Jazz Essays | Photos by Eliot Elisofon (1954)

Eliot Elisofon, Chet Baker, Jazz Essay 1954
Gerry Mulligan, Jazz Essay 1954                                  Chet Baker, Jazz Essay 1954
Elliot Elisofon, Gerry Mulligan, Jazz Essay 1954
Eliot Elisofon, Lester Young, Jazz Essay 1954
Dave Brubeck,  Jazz Essay 1954                             Eliot Elisofon, Oscar Peterson, 1954  
^    Eliot Elisofon, Duke Ellington Jazz Essay 1954
 Dave Brubeck on piano encircled by band members Paul Desmond, Joe Dodge and Bob Bates, 1954 

Eliot Elisofon, Duke Ellington, 1954

Eliot Elisofon, Louis Armstrong blowing on trumpet, 1954
Eliot Elisofon, Oscar Peterson, 1954
Eliot Elisofon, Charlie Parker playing saxophone, 1954
Eliot Elisofon, Errol Garner, 1954                               Eliot Elisofon, Gene Krupa, 1954
Eliot Elisofon, Ella Fitzgerald, 1954                                     Eliot Elisofon, Benny Goodman, 1954


Journey’s end | Agatha Christie (1928)

Roman Vishniac, Interior of the Anhalter Bahnhof railway terminus near Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, 1929 / early 1930s

“Trains are relentless things, aren’t they, Monsieur Poirot? People are murdered and die, but they go on just the same. 
I am talking nonsense, but you know what I mean.“
"Yes, yes, I know. Life is like a train, Mademoiselle. It goes on. And it is a good thing that that is so.”
“Because the train gets to its journey’s end at last, and there is a proverb about that in your language, Mademoiselle.”
“‘Journey’s end in lovers meeting.’” Lenox laughed. “That is not going to be true for me.”
“Yes–yes, it is true. You are young, younger than you yourself know. Trust the train, Mademoiselle, for it is le bon 
Dieu who drives it.”
The whistle of the engine came again.
“Trust the train, Mademoiselle,” murmured Poirot again. “And trust Hercule Poirot. He knows.”

 Agatha Christie, The Mystery of the Blue Train, 1928


Alphabetarion # The Sextant

 Jesse Ramsden, Sextant, 1772                                                           Marsden Hartley. Sextant, 1917

“Until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea.” 
Charles Cook

A sextant is a doubly reflecting navigation instrument used to measure the angle between any two visible objects. The principle of the instrument was first implemented around 1730 by John Hadley (1682–1744) and Thomas Godfrey (1704–1749) but it was also found later in the unpublished writings of Isaac Newton (1643–1727).

The primary use of a sextant is to determine the angle between an astronomical object and the horizon for the purposes of celestial navigation. The determination of this angle, the altitude, is known as sighting (or shooting) the object, or taking a sight. The angle, and the time when it was measured, can be used to calculate a position line on a nautical or aeronautical chart.

Ο Βιαστικός | Paul Morand (1941)

"Η δυστυχία μου είναι πως είμαι ακριβής. Περνώ τη ζωή μου αναμένοντας.''

''Η βιασύνη μου δεν οφείλεται σε μιαν επίκτητη σοφία, αλλά σ' ένα ένστικτο. Η μόνη εξήγηση είναι πως κατέχω ένα μοιραίο χάρισμα, όπως έλεγαν κι οι ρομαντικοί: το χάρισμα της κινητικότητας. Μια κατάρα με θέλει να καλπάζω μέσα σε ένα σύμπαν που τριποδίζει.''

''Κάποιο ρυθμιστικό σφάλμα συνέβη κατά τη γέννηση μου. Διαπιστώνω μια ασυμφωνία ανάμεσα στο ρυθμό μου και στο ρυθμό του περιβάλλοντός μου.''

