If love’s a sweet passion why does it torment?
If a bitter, oh tell me, whence comes my content?
Since I suffer with pleasure, why should I complain,
or grieve at my fate, when I know t’is in vain?
Yet so pleasing the pain is, so soft as the dart,
That at once it both wounds me and tickles my heart
whence comes my content, indeed
(as opposed to: wherein does my content occur)
when will it ?fill me up?
the problem at hand is the lack of content,
or the lack of satisfaction with content.
the poetic narrator
— whom we immediately identify as female in the performance of the song,
because that’s what is historically associated with a high pitched singing voice —
is an empty vessel
she is desiring
one could also ask, under which conditions can a female narrator be meaningful, find fulfillment?
the narrator is experiencing confusion about how to categorize her sensations
what is the essential flavor of the passion she is experiencing?
sweet, or bitter?
the simultaneity of the two flavors is causing her both positive and negative stress
an incongruency that demands categorization,
but resists being placed in one single category
have you noticed that line of the song
?yet so pleasing the pain is?
i can’t help but hear
?yet so pleasing the penis?
the dart penetrating the desiring heart is soft
the poetic narrator of the song is investigating
the intertwinement of pleasure and pain in the desire to be penetrated,
through metaphors coded with a language of consumption and of presupposed heterosexuality
oh tell me, she asks –
she needs information,
information – latin for “to give form, shape to something”
there is desire for content and content in the poetic text
but which of the two is it –
does the narrator require to be “filled up”,
or informed, filled in, given a new shape
to better hold the content?
a female poet goes to a bar and asks the bartender for information
and he says
“I am going to fill you up”
the narrator is confused
a soft penis is piercing her heart
she turns to the listener
“why am I staying at the bar when I could be writing?”
if the penis were hard, the dart solid, it would be purely intrusive, unpleasant, mere torture
but since it is soft, it also tickles
tickling is a moment of perverse intimacy,
in which laughter can very suddenly transform into tears,
when the tickled is overpowered by the tickler
a sucessful tickle creates intimacy without exploitation
as the uncertainty about when and where the (un)pleasant feeling will occur
is carried, held by the tickler
both a wound and a tickle
the intertwinement of pleasure with pain is especially pernitious because it discredits the poetic narrator’s right to complain or grieve
as part of the narrator enjoys the torture,
complaint and grief are forbidden, futile, vapid activities
“I know t’is in vain”, she says
in vain –
i can’t help but hear
(having the self-conceit to believe one was allowed to complain or grieve)
vanus, latin for empty, lacking content
again, “fill me up”
she asks the listener once more: “fill me in”, “how can I find fulfillment in this passion of mine?”
the grief over a feeling of emptiness is sometimes believed to reduce suffering
because it lets the empty subject develop a tolerance to the lack of content
god forbid the poetic narrator was independent of content
that the lack of information, the inability to be given shape by something external
as well as the lack of content, the inability to be meaning-ful
were just accepted as a given?
what if the vessel was just good enough, meaning less?
the vanity of the empty vessel that is the female complaint just won’t suffice
potentially, one’s shape changes, depending on what one consumes
the poetic narrator
why indeed is she so disregulated
about the most normal thing in the world:
(the world is full of information)
in this world, specific vessels are conventionally used for different beverages,
they are standardised,
though obviously the rules about what vessel is used for what content are essentially arbitrary
the problem is not that no beverages exist
nor is the problem that no vessels exist
drinks small portions of decidre from shot glasses
pours her bitter tears into a cup of martini, shaken
drenches her vagina in wine
spits black whiskey into a milk jar at daybreak
takes the bartenders shoe and has him fill it with seamenly nothing
we could say that with her high pitched voice, she is addressing us,
— if you allow me to be beside you —
and that she is asking us whether we can relate to her grief
“have you experienced passion, and if so, how does it feel to you?”
“have you experienced torture, grief over information and content?”
the female poetic narrator must complain, always, for this is her destiny
complain: latin, for: to lament, to criticise, to make a formal accusation to an authority
also: to beat the breast
complaint is always also self-harm
complaining is said to decrease the mental strength of the complaining
also: to emit a mournful sound
expression of grievance or blame
a gendered shriek, high pitched call-out
the formal accusation may be that the meaning produced in the act of seduction or tickling
renders the female narrator a mere vessel for either bitter or sweet flavors and that this categorization of their experience will no longer suffice to provide any fulfillment with meaning, content
we imagine the accusation is brought forward to a male bartender,
who provides the addictive substance
which makes the vessel a container for a specific content,
or the listener, who functions as an involuntary extension of the bartender.
it seems advisable for the female poetic narrator to address not the listener, not the bartender, but her own investement in the act of seduction ? is she seeking to be tickled, in a way that tortures her?
What does her lament generate?
A separation of content and form?
A refusal to consume?
A rejection of meaning?
A refinement of the palet?
After all there is more to sexuality than penetration or consumption,
and other nuances to passion than sweet or bitter;
– such as nutty, smoky, pungent, slightly tangy, and so forth.
neither empty nor full
nor fulfilled nor deprived
nor blaming nor self-effacing
but in grief is a suspension of non-containment
there is con tent