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Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Day 881 - Jigsaw pieces everywhere

Since mentioning that I thought the song Jeane was about Jean Genet (Day 826), the subject matter has escalated, expanded, and captured the interest and imagination of the members of the Blue Rose Society. Jean Genet seems to have fallen somewhat aside, as another Frenchman has emerged as the overwhelming influence on Morrissey, Jean Cocteau.

Some of the research and discoveries made over the last few days by Comrade Harps, Heather  Cat and Jazissey have been incredible. Here is Comrade Harps' latest offering, followed by Heather's response:

Thank you heathercat for joining the dots (or is that finding connecting bits of the jigsaw) and linking the M or W (now, doesn't MW sound familiar) with the cover of Refusal.

Now, here's another clue for you all: the owl was Cocteau. You know, all those owl eye images on MW and the The Real Mozzer does owl eyes and later we find the owl on Linder Sterling's studio wall ( ), well, now I can reveal that Jean Cocteau drew owls: (note the star, too)

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Picasso also draw an owl illustration for one of Cocteau's poetry books:
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Cocteau muse and sometime Smiths cover star also made at least one owl sculpture:


So, jigsaw, jigsaw, jigsaw.

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Speaking of Cocteau's symbolism, I've just discovered a fascinating connection between his signature symbol, the star (which he sometimes drew as a pentagram), and MW's symbol, the rose (which, of course, also appears in Cocteau's works):

"From a period long antedating the Christian Era, the rose was a symbol of love. It was the flower of the goddess Venus, the Roman goddess of love and fertility. The rose was also attributed to Harpocrates, the Greek adaptation of Horus in Egypt's spiritual tradition. He was the god of silence. It is by this reference that the rose is also used as a symbol of secrecy.

In Medieval times secret societies met "sub rosa", signifying that everything that was done and said in these reunions had to be kept "under the Rose" (in secrecy). This precaution of secrecy was necessary as protection against persecution by the orthodox Church against everyone who dared to think differently. It was heresy to think otherwise than as prescribed by theological dogma. Whoever dared to do so was in danger of forfeiting his life and the lives of those who listened to him.

Wild roses have five petals, the same as the number of man's physical senses. In the spiritual tradition, the geometrical pattern for the rose has become the pentagram, a form which can be seen when we draw a line in a special way between the inner leaves of the rose. This form is also the symbol of the microcosm, the symbol of man. Four points of the pentagram symbolize the four elements and the fifth point at the top is called quintessence, depicted as a wheel. It symbolizes the domination of spirit over matter. It is through the spirit that balance and mastery of the four elements of the physical world is achieved. In connection with the symbol of the rose, we notice that both symbols point to perfection and the highest realisation of consciousness."

Here we see not only the convergence of the rose and star symbols, but also the four elements (fire, water, earth, air) connecting with them as well. Jigsaw...

For anyone who might be interested in reading more about the rose/pentagram connection, here are two additional articles:

Interestingly enough, the first article is written from a perspective about fencing, but it has lots of pertinent info. Both articles mention the red and white colors of the tudor rose, which are, of course, the original colors of MW.


Comrade Harps posted this photo a few days ago:
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If you look closely at Cocteau's lapel in the above photo, he would appear to be wearing a crest or flower. Now look at all those around him, including the man to his left, the man in front, and the two ladies in white. They ALL seem to be wearing a flower!

There are so, so many images that Cocteau uses that seem to have had an influence on Morrissey, another being the butterfly:
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As Morrissey himself recently said (although I can't remember where, but it was something to do with MorrisseysWorld, and NOT TRM), it is strange how everybody has always concentrated on the influence of Wilde, and not Cocteau.

