Tag Archives: mata hari

Your pretty face is going to hell

mata hari, mata hari nude, jessesublett.com, jesse sublett, noir, grave digger blues

Mata Hari, by Boyer, flesh tone tinted, one of my favorites

I still don’t feel like blogging, not text content, anyway. I’d post a political blog here but the right wing political goons have gone so far off the deep end, criticizing or even simply ridiculing Blowhards from the Stone Age is about as challenging as gawking at a horrific car wreck. Or laughing at a dying cockroach. Etc.

So I hope I’m not wasting your time by simply posting some of the favorite images I’ve discovered — or created — lately.

Here’s a few I like a lot from collections of “Victorian Photoshop” images, which one might also refer to as “trick photography.” These pictures really make me smile.

Victorian photoshop, man juggling his own head, ca 1888

Early photoshop experiments, 11 man formation on rooftop ca 1930

Here’s my most recent artwork, “Moon Goddess.” I like her a lot. The print is 16×24, on metallic paper. Soon to be imprisoned in a gilt frame, she will sell (framed & signed & numbered number 1) for about $420.

Jesse Sublett, blues singer, surrealist, crime novelist

And another recent favorite, with a long title: “Her Parents Were Hippies & They Named Her Ampersand & She Loved All Creatures But Slimy & Scaly Ones Not So Much.” She’s about 16 x 20, acrylic on canvas, framed in a nice gilt frame, $400.

Her parents were hippies and so they named her ampersand but anyway she loves all animals but slimy scaly ones not so much SM

Then there’s “Katrina Has Seen It All,” about 16 x 20, acrylic on Bristol Board, about $250 unframed. This angle makes her butt look bigger than it is, and she’d kill me if she knew I told you this.

Jesse Sublett, blues singer, crime novelist, surrealist

Finally, a big-big-big THANK YOU to all of you who came out to my LAST murder ballad show at The Buzz Mill on Monday night. I really appreciate it a lot. I hope you all enjoyed our Grave Digger Radio Theater performance of Chapter 3 of Grave Digger Blues, “You Can Run But You’ll Just Die Tired,” and special thank you to the terrific actor /readers who made it come to life, the ever lovely and talented Mona Pitts, the unbeatable David C. Fox, and the indestructible Jon Dee Graham. And if you were there, you’ll know what I mean when I say, “This bear dies hard.” Because he did. What a performance. Thanks everybody, and when we find a new venue (I love the Buzz Mill but I can’t play this show in July and August there because it’s outside) for the summer, I hope you will come back for my solo acoustic blues & murder ballad show, with more excerpts from Grave Digger Blues, done radio theater style.

Read about GRAVE DIGGER BLUES, the novel, here.

PS, David Fox took some cool photos of the gig, and posted them on Flicker.


Grave Digger Blues, Jesse Sublett,


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A collage I made with Mata Hari (left) meeting Margaret Atwood (right)

The digital era has given birth to a brave new world for publishing, but who cares about them, what we really care about here are the authors. Some of us are doing great, and a great many of us are, well, wondering what it might take to sell a few books, maybe even quit that detested day job. This thing, which is given many collective names, including E-books, E-publishing, Kindle, Nook, iBook, and so forth, seems to herald a world of new opportunities for some of us writers who have so far not hit The Big Pay Day.

Let’s not get too cynical just yet. Some e-authors out there have tasted success, but it’s still a tough business to get a break in. Even with the help of Twitter, where e-authors can Tweet “Buy my new Kindle novel on Amazon for free…” every five minutes. Or more. I rarely tweet anything like, for example, “Buy the fabulous Blues Deluxe Edition of GRAVE DIGGER BLUES for iPad on iTunes now, or you’re a hopeless nerd” or “Buy GRAVE DIGGER BLUES on Kindle, with its super-weird novella + more than 100 great, sexy photos & graphics right now or DIE,” more than two, maybe three times a day.

jesse sublett, noir, hardboiled, Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood, who has 367,000 Twitter followers, retweeted me, who has somewhat fewer follower.

Back on December 27, Lois alerted me to this story on NPR that might help me get a leg up on the e-book world market. She heard Margaret Atwood, the Canadian author of best-selling novels The Handmaid’s Tale, The Blind Assassin, and others, being interviewed about her new novel, Postitron, which is being serialized on byliner.com. By logging onto Byliner, which is free, readers can download new short stories and chapters of serial novels to their digital nightstand to read later, and can also read blogs from various big-name authors and other literary news. Margaret has embraced the new model with a bear-hug, it seems. She’s also got a project on Wattpad called Happy Zombie Sunrise Home, written collaboratively with Naomi Alderman.

