This edition is dedicated to my friend Michael Bolan, who came back into our lives after an 18 year hiatus. We first met in the summer of 1969 in Santa Barbara. He was hobbling about with a broken leg/foot from a car accident. He had sandy blond hair, and was taken to wearing corduroy and velvet with usually a white shirt. We soon discovered that we were both head over heels in love with poetry, wine, and young women, and various other endeavors.

Michael and I also found out over time that we both liked David Bowie, (who I was introduced to by Steve Thoreson, who had a copy of Bowie’s second album, Space Oddity – I still have it on vinyl!)… anyway, this intro revolves to some degree around Mr. Bowie, and Mr. Bolan, who turned me onto the “Ziggy Stardust” album one late afternoon at his grandmother’s house in West Hollywood, (near Fairfax HS) when I had moved out of the country back to the city. It was a revelation. We sat listening to Ziggy, and I could hardly breathe. I thought it would become a classic, and I was right about that. Michael and I hunted down rare recordings that Bowie had done, which included the two songs featured in this edition, “Port Of Amsterdam” & “My Death”, both by Jacques Brel who we appreciated for his lyricism.

Mr. Bowie was the bee’s knees, and we enjoyed the fact that he pretty much broke with all of the noise and drama from the 60′s. His music and persona were just perfect for that moment in time. It fueled many a long evening between us, and our friends. As much as we appreciated the music of say, The Stones, or The Beatles, this music looked forward, and not back. I think this is important when you are in your late teens or your early 20′s. It seemed such a brave new world then.

Today is David Bowie’s 65th birthday. Yeah, lots of people are making it an occasion, and it is. Who thought the man would survive so long? I have included a link from the Guardian that talks a bit about his life. It is interesting, if nothing else. Now days, I don’t listen very often to his works. I haven’t really since the early 80′s. Taste change, and all of a sudden listening to his music was looking back over a chasm of time. I do appreciate his work with Brel, and Weil. I like the nod of the hat to say, the continuum that he rose out of. Few artist can do that, and Mr. Bowie did it with a certain grace.

Michael introduced me to Rimbaud and Baudelaire, and we both have shared a long and deep abiding love for Leonard Cohen’s poetry and song. On Michael’s visit, we took up the conversation as if it had never had stopped. The time sped as always, and we were making plans for the next get together when he is back to Portland. I owe him a phone call, and he owes me his email address! I am happy to know him after these 43 years, that seemingly blazed past with such blinding speed. Here is to sitting and talking about adventures in France back when, and to drinking absinthe together again when we next see each other.

Here is to friendship, love, and exploration.

Blessings,
Gwyllm
~~

On The Menu:
The Links
Pelt – The Film
Jean Genet Quotes
David Bowie – Port Of Amsterdam
The Quest Of The Queen’s Tears
Jacques Brel Lyrics/Poetry
David Bowie – My Death – live 1973
Art: Aladár Kacziány
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The Links:
Obummer…
Palestinian Sesame Street falls victim to US Congress
Happy Birthday David!
Becoming The Blue Lotus Ritual
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Pelt: The Film…
Rowan’s Senior Thesis. Check it out here: Pelt:The Film.

Also, please check out the IndieGoGo Fundraiser Site as well, which is a combination of Pelt and two other films. : Trifecta … Help support these thesis fims by leaving a comment or donating at the Trifecta site! Thanks!

(Pelt: The Film – Concept Art:Austin Hillebrecht)

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Jean Genet Quotes:

“She was happy, and perfectly in line with the tradition of those women they used to call “ruined,” “fallen,” feckless, bitches in heat, ravished dolls, sweet sluts, instant princesses, hot numbers, great lays, succulent morsels, everybody’s darlings . . . ”

“To achieve harmony in bad taste is the height of elegance.”

“I could not take lightly the idea that people made love without me.”

“My heart’s in my hand, and my hand is pierced, and my hand’s in the bag, and the bag is shut, and my heart is caught.”

“A man must dream a long time in order to act with grandeur, and dreaming is nursed in darkness.”
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David Bowie – Port Of Amsterdam

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The Quest Of The Queen’s Tears
by Lord Dunsany

Sylvia, Queen of the Woods, in her woodland palace, held court, and made a mockery of her suitors. She would sing to them, she said, she would give them banquets, she would tell them tales of legendary days, her jugglers should caper before them, her armies salute them, her fools crack jests with them and make whimsical quips, only she could not love them.

