Thursday, September 29, 2022


"Nature waited. Nature and his dark secrets. He tried to tell her so much that first time, show her so much. Like a coarse dark blanket he covered her all muscle and sinew, harsh rough skin, monstrous teeth like stubborn roots, ivy eyes. She screamed, escaped from him."

"Stringy bits and tiny limbs beings swallowed by the swelling trunks, long twisted branches mashing pieces of her into the orifices of other trees. A shoe fell to the ground and was swallowed by the earth. The tip of Beth's dotted yellow dress was sucked in between two shards of bark at the height of a woodpecker's perch."

"He laughed, the sound of splintering wood, but she saw the pity on his face, felt shame of her failure."
Philip Fracassi, Coffin
This nature spirit and it's implied sexual desires really reminded me of my trip to Naples in 2017. We went to the Secret Cabinet in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples. This section of the museum is full of erotic art from Pompeii & Herculaneum; huge phalluses made of terra-cotta & bronze, friezes of sexual encounters and even a Herm. But my favorite piece, and the biggest influence on this, was a marble sculpture of Pan making love to a she-goat.

Discovered in 1752 and only visible if you sought a special application, the sculpture depicts Pan staring into the eyes of a female goat, gripping her beard as they copulate. It seems oddly emotional especially since the rest of the Secret Cabinet is disembodied or oversized penises. Prudish Europeans couldn't handle it. In fact, an Englishman visiting wrote that "

it is too indecent to describe, deserving to be thrown into the volcano". Even when the Secret Cabinet was opened in 2000 the sculpture was kept separate since it was deemed too pornographic even among the rest of the sexual art! Luckily, now it's on display to all!

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