Virgilio Pinera: “The Waves of Music We Made”

Photographers Unknown, The Waves of Music We Made

Can it be they are going to kill?
Will they pierce the heart with a huge knife?
And with the sharpest scalpel empty the eyes?
And with the steeliest chisel break the skull?
And with the most hammer of hammers crush the bones?

Can it be that on the exotic table
–table of sex, table of love–
my love, you and I,
being startled one night
your heart spoke
when you were under my blood?
Can it be the same as it was
when it was an oath, and even more so,
your work, your word bled,
soaked by the soft perfume of kisses,
so as not to deny, to be one indivisible?
And can it be so blindly believed,
so blindly, that all the suns go dark forever
while the soul travels in darkness?
Can it be there never was a soul despite the waves of music
we made?
Soul that never was though you might be for an instant?

Renenber that instant when you were a soul and adored
me,
and then your own monster came suddenly
to take you to the place where being you were?

Can it be that after you are no longer,
when not being is merely a mound of dried out kisses,
you wil be by not being, instead of being love?

Virgilio Pinera, Poem to be Said in the Midst of a Great Silence, The Weight of the Island, 1967

Born in Cárdenas, Matanzas, Cuba in 1912, Virgilio Piñera was an author, playwright, poet, and essayist known for his avant-garde work, caustic wit, acid tongue, and bohemian lifestyle. He lived under the dual repression of the Catholic church and reactionary government leaders such as Argentina’s Juan Perón and Cuba’s Fulgencio Batista. Piñera’s homosexuality and non-conformism led to his marginalization during a well-documented period of Cuban history when homophobia and petty bureaucracy stifled creative freedom

An avid reader from an early age, which included works by Marcel Proust and Herman Melville, Piñera drew his inspiration from different genres, a foundation which became fundamental to his distinctive work with its combination of Cuban vernacular and more refined language.At the age of thirteen, Piñera’s family moved to Camagüey, a municipality located in central Cuba, where he earned his high school diploma. After settling in Havana in 1938,  he received his Doctoral Degree in philosophy from the University of Havana in 1949. 

Piñera published in his poems in Havana’s literary magazine “Espuela de Plata” and, in 1941. wrote his first poetry collection, “Las Furias (The Furies)” and  his most famous play “Electra Garrigó”, which featured the choral structure of a Greek tragedy alongside distinctive Cuban elements. Staged both before and after the revolution of Castro and Guevara, this play later became a powerful symbol of the Revolution and was consciously performed before foreign and  notable public figures as  being emblematic of the transformed nation.

Following his founding of the magazine “Poeta” in 1942, Piñera wrote his collection of poems entitled “La Isla en Peso (The Weight of the Island)”. Drawing upon episodes in his personal life as well as the social interactions occurring inside Cuba, he explored the nebulous regions between sadness and beauty, and disillusion and reality. Published posthumously after Piñera’ death in 1979, “The Weight of the Island” was initially scorned by some poets and critics; however, the collection is now regarded as one of the classics of Cuban literature.

In 1944, Virgilio Piñera, along with writer José Lezama Lima and editor and critic José Rodríguez Feo, founded the prestigious literary and arts review “Origenes”, which provided a focal point for promising poets and critics in Cuba during the 1940s and 1950s. The journal published short stories, poetry, and critical essays on art, literature, music and philosophy. Among Piñera’s contributions were several poems, an essay on Argentinian literature, and an 1945 essay entitled “El Secreto de Kafka”, a work in which Piñera developed his theory on the creation of images into a literary surprise. 

Piñera lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for a twelve year period from 1946 to 1958; it was  during this stay that he developed his voice as a writer. He worked as a translator and proofreader at the Cuban Embassy and became friends with writers Jorge Luis Borges and essayist José Bianco, who would write the forward to Piñera’s collection of short stories “El que Vina a Salvarme (The One Who Came to Save Me)”. Along with other writers, Piñera worked on the translation of Polish author Witold Gombrowicz’s 1937 controversial novel “Ferdydurke” into Spanish. 