This was not the way, they said, to treat princes in their splendor and mysterious troubadours concealing kingly names; it was not in accordance with fable; myth had no precedent for it. She should have thrown her glove, they said, into some lion’s den, she should have asked for a score of venomous heads of the serpents of Licantara, or demanded the death of any notable dragon, or sent them all upon some deadly quest, but that she could not love them—! It was unheard of—it had no parallel in the annals of romance.

And then she said that if they must needs have a quest she would offer her hand to him who first should move her to tears: and the quest should be called, for reference in histories or song, the Quest of the Queen’s Tears, and he that achieved them she would wed, be he only a petty duke of lands unknown to romance.

And many were moved to anger, for they hoped for some bloody quest; but the old lords chamberlain said, as they muttered among themselves in a far, dark end of the chamber, that the quest was hard and wise, for that if she could ever weep she might also love. They had known her all her childhood; she had never sighed. Many men had she seen, suitors and courtiers, and had never turned her head after one went by. Her beauty was as still sunsets of bitter evenings when all the world is frore, a wonder and a chill. She was as a sun-stricken mountain uplifted alone, all beautiful with ice, a desolate and lonely radiance late at evening far up beyond the comfortable world, not quite to be companioned by the stars, the doom of the mountaineer.

If she could weep, they said, she could love, they said.

And she smiled pleasantly on those ardent princes, and troubadours concealing kingly names.

Then one by one they told, each suitor prince the story of his love, with outstretched hands and kneeling on the knee; and very sorry and pitiful were the tales, so that often up in the galleries some maid of the palace wept. And very graciously she nodded her head like a listless magnolia in the deeps of the night moving idly to all the breezes its glorious bloom.

And when the princes had told their desperate loves and had departed away with no other spoil than of their own tears only, even then there came the unknown troubadours and told their tales in song, concealing their gracious names.

And there was one, Ackronnion, clothed with rags, on which was the dust of roads, and underneath the rags was war-scarred armour whereon were dints of blows; and when he stroked his harp and sang his song, in the gallery above maidens wept, and even old lords chamberlain whimpered among themselves and thereafter laughed through their tears and said: “It is easy to make old people weep and to bring idle tears from lazy girls; but he will not set a-weeping the Queen of the Woods.”

And graciously she nodded, and he was the last. And disconsolate went away those dukes and princes, and troubadours in disguise. Yet Ackronnion pondered as he went away.

King he was of Afarmah, Lool and Haf, over-lord of Zeroora and hilly Chang, and duke of the dukedoms of Molong and Mlash, none of them unfamiliar with romance or unknown or overlooked in the making of myth. He pondered as he went in his thin disguise.

Now by those that do not remember their childhood, having other things to do, be it understood that underneath fairyland, which is, as all men know, at the edge of the world, there dwelleth the Gladsome Beast. A synonym he for joy.

It is known how the lark in its zenith, children at play out-of-doors, good witches and jolly old parents have all been compared—how aptly!—with this very same Gladsome Beast. Only one “crab” he has (if I may use slang for a moment to make myself perfectly clear), only one drawback, and that is that in the gladness of his heart he spoils the cabbages of the Old Man Who Looks After Fairyland,—and of course he eats men.

It must further be understood that whoever may obtain the tears of the Gladsome Beast in a bowl, and become drunken upon them, may move all persons to shed tears of joy so long as he remains inspired by the potion to sing or to make music.

Now Ackronnion pondered in this wise: that if he could obtain the tears of the Gladsome Beast by means of his art, withholding him from violence by the spell of music, and if a friend should slay the Gladsome Beast before his weeping ceased—for an end must come to weeping even with men—that so he might get safe away with the tears, and drink them before the Queen of the Woods and move her to tears of joy. He sought out therefore a humble knightly man who cared not for the beauty of Sylvia, Queen of the Woods, but had found a woodland maiden of his own once long ago in summer. And the man’s name was Arrath, a subject of Ackronnion, a knight-at-arms of the spear-guard: and together they set out through the fields of fable until they came to Fairyland, a kingdom sunning itself (as all men know) for leagues along the edges of the world. And by a strange old pathway they came to the land they sought, through a wind blowing up the pathway sheer from space with a kind of metallic taste from the roving stars. Even so they came to the windy house of thatch where dwells the Old Man Who Looks After Fairyland sitting by parlour windows that look away from the world. He made them welcome in his star-ward parlour, telling them tales of Space, and when they named to him their perilous quest he said it would be a charity to kill the Gladsome Beast; for he was clearly one of these that liked not its happy ways. And then he took them out through his back door, for the front door had no pathway nor even a step—from it the old man used to empty his slops sheer on to the Southern Cross—and so they came to the garden wherein his cabbages were, and those flowers that only blow in Fairyland, turning their faces always towards the comet, and he pointed them out the way to the place he called Underneath, where the Gladsome Beast had his lair. Then they manoeuvered. Ackronnion was to go by the way of the steps with his harp and an agate bowl, while Arrath went round by a crag on the other side. Then the Old Man Who Looks After Fairyland went back to his windy house, muttering angrily as he passed his cabbages, for he did not love the ways of the Gladsome Beast; and the two friends parted on their separate ways.

