Someday I'll be locked up for love insanity. "She loved too much."


House of Incest
Denver: Swallow Press / Ohio Univ. Press 1958
photomontages by Val Telberg 







"All that I know is contained in this book, written without witness, an edifice without dimensions, a city hanging in the sky." (preface)

"My first vision of earth was water veiled. I am of the race of men and women who see things through this curtain of sea, and my eyes are the color of water."


"I looked with chameleon eyes upon the changing face of the world, looked with anonymous vision upon my uncompleted self.

I remember my first birth in water. All round me a sulphurous transparency and my bones move as if made of rubber. I sway and float, stand on boneless toes listening for distant sounds, sounds beyond the reach of human ears, see things beyond the reach of human eyes. Born full of memories of the bells of Atlantide. Always listening for lost sounds and searching for lost colors, standing forever on the threshold like one troubled with memories, and walking with a swimming stride. I cut the air with wideslicing fins, and swim through wall-less rooms."


p. 14



"The night surrounded me, a photograph unglued from its frame. The lining of a coat ripped open like the two shells of an oyster. The day and night unglued, and I falling in between not knowing on which layer I was resting, whether it was the cold upper leaf of dawn, or the dark layer of night."


"Sabina's face was suspended in the darkness of the garden. From the eyes a simoun wind shrivelled the leaves and turned the earth over; all things which had run a vertical course now turned in circles, round the face, around HER. She stared with such an ancient stare, heavy luxurient centuries flickering in deep processions. From her nacreous skin perfumes spiralled like incense. Every gesture she made quickened the rhythm of the blood and aroused a beat chant like the beat of the heart of the desert, a chant which was the sound of her feet treading down into the blood the imprint of her face."

p. 18


"The muffled, close, half-talk of soft-fleshed women. The men she had embraced, and the women, all washing against the resonance of my memory. Sound within sound, scene within scene, woman within woman -- like acid revealing an invisible script. One woman within another eternally, in a far-reaching procession, shattering my mind into fragments, into quarter tones which no orchestral baton can ever make whole again.

The luminous mask of her face, waxy, immobile, with eyes like sentinels. Watching my sybaritic walk, and I the sibilance of her tongue. Deep into each other we turned our harlot eyes. She was an idol in Byzance, an idol dancing with legs parted, and I wrote with pollen and honey. The soft secret yielding of woman I carved into men's brains with copper words; her image I tattooed in their eyes. They were consumed by the fever of their entrails, the indissoluble poison of legends. If the torrent failed to engulf them, or they did extricate themselves, I haunted their memory with the tale they wished to forget. All that was swift and malevolent in woman might be ruthlessly destroyed, but who would destroy the illusion on which I laid her to sleep each night?"

p. 22



"I am floating again. All the facts and all the words, all images, all presages are sweeping over me, mocking each other. The dream! The dream! The dream rings through me like a giant copper bell when I wish to betray it. It brushes by me with bat wings when I open human eyes and seek to live dreamlessly. When human pain has struck me fiercely, when anger has corroded me, I rise, I always rise after the crucifixion, and I am in terror of my ascensions. THE FISSURE IN REALITY. The divine departure. I fall. I fall into darkness after the collision with pain, and after pain the divine departure."


"Oh, the weight, the tremendous weight of my head pulled up by the clouds and swinging in space, the body like a wisp of straw, the clouds dragging my hair like a scarf caught in a chariot wheel, the body dangling, colliding with the lantern stars, the clouds dragging me over the world. I cannot stop, or descend.

I hear the unfurling of water, of skies and curtains. I hear the shiver of leaves, the breathing of the air, the wailing of the unborn, the pressure of the wind.

I hear the movements of the stars and planets, the slight rust creak when they shift their position. The silken passage of radiations, the brath of circles turning.

