After dying and beholding untold beauty in heaven, I sought a way to heal my family. This was going to be near impossible because we are an enmeshed family due to the extreme abuse, and the relationship between the abusers and the abused that demands extreme loyalty – even after death. I am reluctant to give the antidote to the poison apple that Christine Rosamond, partake, for her other family, those parasite are in waiting – for their fair share!
“Many of us come from enmeshed families in which the boundaries are skewed and all members are a part of the pie, so to speak, as opposed to individual slices within the pie. Members of these families look to one another for insight regarding who they are becoming, as opposed to looking within.”
“Enmeshed families are characterized by an extreme sense of closeness, so much so that almost any expression of independence or separateness is seen as disloyalty to the family. This kind of false loyalty is a very high value in an Enmeshed family.”
The uncreative members of my family have been agitated by the parasites who know they are in the shadow of the gifted ones, and are needing to feel equal – somehow – thus they convinced my family, the more outside parasites – the rosier!
That Christine came to honor her father and older brother, over me, is as tragic a tale one can find. To find it in the art world – is maddening – destructive beyond belief! What happened?
The answer is simple. From an early age I began to look inward to find my identity, while my parents tried to manipulate and control thier mate, and then their children. Mark Presco’s hateful manifestos are all about the outisders who let him down, and thus tainted his perfect image he wangted to own of himself as the White Super Misogynist Man who needs NO ONE, but a hundred million inferior scum-bags after his little pile of money. Mark Presco has turned women and people of color into his disloyal children! Mark is a god. He was named after Marcus Arealius, the Roman Emperor – who declared they were gods!
Mark, and his ilk, want allot of bang for their buck. This is why they want Jesus on their side, because he utterly ignored money in his lifetime. Today, Jesus is extremely interested in the Stock Market and Herman Cain’s devine ambition that allows Republicans to overlook the idea that he grabbed a womans’ head and pulled it down to his crotch. The Ne Roman Republican Party have Jesus atop a tall building Gothum with his good bud, Howard Roarke, Ann Rand’s invention.
“Look at all those socialist parasites down there, how they clammer over one another so as to get a piece of our tax pie! Come Jesus, let’s smoke a bowlful, get instrospective, and design another high tower, another monument to the Selfish Giant Indvidual!”
Christine Rosamond did not have time to develope an artistic identity, complete her journey within to find herself, develope a healing bond with her Muse. When one of her first paintings was bought by Priscilla Presley at a show in Westwood, Ira Cohen took note. I assume he got to look at the list of sales. What he knew, was it was a matter of who you know. He understood Christine had gotten her foot in the door, and very famous folks would be viewing her work, including Elvis. They would talk about Christine’s painting, ask where they could get one of works of art. If Coehn could get Rosamond signed to a contract, then, the Already Famous would come to him, beat a path to his gallery on Lacienaga.
A year later, my dear sister is asking me to help her find a artisitc idienty – within! Sadly I tell her;
“I can’t give you that!”
Christine turned to her enmeshed idenity within our extremely dysfunctional family for her identity. Rather then seek psychiratritc help for their mental illness, Vic and Rosemary worked out on their children almost every day of our their lives. This is why Julie Lynch invited a fake ninety nine year old crone school teacher to come get Christine and take her home to ‘The Caretaker’ who ended up with the Rosamond Gallery, the Rosamond Publishing company, the Rosamond Movie, the Rosamond T.V. Series – and my dream! The Rossetti family were poets, artists, and publishers.
Joaquin Miller went to Europe and had dinner with Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelites. In his novel ‘The Distruction of Gotham’ he is in New York following an old crone and yojng girl who has turned to prostitution to survive in the big city. Miller carried my ingant father on his lap when he wnet with Melba on the trolly to the Ferry. In ‘The Distruction of Gotham’ Miller has his Roxanne walk from Liberty Street, where William Stuttmeister lived, to Fight Avenue.
Miller was one of the founders of Bohemian Grove where the elite go to camp, live in a tent, then go to the Russian river to swim. I and my Muse, would swim in the same waters. When David beheld Bathsheba, he had to have her, and the world would never be the same.
Miller earned an estimated $3,000 working as a Pony Express rider, and used the money to move to Oregon. With the help of his friend, Senator Joseph Lane, he became editor of the Democratic Register in Eugene, a role he held from March 15 to September 20, 1862. Though no copies survive, it was known as sympathetic to the Confederacy until it was forced to shut down. That year, Miller married Theresa Dyer (alias Minnie Myrtle) on September 12, 1862, in her home four days after meeting her in Port Orford, Oregon. He had corresponded with her after exchanging poems with her for critique and chasing away a competing suitor. The couple had two children.
