Be Pretty : A Lyric in Search of a Song

Ma maman m’a dit
Sois poli si tu n’es pas joli
But, mom, why behave
When there’s Revlon and Loreal

Be pretty if you’re not polite
Dress well if you’re not nice

Gimme Gimme Gimme
Comme des Garçons et Mizrahi
I want I want I want
Jean-Paul Gaultier Yves St-Laurent

Vilaine comme un singe
Je m’habille toujours comme un archange
I may be foul-mouthed
Who gives a fuck if I’m well turned-out

Be pretty if you’re not polite
Dress well if you’re not nice

Gimme Gimme Gimme
Comme des Garçons et Mizrahi
I want I want I want
Jean-Paul Gaultier Yves St-Laurent

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Depth Charge: A search on my hard drives dragged this 20-year-old lyric to the surface, the corpse of a man from a completely forgotten murder.

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You don’t need a spine to measure time

The world simply is
xxxxxThe leaf to the caterpillar
It does not happen
xxxxxIt unfolds to an inching touch
Crawling upward along a world line
xxxxxOf fleeting feelings
Flexibly traced into existence

I’ll be your counter together
Oscillating we’ll measure time

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Depth Charge: “The objective world simply is, it does not happen. Only to the gaze of my consciousness, crawling upward along the world line of my body, does a section of the world come to life as a fleeting image in space which continuously changes in time, Herman Weyl, Philosophy of Mathematics and Natural Science,  Princeton University Press, p. 116 (Quoted in Dean Buonomano’s  Google Talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqwJHasGT9w). 

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Three Loves Stories for Loveless Times

Over the past couple of weeks, I have seen three love stories, two much-hyped and one sliding just below the radar; one deserves its praise, one does not, and one should be receiving much more attention. Let’s get the bad news over with first.

The Shape of Water is Guillermo del Torro’s cross between Splash and The Creature from the Black Lagoon. The film looks and sounds incredible, with a heavy debt owed to the films of Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Delicatessen and Amelie). Its heart is firmly in the right place with its salute to all outsiders who look for love and truth in a hostile, straight-male dominated world, and yet it is a fairytale that misses its magical mark because, despite everything, it fails to surprise and its delights are well worn.

A fairytale of a different kind, Call Me by Your Name, seduces us into a world of impossibly beautiful people, set in an impossibly gorgeous setting, and living impossibly cultured lives. It is such a rarefied place that when unlikely love appears in the form of a summer romance between a teenage boy and a visiting graduate student, everyone gracefully acknowledges and deeply respects that love for the gift it is.  Luca Guadagnino serves up a sumptuous feast of light and landscape, food and half-naked bodies, music and language. Timothée Chalamet delivers the performance of the year, conveying the overwhelming intensity, and life-changing force, of young, first love.  I will be watching this film repeatedly over the years.

A counterpoint to Call Me by Your Name is Francis Lee’s God’s Own Country, no sunny northern Italian landscape here, but rather a sheep farm in the north of England; no medieval fairytales translated from the German by a beautiful mother for a polyglot family, but rather hard-drinking and swearing at the pub and stillborn livestock; no sensitive and articulate father to console his son, but rather a tough man struck down by a life of hard work and a series of strokes. And yet, here too an intense, physical and—unlike that in Call Me by Your Name—lasting love is born between the young farmer and a Romanian migrant worker. Its arrival saves and the young men and reignites hope for the future of the previously doomed farm.  It is that rare beast, a gay film with a happy ending. It and the performances by the two leads, Josh O’Connor and Alec Secareanu, deserve much more attention than they are getting.

Apart from all being love stories, and despite their differences, all three movies are also cautionary tales for Trump’s America and Brexit Britain, warnings that only the mixing of disparate elements can bring about the alchemy of love, and only love can save us.

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To see all the posts on this blog with explicit and implicit gay content, click here.

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The Flowers Fatal

The flowers fatal
In their blooming transient
Spare time for the breeze
Make room for the honey bees
Show indifference to me

Best the stars remain
Safe in deceptive distance
If shining lures us
Into their silver river
First we’d freeze—only to burn

AGG20171115

Depth Charge: I was invited by Joseph Moutran to the technical rehearsal for his Schubert recital, as I will be unable to attend the concert. Listening to him, this is what occurred. Thanks, Joseph.

Die schöne Müllerin / La belle meunière/The Beautiful Miller’s Daughter
The entire song cycle by Franz Schubert, with poetry by Wilhelm Müller, presented with French and English subtitles.
Performed by Joseph Moutran – Baryton, François Zeitouni, piano.
Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Chapelle St-Louis, 4230 Rue Drolet, Montréal, QC H2W 2L4
Tickets at the door.

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How to Pirouette on a Little Piece of Queer

Harry Giles asked the panel
How they deal
With being the token piece of queer
When allowed to speak
By the mainstream
When the well-meaning feign
Love
While they do everything
They can still
To kill

You
Own it
Said Anne-Marie MacDonald
Use your toe-hold to maintain
Poise
To get the lay of the land
Listen carefully to see
If you are among friends
Enemies or chameleons
Use good manners
These at least will keep us
For stabbing each other in the eye
With our forks

Nick Comilla said this was a challenge
He had yet to face
As he operates
Within chosen confines
Of the sub-culture
Growing
Strong

Sometimes said Kai Cheng Thom
You should stab them
In the fucking eye
With your fork
Toss a grenade onto
The unceded territory
Blow it the fuck up

And pirouette away

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Depth Charge: This piece of re-poet-age, and the license that implies, sprang from The Violet Hour panel held this morning as part of Blue Metropolis.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1909921899241831/

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Pass Fail

We all fail the test
Of time with flying colours
We all pass the test

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Rose Main Reading Room

Rows of living dead
Bound—deaf—creatures each speaking
A silent language

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Overheard Haiku

The theme from Star Wars
Blaring from a passing car
Impoverished world

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Moon Tanka for Eliza’s Birthday

And you with the moon
Make this strange world stranger still
Changing shape and shade
With incarnations
For the curious to share

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Depth Charge: Eliza Griffiths will be exhibiting new works at ELLEPHANT, 1201 rue St-Dominique, Montréal, Qc H2X 2W3 Canada, 5/11/2016 – 17/12/2016. Vernissage: November 5, 2016, 16:00 – 20:00. Image:Detail of painting by Eliza Griffiths.

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The Writing Is No Longer on the Wall

For months I have walked by here admiring
The bright pink heart with a halo? Bull’s horns?
A mix of Keith Haring and the Sacred
Bleeding Heart of Jesus like poetry
By Federico Garcia Lorca,
Those artists whose hearts were in the right place,
Written on the walls, scrawled for all to see,
Then hidden in a grave dark or unmarked.
But your writing’s no longer on the wall,
The passion-sprayed pink now painted over,
An invitation to new transgressions,
An absent reminder of those beauties
Doomed to exist for the briefest of stays
Because landlords prefer monotone grey.

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