The Know.

So there was this concept that Bob Fosse used to dance around, literally. His leading lady Ann Reinking called it "the Know". Drawn from the theater of Brecht (who dubbed it Verfremdungseffekte, "alienation effect"), the Know flattens every gesture, replacing passion with deliberation, empathy with distance. The Know hands you horror with a smirk; it plays a taunting rimshot -- Ba-dum-TCH! -- when the rug's pulled out from under you. It portrays all tragedy as comedy and all comedy as cruelty. There's nothing noble in suffering. Just showbiz.

I was gone; where did I go? I was getting to know the Know.

Here is everything I wrote before, during, and after, for whatever it is worth. The way things are going, someday I might forget I wrote it or where I put it. I figure I'd better leave it where someone else might find it. If it gets in your way, I beg your pardon; if it gives you something to laugh at or think about, I'll be content that it wasn't all in vain.

My thanks to JC, DC, Suzanne, JoanElaine, BloodyFrida, Carol of WAFT, Ari, Blacknall, Patty, Olfacta and Olfactoria, Montmorency, Natalie, Vanessa, Undina, Mals, Colleen, Lisa, Nan, Toni, KV, Glynis, and Miss Mary, all of those who showed me so much generosity, forbearance, and friendship along the road. Strangely, I must also thank Mephisto. Even if he is one of the reasons I stopped, he is also the reason I started. And always, I thank my husband, who knows me and my nose best.



November 11, 2015

A sonnet to a scent.

A taste for pretty flowers have I none;
Even a gardenful would leave me cold.
Hesperides and herbs for some are gold,
But I confess in “fresh” I find no fun.

In this, a world where one’s dessert is worn
Upon one’s wrists, and commerce fills the nose
With stink of pepper pink (call it “baie rose”
If spice with nicer names you would adorn)

Give me civet, musk, and richest indole,
Ambergris and honey, hyraceum,
Labdanum and costus, castoreum,
An animalic balm to soothe my soul–

And thus anointed, let me kneel and thank
The gods and goddesses who gave us skank.