i mary maclane

“I believe you have,” said the Devil. “And how does it feel to be in love?”

Sitting composedly on the ugly red velvet sofa, with my hands folded and my feet crossed, I attempted to define that wonderful feeling.

“It feels,” I said, “as if sparks of fire and ice crystals ran riot in my veins with my blood; as if a thousand pinpoints pierced my flesh, and with every other point a point of pleasure, and every other point a point of pain; as if my heart were laid to rest in a bed of velvet and cotton-wool but kept awake by sweet violin arias; as if milk and honey and the blossoms of the cherry flowed into my stomach and then vanished utterly; as if strange, beautiful worlds lay spread out before my eyes, alternately in dazzling light and complete darkness with chaotic rapidity; as if orris-root were sprinkled in the folds of my brain; as if sprigs of dripping-wet sweet-fern were stuck inside my hot linen collar; as if—well, you know,” I ended suddenly.

“Very good,” said the Devil. “You are in love.”

—  Mary MacLane, I Await The Devil’s Comming (1902)

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Mary Maclane | I Await the Devil’s Coming

Alice Notley | Culture of One

I am a woman, and God, or the Devil, or Fate, or whosoever it was, has flayed me of the thick outer skin and thrown me out into the midst of life—has left me a lonely, damned thing filled with the red, red blood of ambition and desire, but afraid to be touched, for there is no thick skin between my sensitive flesh and the world’s fingers.
—  Mary MacLane, I Await The Devil’s Coming