“It’s yeah, it’s an understatement, you know it’s. I’m sorry man I got magic and I got poetry at my fingertips most of the time and this includes naps." -Charlie Sheen
Specifically these lines from the Myles essay:
"But here’s the actual problem. If the poetry world celebrated its female stars at the true level of their productivity and influence poetry would wind up being a largely female world and the men would leave. Poetry would not seem to be the job for them. I think that’s the fear. Losing daddy again! Plus women always need to support, I mean actively support male work in order to dispense with the revolting suggestion that they are feminists."
I have realized for some time that many of the books I buy are written by men or boys. Why is that? I suppose didn’t want to seem like I’m a pussy myself. I suppose I wanted to be taken seriously as a poet – not a female poet. This is an ugly realization that I am proud to express. It should not be “revolting” to be a feminist.
I was also thinking a lot about this poem/blog post that Ariana Reines wrote on her blog after AWP – I can’t find it now so I can’t link to it. [Found it: click here.] Ariana is a totally fearless writer who I’m sure many of you love already. She was hungover on a bus (or at least that was the voice she was using in the poem/blog), and she discussed all kinds of amazing things, but one of them was how males have very little problem talking themselves up, especially at a place like a writer’s conference. “Here’s what I’ve done. Here’s where I published. Here. Look. Look at me! Acknowledge I exist.”
At AWP, I was pretty much too shy to talk to anyone I didn’t know already, which is a huge shame because I’m a raconteur. What Ariana and Eileen have to say really touch me.
That giant spider is the female. That little spider is the male. Now I don’t think we will or can stop supporting all the male poets we love. But perhaps we can support each other—more. It’s not ugly to be a female poet.
Is the following ugly?: Three weeks ago I was PMSing REALLY BADLY and I lay in bed watching “The Kids Are All Right” on my laptop SOBBING. Total chick movie. Total Hollywood. My uterine lining was dying to shed. (Is that gross or is it just the truth?) Somewhere, some executive knew that that movie would appeal to intelligent women. Why should I be ashamed of my experience? Why should I keep that a secret? It’s the truth. It’s my wound. Hey look at it. I exist. Look at this! It’s not standing in the corner at a reading with three guys wearing outfits that are all the same talking about how cool we are.
The truth is, when I woke up this morning, I wanted to write a blog post for Best American Poetry about CHARLIE SHEEN AND JAMES FRANCO. Then I was tooling around the internet trying to gear up and have something hilarious to say, and all the sudden I’m reading Akilah Oliver poems and feeling differently. Here’s a woman who I didn’t know, but had heard of. And now she has died. She is no longer a member of the We Who Are Here Now. I don’t know the circumstances of her death. But look a woman of color who was also an exciting experimental poet has passed on. Take a moment.
What right do I have to the patriarchy and to the matriarchy to blog about two already-famous men? I mean I’m still going to blog about them, but why do I have to do it first? Why not think about women poets?