Saturday, May 30, 2009

I wrote this two years ago...


The last angry scream

was heard in circa three zero one six,

said the Committee For Conservation

Of Emotional Diversity.

Plundered by Prozac,

anger management

and breathing skills,

it died at the turn of the century.

In its place, it spawned

a new religion of deep inhalers,

whose bodies were temples,

who ate low-fat meals.

Its demise was recorded

in the Extinct Emotion Registry,

created by a concerned few

in circa two zero seventy

to preserve all that was

lost or deleted,

when megachips decoded

genomic anomalies,

faulty circuitry,

marginal incongruities, 

and scrambled

the infinite capacity

that humans had for error.

©Reportergirl 9.01.07

Monday, May 11, 2009

Loose Change

For Anoopa, in response to Paper Money

Being alone can take you
to the doorstep
of any of the many
unsuitable men on this planet.

So while being alone
builds character,
it also breaks it. Yes,
this is the sound I make
as I eat my own words.

Being alone builds character.
I must have said that in the afternoon,
while still optimistic,
before the evening broke me
with its soft blows.

I nursed my drink and a city I once knew,
felt my way around it like we all did,
faltering, wanting something,
or someone.

©Reportergirl 10.05.09

Friday, May 8, 2009

Andrew Motion talks about his poetry

I liked this poem by Andew Motion....and what he says about his poetry. "My poems are the product of a relationship between a side of my mind which is conscious, alert, educated and manipulative, and a side which is as murky as a primaeval swamp. I can't predict when this relationship will flower. If I try to goad it into existence I merely engage with one side of my mind or the other, and the poem suffers.
I want my writing to be as clear as water. No ornate language; very few obvious tricks. I want readers to be able to see all the way down through its surfaces into the swamp. I want them to feel they're in a world they thought they knew, but which turns out to be stranger, more charged, more disturbed than they realised. In truth, creating this world is a more theatrical operation than the writing admits, and it's this discretion about strong feeling, and strong feeling itself, which keeps drawing me back to the writers I most admire: Wordsworth, Edward Thomas, Philip Larkin."

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Couplings, decouplings plus one

I  chanced upon the work of Maria Legault -a performance artist who is based in Toronto-- on Facebook of all places. All I did was click on a link for a photo album titled 'Memories of my Ex'--which I thought was an unusual title. The album was so compelling in its beauty. Maria poses with her lover-- a home-crafted life-size doll with a somewhat wistful expression.
So Maria and lover, whose name is Plus One are at the beach, they're getting married, they're kissing, they're on honeymoon --they enact all the public rituals of courtship. 
In her artistic statement, Maria says: "The futility of this romantic debauchery aims to explore the structures, boundaries and conventions of love relationships. Plus One embodies the surrogate lover, the transitional object that is an ideal ground for romantic projection. I use his uncanniness to paradoxically deconstruct love taboos while still indulging in their beauty and romanticism." 
The results are astonishing. I found the photographs so lyrical and moving. This one here, photographed by Beni Kori, took my breath away...To see the entire project, go here:
I thought about why this made such an impression on me and I realised there are several reasons. One is of course, coincidence. I stumbled across this just when I was thinking about the commercialisation of couplehood and certain frozen gestures of courtship and how they translate in social media. Come to think of it, the public image of couplehood and what constitutes it are pretty standard even though there are as many different types of being a couple as there are people.
Another reason this appealed to me was because I had also just read a column about the somewhat unrealistic expectations we have of our lovers. (I have two favourite agony aunt columnists--one is Mariella Frostrup who writes for The Guardian and the other is Cary Tennis for Salon). The clever Ms Frostrup tells a bored wife: "We expect a lot of our romantic unions these days - continuing romance, fulfilment, great sex, solid support, procreation, equal duties, selfless devotion, high-octane excitement, stability, longevity, unpredictability. You don't have to study that list for long to see how unachievable it is in its entirety."
So coming as it did, immediately after these thoughts and readings, Maria Legault's work seemed all the more relevant and wonderfully refreshing.