Isn’t Frida trying to tell us when she operates on her veins * in her paintings that her blood is to share, she wants everyone to be transfused by her heart which is extracted from a violent relationship, it is now available to beat for others, to transfuse, transmute, change the borders of controlling vile humans. (* in her paintings she has veins protruding with surgical scissors holding the ends.) So also Virginia Wolof lives inside out, leaves what most hide inside on the outside..the irony being that these women who die tragically young are full of life and they have left veins to feed blood to others. “The laughter of Virginia Woolf made Richmond a paradise”: those words are from her nephew, Quentin Bell ring in our ears like a song of joy for those who mistook for a moment her great depth and insight for a morose, depressed person. When she is mad it is also explained by Bell in his biography she tells people the truth about themselves. So not so mad, although maybe a bit cruel. She is a woman’s best friend, is remembered for her (Dreadnought Hoax as a teen and front page news), attends at the Old Vic’s instigation a series of voluntary classes at Morley College that she continues long after her stepbrothers have lost interest..she writes about her working class staff, in Platform of Time for anyone who sees her as a vain aristo and appears the next best insight since Karl Marx and Lenin in a woman’s body. She coins the concept of Shakespeare’s Sister a neglected genius that could have lived as many women could have in the ages, without ever being recorded, and the ‘Shakespears Sister’, British-Irish American pop and alternative rock musical act bears testimony to how widespread her influence is. She gains our compassionate indulgence when she suggests daughters look back at mothers for an alternate history of their world, borne out by a book of the Scottish philosopher Adam Smith, called “Who cooked Adam Smith’s dinner”?The answer is of course that it was his mother as he didn’t marry. And she justly evades the image of a bleeding-heart whiner by taking a break from her high-mindedness and startling profundity, suddenly pulling off a comedy of the magnitude of any Dante, when she writes Orlando, of a man who becomes a woman and lives through more than three hundred years. In fact she is like Frida mysteriously able to reach out of her time with veins and heart pumping intact and bring true comfort.The idea of a man turning into a woman is strange but so are parrot fish that are all born female and then when the biggest one dies it is replaced by the next biggest which becomes a male, after approximately fifteen years.There are also organisms living that are bisexual such as roses and lilies (with pistols, female component surrounded by stamens, the male. The need to break the violent directness of the world is what drives the Still taking out her heart and plonking it on the foreground of a painting is uniquely magician Frida.You can see why Livingstone also left his heart in Africa: he actually asked that it be cut out and buried there, so that after he has died in the Kalahari, one of the hottest places on earth, it should never be said he didn’t ‘have his heart’ in trying to rescue Africa from slavery, whatever they say about his cruelty to his companions…He left a part of himself beating in Africa, comparable to Jo Phoenix saying that Africa is ignored. His hope is that the trade route of the Zambesi River will give independence to Africa to sell its own cotton, rather than picking it for others, tough, awful work, as Old Man River sung by Paul Robeson so ably and memorably portrays, ‘aching and wracked with pain…’ Robeson is in fact primarily remembered for this too, so heartfelt that he in spite of being an American emancipator, taboo socialist he is still heard, as well as ‘Brother, Can you Spare a Dime?’ which dared to admit and show the poor are hungering.When the new Reichstag, the Berlin Parliament was rebuilt it was with a glass roof so tourists could climb up and peer down onto parliament, symbolically lower, and they were surprised to see a Judenbuche *, Jewish beech tree, growing roots and branches straight out of its foundation core, until it eventually reached to the roof and broke through the glass. *Judenbuche is the title of a story by Annette von Droste-Hülshoff about a Jew who is mysteriously murdered.Other parliaments would see mysteries, with vines growing out of them, as though nature was choking back those who dared to choke her, a giant redwood grew through the floor of Washington’s White House, dwarfing it, but none was quite as shocking as Berlin. Then also groundwater which is what collectively forms rivers was seen to be damming and building itself up into flooding rivers again, so that places, like Fleet Street, Holbourne, Tyburn and Westbourne were made to see that they had been marsh and mud, River Fleet and Hol- Ty- West-Bournes that reemerged as though linking man to distant past memories of residing by banks that provided fresh clean water.These underground springs some say are like Colson Whitehead’s underground railroad, ferrying the dead. There are many who have tried to emulate literary giants like Woolf by grasping after some justice in a world driven by one way walls and banking capital. One thinks of the African Madonna, not the black one of Guadalupe, but the one who sang like a virgin to confuse everyone and then returned to her mothering image by adopting Malawian orphans. She in her way wishes to reach across vast deserts of Sahel divides so that she can transfuse all with a cup of milk of compassion. Breasts in conical bras are there to lactate into eternity.
