by Lara Glenum on Jan.03, 2014
[I asked the women featured in the New York Daily News article if I could interview them about the public response to the article. I asked them each the same set of five questions. Some of the women preferred to answer specific questions; others chose to write their own essays. I’ll be posting their responses here serially over the next 24 hours.]
I’m not interested in defending, devoting myself to any agenda, extolling the virtues of any manifesto or dogma or explaining what’s already been speculated about more than enough. The article was unfortunate for itself in many ways, simply a bit of fun for those who agreed to be in it, and unexpectedly painful for others, which I am sorry for. But let’s not place and replace the burdens of representation in such a specified locus or drown one or two of us or those in the vicinity of by noosing any rocks to any necks. In the immortal words of Etta James, like every other part of life, it’s man’s world. Let’s not make any lies to each other about how poetry’s a land of security and opportunity for women or that we can all get on the same page without bitterness or vitriol; unbound to our own personal histories of abuse (and experiences with) in and beyond poetry.
I feel lucky there’s been a very diverse set of practices and work that’s grown out of a shared set of feminist concerns and it’s an exciting time to be involved in that conversation. I think that woman to woman relationships continue to be really complicated in what’s essentially still a boys’ club, that there’s sometimes still a sense of ‘there can only be one [woman]’ syndrome. But also like, whatever, we can continue be to be honest with each other about our affinities, competitions, jealousies, bitternesses &c&c&c. with respect – all the complexities of real relationships between people with ambitions and stakes and desires rather than any trite insistence on ‘sisterhood for a cause’. My work doesn’t function without an opposing feminist/marxist/materialist critique from others whom I love and respect for counterbalance and I would hope vice versa. Anyway, let’s not reduce, but i mean let’s, especially when we want to make a point. Ultimately, just like how they said at last comi-con, our work isn’t done, so nobody sit down, but jesus, nobody start screeching about how you can’t sit with us either. “Do you have a utopian vision of the future? you ask me. i got a fucking utopian vision of the present”, Dorothy Allison says here: http://inthesetimes.com/article/728/notes_to_a_young_feminist/ and sure, yes, it looks a shit ton like my bratty nihilism and her melancholic attachment and someone else’s grief and your disenchantment and our effusiveness and everything in between and that’s all, that’s everything kthnxbai xoxo