January 14, 2016

"Well, I think one can be more male and keep the vagina."

"More appealing to me than making any kind of permanent decision would be if you could kind of lean this way and then lean that way and have gender be a kind of vacationing."

From "Eileen Myles Wants Men to Take a Hike" — a NYT interview conducted by Ana Marie Cox. Myles is a poet, and somehow the very first question brings one the subject of that personage that nobody can stop talking about:
Our national political conversation has recently seen some rather unpoetic lurches to the right. How do you make sense of that? 

Poetry always, always, always is a key piece of democracy. It’s like the un-Trump: The poet is the charismatic loser. You’re the fool in Shakespeare; you’re the loose cannon...
I wonder if Cox thinks lurches to the left are poetic? This made me look up the word "lurch." I was surprised to see 3 separate entries, the first of which was a game similar to backgammon and the state in various games in which one player is way ahead of the other, which is where you get "to leave in the lurch." The second was the opportunity to keep someone else from getting his fair share of food, which is the basis of the phrase "to lie at the lurch." The third one is what Cox meant, "A sudden leaning over to one side," originally nautical. We see that in Byron:
 "A mind diseased no remedy can physic." 
(Here the ship gave a lurch and he grew sea-sick.)
But I did like that idea of a gender vacation — "if you could kind of lean this way and then lean that way." Lean... or, presumably, lurch. 

36 comments:

Bob Ellison said...

Dylan takes the time to make the words rhyme.
& have rhythm

chuck said...

> Poetry always, always, always is a key piece of democracy.

The mythical intelligent poet remains mythical.

Henry said...

I think it would be a great time for men, basically, to go on vacation. There isn’t enough work for everybody.

So basically, she does support Trump. She just lives in a much tinier country.

Rob said...

The fourth definition of lurch is a character in the Addams Family, or John Kerry.

Xmas said...

Lurches to the left are very poetic. It's all about freedom and throwing off the yoke of oppression. To live the life you need to live! (And to snap the necks of the ruling class for being so terrible to the proles for all those years. Some eggs must be broken when making a revolution omelet.)

Xmas said...

Also, artists, poets, authors and singers seem to have this idea that after the revolution they'll be allowed to create their art in peace, without having to dirty themselves with earning a living from their craft. They don't seem to realize that after the revolution they can only produce propaganda that glorifies the new state. Any deviation, and they will be put against the wall with the rest of the worthless aristos.

rehajm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rehajm said...

There isn’t enough work for everybody.

We'll all be a much better off once we can recite The Lump of Labor Fallacy.

Mike Sylwester said...

Here is an excerpt from her poem An American Poem:

.... I thought
Well I’ll be a poet.
What could be more
foolish and obscure.
I became a lesbian.
Every woman in my
family looks like
a dyke but it’s really
stepping off the flag
when you become one.


I was expecting that one of the following lines would end with the word fag, to rhyme with flag.

However, I could not find any rhymes at all.

This "poem" is all just prose, but it's difficult to read because it's prose that's printed with only four or five words on each line.

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/240258

Bruce Hayden said...

Never could take Cox seriously, after her seeming to rise to fame through talking about her preference for anal sex. Yes, ad hominem. But, still true.

Bob Boyd said...

If you like your vagina, you can keep your vagina.

chuckR said...

This would have been a more interesting interview had it been conducted by Camille Paglia rather than Cox.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Well, I think one can be more male and keep the vagina.

A mind diseased indeed.

David said...

Q: Do you think Fiorina is running as openly female, or is she closeted?

A: She’s probably as openly female as a Republican can be. That party does not support the reality of a female in any way, so what does it mean to be a woman running under the banner of that party? It’s total erasure.

"The reality of the female," especially in this context, claims that females have but one true reality, and that anyone who strays from that reality is erased. Now that is a truly oppressive concept. Conform to our concept of reality, or you are banished from your gender. Even worse, you are erased. Your existence is of no consequence. It's quite a horrible thing to say.

tim in vermont said...

"No true Scotsman" meet "No true female"!

Lyssa said...

you could kind of lean this way and then lean that way and have gender be a kind of vacationing.

I don't really understand why people seem to see no distinction between personality and gender/sex.

I suspect that this person would not see me as a "real female," whatever the heck that means.

tim in vermont said...

"I can't believe I wrote that! That's fantastic!"

Next answer: "Nothing I said was forgettable, it was all designed to be remembered."

Tolerance for ambiguity indeed.

Sebastian said...

"What do you think of Trump’s slogan: ‘‘Make America Great Again’’? I hadn’t even heard it until now. It is so forget­table. Nothing I said was forgettable. It was all designed to be remembered." If so, the design failed.

"You supported Hillary Clinton in 2008, but you wrote she wasn’t really a feminist until she was losing. Are you supporting her today? You know, I’ve grown to love Barack Obama. Hillary is no Bernie Sanders. But she’s a politician, and she understands Congress. And I think with that kind of twisted beauty, she could lead our country. I want a ‘‘she’’ in the White House now." Useful to remember when feminists start telling us that it's not a about a "she" in the WH.

