Lovelorn

alone I languish


Love will take us to higher plaines
Love makes us feel alive
Love is painful
Love kills

Lovelorn
One and Only
“You are the only one for me.”
Love lorn
Nobody Else
“No one else compares to you.”


Thou hast the keys of Paradise, O just, subtle, and mighty Opium!

— Thomas de Quincey


There is no intensity of love or feeling that does not involve the risk of crippling hurt. It is a duty to take this risk, to love and feel without defense or reserve.

— William S. Burroughs


When you stop growing you start dying.

— William S. Burroughs

📙 Confessions of an English Opium Eater

— Thomas de Quincey (1821)

Describing the surreal hallucinations, insomnia and nightmarish visions he experienced while consuming large quantities of opium, De Quincey waxes lyrical on the associated pleasures and pains. De Quincey arguably scrutinise his life, somewhat obsessively in an attempt to articulate and understand better his own identity. The work portrays a nervous (postmodern?) self-awareness, a spiralling obsession with the enigmas of one’s own composition and relative (in)significance.

Critics broadly agree that The Confessions forges a clear link between artistic self-expression and addiction. According to Martin Geeson, what makes the book technically remarkable is its use of a majestic neoclassical style to confessional writing (of the rather romantic kind). The Confessions is a work of immense sophistication and certainly one of the most impressive and influential of the autobiographies of that century. Moreover, there’s a general consensus that it paved the way for later generations of literary drug-takers from Charles P. Baudelaire — “always be a poet, even in prose” — to William S. Burroughs.

📙 Junky

— William S. Burroughs (1953)

Junky is semi-autobiographical work that focuses on Burroughs’ life as a drug user and dealer. It has come to be considered a seminal text on the lifestyle of heroin addicts in mid-20th c. America.

📙 Naked Lunch

— William S. Burroughs (1959)

Naked Lunch is structured as a series of loosely connected vignettes. These vignettes are drawn from Burroughs’ own experiences on the road and his addiction to drugs: heroin, morphine and, while in Morocco, majoun (which is a strong strain of hashish). The book was included in Time magazine’s “100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.”

I shall read…

for what else to do now?


This mournful and restless sound was a fit accompaniment to my meditations.


— Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim

Oh 2 be b’side the c-side with u write now! Can you hear it, can you hear me, can you hear the sonorous, no searing, sounds of the redolent, no relentless, sea.

Read The NYT Book review

Download a PDF copy here:
BooksNYT Book Review (Jan. 2020).

There is an ocean of silence between us. . . and I am drowning in it.
“No one compares to you, but there’s no you, except in my dreams tonight.”
— Lana Del Rey


Though lovers be lost, love shall not /
And death shall have no dominion.


— Dylan Thomas

There is an ocean of silence between us. . . and I am drowning in it 013
“It hurts to breathe. It hurts to live. I hate him, yet I do not think I can exist without him.”
― Charlotte Featherstone


There is an ocean of silence between us… and I am drowning in it.


— Ranata Suzuki

There is an ocean of silence between us. . . and I am drowning in it 012
“You can love someone so much… But you can never love people as much as you can miss them.”
― John Green


Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.


— Kahlil Gibran

There is an ocean of silence between us. . . and I am drowning in it 010
“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.”
― George R. Martin


It’s painful, loving someone from afar /
Watching them – from the outside.


— Ranata Suzuki


“Your smile and your laughter lit my whole world.”

Tittle-Tattle

Telltale Tit /
Your tongue shall be slit
• • •

There was a time when I would walk & talk
the veneration was captivating
in those halcyon days, I’d silk and milk
the politicking was everything
 
Statecraft through court intrigue (my modes were old)
Machiavelli gave the manuscript
my words writ power plays (and paid me gold)
yet Cromwell showed, class can never be stripped
 
Tittle-Tattle, the cut of the devil
— time and tome tell us the weak will relent
Telltale Tit, most will be nowt but evil
— there ain’t no doubt that the meek will repent
 
Not I, Adversity… I’ll catch stars;
for you, my dearest, I’ll spar yet with Mars.


Thomas Cromwell
Thomas Cromwell
By Hans Holbein (1533)
* See too, p. 88 of Hilary Mantel’s “Bring Up the Bodies” (2012).

