What does the song hope for?
A seal, the Masters said,
must contain bowing and leaping,
'and that which hides in waters.'
Yellow, drunk with ink,
the scroll unrolls to the west
a river journey, each story
an owl in the dark, its child-howl
-- that father and daughter,
that lover walking naked down blue stairs
each step jarring the humming from her mouth.
I want to die on your chest but not yet,
she wrote, sometime in the 13th century
of our love
before the yellow age of paper
before her story became a song,
lost in imprecise reproductions
until caught in jade,
whose spectrum could hold the black greens
the chalk-blue of her eyes in daylight.
(Ondaatje -- from Last Ink)
Clovis or Reginald?
Well I had to look up any Reginalds: but even after a quick browse, I still say Clovis. Partly I love late antiquity, it's perhaps my favourite historical period; partly I love the history of western Christianity; and partly I just think Clovis and his story were cool.
What is your favorite fragrance (to wear yourself, or to smell on another person's skin)?
Madame, I have a horrible fixation for the smell of cigarette smoke on a man's clothes. It is incredibly erotic to me and has some deep roots in my adolescence.
Other than that I don't know a lot about scents and dislike most that I smell. I don't wear any myself; although there's a perfume shop near me "La Parfumerie" where the owner apparently will consult with you and design a custom scent just for you, and I keep intending to go and get that.
What is yours?
Who is your favorite Charles Dickens character?
To be truthful? I haven't read any Dickens before.
Can I substitute a Maugham character, who strikes me as similar? The narrator of Of Human Bondage
Did you ever find a yixing teapot?
Agh! That's right! I got wrapped up in other fixations and forgot about it. No no, the search will go on! Thank you!
Of course we read the answers, or is there a reason we shouldn't?
You might fall in love with me: no matter how married you are.
I will steal you from your home and your family to feed you tea and oranges that come all the way from China, and you know that I'm half crazy but that's why you want to be there.
You have been warned.
Are you hiding something?
What shall I say to thee, rakkoon, thou cruel,
Ingrateful, savage and inhuman creature,
Thou that didst bear the key of all my counsels,
That knewst the very bottom of my soul,
That almost mightst have coined me into gold
Wouldst thou have practiced on me for thy use?
This amuses me because in the dressing room during the production of Yeomen of the Guard I was in, we turned 'anachronism' into a euphemism. Got to hide your anachronisms.
That's fantastic and very English. I will probably chuckle over that all evening.
Why have you so cruelly deprived this quote of its last two words?
You eat tea?
Hahaha, actually yes. Only gyokuro though. It acquires a pleasantly chewy texture after it's been steeped out, and the leaves are in big enough pieces to eat one at a time.
Yes, does this displease you? I don't smoke cigarettes though -- only my pipe and the odd cigar. I have a strong sense memory associated with the smell of pipe-smoke and my grandfather's carpentry shop where he did his smoking, which was a happy place for me as a child (the other grandfather, not the one from England).
Favourite Shakespeare play?
Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. *strokes no-longer-existent beard*
It's a hard tie between King Lear and King Henry IV Part II: a very hard tie to break. There may be the weight of a forked radish or a fantastic figure carved from a cheese paring after dinner towards the latter just because of fatty fatty Falstaff, even though the play lacks the spiritual depth of the former.
What say you?