Virgilio Piñera wrote two plays in Buenos Aires,  “Jesús” and “Falsa Alarma”, a fast paced, absurdist play of humor and anguish, to which he lengthened with dialogue for a later 1957 staging. His first novel, entitled “La Carne de René (René’s Flesh)”, was published in 1952 and told the dark story of a twenty-year old protagonist forced into a merciless life. After the closure of his literary review “Origenes” and the founding of his final magazine “Ciclón (Cyclone)”, Piñera left Argentina in 1958 to settle permanently in Cuba, where he arrived shortly before the Revolution. His work appeared in the newspaper “Revolución” and other numerous journals. In 1962, with the Cuban revolution in full motion, Piñera’s  most autobiographical play, “Airo Frio (Cold Air)”, a very personal celebratory work supporting the ouster of dictator Batista’s police and army, opened in Havana. 

Shortly after the opening of “Airo Frio”, Fidel Castro’s government made the decision that there was no room for any views other than those completely sympathetic to the Revolution. Intellectuals and other luminaries, as well as the religious and those youths not conforming to the revolution, were to face persecution. Virgilio Piñera, although never public about his homosexuality, was arrested under the revolutionary government’s clampdown on the prostitutes, pimps and homosexuals. By 1971, he was ostracized by the Cuban government and the literary establishment. As his career declined into obscurity. Piñera continued to write at n increased rate; however, his plays were no longer performed. 

In 1968, Piñera received Latin America’s most prestigious literary prize, the Premio Casa de las Américas, for his play “Dos Viejos Pánicos (Two Old Panics)”. Despite the award and acclaim, the play would not have its first performance in Cuba until the 1990s.  Leaving behind more than twenty plays, three novels, volumes of short stories and a vast number of poems, Virgilio Piñera, who lived the last years of his life in poverty, died of a cardiac arrest on the 18th of August in 1979, without any official recognition of his death. He is buried in his native town of Cárdenas.

As a way to redress some of the wrongs committed against Piñera in the past, Cuba declared the year 2012 as “El Añ0 Virgiliano”. In the month of June, a group of thirty researchers from countries, such as the United Kingdom, Mexico, Spain and the United States, came together in Havana to discuss the life, work and legacy of Virgilio Pañera, one of Latin America’s prominent writers. His two best known plays, “Airo Frio” and “Dos Viejos Pánicos”, were performed and a new ballet by choreographer Iván Tenorio, entitled “Virgiliando”, had its premiere. 

Note: The University of Miami Libraries contains the digital Cuban Heritage Collection which includes material on Virgilio Piñera. Included in the material are correspondence exchanged between Piñera and Adolfo de Obieta during the 1940s and 1950s, as well as a typescript of Piñera’s play “Una Caja de Zapatos Vacía” that he sent to his friend Luis F. González-Cruz, who published it in Miami in 1986. This material can be found at: https://merrick.library.miami.edu/cdm/search?collection=chc5278

Deux Couples au Déjeuner

Artist Unknown, Deux Couples au Déjeuner (Two Couples at Lunch), Computer Graphics, Film Gifs, “El Juego de las Ilaves”, 2019

“The boys were amazed that I could make such a poem as that out of my own head, and so was I, of course, it being as much a surprise to me as it could be to anybody, for I did not know that it was in me. If any had asked me a single day before if it was in me, I should have told them frankly no, it was not.

That is the way with us; we may go on half of our life not knowing such a thing is in us, when in reality it was there all the time, and all we needed was something to turn up that would call for it.” 

—Mark Twain, Joan of Arc

Note: The film gifs are from the Mexican comedic television series “El Juego de las Ilaves ( The Game of Keys)”. The series revolves around the lives of four couples who decide to be swingers among themselves, and addresses the issues of monogamy in long relationships, self-realization and desire. Sebastián Zurita, in the role of Seergio Morales, and Horacio Pancheri, as Valentin Lombardo, are the male actors in the gifs.

Walt Whitman: “A Glimpse”

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Photographers and Artists Unknown, (A Glimpse), Gay Film Gifs

“A glimpse through an interstice caught, 

Of a crowd of workmen and drivers in a bar-room around the stove late of a winter night, and I unremark’d seated in a corner, 

Of a youth who loves me and whom I love, silently approaching and seating himself near, that he may hold me by the hand, 

A long while amid the noises of coming and going, of drinking and oath and smutty jest, 

There we two, content, happy in being together, speaking little, perhaps not a word.”