''Θαυμάζω τους ανθρώπους: μοιάζουν να έχουν χρόνο για τα πάντα, προχωρούν οριζοντίως· εγώ έχω την εντύπωση ότι βιώνω μια πτώση, όπως στα όνειρα· κατά τη γέννηση μου, έπεσα απο μια στέγη και βλέπω τους ορόφους να περνούν ο ένας μετά τον άλλον και να πλησιάζει φρικτά το ισόγειο. Πιστεύω πώς η ταχύτητα είναι η σύγχρονη μορφή της βαρύτητας και ξέρω πως υπακούω στην αληθινή παρόρμηση του σύμπαντος και πως είμαι ο μόνος ο οποίος αισθάνεται να υπακούει σ’ αυτήν. Γιατί να αλλάξω; Γιατί να άλλαζα, αφού το λάθος δεν είναι σ’ εμένα;
- Στα διανοητικά δράματα δεν υπάρχουν ποτέ εξωτερικές αιτίες. "

" Αν επιθυμούσα μόνο ό,τι είθισται να αποκαλούμε ηδονές, θα 'ταν απλά τα πράγματα· θα τις εξασφάλιζα ο ίδιος στον εαυτό μου. Αυτό που επιθυμώ όμως, είναι εντελώς άλλο πράγμα· θέλω να αισθάνομαι ότι ορμώ μπροστά με τη θέληση μου· θέλω τρένα του τρόμου, κομμένη ανάσα, κενό στο στομάχι, θέλω να πίνω τη ζωή μονορούφι."

Paul Morand (1888-1976)

"Αυτό που μας κατατρώει, δεν είναι τόσο η επιβεβλημένη, παρατεταμένη αναμονή, όσο αυτές οι αδιόρατες παύσεις κι αυτές οι αυτοματικές χειρονομίες, που αφήνουν την ημέρα διάτρητη σαν να ’ταν ξαφριστήρι: να μασάς τις τροφές, να ξύνεις το μολύβι, να κολλάς γραμματόσημα, να ψάχνεις ψηλαφιστά τα κουμπιά του ασανσέρ, να υπογράφεις ένα συστημένο γράμμα, να βάζεις νερό στο σώμα του καλοριφέρ, να περιμένεις το σκύλο να κάνει τα κακά του, να παρηγορείς μια γυναίκα."

"Ακόμη κι η ανάγνωση, που αποτελεί ξεκούραση, μόρφωση, στοχασμό, ονειροπόληση για άλλους, ήταν για εκείνον οξεία μορφή δράσης, αφού διάβαζε για να συμμεριστεί εως παροξυσμού τα πιο παράτολμα κατορθώματα των μεγάλων στρατηλατών, των εξερευνητών, των τυχοδιωκτών, των ηρώων του."

«Ο χρόνος διασκεδάζει παίζοντας μαζί μας σκοποβολή», σκέφτηκε· «κάθε δευτερόλεπτο πέφτει σαν βόμβα. Όταν είμαστε πιτσιρίκια, ξαναβρίσκουμε την ισορροπία μας στη στιγμή· έπειτα, όλο και πιο αργά· τα αποθέματα δυνάμεων εξαντλούνται, ταλαντευόμαστε όλο και περισσότερο μέχρι τη μέρα πού η ανατροπή μας θα είναι οριστική και που, σαν παλιά καταπτοημένη κούκλα, θα αφήσουμε μια αδειανή θέση ανάμεσα στην παραμάνα και τα στρατιωτάκια.»

"Όταν κοιτάζουμε τους ανθρώπους κατά πρόσωπο τους βλέπουμε, όταν όμως τους κοιτάζουμε μέσα απ' τον καθρέφτη τους καταλαβαίνουμε."

''- Από τι καταλαβαίνουμε ότι φτάσαμε, αν δεν σταματάμε ποτέ;.''

Paul Morand, Ο βιαστικός, 1941
μτφ Ολυμπία Γλυκιώτη

Book//mark - A cos­monaut of inner space / Cain’s Book | Alexander Trocchi (1960)

"The great mechanical monolith imposed by mass mind."

“The steel of logic has daily to be strengthened to contain the volcanic element within.”

Alexander Trocchi, Cain’s Book, 1960 

Alexander Trocchi, Cain’s Book, NY Grove Press, 1960                         A. Trocchi’s personal, hand-painted copy of Cain’s Book

“My scow is tied up in Flushing, NY, alongside the landing stage of the Mac Asphalt and Construction Corporation. It is now just after five in the afternoon. Today at this time it is still afternoon, and the sun, striking the cinderblocks of the main building of the works has turned them pink. The motor cranes and the decks of the other scows tied up round about are deserted.

