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The Sonnets to Orpheus: XXV by Rainer Maria Rilke

But you now, dear girl, whom I loved like a flower whose
name
I didn’t know, you who so early were taken away:
I will once more call up your image and show it to them,
beautiful companion of the unsubduable cry.

Dancer whose body filled with your hesitant fate,
pausing, as though your young flesh had been cast in bronze;
grieving and listening–. Then, from the high dominions,
unearthly music fell into your altered heart.

Already possessed by shadows, with illness near,
your blood flowed darkly; yet, though for a moment
suspicious,
it burst out into the natural pulses of spring.

Again and again interrupted by downfall and darkness,
earthly, it gleamed. Till, after a terrible pounding,
it entered the inconsolably open door.

– Rainer Maria Rilke (translated by Stephen Mitchell)

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Poetry: “Moonwalk” by Ted Hughes

A glare chunk of moon.
The hill no colour
Under the polarized light.
Like a day pushed inside out. Everything
In negative. Your mask
Bleak as cut iron, a shell-half–
Shucked off the moon. Alarming
And angering moon-devil-here somewhere.
The Ancient Mariner’s Death-in-Life woman
Straight off the sea’s fevered incandescence
Throwing black-and-white dice.
A sea saracen and cruel-looking.
And your words
Like bits of beetles and spiders
Retched out by owls. Fluorescent,
Blue-black, splintered. Bat-skulls. One day, I thought,
I shall understand this tomb-Egyptian,
This talking in tongues to a moon-mushroom.
Never wake a sleepwalker. {See more}

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The Reigning of the Moth

The Reigning of the Moth is a delightful short film by artist Katie Eleanor. Jumping back and forth between color and black-and-white, this oneiric offering is full of surreal imagery and the charming disjointedness of a silent film. A young girl encounters a group of black-garbed, witch-like beings in the forest, who attempt to transform her. I love the design of the intertitles. Occult, nonlinear, eerie, and whimsical, this film is a love song to past cinema and is hauntingly piquant in its own right.

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Jessica Dalva: Hapax Legomena

Jessica Dalva’s show Hapax Legomena is exhibiting at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in LA now through May 31st. I love the unearthly beauty of these figures with their milky opaque eyes, haunting expressions, and intensely eloquent bodies, posed within their black frames.

“The term ‘Hapax Legomena’ is used to describe words that only appear once in a text or language, often rendering them untranslatable. Each piece in this series revolves around an individual word, a facet, a unique expression of a part of the complex variety of personal battles we fight….The show focuses on one’s relationship with oneself, internal wars, and the entanglements of love. The sculptures are a navigation through fears, moments of clarity and joy, and nightmares.”

{See more}

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Lauren Marx

Lauren Marx is currently exhibiting at Roq la Rue Gallery in Seattle together with Travis Louie. Her delicate, intricate, macabre drawings of animals and nature remind me of Caitlin Hackett’s work. They bring to mind the troubled magnetism that one feels as a child, coming upon a decomposing carcass in the woods, compounded of repulsion at the grotesqueness and of being transfixed in fascination, a whisper of a feeling, “as I am now, so shall you be.”

{See more}

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Atsuko Goto

These softly beautiful watercolors by Atsuko Goto are ethereal and enveloped in a dreamlike haze, with an extraordinary effect produced by the materials she uses, which include lapis lazuli on cotton. Delicate, richly detailed, yet vague, they are haloed with a ghostly lambency and feature children and women entangled with flora and fauna, adorned and merged with flowers, insects, butterflies, birds, koi, and mammals.

{See more}