—-Walt Whitman, A Glimpse, Leaves of Grass

Steven Millhauser: “His Black and White World”

Photographers Unknown, A Collection of Black and White: The Dark Images

“He sank back into his black-and-white world, his immobile world of inanimate drawings that had been granted the secret of motion, his death-world with its hidden gift of life. But that life was a deeply ambiguous life, a conjurer’s trick, a crafty illusion based on an accidental property of the retina, which retained an image for a fraction of a second after the image was no longer present. On this frail fact was erected the entire structure of the cinema, that colossal confidence game. The animated cartoon was a far more honest expression of the cinematic illusion than the so-called realistic film, because the cartoon reveled in its own illusory nature, exulted in the impossible–indeed it claimed the impossible as its own, exalted it as its own highest end, found in impossibility, in the negation of the actual, its profoundest reason for being. The animated cartoon was nothing but the poetry of the impossible–therein lay its exhilaration and its secret melancholy. For this willful violation of the actual, while it was an intoxicating release from the constriction of things, was at the same time nothing but a delusion, an attempt to outwit mortality. As such it was doomed to failure. And yet it was desperately important to smash through the constriction of the actual, to unhinge the universe and let the impossible stream in, because otherwise–well, otherwise the world was nothing but an editorial cartoon.” 

—Steven Millhauser, Little Kingdoms

Marco Berger: “Un Rubio”

Artist Unknown, (The Subway Ride), Computer Graphics, Gay Film Gifs, “Un Rubio”, 2019

“But if pressed, I’d have to say that what I love most about the subways of New York is what they do not do. One may spend a lifetime looking back—whether regretfully or wistfully, with shame or fondness or sorrow—and thinking how, given the chance, things might have been done differently. But when you enter a subway car and the doors close, you have no choice but to give yourself over to where it is headed. The subway only goes one way: forward.. . 

Every car on every train on every line holds a surprise, a random sampling of humanity brought together in a confined space for a minute or two – a living Rubik’s Cube.” 

–Bill Hayes, Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me

Note: Initially released in Germany in April of 2019, “Un Rubio ( The Blonde One)” is an Argentine movie directed by Marco Berger. The movie tells the story of two men who begin a romantic relationship in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The role of Juan is played by the actor and choreographer Alfonso Barón; the role of Gabriel, his colleague and roommate, is played by Gaston Re.

Gifs reblogged with thanks to: https://doctordee.tumblr.com

Ananda Shailendra: “Paint in Your Color”

 

Artists Unknown, (Paint in Your Color), Computer Graphics, Film Gifs

“खो देना चाहता हूँ मैं अपनी रंग ,
तुम्हारे रंगों में ।
होली तो बस बहाना है,
अपनी “अहं” रंग छोड़ के,
बस तेरे रंग मे रंग जाना है ।
आओ चलो बैठते हैं ,
फिर से एक साथ ,
की ख्वाइस है,
की मैं तुझे देखता रहूँ , की बस तू मुझे देख रहा है ।
तुम्हारी “बराभय” अदाओं से ,
मुझे देखती तुम्हारी दोनों नैनों से ,
मेरी तो अपनी “अहं” रंग खो जाना है ,
बस अब तेरे रंग मे रंग जाना है।”

“I want to lose my color, in your colors Holi is just an excuse, leaving your own color, all you have to do now is paint in your color.

Let’s sit down together again, my desire is, that I keep looking at you, that you are just looking at me.

From your blessings and offerings, seeing me with your two eyes, I have to lose my own color, all you have to do now is paint in your color.”

–Ananda Shailendra

Ananda Shailendra was a popular Indian Hindi-Urdu poet and lyricist. He is considered to be the first to combine Hindi and Urdu poetry traditions. Shailendra won the Filmfare Best Lyricist Award in 1958, 1959, and 1968 for his songs in films.

Born on August 30, 1923,  at Rawalpindi, now in Pakistan, Ananda Shailendra was brought up in Mathura, a city in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.  He started writing poetry during the time he began working as an apprentice with the Indian Railways workshop in Bombay in 1947. Shailendra became involved with the Indian People’s Theater Association, the cultural wing  of the Communist Party of India, writing songs and socialist-themed poems set in a post-Independence India. 

