View of Delft

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Johannes Vermeer View of Delft

On the corridors of Mauritshuis
You whisper of Dutch baroque and a pearl earring
We sit close deciphering history and gazing at ships
Wondering where they’ll take us
Sailing in colors towards unknown but starry horizons

and I don’t want this to end…

Gliding from one room to the other
I imagine the stinging smell of fresh paint
The labor behind the artwork
And then there she is
A melancholic big-eyed nymph
Casting poems with her expression

As we turn around
We pause for a few minutes
And become one with the view.

The dark tones of grey and yellow ochre clouds,
The soothing patches of ultramarine,
And the madder in between,
Portray a universe we’ve seen
A tranquil Delft we’re lost in.
Delicate boats and bridges
Accompany us in our idyllic promenade
The Schie canal and the Nieuwe Kerk bells
Tell the tale of a Vermeer town
Now inundated with streams of the enamored.

I hear the green grass calling
The softness of your embrace
Two umbrellas
One dark, one turquoise
Taste the rain and go against the wild wind
I stop and kiss you
And the windmills bow
And the music goes on
We are finally inside of a painting
With reflections of our joy
Specked in bright sunlight hues
We know nothing of the cares of the world
There’s only you and I
And the occasional cat strolling on the pavement
The quiet living rooms and glorious water
A Delft Blue quilt
A Little Street…

Now there’s no escape from this Delft blues
As I reminisce about our acute love tunes.

 

10 Radical Manifestos Whose Revolutions Never Came

 

Because every revolution, movement, or uprising needs its manifesto, many figures outlined their visions in artistic or political texts. These radical movements caused a stir, others a howl, and eventually became nothing but fading sounds. Here are ten incendiary manifestos whose revolutionary claims never actually came into being.

10 The Revolutionary Catechism

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The most radical document of its age, The Revolutionary Catechism was crafted by Russian anarchist and nihilist Sergey Nechayev in 1869. One member of Nechayev’s group of radicals once described him as a

real revolutionist, a peasant who had preserved all the serf’s hatred against his masters.

The manifesto, co-written with Mikhail Bakunin, reveals Nechayev’s radical politics, demanding the total destruction of the Tsarist regime, the old autocratic hierarchy, and, extensively, of the whole society at large.

The text portrays the revolutionary man as a defector from society, with the only goal of bringing about revolution at any cost. In his obsessive pursuit of total demolition, he must not have “any sympathy for this world” and “must hate everyone and everything in it with an equal hatred”, except, of course, for those as fanatically rampant as himself.

Although Nechayev was convicted for the murder of a student and ended up as the Tsar’s special prisoner, he continued his political career until his death in 1882. While the demands of the revolutionary program never materialized, they provided the inspiration for Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s political novel Demons published in 1872, which depicts the political chaos of the 19th century Russia.

9 THE QUEER NATION MANIFESTO

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Queer Nation is an LGBT organization founded in March 1990 in New York by HIV/AIDS activists. One of its accomplishments was reclaiming the term queer which has come to define many things. Queer also sneaked from the streets into the academia and mopped the floor with identity politics and the “normal” – or at least tried to.

In June 1990, inflammatory leaflets which embodied the radical political stance of the Queer Nation were being distributed at the New York Pride March. In an angry, in-your-face tone, the manifesto pinpoints the revolution that queers are about to bring:

How can I tell you. How can I convince you, brother, sister that your life is in danger: that everyday you wake up alive, relatively happy, and a functioning human being, you are committing a rebellious act. You as an alive and functioning queer are a revolutionary.

Throughout the anonymous queer confessions, the “I hate straights” line is almost everywhere. In its plea against straight conduct, the text indicates that the “main diving line” between queers and straights is “procreation … and that magic word – Family”. In terms of child rearing, the queer community feels “punished, insulted, cut off, both damned if we try and damned if we abstain”. And here’s one other thing they have to say about reproduction:

It’s as if the propagation of the species is such a fragile directive that without enforcing it as if it were an agenda, humankind would melt back into the primeval ooze.

Could then queer  be the perfect antidote for overpopulation?

8 RIOT GRRRL MANIFESTO

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The in-your-face politics that queers adopted extend to the Riot Grrrl Movement, which demanded “riots, not diets”. Riot Grrrl is an underground feminist hardcore punk movement that started in the 1990s by Bikini Kill lead singer Kathleen Hanna. In her youth, she had to work as a stripper in order to pay for her education, which led to her future feminist quests. Continue reading

Journey

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Vincent van Gogh Undergrowth with Two Figures

A science poet at his wooden table
Yearns for knowledge and neatly scribbles
Of eons and the Blue Bubble and a Visitor
On his blank canvas I splash with colors,
Darkest hues of black,
And theories of multiverses;
Together we mesh
A space of tender for the beautiful minds,
An aria for the lovers
To whom the night skies bow,
A reversal of time
As our timelines intertwine.
On this perfect day
We are wood nymphs
And we believe in faeries again,
Together we are trees
With tales for branches and glimpses of Eternity
We clap for sacred birds to join our madness
And in that rave
We expand and become forests
Of thousands and thousands of light beams
That caress the Earth
And bring life
In the Universe.
An operatic voice
Croons of black holes
Painted differently
For anthropological eyes to see,
Split the atoms of significance
And make all a kaleidoscope
In unison.
Rising from the ashes
Of burnt past
There’s a clock that ticks right
In every way,
The magical hour
That alters and tricks time
You are now mine
And the Hawking Radiation may confess;
All across the landscapes
There is no greater beauty
Than the green of the world,
The green in a cup of green tea
The green in a cup of black coffee
That are sewn in an all-encompassing green
Of starry reminiscences
From each of our lives
Before the singularity burst into multiple sounds –
The music of the universe
And all the choir voices
Are singing the same chorus:
Take this journey with me.
I am near
In the pen you write with
Take a walk with me, darling
To the left
And when we find it
We’ll say we have lived
And speak
The unspeakable, the unspoken, the yet unnamed
Love.