Here is another observation from Comrade Harps, relating to Cocteau's use of the letter 'M':
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I think Harps may have got his caption slightly wrong, as Saint Blaise des Simples is actually a different chapel to the Chapel of Saint-Pierre. Saint Blaise is where Cocteau is buried:

The chapel is the only remnant of a leper of the twelfth century , Saint Blaise having the reputation of being healer medicinal plants, called "simple". In the eighteenth century, the leper fell into ruin, it subsitait the chapel .
During its restoration in 1959 , the old chapel was decorated by Jean Cocteau who resided in the city since 1945 , at the solicitation of the elect. The poet designed the stained glass and frescos representing respectively the Resurrection of Christ and medicinal plants, simple which give their name to the chapel. These herbs ( aconite , belladonna , mint , buttercup , valerian ...) traditionally cultivated by the monks are so called because one used to start a single plant. They are still grown in small adjoining which is exposed bell halls that once sounded the beginning of the market garden.
At his death in 1963 , Cocteau wanted to be buried in this place, his body was transferred in 1964 in the chapel he had decorated his tomb is covered with a gravestone offered by Francis Palmero , Senator-Mayor of Menton , which Jean Cocteau was freeman. Cocteau was content to burn on the slab the epitaph bearing his writing "I stay with you" . In 1964, Arno Breker offered a bronze bust of Cocteau and in 1971 he donated two stained glass windows for the 7th anniversary of his death. His adopted son Edward Dermit was buried in the same vault in 1995.
The chapel looks like a small building in sandstone tiled. The buttresses supporting the walls, two in front and three in the aisles . A door arch provides access, it is topped by a thin window closed by a window . At the top of the west front are placed two hidden by shutters windows wrought iron and stained glass works of the poet.
The interior, painted lime is decorated by Jean Cocteau drawings symbolizing Simple (the henbane , the belladonna , the valerian ) and Resurrection, symbolized here by a cat .
The chapel is surrounded by a garden with the herbs , decorated with the iron cross and bell halls.


The subject matter of Morrissey's songs are often both mysterious and unexplained, and there could be a reason for this, again, Cocteau influenced. This is taken from a fascinating piece written by Tracy R Twyman:

 “Every poem is a coat of arms,” said Cocteau. “It must be deciphered.” He elaborated on this further in Testament of Orpheus, saying: “The poet, by composing poems, uses a language that is neither dead nor living, that few people speak, and few people understand … We are the servants of an unknown force that lives within us, manipulates us, and dictates this language to us.”

This section of Twyman's piece is also very interesting:

Of his play, Les Enfants Terribles, Cocteau said, “My subconscious wanted me as its writer. It dictated the book to me.” And in the film Orpheus, the character “Death”, who is believed by the public to be a “Princess”, is broadcasting poems over a magic radio signal so that poets will think they have been inspired, and will publish the poems as if they were their own. The meaning of this is never explained in the film.

OH MY FU***NG GOD! *Penny drops* I have just realised what Fifi was going to tell us about Cocteau's influence on the song 'I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday'. The radio interference at the beginning is connected to Cocteau's film, ORPHEUS! I think I might have worked this out earlier if I'd actually seen the film, but I MUST be right.


Orphee listening

It is IMPERATIVE that anybody who is genuinely interested in the Cocteau influence on Morrissey, should read the WHOLE of Twyman's article. It is quite long, but it is truly FASCINATING: and that ROSE picture (near the top of this blog entry) is included, but as Comrade Harps has pointed out today on twitter, it ALSO contains a heart at the back. HEART ON THE BACK:

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Once again, the whole subject of The Priory of Sion is brought up in Twyman's piece, and although I had previously concluded that I was wrong to think Morrissey as Cocteau's heir, I am now going to backtrack, I really think HE IS..... although whether or not Morrissey sees his 'heirship' as being the 'Grand Master of The Priory of Sion' is neither here nor there; Morrissey IS Cocteau!

