strange fire

books. poetry. paganism. feminism. queerness. blog.

fun with foreign languages November 30, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — andygrrrl @ 9:05 am
  • the French term for a common-law spouse (of any gender) is concubin(e). It’s on government forms and everything. I’m determined to shack up with someone just so I can say I lived in Europe with my French concubine.
  • note to self: un baiser is a kiss; baiser–without the article–is to fuck. A subtle, yet important distinction.
  • I buy a lot of grated emmenthal to make tortillas (I’ll make do without Mexican beer, but I can’t live without vegetarian fajitas); the packages are all labeled fromage râpée. Every time I see it my brain insists on translating it as RAPED CHEESE, which kinda puts me off my food.
  • the word for “to bother (someone)” is déranger. I get a kick out of asking people if they’re deranged.
  • reason 567861567867357 why I’m thankful I’m a native English speaker: gender. I’ve been studying this language for, well, 8 years now, and I still can’t abide how rigidly gendered it is. Not that English isn’t sexist, linguistically (yes, I’m one of those embarrassing feminists who like to spell it “womyn”), but technically it’s a creole, so there’s more flexibility and room for improvisation. The country that gave us Simone freaking de Beauvoir doesn’t have an equivalent to Ms. (as far as I’ve seen). All my mail from the bank comes addressed to Monsieur, Madame, Mademoiselle. The gender of nouns is of course completely arbritrary (“pants” are feminine and “skirt” is masculine), but don’t get me started on personal pronouns and possessives. There’s no gender-neutral “they”. No wonder French feminists invented l’ecriture feminine, they’re so relentessly erased by their own language. You could have a room full of 25 women, and as soon as they’re joined by a man they disappear under the masculine ils, which can refer to either mixed or male-only groups. Drives me crazy. I can’t imagine how transgendered folks cope in this language. [/rant]
  • While I’m ranting, I’ll mention that I cannot get used to “homo” being acceptable as a polite shorthand for gay people. You see it in newspaper and magazine headlines a lot “Les homos faire quelquechose!” They have gaies and lesbiennes, and while it is useful as a gender-neutral catch-all, it still unnerves me. “Homo” was the slur I grew up hearing; it was the big joke in third grade (“Hey Anne, are you a homo?” “What? Ew, no way!” “What, you’re not a homo sapien?” There’s 9 year old humor for you.)
  • They make up for it though, with jouissance, a beautiful word with no exact English equivalent, but basically means female orgasm. I think I learned it from Cixous, back in Feminist Crit.
  • there’s a lesbian-rights organization called LesBienNés, which literally translates as “the well-born” or “born good”. I totally wish it worked in English.
  • Also, my name sounds a lot more elegant in French than with my nasally Midwestern twang.
  • the cuss word of choice, especially here at the internet/video game shop, is “putain!”, which literally means “whore” but, like “sucks” and “blows” in English, seems to have lost its original implications.
  • I fucking hate reflexive verbs.
  • But I like how they translated “The Sorting Hat”: le choixpeau magique, combining the words “to choose”, choisir, and “hat”, chapeau.

Apropos of nothing, I can’t decide where to spend my 2-week Christmas vacation, going around the UK or making a tour of the Mediterranean (damn that Libran sun sign!). One of the more pleasant problems I’ve had, to be sure, but any input/advice is welcome.

 

"I break down the door with the renegade flow" November 28, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — andygrrrl @ 7:00 am

