Return to Troy Town

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I found this quote on a site about Pre-Raphaelite Women.  When I met Belle Burch I could not take my eyes off her very long and beautiful neck. The black and white photo is of Belle’s mother.

“I notice several things when I look at this painting. First, Rossetti clearly has a tendency to elongate the female neck and this painting is no exception. He lengthens and twists her neck and (perhaps it’s all the green) but when I see Proserpine, the word “serpentine” is always conjured into my mind. Secondly, Rossetti has a talent for hands. He depicts them gracefully, always with long, elegant fingers. Her lips are painted the same exact shade as the pomegranate, the same lips that supposedly sealed her matrimony to Morris with a kiss and prevented her being with Rossetti.”

At the Wandering Goat Belle would not allow me to take a photo of her beautiful long fingers, even though she has agreed to model for me. Indeed, she would not let me take a pic of her. I insisted, and took a video. When I replayed the Kesey Square video, I gasped when I saw the mole of Belle’s neck. I called up Marilyn, my first girlfriend and asked her what side of he long neck her mole was on. There was silence.

“I had it removed twenty years ago because if was cancerous. I am amazed you remember it.”

I then told Marilyn how much Belle reminded me of her. Indeed, that is why I caught her with my camera. When she approached me and stuck her tongue out at me, I was back at University High School. M had spotted me from a distance, this beautiful young man who was doing a clay bust of Cindy Schuemacher, and beautiful young ballerina that M admired since the second grade. M had taken ballet lessons. Belle was wearing black leotards.  At a school indoctrination in the auditorium, Marilyn came and sat next to me, I roosting up in the back balcony, being very aloof in my artist way.

“Life-saver?” Marilyn asked as her extended hand entered my sacred space, I incredulous that she did not get my message, my body language clearly denoting my sacred creative aura.

I could correctly accuse the Love of my Life of stalking me. I first lay eyes on her when my friend pointed the two girls that were following us after school. M had on a turquoise dress and was wearing black leotards. This beautiful young women had already modeled, and would be a study for the famous fashion photographer, Steven Silverstein, who took the photo of Marilyn sitting on a rock by the sea. M and B look like sisters. Marilyn is sitting next to my late and famous sister, Rosamond, at me wedding reception. I married the ex-wife of the elusive Thomas Pynchon who is stalked by many writers who desire to close to this recluse, get within his creative aura.

Belle’s father conducted a Maze Walk. His wife conducted the Gamelan orchestra and co-authored plays about ancient goddesses of the underground. A month ago I discovered Belle had become friends with Marilyn’s daughter after she saw my post on this blog. Nesha played in the Gamelan group and was asked to rekindle this ancient music.

The pouty redhead above is a rendering of Helen of Troy by an artist that Rossetti accuses of ripping off his painting of Fair Rosamund. Pharamond descends from the Trojans, and married Rosamond. This couple is linked to the Kurds and the Babas. Beautiful young Kurdish women have become my friends on Facebook after I shared Avatar Meher Baba with them. They are seeking a alternative religion to Islam. Pope Francis was in Turkey yesterday, where Troy was unearthed. An ugly claim that I am stalking Belle, came to light four days ago. Let me put this evil accusation to rest.

At our meeting at the Wandering Goat I asked Belle if she would co-author my biography ‘Capturing Beauty’. She said she would edit it for a fee. A few days later she asks me to GIVE her very intimate information. We agreed there would be no sex in our relationship. I told her I was impotent due to prostate cancer. Belle now wants more details about that. I wondered why, because she has the url of this blog and has been looking at it. She responds to COPYRIGHTED posts I sent her, she claims she has not read. If I would have told her all about my most personal life, then she would have the right to publish OUR communication, and get around my copyright. Why didn’t she jump on the offer of being my co-author?

“I’d like to hear more of your personal life story. “When I got sober”, “When I was homeless”, “When I was fighting cancer”……. these are words you drop and then let flit by without much detail or explanation or storytelling. I want those details and stories. Please.”

“Haven’t read any of your emails yet, will get to that soon.”

When I read she had been arrested for trespassing four days before we met, I now grew leery of why she did not tell me about this extremely important event that would reveal why Belle wanted to be a “radical artist”

I have forgiven all the people who are now doing a Labyrinth Walk, for, this story is greater than all the characters involved. Beauty has captured us all. Helen of Troy was the Queen of Sparta. The beautiful fighting women of the YPK, and the PKK, have been compared to the 300 Spartans. This is it, folks, the real thing, because, life imitates art. Belle beguiled me, her teacher, her, magician, because she wanted my power. With the help of Dog Woman, and her Bug-eyed Troll, I was frozen in amber. Now, I am free!

