mia loves henry miller
Letter 40 – Daring, Dangerous Barney Rosset, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Sizzling, Sapphire Kisses
I’m writing this letter on 2/25/2-12 at 8:03 a.m.
Dear Henry Miller,
“Rosset’s publishing house, Grove Press, was a tiny company operating out of the ground floor of Rosset’s brownstone when it published an obscure play called “Waiting for Godot” in 1954. By the time Beckett had won the Nobel Prize in 1969, Grove had become a force that challenged and changed literature and American culture in deep and lasting ways. Its impact is still evident—from the Che Guevara posters adorning college dorms to the canonical status of the house’s once controversial authors. Rosset is less well known—but late in his life he is achieving some wider recognition. Last month, a black-tie crowd gave Rosset a standing ovation when the National Book Foundation awarded him the Literarian Award for “outstanding service” to American letters. This fall, Rosset was also the subject of a documentary, “Obscene,” directed by Neil Ortenberg and Daniel O’Connor, which featured a host of literary luminaries, former colleagues and footage from a particularly hilarious interview with Al Goldstein, the porn king. High literature and low—Rosset pushed and published it all.” –Louisa Thomas, The DailyBeast.com, Newsweek Magazine
Good Morning Henry! I’m still at my artist loft, getting ready to paint. I just learned that Barney Rosset, the renowned owner of Grove press recently died. According to the Daily Beast at Newsweek Magazine, Barney Rosset was the most dangerous man in publishing. I feel gratitude for this amazing, daring gentleman who paved the way for so many writers who did not fit into a safe, vanilla box. I admire how he and Grove Press battled court fights for the once banned in America publication, Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer and published many of Anais Nin’s work. Grove Press also published D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Pauline Reage’s The Story of O. Barney Rosset also published authors like Samuel Beckett, who, according to Win McCormack’s blog, Tin House Publishing, Mr. Rosset was very close to Samuel. Barney Rosset was highly respected by a myriad of writers who have dared to write about sex and other edgy controversial topics. He will be missed. I wish I could have met him.
I’m working on my second portrait of the Minneapolis Musician, Prince, which is very intricate and has many details to it, more so than Prince Portrait No. 1. It depicts this highly respected and talented musician in a very passionate way. I can’t tell you too much, for these paintings are for a commissioned project.
In between waiting for certain parts of this painting to dry, so that I can continue on with it, I’ve been working on other portraits that I need to complete for the mural project and a couple of art shows coming up this spring and summer, switching several paintings in and out, putting them on and off my wobbly, worn out, paint encrusted, beat up easel, as if the several paintings that I’m working on, were moving slowly upon an assembly line.
It is snowing this morning. My large balcony appears as if it has been dusted lightly with powdered sugar. Yesterday evening, my good friend Mr. D invited me to see a theatrical production. It was snowing pretty hard on our way to a quick, simple dinner before the show started. However, after the sizzling play last night at the Guthrie Theater, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, written by Tennessee Williams, I am longing for the welcoming warmth of spring and the oppressive heat of summer.
When the season’s dressed in bitter cold
–Mia, Whispers of Gold
Mr. D won two theater tickets to Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, on The Guthrie Theater’s Facebook page for writing an ingenious subtitle to one of the photographs, publicizing the play. When I discovered this, I immediately pleaded for him to take me along. Ever since I was in my mid-twenties, I have always wanted to see this classical, theater production. In return for Mr. D’s kindness, I bought dinner for us at a NE Minneapolis sandwich shop. I didn’t have the money for anything more extravagant. As we were finishing up dinner and the establishment was closing, a man who appeared to be homeless, possessing a large, long grey beard and orange stocking cap to keep his head and face warm, approached us, “I will recite a poem, in return for you reciting a poem.” His grin was wide, his eyes glinting with friendship, curiosity and joy.
We were running late. It was almost show time. Even though I would have liked to engage in a good conversation about poetry and hear his poem as well, I replied, “Sorry,” I shrugged my shoulders and smiled sheepishly, “I don’t know any poetry.” Mr. D told him about the same as I. This homeless gentleman walked off muttering to himself, as he headed towards the bathroom, “People don’t know jack shit about literature.” I had to giggle, because if only this man actually knew how much Mr. D and I loved books, poetry and literature, we might have astonished him.