Drilling any who seeks weakness.She also transmutes into a Jewess as she feels that she must reach beyond time, into the suffering of victims of war, ghettos and sing sad songs, as though like the Mourners Kaddish. The more we embody the past the more real we become, as though rebirth is just a Buddhist concept correctly observed as the long road to perfection.
“Surely the Kaddish is Jewish?” asks Madonna of Sappho who is singing in her ear. Has Sappho come to attend the Eurovision Song Contest? Is she dreaming that she is on Lesbos where subversive Sappho led a woman’s society? How many should I have rescued from mourning of all racial minorities who suffer loss? She knows the contest for suffering and guilt is what draws many nations closer, above race.”The Kaddish is Semitic,” corrects Sappho, subversively still in her ear, so that she feels united with an ancient wise woman. “The suffering of women on Lesbos and the Greek bible show we share the races above blood of suffering. There were semitic tribes who wandered and were in Africa long before Moses led anyone north, their DNA proves the blood is myth and less racial, that Malawi and Timbuktu has its contingent wanderers seeking promised land – as Palestinians the Semites who are Christian as often as not, not just Muslims. The living nomad cries to be born in each of us! Wake up!” which could mean that Sappho is in her dream, or could mean that Sappho is really there as she wisely says -Wake up! -in Israel’s Song Contest which is contested, as the mourning of the Palestinians is not IN THE KADDISH present vision. She is hearing the voices of souls that praise her, as we must assume the first therapy was free association with Women of Sorrows. “You became a Jew too, so you could speak with the dead, but you could just as well today be a Semitic Nomad, or African from Malawi or Timbuktu.””I hear you, in the desert, I love hearing your voice, subversive Sappho.” Madonna whoops, as though the crime she wants to commit is to speak to those who are silenced. Those who are silenced often have ears to hear and visions beyond.
What is the sign of a Madonna? She communes with the innocent and rises above the everyday to reach the dead. To praise and speak to her is sacred therapy of association with immortal past and Admits One ticket to commune with the dead. She is also able to reemploy her tears, which drip down in the groundwater, as a moisture that steeps land around so that we have a productive, replenished Mother Earth. Like Frida Kahlo whose paintings Madonna Ciccone collects has strange vessels protruding out of her veins that are trained uselessly like vines, extruding between her and the earth, and can reach hearts inwardly, and outward objects, the pulsing heart of the pained. Entities without wings, insubstantial as dreams, you ephemeral things, you human beings: -Sappho mourns-
Turn your minds to our words, our etherial words, for the words of the birds last forever.
“If people are music, food and love then play on,” Madonna thought and she felt that the music exuding was a sort of lost world where the misplaced loves of the past met.
Music probably reminds us of the womb where voices echo – resound like we are involved in a symphony, mother bird even sings in such a way that science now tells us that chicks hear it and feel encouraged to peck – come out…So when Madonna became pregnant she cared for every sound she made as its vibrato and tone might influence the baby inside to sing symphonic wonders on appearing that change the world, or else make it drab, sad and uncommunicative…She knew the earliest instruments were made out of ribs, and that they splitting might be made into a Jew’s harp. Then also they realised that the harp itself which David played was a combination, a mix of ribs. He was able to see that music is a sort ribbing, as in making light of a fandango of ribs, maybe the rib that Adam gave up, that really made him able to become one sublime note as he and every woman are a choir, duet, able to emit. Madonna played mother, musician as well as director and subversive singer, pink lipstick lesbian and street-punk. Post street punk after that.
She is pregnant with new worlds, always as she cares for the scream of birthing that is the world and travels to the dire straights of Africa. As an Italian Madonna Ciccone knows also that Messina’s Straights are a place of legend that tug us down into a whirlpool and lead us to pop up elsewhere..as she does in Malawi.
If the blond (not blind) Ambition Tour in 1990 is what made her a megastar..it would be a Black Ambition tour of Africa when she sailed South beyond Messina and adopted her children of Malawi that start to suffuse her melanin skin – and breasts – with naturally darker shades of ancient notions – and forbidden milk of compassion.