Half an hour ago I gave myself a fix.”

"Like a piece of sensitive photographic paper, waiting passively to feel the shock of impression. And then I was quivering like a leaf, more precisely like a mute hunk of appetitional plasm, a kind of sponge in which the business of being excited was going on, run through by a series of external stimuli: the lane, the man, the pale light, the lash of silver — at the ecstatic edge of something to be seen."

Alexander Trocchi

“Sometimes, at low moments, I felt my thoughts were the ravings of a man out of his mind to have been placed in history at all, having to act, having to consider; a victim of the fixed insquint. Sometimes I thought: What a long distance history has taken me out of my way! And then I said: Let it go, let it go, let them all go!”

“I’m all the time aware it’s reality and not literature I’m engaged in... At times I am living at the tips of my senses. I am near flesh, blood, hair.”

"I experienced a sly female lust to be impregnated by, beyond words and in a mystical way to confound myself with, not the man necessarily, though that was part of the possibility, but the secrecy of his gesture."

Alexander Trocchi and his wife Lyn Hicks, who has dedicated the Book of Cain

“We cannot afford to leave the potential power of drugs in the hands of a few governmental “experts,” whatever they call themselves. Critical knowledge we must vigilantly keep in the public domain. A cursory glance at history should caution us thus. I would recommend on grounds of public safety that heroin (and all other known drugs) be placed with lucid literature pertaining to its use and abuse on the counters of all chemists (to think that a man should be allowed a gun and not a drug!) and sold openly to anyone twenty-one. This is the only safe method of controlling the use of drugs. At the moment we are encouraging ignorance, legislating to keep crime in existence, and preparing the way for one of the most heinous usurpations of power of all times … all over the world…”

“All great art and today all great artlessness mustappear extreme to the mass of men as we know them today. It springs from the anguish of great souls. From the souls of men not formed but deformed in factories whose inspiration is pelf. The critics who call upon the lost and beat generations to come home, who use the dead to club the living, write prettily about anguish because to them it is an historical phenomenon and not a pain in the arse. But it is pain in the arse and we wonder at the impertinence of governments which by my own experience and that of my father and his father before him have consistently done everything in their power to make individuals treat the world situation lightly, that they should frown on the violence of my imagination—which is a sensitive responsive instrument—and set their damn police on me who has not stirred from this room for 15 years except to cop shit.”

Alexander Trocchi, Cain’s Book, 1960

Alexander Trocchi, Public Junkie, Priez Pour Nous

Who is purer
more simple than you?
Priests play poker with the burghers,
police in underwear
leave crime at the office,
our poets work bankers’ hours
retire to wives and fame-reports.
The spike flashes in your blood
permanent as a silver lighthouse.

I’m apt to loaf
in a coma of newspapers,
avoid the second-hand bodies
which cry  to be catalogued.
I dream I’m
a divine right Prime Minister,
I abandon plans for bloodshed in Canada,
I accept an O.B.E.

Under hard lights
with doctor’s instruments
you are at work
in the bathrooms of the City,
changing the Law.

I tend to get distracted
by hydrogen bombs,
by Uncle’s disapproval
of my treachery
to the men’s clothing industry.
I find myself
believing public clocks,
taking advice
from the Dachau generation.

The spike hunts
constant as a compass.
You smile like a Navajo
discovering American oil
on his official slum wilderness,
a surprise every half hour.

I’m afraid I sometimes forget
my lady’s pretty little blonde package
is an amateur time-bomb
set to fizzle in my middl-age.
I forget the Ice Cap, the pea-minds,
the heaps of expensive teeth.

You don a false nose
line up twice for the Demerol dole;
you set yourself on the steps of the White House
you try to shoot the big arms
of the Lincoln Memorial;
you spy on scientists,
stumble on a cure for scabies;
you drop pamphlets from a stolen jet:
“The Truth about Junk”;
you pirate a national tv commercial
shove your face against
the window of the living-room
insist that healthy skin is grey.