“Yep, they’re no-neck monsters, all no-neck people are monsters.” –Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Maggie cattily calls Gooper and Mae’s brood this at beginning of Act I
We had great seats! I could see the stage well! Beautiful, Maggie the Cat played by the talented actress, Emily Swallow, is the female lead in this play. She’s mesmerizing, witty, graceful, as well as extremely sexy. Her sensual, southern drawl is laced thick with sultry sass, hypnotizing my ears, making me lean my body forward in my theater seat to digest her passionate dialect.
“What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof? I wish I knew. Just staying on it, I guess, as long as she can.” –Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Maggie compares herself to a cat, Act 1
Maggie longs desperately for some seductive passion to ignite between her and her alcoholic husband, Brick, who has been distant, melancholy and drinking liquor ever since his best friend, and perhaps lover, Skipper died. Maggie’s appearance was alluring, as she slipped out of her elegant, cream colored party dress, which had been dirtied from a no neck monster, revealing a silky, vintage slip beneath it, which exhibited her feminine curves and feline charisma. She gracefully glided through their bedroom like a slinky, seductive cat, chatting away, carrying on relentlessly, without taking much of a break to breathe, about Big Daddy and his cancer, about children being no neck monsters, about Brick’s drinking problem, how irritating her brother in law and his wife, Goober and Mae can be, and what’s behind Brick’s drinking – which is the sudden loss of a close male friendship. I thought that Maggie the cat was beautiful, eloquent, slinky and slyly poised while candidly speaking her mind – holding nothing back. I admired her impassioned character. I couldn’t take my eyes off of Maggie the Cat. She mesmerized me.
“STOP LOVIN’ MY HUSBAND OR TELL HIM HE’S GOT TO LET YOU ADMIT IT TO HIM!” –Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Maggie tells Brick how she challenged Skipper with this, one drunken night that culminated in a botched affair, Act 1
I loved how simple, yet, complex the stage set was, and how artistic the Guthrie Theater is. I thought that the play was brilliant and so controversial in its time. I also became fascinated with Tennessee Williams and his ability to elegantly tap dance on such controversial topics in a period in time when our thoughts on sexuality were more confined than in our present day. He knew how to push the edge of the envelope back in a day when homosexuality is considered abnormal, perverse, dirty and shameful. It’s disappointing that some people in our modern era haven’t stretched their minds much further than when this play was written, so long ago.
“One man has one great good true thing in his life. One great good thing which is true! I had friendship with Skipper. You are namin’ it dirty!” –Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Brick threatens Maggie with his crutch, Act 1
I must take a break, Henry. Mr. B is stopping over for little bit, and then I need to return to my suburban home and spend time with my family. Mr. C and I are going out to dinner and a movie, Safe House,” starring Denzel Washington (I love him!) I desire an intense flick to escape into for a few hours, eat popcorn, and not think of anything else.
I’m resuming this letter on 2/26/2012 at 9:35 a.m.
Good Morning Henry! I was so tired last night. I fell asleep on the couch. I think Mr. C attempted to wake me, so that I could go downstairs to sleep with him in our bedroom, but I grunted a refusal, turned over on the couch and continued sleeping until this morning.
It’s nice to be home again, three of my dogs all snuggled up near me, as I slept, happy to be near me. The oldest dog, Buddy, I gave him to Mr. C as a present, early on in our relationship, right after we first met, which is almost fifteen years ago. I don’t expect Buddy to live more than a few more weeks. It’s sad to see him suffer from old age right now. It puts a large lump of sadness in my throat – the kind of lump you feel at the end of the movies about man’s best friend dying, Old Yeller or Marley and Me. Buddy’s been a great dog. Observing him suffer in this last stage of life is a reminder that life moves very fast and to not waste a single second of it on the unimportant things, like negativity, worry, stress or dark emotions.
“Time goes by so fast. Nothin’ can outrun it. Death commences too early – almost before you’re half acquainted with life – you meet the other.” –Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; Big Mama finally acknowledges the inevitable about Big Daddy’s terminal cancer, Act 3
Mr. C and I flirted earlier today, and talked about playing at the loft tonight. I’m looking forward to some hot sex and quality time with Mr. C! My husband is dominant in nature. He’s very confident in himself and with life. This is what initially attracted me to him. His personality might remind some of the vintage Gum Shoe detective from a Mickey Spillane Novel. A majority of women may not care for being dominated by a male. I’m classic in style and love a strong, confident gentleman in my life. I was also brought up in a traditional Korean home. You learn the art of submission early on. It’s the way of the Asian culture. It cannot be erased from who I am.
