Thursday, June 12, 2008

Group formation in action. Responses from Cynthia Sailers, Stephanie Young and Chris Chen, the organizers of the SPT Aggression Conference, to the conference. Incredibly interesting. More on this.

And more on women of the 70s.

I think Marc Lecard gave me this copy of Susan Howe’s Hinge Picture (from Maureen Owen’s Telephone Books) because of its obvious and important connection with my work – which by then had fortunately changed a lot from the example below. This is around 1979, maybe 80. At the time, I resisted it mightily, as children will, because of its obvious connection with my work. The lovely cover is by Susan.

I am am I

Set fire to the house
Overturn the table
I am crouched on the axis
of sunset
seated at the edge
of my chair
are wombs another extreme
of lair
have I been cooked into the fabric
of my father

Making the Park is an early Kelsey Street Press book (1976). I helped to typeset it in Patricia Dienstfry’s basement on Kelsey Street, feeling exactly like Anais Nin, whose diaries about setting type and living the literary life, we had all already read by that time. This poem is by Karen Brodine, one of the six of us (Rena Rosenwasser, Kit Duane, Marina La Palma, Karen, Patricia and I) who started the press. Karen sadly died of breast cancer in 1987.


This coat full of holes you give me
I know already how to wear hand-me-downs.
You turn so I can’t see your eyes
how they flatten into dimes
and swallow reflections.
Pouring money from a jar, you say,
take a bus.

I don’t want coins. You try
to fail.
I hate these generous handfuls of small
change, the pennies
that slip through my clenched hands
and are never

Now you tell me to go about the business
of my position and the hard cloth
of your coat is an curt as your chin.

Loree Anderson and I formed Sternum Press in 1976 and published Escape From Veils. The linoleum print on the cover is by Robert Weinsko. This is the first part of a longish poem of mine called “Loon Woman.” It is shamelessly 70s.

Loon Woman

The Christians left you Pioneer
to your maps and cannibal dreams
Wildcat left you
but Coyote turned into a woman
and smiled, offered
to roast your painful head in the stones
But once inside
you could not fight your way out
and were cooked and
thrown into the river where shamans come to bathe
Part of the dream of Loon Woman
who never slept
whose dreams fell to her from the sky
into the fire and escaped
grew old but did not die.

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Blogger Joseph said...

Seventies Without Shame! I dig this poem. Joe D

3:50 PM  

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