In 1868, Miller paid for the publication of 500 copies his first book of poetry, Specimens. It was unnoticed and Miller gave away more copies than he sold. Few have survived. The author’s despair and disappointment was reflected in his second book, Joaquin et al., the next year.
Dyer filed for divorce on April 4, 1870, claiming they had a third child, Henry Mark, the year before and that Miller was “wholly” neglectful. The court declared them divorced on April 19 and Dyer was granted custody of the baby while the two older children were left in the care of her mother. Miller was ordered to pay $200 per year in child support. Miller believed the divorce prevented him from being nominated for a seat on the Oregon Supreme Court. He never denied her charges that he was neglectful of her and their children and was rarely home. He also may have had an affair with actress Adah Isaacs Menken shortly into the marriage.
Miller had sent a copy of Joaquin, et al. to Bret Harte, who offered advice that he avoid “faults of excess” and encouragingly wrote, “you on your way to become a poet.” The next summer, July 1870, Miller traveled to San Francisco with borrowed money and there befriended Charles Warren Stoddard and Ina Coolbrith. Stoddard was the first to meet him at the dock and, as he recalled, Miller’s first words to him were, “Well, let us go and talk with the poets.”
Miller went to England, where he was celebrated as a frontier oddity. There, in May 1871, Miller published Songs of the Sierras, the book which finalized his nickname as the “Poet of the Sierras”. It was well-received by the British press and members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, particularly Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Michael Rossetti.
While in England, he was one of the few Americans invited into the Savage Club along with Julian Hawthorne, son of Nathaniel Hawthorne. The younger Hawthorne referred to Miller as “a licensed libertine” but admitted him “charming, amiable, and harmless”. Rather abruptly, Miller left England in September 1871 and landed in New York. At the encouragement of family, he made his way to Easton, Pennsylvania to visit his brother on his death-bed before returning to Oregon; his father died shortly thereafter. Miller eventually settled in California, where he grew fruit and published his poems and other works.
In 1877, Miller adapted his First Fam’lies of the Sierras into a play, The Danites, or, the Heart of the Sierras. It opened on August 22 in New York with McKee Rankin as the main character. The anti-Mormon play, which featured Danites hunting the daughter of one of the murderers of Joseph Smith, Jr., became one of the most commercially successful in a series of anti-Mormon dramas at the time. The Spirit of the Times, however, attributed its success to curious audience members expected a disastrous failure and instead discovering a good show: “The play proved to possess more than ordinary merit, and if it is not a great work, it is decidedly not a very bad one.” The Danites was extended from a run of only a few days to one of seven straight weeks before moving to another theatre and, ultimately, was performed to such a degree that it rivaled the popularity of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It was published in book form later in 1877. Miller later admitted that he regretted the anti-Mormon tone.
Miller married for a third time on September 8, 1879, Abigail Leland, in New York, New York.
 Later years and death
Miller circa 1905
In 1886, Miller published The Destruction of Gotham, a book which was one of the earliest to depict a prostitute as a heroine. That year, he moved to Oakland, California, and built a home for himself he called “The Hights”. He remained there until his death in 1913.
Japanese poet Yone Noguchi came to The Hights in 1894 and spent the next four years there as an unpaid laborer in exchange for room and board. While living there, he published his first book, Seen or Unseen; or, Monologues of a Homeless Snail (1897). Though he referred to Miller as “the most natural man”, Noguchi reflected on those years as his most difficult in the United States and later fictionalized his experience in The American Diary of a Japanese Girl.
In 1897, Miller traveled to the Yukon as a newspaper correspondent. He saw Alaska for the first time on July 30. His dispatches, many of which were written before reaching Alaska, incorrectly implied an easy and inexpensive trip. Miller himself nearly froze to death; two toes were lost to frostbite.
Miller died on February 17, 1913, surrounded by friends and family. His last words were recorded as “Take me away; take me away!” The poet had asked to be cremated by friends in the funeral pyre he built at The Hights with no religious ceremony and without being embalmed. His wishes were mostly ignored and the funeral on February 19 drew thousands of curious onlookers. The preacher who spoke referred to Miller as “the last of America’s great poets.” On May 23, members of the Bohemian Club of San Francisco and the Press Club returned to Miller’s funeral pyre to burn the urn which contained his ashes, allowing them to scatter. He had left no will and his estate — estimated at $100,000 — was divided between his wife and daughter.
