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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rants & Raves

A new collection of Wendell Berry's essays, Bringing it to the Table, arrived in the mail yesterday, along with a prose collection (Real Sofisticashun) by Tony Hoagland, and a lovely hard copy of Stealing Buddha's Dinner, this one from a second-hand seller for way, way cheap.

Tom Hunley has a lovely poem in the current issue of the North American Review called "Moonhandled." Adrian C. Louis and Julie Moulds also have poems, and Dan Pinkerton has a story.

Book Slut pissed me off this past week with her negative comments about Women Poets. In her assessment of us, she neglects to consider Cate Marvin, Sandra Simonds, Mattea Harvey, Kary Wayson, B.T. Shaw, Kim Addonizio, Denise Duhamel, Dorianne Laux, and a score of others who askew the "quiet, easy epiphany." These are tough-ass gals who are not always nice, who do not care who they piss off, who do not have moons and foxes and wind in every one of their poems. But by the way, what is so bad about being nice? Is the goal to be not-nice, or is that a male-centric ideal? My suggestion to Book Slut: cast a wider net into the world of women's poetry before shooting off your mouth about how we all suck.

What's wrong with a grocery bag tax? Don't forget to vote today (um, and vote YES).

P.S. Still thinking poetry-n-me do not go together, but warming to the idea of writing a very not nice poem using every one of the nouns slutty-slut says we womens should not use in our work: fruit, foxes, moonlight, wind, autumn, waves, birds, gardens, etc. Especially a lot of etc.s

Are you, too, up for the challenge?


jeannine said...

That wasn't Jessa Crispin - who is the starter of Book Slut - but one of their poetry reviewers who wrote that article. Just to defend Jessa. I agree with you about the article - it just came off as written by someone who hadn't read very many female poets.

Martha Silano said...

Thanks for the clarification, Jeannine. I have always regarded Jessa/Book Slut very highly, so it's no surprise this All Contemporary Women Poets Suck piece does not have her fingerprints on it.

Speaking of which, add YOU to that list of strong-voiced poets who are not off wilting in some corner, penning yet another poem about moonlight.

Joannie said...

I'm tempted to say that I'm probably in the "quiet, easy epiphany" camp--but hey, quiet does not have to be easy.

I might join you in writing a poem with all the girl nouns, and a mess of verbs.

Thanks, always, for your posts.

Martha Silano said...

I'm torn between screaming "we don't all write this way!" and "so what if we all write this way!"

seana said...

"Look at those birds there,"
The old fruit says, pained.
"Think they're such foxes."
He waves at them and they wave back,
mutually insincere.
I watch them, standing there as they wait, thinking only of the next trick,
But still I love the moonlight on their hair.
"Where's Autumn?" I ask.
"Autumn? Oh, Autumn's dead," he says. "I'm surprised you didn't hear."
I look out at the corner again, see foxes in moonlight. But we aren't in the Garden now.
We probably never were.

Martha Silano said...

Love your poem, Seana, especially that killer last line.

seana said...

Thank you, Martha. Obviously it's very rough, but I realized that if I didn't make it more or less spontaneous, I would take it too seriously to post it at all.

Martha Silano said...

I've been having fleeting thoughts all day about an invective in the tune of moon and fox.

seana said...

Nice. Let's hear it if it comes out in any sort of articulable form.

jeannine said...

Thanks Martha! Yes, but I do have foxes running through my poems...

Martha Silano said...

J9: but are your foxes running toward "easy epiphanies"? And are you always nice? I think not . . .

Seana: I hope I can pull it off, but this is going to take some time. Your poem is what inspired me -- so good.

seana said...

That would be great, and I'm not meaning to pressure you to post it until you're ready, or even at all if you want to do something else with it. I'd be glad if my poem inspired something more mulled over in you. I think mine started out as sort of a satiric response to the critique and then turned into something else. It was fun to write, though.