Some woman, in this day and age, may find my love of being sexually submissive strange and demeaning. I enjoy submission with a trusted partner because it permits me to just let go, to surrender all of my will for the duration of our playtime, and sink my teeth into every sensation, experiencing it, savoring, and sometimes devour it like gourmet food. Submission is at my core. But that does not mean that I am weak in spirit by any miens. That does not mean that I will permit others to treat me like shit, or demean me, when I am not playing the role of a submissive in a sexual scene, or without my consent. I find great strength in being submissive. It has taught me more than just its sexual aspects. It has helped me grow into a strong, confident woman, which I never thought that I could be.
When I am bound tightly to my bed, completely naked, blindfolded, and vulnerable, and left in the dark unknowing, I’m engaged in an intense drama that takes me on a daring rollercoaster ride of emotions, apprehension, arousal, and pain which can be quickly transcended into pleasure, and my pleasure which can quickly be transcended into pain. My heart rate increases, my blood pumps hot, my wanton sex – slick, glossy, pulsing and feverish. My breath hitches in my throat with shock and surprise, and my denial for pleasure makes me beg for satisfaction. The torment of various toys, floggers, whips, spankings, hot candle wax, nipple clamps, Hitatchi Wands, dildos, all generate a natural high, causing a dreamy euphoric haze to subdue me. In this complete surrender I find inner peace and Satori.
One of Mr. C’s kinks is carefully observing how he can control my body and instill tease, tittillation, pleasure and pain towards me on so many levels, psychologically, emotionally, sexually, philosophically and physically. This is definitely not a fifteen minute, vanilla sexual interlude. This is a few hours of unbridled ecstasy and vehement, sexual drama and tension. And when I finally feel the salacious, sensual licks from Mr. C’s tongue, it’s hard pointed tip, flicking lightly, passionately, or rapaciously upon my glossy eager clit, or when I feel his strong, virile, adept fingers plunging and curling their way deep inside of me, I consume all of the pleasure I can handle, and hold on to this electrifying energy and blissful sensation for as long as I possibly can! I’m intoxicated by the erotic power exchange.
I love the hot summer nights, when crickets sing below my open window sill, serenading our lascivious, kinky encounter. The mid-summer air blows in, like a naughty fairy flitting in upon sultry zephyrs of air. I’m naked and completely exposed. The currents of cool evening wind; and Mr. C’s soft, yet agile fingertips are lightly caressing my skin, calming my agitation from the summer heat. I’m blindfolded, vulnerable and my body is trembling, patiently a waiting what will occur first, pain or pleasure. How will this drama unfold, I ponder.
Silk blinds my sight upon a summer’s eve,
I am taking another break for now….I need to rehearse my burlesque number to perform on Friday night, and return a few emails to performers regarding the show.
I’m resuming this letter on 2/26/12 at 11:30p.m.
Hi Henry! I just woke up. Mr. C fucked the hell out of me! I passed out around 5:30p.m. It was moments after he left me collapsed upon my bed at the loft, limp bodied, speechless, dumbfounded and dreamy. I’m getting ready to paint throughout the night. I’m working on the tiny details on the Prince Portrait, No. 2. The piano keys are intricate and take much of my time and attention. I love the quiet and solitude of the night. I’m anxious to listen to more of the audio book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I started it on Friday afternoon. Stieg Larsson was a literary genius. Simon Vance is a wonderful audio book narrator. And Lisabeth Salandar is hot, sexy, learning confidence to live as herself, in her own world, and living her life by her own rules. I think she is full of passion, fire and inspiration. I can relate to her, admiring her strength, courage and oddities. She doesn’t fit into the norm and I like that. I admire that.
I must start painting for a while. I will write during a break.
I’m resuming this letter on 2/26/2012 at 3:59 p.m.
“Life is important. There’s nothing else to hold onto.” –Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Big Daddy gives his advice to Brick, Act 2
I had a really nice weekend with Mr. C. I had been at my artist loft most of the week, painting. When I returned to my suburban home, we enjoyed dinner and a movie on Saturday evening, and very intense, kinky sex at the loft early Sunday evening. This morning I feel sore and tender in delicate, private areas. My legs still feel like rubber from being bound in tight, precarious positions. I sometimes forget how intense my scenes with Mr. C can be. Initially, I did my best to let go and flow with the scene, but my mind kept fighting my precarious situation. The more I struggled, writhed, wined, winced, the worse my agony became. I was frustrated by my bound captivity and vulnerability. Eventually, I found my groove, surrendering my will to the unknown.