I now have a confession to make, and this confession won't be news to 'Fire', as I emailed my thoughts to him/her on Feb 1st, but I had a dream about Cocteau's influence on 'I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday'. I wasn't going to share my thoughts publicly, but hey ho, here goes. Here is the email I sent to Fire:

Sent: Sat, Feb 1, 2014 11:06 am
Subject: I know it might've happened

Dear Burning Flame (that makes you sound like an Indian squaw, which I,m guessing you aren't) 
Last night/early morning; as I lay in a semi-conscious state, this rather bizarre theory came to me. I know you will think it silly, because it runs along a similar theme to my 'Priory of Sion' vision, which I now realise was ridiculous. However, I have never feared ridicule, so I would like to share this dream thing of mine, which may I add, was VERY real, just as my previous experiences have seemed very real, none more so than that original 'Trouble Loves Me' dream. 
Anyway, here goes: 

It is France, 1959, and Jean Cocteau is listening to the radio, trying to find something to listen to. Playing heavily on his mind is the fact that he still hasn't found a successor to his 'throne', and he feels he is running out of time. As he fiddles with the radio, amongst all the French voices, comes a heavenly sounding female voice, and she sings in English the words, "he's just like me." Cocteau immediately realises that it is one of the Mary's singing to him, and the fact that she is singing in English convinces him that his successor must be in England, which coincidentally is where he has recently been invited to go, to draw at the Chapel de Notre Dame in London. 

When Cocteau arrives at the chapel in London, he lights a candle, which becomes his Mary, and he talks to Mary each day as he draws, asking her for guidance. As we know, he ends up drawing many things, which include a Blue Rose, an unseen messiah and a large M. Cocteau was painting his spirit/successor, and the hunt was over. His successor may not have been a person, it may have been the Rose.  
Three years after finishing the drawing, Cocteau died, but his spirit was safely preserved. 

It's all very silly, as I said, but I hope you don't mind me sharing it. This morning, as I walked my dog, I listened to 'I know it's gonna happen someday', and I listened to it as though the singer was Mary singing to Cocteau. I am not embarrassed to tell you that I sobbed my little rat heart out as I listened, the dog must have thought I was mad. I then felt compelled to listen to David Bowie's version of the same song, still listening as though the singer were Mary. When the backing choir kicked in, sounding JUST like angels, the tears flowed again. I'm sure I heard the dog laugh... bastard. 

Coincidentally, Morrissey had guidance from a Mary, particularly when in his late teens. 

To your knowledge, has a female ever recorded a version of 'I know it's gonna happen someday'? If only Francoise Hardy could have recorded it. 

I hope your day as been rewarding. I am now off to work. 

Still afloat
Soggy Rat
*Goes off singing* My love, wherever you are, whatever you are, don't lose faith.

I did receive a reply to my email, but with no comment on my observations.

Semi-conscious dreams are VERY real. This article above looks very interesting, does anybody know where it's from?

So, WHAT IS the exact connection between Jean Cocteau and Morrissey? And hold on...... I have just discovered yet ANOTHER Cocteau article that relates to Morrissey, this time regarding 'the third sex'. This is SO, SO FASCINATING:

Here is a section:

For Jean Cocteau, this state in between genders, in between sexes constitutes the essence of Barbette as neither a man impersonating or transformed into a woman, but instead as a being that takes advantage of the fluidity of aesthetics and theatrics to render gender and sex amorphous, constantly in a state of movement. I examine how surrealism supplied a discourse for theorizing an aesthetics for visualizing the possibilities of Barbette’s play of gender and yet how Cocteau and Man Ray had to work against the conventions of this fundamentally masculinist movement by examining the long repressed queer dimensions of the unconscious that even surrealism feared to unleash.

Barbette satisfies the drive of the audience to gender and sex him both as male and female, and at the same time for others, Barbette reaches a higher sex “above or beyond nature” legible only through an aesthetic practice of beauty that comes alive through theatrics. Cocteau thus takes the “strange beauty” that Barbette appropriated and modernized from Shakespeare and places it within the modern scientific discourse of sexuality which in the 20s was dominated the model of the “invert” as the chief paradigm for understanding homosexuality. This idea of a separate sex also borrows from the concept of a “third sex”, which contemporaneous researchers in sexology used to categorize the invert as neither man nor woman, but a distinctly different sex. 


