Derrière monde

1 November 2014

To distinguish fact from fantasy, Miss Satin
had grown from the headdress upward into gay
explanations and ratty descriptions. The letter to
Baudelaire had come, or purported to come, from
features of the terrestrial décor — theatre programs,
dinner menus, the infamous Eulogy of Make-up. She
herself had garlanded Nature on great occasions with
plumes of black thought, worn with regrets at the side,
but nothing, she reasoned, could rival a fan, their
abjection as rich as you please or quite simple:
a few recited lines of verse, but most were good
to go. A challenge and a rebuke would follow,
hidden away in her journal, where she
is forced to sleep, eat and drink in order to
protect herself. Something hovers in the far distance:
a shimmering of prospects embossed in gold, of really
artistic design, like the fustanella of a whirling dervish.
Evil is natural, and is therefore likely to torture and kill.
Not so virtue: this natty little animal stupefies even the
best endowed, bifurcating plantwise at the lips and
reshaping the journal’s immense coup de bluff
into a new toilette weaving in and out of waving —
Ah, the sea, sighed meaningfully, can be synonymous
with monde or world (as in signs of spirituality and longing
for the ideal), but its factual role in the everyday, played
by fantastic has-beens, is to set one’s sights on
landing sites, citing every which way.

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