And during this interview, Margaret said that she even retweets authors who send her the URL of their own novels. I found this hard to believe, but Lois assured me that that’s what Margaret said. I found the interview, listened again, and sure enough, that’s what she said. So I tweeted Margaret Atwood, who happens to have 367,000+ followers (and I have a somewhat smaller number) and she did it. She retweeted my tweet.

jesse sublett, noir, blues, crime fiction

Thank you, Margaret. She is pretty hip, after all. I mean, check out this graphic on her Twitter page.

Margaret Atwood as Madonna, or vice versa? Jesse Sublett

Margaret Atwood channels her inner Madonna, or is it the other way around?

Bearing that in mind, I thought I should up my game and try to return the favor, so I created the graphic collage that appears at the top of this post, showing the great World War I courtesan and suspected spy Mata Hari meeting Margaret Atwood, the best-selling Canadian author who retweeted my tweet about Grave Digger Blues, which, by the way, you can try a free sample and then perhaps buy (complete with 100+ photos & graphics, a blues soundtrack, select audio chapters + some video) for your iPad on the iTunes/iBookstore, or for Kindle and oodles of other devices on Amazon (novella + 100+ photos & graphics), or the $.99 Bare Bones version (text only, no photos or music) at Smashwords.

So I figured it would be the gentlemanly thing to go ahead and show my appreciation by creating this modest and admittedly rather crude (I don’t have Photoshop, just Apple Preview) collage of two real interesting women. I tweeted the image to Margaret a couple of weeks ago, so I should be hearing from her soon, hopefully around the same time I get the new sales reports showing just how much her retweet did for sales of GRAVE DIGGER BLUES…. the hippest hardboiled apocalyptic detective and jazz novella that’s ever challenged you to… dig it.

Have I mentioned that we’ll be plugging this baby with an E-Book Meet Up at SXSW 2013?

enhanced ibook, ipad, novel for iPad, Jesse Sublett, noir, pulp fiction, Kindle, crime fiction for Kindle

GRAVE DIGGER BLUES may in fact be too weird for you. Maybe you’d rather listen to Celine Dion and wear elephant plaid to your high school reunion.

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Video: My “Colorful Women” + “Going Down Slow”

This clip was filmed November 2011 at Pecha Kucha Night in Austin. It served as a preview of my “Colorful Women” art show at Yard Dog plus gave me a chance to play my version of the great Howlin Wolf song “Going Down Slow” (written by Willie Dixon), with some added quote-citations by Dizzy Gillespie, one of my jazz heroes. That’s Herman Dyal, the noted architect, doing the introduction.

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"hard times for the devil" 3.5 x 5.5" art pen + acrylic on Moleskine paper $175

JESSE SUBLETT’S “COLORFUL WOMEN” ART EXHIBIT, HELD OVER UNTIL MARCH 6 (Last night). Show features my “Colorful Women” pieces which debuted at Yard Dog in December. Also some special Valentine-themed pieces, plus psychedelic fish, supernatural birds, and some strange men, such as the Lunar Gigolo, Satanic Rabbit and of course, Moose Malloy. Prices range, for the very small pieces (3.5″ x 5.5″) at $125 up to $500 for the largest (48″ x 24″). By the way, these pieces make great Valentines gifts for the one you adore, or for dear old Mom, or the affection-substitute of your choosing.

“Things she does to make me crazy” 3.5 x 5.5” art pen on paper $300

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This is #7 of a series. There was no six, because there were two #4s. Tonight’s Mata Hari’s are mostly by the photographer Paul Boyer. I may have posted a couple of these before, but I don’t get tired of looking at them so why should you?

Her real name, more or less, was Margaretha Geertruida Zelle MacLeod. Her friends called her Grietje. Odds are about a million to one that you only know her as Mata Hari, and that’s OK.

She was a courtesan and an exotic dancer and a spy. She led an exotic but uniquely tragic life. The Wiki site readordie has a really good page on her Wiki.

And my first art show will open at Yard Dog in Austin FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2010. There will be drinks, murder ballads and naked women. Did I mention art? Art will be there, too. Cheers, Jesse

PS. For information about purchasing the art on this blog, go to the contact link on the main page.

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FYI, the next Austin appearance of Jon Dee Graham & Jesse Sublett’s Murder Ballad Show is Fri. July 23, at Evangeline Cafe.

Also: Noir At the Bar, featuring author/musicians Tony O’Neill (Sick City, Down & Out on Murder Mile) and Jesse Sublett (Rock Critic Murders, Never the Same Again: A Rock N Roll Gothic) in a unique blend of music and noir at the Continental Club Gallery, Tues July 27. Details here.