I hear the passing of mysteries and the breathing of monsters. Overtones only, or undertones. Collision with reality blurs my vision and submerges me into the dream. I feel the distance like a wound. It unrolls itself before me like the rug before the steps of a cathedral for a wedding or a burial. It is unrolled like a crimson bride between others and me, but I cannot walk on it without a feeling of uneasiness, as one has at ceremonies. The ceremony of walking along the unrolled carpet into the cathedral where the functions unravel to which I am a stranger. I neithermarry nor die. And the distance between the crowd, between the others and me, grows wider."


p. 36



"Dilated eye, noble-raced profile, wilfil mouth. Jeanne, all in fur, with fur eyelashes, walking with head carried hugh, nose to the wind, eyes on the stars, walking imperiously, dragging her crippled leg. Her eyes higher than the human level, her leg limping behind the tall body, inert, like the chained ball of a prisoner.

Prisoner on earth, against her will to die.


p. 42

"She led me into the house of incest. It was the only house which was not included in the twelve houses of the zodiac. it could neither be reached by the route of the milky way, not by the glass ship through whose transparent bottom one could follow the outline of the lost continents, nor by following the arrows pointing the direction of the wind, nor by following the voice of the mountain echos."



"In the house of incest there was a room which could not be found, a room without a window, the fortress of their love, a room without a window where the mind and blood coalesced in a union without orgasm and rootless like those of fishes. The promiscuity of glances, of phrases, like sparks marryng in space. The collision between their resemblances, shedding the odor of tamarisk and sand, of rotted shells and dying sea-weeds, their love like the ink of squids, a banquet of poisons."


p. 50



"Stumbling from room to room I came into the room of paintings, and there sat Lot with his hand upon his daughter's breast while the city burned behind them, cracking open and falling into the sea. There where h sat with his daughter the Oriental rug was red and stiff, but the turmoil which shook them showed through the rocks splitting around them, through the earth yawning beneath their feet, through the trees flaming up like torches, through the sky smoking and smouldering red, all cracking with the joy and the terror of their love. Joy of the father's hand upon the daughter's breast, the joy of the fear racking her. Her costume tightly pressed around her so that her breasts heave and swell under his fingers, while the city is rent by lightning, and splits under the teeth of fire, great blocks of gaping ripped city sinking with the horror of obscenity, and falling into the sea with the hissof the eternally damned. No cry of horror from Lot and his daughter but from the city in flames, from an unquenchable desire of father and daughter, of brother and sister, mother and son."


p. 52



"Jeanne opened all the doors and searched through all the rooms. In each room the startled guest blinked with surprise. She asked them: 'Please hang up something out of your windows, Hang up a shawl, or a coloured handkerchief, or a rug. I am going out into the garden. I want to see how many windows can be accounted for. I may thus find the room wheremy brother is hiding from me. I have lost my brother. I beg you, help me, every one of you.' She pulled shawls off the tables, she took a red curtain down, a coral bedspread, a Chinese panel, and hung them out of the window herself."


"Standing on a hill of orthoclase, with topaz and argentite stains on her hands, she looked up at the facade of the house of incest, the rusty ore facade of the house of incest, and there was one window with the blind shut tight and rusty, one window without light like a dead eye, choked by the hairy long arm of ivy."


p. 58



"I walked into my own book, seeking peace. It was night, and I made a careless movement inside the dream; I turned too brusquely the corner and I bruised myself against my madness. It was this seeing too much, this seeing of a tragedy in the quiver of an eyelid, constructing a crime in the next room, the men and women who had loved before me on the same hotel bed.

I carry white sponges of knowledge on strings of nerves.

As I move within my book I am cut by pointed glass and brokenbottles in which there is still the odor of sperm and perfume.

More pages added to the book but pageslike a prisoner's walking back and forth over the space alotted him. What is it alotted me to say?"


"Only the truth disguised in a fairytale, and this is the fairytale behind which all the truths are staring as behind grilled mosque windows. With veils. The moment I step into the caverns of my lies I drop into darkness, and see a mask which stares at me like the glance of a cross-eyed man; yet I am wrapped in lies which do not penetrate my soul, as if the lies I tell were like costumes.


I walked out of my book into the paralytic's room."


p. 62