The Horned Woman…

(Astarte – 1926 Nicholas Kalmakoff)

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This edition being a weekend one in linkless. In it you will find artwork hardly ever seen, by the visionary artist Nicholas Kalmakoff… More of his stuff coming soon. I have included a video of Jeff Buckley, late lamented singer, son of Tim Buckley. Wonderful stuff.

Out to clean up my bicycle, more later…

Gwyllm

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On The Menu:

Hallelujah -Jeff Buckley

w/Lyrics by L. Cohen

The Horned Woman – Lady Gray

3 Poems – Ira Cohen

Art by Nicholas Kalmakoff

Glorious Stuff this, I hope you enjoy the Art!

In 1955, a Russian émigré died alone, unknown and in poverty at the hôpital de Lagny to the north of Paris. After leading a hermit’s existence in his small room at the hotel de la Rochefoucault in Paris, this former Russian aristocrat had created a fascinating body of work which, deemed eccentric and worthless, was locked away in storage and forgotten.

Throughout his solitary life, the artist had painted works that reflected his various obsessions with martyrdom, asceticism, decadence, spirituality and sexuality. Executed in a style marked by the Russian art nouveau, his imagery nevertheless transcended this movement, bearing undeniable traces of demented vision, indeed, genius.

Only in 1962 did some of his works come to light when Bertrand Collin du Bocage and Georges Martin du Nord discovered forty canvases in the Marché aux Puces, a large flea market to the north of Paris. All the works in this unusual collection were signed with a stylized ‘K’ monogram.

The Hungarian merchant who sold the lot to them included with it a poster of an exhibition held in Galerie Le Roy, Brussels, in 1924. Here, for the first time, the full name of the mysterious ‘K’ was revealed – Nicolas Kalmakoff….

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“Hallelujah” – Leonard Cohen

Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord

That David played, and it pleased the Lord

But you don’t really care for music, do you?

It goes like this

The fourth, the fifth

The minor fall, the major lift

The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah

Hallelujah

Hallelujah

Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof

You saw her bathing on the roof

Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you

She tied you

To a kitchen chair

She broke your throne, and she cut your hair

And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

You say I took the name in vain

I don’t even know the name

But if I did, well really, what’s it to you?

There’s a blaze of light

In every word

It doesn’t matter which you heard

The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn’t much

I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch

I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you

And even though

It all went wrong

I’ll stand before the Lord of Song

With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Hallelujah

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THE HORNED WOMEN

Lady Wilde

(The Apparition – Nicholas Kalmakoff)

A rich woman sat up late one night carding and preparing wool, while all the family and servants were asleep. Suddenly a knock was given at the door, and a voice called–”Open! open!”

“Who is there?” said the woman of the house.

“I am the Witch of the one Horn,” was answered.

The mistress, supposing that one of her neighbours had called and required assistance, opened the door, and a woman entered, having in her hand a pair of wool carders, and bearing a horn on her forehead, as if growing there. She sat down by the fire in silence, and began to card the wool with violent haste. Suddenly she paused, and said aloud: “Where are the women? they delay too long.”

Then a second knock came to the door, and a voice called as before, “Open! open!”

The mistress felt herself constrained to rise and open to the call, and immediately a second witch entered, having two horns on her forehead, and in her hand a wheel for spinning wool.

“Give me place,” she said, “I am the Witch of the two Horns,” and she began to spin as quick as lightning.

And so the knocks went on, and the call was heard, and the witches entered, until at last twelve women sat round the fire–the first with one horn, the last with twelve horns.

And they carded the thread, and turned their spinning wheels, and wound and wove.

All singing together an ancient rhyme, but no word did they speak to the mistress of the house. Strange to hear, and frightful to look upon, were these twelve women, with their horns and their wheels; and the mistress felt near to death, and she tried to rise that she might call for help, but she could not move, nor could she utter a word or a cry, for the spell of the witches was upon her.

Then one of them called to her in Irish, and said–

“Rise, woman, and make us a cake.” Then the mistress searched for a vessel to bring water from the well that she might mix the meal and make the cake, but she could find none.

And they said to her, “Take a sieve and bring water in it.”