Come to Troy Town!

Jon Presco

Copyright 2014

Cited and Released were:

1. Bollman, Aurthur Frank 12/31/63 Eugene Trespass II
2. Burch, Belle Erin 11/21/90 No Address Trespass II
3. Shepard, Helen Marie 07/12/85 Eugene Trespass II
4. Monroe, John Lee 11/06/85 Eugene Trespass II
5. Smith, Charles Anderson 11/08/50 Springfield Trespass II
6. Williams, Terra Renee 02/24/88 Eugene Trespass II
7. Marcroft, Sabra Marie 05/15/66 Eugene Trespass II
8. Stacey, Jean Anderson 08/23/45 No Address Trespass II
9. Valkrie, Alley NMI 12/20/81 Eugene Trespass II
10. Wales, Geran Straford 09/15/90 Eugene Trespass II
11. Holtham-Keathley, Ambrose Stormrider 02/06/92 Eugene Trespass II
12. Grotticelli, Peter David 07/16/88 Eugene Trespass II


Rossetti’s poem Troy Town.

Heavenborn Helen, Sparta’s queen,
(O Troy Town!)
Had two breasts of heavenly sheen,
The sun and moon of the heart’s desire:
All Love’s lordship lay between.
(O Troy’s down,
Tall Troy’s on fire!)

Helen knelt at Venus’ shrine,
(O Troy Town!)
Saying, ‘A little gift is mine,
A little gift for a heart’s desire.
Hear me speak and make me a sign!
(O Troy’s down,
Tall Troy’s on fire!)

‘Look, I bring thee a carven cup;
(O Troy Town!)
See it here as I hold it up, —
Shaped it is to the heart’s desire,
Fit to fill when the gods would sup.
(O Troy’s down,
Tall Troy’s on fire!)

‘It was moulded like my breast;
(O Troy Town!)
He that sees it may not rest,
Rest at all for his heart’s desire.
O give ear to my heart’s behest!
(O Troy’s down,
Tall Troy’s on fire!)

‘See my breast, how like it is;
(O Troy Town!)
See it bare for the air to kiss!
Is the cup to thy heart’s desire?
O for the breast, O make it his!
(O Troy’s down,
Tall Troy’s on fire!)

‘Yea, for my bosom here I sue;
(O Troy Town!)
Thou must give it where ’tis due,
Give it there to the heart’s desire.
Whom do I give my bosom to?
(O Troy’s down,
Tall Troy’s on fire!)

‘Each twin breast is an apple sweet.
(O Troy Town!)
Once an apple stirred the beat
Of thy heart with the heart’s desire: —
Say, who brought it then to thy feet?
(O Troy’s down,
Tall Troy’s on fire!)

‘They that claimed it then were three:
(O Troy Town!)
For thy sake two hearts did he
Make forlorn of the heart’s desire.
Do for him as he did for thee!
(O Troy’s down,
Tall Troy’s on fire!)

‘Mine are apples grown to the south,
(O Troy Town!)
Grown to taste in the days of drouth,
Taste and waste to the heart’s desire:
Mine are apples meet for his mouth.Õ
(O Troy’s down,
Tall Troy’s on fire!)

Venus looked on Helen’s gift,
(O Troy Town!)
Looked and smiled with subtle drift,
Saw the work of her heart’s desire: —
‘There thou kneel’st for Love to lift!Õ
(O Troy’s down,
Tall Troy’s on fire!)

Venus looked in Helen’s face,
(O Troy Town!)
Knew far off an hour and place,
And fire lit from the heart’s desire;
Laughed and said, ‘Thy gift hath grace!Õ
(O Troy’s down,
Tall Troy’s on fire!)

Cupid looked on Helen’s breast,
(O Troy Town!)
Saw the heart within its nest,
Saw the flame of the heart’s desire, —
Marked his arrow’s burning crest.
(O Troy’s down,
Tall Troy’s on fire!)

Cupid took another dart,
(O Troy Town!)
Fledged it for another heart,
Winged the shaft with the heart’s desire,
Drew the string and said, ‘Depart!Õ
(O Troy’s down,
Tall Troy’s on fire!)

Paris turned upon his bed,
(O Troy Town!)
Turned upon his bed and said,
Dead at heart with the heart’s desire, —
‘Oh to clasp her golden head!Õ
(O Troy’s down,
Tall Troy’s on fire!)

