Based on Mediaeval Latin verses in the Codex Buranus. Below, you will see the English translation.
The Sun is my Empress, She shines over everything
I was tempted to put the full text here. However, I remembered that Chrome’s translation software would chew it up. I hope the two images render without any issues. If there are any, let me know. The raw text is available, so please contact me if you would like to have it.
Image: Postcard I received recently of Anna Ishii’s 2019 work, “Charming and mesmerising” – 193 cm x 193 cm oil on canvas.
In a previous post, I mentioned that I was writing a coronation scene for a new novel. The story is set in 2033, and unfolds in the same universe as The Quarter Percent. We follow events from three perspectives. One belongs to Sebastian, who happens to be a nephew of Cordial’s.
Still drafting, but I know how the story ends. In the very last scene, after a bombshell revelation the previous evening, a hush falls over the nation on Coronation Day. The new monarch is Sebastian’s bestie, 35-year-old Carroll. In this draft of the story, Carroll’s father is still alive, so the proclamation of accession has to take place at the coronation.
By this point in the story, we have eavesdropped on meetings and know that the coronation will be stripped of pomp and pageantry. Sebastian has been asked to whittle down the government’s expenditure on the ceremony to mere shillings. The ceremony is a reckoning with the public which, after a display of hubris, has completely lost face. Nonetheless, the ordeal has been humiliating for Carroll.
Note: This post was originally intended for publication on this date, 09/20, but I moved it up a week. I moved it back here to make way for a different post. Thank you for your attention, as always. Header image: Izrael Poznanski Palace in Lodz, Poland, by Jacques Bopp, via Unsplash. Concept art: “Accession proclamation for King Carroll”, Posca watercolour pens, and Pilot Juice metallic ink on matte/glossy magazine paper.
Cheer me on, Oblivia
as I wind up from the knees
to rend from Earth this nemesis
of everlasting peace
Aiming at the nose bridge
of the Grand Chaos Machine
bracing with the groundswell
fully charged, I launch again
Swing that arm around now Come on David, let her fly Holding up your left hand as a shield against the sky watch that middle finger you must use it as a guide Clean your stones; less friction Count, release and it is done
Lead, my faithful vanguard
Gather, kindred, go that way
On your trusting footprints
shines the mighty light of day
Come on, children, walk this way…
Note: I wrote this poem at the end of March and hid it, thinking I would never need to publish it. Clearly, I was kidding myself. Tammy, and Jeanne, this poem might be all I can do. Photo credit: Archangel Michael defeats the Evil One, St Michaelis Church Tombamasta, Hamburg, Germany; image via Pinterest.
Notes had been sent asking after my whereabouts. I hadn’t indulged in my favoured Earl Grey, tiramisu and panna cotta combo for months. This is my day off, so I presented myself at my friends’ patisserie just after 11.00 (dessert before breakfast, people) and got to work. Eating, that is.
As for play time, this is what I got up to. Special thanks go to Egbert Starr for permission to work on this composition using excerpts from his brilliant prose poem, The Gallows’ Horse. Please visit his blog to read the full version.
Featured magazine – Numéro, Tokyo, April, 2016. Vol 95: Perfume ads; “Dark Romanticism” and “Pretty Killer” editorials by Ellen Von Unwerth with art direction by Yuni Yoshida.
Upper: I said to the wise man I met, “Love.” And I said to the crone the same. To children, I said to them, “Love one another.” To kings, philosophers, chemists, scientists of every kind, my message was exactly so.
Lower: I remembered from the land above the flower of my treachery. I remembered my rage and anger and my fulsome seductions of a thousand Persephones. How pleased I was! How capable! How incisive and cross-quotable my demonic possibilities. I was in the world of common men without compare!
Epic prose poetry, and it tasted fantastic. My friends and I chatted while I worked, so they were my guest editors. Thank you for reading, too. Enjoy a sip of all right until we meet again. SB
Collage: Rubber stamp on magazine print; lavender scented ink (in quill) on recycled paper. Photograph: “Pretty Killer” editorial by Ellen von Unwerth, Numéro, Tokyo, April 2016.
A mindful process refines me. When a thing feels auto-, it’s time to reset and learn as I go.
[b] Proofread (gives up)
The quill and lavender scented ink are with a friend’s mother. She’s recuperating after a long hospital stay. Writing in a start/pause/adjust style should keep her mind and hand muscles engaged. I practiced for several hours to get a feel for the process. She’s now giving it a try.
Meaning: Dust yourself off and try again. Notes: I didn’t realise until Thursday afternoon that the painting resembles the horizon as seen from Victoria Crater, Mars. *As you know, Mars is dry; however, 19th century areographers used “sea”, “lake” and “ocean” while mapping the planet. Thank you so much for viewing.
The actuary’s gaunt face presented harshly against the hush of apprehension that gripped the room. The Empress veiled herself with a blank expression. When no one was looking, she released a slow eye roll.
Etiquette dictated that she not show scorn or deference. Today was particularly challenging. On the eve of expansion, the actuary stopped to raise a challenge. He had discovered two spots on a six inch map. The surveyors looked confused. But they quietly agreed that this was a democracy, and let him have his say.
Trailing off the table were yards of hemp scroll. Empress Tikki wanted to wrap it around his neck. “One more passage and then we’re whole, one last signing is the end I’m told…”
Shadowed by nervous ministers, the actuary started clearing his throat. The metallic timbre induced, in the Empress, a maddening primal scream. “Be impermanent in this please, do not drag it out another note…”
“Pray the deities, restore my soul,” muttered the Empress, “we are held hostage by a mating goat.” She flashed a smile to restore decorum. The actuary had until sunrise to interrogate the two moth stains.
Empress Tikki | SB
Photo credit: SHXPIR for Harper’s Bazaar China, 2014. Musical inspiration: Habanera from Carmen by Georges Bizet.