And she took the sieve and went to the well; but the water poured from it, and she could fetch none for the cake, and she sat down by the well and wept.

Then a voice came by her and said, “Take yellow clay and moss, and bind them together, and plaster the sieve so that it will hold.” This she did, and the sieve held water for the cake; and the voice said again–

“Return, and when thou comest to the north angle of the house, cry aloud three times and say, ‘The mountain of the Fenian women and the sky over it is all on fire’.”

And she did so.

When the witches inside heard the call, a great and terrible cry broke from their lips, and they rushed forth with wild lamentations and shrieks, and fled away to Slievenamon, 1 where was their chief abode. But the Spirit of the Well bade the mistress of the house to enter and prepare her home against the enchantments of witches if they returned again.

And first, to break their spells, she sprinkled the water in which she had washed her child’s feet (the feet-water) outside the door on the threshold; secondly, she took the cake which the witches had made in her absence of meal mixed with the blood drawn from the sleeping family, and she broke the cake in bits, and placed a bit in the mouth of each sleeper, and they were restored; and she took the cloth they had woven and placed it half in and half out of the chest with the padlock; and lastly, she secured the door with a great crossbeam fastened in the jambs, so that they could not enter, and having done these things she waited.

Not long were the witches in coming back, and they raged and called for vengeance.

“Open! open!” they screamed, “open, feet-water!”

“I cannot,” said the feet-water, “I am scattered on the ground, and my path is down to the Lough.”

“Open, open, wood and trees and beam!” they cried to the door.

“I cannot,” said the door, “for the beam is fixed in the jambs and I have no power to move.”

“Open, open, cake that we have made and mingled with blood!” they cried again.

“I cannot,” said the cake, “for I am broken and bruised, and my blood is on the lips of the sleeping children.” Then the witches rushed through the air with great cries, and fled back to Slievenamon, uttering strange curses on the Spirit of the Well, who had wished their ruin; but the woman and the house were left in peace, and a mantle dropped by one of the witches in her flight was kept hung up by the mistress as a sign of the night’s awful contest; and this mantle was in possession of the same family from generation to generation for five hundred years after.

(Leda – Nicolas Kalmakoff)

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3 Poems – Ira Cohen

Imagine Jean Cocteau

Imagine Jean Cocteau in the lobby

holding a torch

Imagine a trained dog act,

a Rock and Roll Band

Imagine I am Curly of the Three Stooges

disguised as Wm Shakespeare

Imagine that I’m the cousin of the Mayor

of New York or the King of Nepal

(I didn’t say Napoleon!)

Imagine what it is like to be in the glare

of hot lights when you are longing for dark

corners

Imagine the Ghost Patrol, the Tribal

Orchestra –

Imagine an elephant playing a harmonica

or someone weighing out bones on the edge

of the desert in Afghanistan

Imagine that these poems are recorded moments

of temporary sanity

Imagine that the clock was just turned back –

or forwards — a hundred years instead of an hour

Let us pretend that we have no place to go,

that we are here in the Cosmic Hotel,

that our bags are packed & that we have one hour

to checkout time

Imagine whatever you will but know that it is not

imagination but experience which makes poetry,

and that behind every image,

behind every word there is something

I am trying to tell you,

something that really happened.

——-

An Act of Jeopardy – for Garcia Lorca

A star of blood you fell

from the point of the hypodermic

singing of fabulous beasts &

spitting out the sex of vowels

Your poems explode in the mouth

like torrents of sperm on a night

full of zebras & bootheels

Your ghost still cruses the river-

fronts of midnight assignations

in a world of dead sailors carrying

armfuls of flowers in search of

your unmarked grave

Your body no sanctuary for bees,

Death was your lover in a rain of

broken obelisks & rotting orchids

In the tangled rose of a single heartbeat

I offer you the shadow of a double

profile,

two heads held together at the bridge

of the nose by a nail of opium

smoke

in the long night’s dreaming

& memory of water poured between

glasses

In my mailbox I find a letter from

a dead man & know that for every

shadow given

one is taken away

Yet subtraction is only a special form of

addition and implies a world of hidden

intentions below a horizon of lips

thin as your fingernail sprouting

mysteries in the earth

The ace of spades dealt from the bottom

of the deck severs the hand which

retrieves it & the eyes of Beauty

sewn together peer over a black lace fan

in the vulgar sunlight of a Spanish

morning without horses

The Belt of Orion is loosened

before you as you remove the silver

fingerstalls from your mummy hands &

kneel to plunder the nightsky in a shower of

bitter diamonds.

