Grass Snake / Couleuvre

Grass Snake / Couleuvre

More painting, listening, writing, practicing than cooking the last few weeks. Below a text and a painting.
Many meanings, thoughts, influences, mythologies come into play here but also the french saying: faire avaler des couleuvres, literally: “to make someone swallow grass snake” meaning: “to have to do or accept something that one doesn’t want to”.

Couleuvre /Grass Snake
“To whom it may concern”


Mouth Vulva
Snake Vulva
Vulva Mouth
Mouth Snake

Once I saw it
Pain disappeared
And you with it
Your slime de bully
Lubricates me now
And heal the “self”
Inflicted wounds
Thank you!

NP/ March 2010

Abstractions & Voyage

Abstractions & Voyage

Georgia O’Keeffe, Series I—No. I, 1918. Oil on composition board, 19 3/4 × 16 in. (50.2 × 40.6 cm). Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas. Purchase with assistance from the Anne Burnett Tandy Accessions Fund 1995.8. © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Pierre and I are en route to Chicago. We will take the train tomorrow and we have reserved a “roomette”, that is a sleeping car for two with all meals included.  It is our 2oth anniversary and as we  both have work to do in Chicago (see the announcement for Pierre Joris’ reading at the end of the post) we decided that 40 hours of confinement —that is if there are no delays— will be  ideal to enjoy…or test our relationship!
More recipes and food reports will come soon. Meanwhile I am leaving you with a poem I wrote after a very inspiring visit to the Georgia O’Keefe: Abstraction show at the Whitney Museum. The piece was written using some titles of the paintings and a few lines from the Sarabeth’s advertisement brochure I had picked up at the coat check and used as a note pad. I read it at the Bowery Poetry Club on Sunday and you can read and hear it below. Voilà for now and off to the windy city!

Click here to hear the recording

January 7th, 2010 —
For & W/ Georgia O’Keeffe
By Nicole Peyrafitte

Inside a clam shell
In the evening
Clam shell again
Painted and pungent
Red Black & Night

Black place #1
Black place #2
Black place #3

A wonderful redefinition
Of yellow sweet peas
An impressive wave
In the pool
In the woods
In lake George
Pink & green

Alligator pears
Shipped to Alaska
Red & pink
Ballet skirt or
Electric light
We will not be responsible
For black abstraction

At the rodeo
Music pink & blue #2
On Wednesdays only
A train
At night
In the desert
Black white & blues

The touchstone; a portrait
Or jack in the pulpit
A piece of wood
Sandwiches, snacks, pastries, muffins
Coffee and desserts
All above the clouds in 1963
Very special

Special #8
Special #12
Special #17

A tent door
At night
Everything she created
Blue & green
Though pelvis series
Red & yellow
Watch for the opening
My last door
Black door
With red
Yolk like
Ever morphing feelings
Cosmic walk
Untitled red wave
Eggshell abstraction with


For your information:
Pierre Joris’ reading in Chicago :
Chi Reading
Fri Jan 29 5:30pm


Joan Flasch Artists Book Center on the SAIC ‘campus,’
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
37 South Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL –
(312) 899-5170

“The Hopeless Poem” now in English!

“The Hopeless Poem” now in English!

#6 ©Nicole Peyrafitte

While I was in France this summer I posted a new poem in French called “L’Espoir Tue”. A couple of weeks ago, while sharing pierogies and carrot cake at the Stage Dinner in the East Village with our dear friend Stash, the conversation came about *hope* & I told him about my poem. Though we still disagree about hope, Stash was willing to help translate it into English. Stash Luczkiw is a journalist/editor for Cartier Magazine and a poet originally from New York who has been in leaving in Milan for over 10 years.

Hope Kills

(after an article by Dr. Fogarty)

Hope is an inescapable and very hard-to-cure disease
Hope is a mirror that offers a blurry and idealized reflection of my desires
Hope—like daylilies—invades and depletes my essential resources for sustainable growth
Hope is a toxic fantasy of the future
Hope fills the necessary voids with synthetic satisfaction
Hope prevents neither death nor suffering
Hope could be
should be
maybe will be
but is not

And oh, yes! Hope inspires calm
it promises abundance to the rich as well as to the poor

Without hope the love of happiness detaches itself
to make way for an inevitable and uncomfortable reality

But it is there
stripped of all artifice
without prestige
without seduction
without escape—
and with much less consumption
that the quest begins
Life opens

Nicole Peyrafitte
Original Title in French : L’Espoir Tue
Assistance to English Translation: Stash Luczkiw

Fire & Hopeless French Poem

Fire & Hopeless French Poem

In Bourg d’Oueil we cook most our food in the fireplace. Simmering on the left Pierre’s delicious ratatouille.

A poem in French just finished, and started in Lodève and inspired by  Dr.Thomas Fogarty’s article “ L’espoir est un leurre

L’Espoir Tue

L’espoir est une maladie incontournable et difficilement curable
L’espoir est un miroir qui offre une réflexion floue et idéalisée de mes désirs
L’espoir -tout comme les Belles de Jour- envahit et appauvrit les ressources essentielles à mon développement durable
L’espoir est une fantaisie toxique du futur
L’espoir remplit les vides nécessaires d’une satisfaction synthétique
L’espoir ne préserve ni de la mort ni du tourment
L’espoir pourrait être
devrait être
sera peut-être
Mais il n’est pas

Et oui l’espoir inspire le calme
il promet l’abondance aux riches et même aux pauvres

Sans l’espoir
l’amour du bonheur se détache
Il fait place à une inévitable et inconfortable réalité

Mais c’est bien là, dépouillé de tout artifice
sans prestige
sans séduction
sans échappatoire
–et avec beaucoup moins de consommation

que commence la quête
et s’ouvre la Vie.

©Nicole Peyrafitte- Summer 2008