So, apparently, when you’re a femme-dyke poet, you write Glosas. (Thanks, Amber Dawn. 😉 )
Dorothy Chan has a poem featured at Matrix Magazine, written from the (theoretical) perspective of a Playboy Centrefold.
I find poems like this Interesting because, while there is a tonne of overlap between women who do sexwork and women who write poetry, as a professional naked person who has done plenty of this kind of modeling (albeit definitely not for those kind of excellent rates), I find myself wondering if Dorothy Chan has worked in this particular industry.
(I admit to a suspicion of Not, but I’ve been wrong before, so hey).
So I decided to write a glosa using the last four lines of her featured poem.
I’d originally thought it would be one for “We Are All Jezebel” (a manuscript that I work on intermittently which looks at the intersection of femme, slut, and ho – as per Kathryn Payne’s essay in Brazen Femme) and talk about my own experience as a model doing glam nudes and boudoir shoots.
But that’s not how it worked out at all.
I actually wound up talking about hunger – hunger for food, hunger for sex, how food and sex and bound up together in my head andmy body in a way that has nothing to do with whipped cream and chocolate body paint and everything to do with being nurtured and fed on an emotional/heart level – about asexuality and eating disorders and needing to relearn “healthy eating habits” in my skin.
So it’s going to end up in “How to Cook a Heart” – the manuscript I work on much more frequently that explores queer polyamourous love & desire and the building of chosen family through the lens of local-seasonal food (growing it, cooking it, preserving it, sharing it, you name it…).
Here’s a sample of what I wrote today:
can almost taste her
the edge of memory burns
my tongue on her hip bone I sob
at a kiss
I’m allowed to crave
or am I? This sheath shows every flaw
I want to shrug off
let you have me like this
straps falling down, breasts out, bending my body over,
It’s a work in progress, as they say. 😉
Filed under poetry, writing
So, my chapbook is at the print shop.
There was rigamarole, but it has (fingers crossed) (probably) passed.
As of Wednesday morning I should have a stack of fifty chapbooks with bright red covers (becuase I’m opting for stereotypical, apparently) to call my own and, y’know, hawk at my upcoming show, where it’ll be available for $5 at the Merch Table.
This wee, self-published collection of fifteen poems focuses on my work as a model, and touches on the places where that work overaps and intersects with different areas of the sex industry. It is mostly new work, written in the past year, though a few older pieces are included.
This isn’t my first chapbook, but it’s the first one I’ve made with either a colourful cover OR the sense to make mention of its Limited Edition nature. Here’s hoping that the reading goes well enough that people in attendence will want copies of their own to take home.
Filed under poetry, writing
So I may or may not have mentioned this back in, like, February, when this scheme was first cooked up, BUT: I’m in a show! With Amber Fucking Dawn! 😀 😀 😀
Be still, my little femme literary heart! 😀
It’s a free show at 7:30pm, on Saturday, June 13th (so a week from this coming Saturday) at Venus Envy in Ottawa. The occasion is the launch of Amber Dawn’s quite awesome new book of Glosas – Where the Words End and My Body Begins – and there will be a sex-positive write-in (audience non-mandatory participation, essentially) during the show.
There will be love-letters to queerdom, poetry about queer history, femme identity, modeling, & sexwork, short stories told and read, and, as the flyer puts it, a whole lot of “sex, sass, humour, and healing”.
In short, you should all come.
FREE show ft Amber Dawn, Kalyani Pandya, and ME!
Saturday, June 13th, 2015
7:30pm – 9:30pm
Venus Envy (226 Bank St, Ottawa)
So, upon saying Yes to doing a show this coming June, I set The Novel aside (temporarily…) in order to focus on writing the raw material for what will, by the time the show rolls around, be a (hopefully) gorgeously-polished chapbook about my experiences as a Professional Naked Girl.
But I gathered up most of those poems yesterday and I’ve got about the right amount, plus a few extras. They still need to be worked on – some polished, some straight-up finished, some (probably) combined to make new, individual poems – but I’ve got enough stuff pulled together that I feel fairly safe bringing prose back onto the table, in some way at least.
To that end, there is this: WritingChallenge.org
Which comes with this handy little essay on Why 500 Words A Day Works for Me (and Might Work for You), which I’m just going to leave here for people to find and read. Go ahead. It’s handy stuff. 🙂
Tonight is the VERSeFest Volunteers event, so I’ll be hanging about with other Awesome Poetry People this evening.
