiving hours
Wandering through the rooms
In the house of sleep
With eyes growing larger,
Shining warningly bright,
Constantly changing colour
Like all the creatures
That come alive in the dark,
So alert and predatory,
Naturally scorning company
For our own being overflows.
Then when the night is over,
Done with, burrow deep away
From that searchlight in the sky,
The unwanted intrusion of the sun.
Rhythm is rhythm and I am what I am,
I know that I always get it wrong,
But not for a moment did I want to be right.
In the early 1930’s Jindrich Styrsky, the co-founder of the Czech Surrealist group made a pilgrimage to Provence, to visit the ruins of the Chateau La Coste, the ancestral home of the Sade family. Here he took a number of mysterious photographs of the crumbling walls and overgrown doors which inspired his artistic partner, Toyen, to paint in oils the illusionistic Au Chateau La Coste. The drawing of the predatory fox seemingly coming to life gives the painting a singular sense of menace which is particularly apt for the place which so inspired the Marquis De Sade.
The Marquis was very attached to La Coste. During the long years of his confinement in various prisons and asylums he routinely mourned its destruction during the Revolution. It was at La Coste, after all, that the Marquis had first developed his lifelong passion for the theatre, staging lavish productions which he naturally starred in. More ominously it was also at La Coste that the Marquis orchestrated and choreographed, with the aid of his wife, Renee-Pelagie, elaborate orgies that was to serve as the model for the unbridled license afforded his characters in the sinister and oppressive castles in his searingly radical, and horrifying, libertine fictions of the prison years.
Toyen was profoundly influenced by her exposure to Sade. A large majority of Toyen’s work is explicitly sexual in content. She surrounded herself with erotic objects and imagery. Her artistic collaborator, the Surrealist poet, Sadean scholar and cultural theorist Annie Le Brun, whose blistering critique of contemporary society The Reality Overload I cannot recommend highly enough, commented that Toyen, who was at the time well into her seventies, would visit the movie theatre several times a week to watch X-rated films.