Nothing perceived them but that ominous crow glutted overlong already upon the flesh of man.

The wind blew bleak from the stars.

At first there was dangerous climbing, and then Ackronnion gained the smooth, broad steps that led from the edge to the lair, and at that moment heard at the top of the steps the continuous chuckles of the Gladsome Beast.

He feared then that its mirth might be insuperable, not to be saddened by the most grievous song; nevertheless he did not turn back then, but softly climbed the stairs and, placing the agate bowl upon a step, struck up the chaunt called Dolorous. It told of desolate, regretted things befallen happy cities long since in the prime of the world. It told of how the gods and beasts and men had long ago loved beautiful companions, and long ago in vain. It told of the golden host of happy hopes, but not of their achieving. It told how Love scorned Death, but told of Death’s laughter. The contented chuckles of the Gladsome Beast suddenly ceased in his lair. He rose and shook himself. He was still unhappy. Ackronnion still sang on the chaunt called Dolorous. The Gladsome Beast came mournfully up to him. Ackronnion ceased not for the sake of his panic, but still sang on. He sang of the malignity of time. Two tears welled large in the eyes of the Gladsome Beast. Ackronnion moved the agate bowl to a suitable spot with his foot. He sang of autumn and of passing away. The the beast wept as the frore hills weep in the thaw, and the tears splashed big into the agate bowl. Ackronnion desperately chaunted on; he told of the glad unnoticed things men see and do not see again, of sunlight beheld unheeded on faces now withered away. The bowl was full. Ackronnion was desperate: the Beast was so close. Once he thought that its mouth was watering!—but it was only the tears that had run on the lips of the Beast. He felt as a morsel! The Beast was ceasing to weep! He sang of worlds that had disappointed the gods. And all of a sudden, crash! and the staunch spear of Arrath went home behind the shoulder, and the tears and the joyful ways of the Gladsome Beast were ended and over for ever.

And carefully they carried the bowl of tears away leaving the body of the Gladsome Beast as a change of diet for the ominous crow; and going by the windy house of thatch they said farewell to the Old Man Who Looks After Fairyland, who when he heard of the deed rubbed his hands together and mumbled again and again, “And a very good thing, too. My cabbages! My cabbages!”

And not long after Ackronnion sang again in the sylvan palace of the Queen of the Woods, having first drunk all the tears in his agate bowl. And it was a gala night, and all the court were there and ambassadors from the lands of legend and myth, and even some from Terra Cognita.

And Ackronnion sang as he never sang before, and will not sing again. O, but dolorous, dolorous, are all the ways of man, few and fierce are his days, and the end trouble, and vain, vain his endeavor: and woman—who shall tell of it?—her doom is written with man’s by listless, careless gods with their faces to other spheres.

Somewhat thus he began, and then inspiration seized him, and all the trouble in the beauty of his song may not be set down by me: there was much of gladness in it, and all mingled with grief: it was like the way of man: it was like our destiny.

Sobs arose at his song, sighs came back along echoes: seneschals, soldiers, sobbed, and a clear cry made the maidens; like rain the tears came down from gallery to gallery.

All round the Queen of the Woods was a storm of sobbing and sorrow.

But no, she would not weep.
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Jacques Brel Lyrics/Poetry

If You Should Go Away

If you go away on this summer’s day, Then you might as well take the sun away
All the birds that flew in the summer sky
When our love was new and our hearts were high
When the day was young and the nights were long
And the moon stood still for the night bird’s song
If you go away, if you go away, if you go away.
But if you stay, I’ll make you a day
Like no day has been, or will be again
We’ll sail on the sun, we’ll ride on the rain
And talk to the trees and worship the wind
But if you go, I’ll understand
Leave me just enough love to fill up my hand
If you go away, if you go away, if you go away.
If you go, as I know you will
You must tell the world to stop turning
Till you return again, if you ever do,
For what good is love without loving you?
Can I tell you now, as you turn to go
I’ll be dying slowly till the next hello
If you go away, if you go away, if you go away.
But if you stay, I’ll make you a night
Like no night has been, or will be again
I’ll sail on your smile, I’ll ride on your touch
I’ll talk to your eyes that I love so much
But if you go, I won’t cry
Though the good is gone from the word goodbye
If you go away, if you go away, if you go away
. If you go away, as I know you must
There is nothing left in this world to trust
Just an empty room, full of empty space
Like the empty look I see on your face
I’d have been the shadow of your shadow
If you might have kept me by your side
If you go away, if you go away, if you go away.
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Amsterdam

