Friday, May 30, 2008

how would i get into it that morning

Glamorous glitters on your wrist.
I missed.
And some of them are so esoteric.

I could not believe my eyes.
Bricks
Get laid over and over.

Give her womb a good massage.
Nothing is quite as satisfying.
I... felt like I owed it to you.

There will be no more games in the bedroom.
Virility paradise is here.
All your days of being laughed at are over.

Great cucumber is your wealth;
Wet and desperate for you.

Win all the time with this,
The key to fame and fortune.
Subject her to a punishing ride.
       - Pascal Menáce

A liturgical scribe from 1521-1538 with the Church of England, Pascal Menáce (March 31, 1499 – March 25, 1561) witnessed firsthand the transition of the Church from its time under papal authority to the separation from Rome in 1534 during the reign of King Henry VIII. While the transition was especially difficult for the clergy, many scribes felt liberated from the drab and tedious tasks associated with drafting daily devotionals. Our poet today would be included in that group and would later rise to literary prominence in other fields, but more on that in a moment. Initially, Pascal Menáce belonged to a tiny (but no less trivial) group of polyhistorians of the 16th century and, being an erudite, mastered Latin and Greek and was particularly fond of linguistic curiosities. Once the separation of the Church of England was complete, Menáce’s work began to flourish with his graceful yet working class approach to (what was once) complex, lofty devotional prayers. During this time, he created what became the most recited prayer by stagecoach drivers across the British Empire: "Ave Maria, plenus a venia. Succurro mihi reperio a ortus locus." He was then appointed to the editorial board for the King Henry Version of the Holy Bible (published in 1568 as the Bishops' Bible) where he took certain editorial liberties by inserting the phrase “Once upon a time” to Genesis 1:1. Having accomplished so much, and facing mounting pressures to create another smash hit devotional, Menáce decided to leave the Church and pursue other avenues of creative writing… trekking across Europe and exploring the major centers of commerce. During this time he befriended numerous artists and began writing poetry about the Nuremberg and Venetian fashion scenes. Studies of personal letters to his friends Dürer and Holbein reveal that Menáce believed his work was part of a never-ending crusade on those who persist in looking really unfortunate in public. Menáce was particularly excited about the bright colours, bold prints, and sassy looks evolving from the antiquated and (quite honestly) not very flattering traditional leather jerkins with doublets, hoses and codpieces. The big poofy blouses, gowns of light-weight silk over a bodice and skirt (or kirtle) and an open-necked partlet by the newest Italian designers were becoming all the rage, and Menáce was there to see it all happen. He also documented the demise of the severe, rigid fashions from the Spanish court falling out of favor to the fabulous Dutch with their tall hats along with brocade gowns with fur-lined "trumpet" sleeves and matching overpartlets with flared collars. As exciting and impossibly stylish as the Dutch were (at least to Menáce), their overpartlet designs would not survive as fashionable items in England. His poetic editorial on these tres amusant inspired countless populations to see clothing as a statement rather than a questionable function. And the shoes... my God the shoes! Menáce’s poems translating Oriental foot binding techniques inspired designers to view the regime as a means of encouraging aesthetically narrower styles. Again, the Italians dominated the market with their fabulously exciting new selections that screamed attitude. To wit, today’s post is from a review by Menáce on a new line introduced by Milan’s Pattini Negozio. Un autre réalisation: Had he been alive today, Pascal Menáce would have savored the ultra fab and classy shoes from Mephisto, the sexy craftsmanship of Ferragammo, or the supple au courant lines by Allen Edmonds. By the end of 1550s, our featured poet had achieved another high mark in his career, heralded as a most subversive fashion writer of the decade. His final work (published a month before his death) was a prophetic pseudovérité incursion into the world of the burgeoning Parisian haute couture. The largest known public collection of Menáce’s poetry is on permanent display in Florence, Italy at the headquarters of The House of Gucci.


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