It feels so wierd to be one of the faculty at school. One of Them. Workin’ for The Man. Chillin’ in the teacher’s lounge. Enforcing The Rules. I was one of those annoying kids who could get straight As without trying, and I hated school. All of it, right through to college (though the last two years were pretty cool, actually). Being herded around hour after hour, learning things I didn’t care about from clueless teachers, surrounded by kids I hated or had nothing in common with, not to mention the food. I spent most of it providing the answers to homework and tests in exchange for social tolerance. My two months (Jesus Christ on toast! Two months!!) at this job, however, has taught me two things: teachers ought to be paid million dollar salaries; and even if they were, I still wouldn’t want to be one.
I don’t think I’m a sucky teacher; god knows I try my damnedest, I know what it’s like to have a crappy foreign language professor. I like the kids well enough, but disciplining them is a challenge, because I don’t have as much authority as an actual professor. The youngest ones, 11-12 years old, are a treat, because they’re so eager and enthusiastic (and they’re totally overawed by the idea of une vrai américaine!). The older ones are 13 to 14 and vary a lot; some of them are decent, but most of them have reached the age where they’re just too cool for school. It’s so bizarre, standing in front of them trying to cram some correct English in their heads, and sometimes I can’t blame them for being bored, given the materials I have to use. I watch them working on an excercise and I know, if I were their classmate, which ones I would have hated, which ones would have ignored me (and vice versa), which ones would have bullied me, and which ones I would have eaten lunch with. It makes me feel old, and I’m too young to feel old!
Anyway, today I finally got to do something I wanted, after weeks of Thanksgiving excercises, repeating that charming fairy tale about Pilgrims and Indians living happily ever after, I decided to create some activities around Northern State’s song “A Thousand Words”. Every schoolkid should have their daily dose of subversive feminist hip hop, in my opinion. I would have loved to play Meshell Ndegeocello or Lauryn Hill or Alix Olsen for them, but Northern State is easier to understand (they’re old school, not rapping at a million miles an hour) while still being pretty cool, musically.
Every time I discussed American culture in my introductory classes, students would inevitably ask if I liked either 50 Cent, Eminem, or Tupac. That’s all they know of American popular music at the moment. So I’ve been looking forward to introducing them to female rappers who aren’t rail thin and who have all their clothes on and who have a political edge to their music. “A Thousand Words” is a fun song, a mix of silliness (“Chekhov wrote The Seagull, and Snoopy is a beagle”) and politics, but without being too obscure for them (or getting me into trouble) .

I’m a vegetarian, humanitarian, imaginarian, not a Libertarian
The country’s getting ugly and there’s more in store
But don’t blame me ’cause I voted for Gore
Keep choice legal, your wardrobe legal

I was a little concerned about the “keep choice legal” part; if they asked me about it, how much could I say? I wouldn’t even think about playing this song in the States, because some student and their mommy would have a coronary over indoctrinating liberal propaganda etc. I wasn’t sure if I could get away with it in France, but luckily no one asked about it. I feel properly rebellious, all the same. Good radical feminist! (::pats self on back::) Open up those minds! Expand those horizons! I may be in The System, but I’m not of it. (Now if only I could figure out a clever response every time they ask me if I have a boyfriend).
It’s a short-lived triumph, however. Tomorrow I have to start teaching Christmas carols to the students attending this oh-so-secular French school. Americans aren’t the only ones who selectively apply “separation of church and state”.

 

Warning: warm fuzzies below November 24, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — andygrrrl @ 4:00 am

God bless the French; my professors are on strike today so I don’t have to go into work. Instead I can sit here and write my obligatory mushy Thanksgiving Day post. So if you’re looking for Mo-style ranting, tune in tomorrow.
We all had Thanksgiving dinner yesterday, actually. They have an oven over at the lycée so Matt managed to cook us an impressive Thanksgiving spread; no turkey, but he did whip up some excellent stuffing, mashed potatoes, apple pie americain, and roast chicken. There were the four Americans–me, Valeria, Matt, and an exchange student, Trevor; Katy the Austrian, Ricardo the Nicaraguan, Kim the Brit, and assorted French professors, including Carol. We congregated in the common room, which, for whatever reason, Matt and Co. had decided to paint pig’s-blood-red that morning. So now the room looks like an old set from The Shining, which is actually an improvement over the truly grotesque wallpaper it originally had. They painted the coffee table to match, and it hadn’t quite dried all the way, so the bowls and plates of appetizers were permanently stuck. We all talked and drank wine and basked in paint fumes and the glow of tea lights while the chicken baked; there was a moment of traditional Thanksgiving Day panic when my paper plate caught fire from one of the candles (which is just par for the course for me!). They had French pop music playing on the laptop; and they forced me to sing along when I admitted that I still remembered the words to “Aux Champs Elysées” (had to learn it in high school). Il y a tout ce que vous voulez aux Champs Elysées! We had some French food as well; paté and caviar (!) and 5,000 kinds of cheese. Matt explained the traditional ritual and we went around the table and counted our blessings in four languages. The French guests were quite moved by the whole thing, which surprised me; apparently they don’t really have anything similar (frankly, it was nice to hear something complimentary about my culture, for once. Though even Thanksgiving is problematic; just ask a Native American). I went last, and I said how this was the best Thanksgiving I’d had in a while; and the thing I was most genuinely grateful for was my friends. Clichéd, I guess, but true. I’ve spent the last few Thanksgivings listening to my relatives make jokes about how we’re all going to start marrying our dogs, now that Massachusetts lets queers get hitched. And the last five years have been so unbelievably hard, but I’ve survived them, and things are finally starting to come together. I’m so grateful for my friends, because I know what it’s like not to have any; during the first few years of college I would go entire days without speaking because I didn’t have anybody to talk to. So, you all back home, you guys mean the world to me. And I’m starting to make friends here in Europe; Ricardo and I are pretty tight, oddly enough. And the friends I have on the internet are equally important; everybody who bothers to read this silly thing, and even comment, you guys rock my socks off. Thanks.
So, y’all back home, eat some sweet potatoes for me, or some corn bread slathered in butter and honey, or biscuits and gravy, or some blueberry cobbler, god I better stop before I make myself homesick. Mama made me some molasses cookies and they finally arrived today, so I’m going to make some tea and knit and read some Virginia Woolf (to heck with this crap I’m slogging through).

 

The House of Jesus November 23, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — andygrrrl @ 3:11 pm

In my Small Rural College Town there’s a coffee shop that’s run by the parnter of a English professor. I had a few Women’s Studies courses with her and she’d have class in the back room of Washington Street Java Company. I always meant to take my camera and get a picture of it, the lesbian-owned Fair Trade coffee shop sandwiched between Edna Campbell’s Christian Bookstore and The House of Jesus. I peeked inside the House of Jesus once–how can you not check out a store with a name like that–and they had a bookcase entirely devoted to books criticizing The Da Vinci Code. I never paid much attention to the hype before, but as soon as I started reading it I thought Ah. So that’s what all the fuss is about.
Only the idea that Jesus had girl cooties could provoke walls and walls of books trying to “debunk” a novel. The concept that icky girls could have been among the disciples–and worse, that Jesus did the nasty with one of them–brilliantly combines the two things Christianity abhors the most: women and sex. The cornerstone of Christianity is the transcendence of those two things, so no wonder everybody’s so pissed off.
Dan Brown can’t write worth a damn, of course–Robert Langdon is so obviously a Mary Sue, it’s not even funny–his plot is liable to collapse at any moment under it’s own weight, and there aren’t any real characters to speak of. But his premise is fantastic. Goddess worship, secret societies, classic art, ancient myths, obscure codes, lost treasues, and homicidal albino monks. Even despite the wooden prose, that’s good stuff. I can see why it’s so enormously popular: easily digestable fiction with really sexy trappings–France, the Louvre, the Mona Lisa, the Holy Grail. Like a librarian in the novel comments, everybody loves a good conspiracy theory. It’s juicy stuff for Joe Schmoe on the street, the idea that Christianity and the Church could be the product of a millenia of propaganda and deliberate misinformation, with a little murder and warfare thrown in.
But I imagine for every Christian gasping at Dan Brown’s audacity, there’s a neo-pagan like me rolling their eyes and going “Well, duh!” The pagan roots of Christianity (Jesus Christ owes a heck of a lot to Mithras and Horus), the bastardization of pagan symbols and ritual–neo-pagans have been talking about this for the last fifty years or so; feminist scholars and thealogians have been discussing ancient goddess worship and the sacred feminine since the 70s. Maybe it’s because I don’t have any of my books with me, but I found the expository chapters detailing the symbolism and history more interesting than the formulaic plot. Brown’s ideas of a Church vs Priory of Sion cold war are fuzzy at best. It’s not that I doubt that the Church did everything in it’s power to destroy the sacred feminine, paganism, and the figure of Mary Magdalene; I just doubt that it was a Vast Grand Conspiracy. It didn’t have to be; ancient patriarchal culture + Roman politics = an inherently misogynistic ideology. Like I said, in my opinion and experience, Christianity is fundamentally a denial of women and sexuality–of life, embodiment. Woman-sex-chaos-emotion-irrational-nature-goddess-pleasure-life are all entangled in a patriarchal system that aims at disembodiment, at transcending the human body. The world is inherently corrupt, people are born bad due to Eve and Original Sin, the “need” for salvation and redemption which can (convienently) only be found through the Church/Jesus (depending on your brand of Christianity)–such a theology would obliterate Mary Magdalene without the need for an organized campaign.
Frankly, it’s kind of bizarre to see the basic tenets of my personal spiritual practice outlined in a paperback thriller, soon to be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks! Brown’s ideas of ancient European paganism seem to draw mostly on old school Gardnerian Wicca, and reproduces a lot of old fallacies. The sacred marriage ritual that Sophie witnesses isn’t all that ancient, for example. And for all the talk about the sacred feminine and goddess worship, the book misses the point by a mile. All of the novel’s “experts” on the Goddess are men, of course; I thought maybe Brown would have name-dropped Marija Gimbutas, but apparently not. Hardly any women in the novel at all (not surprising, since it’s a masculine genre. Who wants to read about icky girls?) And the big secret about Mary Magdalene’s connection with Jesus is so lame it’s almost laughable–she has his baby. Her big role in the founding of Christianity is to take a page from her mother-in-law and get knocked up with Sacred Sperm (Sing it with me, folks! “Every sperm is sacred, every sperm is great…”) She’s literally a vessel, objectified into The Grail, the Cup of Christ. Which speaks volumes about our fucked up notions of reproduction, but that’s another rant. She’s not really an improvement on that absurdity the Virgin Mary as a concept of the sacred feminine. It certainly doesn’t compare to what I find in Goddess spirituality.
It falls apart at the end, where Brown tries to placate his audience by pulling the rug out from under the structure he’s created. He tries to have it both ways, the Church is the Bad Guy, more or less, throughout most of the book, but he uses Langdon to reassure us that modern Christianity really is all sweetness and light. “The modern Church doesn’t kill people!”, he keeps saying, and he’s right, of course. These days the Church is content to simply rape little boys and lie about it. We do find out the location of the Holy Grail at the end, sort of, I think, but the characters decide to keep quiet about it, I’m not sure why. Maybe they feel it would just be really mean to shake the faith of all those nice church-going folks or something. None of it makes any sense, really, but it will make a good movie, if you don’t think too hard during it. I’ll see it, at any rate, just for Audrey Tautou.

ETA: The typos! My god, the typos! In this and other posts! This what happens when you operate in two languages that have large amounts of shared vocabulary. Your spelling disintegrates, your grammar dissolves, your brain gets fried.

 

Dear Universe November 22, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — andygrrrl @ 6:08 am

Hello again. Remember my last letter, when we got all my karmic debts squared up? I’m sure you have it on file somewhere. It was agreed that after that odyssean voyage I made, I would be considered in the black.
So, what gives? I am trying to be a debauched lesbian slut here, and you’re not cooperating. I thought that, after what you put me through in adolescence and college, sending me to France was recompense. I mean, it’s France. They’re French. They practically invented sexual liberation, right? Gay Paree and all that. They had the Marquis de Sade for christ’s sake! Dude, what the fuck [she wrote in an elegant hand]? You stick me in a French version of my hometown? Don’t get me wrong, I like Verdun, it’s just the right size, it’s relatively cheap to live here, there are other assistants my age, but come on. The only other gay person here is Matt the New Yorker, with his nice little American boyfriend in Germany.
And that’s another thing. What’s with the defective gaydar? Everybody knew about Matt except me, and of course now it’s so obvious. My gaydar wouldn’t pick up on Elton fucking John. About the only thing it’s good for is picking up on completely unavailable straight women. I’m considering writing a strongly worded letter to the Complaints Department at Lesbian Central Headquarters as well. They made some very big promises during the recruiting sessions, which they have yet to make good on. Where are the aggressive bulldaggers? I was promised aggressive bulldaggers! Predatory homosexuals preying on suggestive young things! I’m young! I’m suggestive! Why are you always making me be the assertive one? It’s not in my nature, as you very well know. My Homosexual Agenda book is pathetically empty. You know what I have planned? “December: buy La dixiéme muse
All I want is to make up for the sobriety of my youth; I would like to claim adjectives other than “nice” and “well-read”. But you seem to insist that I be an old lady, spending my Friday nights knitting while waiting for the water to boil for my decaf herbal tea [this is true]. My god, I’ll be eating prunes next. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of old ladies; Miss Marple is my role model. But how can I regale the grandkids with tales of my dissapated youth if the best I can manage is watching the France vs. Germany football game? True, I did spend the wee hours of Saturday morning retching into the toilet after a night of dancing at Les Parents Terribles, but that’s not what I had in mind. I promised myself I would never do that, and I hadn’t, until now. Debauchery, yes, alcoholism, no. You know my dad, I’m not going through that again. Les Parents Terribles isn’t half bad, it’s tiny but it’s fun, and you did provide a cab service specifically for the club, which I appreciate. But I’m not going to meet anybody there. I could bring someone there, but that isn’t looking very likely, now is it?
Get on the ball. I’ve paid my dues (remember sophomore year of college?). You owe me big time. And while you’re at it, see if you can’t do something about the reading material at this place. I would consider hiring a new librarian, if I were you. The current one has crappy taste.
Yours
Anne

 

Life Mask ~ Emma Donoghue November 19, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — andygrrrl @ 6:57 am

How tired I am of keeping a mask on my countenance. How tight it sticks–it makes me sore. There’s a metaphor fo you.
Donoghue prefaces Life Mask with this quote by William Beckford; it essentially lays out the concerns of the book: literal and metaphorical masks, why we wear them, what they hide, what they reveal, etc. Beckford, as we find out (the whole book is people gossipping, essentially), had to flee England in disgrace after getting caught with the nephew of the Duke of Somewhere-or-other.
What I really admire about LM is it’s not just a depiction of private relationships between historical people; it also looks at how the concept of homosexuality functions in society. Not just that Homophobia is a Bad Thing, but how it operates as a tool, a weapon, a means of control.
It all takes place during the French Revolution; the British are freaking out over The Rights of Man and the revolting masses (it was strange to read about French streets running with blood and starving peasants, aristocrats being torn to pieces, and look out the window and see ordinary French people buying bread and drinking coffee). And in times of crisis the powers that be become more vigilant in preserving the status quo. Society cracks down on the deviants, like a wealthy aristocratic widow who aspires at sculpture, our heroine Anne Damer ; or a celebrated actress, born in poverty and practically engaged to the wealthiest earl in England, Eliza Farren . One woman violating gender norms and the other transgressing class boundaries in a period where “actress” is still synonymous with “whore”. And when they form an intense friendship, well, the easiest smack-down to give uppity women is to call them dykes. Watching their relationship fragment and dissolve as the newspapers accuse them of “Impossibilites” is painful and all too familiar. Mrs. Damer has been dogged by rumors of sapphism most of her life (the result of a mysterious kiss in Italy), it turns out; later in the novel she forms another intense friendship with bluestocking Mary Berry (a name so unfortunate it has to be real), only to come under attack yet again. So while Anne struggles with her personal demons, Eliza tries to keep her reputation intact as she waits for Lord Derby’s estranged wife to die.
In the background is the political drama between the Whigs and the Tories; Eliza’s earl happens to be a prominent Whig politician, so politics plays as much a part in the scandal as homophobia and sexism. Donoghue outlines the parallels between the paranoid Pitt government and the current political climate, and at times overdoes it. I was willing to let “homeland security” slide, but putting “weapons of mass destruction” in Derby’s mouth was too much. That such an otherwise thorough and meticulous historian (I loved her work Passions Between Women) would stoop to such blatant anachronism annoyed me to no end. I got it, Emma. You don’t have to hit me over the head, thanks. Overall the prose is a bit uneven; not quite up to the level of Hood or Kissing the Witch. It feels like it needs another going-over to smooth out the rough spots.
But then she gives us a sentence like “Their peals of laughter went up like birds” and all is forgiven. Donoghue’s ability to articulate subtle emotion never fails to move me; she knows how to paint a scene and communicates volumes with simple gestures. I love the eroticism in the scene where Anne and Mary go sea-bathing for the first time:
Mary smiled as she floated; her arms were spread like an angel’s. Her cap had floated off; her dark curls relaxed on the water. No, not an angel but the statue of an angel, or something like it; the Winged Victory of Samothrace, which Anne went to see whenever she was in Paris. The calico clung to Mary’s narrow limbs like carved drapery. She was a Sybil in white marble, a gleaming monument. Like somone who’d leapt from a cliff and now floated, free of her despair. Her eyes opened, and she and Anne were looking at each other.
I was afraid that skipping ahead might lessen the impact of certain scenes but I shouldn’t have worried. I’ve re-read the moment where Anne and Mary finally, finally kiss and it never loses its impact:
For all their talk of candour and sincerity, the two of them had tangled themselves up in lies, it occurred to Anne now: the unsaid, the veiled, the unnameable. Six years, thousands of letters, murmured conversations, professions of faith and attestations of virtue, and what did it all amount to? She lay in the darkness, she and Mary breathing the same inch of fragrant air. It occurred to her that whenever Mary had said I have full confidence in your frankness, what she’d meant was more like Don’t tell me. Now, after all these years, Anne was trying to tell the truth, but perhaps Mary thought she was lying. Was it impossible to say anything that wasn’t some kind of lie?
Mary kissed her on the mouth.
Shock kept Anne where she was for a moment, then she kissed back, and slid her arm under Mary’s waist and kissed her again, as if sealing a pact, though she couldn’t have named the terms.
Frankly, I found myself wishing occaisionally that Mrs. Damer hadn’t been named Anne. It’s almost embarrassing to see such private thoughts and moments in print. Like Donoghue reprinted parts of my diary.
She heard it like a voice in her head: I am what they call me.
It was strange how quickly these revelations could strike when they came at last after years, after decades, after a lifetime. Like the Greek philosopher in his bath, crying out
Eureka, I have found it. Or no, more like Monsieur Marat in his bath of blood, stabbed to death by a girl. That was what Anne felt like now; one sudden blow and a helpless draining away…There were words for women like her, women who saw all the natural attractions of a man like Charles O’Hara and were left cold. Women who asked for more than had been allotted to them. Women who became fixated on shallow, glamorous actresses. Women who loved their female friends not generously but with a demanding, jealous ruthlessness; women who got in the way of good marriages and thwarted nature. There were words for such propensities–hidden inclinations–secret tastes–and she knew them all, had heard them all already.
For all its sweeping historical context, it’s ultimately a very personal little drama. Despite the grandiose setting, so much of it was so familiar.
How little she’d known, thought Anne–and how little she’d known herself. It seemed she wasn’t naturally ascetic or born to solitude. She was no good at renunciation after all. It was as if her virgin heart had been fasting all her life, building up an endless appetite, and now she couldn’t have enough of pleasure. She was glutting herself on love. She was unshockable; there was nothing she didn’t like, nothing she could do without. Under her fichu the soft skin of her neck was purple with kisses.
But of course, when I think about it, I’ve hardly read anything that resembles my experience; less than 10 books, off the top of my head, in a lifetime of reading. You grow up thinking you’re the only one, so it’s still a surprise to discover other’s have been there too, felt the same way. But I can identify with so much of Anne Damer’s story, as Donoghue imagines it, that it makes me wonder. Are we all doomed to lose someone because of homophobia? To have somone care about you, but not enough, not if it means being called Tommy! and pelted with tomatoes. Do all of us consider suicide at some point? Do any of us escape self-loathing? Aren’t there any other plots for us?
Whether you actually ARE gay, in the world of the novel, is almost beside the point; Anne and Eliza’s relationship is completely platonic. But gossip is the social currency of the World and what matters is if people think you are, if you might be. Anne’s cousin Walpole is the victim of rumors and allegations, but he never suffers the same kind of scandal. He’s a man, and he can simply write a sharply worded letter to the editor and that’s the end of it. Eliza has no choice, really, other than to treat Anne like she’s got the plague. She’s got to maintain her reputation of virtue or she’s out of a job. It’s a brilliantly neat means of control: gender roles are kept strictly in force and the homos learn to keep their heads down. If they don’t self-destruct, that is.
Everybody gets their happy ending; Eliza gets her earl and Anne shacks up with Mary. Every love has its own peculiar story, Donoghue states, but I imagine most of them don’t embody the intersection of the political and the erotic the way the Derby-Eliza-Anne-Mary love, uh, quadrangle (?) does.
I’m reading, or rather trying to read, another historical novel, Pope Joan. I’m making a valiant effort, cause beggars can’t be choosers, but it just doesn’t compare. All I need to read now is Stir-Fry and I’ll have finished all of Donoghue’s fiction. So you better get cracking on the the next novel, Emma; a girl’s got needs, you know.

 

who says poetry isn’t relevant to modern life? November 6, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — andygrrrl @ 6:43 am

Message
Pick up the phone before its too late
And dial my number. There’s no time to spare —
Love is already turning into hate
And very soon I’ll start to look elsewhere.

Good, old-fashioned men dykes like you are rare —
You want to get to know me at a rate
That’s guaranteed to drive me to despair.
Pick up the phone before it is too late.

Well, wouldn’t it be nice to consummate
Our friendship while we’ve still got teeth and hair time to spare?
Just bear in mind that you are forty-eight We can’t afford to deliberate
And dial my number. There’s no time to spare. Cause I live here and you live there.

Another kamikaze love affair?
No chance. This time I’ll have to learn to wait
But one more day is more than I can bear —
Love is already turning into hate.

Of course, my friends say I exaggerate
And dramatize a lot. That may be fair
But it is no fun being in this state
And very soon I’ll start to look elsewhere. And if I could I’d look elsewhere.

I know you like me but I wouldn’t dare
Ring you again. Instead I’ll concentrate
On sending thought-waves through the London Verdun air
And if they reach you, please don’t hesitate —
Pick up the phone.

Wendy Cope (and me).

Women. Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em.
But fine. Don’t call me. See if I care. Cause I don’t. I got better things to do than sit by the phone, like…knitting the back of That Goddamn Sweater and organizing my CDs alphabetically within genre. I’m a busy gal.
Last night Valeria and I went to see a band play at the Smoking Rabbit, where I got accosted by a drunk stoner French dude who tried to kiss me when Val went to the bathroom. Quite a step down, from Paris.
Maybe I should call her?