In the port of Amsterdam
There’s a sailor who sings
Of the dreams that he brings
From the wide open sea
In the port of Amsterdam
There’s a sailor who sleeps
While the riverbank weeps
With the old willow tree
In the port of Amsterdam
There’s a sailor who dies
Full of beer, full of cries
In a drunken down fight
And in the port of Amsterdam
There’s a sailor who’s born
On a muggy hot morn
By the dawn’s early light
In the port of Amsterdam
Where the sailors all meet
There’s a sailor who eats
Only fishheads and tails
He will show you his teeth
That have rotted too soon
That can swallow the moon
That can haul up the sails
And he yells to the cook
With his arms open wide
Bring me more fish
Put it down by my side
Then he wants so to belch
But he’s too full to try
So he gets up and laughs
And he zips up his fly
In the port of Amsterdam
You can see sailors dance
Paunches bursting their pants
Grinding women to paunch
They’ve forgotten the tune
That their whiskey voice croaks
Splitting the night with the
Roar of their jokes
And they turn and they dance
And they laugh and they lust
Till the rancid sound of
The accordion bursts
Then out to the night
With their pride in their pants
With the slut that they tow
Underneath the street lamps
In the port of Amsterdam
There’s a sailor who drinks
And he drinks and he drinks
And he drinks once again
He drinks to the health
Of the whores of Amsterdam
Who have promised their love
To a thousand other men
They’ve bargained their bodies
And their virtue long gone
For a few dirty coins
And when he can’t go on
He plants his nose in the sky
And he wipes it up above
And he pisses like I cry
For an unfaithful love
In the port of Amsterdam
In the port of Amsterdam
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NEXT

Naked as sin, an army towel
Covering my belly
Some of us blush, somehow
Knees turning to jelly
Next, next
I was still just a kid
There were a hundred like me
I followed a naked body
A naked body followed me
next, next
I was still just a kid
When my innocence was lost
In a mobile army whorehouse
Gift for the army, free of cost
Next, next
Me, I really would have liked
A little touch of tenderness
Maybe a word, a smile
An hour of happiness
But, next, next
Oh, it wasn’t so tragic
The high heavens did not fall
But how much of that time
I hated being there at all
Next, next
Now I always will recall
The brothel truck, the flying flags
The queer lieutenant who slapped
Our asses as if we were fags
Next, next
I swear on the wet head
Of my first case of gonorrhea
It is his ugly voice
That I forever hear
Next, next
That voice that stinks of whiskey
Of corpses and of mud
It is the voice of nations
It is the thick voice of blood
Next, next
And since the each woman
I have taken to bed
Seems to laugh in my arms
To whisper through my head
Next, next
All the naked and the dead
Should hold each other’s hands
As they watch me scream at night
In a dream no one understands
Next, next
And when I am not screaming
In a voice grown dry and hollow
I stand on endless naked lines
Of the following and the followed
Next, next
One day I’ll cut my legs off
Or burn myself alive
Anything, I’ll do anything
To get out of line to survive
Not ever to be next
Not ever to be next.
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IF WE ONLY HAVE LOVE

If we only have love
Then tomorrow will dawn
And the days of our years
Will rise on that morn
If we only have love
To embrace without fears
We will kiss with our eyes
We will sleep without tears
If we only have love
With our arms open wide
Then the young and the old
Will stand at our side
If we only have love
Love that’s falling like rain
Then the parched desert earth
Will grow green again
If we only have love
For the hymn that we shout
For the song that we sing
Then we’ll have a way out
If we only have love
We can reach those in pain
We can heal all our wounds
We can use our own names
If we only have love
We can melt all the guns
And then give the new world
To our daughters and sons
If we only have love
Then Jerusalem stands
And then death has no shadow
There are no foreign lands
If we only have love
We will never bow down
We’ll be tall as the pines
Neither heroes nor clowns
If we only have love
Then we’ll only be men
And we’ll drink from the Grail
To be born once again
Then with nothing at all
But the little we are
We’ll have conquered all time
All space, the sun, and the stars

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David Bowie – My Death – live 1973

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