you must first lose your
shit in an elevator
in front of a man you do not know.
Though the questions are very different, I experienced something similar growing up in West Texas as a Bangladeshi American. There was an empathy about having people try to categorize you when you cannot be so easily categorized. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to understand what it means when there is no vocabulary, or language, or even space given for you, as a being, outside of certain prescribed categories. In a lot of ways, these women seemed to me to be outside the usual categories. Their stories cannot be seen as either personal or political. They have to be seen as both simultaneously.
The term “regionalism” doesn’t have quite the lustre for poets that it does for fiction writers, yet poets undeniably reflect their roots in the work. In an essay, Sandra Beasley makes the case for embracing regionalism in the poetry world, citing Claudia Emerson as a model for profitably committing yourself to one place.
History is a papertrail that leads to a hole.
My personal history is always such that and that which, a dreadful taxonomy of raining men.
Hallelujah I’ve dug up this adorable patriarchy and it wants to live!
Nothing was wrong with Cummings—or Duchamp or Stravinsky or Joyce, for that matter. All were trying to slow down the seemingly inexorable rush of the world, to force people to notice their own lives. In the 21st century, that rush has now reached Force Five; we are all inundated with information and given no time to wonder what it means or where it came from. Access without understanding and facts without context have become our daily diet.
The same moment a girl I thought I loved forwarded me
a Powerpoint presentation entitled “Former Portland Trail Blazers
And Their Nicknames in High School.” Hmmm, okay.
Darius Miles: Free Hat. Zach Randolph: The Sixth Sense.
Clyde Drexler: Clyde The Wyde. It turns out he had a weight issue.
It turns out Skip To My Lou was really his porn name. And I saw
there everything he’d ever made. And of course, Kobe Bryant
hates women. It says so on a billboard in Biloxi as my dad drives
me to Mexico to live with my new family. I’ve been traded, he says.
I said I know what boys like a prayer
a virgin girls just wanna boys
don’t cry don’t don’t you
want me don’t fall on me O
what a feelin’ more than keep
feeling fascination hush hush
voices carry too shy too shy close
to me & you don’t you
forget about hold me now don’t try
to live your life in one day it’s my
life nobody walks in LA woman
every breath you take you take
my breath away there’s always
something in the water
Here, the apple don’t fall
From the tree. Here, whatever you
Find lying on the ground is yours.
A scratch-off waiting to strike.
Was Emily Dickinson a radical poet of the avant-garde, challenging the regularized notions of predominantly male poets and editors regarding stanza shape, typographical publication and distribution, spelling and punctuation, visual and verbal presentation, erotic love, and so on? Or was she a poet of restraint, who restricted herself to a few traditional patterns of meter and stanza, referred to the wayward Whitman as “disgraceful,” and wore her prim white dress as a sign of those renunciations best expressed in that wildest word “No”?