Actor and film maker Raj Kapoor first met Shailendra when he was reading his poem “Jalta hai Punjab (Punjab Burns)” at a poetry symposium in Bombay.  Kapoor offered to buy the poem for inclusion in his upcoming movie “Aag (Fire)” to be released in 1948; however, Shailendra refused , being wary of mainstream media. When Kapoor was filming “Barsaat (Rain)” in 1949,  he was able to purchase two songs from Shailendra:  “Patli Kamar Hai (My Slim Waist)” and “Barsaat Mein (In the Rain)”, with the composition work being done by notable composer Shankar-Jaikishan.

The team of Kapoor, Shailendra, and Shankar-Jaikishan produced many hit songs during their time together. Shailendra’s song “Awara Hoon (I’m a Vagabond)” from Kapoor’s 1951 film “Awaara (Vagabond)” became the most popular Hindustani film song outside of India at that time. All of Shailendra’s songs from the 1955 “Shree 420 (Mr. 420)” became super hits and are still sung on popular occasions. 

In 1961 Ananda Shailendra invested heavily in the production of director Basu Bhathacharya’s film “Teesri Kasam (The Third Vow)”, released in 1966 and starring Raj Kapoor and Waheeda Rehnam. Although the film won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film, it was a failure commercially. Failing health resulting from tensions with the film’s production and its financial loss, coupled with alcohol abuse, resulted in Shailendra’s early death in December of 1966 at the age of forty-three.

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer: “A Mystery to Man”

 

Artists Unknown, (A Mystery to Man), Computer Graphics, Film Gifs

“Mientras la humanidad siempre avanzando,

No sepa a do camina:

Mientras haya un misterio para el hombre,

!Habrá poesia!”

“While humanity is always advancing,

Do not know where you are going;

As long as there is a mystery to man, 

There will be poetry!”

—Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, Rimas, 1871

Born in Selvill in 1836, the Spanish lyric poet Gustavo Adolfo Dominguez Bécquer is noted for his “Rimes, a collection of short lyric poems. This work had such a profound influence that it is considered the starting point of Spanish contemporary poetry.

Unlike the inflated style of his contemporaries, Bécquer’s diction was spare and simple, his verses delicate and light. Yet he achieved in each poem a maximum resonance by attending to the phonetic structure of words and by using images which affected the reader’s sensibility and demanded his active collaboration. Bécquer’s ability to make words express much more than their conventional meanings anticipated the techniques of modern symbolic poetry.

Bécquer wrote most of his prose works from 1860 to 1865. These include 22 legends, which are based upon regional folklore and exploit the supernatural. While at the monastery of Veruela in 1864, he wrote a collection of nine letters entitled “Desde Mi Celda, Cartas Literarias (From My Cell, Literary Letters)”. That same year Becquer directed an important journal and was appointed official censor of novels.

In 1868 Bécquer separated from his wife and, in the wake of the revolution that ended the rule of Isabella II, went to Paris. He returned to Madrid in 1869, rewrote from memory the lost manuscript of “Rimas”, and resumed newspaper writing. The sudden death of his brother Valeriano in September of 1870 severely depressed Bécquer, and he died only 3 months later, on December 22nd, exhausted by tuberculosis. Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer’s collected works were published posthumously in 1871.

 

Fernando Pessoa” “The First Property of Things is Motion” (Part Three)

Tattoo Art in Motion: Part Three

“Our problem isn’t that we’re individualists. It’s that our individualism is static rather than dynamic. We value what we think rather than what we do. We forget that we haven’t done, or been, what we thought; that the first function of life is action, just as the first property of things is motion.”
Fernando Pessoa, The Education of the Stoic

Pierre Emō

Pierre Emō: Scenes from Vann Gonzales’s “Un Couteau dans ke Coeur (Knife + Heart)”

French model and actor Pierre Emō first came to the attention of audiences in Germany and France with his appearances in the 2013 film “Only the Fire” by  director and cinematographer Christophe Pellet and the 2014 film “While the Unicorn is Watching Me”, by director Shanti Masud, known for her 2013 “Pour la France”. Emō’s first appearance in a film by director Noel Alejandro was the short award-winning LBGT film “Call Me a Ghost” shown at the 2017 Chéries-Chéris film festival in Paris.