The French Vulgate texts establish the idea that Viviane is Merlin’s student as well as the woman that he is in love with. We also learn that Merlin is the son of the devil. Viviane and Merlin are in love, and Viviane wishes to preserve the state of happiness that they are in. There is no deception or malice involved in Viviane’s entrapment of Merlin in the beautiful tower. But in the Post-Vulgate version of the story she is not in love with Merlin and traps him in a much crueler way. The reader of this story is left with the sense that a woman’s charm can render even the wisest man helpless. This sense of helplessness reflects the prejudice that is present in the early Arthurian texts that women are important instruments in the downfall of even the greatest men and kingdoms.,4444754

Eugene lost one of its most creative artists last week. Cancer stole Catherine Vandertuin from us when she was far too young. In her too-short time here, Vandertuin, the founder and artistic director of Eugene Chamber Theatre, applied enormous energy, creativity and collaboration to the innovative theater/music productions of Dust and Dreams, Antigone, The Descent of Innana and Ice Cure, the last adapted from an original manuscript. She also collaborated in various puppet and mask theater productions. Her vision was to create multi-disciplinary works that explored themes of balance and wholeness. Catherine brought Javanese gamelan music to Eugene in 1992 with the founding of Gamelan Nuju Laras, well known for accompanying labyrinth walks created by her partner, Jeff Burch. Although her theater work and family obligations eventually forced her to give up the gamelan, Catherine’s contribution continues in Nuju Laras’s successor, Gamelan Sari Pandhawa, and the 90-piece Javanese gamelan Gamelan Kyai Tunjung Mulya, whose construction she commissioned and supervised. Gamelan Kyai Tunjung Mulya was ultimately donated to the UO where it is used to teach UO students and other community members. Through her teaching at LCC, collaborations with other community artists, and irrepressibly creative spirit, Catherine made Eugene a much more artistically vital place, and her legacy will live on in the audiences she touched and the artists she taught and inspired.

The Sacred Labyrinth Walk, Illuminating the Inner Path, is the ancient practice of “Circling to the Center” by walking the labyrinth. The rediscovery of this self alignment tool to put our lives in perspective is one of the most important spiritual movements of our day. Labyrinths have been in use for over 4000 years. Their basic design is fundamental to nature and many cultures and religious traditions. Whatever one’s religion…walking the labyrinth clears the mind and gives insight. It calms people in the throes of life’s transitions.

Georgiana Lotfy, Licensed Marriage, Family Therapist, Doctor of Ministry, has facilitated labyrinth and meditation presentations for several years. She can be reached at

We extend an invitation to people from all faiths, especially those who are in transition and/or are struggling to find a means of prayer or meditation.

Join us as you learn about this ancient meditation tool of prayer, as we become “spiritual beings on a human path, not simply human beings on a spiritual path.”

Saint Gregory’s writes about a group of Trojans that escaped to the Maeotian marshes, then into Pannonia, becoming the Sicambri (a subdivision of the Franks), who inhabited the region along with the Alans. The Alan presence in Pannonia is historical around 370, as part of their migrations to Gaul, and later to Hispania, where they ruled until the arrival of the Visigoths. He says that later, the Franks migrated to Germania led by Marcomer, and established themselves along the Rhine. After Marcomer’s death, Pharemundus, or Faramundus succeeded him as chieftain.

[edit] Act 2A surprising meeting occurs – for Gernando, once the relentless enemy of the Cimbrians, suggests an alliance to King Gustavo, based on a mutual desire to bring down Faramondo. Gernando secures Gustavo’s agreement that if he can bring Gustavo the head of Faramondo, Gustavo will give him his daughter Rosimonda in marriage.

Rosimonda, though still in love with Faramondo, hides her feelings and tries to make Faramondo leave without her, and this so depresses Faramondo that he does not even bother to resist when Gustavo’s soldiers take him. Rosimonda’s intervention prevents his death, but sees him imprisoned; at least Adolfo is freed upon Rosimonda’s and Clotilde’s repeated pleading.

Rosimonda is now so beset with worry for Faramondo’s safety that she can no longer hide her love, and plans to free Faramondo herself and flee with him.

The suddenness of so great a victory had prevented Gondioche from participating in its results: he had but just the time to receive the conqueror at the gates of the city. Until that moment the praises and flatteries of the people he had just delivered had been the only things that occupied his mind; but, on reaching the palace of Gondioche^ he saw the lovely Rosamond, and became enamoured of her. This was the invariable effect produced by a beauty whoso

memory is still preserved by posterity. You will see presently how far in other respects that memory is worthy of such immortality. Pharamond addressed her, flushed with the recent glory acquired by the defeat and shame of the Romans. What a spectacle for a mind prejudiced with a mortal hatred against them! *’ Rosamond was not insensible to its effects: he appeared in her eyes a hero, a deity, or at least the most enchanting of mortal men.

