Category: Uncategorized

Riddle on a Postcard

Had lots of fun coming up with a riddle for day thirteen of NaPoWriMo! I won’t give out the answer straight away though! So read it and leave me your guesses in the comments! ;(

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Riddle Me This

Hunt me, chop me,
boil me, fry me,
to summon good fortune
you must kill my rush.
In spring I am folly,
you wear me in winter,
and although in tunnels
I set up my household,
some say that I live
on the moon.

Still Life No Longer

Today I decided to enlist some help, so as to make the challenge a little more exciting: I presented my significant other with a selection of postcards and I asked him to choose one for me. Negotiating his way through various skull-featuring pictures (you’ll see!), he finally settled on a reproduction of the painting The Poulterer’s Shop by Frans Snyders, which I had bought some time ago, on a visit to Cardiff. “Let’s see what you can do with this!” he said, so here goes my attempt at some ekphrastic poetry. (Just as a side note, the painting was, apparently, first meant to be a still life, over which the flirtatious scene was subsequently painted.)

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The Poulterer’s Shop

Breaking the monotony
of fowl, cold meats, garden greens
arrested in their not-yet-visible decay,
much better to have the ruffled pelt
of an old satyr hooking his last folly
into the knowing shadows under the fawn’s
eyes. There is enough of memento mori
in the routinely clanking pots and pans,
in the reed baskets waiting to be emptied
and then filled again, in the cosy smiles
hung out to dry.
The canvas knew this, the oils knew it,
and they knew the struggle for life,
and the mould of the clay skull
beneath it.

Some for the City

Well, it’s late again, but better late than never. It’s day 24 of NaPoWriMo and I’ve just reached the end of one notebook. I’m feeling slightly proud of myself.

The City

Faintly, the smell of self-deception
Seeping through, and the subway
Tunnels invite us in to partake
From the sacrament of the city.
Lighted candles lead the way for
The rats when the pigeons fall asleep
In the dungeons. We carry on over
Interlacing lines, drunk on heartaches
And the shifting shadows of our city.

Unhappy

Okay, I’m afraid this is going to be one hell of a short update, in which I am going to vent my anger. First of all, I have been pretty “loyal” to LJ throughout my “online life”. My first ever blog was on LJ and I’ve spent many a day browsing fascinating, useful and educative posts in interesting communities. BUT lately it has become tiresome and annoying to have to wait for the servers to shake off, as it were, these “attacks”. But this I can deal with. What really and truly gets on my nerves is the wealth of spam comments that I keep getting. Well, I DID NOT want to make this a “friends only” blog, nor did I want to restrict comments too much, because to me, the whole point of having a blog is keeping it accessible. If I didn’t want to share my random ideas with the world, I wouldn’t be on here in the first place. So PLEASE, LJ, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Otherwise I will be forced to take steps and move this whole hullabaloo someplace else. 😦 *sigh* Do not fail me, LJ. 😦

Really, and all I wanted to say in the first place was:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

But then I saw the bunch of spam comments…

“And her eyes shine like lamps”

Since I ended up deleting one of my initial posts, explaining my id, “amphisbaina”, I thought I might write a new and improved one, for anyone who might be interested. ^_^

Usually, when I confess to owning a blog and people ask for the URL, they get stuck at “amphisbaina”. They give me that “what” face and I have to spell it out. Well, it’s all my fault for having a penchant for the bizarre, even when it comes to website addresses and ids. Amphisbaina, a variant of “amphisbaena” (literally “going both ways” – for more linguistic insight, please see the small god of internet info, Wikipedia) would be something like this:

[images via BeastPedia, Worm Salad and Les Minimes]

The 1960’s “The Book of Beasts”, compiled by T.H. White, features the following regarding this double-headed monster: This is called an AMPHIVENA (Amphisbena) because it has two heads. One head is in the right place and the other is in its tail. With one head holding the other, it can bowl along in either direction like a hoop. This is the only snake which stands the cold well, and it is the first to come out of hibernation. Lucan writes of it: ‘Rising on twin-born heads comes dangerous Amphisbaena/ And her eyes shine like lamps.’ There is more in White’s footnotes on the amphisbaena, but I’m not about to go all encyclopedic on you (despite this blog’s title). And in any case, you can read all that stuff in your spare time directly from the source, here. There are several different descriptions of the beast, but it generally comes across as a two-headed reptilian creature, invariably deadly. Most interesting is that people like Pliny and Lucan who have taken the pains to add this little wonder to their catalogue might not have been all that far from the truth. A little-known, little-studied reptile, baptised amphisbaenia, after its conceptual ancestor of sorts, does indeed exist in parts of Africa and South America.