I am currently taking in so much information, that I am in danger of exploding, so I think I should stop, but here are MORE Cocteau influences. My thanks once again to Comrade Harps:

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And just for good measure, a James Dean influence thrown in by Jazissey:

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In all the recent excitement, I haven't made mention of the fact that my 7 inch picture disc of Satellite of Love arrived a couple of weeks ago, and the song slipped into the chart at Number 124. And on the subject of charts:













This fascinating film was also shown by Astraea in 'The Arms' this week:


And Astraea also put up some new posters:

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And finally for today (and perhaps for a few days), a couple more tour dates have leaked out, and BOTH are in the USA, including a concert on Morrissey's birthday in Dallas. I am now starting to get slightly concerned about a tweet Parody Moz posted on Saturday which read simply, "England is Dead!" Could this relate to the tour? I presumed it was just a passing observation!

And finally, finally, I have just discovered some more of Parody Morrissey's tweets from the weekend. I won't post my camera screen shots (as I did yesterday) as they don't seem to show on all devices. Here they are:

"Anyone may cover a Smiths song. But not anybody can duet with a certain English poet." (Posted in response to whether or not Miley or Justin might either release a Smiths cover or request a duet)

"I deleted my account and then Morrissey made a statement on TTY. #eerie" (Posted just after the TTY statement about Prince Killiam)

"I was just served braised french tofu in garlic and herb sauce by a Michelin starred chef. #Delightful"

"I didn't try pasta until in my mid twenties."

"To instead of too. Your instead of you're. Potato's instead of spuds. Twitter is a pot of weak linguistic soup." (In response to Romina's misspelling of 'too' (as to), Father Brian's common twitter misuse of 'your', and my grocer's apostrophe).

"I'm still here, the bad smell of Manchester, like fungus in the central heating."

"@NancySinatra Don't be sad, Nancy. Remember the little gift I gave you? I'll send another."

"@TheRatsBack Rat is the Louis Tomlinson of the deluded dozen." (WHAT does this mean?)

"@Boz_Boorer has no idea how to strum along to Jesse's songs."

"@mwBATTERY Good drumming. Don't tweet for a while."

"Occasionally I grimace and raise an eyebrow. I do it so often, I'm beginning to resemble Michael Heseltine."

"When you're tired of life, you're tired of not living."

"Some of my most profound tweets come after I've been watching chart pop videos on YouTube and shaking my head."

"Laconic, witty and vile. Welcome to Morrissey's Twitter account." (And that is NOT the first time he has claimed to be Morrissey!)



  1. have to praise your dedication whiskers, you do know that the lead singer of new York dolls used to do the owl signs in the early seventies..yeah of course you did, oh and I am assured that liam is available for a transfer fee and here was me thinking that he was only out on loan..

  2. Very lovely blog entry today, Rats.

    And so very many beautiful photos, I hardly even know which way to look! Only a pity that the second photo of Barbette isn't larger.

    Because my, my... what some lovely bracelets, some kohled eyes, and the curve of someone's back can do.

    Also, number 3 in this week's chart is Julie London singing. It is however indeed Alain Delon in the accompanying video - who usually very successfully manages to turn both Julie's and my knees, to complete slush.

    I'm glad you posted the short paper about Barbette.

    But then again,... I've always been in love with her.


  3. The number of apparent connections here is simply astounding. It seems that a Cocteau link is undeniable and it certainly lends many fascinating insights. Other notable items in the Twyman article are the photo of the wound shaped like a pentagram (Cocteau's signature) from 'Blood of a Poet' and this quote:

    "My work is the result of serious considerations which consist of turning ciphers into numbers. And so, I belong to the blood donors, the only artists I really respect. The long red trail they leave behind them fascinates me."

