The Roses of Picardy

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The Roses of Picardy

I've been writing three pages a day, in the morning, first thing, by candlelight, both sides, longhand, even though or maybe even because cursive's now a curse word.

The point of the exercise is... to... I'm not exactly sure what, but Eva Green made me do it, that look in her eyes, that Pandora's Box of trust, faith, challenge, passion, and furious miserable anguished contempt if disappointed. You know the one.

evagreenkitten.png

French actress Eva Green stands in for the one that got away.

I've decided I'm James Bond, the Daniel Craig kind, and I've watched Vesper Lind (Eva Green) drown, dragged her topside but failed to restore her with kisses, so there's nothing left for me now but to go out there and fuck'n'kill mercilessly for money in the service of my art.

Vesper Lind's suicide by Venetian elevator in Casino Royale (2006).

So I lie abed with two hot water bottles and write about Eva Green and the woman who broke my heart who led me to adopt EG as my totem bitch, lover, slut, anima, muse, and I weep and have revelations and drink tea and it's a great way to start the day except yesterday I kinda OD'd and had some trouble snapping out of it.

But I arose to drive through the wilds of Berkeley to my singing lesson, vocalizing along the old-growth tree-lined twisting hillside primo real estate feeling fine. My teacher greeted me with "The Roses of Picardy" to sight-read, calling it the number one song of 1916. My soprano felt wobbly on the florid phrases so I went for comic effect, exaggerating the sentimentality of the lyric and my voice, making us both ridiculous in self-defense.

When I got to the end of the refrain, "But there's one rose that dies not in Picardy! 'tis the rose that I keep in my heart!" I realized I was singing my song. This loss, this heartache, this death, this beauty is the same love I write three pages about every morning. As Gertrude Stein so knowingly annoyingly put it: a rose is a rose is a rose.

"The Roses of Picardy" by sentimental French tenor Jean Lumière.

I was a jerk to mock this 93-year-old ballad, to make fun of feeling, to deny my pain. I sang it through a second time, humbled by the memory of EG refusing to vacate that fatal elevator, choosing death over a lifetime of love and adventure with James Bond. How could she leave me? Why did she have to die? Ouch, this rose in my heart has thorns. That's the part you sing with.

My singing teacher, like a good bartender or lounge pianist, has seen it all, nothing fazes her, and she knows all my secrets whether I speak them or not: she can hear them in my voice. I stumbled out of my lesson a bit drunk on sentiment and sublimation, and spent an hour lost in Berkeley streets. I couldn't decide whether I was glad I didn't have to go to work that evening but I did spend the time learning "The Roses of Picardy" and when I'd get to that line I'd choke, I couldn't sing it.

Boogie version of "The Roses of Picardy" reveals the joy inside the sorrow.



Comments [89]

beauty's picture

REAL BEAUTY'S TRUE

REAL BEAUTY'S TRUE RESPONSE
Erin, I want to thank you for responding at 2/27/09 12:22 a.m. for the sake of beauty to my query about what you meant by “the love-hallucination to abandon my anatomy”. Your response was lovely. Here’s a haiku I wrote a couple of years ago that echoes your truly beautiful ideal:

Soft lips gently meet
Breeze moon tide beach stars embrace
Chests rise hearts kiss dream

Tide’s pull ebb and flow
Lunar spell engulfs two souls
Love unfolds within

INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS: Oh my goodness, I scrolled up and saw the crazy ramblings made early this morning in the name of Beauty! Obviously the substance of the response was affected by a response to sleep inducing substances. The questions posed did not even mirror the answer you so graciously provided to the original question. Sometimes Beauty can be quite unappealing. Thank you for your kind answer to Unanswerable Beauty.

Erin Blackwell's picture

ANSWERING THE UNANSWERABLE

ANSWERING THE UNANSWERABLE BEAUTY

it's hard, impossible trying to have a 3-hour conversation in a blog comment all on your lonesome... i'll let your questions stand on their own integrity... the best questions can't be answered anyway... SLUGS R US! i forgot about them critters. Dornac was right, it was a crime to pull down all that content: not just the blogs but the comments. sigh.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSW9kWIRCOQ

beauty's picture

To Erin below [no other

To Erin below [no other comment / i don't care what you are, top/bottom/sideways whatever] I thought you decided to stop talking to me today. maybe i was daring you to stop talking to me.

Lots and lots of questions
A throwback retardo...i don't even know what you mean by that. it sounds like a self-destructive label you've placed upon yourself.