He was small, but stout, high-shouldered, and of short stature, with long arms; his countenance was no better than his figure, with the exception of a mixture of the ferocious and the dignified in its expression difficult to define. As to his attire, he wore a turban decked with three cock’s feathers; a cloak of green cloth, descending only to the waist, covered by a leather jerkin of the same length; to this cloak Tvas attached a hood of violet velvet hanging between; and he also had small chamois leather boots, which onlv came half way up his leg.

*’ Ah! ” said I to myself, “little Mellaubaudis was very elegantly attired, and had a most engaging aspect to excite love; and Fair Rosamond could not ha^e been ” ” ** Fair Rosamond,” continued the nymph, (as if I myself had spoken,) “was charmed with him, in spite of the ridiculous impression you may receive from the real portrait I have just drawn; and the mind of Pharamond, very susceptible, despite his ferocity, could not see such a perfection of charms without becoming deeply enamoured. Gondioche expected as much, but had not anticipated that the person of Pharamond would have a fiimilar effect on her; and his breast heaved with grief and jealousy, whilst a desire of vengeance rekindled all the detestation and animosity which Rosamond experienced against the Romans. She gave full scope to these sentiments, and said, (whilst she gave to her eyes their utmost expression, und turned them full upon Pharamond,) ”

In Greek mythology, Menelaus (/ˌmɛnɪˈləs/; Greek: Μενέλαος, Menelaos) was a king of Mycenaean (pre-Dorian) Sparta, the husband of Helen of Troy, and a central figure in the Trojan War. He was the son of Atreus and Aerope, brother of Agamemnon, king of Mycenae and, according to the Iliad, leader of the Spartan contingent of the Greek army during the War. Prominent in both the Iliad and Odyssey, Menelaus was also popular in Greek vase painting and Greek tragedy; the latter more as a hero of the Trojan War than as a member of the doomed House of Atreus.

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.

Oil on panel, dated 1863, 32.8 x 27.7cm, Hamburger Kunsthalle

The subject of Helen of Troy brings together important ideas from this period of Rossetti’s work. She was the most beautiful woman in the world, the adulterous lover of the Trojan prince Paris and a crucial figure in the Western poetic tradition. She points to a firebrand, symbol of her lover, while Troy burns behind her.

A Greek inscription on the reverse of the painting, from the ‘Agamemnon’ of Aeschylus, describes Helen as ‘destroyer of ships, destroyer of men, destroyer of cities’. Each of the three Greek words begins with the syllable ‘hel’, repeating the first syllable of Helen’s name.

The model was Annie Miller.

Rossetti’s 1863 work Helen of Troy can be read similarly to Beata Beatrix, though the artist does not make his intentions explicit in this slightly earlier work. The picture, which is a companion to the artist’s poem, “Troy Town,” depicts a stunning woman shown in three-quarter length. Her sumptuous robes and long flowing hair are painted in rich and fiery tones; they seem almost to glow. A typical Rossettian type, Helen has pale skin, full red lips, and big, expressive eyes. These eyes are perhaps the most important element of the woman’s face, at least in the context of this essay. They gaze into the distance but seem almost blind, signifying that the woman’s focus is directed inward. Thus, Helen of Troy can be read as a portrait of self-contemplation and an exploration of interiority.

One certainly senses in these careful, lovingly painted portraits and genre scenes that the artist took great pleasure in looking at pretty girls. However, a subset of Rossetti’s painted beauties represents a slightly more complicated project. These works illustrate an effort at depicting the invisible and elusive world of the soul. In particular, I will argue that three Rossetti paintings contain pictures of dreams or visions. In these works, Rossetti experiments with ways of expressing these invisible or imaginary mental projections as part of a realistic Pre-Raphaelite scene

Four years after Rossetti painted his Helen, Frederick Sandys painted this depiction of Helen of Troy. Tensions rose between Rossetti and Sandys – Rossetti believed that Sandys’ version was too similar to his own. Elizabeth Prettejon discussed this in her book Rossetti and His Circlesaying, “The rippling hair and full lips functioned as talismans in much the same way as the hair ornaments or pieces of china. They were symbols, in a general sense, of the group’s shared artistic project; more specifically they were symbols of the group’s compelling shared image of woman. The Rossettian image of woman has been criticised for its repetitiveness; but repetition was precisely its hallmark.”

In this painting Rossetti casts Jane Morris (his lover and wife to his friend William Morris) as the goddess Proserpine. So we can safely assume that Morris is placed in the role of Hades, king of the underworld. Kidnapper of Proserpine. And the obstacle that stands between Jane and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Like Proserpine, Jane divides her time between the two of them.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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