The individual style of the author
BRONZE BY GOLD HEARD THE HOOFIRONS, STEELYRINING IMPERthnth thnthntthn.
Chips, picking chips of rocky thumbnail, chips. Horrid! And gold flushed more.
A husky fifenote blew.
Blew. Blue bloom is on the
Gold pinnacled hair.
A jumping rose on satiny breasts of satin, rose of Castille.
Triling, triling: I dolores.
Peep! Who’s in the …peepofgold?
Tink cried to bronze in pity.
And a call, pure, long and throbbing. Longindying call.
Decoy. Soft word. But look! The bright stars fade. O rose! Notes Chirruping answer. Castille. The morn is breaking.
Jingle jingle jaunted jingling.
Coin rang. Clock clacked.
Avowal. Sonnez. I could. Rebound of garter. Not leave thee. Smack. La cloche!Thigh smack. Avowal. Warm. Sweetheart, goodbye!
Supper was at nine. There were cakes, buns, sandwiches, tea and coffee, all free; but if you wanted mineral water you had to pay for it. Gallantry often led young men to offer the ladies ginger beer, but common decency made them refuse. Miss Bennett was very fond of ginger beer, and she drank two and sometimes three bottles during the evening; but she insisted on paying for them herself. The men liked her for that.
"She's a rum old bird," they said, "but mind you, she's not a bad sort, she's not like what some are."
After supper progressive whist was played. This was very noisy, and there was a great deal of laughing and shouting, as people moved from table to table. Miss Bennett grew hotter and hotter.
"Look at me," she said. "I'm all of a perspiration."
In due course one of the more dashing of the young men remarked that if they wanted to dance they'd better begin. The girl who had played the accompaniments sat at the piano and placed a decided foot on the loud pedal. She played a dreamy waltz, marking the time with the bass, while with the right hand she `tiddled' in alternate octaves. By way of a change she crossed her hands and played the air in the bass.
"She does play well, doesn't she?" Mrs. Hodges remarked to Philip. "And what's more she's never 'ad a lesson in 'er life; it's all ear."
Miss Bennett liked dancing and poetry better than anything in the world. She danced well, but very, very slowly, and an expression came into her eyes as though her thoughts were far, far away. She talked breathlessly of the floor and the heat and the supper. She said that the Portman Rooms had the best floor in London and she always liked the dances there; they were very select, and she couldn't bear dancing with all sorts of men you didn't know anything about; why, you might be exposing yourself to you didn't know what all. Nearly all the people danced very well, and they enjoyed themselves. Sweat poured down their faces, and the very high collars of the young men grew limp.
Mrs. Peerybingle, going out into the raw twilight, and clicking over the wet stones in a pair of pattens that worked innumerable rough impressions of the first proposition in Euclid all about the yard – Mrs. Peerybingle filled the kettle at the water-butt. Presently returning, less the pattens (and a good deal less, for they were tall and Mrs. Peerybingle was but short), she set the kettle on the fire. In doing which she lost her temper, or mislaid it for an instant; for, the water being uncomfortably cold, and in that slippy, slushy, sleety sort of state wherein it seems to penetrate through every kind of substance, patten rings included – had laid hold of Mrs. Peerybingle's toes, and even splashed her legs. And when we rather plume ourselves (with reason too) upon our legs, and keep ourselves particularly neat in point of stockings, we find this, for the moment, hard to bear.
Besides, the kettle was aggravating and obstinate. It wouldn't allow itself to be adjusted on the top bar; it wouldn't hear of accommodating itself kindly to the knobs of coal; it WOULD lean forward with a drunken air, and dribble, a very Idiot of a kettle, on the hearth. It was quarrelsome, and hissed and spluttered morosely at the fire. To sum up all, the lid, resisting Mrs. Peerybingle's fingers, first of all turned topsy-turvy, and then, with an ingenious pertinacity deserving of a better cause, dived sideways in – down to the very bottom of the kettle. And the hull of the Royal George has never made half the monstrous resistance to coming out of the water, which the lid of that kettle employed against Mrs. Peerybingle, before she got it up again.
It looked sullen and pig-headed enough, even then; carrying its handle with an air of defiance, and cocking its spout pertly and mockingly at Mrs. Peerybingle, as if it said, 'I won't boil. Nothing shall induce me!'
But Mrs. Peerybingle, with restored good humour, dusted her chubby little hands against each other, and sat down before the kettle, laughing. Meantime, the jolly blaze uprose and fell, flashing and gleaming on the little Haymaker at the top of the Dutch clock, until one might have thought he stood stock still before the Moorish Palace, and nothing was in motion but the flame.