"sexy sophisticate" with other qualities: what made her sexy over and above all others except Ms. Green. do you stiil see her or is she just another stifling, stagnant, idealized love object.

chivalry induced boredom: you were in a hyper chivalrous state and that made it boring, especially since your works were gummed up in a muck of love stupor?
-------------
My "brilliant" quote about transcendence in your "slug" blog on the site that dare not speak its name: do you remember? you quickly commented about it so i couldn't delete it. it was a relatively strange time in my strange life but as you pointed out, all artists eventually rest in that place of sublimation anywhere from a moment to a lifetime. i been trying to reach "the one" through art, writing, whatever means but i don't know if she knows i exist. and now i don't know if she exists. do you know?, erin, do ya?

part of my slug quote: " (something about "engulfs two souls.") then maybe "two souls intertwined transcend the physical and enter a world of euphoric exploration."

just fragments, but close enough to see the similarities. is that kinda what you're talking about?

PS: I've been stoned on a major pharmaceutical stew and alcohol right now having a horrible history of insomnia always but particularly this week, so if i'm misunderstood or write words down I shouldn't, that's my excuse. ms. green thinks we have a lot in common beneath the surface. though tumultuous on the epidermis. i told her to keep her mouth shut and not talk to anybody about it. she's such a gossip.

xxoo?

i haven't read any of this so it's not really ready for human consumption. i hope you're the only one who sees it. Most of the time, the druggeee doesn't remember what happ'd, now i'm hoping neither of us will remember this email. blah blah blah blah. bye...don't hurt me too bad pleeeeeeez [head under desk]. B.

Erin Blackwell's picture

clarifying for beauty's

clarifying for beauty's sake:

by "i NEED the love-hallucination to abandon my anatomy" i mean, i'm not after a merely physical sensation but a transcendant experience that unifies all levels of (un)consciousness... "love" expresses this holistic quest, the desire to abandon the separate self in communion with an other whom i cherish via the act

Tex's picture

Smooch!

Smooch!

Twitter Time @kdhales

Tex's picture

That's a good way to put it -

That's a good way to put it - yeah, I like that!

Twitter Time @kdhales

beauty's picture

Je pense que je suis resté à

Je pense que je suis resté à la partie trop longue.
adieux.

beauty's picture

this is for TEX at February

this is for TEX at February 24th, 2009 at 1:12 pm:
(i used the date/time so i wouldn't have to say "to tex below" since i don't know exactly what that would mean for you...or me, for that matter, since i guess technically i'm on top of you here...oh dear, that sounds weird. anyway just focus on the time and date.)

with that being said, what other question did i answer?

-------------

...and for ERIN underneath me in response to your "Tex below" response (2/24/09 @ 12:47 pm)...
(oh my, erin, it sounds like you're in the middle of a virtual sandwich with tex below and beauty above. i'm breathlessly waiting for you to respond. if you do respond then you'll get to be on top again since i don't have that little thingy that would make you to respond to me below. darn it this top/bottom thing can be so confusing.).

...i love your implication that Tex meant "slight imperfections of live performance" elsewhere [just to be funny I always add the phrase "in bed" to the end of a fortune in a fortune cookie...you can come up with some pretty hilarious fortunes, try it sometime].

a partner's slight imperfections can make me sing like a diva if i'm not completely breathless.

beauty's picture

does that mean that you love

does that mean that you love to be in love until you're in love?

beauty's picture

yeah, i recommend never

yeah, i recommend never sitting in the front row if you want to to be entranced by the spell cast by the theatre. the front row brings you reality. you see all the sweat and spit and makeup and tricks of the trade. theatre is about illusion.
hey maybe that's why erin is so attracted to ms. green. she's so outta reach that she can be swept away by her dreams without ever being disillusioned.

beauty's picture

it was a hoot and a half!!

it was a hoot and a half!! this is kinda like our own little island where we can turn sorrow into joy. i guess a phoenix really can rise up from the ashes. here's to our own little phoenix in the sun, erin blackwell! HIP HIP hooray!!

beauty's picture

yeah you do seem melancholy.

yeah you do seem melancholy. but what do i know, i'm always havin my head examined too. they tell me they can't find nuthin' there at all. not even on an x-ray. i just tell em to keep lookin. somethin's gotta be in there. they just say "don't worry your pretty little head about it" and then start talkin jibberish. i saw the x-ray myself and it just looked like a big empty circle. a complete void. i'm beginnin to think i aint got nuthin up there but a bunch of straw.

so i might as well pull at straws and ask you what qualities the illusive ms. green possesses in your mind that makes you think that she will distract you from feeling the void left by the object of your affection? does your fictional rendering of her remind you of the object of your affection in some way? how does james bond fit into this. maybe what you miss is who you thought you were when you were with her and now you don't know who you are without her???? maybe she was the distraction for not tryin to figure that out.

just remember i don't know what the hay i'm talkin about. i've just seen enough quacks to know all the mumbo jumbo they say that makes my empty head spin around.

beauty's picture

then dadgumit i must always

then dadgumit i must always be crossin' my fingers cuz my legs are always crossed 'cept when i bottom out. oh wait, i didn't mean it like that. [sigh] sometimes my words don't come out right and then people are right back to fucknkillin' each other when they should be withdrawin'. oh well, hugs and kisses.

blackwell, is fucknkillin a real word?

beauty's picture

"love-hallucination to

"love-hallucination to abandon my anatomy"...please elucidate. is that the right word?

beauty's picture

hey blackwell, how do you

hey blackwell, how do you know, s'possin' i do?

