June 01, 2010

Gurlesque: the new grrly, grotesque, bulresque poetics. ed. Lara Glenum and Arielle Greenberg.

Loving the Greenberg intro.

Then read straight through the book, reading for this from Glenum intro: "It is, in fact, very difficult for female poets to speak of their embodied experience without being misread as positioning themselves as erotic objects." (p. 21)

Struck by several things.

One is how much of the work I liked. Thinking about things several days later. Brenda Coultas, "Dream Life in a Case of Transvestism." Dorothea Lasky, "Boobs are Real." Nada Gordon, "fleshcape."

There is a gurlesque poem. That is one thing I got. (The anthology is thus not really a social formation anthology, as most are, but one edited by formal concerns.) Like often now someone will bring in a poem to workshop and say, I've done a flarf. I have fantasy they might now bring in a poem and say I've done a gurlesque. This tight focus made the anthology interesting to read. Different versions of the same form.

Gurlesque as mainly straight. And the poem often about this relationship that women have with the tradition of women as erotic muse object.

Gurlesque written from the point of view of the female poet-self and mainly about the poet-self.

Often about the poetry factory (I steal that term from syoung's recent piece that she read at Brazil/Larsen). Obvious example here Chelsey Minnis. But there it shows up in several other poems. And here a lot of it is the social formation around "experimental" poetry that shows up. I wanted to make a list, but off top of my head the names that I remember are Kevin Killian, Stephanie Young, Edward Dorn, John Godfrey, Bill Berkson, Leslie Scalapino. Not sure what to do with that. Is it a writing into that community or a critique? Often confused here about how the poetry factory functions in these poems.

Mainly about the female body. The image of which is then contorted in various ways by the poet-self in the poem. This female body is healthy and fairly young and abled. If it is mutilated, it is mutilated by the self, not by external things like war or surgery or toxins or... (Wanting someone to do an index on what body parts show up and how often.)

Very little outside of this embodied experience that is attempting to not be erotic objects shows up. Seems to be modeled on second wave feminism and its relentless attention to the personal. Somewhat wishing the anthology had pursued the somewhat difficult possibility of the international.

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