The reason why I picked an id taking on the name of this particular obscure mythological beast is my long-lasting fascination with all things and creatures going in doubles, as well as with serpents and snake-like beasts. So what better than the two-headed snake to base my online journal on? Granted, it is somewhat arbitrary, but it is, nevertheless, consistent with the nature of my blog: random oddities on display.

Tag: Twenty Things I Like

Why, hello LiveJournal, I haven’t seen you in a long time. I guess tumblr is much handier for slackers such as I. Oh, the effortless posting of selected images/videos/music/quotations with little to no comments about them! But thanks to Ram @ people versus people I am now officially back and willing to bore whomsoever might be interested with random facts about my (undoubtedly) fascinating person. 🙂 Oh yes, the infamous Ram lovingly tagged me to share with the world (or world-wide-web) twenty things I like. So here we go (random order):

1. Books: old books, new books, e-books (sometimes), you name it. Books are my life, and they’re probably going to be the death of me, too. I love to read them and I strive to write them. 🙂
2. Elegant Gothic Lolita, Dolly Style, and all alternative clothing styles that have a dusty, ethereal feel to them. Anything to make me feel that I’m living inside a fairy tale world (macabre shades and all).
3. My laptop, mobile phone and iPod. The three wonders of technology I cannot live without, and which often prove successfully therapeutic. I like to take them everywhere I go, we’ve shared so many wonderful moments…
4. History magazines, especially National Geographic (yes, I am completely aware it does not solely deal with historical subjects) and Les Cahiers de Science et Vie. There was a time in my life when I was actually planning to read History at uni.
5. German Expressionist films and/or films inspired from/ reminiscent of German Expressionism. I feel they are uncannily fascinating, with their dark mood and often tragic characters.
6. Magic and alchemy. Possibly the most creative and inspiring crafts humankind has evered attempted to explore. 🙂
7. Japanese pop culture, with its tempting mix of originality and kitsch, old Japanese and new Occidental elements.
8. Point and click adventure games. These are the sort of games that can keep me focused and entertained for hours, the perfect brainwash.
9. Blogging/ Microblogging: it’s stress relief and it helps me keep track of things I like, stuff I’ve stumbled upon etc.
10. Dolls: porcelain dolls, ball-jointed dolls and musical dolls, mostly. But I’m even more taken with real “doll art”, amazing pieces such as those created by Julien Martinez and Marina Bychkova.
11. Sitting down in a tea house and savouring some insane tea variety. I like to try out different flavours every time, each cup of tea reveals a whole new dimension.
12. A cup of strong Arabic coffe sweetened with brown sugar and ‘tempered’ with cold milk. Some say I’m a caffeine addict…
13. Staying in a book store for hours, just enjoying the smell of fresh ink and sifting through random books and magazines. Makes me forget there’s a world outside.
14. Clocks and watches. I like to wear my wristwatch, ring clock and clock pendant at the same time. xD I’m currently dreaming to buy a pair of clock earrings (working clock earrings, mind!).
15. Steampunk:
16. Pizza Ristorante: vegetale picante. I could eat it every day, three times a day. xD As the website says: Piquant jalapenos, sweet grilled peppers and juicy red onions combined with sizzling cheese make this pizza a veggie feast!
17. Museums. I see them as safekeepers of secrets that can no longer be revealed. With each item on display I get to wonder what was the real story behind it.
18. Photographs, old and new. Shards of human souls smeared on card and paper. I wish I was more skilled in photography myself. Sadly, I have a long way to go.
19. Plush toys. Those cuddly balls of fluff are absolutly irresistible. They occupy the other half of my house, the one that’s not taken over by books.
20. Vintage postcards. I have recently started collecting them, and I like the challenge of tracing their origins: who took the initial photo, who printed them, who sent them to whom and why.

Well, that’s me, I guess. Passing this on to anyone who’s interested. ^_^