Monday, September 28, 2009

Spam of the Week

I'm a secretary of the WASE (the World Association of Science Engineering) Propaganda department.

At least they're honest.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Anxiety of Unbalanced Influence

When I was in grade 12 I had to read T.S. Eliot's, "The Hollow Men," and I loved the poem so much it helped to steered me into English and creative writing at college. I wrote at least one major essay on Eliot, usually on Prufrock, every year of my undergrad, culminating in 45-page university-funded research project that examined depictions of women in, "The Waste Land." Though I still enjoy Eliot's work, I find it more problematic the more I study it, particularly when it comes to his depictions of women. Reading through my pre-undergrad poetry, I discovered how much I leaned on him to develop my own tone and voice. This seems a bit odd to me, considering that most of my poetic endeavors have a strong feminist slant to them. To reconcile my first and perhaps most formative influence with my theoretical and political dedication to feminism, I have recently picked up a draft of a poem begun two years ago, called, "Other Observations." In this poem I am rewriting, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," from the point of view of the female subjects that appear in the poem. In doing so, I hope to somehow explore or recover the voices and experiences of women, so often marginalized by the markedly masculinist and patriarchal side of modernist writing. Here's the first fragment:

Other Observations

A flimsy crutch to hold the light
Day’s back strained against the night
We stroll in sunset’s consumptive rattle.
He scuttles me through muffled streets
Our tedious retreats
Drain hours--the sour aftertaste of milky tea
His company, the dregs of winter between my teeth
Until some baleful fit guides his stupor
To lift a stammering hand to my back
And shuffle closer through the sawdust and ash
To troll me through still more stale roads
And cocoon me in dusk’s colic glow

All too soon his fumbling gaze
Tugs the hemline of my ease

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Magyar Műhely

Most of the “famous” (haha) visual poetry I’ve had presented to me has come primarily from German, South American, or North American writers. The cultural lines drawn in Mary Ellen Solt’s “Concrete Poetry: A Worldview,” (1968) seem to have held for the most part—so I was thrilled to find this website, which features the work of seven Hungarian visual poets. While some of the work is spiffy, and some of it just sort of there, it’s interesting to find at least a small page devoted to the visual poetry of a culture outside the norm. Just because visual poetry is itself a marginalised genre, does not mean that voices are not marginalised within it. This is an issue I first encountered when studying the role of women in visual poetry. Professors and visual poets alike would assert that, “there are no women in visual poetry,” right before listing off the names of ten women visual poets I needed to look up. A google search of the words “women vispo,” will also turn up almost 60,000 hits of varying pertinence and interest. So it seems there are women in visual poetry. I am glad to have found that there are Hungarians in visual poetry, too. There’s even Mária Hegedús, a Hungarian woman visual poet! Hooray!