Steph H's picture

CLIMBING OUT OF COMFORT ZONE

CLIMBING OUT OF COMFORT ZONE TO TOP ERIN

I love love love BritInvasion and BritWit!! That will keep me smiling for the rest of the day!

Kisses back!

Erin Blackwell's picture

NONSTOPTEXTOPPING so glad we

NONSTOPTEXTOPPING

so glad we got that love nonsense out of the way... no more angst, baby, just unabashed consensual sensuality... am I an adult yet?

Erin Blackwell's picture

i thought you enjoyed

i thought you enjoyed touching

p.s. you're right, i'm sad but prefer the expression "melancholy" to "down in the dumps" it's all aesthetics with me

beauty's picture

i won't even touch that.

i won't even touch that.

Tex's picture

all this ROLLING has me

all this ROLLING has me dizzy......but extremely satisifed.....

Twitter Time @kdhales

Erin Blackwell's picture

WELL-INTENTIONED TOP TO TEX

WELL-INTENTIONED TOP TO TEX VIA BRITINVASION

BritWit Darling
you're so chivalrous you almost make me happy to be older!
Kisses!

Tex's picture

INTENTIONAL TOP TO STEPH So

INTENTIONAL TOP TO STEPH

So nice to hear you appreciate chivalry.......

Twitter Time @kdhales

Grace Moon's picture

minn I found your lovely

minn I found your lovely cursive in the spam box.
damn spam catcher!!!

tweet tweet @gracemoon

Steph H's picture

Excuse me for butting in but

Excuse me for butting in but I just wanted to say that I think chivalry in a woman is VERY appealing......

I love women older than me....

Erin Blackwell's picture

UNINTENTIONAL TOP TO

UNINTENTIONAL TOP TO TEX

"you’ve made me remember my loves simply by remembering yours" — then it's not for nought Baby!

Tex's picture

"throwback retardo" - okay,

"throwback retardo" - okay, I'm with you on this one. Here's the thing with that - abandon the age.....our age, our era has so much to do with how we perceive and how we THINK we should perceive love, beauty, and sex.......we ARE chivalry.....and screwing the other sex, geezus, forget about that all together - dicks screw everything up! Besides, I've never known anyone who could "use" a dick better than a woman......

Yep, the L word......enjoy loving her......every bit of memory you can muster of her......you've made me remember my loves simply by remembering yours.....sighs to smiles......thank you

Twitter Time @kdhales

Erin Blackwell's picture

GOTCHA! i've ALWAYS confused

GOTCHA!

i've ALWAYS confused love, beauty & sex, even when i was fucking the other sex. either fucking induces love in me or i NEED the love-hallucination to abandon my anatomy. i feel like a real throwback retardo. and this last ex was such a sexy sophisticate among myriad other qualities, my love stupor really gummed up the works. sigh. that's what i mean by chilvary-induced ennui.

Tex's picture

I think it may be as simple

I think it may be as simple as "haven't found the right one." It's against my nature to purposefully hurt someone, so I find myself in perpetual trouble. As far as myself, the hurt is worth it - as you would say, it makes it all real. I'll start worrying about it when I have no feelings at all.

p.s. as do you

Twitter Time @kdhales

Erin Blackwell's picture

then why don't you STAY? oh,

then why don't you STAY? oh, right, because ANGST... about WHAT?

p.s. you have a sly sense of humor, dawg

Tex's picture

Yes, it does, and thanks for

Yes, it does, and thanks for answering my other question.....

Twitter Time @kdhales

Tex's picture

Now that we have the day

Now that we have the day after, I've got to tell you an Andy Williams story. I took my mom to one of his shows at his Moon River Theater in Branson, MO. Being the good daughter I am, I made sure we had front row seats - MISTAKE! Ya'll, that man is ancient - and looks it up close! There is no amount of cake make-up that can fill in those wrinkles! His show was great - entertaining - we had a marvelous time - but the first thing my mom said after we got out was, "Lord, he looks old, doesn't he?"

Lesson learned - Do not get front row seats to any performer over 50!

Twitter Time @kdhales

Tex's picture

I do......because a bit of me

I do......because a bit of me falls in love with every woman. I have not, nor do I want to learn how to separate my heart from my intimacy. I leave a piece of me with every departure....