A poet I admire asked me if I would like to read with her.
I said yes.
We are going to do a show together in the summer, possibly with a third poet.
We will be making zero money as the door-take will be going to a local non-profit – although she and the potential third poet will have books/chapbooks to sell – but it’s a show. I haven’t done a show in over a year at this point, so I’m quite looking forward to it.
And, hey. Now I have an external deadline by which to be finished one, ideally two, manuscript(s). So that’s a handy thing as well.
So, now that VERSeFest is over for another year, and National Poetry Month has officially begun, I find myself inspired (and also encouraged by my lovely wife) to get a full-length manuscript finished.
My plan – inspired, in a round-about way, by a poem called “Food” on the subject of microgastronomy – is to write two poems per day (maybe more, in some instances) following the months of the year and the foods that become (or are most) available during each month. So I have a poem called “Cabbage Water” that fits into January’s cycle, another one called “Rhubarb” that fits into June, and a third, “Coming”, that is for April. Just as a couple of examples.
I sat down, the other day, and came up with titles – this is a trick I learned in a poetry workshop, umpteen years ago – so that I’d have jumping-off points for all of the poems. Most of them are pretty clear, and having significant associations with the timing and the… foodways? economic realities? socio-seasonal activities?… that go along with each title, each item on this grocery list of a ToC, I have a pretty good idea of where these poems are likely to go. Writing about garlic mustard and necessity, serviceberries and unexpected abundance, bread and heart(h), river-thaw and hope.
They aren’t all about food. Some of them are about techniques, a few of them are about waiting, anticipation (April is made of waiting and anticipation, I-tell-you-what).
Anyway. We’ll see what happens.
Filed under poetry, writing
Just posting this here for future reference: On Word-Counts and Novel-Length.
I have this problem as well, thinking that 80,000 words is “not long enough” for a “real novel”. What I write is still on the very short end of things, even for a Category Romance (for example), which is good to know. Erring on the side of too short is… still too short. It’s easier to cut than to add, after all. But getting a draft done and then looking for the holes that need to be filled is a good place to start on that front.
Filed under prose, writing
So… I’ve hit 15,000 words on my current word-document. I’ve got a few thousand more already written, and I seem to be sticking fairly well to the spirit of my carefully crafted novel outline, if not the letter.
I’m essentially two months into Story World’s timeline. I’ve added some extra stuff, and moved some stuff around, but I was able to get the “ghost” (bits of the MC’s past) in where it needed to go, and I think I’ve found another reason for the Primary Opponent to believe that The House should belong to her and not to the MC.
I kind of want to type up the stuff that I hand-wrote (yes, I’ve gone back to typing. I’ll probably be switching back and forth on an as-needed basis through-out the entire writing process), just so it’s all in one place. But things are coming along.
Today, I got the first incling of a character developing a voice, so that’s a massive relief. I hope to hear more of said voice as I continue to plug away at this. Here’s hoping it all goes well. 🙂
Filed under prose, writing
Holy crap, my novel is seriously fucked up.
By-which I mean:
I’m trying to write a sympathetic character who is really a quite horrible person (at least at the beginning of the novel)… which is proving difficult, and I think I’m going about it the wrong way.
But also… The mess of interpersonal relationships is just SO SAD.
The MC’s mom got in a fight with the MC’s grandmother (mom’s mom) a month+ before the grandmother died, and they Stopped Talking To Each Other, and then she died and the mom just didn’t know and they never had the chance to fix things.
If that happened in real life, it would be fucking tragic.
Anyway. Back the word mines. I have no idea how this is going to work.
So I interviewed a local musician for an indipendent queer newspaper (actually an online thing). Definitely no pay, but still. My name is Out There in one more way.
Glad it went up in time to let their readers know about the musician’s album launch before it actually happens (it’s tomorrow night).
In other news, I have written a few new poems since my Dusty Owl Feature on the 20th, so I’m feeling a little better about my writing. I’m on the eve of Nanowrimo, though, so it’s just about time to dive back into the novel. None the less, I’ve been enjoying writing poetry – about brushes with The Numinous, among other things – these past few days. Here’s hoping I can keep it up. 🙂