kate chopin (via girlwithoutwings)
wayne koestenbaum, humiliation
I wake up in your bed. I know I have been dreaming.
Much earlier, the alarm broke us from each other,
you’ve been at your desk for hours. I know what I dreamed:
our friend the poet comes into my room
where I’ve been writing for days,
drafts, carbons, poems are scattered everywhere,
and I want to show her one poem
which is the poem of my life. But I hesitate,
and wake. You’ve kissed my hair
to wake me. I dreamed you were a poem,
I say, a poem I wanted to show someone…
and I laugh and fall dreaming again
of the desire to show you to everyone I love,
to move openly together
in the pull of gravity, which is not simple,
which carried the feathered grass a long way down the upbreathing air.
—from adrienne rich’s 21 love poems
Last night in Oslo, Norway, Tori Amos performed a cover of the 1985 hit “Take on Me” by A-Ha (a band from Norway). The recording is from an iPhone (thanks to @frokva on twitter), but it’s still interesting to hear. This post will be updated when a better version surfaces. [mp3]
the most perfect thing ever. i have stories about the back of the bus, but they don’t matter.
Left Of Center :: Suzanne Vega
warning: if seeing this video motivates you to download the pretty in pink soundtrack you might not get any work done for awhile, though you might think about the way in which listening to this in your youth was a really good gateway to sassy, though sassy was usually sadly lacking in class rage, even if it did have all those DIY outfits.
not to brag, but writing incisive, exhaustive angry letters is among my very limited and random skills, which include hearing a makeup artist say that women should never wear translucent powder and knowing that is a magazine-worthy beauty tip; or that when anna wintour asks in an interview if you will be able to attend events in the evening that she really wants to know which neighborhood you live in and you just have to assure her it’s soho to get the job; and hopefully something that has to do with sex.
last semester i wrote about the angry letters in the readykeulous show, which exhibited in exhilarating, excruciating detail the many modes of queer and feminist anger, the loudly or quietly desperate ways in which outsider subjects try over and over, with different formal strategies, to get what they want. today i will be like carolee schneemann and near-politely simmer! tomorrow i will use seriality and ventriloquism, like catherine lord, to make my point! at least you get “art” out of it.
in a gallery full of written missives, visual manifestoes, and other forms of fuck you, k8 hardy’s angry letter, above, was the angriest of all. i love the way she deploys an amateur aesthetics to evoke the cycle that keeps queer and feminist artists unprofessional; i love how the memo form conjures the barely-contained resentment of would-be-artists-moonlighting-as-secretaries-slash-wives-of-famous artists; i love that she says her work is “rad as hell.” sometimes i don’t think so, but this totally is.
as barbara pointed out to me, there is an entire relevant genealogy of aestheticized pissed-off epistolary communications, like adrian piper’s calling cards or kara walker’s letters from a black girl. or like chris kraus’s i love dick, which jeanne wrote about on her tumblr just as i was writing this.
I dreamed I called you on the telephone
to say: Be kinder to yourself
but you were sick and would not answer
The waste of my love goes on this way
trying to save you from yourself
I have always wondered about the left-over energy,
the way water goes rushing down a hill
long after the rains have stopped
Or the fire you want to go to bed from
but cannot leave,
burning-down but not burnt-down
The red coals more extreme, more curious
in their flashing and dying
than you wish they were
sitting long after midnight
That conversation we were always on the edge
of having, runs on in my head,
at night the Hudson trembles in New Jersey light
polluted water yet reflecting even
sometimes the moon
and I discern a woman
I loved, drowning in secrets, fear wound round her throat
and choking her like hair. And this is she
with whom I tried to speak, whose hurt, expressive head
turning aside from pain, is dragged down deeper
where it cannot hear me,
and soon I shall know I was talking to my own soul.
—adrienne rich, from 21 love poems
Evidence of life:
that we could meet for the first time,
open our scars & stitches to each other,
weave our legs around
each other's patchwork dreams
& try to salve each other's wounds
if it was love
(I am not sure at all
if love is salve
a deeper kind of wound...
I do not think it matters)
If it was lust or hunger
& not love,
if it was all that they accused us of
(that we accused ourselves)--
I do not think it matters~~
& if it wasn't love
if you called me now
across the old echo chamber of the ocean
"Look I never loved you,"
I would feel
a little like a fool perhaps,
& yet it wouldn't matter.
My business is to always feel
a little like a fool
& speak of it
--erica jong, from the evidence, (again).