Thursday, April 02, 2015

the writing life: dissevering the soul

I was 14 or 15 when I first encountered Poe's Annabel Lee and I was smitten.  It's my curse..a fascination with dead girls..Call it one too many horror movies.  Call it  general fascination with ghosts (who anyone will tell you are overwhelmingly  & predominantly vengeful or wronged females.)  It's an obsession I oddly share with many female poets, (see here and here and here) and we won't even get started on the number of male poets, like Poe, who incorporate the trope, though sometimes in some weird patriarchal romanticized way.  I've written about it before and considered writing my MFA  thesis on it. There's a quote about a dead woman being the most beautiful and tragic subject of art..(which of course I can't find at the moment), but I've no doubt used it a lot myself, maybe not in my first book (though there are alot of "missing" or "lost" women in the fever almanac--mothers, sisters, grandmothers.) 

But in the bird museum is full of them--most noticeably my Resurrection Mary poems.  Considering the book pulls  a rope tight between danger and enlightenment, between transgression and knowledge, this isn't surprising.  The women of  in the bird museum are always on the verge of peril (mind you I wrote the book in response to a period of time when I had to stop watching the news because of the constant stories of rape, and mutilation, and murder.) There is a vein of it running through girl show, a darkness and sense of danger.  I tried to exorcize that particular demon in the poem "no girls were harmed in the making of this poem" in major characters..., but it pretty much didn't take considering the in-progress Postcards from the Blue Swallow Motel is about a murder.  In my defense, I also have a short series of girl zombie poems which sort of attempt to turn the dead girl trope on its head that are coming along nicely.  It's complicated.  On one hand, the dead girl in much of western and heck, even eastern art,  is beautiful mostly because she is still and perfect and silent --Ophelia floating in the water.  Annabel Lee. Laura Palmer. She becomes object, symbol, catalyst.  She mostly has no agency (even if she did once have it).  Except when she does.  When she does, she can seriously fuck you up (as any horror movie will attest.).  

{all this NAPOWRIMO month I will be blogging about poetry-related things --inspiration, publication, other verse-related randomness-- so stay tuned for more...}

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