I suppose what can really be said is that she laughs at the attributed role of woman as passive swaying to and fro, adoring, swaddling the whole world to calm, quiet, instead taking the nursing back to colostrum …sucked from the song of Woolf and sad Sappho and A Florence Nightingale to break the sick psyche of male domination, men as victims who cannibalise themselves, as much as women, as demanding and controversial as Evita, as fulfilled as Harriet Beecher Stowe..who also first highlighted the role of African Uncle Toms enslaved to harshest abuse. As an abolitionist she is able to rise to abolitionist of imagery, so that the circumcised soul heals and women grow back their defensive skin and experience orgasmo Orgasme Orgasmus from where song and music vibrate. The powerful pregnancy is a rock or punk singing gala, a belly laugh of women a musical moment, a joy of throwing a living being’s innocent chuckle and clangour at the world. She is on a ship sailing to hear our North-South divide, delusional in a world that needs harmonious unity of song to ecologically survive. She is in the Saharan desert where she knows Wangari Maathai is building a ten mile wide bridge of virgin forest where she can perform Like A Virgin. Madonna – as the prototype – real mother who sits weeping by the foot of the cross, or the multimedia re-enacted, redrawn, re-dreamed one, listening to Sappho who sings so sweetly to her, on Lesbos and the scene sweeps to new whirlpools… Straights of Messina to suck down supremacist souls off Wall Street to Straights of Hormuz, Malawi and Mali.. Argentina.As she heard Sappho sing a Kaddish, a mournful style of song, still popular today with Gogol Bordello singing with her and as though their gypsy souls had seen as much and understood lore of fairytale Cusco, Peru – named as a place of the rock of the owl – she found the siren-voiced song of many whose tongues were torn out at Babel. As later scribes, reporters – men – said the rape of women had not been cause of Babel’s fall a linguistic myth erupted…but despite it some free women wove the sky with sunset fabrics that appears dipped or dressed in the golden sun..woven their story-cloth so that skies portrayed Procne, and Philomela’s rape. The silenced weavers are like the hand written wall at Belshazzar’s Feast, the only divine hand to appear in Biblical legends.
Writing appears in languages..since journalists babble of Babel.. of lost souls who mis-guide us away..but fairytales return us to ourselves.As Friedrich Schiller said: -Deeper meaning resides in the fairy tales told me in my childhood than in any truth that is taught in life.
As Madonna listening to Sappho’s rendition of the Kaddish asked: “surely the Kaddish is a Jewish song, not a Greek one from Lesbian Heaven?”
“No, that song is Semitic,” replied Sappho, “and is dipped in sadness of many generations of sunset, as seen in Cuzco, the owl’s rock, as in Arab Women’s reverse Spring, Frozen, as in Gaza, as in native Australians’ burning forests and as Incan shamans must fly between the lower and upper – three levels – the step from underworld ruled by dead wishing to be influential and heard, as seed and root before it breaks the surface of ground and then the middle world we live in which we aspired to have wings to fly..in upper realms of intent ….The Semites lived among the ancient Greeks, hence the Greek origins, as well as Arab sacred texts steeped in Hebrew ones. Madonna as gypsy Hebrew Queen-Sappho mouths her own Kaddish, singing softly:
“I saw you became a Jew to commune with the dead of that diaspora whose ghosts sing and reach out, buzzing as plaintive flies -plagues to the rich and ignorant and who wish to forget the filth is also the earth and flies break down waste products – all!”“You became a Jewess and as semitic as the Arabs are too, you felt like the Madonna a pregnant compassion for all children – also the Palestinians and their diaspora and it grieves you, the many orphans of Malawi.. adopt you in their hearts.”
Madonna always pregnant with the pain of the living and dead remembers the Frozen Snow Queen’s mirror, and saw that subversive Sappho was touching all levels with her tongue as though the Tongue Stone of Jerusalem was song and verse of all inequalities and ills of earth.
Like Dante she passed through the Circles of Hell and Heaven and her heart melts and melds with Procne, Woolf, Pasolini, Visconti, Fellini, whose City of Women, was now today’s women’s Literature.
Although she went to sleep in Yugoslavia when she woke her blood plasma was in Srebrenica.
When the drought gave way to rain some felt it was because those with compassion in tear-duct and milky nipples were radiating their love. The earth has remained habitable because of the radiation it contains.