    Morrissey has adorned himself with wounds (and bandages) through the years. Could these be inspired by the wounds in 'Blood of a Poet', which serve as a metaphor for the poet and his art?

    1. Very nicely phrased Heathercat, and thoughtfully relayed.

      On The Blood of a Poet, Cocteau's own comment was,

      "The poet's solitude is so great, he so lives what he creates, that the mouth of one of his creations lives in his hand like a wound, and that he loves this mouth, that he loves himself in short, that he wakes up in the morning with this mouth against him like a pickup, that he tries to get rid of it on a dead statue-and that this statue begins to live-and that it takes its revenge, and that it sets him off upon awful adventures. I can tell you that the snowball fight is the poet's childhood, and that when he plays the game of cards with his Glory, with his Destiny, he cheats by taking from his childhood that which he should draw from within himself."

      I wish I could post the image he's referring to here, but everyone who has seen the film knows it.

      Additionally, in The Paris Review interview I have posted before, he was asked not long before his death,

      "The wound in the hand of the poet in your film ‘The Blood of a Poet’ — the wound in the man’s hand out of which the poetry speaks – certainly this reproduces the ‘wound’ of your experience in poetry around 1912-1914?"

      And he responded,

      "The work of every creator is his autobiography, even if he does not know it or wish it, even if his work is ‘abstract’...." There is more, of course.

      However, I find one of the most beautiful - and one of the most striking - responses that he ever gave to a question to be this...

      Interviewer: Can you say something about inspiration?

      Cocteau: It is not inspiration. It is expiration.

      This is a charmingly fluid and very elegant play on words, because in French, just as in English, 'inspiration' and 'expiration' also mean to inhale and to exhale.

      In other words,

      Interviewer: Can you say something about inspiration?

      Cocteau: It is not inspiration: it is breathing.



    2. Thanks for sharing your insights, Astraea. I'm in love with the final quote - genius and beautiful.

  4. I am dreadful at jigsaws so I appreciate all of you who have been putting the pieces together. It makes for compelling reading.

    The thought of no UK concerts leaves me feeling downhearted. Maybe Alain Delon's smouldering good looks may help a little.

    1. Dear Air, don't worry, I' m sure there'll be a European Tour with Uk dates, or surely France date. As usual, ratty did an exellent work, my odservations about the link you posted were very simple: Cocteau was in relationship with a woman, exactly the sister of the Duke Romanoff, not related to Asburgo family, that woman, due interferences of another jealous woman, aborted the child she was waiting, Cocteau's son and their relationship ended. you could find the whole story on Wikipedia. About the Marianne I just wrote she's a traditional symbol of French Revolution, not related to religion or esoterism, by now the Marianne got the pretty face of the famous actress Laetitia Casta. Thank you once again, ciao!

  5. Having nothing useful to add to this discussion, I thought at least I could research where the article you were interested in came from. Your snippety-snip comes from a wordpress/blog from July 2009. The article is about Richard Hayman (aka RIP Hayman) who is an American composer exploring the musical dimension of sleep and dream. Listen to his ‘Snore Sonata’ zzzzzzzzzz. I have a feeling that the full article may come from somewhere else, but all I can see of it is the little snip that you have. I tried.
    So adding absolutely nowt, I can at least tell you that the photo ‘Cocteau in Bed with Mask’ was taken by Berenice Abbott in 1927.

  6. This blog used to be fun. Now it is tedious and boring.

    1. We have to pass the time somehow, and I'm learning about things I never knew before so... *sticks tongue out*

  7. BRAVO Rat Heather and Comrade Harps
    The cocteau code becomes more fascinating due to your efforts!
    Barbette is beautiful! If anyone is interested I have a few of Our Mozzers comments on "the third sex " as well as the fourth! They are screen shots from the MW chat from a very long time ago...

