Tuesday, June 18, 2019

prettier if you were thinner....

Perhaps because even my earliest poems have often had roots in the physicality of the body, and in my first book, particularly in regard to language and the body, I am often pulled into discussions about writing the body, which until recently was more a generic sort of body--subject to desire, to illness, to transformation,  to monstrousness. To mistreatment, to violence and damage.   But even still, it was mostly a female body without defined borders, and only recently has it become the plus-sized body, the "imperfect" body according to societal standards.    It all perhaps coalesced around the hunger palace, which while I started it a couple years back in relation to my own struggles with body image and disordered evening, I was only able to finish it after my mother's death, and so it ultimately became also about that.  About that physical body in the last months that she battled, struggled against, had hated all her life. I was on a bus back to the city when the idea of wrapping these threads together occured to me, early that fall, when it seemed she was, in fact, getting better.  I ended up finishing it in the months after her death. 

plump followed--written mostly toward having something to contribute to our Grimm anthology project, but chosen because so much in fairytales has to do with food and sustenance, and in the case of cast-off children, starvation.  plump is about food, but also about mothers, which ties nicely together with the science of impossible object series and the summer house (which is about changelings.) two other parts that make up the whole of my feed manuscript.

It is however, the swallow poems that I think of most when it comes to writing this sort of body--the body that takes up too much space, physically and metaphorically. And also, the girl body, the becoming a woman body, that is more awkward than not. So much of this series is my childhood, Barbie Dolls and Dirty Dancing references, vapid slumber parties and the ways girls inflict trauma upon girls.. 

"In the rain, any girl can look like prey. It's easy to mistake 
the hunters for the hunted." 

Since I began writing them, I was more and more convinced that this is some of the best writing I've been doing.  (Not that the other stuff  is less quality per se, only that these come from a deeper vein of realness I don't often get to tap.  As a whole, they round out the longer manuscript very nicely--which ends up being ultimately about mother and daughters and inhertances, good and bad...

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