Tag Archives: feminism

Classroom

It once was poets were secret sharers.
We had the facts and we voted obscure
references and high emotional
intelligence. We left it all to be
discovered, teaching men to fish for words
and women to fish for equality.
The lines are all different lengths and the
stanzas fat or short or unmeasured or
strictly structured, but each poem ending
eventually, often by its own
hand. But there are no secrets anymore.
We have nothing left to share but old rhymes
and dusty structures, as though metaphors
were heirlooms we found in a steamer trunk.

She’s Asking For It

She slides along the aisle in stilettos, a sexualized wave that parts the sea of sweaty, sordid lepers like the goddess embodied in her physique. A familiar emblem bulges from her bust with a voluptuous gravity that curves with the earth, drawing everything towards her with the density of a supermassive black hole. Symbols have power, as all magicians know, and the double stacked double-you that frames her clavicle easily indoctrinates the masses. Her lips, lavish and ambrosial, stay pressed in a tight line across her cleanly shined face, which effortlessly reflects the flashes from camera phones and men. Still, she keeps on stalking, never stopping for a smile, as if on a vaguely detailed mission full of danger, sex, and spandex heroics.

A man fumbles towards her, tripping on the laces of his ill-fitting sneakers. When he finally recovers and returns to stand erect, his hands are already deep in the pockets of his oversized khaki cargos gripping for something for something hard about four inches in length. “I love your costume! She’s my favorite superhero. Can I get a picture?” he asks, spitting excitement as he whips out his iPhone and readies it in his hand, pausing eagerly as he awaits her response.

She sighs, rolls her eyes in an arc like her hips and turns to face her fan. She lets out an exasperated “Fine,” keeping her eyes glued toward the skies where such a super human form was surely born, and strikes an exhausted and uncommitted pose for the briefest moment, just enough for him to snap a single picture.

I subtly suggest that she’s not in the mood for photographs, to which he responds: “But she dressed up in a superhero costume! Of course she wants her picture taken. I mean, look at her — she’s asking for it!” He turns his attention back to fire and says, “Hey, can you do the —” but she’s already turned away, escaped into the shadows just as swiftly as she came.

Disjunction Junction

I’d like to say that the picture surprised me, but that sentiment would get us off to a bad start. It would make me sound dishonest, and that lack of trust is hardly the kind of thing on which to build a healthy relationship (we’ve got to at least get past the introductions before I start lying to your face, and there’ll be plenty of time for that). No, the centerpiece of Carey’s opening was really more vapid than anything else. Sure, it was violent and surrealist, and this was all good and shocking at the exact moment that I laid eyes on the frame, but after that, it just felt stodgy. Mundane. I went from “Oh my God!” to “oh,” in less time than it took to blink. It was just the kind of thing you’d expect her to do.

“I really wanted to do something personal this time,” she explained at the gallery. “There’s such a disjunction between the artist and the art, and I wanted to find a way to bridge that gap.” Disjunction? Who says that? “Even with self-portraiture, there’s this like, disconnect, because you frame the shot, but the camera actually takes it—but it’s automated, ya know? It’s a machine—and then you have to develop the film, and I wanted to find some unity in the process, and explore what it means to be an artist in a post-analog society.”

She went on to explain that the whole idea came about when she accidentally cut herself in the dark room. She was struck by the idea of a photograph that literally bleeds, so after the film was developed, she decided to make it happen. From what I understand, she made a solution of epoxy and her own blood and applied it directly onto the finished photograph with a paint brush. She then sealed the picture in an airtight frame just as it begin to congeal; rather than allow the mixture to harden, she wanted to capture it while it was still fresh and alive and actively bleeding. Apparently, this now qualified her as a multimedia artist.

The picture, she said, was intended to illuminate the violent discordance between youth and adulthood at the onset of puberty. The childish subject of the photograph epoxy-bled from dozens of small holes on its back, while long green grass blades penetrated its rough, synthetic skin. This was supposed to be phallic in some way, something about nature and rape and nurturing matriarchal conceptions in an otherwise patriarchal something something. I don’t know.

I decided to ask the question that I think was on everybody’s mind: “So…why’d you take a picture of a Chia Pet?”

Afterward, I apologized, and told her that I’d had too much of that free champagne they were passing around so readily. This was a lie, of course; I didn’t have a single thing to drink the entire night. Mainly because I didn’t want to sleep with her again, but I lied about that part, too.