Monday, September 13, 2010

In American Poet Magazine

In April, I had the happy honor of reading with James Tate and Sabrina Orah Mark for the Academy of American Poets American Poet magazine launch. An essay of mine about the pregnant body and its lyric potentials appears in American Poet Volume 38 (as well as a few poems from my "Mommy V" series). "On Human Cylindars: The Pregnant Poet," an excerpt:

I’ve always dwelled in a body and am suspicious of those who don’t. My body is surface and interior. It isn’t along for the ride, it is the ride, and not only do I have a body, but I also am that body. It’s the stuff of science-fiction. Or poetry. While the Cartesian mind-body split governs many a lyric, there’s an abiding lineage of writers who are freaked out and rapt (wrapped!) in the body. Without them, poetry is a sorrier pursuit, and without the body, it rings a bit hollow. Consider the modernist repertoire. It tends well to the mind, but for the most part, it does a ham-fisted, half-assed job on the body. Enter Mina Loy. In Loy’s speakers, we travel the extraterrestrial terrain of genius and the “spoiled closet” of the human form, starkly aware that we can’t party in the former without waking hungover in the latter. Loy’s bodies shamelessly ferment, rebel, and hum. In the introduction to Lost Lunar Baedeker, we learn “the public’s prevailing objections: if she could dress like a lady, why couldn’t she write like one?” A lady eschews the corporeal and ignores her immanence therein. Through painting, drawing, music, and fine linens, ladies transcend their vulgar physicality, which otherwise has the nasty habit of reminding men that they too sport bodies. It isn’t ladylike to insist that all bodies are subject to lust, birth, disease, and age, but it is awfully human.



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