Dinner at Rossetti’s
by Joaquin Miller
There is no thing that hath not worth; There is no evil anywhere; There is no ill on all this earth, If man seeks not to see it there.
September 28. I cannot forget that dinner with Dante Gabriel Rossetti, just before leaving London, nor can I hope to recall its shining and enduring glory. I am a better, larger man, because of it. And how nearly our feet are set on the same way. It was as if we were all crossing the plains, and I for a day’s journey and a night’s encampment fell in with and conversed with the captains of the march.
But one may not gave names and dates and details over there as here. The home is entirely a castle. The secrets of the board and fireside are sacred. And then these honest toilers and worshippers of the beautiful are shy, so shy and modest. But I like this decent English way of keeping your name down and out of sight till the coffin-lid hides your blushes–so modest these Pre-Raphaelites are that I should be in disgrace forever if I dared set down any living man’s name.
But here are a few of the pearls picked up, as they were tossed about the table at intervals and sandwiched in between tales of love and lighter thoughts and things.
All London, or rather all the brain of London, the literary brain, was there. And the brain of all the world, I think, was in London. These giants of thought, champions of the beautiful earth, passed the secrets of all time and all lands before me like a mighty panorama. All night sol We dined so late that we missed breakfast. If I could remember and write down truly and exactly what these men said, I would have the best and the greatest book that ever was written, I have been trying a week in vain, I have written down and scratched out and revised till I have lost the soul of it, it seems to me; no individuality to it; only like my own stuff. If I only had set their words down on the next day instead of attempting to remember their thoughts! Alas! the sheaves have been tossed and beaten about over sea and land for days and days, till the golden grain is gone, and here is but the straw and chaff.
The master sat silent for the most part; there was a little man away down at the other end, conspicuously modest. There was a cynical fat man, and a lean philanthropist all sorts and sizes, but all lovers of the beautiful of earth. Here is what one, a painter, a ruddy-faced and a rollicking gentleman, remarked merrily to me as he poured out a glass of red wine at the beginning of the dinner:
“When travelling in the mountains of Italy, I observed that the pretty peasant women made the wine by putting grapes m a great tub, and then, getting into this tub, barefooted, on top of the grapes, treading them out with their brown, bare feet. At first I did not like to drink this wine. I did not think it was clean. But I afterward watched these pretty brown women” and here all leaned to listen, at the mention of pretty brown women– I watched these pretty brown women at their work in the primitive winepress, and I noticed that they always washed their feet after they got done treading out the wine.”
All laughed at this, and the red-faced painter was so delighted that he poured out and swallowed another full glass. The master sighed as he sat at the head of the table rolling a bit of bread between thumb and finger, and said, sitting close to me: “I am an Italian who has neven seen Italy. Belle Italia!…”
By and by he quietly said that silence was the noblest attitude in all things; that the greatest poets refused to write, and that all great artists in all lines were above the folly of expression. A voice from far down the table echoed this sentiment by saying:”Heard melodies are sweet; but unheard melodies are sweeter.” “Written poems are delicious; but unwritten poems are divine,” cried the triumphant cynic. “What is poetry?” cries a neighbor. “All true, pure life is poetry,” answers one. “But the inspiration of poetry?” “The art of poetry is in books. The inspiration of poetry in nature.” To this all agreed.
Then the master very quietly spoke: “And yet do not despise the books of man. All religions, said the Chinese philosophers, are good. The only difference is, some religions are better than others, and the apparent merit of each depends largely upon a mans capacity for understanding it. This is true of .poetry. All poetry is good. I never read a poem in my life that did not have some merit, and teach some sweet lesson. The fault in reading the poems of man, as well as reading the poetry of nature, lies largely at the door of the reader. Now, what do you call poetry?” and he turned his great Italian eyes tenderly to where I sat at his side.
To me a poem must be a picture,” I answered.
Proud I was when a great poet then said: “And it must be a picture–if a good poem so simple that you can understand it at a glance, eh? And see it and remember it as you would see and remember a sunset, eh?” “Aye,” answered the master, “I also demand that it shall be lofty in sentiment and sublime in expression. The only rule I have for measuring the merits of a written poem, is by the height of it. Why not be able to measure its altitude as you measure one of your sublime peaks of America?”
