Birthday Blues & Birthday Fluff. So, we got to be seventy. Unbelievable! According to the Indian palmist who read my palm in a deserted train station in a godforsaken town somewhere in South India, I should have been dead good ten years ago (and he considered 60/65 to be a good, long life, too, bless his saintly chappals). So, here we are. Old, fat, shapeless, unseemly, disabled, female, foreign, grumpy, cynical, pessimistic and more fond of puncturing balloons than ever. Hardly anybody likes me and most folk hate my politics. But a couple of amiable souls love me and the Shoggies & Co. love me and, were I to believe in him, Jesus would love me, be it only because he’s supposed to love everybody, even Henry Kissinger. And so, rather than go eat worms, I make friends with them and invite them to tea. And they repay me with their secret jokes and infinite kindness. And although I have more than one regret (sod off, Edith Piaff!) and I know we are born to die anyway, I scorn pomp and defy circumstances and take great comfort in the poetry of a 15th C.Spaniard who really knew his poetry from a hole in the ground. Here’s to you, don Jorge! And here’s to you, young Gorgon. May your next birthday find you as unrepentant. Or find you at all, really, the way things are going…
Girl & Bird in Yellow. On the wasteland just beyond old Carcosa the Yellow Bird and her pal the Girl in Yellow have met to watch the moon rise over Lake Hali and to have a good bitch about transient glories, sundry heartaches, futile gestures and so on. As soon as the moon is up they’ll have Bucks Fizz and vol-au-vents, but on no account cucumber sandwiches, and they’ll sing selected fragments from the sanctioned dirges. Like the following, one of the best and better loved segments of Cassilda’s Lament, as we call it at home.
Songs that the Hyades shall sing,
Where flap the tatters of the King,
Must die unheard in
Song of my soul, my voice is dead,
Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed
Shall dry and die in
Cassilda’s Song in the King in Yellow Act 1, Scene 2
I though you might want to read all about good old Carcosa (Bumba knows why, though) so here’s a helpful link to the inevitable Wikipedia.
Plus the equally inevitable B&W version. What can I say m’lud, I’m a cagadubtes, as the Catalans call people like me who can seldom decide what they like best, except sitting on fences.