  8. I didn't notice the brooches in the swimwear lady photo, so, nice get there Ratty.

    Nice work also heathercat and Astrea. We're piecing things together, discovering references and homages and layers.

    As for this:

    “Every poem is a coat of arms,” said Cocteau.

    Well, Ringleader era releases have a Morrissey crest, don't they:

  9. Who's this b*****d blog about? Me, or that foreign arty ponce?

    It's like I hardly exist anymore.

    1. What wise words. The Rat has lost the plot ( again )

  10. The information about Cocteau and his luminaries whilst interesting as an influence on Morrissey
    is becoming tiresome.
    There must have been many people that have affected Moz over the years, do we need to learn about
    all of them ?

    A bystander

  11. Tom Jones and Cliff Richard and Kristeen Young, who would have thought ?
    Not an evening that I would want to attend.............

    One who knows

    1. dear one who knows, oh I don't know, might be a right old knees up

    2. Could be worse, it might have been Elton John !!

    3. What's new, pussycat? Whoa-oh oh

  12. Ratty, u have out done yourself!!! I am fascinated by this! How lovely, its sort of romantic to me... Bravo! & thank you for sharing, & you too Comrade, Heather & everyone who did the digging. Beautiful! As for the exciting news on the tour! (FUCK YEA) I had known about T.Jones to perform w/ Moz since a week ago. I swore to secrecy not to say a word, but the whole Sir Cliff RIchards just blew me away! I am a bigger fan of his, so I'm in shock even more than the whole Tom Jones being on the bill. But it's great news too of course! I wish Our Mozzer the best on this tour, & what an excellent one it will be! Probably the best one ever!!! I cant wait for the your new album!!! We knew it would be an amazing year, looks like it!!! I love you...
    Viva Le BlueRoseSociety!!!
    Viva MorrisseyTour2014!!!
    PS: Thank you Manc, really thank you~

    1. Oh & one more thing...Im sure UK will be next! Remember he did owe many cities that he cancelled on, so that's why he's doing this tour! It shows all of us (specially those axxxxxxs that said so many negative things about him) That he really does care about his fans! Marvelous Morrissey, marvelous!!!

  13. Good morning Rat, are you planning a trip in USA or in Sicily? I'm hoping for you both! I don't want to disappoint you or ruin your exellent research about Cocteau and the connection with Morrissey, but I got to say something about Priory of Sion: it does'nt exist and It did'nt exist. The Priory of Sion was an invenction about a French man who admitted, before his death, to create an untruth story based on legend about Templar and Saint Graal and admitted too that the two list of Grand Master, both including Cocteau, were fake. Of course this does'nt affect the connection Morrissey Cocteau, also I got to say that, just by now, I noticed another little coincidence: Morrissey uses to wear a necklace with a little medal dedicated to Saint Blaise, not very strange for a singer, you could know that Saint Blaise is the Patron of the throat, but coincidentally the chapel where Cocteau was buried is dedicated to the same Saint and decorated by Cocteau to. The festivity of Saint Blaise is on 3 February, my dad's birthday that's why his full name is Riccardo Biagio Maria, and maybe Morrissey beeing in France visited the, by now I'running with my fantasy and it is something very easy. Have a lovely Valentine's day! Ciao.

    1. Romina, you have mentioned St Blaise before, but I am sure that you said he (Blaise is a he, isn't he?) was patron saint of the 'troath'! Your English is improving. Interesting connection though. I am sure you are right about the Priory of Sion, I really can't imagine Morrissey being involved in such a thing, but then again, WHO could have predicted Cliff Richard?

      One thing is for sure, NOBODY 'knows' Morrissey.

  14. Just wanted to wish everyone Happy Valentine's Day !
    I hope you have someone to share it with, if not enjoy
    Still lOOking in and Moz is my fantasy date.

    1. Good to know you are still here, Lizzy.

    2. Hi Lizzy, nice to see you here!


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