He looked at me as he spoke of America, and I was encouraged to answer:”Yes, I do not want to remember the words. But I do want it to remain with me a picture and become a part of my life. Take this one verse from Mr. Longfellow:
“And the night shall be filled with music, And the cares that infest the day Shall fold their tents like the Arabs, And as silently steal away.'”
“Good!” cried the fat cynic, who, I am sure, had never heard the couplet before, it was so sweet to him; “Good! There is a picture that will depart from no impressible clay. The silent night, the far sweet melody falling on the weary mind, the tawny picturesque Arabs stealing away m the darkness, the perfect peace, the stillness and the rest. It appeals to all the Ishmaelite in our natures, and all the time we see the tents gathered up and the silent children of the desert gliding away in the gloaming.”
A transplanted American, away down at the other end by a little man among bottles, said: “The poem of Evangeline is a succession of pictures. I never read Evangeline but once.” “It is a waste of time to look twice at a sunset,” said Rossetti, sotto voce, and the end man went on: “But i believe I can see every picture in that poem as distinctly as if I had been the unhappy Arcadian; for here the author has called in ail the elements that go to make up a perfect poem.”
“When the great epic of this new, solid Saxon tongue comes to be written,” said one who sat near and was dear to the master’s heart, “it will embrace all that this embraces: new and unnamed lands; ships on the sea; the still deep waters hidden away in a deep and voiceless continent; the fresh and fragrant wilderness; the curling smoke of the camp-fire; action, movement, journeys; the presence–the inspiring presence of woman; the ennobl- ing sentiment of love, devotion, and devotion to the death; faith, hope and charity,- and all in the open air.”
“Yes,” said the master thoughtfully, ‘no great poem has ever been or ever will be fitted in a parlor, or even fashioned from a city. There is not room for it there.”
“Hear! hear! you might as well try to grow a California pine in the shell of a peanut,” cried I. Some laughed, some applauded, all looked curiously at me. Of course, I did not say it that well, yet I did say it far better, I mean I did not use the words carefully, but I had the advantage of action and sympathy.
Then the master said, after a bit of reflection: “Homer’s Ulysses, out of which have grown books enough to cover the earth, owes its immortality to all this, and its out-door exercise. Yet it is a bloody book a bad book, in many respects–full of revenge, treachery, avarice and wrong. And old Ulysses himself seems to have been the most colossal liar on record. But for all this, the constant change of scene, the moving ships and the roar of waters, the rush of battle and the anger of the gods, the divine valor of the hero, and, above all, and over all, like a broad, white-bosomed moon through the broken clouds, the splendid life of that one woman; the shining faith, the constancy, the truth and purity of Penelope–all these make a series of pictures that pass before us like a panorama, and we will not leave off reading till we have seen them all happy together again, and been assured that the faith and constancy of that woman has had it reward. And we love him, even if he does lie!”
How all at that board leaned and listened. Yet let me again and again humbly confess to you that I do him such injustice to try thus to quote from memory. After a while he said: “Take the picture of the old, blind, slobber-mouthed dog, that has been driven forth by the wooers to die. For twenty years he has not heard the voice of his master. The master now comes, in the guise of a beggar. The dog knows his voice, struggles to rise from the ground, staggers toward him, licks his hand, falls, and dies at his feet.”
Such was the soul, heart, gentleness of this greatest man that I ever saw walking in the fields of art….
We women are sometimes sorely tempted to fancy that we have gifts and graces which have been smothered and stultified by adverse circumstances. We bewail that we have never got our chance. It is possible that men are not exempt from this failing, but there are some reasons why they have less temptation to it. All biography is full of stories of men who have triumphed over every sort of obstacle and disability, and a man can scarcely realise any disadvantages of his own lot, whatever they may be, without recalling some other man who was strong and brave enough to master similar drawbacks. Then, again, the difficulties or hindrances to a man’s career are generally of an active nature, so that if there be any “go” at all in him, he understands at once that they serve only to test his strength and energy.
But with women there is a difference, less indeed than it used to be, but still persisting and likely to persist. First, they have comparatively little biographical guidance. And such biography of women as there is, deals chiefly with women of high place and fortune, of rare, adventurous career, or of tragic eminence of some sort. The peculiar difficulties and discouragements which beset most of their sex, seldom come much into such women’s lives. Those women’s lives whose history, experience and result would most benefit the majority of their sisters, remain yet for the most part unwritten.
