Monday, August 30, 2010

How The Light Gets In

“I do not want to be the leader.
I refuse to be the leader.
I want to live darkly and richly in my femaleness.
I want a man lying over me, always over me.
His will, his pleasure, his desire, his life, his work, his sexuality the touchstone,
the command, my pivot.

I don’t mind working, holding my ground intellectually, artistically;
but as a woman, oh, God, as a woman I want to be dominated.
I don’t mind being told to stand on my own feet, not to cling, be all that I am capable of doing,
but I am going to be pursued, fucked, possessed by the will of a male at his time, his bidding.”

Anais Nin

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


This week I'm mostly on a P kick : Photography, Poetry and Psychology. With its sensual and erotic imagery, the following has become one of my favourite poems

'The Cinnamon Peeler'

If I were a cinnamon peeler
I would ride your bed
and leave the yellow bark dust
on your pillow.

Your breasts and shoulders would reek
you could never walk through markets
without the profession of my fingers
floating over you. The blind would
stumble certain of whom they approached
though you might bathe
under the rain gutters, monsoon.

Here on the upper thigh
at this smooth pasture
neighbour to your hair
or the crease
that cuts your back. This ankle.
You will be known among strangers
as the cinnamon peeler's wife.

I could hardly glance at you
before marriage
never touch you
- your keen nosed mother, your rough brothers.
I buried my hands
in saffron, disguised them
over smoking tar,
helped the honey gatherers...

When we swam once
I touched you in the water
and our bodies remained free,
you could hold me and be blind of smell.
You climbed the bank and said

this is how you touch other women
the grass cutter's wife, the lime burner's daughter.
And you searched your arms
for the missing perfume

and knew

what good is it
to be the lime burner's daughter
left with no trace
as if not spoken to in the act of love
as if wounded without the pleasure of a scar.

You touched
your belly to my hands
in the dry air and said
I am the cinnamon
peeler's wife. Smell me.

Michael Ondaatje

Image: Ornate P

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Ten Days

Ten days filled with amazing people, sights, sounds, smells, tastes and experiences.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

Alexander Pope
An Essay on Man, Epistle I, 1733

Saturday, August 07, 2010


The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy & William Burroughs:
Uncle Bill's sense of humour is/was greatly underestimated.

Friday, August 06, 2010


Dog bite facial scar

"Children show scars like medals.
Lovers use them as secrets to reveal.
A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh. "

Leonard Cohen

Personally the idea of physical perfection has always seemed like a terribly dull thing. I find scars and the stories behind them absolutely fascinating. A physical road map of occurrences, some accidental, some intentional. From faint silvery lines to a raised welt, some smooth, some puckered.

I have a number of scars but one in particular made me self consciousness and was a source of anxiety. A result of a childhood accident, my face was sliced open resulting in what i now refer to as half a Chelsea smile. As a teenager i would spend time covering it carefully with makeup and hoping that nobody would notice. As i grew older the red stitch marks faded to silvery threads and i grew to like the cross stitch effect and how it changed the shape of my mouth.

Hamer woman scarred from being butted by a goat.

Photographer Amanda Grandfield's fascination with scars began a few years ago. Whilst on the way to a party wearing heels, she tripped and the incident led to two badly cut knees. After arriving home later that evening, she took a nude self portrait with her knees drawn up to display the wounds. It was this photograph that lead her to delve deeper into the connection between the physicality of scars and the mental state or landscape behind them.

“Besides having an aesthetic interest in scars and photographing them in close-ups, I discovered that people were eager to share the stories behind their scars,” said Grandfield. “Many of them had no interest in plastic surgery and viewed the physical incident as a life changing event—like an emotional and psychological boundary that’s crossed on skin.”

Scarification or the application of scars in a controlled manner has been common for centuries. There are many reasons for scarification and the most common are religious, social or aesthetic.

In most of the western world scars are accidental. Grandfield wanted to explore how different cultures use scarification as a way to enhance social status or beauty. She won a Fulbright Grant in 2004 that enabled her to travel to Ethiopia. It was in a Hamer village in the South Omo region where she learnt about how the people view their scars.

“Instead of sensationalizing the traditions of ritual scarring among the Hamer people, it will focus on the people who have created these magnificent marks. This project will serve as a cultural documentation of this tribal practice.Combined with what I’ve done in the United States, I’ll be able to delineate the parallels and divergences of how scars function in two cultures and between individuals.”

To see more of Grandfield's work:

Monday, August 02, 2010


"The French poet, Rimbaud, predicted that the next great crop of writers would be women. He was the first guy who ever made a big women's liberation statement, saying that when women release themselves from the long servitude of men they're really gonna gush. New rhythms, new poetries, new horrors, new beauties. And I believe in that completely.

But hung-up women can't produce anything but mediocre art, and there ain't no room for mediocre art."

Patti Smith

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