At the age of twenty-four in early 2017, Pierre Emō had already  appeared in five movies, He next co-starred with French actress and singer  Venessa Paradis and actor Félix Maritaud in director Vann Gonzales’s 2018 LBGT murder mystery thriller “Un Couteau dans le Coeur (Knife + Heart)”, which premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. 

In 2018, Emō appeared in several films including “Lemon Taste” by Nicky Miller and “Les Fantômes”, a horror thriller directed by Alexandre Vallès. Director Noel Alejandro again cast Emō in two more of his films, the 2018 “The Seed”, a short erotic art film, and the short 2018 drama film “The End”. Emō appeared in a small role for Latvian director Rosa von Praunheim’s 2019 crime thriller “Darkroom”, which was based on a true story and filmed in Germany. 

Pierre Emō lives and works in both Paris and Berlin. On stage, he has played small parts with the prestigious Berliner Ensemble, a German theater company established in 1949 by actress Helene Weigel and playwright Bertoit Brecht.

The photo Images and gifs are from “Un Couteau dans le Coeur” by director Vann Gonzales. The film was shot on 35mm under the direction of cinematographer Simon Beaufils, who oversaturated some scenes in shades of blue and red. The soundtrack features the Gallic band M83.

The images and gifs were reblogged with many thanks to: https://doctordee.tumblr.com

Fernando Pessoa: “The First Property of Things is Motion” (Part Two)

Tattoo Art in Motion: Part Two

“Our problem isn’t that we’re individualists. It’s that our individualism is static rather than dynamic. We value what we think rather than what we do. We forget that we haven’t done, or been, what we thought; that the first function of life is action, just as the first property of things is motion.”
Fernando Pessoa, The Education of the Stoic

 

Peter Bunnell” “A Private Point of View”

Artists Unknown, (A Private Point of View), Gay Film Gifs

“There is no single form or style of portraiture. Portraiture means individualism and as such means diversity, self-expression, private point of view. The most successful images seem to be those which exist on several planes at once and which reflect the fantasy and understanding of many.”

 -Peter Bunnell, Creative Camera International Year Book 1977, 1976, p. 167

Greeks Come True

 

Konstantinos Rigas by Vangelis Kyris, “Greeks Come True”, 2019

“Greeks Come True” is a movie filmed by Vangelis Kyris in conjunction with a photo shooting for the Greeks Come True annual print calendar which is available every December. Filmed entirely on a Greek mountain farm, the eighty minute film follows the fifteen men and athletes involved in the calendar shoot. The film’s multi-genre sooundtrack features some of Greece’s promising musical artists.

Walking Towards the Storm

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Artist Unknown, (Walking Towards the Storm), Computer Graphics, Animation Gif

“By early evening all the sky to the north had darkened and the spare terrain they trod had turned a neuter gray as far as the eye could see. They grouped in the road at the top of a rise and looked back. The storm front towered above them and the wind was cool on their sweating faces. They slumped bleary-eyed in their saddles and looked at one another. Shrouded in the black thunderheads the distant lightning glowed mutely like welding seen through foundry smoke. As if repairs were under way at some flawed place n the iron dark of the world.”
Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses

J.M. Barrie: “The Colours Become So Vivid”

 

Photographer Unknown, Gay Film Computer Graphics, Gay Gifs, (The Colours Become So Vivid)

“If you shut your eyes and are a lucky one, you may see at times a shapeless pool of lovely pale colours suspended in the darkness; then if you squeeze your eyes tighter, the pool begins to take shape, and the colours become so vivid that with another squeeze they must go on fire.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Markus Zusak: “Shower After Shower”

Photographer Unknown, Shower After Shower

When their bodies had finished scouring for gaps in the door, their souls rose up. When their fingernails had scratched at the wood and in some cases were nailed into it by the sheer force of desperation, their spirits came toward me, into my arms, and we climbed out of those shower facilities, onto the roof and up, into eternity’s certain breadth. They just kept feeding me. Minute after minute. Shower after shower.”
Markus Zusak, The Book Thief