Dialectics of Desire

Ithell Colquhoun
Ithell Colquhoun

If only the big combo
Could come together
Become fused, merging
Into something other:
A magic orderly, precise,
Science raggedy, unruly,
An art exquisite yet raw
To fashion a language
With the suppleness of silence:
What vantage this vista
Would provide with a view
To die for, to kill for,
Into the realm of the marvellous:
Causing old habits of thoughts
To be sloughed like so many snakes-skins,
We would construct clouds into castles
And turn castles into cumulus clouds:
We would be welcome in a world
Where the everyday so-and–such
Glows with the sheen of the miraculous
Where a glance, the merest touch,
Opens up opportunities,
With all the divine hazards,
And dream chances,
Of a new dialectics of desire.

Witches Brew

Alison Blickle
Alison Blickle

Let’s us drink and play a game
It might set us free
Matching and mixing
Till we’re maxed all tapped out
Spun around oozing sugar
The sickening unto death sweetness
Of invading all pervading lust
We will ache for all tomorrows
To come and then some
But it’s OK, it’s alright
Let it reign
An era of indolence
Till the waters rise
To wash it all away
Then its time to rise and shine
Start again fresh and clean
With newly laundered souls
And sparkling crystal eyes
A touch that thrills to the slightest tremor
In the nearest galaxy
And hear the rhythm section
Of the spheres and the stars
Shimmering points of light so tight
As they improvise upon creation
This is really some concoction
Drink to the depths this witches brew.

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.

The Object of the Eye

René Magritte, The Eye (1932-35)
René Magritte, The Eye 1936

Magritte’s The Eye from 1936 presents the image of an eye and the surrounding areas of the face, painted in Magritte’s usual dry, meticulous and unsettling bland style. The painting is contained within a Victorian shadow-box that gives the illusion that the unblinking eye is staring through a peep-hole. The effect is profoundly unnerving; the object we are looking at returns our gaze and exposes us for the voyeurs that we are. Everything we see we objectify, with the exception of ourselves, of course.

 

Haunt

Odilon Redon
Odilon Redon

If we are who we haunt,
Then I am the ghost of my own life,
Casting shadows across the sun lounger,
The silent spectre at the groaning buffet
Resplendent, sinister and boring,
Bearing witness to all the lost futures,
The decayed promises of a better world,
Those bright and shiny surfaces
Tarnished and rusting in the headache-
Inducing glare of the sodium lights;
Granting me chilling visions
Of the stillborn brittle possibilities
Preserved intact in the frozen tundra:
Involuntarily shivering, (Why can’t they
Ever avoid walking on my tomb?)
I am reminded of the revelation
That I so long to forget but never really do;
That we haunt and are haunted
From conception to the grave.
For the unnaturally preserved corpse
Of the rotted past together with
Obliterated time that will never be
Congeal and solidify into a shape
At the end of the bed, waiting,
(It has patience, time is on its side)
For that moment to arrive
When it will invade and finally
Colonise the endless, unholy now.