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a k a Mata Hari.

Posted June 8, 2010.

You may have arrived here via the Your Daily Mata Hari page. If so you know that these posts are devoted to images of the Dutch dancer and courtesan named Margaretha Geertruida “Grietje” Zelle MacLeod, better known by her artistic name, Mata Hari. Born August 7 1876, she grew up in a wealthy home (her father owned a hat store and made smart investments) but due to a series of unfortunate events, her family fell apart. More unfortunate events occurred. With few prospects in sight, she answered an ad for a wife and at 18 she wed Dutch Colonial Army officer Rudolf John MacLeod, a loser, a violent, alcoholic jerk. They lived in Java for a time and had two children. Studying native culture was her way of escaping the horrors of her marriage. She concentrated in exotic dancing in particular and came up with the artistic name Mata Hari, Indonesian for “Eye of the dawn.” Back in the Netherlands in 1902, she was able to divorce MacLeod. One child had died mysteriously in Java, the other died in 1906, possibly from syphilis contracted from MacLeod.

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ART BLOG #10: Rain, coffee, women

Mata Hari The Morning Of Her execution

Mata Hari The Morning Of Her execution

UPDATE 12.4.12: This is a post from 3 years ago, which has proven to be my most-read post since I started blogging, even topping my post-election 2012 post titled: “How to tell if your mother is on crack” [A: She's unhappy and surprised how the election turned out], which got 815 reads almost immediately. This one got posted on one of those vintage erotica tumblr blogs and really keeps readers coming. I realize it’s not because of my popularity, my writing or songwriting! But seriously, I just now noticed that during one of the technical upgrades, those many photos of Mata Hari I used to have on my Mata Hari blogs got lost in the shuffle. I’m putting them back up. Here’s the first batch.

I was supposed to be somewhere else but my mind started to wander so I wandered off to get some coffee. Really good coffee, as it turned out. A double shot espresso with golden brown crema flecked with tiger tail stripes. Very good, very, very good. You could taste the beans from the ancient valleys of Ethiopia, the cradle of coffee. A pocket full of centuries in every sip. So there were these four girls sitting in the booth across from me and I began to draw. Yes, they wore clothes. Drawing clothes is not one of my specialties.

Girl Thinks About it

Girl Thinks About it

Three of the girls were busy talking about something they had found on the internet. They all had their laptops. But girl number four was reading a book, of all things. She was the best looking. I kept trying to draw her. None of these pictures look very much like her.

But in a sense, these are all pictures of her, because I was trying, right? I was looking at her, and drawing her, so she’s in there somewhere. Then the fish intruded. No, it wasn’t raining that hard, but there they were. The first one said: Federico. The second one said: Garcia. The third one said: Lorca. Federico Garcia Lorca.


And then SHE shows up. Of all the espresso bars in all the towns in all the world. Mata. Hari. There she is.
I have a thing for Mata Hari. Great story. Her real name was Margaretha Geertruida “Grietje” Zelle. “Mata Hari” means “eye of the sun,” as in sunrise, or whatever you want it to mean. She was a courtesan, a term that has somewhat fallen out of use. Whatta gal. Last spring I rented the Greta Garbo movie, read a play and a novel and a biography of her. I’d love to write a new play about her myself. Maybe I will. This will have to suffice for now. An exotic dancer, a self-made woman who continually reinvented herself, she made Madonna look like a wannabe, an amateur, a piker. She was executed for being a spy October 15, 1917, which will be 92 years ago this week. Coincidentally. Was she really a spy? She was more victim and scapegoat than spy, but she ferried intrigue like George Jones throws off twang. Mostly she was misunderstood. Myth and rumor swirl around her like almost nobody else. People can’t even agree on what she wore to her execution, even though there are photographs. She probably wouldn’t even be famous if not for the Greta Garbo movie, which is mostly made up and a flimsy shadow of the real story.

Mata Hari's execution, jesse sublett, jessesublett.com, crime fiction, noir, grave digger blues

Execution of Mata Hari October 15, 1917

There are some great pictures of Mata Hari on the Internet. That gal was something else. By the way, she married an abusive jerk in the Dutch army who was posted to the Dutch East Indies, where rumors roiled about her supposed promiscuity and she learned many of her skills in exotica. Just so happens that the Dutch East Indies was one of the very early stops on the migration of the coffee bean from its African birthplace. They got some good coffee there.

Mata Hari The Morning Of Her execution

Mata Hari The Morning Of Her execution


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