Twitter Time @kdhales

Erin Blackwell's picture

FOR TEX BELOW does that

FOR TEX BELOW

does that apply to singing as well?

Erin Blackwell's picture

you break your own heart?

you break your own heart? how?

explain the angst please.

Erin Blackwell's picture

she's having her head

she's having her head examined on a perpetual basis... do i really sound like i'm down in the dumps? i'm not getting my message across. to feel loss is to feel real. i'd rather feel this than deny it, although it's a self-indulgent distraction to fill the void she left, i.e. its own brand of denial...

Tex's picture

there's nothing better than

there's nothing better than the slight imperfections of live performance.....

Twitter Time @kdhales

Tex's picture

You were right in the middle

You were right in the middle of a "hootenanny" yesterday - an informal performance by folk singers, typically with anticipation by the audience. Fun, wasn't it? Here's a "hoot" for today - enjoy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgAIWjP2P2U&feature=related

Hip hip,

Tex

Twitter Time @kdhales

Tex's picture

No, no, no.....wait a

No, no, no.....wait a minute.....the L words causes me to withdraw (that is true on different levels, but I digress)! I am up there with the romantics - right at the top - which causes me the, I don't want to say problems, but causes me the eventual angst if I remain too long. It goes with being told I'm easy to fall in love with. So in my world of noncommittal, my romancing women eventually breaks my own heart....thus, the withdrawal......thank goodness, I have a short memory and am a determined sort.....

and you're a top woman, huh? Wink

Twitter Time @kdhales

Erin Blackwell's picture

and your legs

and your legs

Erin Blackwell's picture

RESPONDING TO BEAUTY FROM ON

RESPONDING TO BEAUTY FROM ON HIGH

my disease is Romanticism, not to confused with LOVE, as you astutely point out, which needn't be separate from sex, except it causes Tex to withdraw.

Erin Blackwell's picture

if you must grip something,

if you must grip something, grip your own ass: the lower the support the better. the throat is completely relaxed, as is the tongue.

we often love singers for their imperfections. peculiar particularity of their voice.

beauty's picture

sorry to interrupt but what's

sorry to interrupt but what's a hootenanny? it sounds fun and a little bit crazy. can i do it too? did i miss it?

oh, sorry erin, i know you're sad and all but you, lmz and good ol' tex sure know how to put on a swell party. oh was that a hootenanny?

thanks everybody for all the fun. you guys are beautiful.

i hope we made you smile, e. i hate it when you're down in the dumps over some silly ol girl who needs to get her head examined.
Laughing out loud

beauty's picture

i like that. teach each

i like that. teach each other. i didn't think anyone ever learned anything from me.

i loved listening to renée and frederica. two incredible unimpeded authentic voices.

and, you are a great teacher. minnie can send you some handwriting and i'll send you an apple.

let me see if i, integrating my knowledge, understand your metaphor. the trachea is simply a pipe through which air flows and your beautiful voice is created by air freely passing over your relaxed larynx that is not trying to be anything. it is just being. a sheer authentic voice. your deep, relaxed breaths are projected and controlled by the diaphragm, not the "voice box". to get a grip you can't try to get a grip. your voice is limited only by the impediments that you place on your vocal chords in a futile effort to be something other than what you are, and you are perfect to begin with.

freedom = authenticity = voice/love. did i get it right?

beauty's picture

allergic to love. you and

allergic to love. you and blackwell are opposites in that respect. if you compromised on a solution you would probably come up with the right recipe and make lots of money and get that stimuli you're lookin for.

separate sex from romanticism? never. i'd take romanticism over sex in a heart beat. but then i'd take love over romanticism.

Tex's picture

No, you did NOT! LOL!

No, you did NOT! LOL!

Twitter Time @kdhales

Erin Blackwell's picture

did i misspeak myself?

did i misspeak myself?

Tex's picture

What?!?! Hootenanny?!?!

What?!?! Hootenanny?!?!

Twitter Time @kdhales

Tex's picture

The L word changes

The L word changes everything......throw chivalry out the window; although, I would never say it conjured boredom, it does change the dynamics of the term "relationship". At the first mention of the L word I begin my retreat, but that's just me. You are right about today's "economy" - I'm ready for my stimuli, aren't you? And if you figure out how to separate sex'n'romanticsm, let me know - thanks

Twitter Time @kdhales

Erin Blackwell's picture

an ad on this page included

an ad on this page included this paragraph:

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http://singingrevolution.com/cgi-local/content.cgi?gclid=CMW6xYTV85gCFQk...

beauty's picture

and it's a pleasure...you're

and it's a pleasure...you're very funny and i love your lone star.