A little bood in the sink
Red cog-wheels
shaken from your arm
punctured inflamed
like a road map showing cities
over 10,000 pop.

Your arms tell me
you have been reaching into the coke machine
for strawberries,
you have been humping the thorny crucifix
you have been piloting Mickey Mouse balloons
through the briar patch,
you have been digging for grins in the tooth-pile.

Bonnie Queen Alex Eludes Montreal Hounds
Famous Local Love Scribe Implicated

You purity drives me to work.
I must get back to lust and microscopes,
experiments in embalming,
resume the census of my address book.

You leave behind you a fanatic
to answer R.C.M.P. questions.

Leonard Cohen, 1964 


“I have needed drugs, to abolish within myself the painful reflection of the schizophrenia of my times, 
to quench the impulse to get at once onto my feet and go out into the world and live out some convenient, 
traditional identity of cunning and contriving… The astronauts who were my heroes moved on trajectories 
of inner space… I wanted to escape out of the prison of my mind’s language; to ‘make it new.‘”

Note found among A. Trocchi’s papers after his death

Liberty | Paul Éluard (1942)

Unknown, 1931

On my notebooks from school
On my desk and the trees
On the sand on the snow
I write your name

On every page read
On all the white sheets
Stone blood paper or ash
I write your name

On the golden images
On the soldier’s weapons
On the crowns of kings
I write your name

On the jungle the desert
The nests and the bushes
On the echo of childhood
I write your name

On the wonder of nights
On the white bread of days
On the seasons engaged
I write your name

On all my blue rags
On the pond mildewed sun
On the lake living moon
I write your name

On the fields the horizon
The wings of the birds
On the windmill of shadows
I write your name

On each breath of the dawn
On the ships on the sea
On the mountain demented
I write your name

On the foam of the clouds
On the sweat of the storm
On dark insipid rain
I write your name

On the glittering forms
On the bells of colour
On physical truth
I write your name

On the wakened paths
On the opened ways
On the scattered places
I write your name

On the lamp that gives light
On the lamp that is drowned
On my house reunited
I write your name

On the bisected fruit
Of my mirror and room
On my bed’s empty shell
I write your name

On my dog greedy tender
On his listening ears
On his awkward paws
I write your name

On the sill of my door
On familiar things
On the fire’s sacred stream
I write your name

On all flesh that’s in tune
On the brows of my friends
On each hand that extends
I write your name

On the glass of surprises
On lips that attend
High over the silence
I write your name

On my ravaged refuges
On my fallen lighthouses
On the walls of my boredom
I write your name

On passionless absence
On naked solitude
On the marches of death
I write your name

On health that’s regained
On danger that’s past
On hope without memories
I write your name

By the power of the word
I regain my life
I was born to know you
And to name you


Paul Éluard / Liberty (1942)
trans. A. S. Kline

An ode to liberty written during the Nazi occupation of France.

Picture book / for the niece of Ditha Mautner von Markhof | Koloman Moser (1904)

Koloman Moser, Picture book for the niece of Ditha Mautner von Markhof (1904)
Koloman Moser, Picture book for the niece of Ditha Mautner von Markhof (1904)
Koloman Moser, Picture book for the niece of Ditha Mautner von Markhof (1904)
Koloman Moser, Picture book for the niece of Ditha Mautner von Markhof (1904)
Koloman Moser, Picture book for the niece of Ditha Mautner von Markhof (1904)

Koloman Moser (1868 –  1918) was an Austrian artist who exerted considerable influence on twentieth-century graphic art 
and one of the foremost artists of the Vienna Secession movement and a co-founder of Wiener Werkstätte.

Prot-a-gonist: Lauren Bacall / Speaks | Joseph Cornell (Penny Arcade Portrait of Lauren Bacall), 1945-46

Joseph Cornell, study for: Untitled (Penny Arcade Portrait of Lauren Bacall), 1945-1946

I am essentially a loner.

I am not a has-been. I am a will be.

I loved to dream about other worlds and other lives.

Find me a man who’s interesting enough to have dinner with and I’ll be happy.

I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that.

