Sunday, September 25, 2016

Michael Drummond writes

Duane’s Trousers 

Oh my belt there you are…
Why did you leave me so much alone?
That's Duane
Not dead and teaching us so…there be no need for medication 
        very sane indeed, we await him…..
Black Britisher sings speaking in Thai all night share
pickling banana and scorpions ...some bracelet …tally ho!
on the edge of Laos, on the edge of
reality supported by royalty
let us pray deep in the mind
may he remember us
after the classes are over.



[what a poem!...I never thought that it would turn out to refer to Duane or Belefonte or his taretinos and tarantua/ well as to a ref that referred to something so strange that would signal the end of the world...that once I started letting it flow --- poem refers to how Duane keeps things rolling in in his Poe tree.]

Chastity-- Richard Phillips


  1. “May my soul be joined to your very high one.” Thus was the proposed epitaph that Konrad Kyeser von Eichstätt, a former Crusader, used to close his 1405 book on warfare, “Bellifortis,” which included, among his other drawings of military technology, weapons, and torture devices, the oldest extant mention of a chastity belt: "These are hard iron breeches of Florentine women which are closed at the front. Padlocks unto the four-legged creatures, breeches unto the women of Florence, A joke binds this lovely series together, I recommend them to the noble and obedient youth." In the best-selling book, “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask)” (not to be confused with the Woody Allen movie of the same title), David R. Reuben described the chastity belt as an "armored bikini" with a "screen in front to allow urination and an inch of iron between the vagina and temptation…. The whole business was fastened with a large padlock." According to popular lore, it was used by knights on their way to the Crusades (and others) to insure that they were not cuckolded while they were gone. Prolonged, uninterrupted would have led to genitourinary infection, abrasive wounds, sepsis, and death. The Latin term for chastity belt, cingulum castitatis, was used in the 6th century by pope Gregorius I, in the 8th century by Alcuinus (Alcuin of York), and by others, but their remarks are usually interpreted to be figurative or metaphorical, as a symbol of moral purity. In another instance, in the 12th century, Marie de France wrote a lai about Guigemar tying a tight girdle around his lover’s loins that only he knew how to untie, and she tied a knot in his shirt that only she could undo, so they could only be unfaithful by actually cutting off their clothes. Some works of art, such as a 16th-century engraving attributed to Sebald Beham, which portrayed an otherwise naked woman wearing a chastity belt standing between two men who are giving her money, display the device; a common theme was an elderly husband locking his wife’s loins while her lover lurked in the shadows holding a duplicate key.

  2. However, contemporary literary or artistic descriptions are rare, and actual devices or illustrations of devices that date before the 16th century even rarer, leading most historians to doubt their existence. (They became widely available in the19th-century as anti-masturbation medical devices, and have since become popular in the BDSM [B/D (Bondage and Discipline), D/s (Dominance and submission), and S/M (Sadism and Masochism)] community. However, there is at least one link between the Crusades and chastity belts: Bernardus Claraevallensis (Bernard of Clairvaux), the primary reformer of the Cistercian order. In one of his sermons his exhorted the "honest virgin" to "hold the helmet of salvation on your front, the word of truth in the mouth...true love of God and your neighbor in the chest, the girdle of chastity in the body…." In 1128 he attended the Council of Troyes to outline the Rule of the “Knights Templar” (Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Salomonici, the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon). It had begun in 1119 to protect pilgrims in the Holy Land and originally had 9 members, including Bernardus’ nephew André de Montbard; to emphasize the group’s poverty, its emblem portrayed two knights riding a single horse. Due to Bernardus’ influence, the order gained official endorsement from the Catholic church around 1129, and it soon became the wealthiest and most powerful of the Western Christian military orders; the Templars, in their distinctive white mantle with a red cross, were among the most skilled fighting units in the Crusades, often acting as advance shock troops. But the Seljuq Turks were a new, powerful force in the region who took Edessa from the Crusaders in 1144, causing the new Cistercian pope, Eugenius III, to persuade his mentor Bernardus to travel throughout Europe to preach a 2nd Crusade. He elicited a tremendous response, inspiring common people as well as nobles and kings, to leave their homes for years on the mission. Despite Templar success, however, such as at Montgisard in 1177(where 500 Templars and several thousand infantry defeated more than 26,000 enemy troops), the military endeavor proved a failure; the Kurdish commander Selahedine Eyubi (“Saladin”) retook Jerusalem in 1187and it remained in Muslim hands (except 1229-1244) until 1917. (No one knows how successful the chastity belts were.)


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