yeah, but conversely, just cause your boobs are in there doesn’t elevate the art in some way. i really liked this poem and wanted to love it, but kept getting distracted by like “oh god, is this the beginning of an army of marie calloway wannabes?”
a lot of women’s writing is posted on this site without also having to feature the authors’ bodies in any way. I don’t understand why this poem has to be accompanied by a video of the author rolling around in a bed with her cleavage hanging out, trying really hard to be cute. It actually makes it worse in my opinion. Does Blake or Chris or whoever really think that makes this poem better? Will they please post their writings with images of their dicks behind from now on? Thanks!
I understand the point you’re trying to make, and would normally agree because I pay attention to these sorts of things, but… why are you obsessing over her breasts? That might say more about you than the poet. Sure, a lot of women’s writing is posted without featuring the bodies but this is how this poet chose to feature her work. Is she being provocative? Probably, but the rolling around and what not, is kind of beside the point? I’m also thinking about the book trailer for Rachel Eliza Griffith’s Mule & Pear (a gorgeous poetry collection, you can find the trailer somewhere on the site because I posted it), and it has a somewhat similar aesthetic. I don’t know that one informed the other, but this is not… the first time a woman has rolled around in bed reading poetry.
Also, just as a frame of reference, similar stuff from guys has been posted here. There was that one kid who tried to pull his dick off and recited a poem (I think) and then some other guy who was completely naked reading a poem who had a massive cock. And of course, in popular culture, there’s D’Angelo, Untitled and Erykah Badu stripping in Window Seat, and on and on and on. There are all sorts of reasons for displaying the body or expressing sexuality while also performing a creative work. Some of those reasons are organic and some are craven but in this particular instance, I am certain neither Blake nor Chris was sitting around thinking about breasts as some kind of merit for the poem. I watched the video and kind of laughed and thought, OH KIDZ! I also thought the poem was great.
(And clearly, I see this as different from what MC does. I don’t know why.)
Thank you for your thoughts! In this experimental poem-performance, Gabby Gabby subverts male patriarchy by having her tits hang out of her shirt as she rolls around in patriarchal sheets, in a bed made by men in a patriarchal bed factory. The bed, I should mention, is a symbol of male potency and dominance, particularly the headboard, which, during the act of sex–particularly in the patriarchal missionary position–is violently smacked against the patriarchal wall (walls are patriarchal, too, because they connote domestic enclosure).
Anyway, in this experimental poem-performance, the male viewer is forced to confront his patriarchal male gaze as he negotiates multiple texts that implicate his own participation in a hegemonic culture that oppresses women. You and others have claimed how “distracting” the poem is–but, aha!–that’s the point! As reader-consumer in a capitalistic, consumer-driven, patriarchal society, you are participating in a meta-narrative, paradigmatic textual shift that implicates your own privilege–a simulacrum of the patriarchal society we live in, one where oppressed women like Gabby Gabby subvert male patriarchy by having their tits hang out their shirts as they roll around in patriarchal sheets, in patriarchal beds made by patriarchal men in patriarchal bed factories.
Ha ha! Too funny. The point is I’m sick of women displaying their bodies next to some weak ass writing, like that makes it somehow interesting or provocative or brave. It seems cowardly and safe and boring.
Hi, June. I liked the poem. If the author were not a young normatively attractive female, but an older larger less normatively attractive female (or male), would you be commenting on this poem as “weak ass”? I don’t think you would, though I don’t know you and so won’t be so forward as to attach the words “cowardly safe and boring” to what I perceive from you as some pretty lazy, responsive thinking. Regardless, the writer’s looks are not important to my criteria for posting. If I
enjoyed the video for her looks alone I would probably play it alone for
myself in my room and not share it widely on a website primarily about
books (though yes the bounds of what is discussed here are wide). I also thought the video was interesting in context of people shitting on previous posts regarding the work of a young woman of a very different nature than the one presented here, which is why I chose to post it when I did.
Now if you’ll excuse me I must get back to bookmarking my recent favs on Youporn.
It really surprises me that you think this video is “the work of a young woman of a very different nature” than MC. It’s the same shit, just less direct. A girl using her body to get more attention for her “art”, that is lazy. Post something *actually* very different from that, perhaps?
Someone here recently, don’t remember which thread, referenced artist Laurel Nakadate, who said in an interview, “I have the right to make these performances with the body and the face I was given.” It’s a quote that I’ve used in more than one comment thread, including one on Marie Calloway, because it is an issue that seems relevant to a lot of these discussions about art as well as a lot of discussions that are being had outside art, like access to birth control etc. In what ways are assertions of sexuality feminist/anti-feminist?
Jesus I’m not saying a woman doesn’t have the “right” to do something boring and stupid, I’m just saying I’m disheartened by it, and by someone like Blake Butler championing it when normally he posts things that are very creative, surprising, and brilliant. It’s all very fucking depressing.
i was raising the question, not saying you were saying anything in particular. but it seems blake does think this is creative etc, and you’re just having a difference of opinion. that’s fine, blake likes some dumb shit [sorry, blake. you do like bad tuba playing], and disagreeing is whatever, awesome, but i believe that he really does like this poem, breasts or not.
oh, and i think i do too, though i haven’t made up my mind yet. some things in it were pretty surprising, and good.
suedo-Chris’s work is more coherent than its alethio target, so, sure: ha ha. (There is scholarship, even in Transgressy Studies. And they who enable a deserved good-night’s-sleep should own the world, no?)
Totally agree. I couldn’t even listen to the words… that and the cheesy slutty I’ll-suck-your-dick-for-a-dollar expression on her face… I obviously cannot judge the poem, but the video is cheap and ridiculous… If that was the point, it doesn’t make it less cheap and silly.
“alethio” = ‘true’, antonym of pseudo[-], fr. Gr. αληθης, -ες, ‘unconcealed, true’, antonym of ψευδης, -ες , ‘false, lying’ (Greek defs from LSJ, standard Gr-Eng dictionary)
I now see that alethino[-] would have been better, αληθινος being an ancient as well as modern way of saying ‘true’ that’s easily prefixed to other words.
I like and so repurposed your “psuedo-“.
I suspect the likers are amused and not much confused. ??
‘Slow’ is not ‘dim’ (I keep telling myself).
Your handle is Michae Al Martin or Michae AI Martin. I think that’s an ‘el’ and not a capital ‘eye’ – a misplaced capital ‘ay’ in the word ‘Michael’ – , but it looks like caps MAIM or MAM. Why haven’t ‘you’ been roasted for a) picking on women, or b) picking on men?
By the way, your post about how you show your breasts because you think breasts are just body parts and should not be regarded as sexual (and how men show their breasts all the time and no one has a problem with that!) is really sad. Maybe that might be nice, but that is not our world. Breasts, at this time, in this country, are sexual parts. Showing them is not proving that they are not. In fact it proves the opposite. I don’t think it’s “unfair” that you get extra attention for showing your body alongside your writing–obviously the attention you get for it is not the kind of attention I care about. It’s not a matter of fairness, it’s a matter of the thing you have made. Spend more time reading and writing and less time worrying about your body & making cutesy videos and maybe you’ll get some real attention. Everyone has a body. Girls have boobs. Who cares. Try thinking an original idea with your brain, that seems cooler.