30 Jun 2009
'Koons is fascinated by sex - it keeps coming into our conversation, in a conversation about beauty for instance. "If I think of the word beauty, I think of a vagina", he replies. "I think of the vaginal - personally...'
That's fantastic but then...
'...That's what comes to mind for me, or Praxiteles' sculpture, the ass ... "
'The ass he's referring to is that of the Venus of Knidos, carved by the ancient Greek sculptor, Praxiteles, and displayed in a temple that allowed pilgrims to view the goddess of love from all angles. Classical writers tell that enthusiastic beholders stained the marble statue with their ejaculations. And this is a clue as to why he's keen on sex, as an artist. Eroticism has always been the territory par excellence where lofty ideals are betrayed by basic physical drives: where the beautiful becomes banal. This is why it made sense for Koons to explore pornography as art - because when we lust we are all Jeff Koons.'
Humpf. Patriarch. Leave me vagina alone.
29 Jun 2009
On board I met an attractive but gauche young 'grad' student (??? I don't know what that means either!) who started telling me how excited he was to go to England and about various other spiritual experiences gained on his many travels, so I quickly put him off scent by lecturing him on the virtues of staid community life, then explaining the plot of the sublime Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell to him (and no I didn't see the fucking TV adaptation, though I'm sure it was dreadful). After an hour or so's laborious retelling of what is really quite a short book, he was suitably lulled, so I quickly slipped in my headphones and watched Bride Wars (inexplicable dross - avoid) followed by He's Just Not That Into You, which conveys the timeless "he doesn't love you/maybe he loves you/you're a pathetic dolt/he's cheating/you have no judgement/omg he does love you now you can marry him" message with effortless grace. A sigh and back to Cranford.
BUT just an hour ago I received an email from this young star-traveller, whom I had left this morning in Gatwick with one of my cards and with the idea in his head of avoiding London in favour of the quaint pleasures of Knutford. Instead he set to writing a poem for me about this 'incredibly moving experience', detailing all the other things in his life that had taken about the same time as our little literary chat, and their absolute insignificance compared to unimaginable, life-defining hour and 23 minutes he spent talking to me. BOR-ing! I knew I had him pegged for a chauvinist on the plane (exhibit A: beads. B: a tattoo of a bird on his thumb), but this really took the biscuit. Because every time an attractive and young (I am both, of course) woman discourses competently on any subject, even an intentionally alienating and uninteresting one, does a man treat her as an intellectual equal, a fellow traveller in search of the truth, a worthy friend or adversary? Of course not! Instead he falls hopelessly in love with her, and becomes incapable of offering any stimulating responses to her conversation unless they're directed at her knickers, or her 'beautiful soul' (excuse me while I raze off my own corneas).
And what are intelligent women to do? Stop being so intelligent is the only thing that comes to mind. That, or quickly get yourself a boyfriend as the best guarantee of being completely ignored my men in conversation thereafter (the no-chance-of-lady-garden-access:no-beautiful-soul paradigm). The moral of the story, and the general content of the email I returned to the pathetic lad, was:
"Of course you find me interesting, I AM interesting. The fact you find this surprising/intriguing/fragile and rare only proves that you are a person with terribly dull friends and also a massive chauvinist. Do you think I found you interesting, or did you just take that for granted? Now begone!"
Lady readers, beware the advances of doe-eyed graduates with romantic notions, lest 'he's just not that into you' becomes 'he's completely obsessed with you and I think he's written a fucking poem about it'. Help!
25 Jun 2009
Back in Blighty soon for Martini Rosso.
20 Jun 2009
Voting will begin for this poster theme at midnight, 22 Jun 2009.
Look there's even my trusted friend, the old Bic razor...
If you're going to self harm at least do it like a feminist.
18 Jun 2009
Anyway, check out this great book from American Poets Project, which accumulates poems from the WOMEN's MOVEMENT like a tampon accumulates sweet earthmother blood. Read this poem from the collection, edited by honor moore (cool use of no-caps!)
Spot the conceit! I REALLY like this poem, but don't you think, equally she could, like, NOT wear the dress? And personally, I don't run unless I'm being chased. Maybe that's the point of the poem? I mean, she's obviously not out jogging or she'd tell the MAN (aka reader) to wear tracksuit bottoms and comfy shoes. Oh dear! Exegesis crisis!
An Answer to a Man’s Question,
“What Can I Do About Women’s Liberation?”
by Susan Griffin
Wear a dress.
Wear a dress that you made yourself, or bought in a
Wear a dress and underneath the dress wear elastic,
your hips, and underneath your nipples.
