Inventory #619: Pioneer by Monica Wendel
I don’t know why we did what we did
except that someone else wrote it.
And since it was already written we were free.
"Art is the active site designed to explore and expand the spectrum of humanity that we will accept among us. It accomplishes this goal by breaking down the separation between idealism and materialism, by compelling us to face the fact that artworks are bodies that make us feel. The acceptance of disability enlarges our material and physical responses, while the rejection of disability limits the definition of art."
more of Tobin Siebers in conversation with Mike Levin. (More posts about loving my job?)
"My point is that disability aesthetics is valuable because it introduces a new mode of perception concerning what a human being is. It asks us to see our fellow human beings differently and introduces a critical distance in the perception of society and cultural values. At the same time, it contributes to an age-old concern about what you call human weakness. It asks us to set down this usage, to understand that ability is not one-dimensional, that there is a great diversity in the ways that human beings belong to and contribute to the world."
(In other words — prepping for the semester — and remembering that there is such beauty in literature.)
ashleyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy said: Hey I need help, I see you wrote about the beats movement and I am having a hard time with this paper I have to write. We have to write about the Beats and women in the postwar united states. How the experiences of Beat women (from end of 1940s through 1950s) were unique and How their experiences were similar to those of other women in the united states after WWII. I also have to summarize minor characters and I did not read the book ):
Wow! I’m so glad you contacted me. My favorite thing to do is help students with plagiarism. Why don’t you give me your teacher’s email address so I can let her know how you arrived at the answers to your assignment?
"To depict disabled people in the ordinary activities of daily life is to admit that there is something ordinary about disability itself, that it might enter anybody’s life."
Nancy Mairs, in "HERS"
The Book Report
Now at HiFi, 169 Ave A, NYCTuesday July 8 at 8:00
Reports on books by the people who’ve read them.
Featuring essayist Chelsea Hodson, poet Monica Wendel, poet & humorist Mark Leidner, and poet Sarah Bridgins. Hosted by the indefatigable Leigh Stein and the inimitable Sasha Fletcher.
I’ll be reading a book report about Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories. Spooky!
Regram from @tristan_fitch Thanks to all who came out for the Rekover Projects Reading Series @monicaewendel @cdunlap123 @katie_heart
reading poems about paintings in front of paintings
"Despite hand-wringing at each technological turn — radio, the Internet — the future will be much like the past. Artists will sell some things but also give some things away. Change may be troubling for those who crave less ambiguity, but the life of an artist has never been filled with certainty."
Jonathan Lethem, "The Ecstasy of Influence"
Cathy Linh Che, Pt. 1 In the Underworld, / I starve a season / while the world wilts
For each day of National Poetry Month one of our fellows will explore the breadth of poetry in three ways: through a question from another fellow, through a poem and through a writing prompt, #writetoday.
Debbie Yee asks, Cathy, Are there real or virtual spaces you go to for research? What or where are they? What do they inform you?
Cathy Linh Che answers,
Thanks, Debbie, for the question! My answer is roundabout, but I do get around to it. Here it goes:
Like Paul Tran, and so many others, I was sexually molested as a child—and have felt the ripple effects into adulthood.
I write about my experiences because I’m uneasy with the silence. I’m uneasy with the abject and unfathomable horror surrounding the topic—as if sexual molestation is not something that happens to one in three girls and one in seven boys. At a table with ten folks, several people have been sexually violated at some point in their lives (whether we identify as victims, survivors, or something else), or are perpetrators. So, it’s not ‘unimaginable’—it’s lived experiences that we all share.
When I have a concept or an image I want to explore, I look up definitions and etymologies on the internet. I do Google images searches. I turn to different mythologies and origin stories. I buy books and read up on psychology and psychoanalysis. I go home and inhabit spaces where these incidences have taken place. I look at personal experiences again and again—after all “research” is about looking closely and looking repeatedly.
Type in the word rape into the Online Etymology Dictionary and you get:
late 14c., “seize prey; abduct, take by force,” from rape (n.) and from Anglo-French raper (Old French rapir)
When I learned that rape originally meant to abduct, or to carry off by force, I thought of the myth of Persephone in a new way.
I saw her abduction, then being carried off into Hades, as a kind of childhood rape story—and from there, I wrote.
Editor’s Note: If you are interested in information about support services as a sexual assault survivor, please visit RAINN.
I open my chest and birds flock out.
In my mother’s garden, the roses flare
toward the sun, but I am an arrow
I am Persephone,
a virgin abducted.
In the Underworld,
I starve a season
while the world wilts
into the ghost
of a summer backyard.
My hunger open and raw.
I lay next to a man
who did not love me—
my body a performance,
his body a single eye—
a director watching an actress
I was the clumsy acrobat.
When he came, I split open
like a pomegranate
and ate six of my own ruddy seeds.
I was the whipping boy.
Thorny, barbed wire
wound around a muscular heart.
Originally published in Split (Alice James Books, 2014)
On Persephone and bravery and Cathy Che.
“their words make this possible”: A Roundtable Discussion of Poetics of Emplacement with poets from Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence
Some of my words (about 250 of them) appear over at Spoon River Poetry Review.