(Somewhere under a blanket someone weeps

for a lover.)

Peace to your soul

& to your empty shoes

in the dark closets of

kings with no feet!!!

From The Moroccan Journal – 1987

My heart feels like an uncut diamond

Though it is still the same, it is not the same

Someone speaks of a bridge to be built from Tangier

to Algeciras or is it Gibraltar?

“Yes & then a highway to the stars or more likely

an elevator to the Underworld,” says Yellow Turban

To White Jellaba as the exhaust fumes from the bus

engulf them, leaving behind not even a single

shadow.

Is that Mel Clay in a white jacket turning the corner?

No, it is a figment of my imagination escaped from the

asylum.

Is that Ian Sommerville walking backwards up the street

as if pulled by a giant magnet?

No, that is Wm. Burroughs making electricity

from dead cats.

Is that Tatiana glistening on Maxiton?

No, that is the sun dancing in the sugar bowl.

Is that Marc Schelfer wavering on the cliffedge?

No, it is a promontory in the wind of time

about to fall in the sea.

Is that Beethoven’s 9th Symphony being played

up the street?

No, it is the sound of the breadwagons

rumbling over cobblestones

Is that George Andrews with two girls in hand

looking for bread?

No, it is an unidentified flying object about to land.

Is that One-eyed Mose hanging by his heels?

No, that is the hanged man inventing the Taro.

Are the dead really so fascinated by lovemaking?

Yes, that is how they travel.

Is that Irving in short pants looking for trouble?

No, that’s me unable to stop thinking.

Is that Kenneth Halliwell looking for Joe Orton?

Is that Jane Bowles looking for Sherifa, Rosalind looking

for her baby, Alfred searching for his lost hair?

Is that the wig of it all, the patched robe of my brain,

the wind talking to itself?

Brion is dead and Yacoubi is dead, and I am a not unhappy

ghost remembering everything, the warp & woof of memories,

her yellow slip, her shaved cunt, her idiot child.

Dream shuttle makes me exist everywhere at once.

The blind beggars led by children keep coming.

“They all have many houses in the Casbah,”

chant the unbelievers sucking on sugar.

Words keep coming back like Bezezel for tits, Lictcheen

for oranges, like Mina, like Fatima, like Driss Berrada

dropping his trousers for an injection in the middle

of his shop.

The trunk is full of old sepia postcards,

barebreasted girls smoking hookahs etcetera.

We speak of the cataplana, the mist which obscures

even the cielo you cannot even see the hand in front

of your face.

We embrace, he says he thought of me only yesterday,

he says there are always nine such men who look like us

in the world and that we are the tenth.

We speak of the gold filets in the sky over Moulay Absalom.

The garbage men in rubber boots go thru the Socco pushing

wheeled drums of collected garbage.

An unveiled woman wobbles out of a taxi and heads home

before sunrise.

Paul couldn’t believe that was a Karma Street,

but I will never forget it.

And Billy Batman, who made the best hash in the world,

he dropped a loaded pistol in Kabul, shot himself in the balls,

took some heroin and lay down to die.

Now I must get up from my table in the allnight Café Central.

No more Dr. Nadal, no more window with red crosses & red

crescents.

The water thrown from buckets runs across the café floors

& over the sidewalks & I drop a dirham into the hand

of a blind beggar singing in the dark on the American stairs

(From Anais Nin’s -A Spy in the House of Love- ” The women wear fireflies in their hair, but the fireflies stop shining when they go to sleep so now and then the women had to rub the fire- flies to keep them awake.”

(Stage Design: The Serpentine Crypt – c 1910 Nicholas Kalmakoff)

(La Crypte Vermiculaire)

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