Mr. C can eat pussy like no other man I have ever encountered. He can drive me to the point of insanity with the pleasure he instills and there is nothing I can do about it accept relinquish myself. My arms are tightly bound. I cannot push his head away from my over stimulated clit, gasping and desperately wishing for respite. My legs are widely splayed, trembling from attempting to close them, yet, I cannot, due to the black leather restraints on my thighs. I attempt to do so whenever the pleasure becomes much too torturous. My white heat and electrifying energy expels into silent screams and hot hisses of erotogenic breath. My pleasure intensifies when his fingers fuck me, knowing just where to press, wiggle, curl and thrust. His cock penetrates me, alternating his trusts between my moist lips, moving forward deep inside my sucking mouth, and thrusting deep and hard within my soaking wet cunt – silencing my moans and satisfying my inflamed desire. He spanks my wanton flesh with his open, bare hand. My mind spins. My thoughts drift dizzily into another dimension in space and time. I am drifting, drifting, drifting…
Most often my submission goes much deeper than the sexual, kinky realms. My subspace becomes serene and spiritual. I feel as if my subspace is a place that feels like when Brick describes in the play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – that click in the brain when everything becomes utterly peaceful. I learn to listen to my inner self when I am in that realm of mind and trust my deep instinct when I am living my life. To me submission is inner strength, spirituality, and the art of letting go. I am not playing the part of a victim. I live my life with inner peace, inner strength, and a genuine love for being who I am. Because of this, I feel a great respect for humanity. I don’t have a chip on shoulder, and I’m not blaming the world for anything that may seem dark, unfair or dreadful in my life. I, much like you did when you were alive, Henry, I don’t have live an extravagant life. I don’t live like a Kardashian. But, I live a very experienced, spiritually rich and intriguing life. I am defined much deeper than a Versace purse and Dolce and Gabanna shoes.
I need some sleep. Good night Henry. I will write to you in the morning.
I’m resuming this letter on 2/29/2112 at 6:30 a.m.
Good morning Henry! It’s early. It’s dim outside, the night is ending and the new day is beginning. I have the fireplace warming the chilled air. I’m still at my artist loft. It’s been snowing all night. Soon after I awoke I observed a substantial layer snow on my balcony. I have been painting around the clock since Wednesday and coordinating things for my upcoming burlesque show. I still have to rehearse a very classic, slinky striptease before I leave the loft tomorrow. I’m excited about this new number and feeling sexy. I’m looking forward to debuting it at the burlesque show on Friday.
I finally got the, Mia Loves Henry Miller, manuscript together, with help from people who I deeply trust and are very close to me. I feel relieved. I’ve been trying to get this organized for over a month. I just need to read it over, making any final edits and send the manuscript to NYC. I’m hoping to do so by the end of next week. It’s hard to imagine that I have come this far with this project. Until now, this task has only been a daydream. I’m ecstatic to see a reward for my hard work – all of my sacrificing; not watching cable movies and television in the evenings and on weekends, not attending social events, avoiding talking on the phone with family and friends, not spending much quality time with close family members and friends. Even my persistence to continue on with this project in spite of illness and chronic pain has been worth it. I’m happy that I didn’t waste my time and concentrated on writing my letters to you, during the past three months.
I must start my day, Henry.
P.S. Barney Rosset from Grove Press, who died at the age of 89, will be greatly missed! I wish you could write me back and tell me more about him. I bet that he was a very intriguing man.
Illustration of cartoon Mia is done by talented Twin Cities Artist, Timmah Pacello
“The greatest joy, and the greatest triumph, in art, comes at the moment when, realizing to the fullest your grip over the medium, you deliberately sacrifice it in the hopes of discovering a vital hidden truth within you. It comes like a reward for patience –this freedom of mastery which is born of the hardest discipline. Then no matter what you do or say, you are absolutely right and nobody dare criticize you. I sense this very often in looking at Picasso’s work. The great freedom and spontaneity he reveals is born, one feels, because of the impact, the pressure, the support of the whole being which, for an endless period, has been subservient to the discipline of the spirit. The most careless gesture is as right, as true, as valid as the most carefully planned strokes. This I know and nobody could convince me to the contrary. Picasso here is only demonstrating wisdom of life which the sage practices on another, higher level.” –Henry Miller, Sextet