I used to tremble from nerves so badly that the only way I could hold my head steady was 
to lower my chin practically to my chest and look up at Bogie. That was the beginning of “The Look”.

I’m not a sedentary person. I’ve always been active.

Looking at yourself in a mirror isn’t exactly a study of life.

Stardom isn’t a profession; it’s an accident.

Here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete. If you’re alive, it isn’t.

Lauren Bacall , 1924 - 2014

Joseph Cornell, Untitled (Penny Arcade Portrait of Lauren Bacall), 1945-1946

Joseph Cornell kept a filing system of over 160 visual-documentary “dossiers” on themes that interested him; the dossiers served as repositories from which Cornell drew material and inspiration for boxes like his “penny arcade” portrait of Lauren Bacall. He had no formal training in art, although he was extremely well-read and was conversant with the New York art scene from the 1940s through to the 1960s.
J. Cornell was heavily influenced by the American Transcendentalists, Hollywood starlets (to whom he sent boxes he had dedicated to them), the French Symbolists such as Stéphane Mallarmé and Gérard de Nerval, and 19th-century ballet dancers such as Marie Taglioni and Fanny Cerrito.


Book//mark - Kassandra and the Wolf | Margarita Karapanou (1976)

Margarita Karapanou, Kassandra and the Wolf, 1976  cover: Seymour Chwast


 “I was born at dusk, hour of the wolf, July, under the sign of Cancer. When they brought me to her, she turned her face to the wall.” 

 “One day, my Mother, Kassandra, brought me a lovely doll as a present. She was big, and she had yellow strings instead of hair. 
I put her to sleep in her box, but first I cut off her legs and arms so she’d fit. Later, I cut her head off too, so she wouldn’t be so heavy. Now I love her very much.” 

 “I’m in my room. Since yesterday, it’s been winter. I’ve arranged my dolls in line on the bed, opened their legs, and lifted their frocks. I’m making them give birth. I’m using my marbles—the shiny ones—a present from Peter. The marbles drop, and roll on the carpet. After they’ve turned into children, I put them in my basket. It’s the birth basket. It’s very shiny, with bits of mirror inside, 1 gold penknife, and millions of marbles—red ones, yellow ones, green ones—fire. 
I want to put marbles in my dolls’ bellies so I prick them all with a needle. They sigh, as straw falls on the carpet, and look pleased. I close their legs, cover them up, and run off to see the rain.”

The Gentleman

 “Then, when the Gentleman takes you to be his Lady, when he puts on his pajamas and you put on your nightgown, and he stands upright and naked and then on top of you, don’t ever show you like it. Just imagine that you’re in the parlor, cross-stitching swans and peacocks. If you like it so much you can’t stop yourself, pretend you’ve got stomach cramps. because if you were to moan, the Gentleman would divorce you and, with the name you have and the position you hold, that would be terrible."

 "learn the secrets under the sheets, open your legs and let the little stars and hurricanes into your belly”

The Birdman 

 "The Birdman lived on a high mountain and loved the Fishwoman very much. But they could never manage to meet each other, you see, because he couldn’t get in the water and she couldn’t fly. That’s why the Bird always flew over the sea, and the Fish always followed in the waves, until, finally, the Bird covered it and became its Shadow. Before that none of us had a Shadow. We walked about quite plain and we were cold too. But from that time on, the Shadow was born, and now we all have one to keep us company."


 “I chewed words, so heavy they turned to pebbles in my belly”

 “I’ve learned to speak, answer, and think in syllables.
 -Then why are you crying? 
 It’s the syllables. It hurts when I cut the words in two.” 

 ” said I, “have quite made up my mind. I want to live with plasticine and tracings. I don’t want to learn reading and writing. Fact is, I want to be plasticine. I’ll take all my bones out and I’ll knead myself. 

 “One morning, I couldn’t hear. I quarreled with sounds. I turned into a table. I turned transparent. 
 It rained from the sky, and the raindrops turned to tears on my cheeks. I chewed words, so heavy I couldn’t lift them, turned to pebbles in my belly. I changed shapes constantly. (Dumb) words came out of my mouth, and the air around me tore them in pieces. 
 Letters turned to reptiles.” 

