“He wants to give lessons in fashion and bearing to Sappho, the arbiter of lesbian elegance! I do and say whatever I like: With me, my dear, one never points such things out. He is intimidated; he is afraid; he leaves the country.”
- Claude Cahun, excerpt from “Sappho the Misunderstood,” from Heroines.
eek … I should look at a pop star rather than
this real person who thinks I suck
on the internet. well i washed my clothes & hair
eucalpytus tea tree nettle manuka honey
“you dont get an okay world by doing okay
things until things are okay” sed the white
bunny busy boy tweeter busy boosting his team
no malcolm you get an okay world by constructing
social hierarchies, i should
get on that
you make me want to be lazy
coddled swaddled by karaoke bubble tea hotpot
i wrote of the revolution too much it stopped seeming real
in my book racist means something specifically anybody i dont like and yes im objective
but im behind and i want to break my heart
by reaching behind my ribs & kneading it until it comes out
blue tack it on a wall and throw pies at it
until it’s ashamed maybe sluggishly goops down
once it’s thoroughly broken i can fashion it into a
figurine, sell it on etsy,
replace the hole in my chest with The New Left Review
maybe then i’ll be
a bunny boy too***Debbie’s recommendation:i like this chapbook. sometimes it is funny or interesting but that’s not why. it is gloomy & depressive but Feng’s feelings feel less like feelings and more like architecture or weather in her poetry or like an ambient swamp landscape. ugly fish doesnt want to be equal & is against productivity & doesnt want the golden rod of self-esteem, & it helps me to encounter ugly fish.Follow Debbie on Twitter @debbiehu
DEAR SKUNK DOILY: WHEN AM I DONE?
When you get to the bottom of the paper, stop.
AUDRA HAS A POETICS BLOG.
temetzger asked: Thanks for posting Diane di Prima's excerpt from Loba. I downloaded it from your page and used it in my research paper presentation. Where did you find it? The clip on your page is the only one I've been able to access online. Thanks again!
I initially found it on ubuweb.com but for some reason it no longer appears on their site. I tried putting the site through archive.org’s Wayback machine but unfortunately, I think there’s something about the way ubuweb is coded that makes it resistant to the Wayback Machine’s archival process. Perhaps you could contact them directly? Good luck with your presentation, in any case!
how do you write through a panic attack
how do you write when you are having a panic attack
your cat just picked up a shoelace
and she is hopping everywhere with it just like a little kitten
you write best when there is no direction
you write best when there is direction
you don’t write when you are panicked
you write when you are panicked
you have a portfolio to turn in tomorrow
maybe it will be finished
or maybe it won’t. maybe you’ll drop out
fully. maybe you won’t even finish this degree
lalalalallalalala, i am trying to calm myself down enough to finish
this portfolio of short stories i have to turn in but that i can’t finish because every thing i write down is accompanied by “this is not good enough
and you don’t have the time for anything less than good enough”
how am i supposed to write in a brain like this
i wanted to get out of my brain so i put on
toni basil’s MICKEY
in kindergarten, i had this butch gym teacher
and every week we would stand in a circle in the gym
and she would put on MICKEY
and we would all do jumping jacks.
i don’t remember her name but i remember
this song and her grey hair and the jumping jacks.
so i put it on and did jumping jacks for the duration of the song
i am so out of shape, i am so ashamed of being out of shape
my brain out of shape but i don’t know
i got weirdly emotional doing jumping jacks and
thinking about this dykey gym teacher
and what i was when i was 5. little girl arms going up
for a one hit wonder, OH MICKEY WHAT
A PITY, CAN’T YOU UNDERSTAND,
oh what you do mickey, do mickey
don’t break my heart, mickey
jkatheryn asked: Hi there! I was wondering what department you're in? What are you studying?
I’m a second year masters student at Paris 8 in comp lit. My thesis is basically about how Alice Notley and Monique Wittig perform feministy experiments on the epic genre. I feel sort of embarrassed typing that out for some reason. Anyway, I’m into the books I’m reading but I hate having to respond to them in this clear academic way. I guess that’s why I try to blog a little about the research because it gives me a healthier/messier outlet to think through some things.
I had a moment last night where I was like, why am I doing academia when it drains me and stunts my thought processes? Why am I doing this when, ultimately, I know that I want to write outside of its tired theoretical parameters? And the answer was, oh, duh, because academia operates on a very warped economy of validation that I clearly haven’t weened myself off of. Do this and we’ll love you. We love you. You’re not doing this enough. Etc. etc. I told my roommate about how tired and detached I feel and she said “dude, it’s because your body is saying no.” And we started talking about the signs your body gives you and how to make the connections between emotional and physical responses. And ahhh, it’s true that my body is very clearly saying “get the fuck out.”
When I went back to bed, I felt something burst and I started writing in that intense, spontaneous way I did 2 years ago when I was completely unaffiliated with any university. So, ahhh, I guess now I am gonna send an email to my director and figure things out? And ahh, I think I’m going to turn down some things and ahhhhh, I think I am actually really, really ok with this?
Alice Notley in an email interview with Claudia Keelan. Excerpted in Keelan’s essay “Reclaiming Paradise” for Interim vol. 23
“I am not Alette or Désamère: they are the ones who become…”
So Alice Notley creates an epic heroine, Alette, who is capable of “becoming” / “transforming” in ways that are only possible for fictional characters (at least, this is what I’m getting out of Notley’s assertions in both her own essays on poetry & via multiple interviews I’ve read with her). SO THEN, what happens when I put Alette next to Wittig, the militant lesbian feminist character that Monique Wittig creates in Virgile, Non? What does it mean when you make yourself into a character, much less an “epic” character? Ahhhhh so many things to work out.
-from Susan McCabe’s essay “Alice Notley’s Experimental Epic: ‘An Ecstacy of Finding Another Way of Being.”” Published in Interim Vol. 23
I want to highlight this: “This experimental poem attests to the possibility of creating anew even as Notley finds herself implicated in the very forms she wants to overcome.” McCabe explains so succinctly what I’ve been painstakingly teasing out in my thesis (which is partly about The Descent of Alette). I’m trying to figure out what makes Notley’s approach to the epic (and to writing in general) different from Monique Wittig’s (whose novel Virgile, Non is the other text I’m writing on).
Wittig’s big thing is writing-as-a-Trojan Horse/writing-as-a-war-machine. She writes: “Any work with a new form operates as a war machine, because its design and its goal is to pulverize the old forms and formal conventions. It is always produced in hostile territory.” (taken from her essay “The Trojan Horse”). I haven’t figured out how to formulate it, but the war machine metaphor sits really, really wrong with me, for some probably obvious reasons (like, what does it mean for any white person working in French and English to conceive of writing in terms of war—there’s a remarkable silence on this in much of the scholarship on Wittig) and for other reasons that I can’t quite place that have more to do with arguments elaborated in the rest of the essay.
I’ve been feeling more and more drawn to Notley’s approach, in part because I kinda like that she puts the theory of literary subversion in question. What I love so much about The Descent of Alette is that Notley uses the epic to mull over “the possibility of creating anew” (McCabe) without giving us any easy answers.
Anyway, this has been some late night thesis-blogging.