Robin Morgan’s “Monster”

I have been struggling to find all of Robin Morgan’s poem “Monster” since I read an excerpt of it on Feminist SF – The Blog.

It’s an angry poem and I adore it. I would love to quote you the entirety of the piece, all 6 pages of its glory, but I would also like to respect Morgan‘s creative ownership of the piece.

I admire its bravery, I admire the descent to violence but not the submission to violence. I need it because it reminds me that there are ways of writing that align with my ways of being and that most of the written word and the spoken word are not written and spoken in those ways. It reminds me that there is nothing wrong or despicable about who I am.

Here is an excerpt:

And you, men. Lovers, brothers, fathers, sons.
I have loved you and love you still, if for no other reason
than that you came wailing from the monster
while the monster hunched in pain to give you the power
to break her spell.
Well, we must break it ourselves, at last.
And I will speak less and less and less to you
and more and more in crazy gibberish you cannot understand:
witches’ incantations, poetry, old women’s mutterings,
schizophrenic code, accents, keening, firebombs,
poison, knives, bullets, and whatever else will invent
this freedom.

This is adult, end-of-the-day Poetry Friday.

Introduction – Mary Alexandra Agner

I’m overdue on my fortnightly post. I’m recovering from another bout with my parents telling me my poems don’t make sense to them. I’m learning how to deal with the fact that I keep quitting.

My worries are subjective. They eat into the facts as though they were chocolate chips cookies, Friday afternoon, latch-key kid home and warm. Between the holes: I poet, I dance, I cajole prose from busy and reluctant scientists and engineers for money. (I tend to iambs, once I’ve started.)

I’m here to find out why I love so little poetry. I couldn’t live without writing it but lack appreciation for others’ work.

I recommend most of Nancy Willard‘s work, and Emily Dickinson’s, and Constance Merritt‘s, and Elizabeth Hadaway‘s.

I leave you with lines by Abbie Huston Evans:

—Here, take them, Emily, they hurt

In telling; can you bear

To hear of elderberries, skirt

The coasts of sun and air?

Know all that hurt you once hurts still.

Need any tell you how

Night brings the moon, dawn finds the hill?

Want you such hurting now?

Introduction – Brianna Brash-Nyberg

Hi there, everyone.  How many make up the “everyone” who read poetry blogs, anyway?  We should start a betting pool, making guesses on what our readership will be.

I’m Brianna, and you can find me elsewhere at my weblog, Jouissance, and my business site, Borealis Creative.  I write poems, plus a healthy dose of fiction (I’m working on my first novel–who isn’t?) and creative non-fiction.  I’ve also been making websites for fifteen years, almost since the Internet was born.  These days, I make websites for writers and other creative people.  I’m also the director of Booming Ground, UBC Creative Writing’s non-credit online writing studio.

In August of this year I finished my MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.  For my thesis, I wrote a book-length manuscript of poetry called Botany.  I’ll be starting the process of sending it out to publishers later this month.  I write a lot about plants, birds, mindfulness/wise mind, weather, the city, and other West Coast-y and nature-y things.  My poems have popped up here and there in Canadian literary journals, including The Malahat Review and Room.  I’ve taught writing to high school students and single moms, and I hope to continue to teach throughout my life.

I was at a party with a bunch of other poets last week, and we made each other name five favourite poets on the spot, without thinking.  I chose Anne Carson, Louise Gluck, Roo Borson, e. e. cummings, and Eric Miller.  If I had room for a couple of extras, I’d’ve thrown in Homer and Sappho–for my undergrad degree I did a minor in Greek and Roman Studies.  I still remember a few words of ancient Greek.

I’ve been “friends in the computer” with Mary for quite a few years now.  I don’t even remember how I found her journal.  Regardless, I’m thrilled to be a part of this wonderful collective and I’m very much looking forward to thinking about and with poetry in the company of these other three talented women and those of you who pause here for a while, read along, and hopefully join in the conversation through the comments.  There’s plenty of talk on the Internet these days about elections and economics and war and global warming and on and on.  I’m glad we’re making some space to talk about poetry, too.

In real life, I live in a cozy apartment near the beach with my husband of almost 6 years, Mike Borkent, who’s working on his MA in English Lit at UBC (focusing on cognitive poetics and the concrete poetry of bpNichol), and my fat and handsome old cat, the Gak, who’s working on convincing me to feed him, pet him, and/or let him outside.  It rains a lot in my city, but it doesn’t get too cold, so it all more or less evens out.

In my spare (ha!) time, I like to cook and experiment with raw food, make things with beads, travel, hike, camp, swim, do church-y things (I’m a progressive Christian, and generally hang out in the Anglican church), do yoga (it’s a requirement for citizenship in my neighborhood of Vancouver) and sleep.  I’m not so good with memorizing poems, but the one that’s always lurking at the back of my mouth is Ezra Pound’s “In A Station of the Metro”:

