Here's Speaking Out, my brief essay/rant on questions about creative responses to the rash of LGBT youth suicides & the search for voice, published on the staff blog for the literary magazine, Gulf Coast.
I can't quite stop thinking about Untitled, a film of pornstars reading poems by Laurel Nakadate, based on text by Dora Malech. It's not actually that I think the film itself is perfect, or even entirely well done - maybe I would've chosen different girls? some better spoken? set up filming so the sound would be more clear? given different direction? BUT.. but.. but... as I'm watching this whole thing sort of lazily, scanning through it, I come to Stacy Adams (at around 5 minutes) reading 'Hush Money' and think - What? I feel bad for her somehow, but intrigued. I watch it again. I go find the text of the poem, read it, watch the video again. I can't tell whether I feel tricked or disappointed or something else. The film's not what I'd call capital A art, but neither is it merely pedestrian. In any case, it made me think -it made me think about the poems, about poetry, and disrupted my daily. Maybe that's capital A art after all. It caught my attention doubly too, since after reading the text of 'Hush Money' and some others of Malech's, I realized, this is a poem I might not have stopped to take a second look at. I've been so caught up in narrative for so long, here I'd nearly forgotten this type of tight, splendid music. Below is the poem by Dora Malech that Stacy Adams reads, and there are more over at No Tell Motel, it's an easy sift through the archives.
Pretend this is legal. Pretend this is tender.
Composed of one carpel a pistil is simple.
Inside the engine, the piston's a-thrusting.
Spleen's an impostor, gland-like but ductless.
Chrysanthemums bloom and God's in Havana.
Shift the sandals and stand agape.
The corpse is in the copse, of course.
(and yes, yes, this is the inside of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - stacks reflected in the window that looks into the dinosaur exhibit in the Museum of Natural History. Pittsburgh, I love you.)