Wear a dress and underneath the dress wear a sanitary
Wear a dress and wear sling-back, high-heeled shoes.
Wear a dress, with elastic and a sanitary napkin
and sling-back shoes on your feet, and walk down
Wear a dress, with elastic and a sanitary napkin and sling-
back shoes on Telegraph Avenue and try to run
17 Jun 2009
My cat Emmeline Pankhurst sent me an email with a link to this awful article:
It preaches that women should definitely have babies between the ages of 20 and 35 or risk having a successful career. Thanks to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists for drawing our attention to the 'optimum age' for childbearing and the 'epidemic of pregnancy' taking place among 40-somethings. Even if this is scientific stuff (which I doubt it is, see below) there is no need to phrase it so crassly.
I personally can't stand children, but maintain it should be a woman' s right to chose when, where and how she should open herself up to the world, almost bleed to death and give birth. On the other hand birth can also be a beautiful experience- I remember when my old college friend Natalie gave birth to triplets in a water tank. She had eight epidurals and said it was better than the summer solstice.
But do you know what this really reminded me of lady readers? Nazi Germany? 1935? Persecution? The Fascists started making up medical facts to prevent Jews reproducing, whilst constructing despicable laws to prevent Aryan and Jewish weddings. Well I say to you, same sex marriage- no one's too happy about that are they? And what do we really know about the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists anyway..?
Mine Fuhrer is that a copy of The Daily Male or are you just pleased to see me?
16 Jun 2009
14 Jun 2009
5 Jun 2009
Anyway, last night I had the good humour to attend a poetry reading in the 'Xing the Line' series (pronounced Zing the Line I think, poets eh!). I went along primarily to schmooze, I mean why else would I go, and met some very attractive Beta males who had lots of interesting things to tell me about themselves. All was going well until, two glasses of Rose down, I encountered literary sexism of the kind that hasn't been encountered since William Wordsworth nicked all of Dorothy's best lines. I was told at point blank range by the curator and tsar of a prominent poetry reading series, who shall remain nameless (you know who you are, Steve) that I, a lady writer, was unsuitable to make an appearance at his 'night'. I was informed, however, that if I wanted to pass my poems to a MAN to read, or make a short video of myself reading them in a bikini with a soft core Bashment backing track, I would be allowed to participate, but otherwise, no!
Once more the mesmeric ivory bower of the literary establishment was Clossed for women. The fact that other ladies have been admitted to these readings is merely further proof that sexism is rife in the world of poetry: does everyone remember Working Girl? That film, apart from being solid gold entertainment, taught us that it's not only men who polish and buff the glass ceiling - women can be raging, careerist chauvinists intent on keeping other women down as well. Like little Tess was abused by the Ivy League show off bitch, Katherine Parker (Sigourney Weaver), so little Posie has been cast to the wayside by the sorts of trustafarians who can take a year out to complete a 'Poetry MA' merely in order to meet a few people who they could meet anyway by merely attending a poetry reading and offering around a few cigarettes and looking 'needy and interesting'. In my early twenties I had no time for such things and, until Aunt Lilies' estate was wound up, had to labour and toil hard in Miss Selfridges as a personal shopper merely to afford a panino at the Nero's across the road in my lunch hour. Any poems I found time to write were scrawled on the back of a receipt for shoes, and my first novella, Me, Tim and My Quim (now a major motion picture) was written entirely on an All Bar One wine and nibbles menu. It's experience like that that makes a great writer, like Hemingway, not arsing around and paying good money to be deemed a 'qualified writer' by an academic institution. (I should say as an aside that I am now enrolled in Birkbeck's Summer Course in Female Memoir Writing, but what of that?)
Anyway, having been turned away so cruelly, there was nothing for me to do but consume further Rose, vom a little on my skirt, then come home and plot my revenge. This post, set to lay waste to the blogosphere, is merely the beginning. I have skills, for example internet banking fraud, and I have rage on my side. I've also just had a contraceptive implant (which stops your period for three years girls!) so, like Lady Macbeth, I will cry unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty!
Step one, an protest poem! I feel just like Brecht! Enjoy!!
Openning the cowl
I am self published!
Hark lute! Thumb me an envious tune
and autopsy reveal
the various instances
of the demise of the crowd song.
Openning the cowl
I am self kettled!
lyrical nonchalance from
complacent bloggers all set
on their own aggrandisement.
Openning the cowl
I am self-harming!
Just to see if I can write.
Trade marking utterances best left be
or taken out used worn destroyed
passed out again
through the thigh of a pig.
Pour into moulds the
filling of the Arctic Roll tube
as capillary excess waste
laden tissue damage
but let’s turn this about
and call it dessert!