 "At night, forgotten words tried to reach me. I listened with my skin. Words tore my skin off, crept inside me, and nestled down. I was a mass of wounds. When I opened my mouth in front of the mirror, beasts lay asleep in my throat; they’d made it their home."

Margarita Karapanou, Kassandra and the Wolf, 1974 
 tr. N. C. Germanacos 1976

Συνήθως δεν βλέπουμε τίποτα | Νίκος Γαβριήλ Πεντζίκης, 1943

Ν.Γ.Πεντζίκη,  Πολυκατοικιες, 1971

Συνήθως δεν βλέπουμε τίποτα 
σαν τα παιδιά έχουμε λίγες ανάγκες
 υποθέτουμε απλώς αληθινά τα φαινόμενα 
συγχέουμε στην αρχή τις δυνάμεις 
τον άνθρωπο με τα επιβλητικά ζώα 
μας κυριαρχούν οι άμεσες εντυπώσεις 
το παιδί σχεδιάζει μεγάλα κεφάλια 
παριστάνεται η μορφή εκ του πλαγίου 
αναπόσπαστο μέρος ενός συνόλου 
δεν είναι αυθύπαρκτη διακοσμεί 
τα πρόσωπα συγχέονται 
το πλήθος και η μονάδα είν’ ένα 
καταργείται του χρόνου η έννοια 
διαθέσεις τρόποι φωνές 
την στέρεα ιεραρχία των φαινομένων 
με τόλμη υπερπηδούν οι Έλληνες 
αδίσταχτα χαρακτηρίζουν τον θνητό 
δεν αντιπαρέρχονται μπροστά στο θάνατο 
προκειμένου όμως για κάτι που χάνεται 
αμείλιχτο εγείρεται το πρόβλημα 
τι πράγμα έχει σημασία να προσέξουμε 
τα μαλλιά τα ωραία μαλλιά 
τα μάτια τη μύτη το μουστάκι 
το σώμα ολόκληρο καταστρέφεται 
κάτι που περνά είναι η έκφραση 
τα ιδιαίτερα χαρακτηριστικά 
διηγιένται υποθέσεις του παρελθόντος 
οποιοσδήποτε ανύπαρκτος δεν μ’ ενδιαφέρει 
ανύπαρκτος τρομάζω 
βλέπω πίσω απ’ το τζάμι το θάνατο 
γυρεύω την ασφάλεια της πίστης 
την υποταγή στην ιεραρχία της πυραμίδας 
εντελώς έρημος δεν καταλαβαίνω 
η σεμνότητά μου τι χρειάζεται 
ο στοχασμός των σφιγμένων χειλιών μου 
το φιλήδονο βλέμμα 
 το γέρσιμο του κεφαλιού με παράπονο 
σκέφτομαι την κάθε λεπτομέρεια 
μέχρι που ξεχωρίζει με δική της οντότητα 
περνά απ’ το υποκείμενο στ’ αντικείμενο 
τ’ αντικείμενο έχει δική του αξία 
αν αγαπώ τη ζωή δεν πρέπει να το υποτάξω 
αν δεν έρχεται να με δει δεν πειράζει 
την Τρίτη βράδυ ξεράθηκαν τα μάτια μου 
δεν σε βλέπω πια γύρισα κι είπα 
ανοίγεται με τα δικά του φτερά υπερήφανο 
αυτό που για να το σηκώσω τσακίστηκα 
συγχώρεσέ με για τους κόπους που σου ‘δωκα 
οι αισθήσεις σβήνουν διαλύεται το σώμα 
πεθαίνω όμως γνωρίζοντας ευδαίμονα 
ο άλλος θα πεθάνει όπως πεθαίνω 
όταν τ’ αντικείμενό του συμπληρώσει 
δεν υπάρχω όπως δεν υπάρχεις 
αθάνατη μόνη η ομοιότητά μας μένει 
στον τάφο διασώζεται η σχέση 
με τις μάχες που ιστορούνται σώμα προς σώμα.

Ν. Γ. Πεντζίκη, Διδαχή 4 / 2 Οκτ. 1943 
 Παλαιότερα ποιήματα και νεώτερα πεζά, 1980

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