104-119 RICK OWENS [PERFUME] THE SMELL OF DYING LILIES





BEFORE ALL THE WONDROUS SHOWS OF THE WIDESPREAD SPACE AROUND HIM, WHAT LIVING, SENTIENT THING LOVES NOT THE ALL-JOYOUS LIGHT— WITH ITS COLOURS, ITS RAYS & UNDULATIONS, ITS GENTLE OMNIPRESENCE IN THE FORM OF THE WAKENING DAY? THE GIANT-WORLD OF THE UNRESTING CONSTELLATIONS INHALES IT AS THE INNERMOST SOUL OF LIFE, & FLOATS DANCING IN ITS BLUE FLOOD— THE SPARKLING, EVER-TRANQUIL STONE, THE THOUGHTFUL, IMBIBING PLANT, & THE WILD, BURNING MULTIFORM BEAST INHALES IT— BUT MORE THAN ALL, THE LORDLY STRANGER WITH THE SENSE-FILLED EYES, THE SWAYING WALK, & THE SWEETLY CLOSED, MELODIOUS LIPS. LIKE A KING OVER EARTHLY NATURE, IT ROUSES EVERY FORCE TO COUNTLESS TRANSFORMATIONS, BINDS & UNBINDS INNUMERABLE ALLIANCES, HANGS ITS HEAVENLY FORM AROUND EVERY EARTHLY SUBSTANCE— ITS PRESENCE ALONE REVEALS THE MARVELLOUS SPLENDOUR OF THE KINGDOMS OF THE WORLD.

ASIDE I TURN TO THE HOLY, UNSPEAKABLE, MYSTERIOUS NIGHT. AFAR LIES THE WORLD— SUNK IN A DEEP GRAVE— WASTE & LONELY IS ITS PLACE. IN THE CHORDS OF THE BOSOM BLOWS A DEEP SADNESS. I AM READY TO SINK AWAY IN DROPS OF DEW, & MINGLE WITH THE ASHES— THE DISTANCES OF MEMORY, THE WISHES OF YOUTH, THE DREAMS OF CHILDHOOD, THE BRIEF JOYS & VAIN HOPES OF A WHOLE LONG LIFE, ARISE IN GREY GARMENTS, LIKE AN EVENING VAPOUR AFTER THE SUNSET. IN OTHER REGIONS THE LIGHT HAS PITCHED ITS JOYOUS TENTS. WHAT IF IT SHOULD NEVER RETURN TO ITS CHILDREN, WHO WAIT FOR IT WITH THE FAITH OF INNOCENCE?

WHAT SPRINGS UP ALL AT ONCE SO SWEETLY BODING IN MY HEART, & STILLS THE SOFT AIR OF SADNESS? DOST THOU ALSO TAKE A PLEASURE IN US, DARK NIGHT? WHAT HOLDEST THOU UNDER THY MANTLE, THAT WITH HIDDEN POWER AFFECTS MY SOUL? PRECIOUS BALM DRIPS FROM THY HAND OUT OF ITS BUNDLE OF POPPIES. THOU UPLIFTEST THE HEAVY-LADEN WINGS OF THE SOUL. DARKLY & INEXPRESSIBLY ARE WE MOVED— JOY-STARTLED, I SEE A GRAVE FACE THAT, TENDER & WORSHIPFUL, INCLINES TOWARD ME &, AMID MANIFOLD ENTANGLED LOCKS, REVEALS THE YOUTHFUL LOVELINESS OF THE MOTHER. HOW POOR & CHILDISH A THING SEEMS TO ME NOW THE LIGHT— HOW JOYOUS & WELCOME THE DEPARTURE OF THE DAY— BECAUSE THE NIGHT TURNS AWAY FROM THEE THY SERVANTS, YOU NOW STREW IN THE GULFS OF SPACE THOSE FLASHING GLOBES, TO PROCLAIM THY OMNIPOTENCE— THY RETURN— IN SEASONS OF THY ABSENCE. MORE HEAVENLY THAN THOSE GLITTERING STARS WE HOLD THE ETERNAL EYES WHICH THE NIGHT HATH OPENED WITHIN US. FARTHER THEY SEE THAN THE PALEST OF THOSE COUNTLESS HOSTS— NEEDING NO AID FROM THE LIGHT, THEY PENETRATE THE DEPTHS OF A LOVING SOUL— THAT FILLS A LOFTIER REGION WITH BLISS INEFFABLE. GLORY TO THE QUEEN OF THE WORLD, TO THE GREAT PROPHET OF THE HOLIER WORLDS, TO THE GUARDIAN OF BLISSFUL LOVE— SHE SENDS THEE TO ME— THOU TENDERLY BELOVED— THE GRACIOUS SUN OF THE NIGHT— NOW AM I AWAKE— FOR NOW AM I THINE & MINE— THOU HAST MADE ME KNOW THE NIGHT— MADE OF ME A MAN— CONSUME WITH SPIRIT-FIRE MY BODY, THAT I, TURNED TO FINER AIR, MAY MINGLE MORE CLOSELY WITH THEE, & THEN OUR BRIDAL NIGHT ENDURE FOREVER.

— HYMNS TO THE NIGHT / NOVALIS [1800] ATHENAUM





GUSTAVE MOREAU, THE SUITORS [1852-53] / GEORGES HOENSTSCHEL, URN [1900]



I WAS AFTER THE SMELL OF THE DYING LILIES THAT SCENT SALOME’S PALACE IN THE PAINTING THE APPARITION BY GUSTAVE MOREAU, THAT’S DESCRIBED BREATHLESSLY BY THE ANTI-HERO DES ESSEINTES, IN THE BOOK À REBOURS WRITTEN BY J.K. HUYSMANS, WHO BASED THE CHARACTER OF DES ESSEINTES ON FIN DE SIÈCLE AESTHETE COMTE ROBERT DE MONTESQUIOU, WHO ONCE LIVED DOWN THE STREET FROM WHERE WE LIVE IN PARIS & HAD HIS ROOMS DECORATED BY THE ARTIST GEORGES HOENTSCHEL, WHOSE MONUMENTAL URN DESIGNED FOR THE PARIS WORLD’S FAIR OF 1900 SITS NEXT TO OUR TERRACE WINDOW... FILLED WITH DYING LILIES.

RICK OWENS [MAY 2011]

/ ENTIRE ARTICLE ONLY IN THE PRINTED EDITION OF SOME/THINGS MAGAZINE CHAPTER005 / SHE HAS NO STRINGS APOLLO





GUSTAVE MOREAU, THE APPARITION [1874-76] / GEORGES HOENSTSCHEL, URN [1900]