23 First Lines of Decadent Novels I Will Never Write

 

 

1) Electric fluids flowed through my soul as I lay sleepless on a mattress made of birds…

2) I dropped four centimes into the waiter’s hand as he poured absinthe into my mouth…

3) That night the brothel madam’s talcum powder dusted my skin; it was as if her weather had changed the climate of my heart…

4) As I covered her lips with kisses I could taste the Orient; I breathed in deeply, absorbing jasmine, orchid, perspiration, musk…

5) Inside the dark recesses of the old piano there were hidden secret love letters from the old whores of Montmartre…

6) When October came again I lay down and bled into the weeping earth…

7) The seashell pink of the setting sun illuminated her wings…

8) Ripe, bruised, puckered lips muttering the ghost whisper, the word ‘death’ falling from her mouth like a small boat of grief on a morbid sea…

9) Like a madman imagined by Baudelaire he traipsed through the night arcades howling for relief from the worms of delirium eating away his soul…

10) I am made of old libraries and bibles; I am made of vellum and parchment and illuminations…

11) The eyeless child and his wild eyed dog danced in the dimly lit gin palace while toothless hags looted the mouths of drunken sailors…

12) At the cemetery I wept into the graves of murdered convent girls, praying for the return of the sweet lover I first kissed…

13) I held death in my hands, ignited it like opium and breathed it into my deepest, secret places, lost in sweet oblivion, drugged on the dark potency of my grief…

14) Burning birds fell from heaven; the bells of Saint Sebastian did not ring, rather they murmured all is lost… all is lost…

15) The needle-pocked, pale arm of my lover fell across the pillow, her veins pricked scarlet, punctuated with her death…

16) I cannot live without Paris; I cannot live without the acrid stench of its sewers or its gutter- mouthed lovers and their lust-perfumed sheets…

17) Last night I slept in a bed of old underwear; this morning I woke in a bed of warm wounds…

18) In the ruins of the church we sang profane hymns, our rosaries were knuckle-bones, our wine was kiss-spittle…

19) The pallor of moth-light, the death warrant pillow, the whisper of sorrow, the kiss of regret…

20) Death’s cabaret dancers fell silent at midnight…

21) The absinthe glass is empty…

22) I touched her rouged lips…

23) Ah! Venice…

 

Jeff Young
Montage: Claire Palmer


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