Tuesday, June 25, 2002

But what was very specially interesting about the reading tonight, besides making me feel all warm and gooey and loved and besides reading outside and having a halo of fireflies the whole time (which I was unaware of and only told about after the fact) was that the poem that was best received was the one I wrote today during lunch. I was struggling with "The Anatomy of Distance" (see below) because I wasn't really pleased with it. It was a nice idea, and had some nice images, but I felt that I kept circling around something that I was trying to say and never quite getting to it. I've been thinking about how my poetry seems to fall into two categories, pretty or ugly. I think the best way to put it is: the raw and the cooked. Okay, I know the title is taken. The cooked: more about language and image and some other post modern gender stuff, usually. The raw: drugs, sex, pain, love. Maybe if I were a really good poet I could actually combine the two. But the stuff people really seem to love is the raw stuff. After a reading, I've heard the response at least 6 times, "you really tell it like it is," or "you say what every one thinks but is afraid to put into words." The poem I wrote today was what came out when I asked myself, what do I really want to say but am afraid to? So what came out was pretty ugly. It exposed a part of me that I'm not proud of. It basically said a lot of things that frat boys say, and if I were a man and I said those things about any woman or showed that attitude, they would have killed me. I would have been stoned. It would have been biblical.

But since Iyam what iyam, all the women in the audience were giving me the high five, talking about empowerment and role-reversal, etc. I'm thinking of changing the title of this piece to either, I'm a pig, or Hi, I'm Christine, and I Celebrate Female Sexuality. That last one would be pretty funny. I feel like introducing myself that way at my next reading, and keeping a totally straight face.

Oh, oh, I almost forgot: what was so precious about tonight was that I dressed totally straight, in fact, beyond straight, I put on my Amish-wear dress from my previous job at a church and wore mary janes. They were so surprised at the stuff coming out of my mouth...!

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