"Do you think Fiorina is running as openly female, or is she closeted? She’s probably as openly female as a Republican can be. That party does not support the reality of a female in any way, so what does it mean to be a woman running under the banner of that party? It’s total erasure." Huh? But useful as a reminder of Prog perception: that a party "does not support the reality of a female"--and the implication that it is good and important for a party to "support" that "reality."

"You’ve written: ‘‘If the poetry world celebrated its female stars at the true level of their productivity and influence, poetry would wind up being a largely female world, and the men would leave.’’ What if society as a whole recognized women that way? I think it would be a great time for men, basically, to go on vacation. There isn’t enough work for everybody. Certainly in the arts, in all genres, I think that men should step away. I think men should stop writing books. I think men should stop making movies or television. Say, for 50 to 100 years." Actually existing feminism. But still a little odd for a poet to say that there isn't "enough work" for everybody: don't artists, you know, create stuff? Or did she mean, there isn't enough $$ and recognition for everybody, therefore it should all go to women?

Laura said...

Poet might want to watch that published line, "stepping off the flag/when you become one." Freudian slip?

tim in vermont said...

You know Sebastian, when you quote her out of context like that, she almost sounds like a misandryst.

mis·an·dry
miˈsandrē/
noun
dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against men (i.e., the male sex).
"her brand of feminism is just poorly disguised misandry"


The only thing missing from the definition is her picture.

tim in vermont said...

Do you think she's utterly amazed each morning that anybody takes her seriously or do you think she is completely oblivious?

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim in vermont said...

I wonder what the difference between "Men on vacation" and "Men on strike" would be?

Otto said...

nostalgie de la boue

AlbertAnonymous said...

Absolute F'ing Garbage!

Quaestor said...

Americans, and by that I mean left-lurching types mostly, have been busy, busy, busy debasing English poetry for nearly a century, which is ample time for even incompetent subversives to lay waste to an accomplishment of millennia. Today the word poet is a self-proclaimed title used by those with literary pretensions but with insufficient knowledge to discourse and imaginations too scanty to compose, whose grasp of rhyme and meter is too impoverished for the librettist's art, and whose syntactic economy would pink-slip a copywriter. On the belle-lettres food chain the post-modern American poet ranks just above Koko the Talking Gorilla, which goes a long way to explaining how an alleged adult could say, Poetry always, always, always is a key piece of democracy with a straight face. However, it does not explain how Ana Marie Cox can be published in the New York Times and not be able to use a semicolon.

YoungHegelian said...

Is there a more "Dog bites Man" story on the planet than "Left-wing lesbian poetess not fond of men"?

What's next? "Tigers found to be carnivorous"?

Joe said...

To summarize, Eileen Myles believes that women are so utterly incompetent at art that even the most untalented male needs to be pushed out of the way so women can succeed.

Why do women put up with such bullshit?

Quaestor said...

Isn't it amusing that little Miss Eileen has managed to achieve, probably unconsciously, a minor assonance with that un-Trump of hers. I mean, how gosh darned cute is that? I do hope her mommy has room for it on her refrigerator door.

Susan said...

To summarize, Eileen Myles believes that women are so utterly incompetent at art that even the most untalented male needs to be pushed out of the way so women can succeed.

Why do women put up with such bullshit?

The women who "leave work immediately and run to help" their friends get their hair done agree with her. The rest of us are generally at work and aren't aware that such stupidity even exists unless it is pointed out by someone like our genial hostess.

n.n said...

Gender fluidity, but why create that arbitrary threshold?

Constructing congruences to normalize politically favorable classes is inherently hypocritical.

Oh, well. If we can resume abortion rites, and cannibalism for medical progress, then literally anything can be pulled out of a penumbra, which has been reclassified to not destroy but corrupt everything within its fringe.

Mike Sylwester said...

This is what a real poem looks like:

The Children's Hour

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day's occupations,
That is known as the Children's Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the lamplight,
Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,
And Edith with golden hair.

A whisper, and then a silence:
Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together
To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall!

They climb up into my turret
O'er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;
They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses,
Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all!

I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!

Eric said...

This kind of crap is why I don't support public funding of the arts.

Quaestor said...

Bullwinkle recites Longfellow

Some tiny but wise voice whispers to me that Eileen Myles has never been even that close to poetry.

Drago said...

Q: Do you think Fiorina is running as openly female, or is she closeted?

A: She’s probably as openly female as a Republican can be. That party does not support the reality of a female in any way, so what does it mean to be a woman running under the banner of that party? It’s total erasure


This is just the latest variation (against Fiorina) of Steinems "Female Imposter" assertion made against Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Smilin' Jack said...

Would you consider running again? I mean, if the voters rose up with a write-in campaign, then of course I would serve.

Oh good. I'm off to bed, and now I know what my nightmare will be.