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

Introducing Jeannine Hall Gailey

Hey everyone! My name’s Jeannine Hall Gailey, and I’m excited to be a part of this blog project. I’ve just moved from Seattle to San Deigo and started teaching a poetry seminar at National University. My first book, Becoming the Villainess, was published by Steel Toe Books in 2006. Poems from the book were featured on NPR’s the Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor, Verse Daily, and in 2007’s The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror.  I’m working on two new books, one on fairy tale characters trapped in sleep, towers, and coffins and another on Japanese pop culture and folk tales. I volunteer at Crab Creek Review as a consulting editor and write poetry book reviews and essays on a regular basis. My blog is listed in the links, if you want to keep up with my goings-on, readings, etc, and you can learn more about me at Hey, this post is peppered with links!
I think it’s really important for people to have fun with poetry. To paraphrase an old evangelical saying, it’s a sin to bore people with poetry. So, to that end, I write a lot about popular culture – the culture that binds me and my x-er generation together! Let’s see, what else…I have a very supportive, poetry-loving engineer husband and two less supportive cats, do a little journalism on the side, and spent ten years as a web and technical writing manager before I became “serious” about poetry. I’m looking forward to doing more with this blog collective!

Introduction – Joanne Merriam

I’m Joanne Merriam. I’m 35, female, agnostic, an immigrant, a Red Tory, a proud Maritimer, a liberal feminist and a running dog capitalist. I write poetry and science fiction. I have a nuanced position on the Oxford comma. I’m a temp; right now I’m doing lease and title work for an oil and gas lease acquisition company. I’m from Halifax, Nova Scotia, but I’m living temporarily in Murfreesboro, Tennessee (former home of the world’s largest red cedar bucket) and officially reside in Concord, New Hampshire, where I’m returning in three months. My poetry collection The Glaze from Breaking (Stride) was released in the UK in January 2005 but is now out of print. My poems have appeared in more than two dozen periodicals and a handful of anthologies.

Hi. Hello!

“I think you think I don’t know who you are,”
she says at the window, “but I know what I know.”
– “The Puzzle House” by William Baer

Just as an aside, the Ampersand Project (and the online journal) that Peg mentions don’t exist anymore (the server they were on, and my laptop, had contemporaneous hissyfits, and rather than a painful reconstruction I just took them down), which means that a sustainable living learning center in New Mexico could take over the name (without, I’m sure, ever having heard of our use of it).

Introduction – Peg Duthie

Howdy! I’m Peg. I also answer to Mechaieh, Pixel, Pixie, Ribbons, Marriott, “no sister of his” (*waves to any Sherlockians reading*), and a number of other monikers. My last name is pronounced “DUH-thee.”

I became acquainted with Mary and Joanne via their online journals around — oh, golly, at least five or more years ago? I started reading Mary’s journal back when it was called “Prosody and Perl” — I think I happened upon it via some sort of update-your-journal-daily-in-December challenge that another web-friend was participating in, and I remember going “Ooh! Someone else wrestling with every damned cadence and breath…” (Witnessing people care about getting the details right is one of life’s bonniest pleasures, as far as I’m concerned. Mind, it’s a fine line between devotion to craft vs. driving everyone else batshit with one’s overthinking (never mind perfection vs. paralysis), but that’s a topic for some other post some other week.) Joanne – I think there was a link to her journal from Jessie’s that I happened upon; Joanne was running a monthly collaborative project called “Ampersand” at the time, and I ended up writing poems on DNA and posts about Fra Giovanni thanks to her prompts.

There’s a meditation lurking somewhere behind those details about the joys of online friendships and creative pingpong, but that too is a post for some other time. I may also indulge in rambletations on holiday poems, “The Hound of Heaven,” Jill Essbaum’s tattoos, and other mayhem. Work and bronchitis are currently cramping both my style and schedule, though, so for now what you’ll get are quick recs and a bit of shameless self-promotion.

First, the recs:

(1) I’m the kind of perfectionist dork who often feels compelled to look up a source even for a silly fly-by comment, so I Googled Blake’s “Little lamb who made thee” earlier this morning. To my delight, one of the links that showed up was this tribute to Tygger. I haven’t paged through the entire comment-thread, but “tightwhitepants” offered a vignette that ended with this gloriousness: “For the next half an hour, the friends sat and argued about whether Eeyore’s name was iambic, trochaic, or even spondaic, until it was time for tea and everybody went home.”

(2) I’m enjoying Samuel Wharton’s poems at No Tell Motel this week. They’ve got a spooky-creepy-playful vibe that’s connecting with me. The last stanza of “Humiliation Pictures” is so good I wish I’d written it.

Shameless self-promotion:
(1) Version 3.0 of Things Japanese in Tennessee went live yesterday. This is the latest incarnation of a course I’ve helped produce for the Japan-America Society of Tennessee over the past couple of years, and it now includes a section on poetry. (This is a beta release — the official premiere will be next month in Raleigh.) I think it’s a nice bit of fun (it’s intended for ages ten and up, with features such a selection of kigo (seasonal words used in haiku) read aloud in Japanese), so I encourage you to go see (and hear) for yourself.

(2) I found out this morning that my poem “Playing Duets With Heisenberg’s Ghost” has been selected as a “Judge’s Pick” in this year’s Science Fiction Poetry Association contest, which means it’ll appear in the winners’ chapbook later this year. I confess I’d been feeling more down than usual lately over some recent rejections, so aside from the never-ever-will-get-tired-of-it thrill of someone else liking my work, it’s a welcome shot in the arm. I also probably owe Heisenberg’s ghost some sort of libation, since this is now the second poem about him I’ve managed to sell. 🙂