ALL THE USUAL brain parasites are here, tonight. Above and Beyond always gets a big turnout. This is Peter. This is Aldo. This is Marcy.
The introductions, everybody, this is Marla Singer, and this is her first time with us.
At Above and Beyond, we start with the Catch-Up Rap. The group isn't called Parasitic Brain Parasites. You'll never hear anyone say "parasite." Everybody is always getting better. Oh, this new medication. Everyone's always just turned the corner. Still, everywhere, there's the squint of a five-day headache. A woman wipes at involuntary tears. Everyone gets a name tag, and people you've met every Tuesday night for a year, they come at you, handshake hand ready and their eyes on your name tag.
I don't believe we've met.
No one will ever say parasite. They'll say, agent.
They don't say cure. They'll say, treatment.
In Catch-Up Rap, someone will say how the agent has spread into his spinal column and now all of a sudden he'll have no control of his left hand. The agent, someone will say, has dried the lining of his brain so now the brain pulls away from the inside of his skull, causing seizures.
The last time I was here, the woman named Chloe announced the only good news she had. Chloe pushed herself to her feet against the wooden arms of her chair and said she no longer had any fear of death.
Tonight, after the introductions and Catch-Up Rap, a girl I don't know, with a name tag that says Glenda, says she's Chloe's sister and that at two in the morning last Tuesday, Chloe finally died.
Oh, this should be so sweet. For two years, Chloe's been crying in my arms during hug time, and now she's dead, dead in the ground, dead in an urn, mausoleum, columbarium. Oh, the proof that one day you're thinking and hauling yourself around, and the next, you're cold fertilizer, worm buffet. This is the amazing miracle of death, and it should be so sweet if it weren't for, oh, that one.
Oh, and Marla's looking at me again, singled out among all the brain parasites.
Marla's the faker. You're the faker. Everyone around when they wince or twitch and fall down barking and the crotch of their jeans turns dark blue, well, it's all just a big act.
Guided meditation all of a sudden won't take me anywhere, tonight. Behind each of the seven palace doors, the green door, the orange door, Marla. The blue door, Marla stands there. Liar. In the guided meditation through the cave of my power animal, my power animal is Marla. Smoking her cigarette, Marla, rolling her eyes. Liar. Black hair and pillowy French lips. Faker. Italian dark leather sofa lips. You can't escape.
Chloe was the genuine article.
Crudely as it had been told to him, it had yet stirred him by its suggestion of a strange, almost modern romance. A beautiful woman risking everything for a mad passion. A few wild weeks of happiness cut short by a hideous, treacherous crime. Months of voiceless agony, and then a child born in pain. The mother snatched away by death, the boy left to solitude and the tyranny of an old and loveless man. Yes; it was an interesting background. It posed the lad, made him more perfect, as it were. Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic. Worlds had to be in travail, that the meanest flower might blow. . . . And how charming he had been at dinner the night before, as with startled eyes and lips parted in frightened pleasure he had sat opposite to him at the club, the red candleshades staining to a richer rose the wakening wonder of his face. Talking to him was like playing upon an exquisite violin. He answered to every touch and thrill of the bow… There was something terribly enthralling in the exercise of influence. No other activity was like it. To project one's soul into some gracious form, and let it tarry there for a moment; to hear one's own intellectual views echoed back to one with all the added music of passion and youth; to convey one's temperament into another as though it were a subtle fluid or a strange perfume: there was a real joy in that – perhaps the most satisfying joy left to us in an age so limited and vulgar as our own, an age grossly carnal in its pleasures, and grossly common in its aims.... He was a marvellous type, too, this lad, whom by so curious a chance he had met in Basil's studio, or could be fashioned into a marvellous type, at any rate. Grace was his, and the white purity of boyhood, and beauty such as old Greek marbles kept for us. There was nothing that one could not do with him. He could be made a Titan or a toy. What a pity it was that such beauty was destined to fade! … And Basil? From a psychological point of view, how interesting he was! The new manner in art, the fresh mode of looking at life, suggested so strangely by the merely visible presence of one who was unconscious of it all; the silent spirit that dwelt in dim woodland, and walked unseen in open field, suddenly showing herself, Dryadlike and not afraid, because in his soul who sought for her there had been wakened that wonderful vision to which alone are wonderful things revealed; the mere shapes and patterns of things becoming, as it were, refined, and gaining a kind of symbolical value, as though they were themselves patterns of some other and more perfect form whose shadow they made real: how strange it all was! He remembered something like it in history. Was it not Plato, that artist in thought, who had first analyzed it? Was it not Buonarotti who had carved it in the coloured marbles of a sonnet-sequence? But in our own century it was strange…There was something fascinating in this son of love and death.
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