Though it reeks of it in that grand sequence of prose poems, Paris Spleen, Baudelaire uses the word prostitution only three times. He seems to equate the phenomena with generosity of spirit, a creative sharing of the self with the crowd. I suppose most of us are secretly fascinated by it, through our propensity for idealization of it as much as that for Love. In one piece of his, The Beautiful Dorothea, sun beats down on everyone in the seaside town. At noon dogs yelp for mercy from the heat, but Dorothea, cool in her billowing dress, as if the waft of air were a wave of water. Walking, she's working. In Nice once, as a young man, I watched my own independent like a study for weeks. Her routine, clockwork. A five-day week in fact. At 11:00 sharp she'd roll out her rattan mat on the pebbles of the public beach. Red bikini, black, white. She's etched in a young man's cortex exactly thirty-five years to this coming summer. Classically Nicoise, dark, petite, she may have come from a long line of ladies & sailors. I was always close to her on the beach. No one ever approached her there. Not a Soul. She never entered the Mediterranean. Drank water, perhaps a piece of fruit. Certainly never read, but the sun, the horizon. At 1:00 she'd put her white shirt back on, gather her mat, ascend the stone stairs home. From the bar on the street she owned, I'd watch her stroll from the corner halfway down the street, then back. Many men, some as young as I, approached, talked, made offers. She was selective, or expensive, I'll never know. If I was jealous, it wasn't of the men, but of Baudelaire himself, who'd written his woman into history. More than speaking to her, more than touching, I wanted to transcribe her grace, her spirit that cannot be wizened with time, my anonymous woman married to the sun & wind of Nice, I desired what I have here.
- 109: NO THEME 12with C Maling & N Rhook 108: DEDICATIONwith L Patterson & L Garcia-Dolnik 107: LIMINALwith B Li 106: OPENwith C Lowe & J Langdon 105: NO THEME 11with E Grills & E Stewart 104: KINwith E Shiosaki 103: AMBLEwith E Gomez and S Gory 102: GAMEwith R Green and J Maxwell 101: NO THEME 10with J Kinsella and J Leanne 100: BROWNFACE with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPOREwith J Ip and A Pang 97 & 98: PROPAGANDAwith M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones