Reading Harryette Mullen's "Recycolpedia" and I'm really, really enjoying it. The first two sections, in Mullen's words, "are serial prose poems that use playful, punning, fragmented language to explore sexuality, femininity, and domesticity...[that] began as my response to Gertrude Stein's simple yet elusive poetic prose." Here are my favourite bits from "Trimmings:"
Opens up a little leg, some slender, high exposure. Splits a chic sheath, tight slit. Buy another peek experience, price is slashed. Where tart knife, scoring, minced a sluttish strut. Laughing splits the seams. Teeth in a gash, letting off steam.
Chaste, apprehended, collared and cuffed. Kept under wraps, as bridal veils visually haze precious, easily torn, gauzy romantic tissues. Thin threads lace into delicate, expensive fabrics woven and unwoven at night by patient spinsters with needles and scissors. Laced in, as fate would have it. Knots and tiniest holes. Surgical cutting and sewing. Peeking as usual. Skin under lace. A thread, a net effect, a web to sleep in. A white nightgown, girl, child, baby, laced and unlaced. A ruffle, a frill. A pale piece of something, almost made of air.
Thinking thought to be a body wearing language as clothing or language a body of thought which is a soul or body the clothing of a soul, she is veiled in silence. A veiled, unavailable body makes an available space.
That last bit reminds me (both as a response to/engagement with/argument against) of the section from Phenomenology of Perception (shock!) that I read on the subway this morning:
"It has always been observed that speech or gesture transfigure the body, but no more was said on the subject that that they develop or disclose another power, that of soul or thought. The fact was overlooked that, in order to express it, the body must in the last analysis become the thought or intention that it signifies for us. It is the body which points out, and which speaks. [ie. speech is not 'sourced' from thought, from the intellect removed from its lived-body; rather, speech is gestural, and is "wholly motility and wholy intelligence"]
-Merleau-Ponty from "The Body as Expression, and Speech" (part 1 of PoP)
And then my brain bounces in two different directions:
1) Black Mountain poetics seem very influenced/informed by phenomenology/Merleau-Ponty and I'd like to explore this more.
2) I can't wait to start reading feminist/queer responses to Merleau-Ponty. I'm anticipating problems but also great collaborations.
And finally...two forthcoming publications - flash-fiction in April decomP and 2 poems in March Negative Suck. I'm happy about this.