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Archive for December 2012

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The Artist's Duty

The Artists’s Duty

By Kenneth Patchen


So it is the duty of the artist to

    Discourage all traces of shame

To extend all boundaries

To fog them in right over the plate

To kill only what is ridiculous

To establish problem

To ignore solutions

To listen to no one

To omit nothing


To contradict everything

To generate the free brain

To bear no cross

To take part in no crucifixion

To tinkle a warning when mankind


To explode upon all parties

To wound deeper than the soldier

To heal this poor obstinate monkey

     Once and for all

To verify the irrational

To exaggerate all things

To inhibit everyone

To lubricate each proportion

To experience only experience


To set a flame in the high air

To exclaim at the commonplace


To cause the unseen eyes to open

To admire only the absurd

To be concerned with every profess

      sion save his own

To raise a fortuitous stink on the

     Boulevards of truth and beauty

To desire an electrifiable inter-

     Course with a female alligator

To lift the flesh above the suffering

To forgive the  beautiful its disconso-

     Late deceit

To flash his vengeful badge at every abyss




It is the artist’s duty to be alive

To drag people into glittering occu-



To blush perpetually in gaping inno-


To drift happily through the ruined


To burrow beneath the subcon-


To defend the unreal at the cost of

      His reason

To obey each outrageous impulse

To commit his company to all



A Day of Silence for the Victims of the Sandy Hook Silence -12-21-2012

Six years ago,  I attended a seminar in Phoenix, Arizona while doing research for "The House on Black Lake".  I planned to explore secret societies in my novel and felt that in order to write about them I needed to educate myself.  During the course of the week-end I heard numerous experts talk about the Mayan calendar and purported apocalypic event that would happen. A reknowned expert spoke assuring us that the world would not end, but rather would be transformed into a new spiritual awakening. 

It is my greatest hope that today, 12-21-2012, the end of the Mayan Calender, on this Winter Solstice, there will be an apocalyptic change and our world will be transformed by this horrific event, and evolve from acts of violence against innocent citizens to peace and good will to all.

On this fateful day 12-12-2012 this website will go silent as a pledge to honor the dead and to oppose the forces that gave rise to the loss of our innocent.

Anastasia Blackwell.


Is Christian Grey Channeling Lord Byron?

The stilted language of Christian Grey, of Fifty Shades of Grey, has me wondering if he is, in fact, a vehicle for the spirit of Lord Byron. 

 E.L. James,the author of FSG, a West London housewife and former TV exec, married to an academician and screenwriter (who edited her books), lives and was educated in the land of Byron. Ms. James has admitted that the story of obsessive love and dominance and submission is her own fantasy. However, it is highly doubtful she has spent time in the company of twentysomething Seattle billionaires (if there are any). Rather, her sexual fantasies would have been forged by likes of such romantic figures as Lord Byron, and his contemporaries Percy Shelley, and Keats.

I am a native of America's Pacific Northwest, Christian Grey's fictional stomping grounds, and know well how those guys walk, talk, think,and act - and Christain Grey would be laughed out of the states of Washington and Oregon, had he ever existed. And, let's be honest, most women would prefer to be held captive in Byron's gothic castle than in a sterile Seattle penthouse.

Clearly, Christian is of a different breed, land, and era. Perhaps the time of Lord Byron, who was a brilliant poet, war hero, and notorious naughty boy whose aristocratic excesses included incest, and the seduction at age nine by his nurse, Mary Gray.  A descendant of  "the wicked Lord Byron", who was known to be eccentric and violent, Byron gave over his beloved ancentral home, Newstead Abbey, in 1803 due to financial problems, and stayed there as a tenant of Lord Grey.

E.L. James began writing "Fifty Shades of Grey" as fan fiction of Twilight, so the character of Christian was based on a the character of Edward, who (as written) is well over a century old. Byron was a highly popular poet, and leader of the English romantic movement, in the early 1800s, and was said to have fallen into an abyss of sensuality before departing for Greece to redeem himself and fall to a greater cause.

She walks in Beauty is one of his most famous poems - note the reference to "a heart whose love is innocent","all that's best in dark and bright", and "one the more shade".

She Walks in Beauty

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One the more shade , one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

I have felt an affinity for Byron since I touched his name, carved by his own hand into a Greek column outside Athens. "Fifty Shades of Grey was written after The House on Black Lake, and my blogs on obsessive, possessive love, and other similar romantic topics were hot on the search engines when the author wrote Fifty Shades. Is it possible James also channeled my name, Anastasia, and "the scene with the belt" from "The House on Black Lake" during research for her novel?

Anastasia Blackwell