This is why we wish to have a little talk over Christina Rossetti, the poet who not very long ago passed from us, and whom the verdict of critics ventures to place in comparison not only with Jean Ingelow but with Mrs Barrett-Browning. For we think the story of her life is one which may come with peculiar strengthening and comfort to many a disheartened girl and woman. Yet had she happened to fall even just below the very high level of poetic power to which she rose, or had she chanced to lack the one advantage which her life possessed, it is very likely the world would never have heard a word of her life’s history.
She was born in a prosy, dingy district of London, one of the long uniform streets lying to the south-east of Regent’s Park, and then as now, the haunt of foreign refugees of every shade of political opinion. She herself was the daughter of an Italian refugee, and her mother was the daughter of another Italian, so it was by right only of her mother’s English mother that Christina Rossetti could claim to be English.
Her father, who gained his livelihood as a teacher of Italian and who eventually became professor of that language at King’s College, was somewhat of a poet, a great student of Dante, and altogether a clever and interesting man. Her two brothers, a little older than herself, have both reached celebrity, the elder of the two, the poet-painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti, attaining great fame, though he was a man of an unfortunate temperament leading to an unhappy history.
But from the first, it is evident that the paramount influence in Christina’s life was that of her mother, a woman of sweet character, but one who, in modern parlance, “did nothing,” save the housekeeping and mothering of a little household whose means were at once narrow and precarious.
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Fair Rosamund (Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1861) appears here behind a balustrade in the royal manor of Woodstock. The sitter, Fanny Cornforth, was a frequent model of Rossetti’s. She became his housekeeper after the death of his wife Elizabeth Siddall in 1862. 1861. Oil on canvas.
King Henry II (1154-1189) was married to Eleanor of Aquitaine. He also had a mistress, called Rosamund. According to legend, Henry built Rosamund a palace that could only be reached through a maze. He used a red cord to find his way through the maze and alert Rosamund to his arrival. Eleanor discovered the maze and followed the cord to find her husband’s mistress, and murdered her. She offered her the choice of drinking poison or being stabbed.
In reality, Rosamund was not murdered by Eleanor; she retired to a convent where she died in 1176. Eleanor had an excellent alibi for the time of Rosamund’s death – she was in prison for treason. Henry had her locked up for supporting their sons in an uprising against him, as seen in the film The Lion in Winter.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
In Rossetti’s version only Rosamund is represented, and the only reference to the story is the red cord. The balustrade on which Rosamund leans is decorated with hearts topped with a crown, in reference to her position as the King’s mistress. The rose in her hair refers to her name. The model for this work was Fanny Cornforth, a prostitute who Rossetti met in 1858, and who became his mistress. Rossetti depicts Rosamund as unoccupied; she has no purpose other than to wait for her lover’s arrival. Her dress is impractical and revealing, as it slips from her shoulders. She wears decadent jewellery, her face is flushed and her hair is loose. Here we see the stereotypical Victorian concept of the mistress as a non-productive, sexual woman.
John William Waterhouse
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Fair Rosamund – John William Waterhouse (1916). The sympathetic treatment that Waterhouse gives to Rosamund is an example of how medieval adultery was often viewed as essentially thwarted love.
Oil on canvas.
Waterhouse provides an almost opposite depiction of Rosamund in his work, painted 50 years later. In this image we see a fully covered Rosamund kneeling, hands as if in prayer, gazing out of the window awaiting her lover’s approach, having abandoned work on her tapestry. The work has the feel of sanctified, married love and not adultery. Waterhouse depicted Rosamund wearing a crown, maybe as an indication that it is not Rosamund’s position in the King’s affection that Eleanor found threatening but her challenge as a rival queen. If we look away from Rosamund we can see the curtain being parted by Eleanor, the wronged wife, about to enter with murderous intent. Depicting the build up to an event, usually a fatal encounter, was common practice in Victorian art. Here, Waterhouse sets the scene, allowing the audience to imagine the consequences.
The sympathetic treatment Waterhouse gave Rosamund is an example of how medieval adultery was sometimes viewed as essentially thwarted love, for example in the stories of Guinevere and Lancelot or Tristam and Isolde. Marriages in medieval times were made as political alliances rather than love matches. So, when love occurred it inspired sympathy. However, this certainly was not the view taken by Victorian society or by the government. The Irish politician Charles Parnell, for example, was forced out of his position as leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party in 1890 when it became known he had an affair with a married woman