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Opium


A Eunuch’s Dream | 1874 Jean Lecomte du Nouÿ (French, 1842-1923) This painting, inspired by Charles Montesquieu’s Persian Letters (published in 1721), depicts a eunuch who wanted to marry a harem slave. He experienced a vision of her while smoking his opium pipe, but her little companion holding a knife dripping with blood reminds us that the eunuch’s anatomy precludes the fulfillment of his dream. The outline of a hand next to the signature is a khamsa, a symbol used to ward off evil.

This must be the golden river
Of the hidden valley of Chang.

I can tell by the shape
Of their arrowheads.

As the dance changes
The violet bird
Flashes in his orange forest.

The commandments are written
In Sanskrit on the teacups,
And the still trees

Moving…
Glowing…
Flaming…

We meet upon a high cliff
Above that endless river
Under a bloom of stars
Set in geometric display.

We do not talk much
Until the birds cease.

Someone wanders
In through the window,

Standing stock still,
Munching
A piece of cheese.

My shoes are red.
I must complain.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Jack February 10, 2019, 8:47 AM

    This painting made me wonder…what would it take to inspire those predisposed to transgenderism and faggotry to consider the Utopia of becoming eunuchs? Seems like a stellar idea to encourage that whiney group of addled misfits to pursue that venue instead of trying to figure out what they think they are. They could then dispense with all of this LGBTQ, etc. and all become ‘one’.

  • ghostsniper February 10, 2019, 8:57 AM

    Is that his handprint?
    He split a lung trying to draw up a long pipe like that.
    By the time the smoke got to his yap it was 3 days old and 12 times more powerful.
    Blew the back right outta that skall.
    That would be me if I became eunuchized some how….

  • Walter Sobchak February 10, 2019, 10:15 AM

    “Charles Montesquieu”
    You refer to Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu. Montesquieu was his the name of his title of nobility, one that he did not have until his uncle died when the author was 27 yro, and not his name.

  • John the River February 10, 2019, 10:24 AM

    “Eunuchs” ? They pitch a fit if a doctor or a rabbi wants to circularize a baby boy.
    Of course the Left is a hot mess of contradictions; priests in the Catholic Church are evil because some of them have molested little boys, but the High Priests of Hollywood can do the same thing and worse if the accusations against Ed Buck hold true.

    Then there is the question, what do you do about the ones like Hillary?

  • ghostsniper February 10, 2019, 2:26 PM

    New movie coming out!

    Jason Statham will play “The Complexifier” action thriller about a billionaire that goes rogue to destroy an evil tabloid who violated the rules of journalism.

  • PA Cat February 10, 2019, 6:29 PM

    Opium is a helluva drug. The exoticism of the French painting reminded me of Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan,” which he wrote following an opium-induced dream in 1797. The Abyssinian maid mentioned in Coleridge’s poem as his muse is thought to be Mary Evans, a woman with whom Coleridge was in love but could not marry. Other opium addicts of the period include Thomas de Quincey (who is credited with starting the genre of addiction memoirs) and Charles Baudelaire.

    I suppose we’ll have to wait for the first OxyContin-inspired poem or painting.

  • Jaynie February 11, 2019, 5:35 AM

    Historic artworks, sometimes tangentially, others directly, illustrate man’s inhumanity to man. This piece adds to that by illustrating drug addiction. Such a horrible player for one to add to one’s existence. Sheesh, life can be tough enough without letting that monkey get on your back. But serenity of mind comes back by the illustration of people and a dog milling around on the beach at low tide in the light of the setting sun.

  • Jaynie February 11, 2019, 5:39 AM

    Ha, ghostsniper, although I was fairly certain you were joking around – “Jason Statham will play “The Complexifier” action thriller about a billionaire that goes rogue to destroy an evil tabloid who violated the rules of journalism.” – I still checked because I would like to go see that movie. Ha.

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