• • • and all the dogs in the town
/ Shall each be fed a little bit

11 weeks (i.e., 77 days)

Monuments to the Moment

For me, I’d say the greatest poetry is sometimes written by those who pine away hopelessly; by those who are devoted to and/or obsessed by someone who will (almost certainly) never (be able to) return their affections — that which waxes poetic about unrequited love (saudade). This is so from Sappho and Catullus through the medieval courtly love tradition; through Shakespeare and Spenser; through the latter-day Romantics, to the recent British poet laureates.


01. —

This is one take on unrequited love by the poet W. H. Auden. “If equal affection cannot be,” pens Auden, “Let the more loving one be me.”

The More Loving One
Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.

— W. H. Auden


02. —

Stevie Smith’s “Pad, Pad” is penned by one of the twentieth century’s most eccentric poets. It is spoken by someone whose lover sat down and told them that they no longer love them. The animal suggestion of padding rather than walking, as well as the ‘tigerish crouch’ of the departing lover, are typical of the way Smith writes and, as many have argued before me, make this poem all the more affecting.

Pad Pad
I always remember your beautiful flowers
And the beautiful kimono you wore
When you sat on the couch
With that tigerish crouch
And told me you loved me no more.

What I cannot remember is how I felt when you were unkind
All I know is, if you were unkind now I should not mind.
Ah me, the power to feel exaggerated, angry and sad
The years have taken from me. Softly I go now, pad pad.

— Stevie Smith


03. —

Carol Ann Duffy’s “Warming Her Pearls” is narrated by a maid who clearly harbours a secret love and burning desire for her mistress. It is very sensual and talks to us of unrequited or impossible to fulfil love. Might though the Lady one day entertain and sate her maid’s desires? This is not an inconceivable outcome, she can’t but not know about her desires for her — the parting of the red-lips — and maybe she’s somehow not being fulfilled sexually herself I like to imagine a lesbian Lady Chatterley type tryst here. But whatever to my digressions read it and breath in and soak up the kind of desire that keeps one wide awake in the depths of night.

Warming Her Pearls
Next to my own skin, her pearls. My mistress
bids me wear them, warm them, until evening
when I’ll brush her hair. At six, I place them
round her cool, white throat. All day I think of her,

resting in the Yellow Room, contemplating silk
or taffeta, which gown tonight? She fans herself
whilst I work willingly, my slow heat entering
each pearl. Slack on my neck, her rope.

She’s beautiful. I dream about her
in my attic bed; picture her dancing
with tall men, puzzled by my faint, persistent scent
beneath her French perfume, her milky stones.

I dust her shoulders with a rabbit’s foot,
watch the soft blush seep through her skin
like an indolent sigh. In her looking-glass
my red lips part as though I want to speak.

Full moon. Her carriage brings her home. I see
her every movement in my head…. Undressing,
taking off her jewels, her slim hand reaching
for the case, slipping naked into bed, the way

she always does…. And I lie here awake,
knowing the pearls are cooling even now
in the room where my mistress sleeps. All night
I feel their absence and I burn.

— Carol Ann Duffy

Soul Meets Soul on Lovers’ Lips

  The pain deep within sears with fiery burn
   A persistent pain, to which there’s no gain
   For you, you see, there’s nowhere I’ll not go
  So I’ll play this hand, for I can’t forego.
   There’s no depth too low, nor deprivation
   There’s no face too shear, or sunken station
   There’s no time too long, this is pure passion
   There’s no thing too far, for you’re my heaven.
   Two full moons have come and gone since you’ve gone
   The Whys for your departure, are now clear
   The guilt trips were cruel, my dear desert pearl
  The bathroom floor’s no place for a treasure.
   Oh how I now know the errors I’ve made; I know now too that true love does not fade.

Past & Present
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.

Oh let the hopeless amongst us bow to the Latter Day Romantics . . . . . .

John Keats lived to 25

P. B. Shelley lived to 30

Lord Byron lived to 36

. . . . . . . we can revise the tires but let us not replace the wheels; far better to pay yesteryear some degree of heed. But ya Jay Bae don’t here get me wrong, we do too need to be creative and inventive. It is true indeed that we can’t stay stuck perpetually in past’s lust but, we need to read a bit about it before we can gainfully dig for and articulate convincingly pleasures new.

A Master Cannot Serve Two Mistresses