Thursday, August 4, 2011

That whore's black heart

For months and months I have been bound to the songs of 'Have One On Me' (2010). My affair with Newsom's poetry has evolved into a love-like liaison; a sad story unfolds, riddles unravel. Autumn, winter and spring were wrapped up in 'Easy', all the lovely intentions and yearnings beyond which mere desperation and forlornness lie. She is already worn to the bone by the river, a little life-giver devoid of edibles and nurture, symbolical or otherwise. In the end, it 'Does Not Suffice'. Nor was she that easy to keep, but a burning, twisting and grimacing creature; a spider-dancing woman not having her way, burdened by the uneasiness of trying to love a man who is badly hurt, a silly goose. She is eaten and drained by a Bluebeard character and a butcher-boy, for there is destruction and annihilation in even the less-than-mighty men, leaving behind streams of untidy furrows and the broken necks of jackrabbits. 'My faith makes me a dope', she says.

In addition to love's godawful lawlessness and all the dulling and dumbing in the service of the heart alone, I am aware of how I think with my cunt. I'm a blow-up doll, a test-dummy for pleasure production. Then why would I like to dwell in this generic love shit, as Bianca and Sierra so deftly put it? Why, instead of taking rides with deranged and vampiric men, would I like to tremble like a kitten? And boy, do I tremble: I shake and quiver like Lola Montez. But how can I be such a dope and throw myself at fickle arms that constantly recoil in terror?

In Atwood's 'Bodily Harm' (1981), Rennie is being put down for her want:

'You were too obvious', Paul says. 'You were doing everything right out in the open. You were too nice. You were too naïve. You were too easy. Anyway, you wanted it too much. I can tell when a woman's faking it.' Rennie puts her fork down carefully on her plate. Something is being used against her, her own desire, she doesn't know why. 'I'll do the dishes', she says.

For Rennie, her sexual encounters with Paul have substantial meaning. She enters her body again, she can still be touched. For Paul (admittedly, a 'careful' and 'intent' lover), her desire is ridicilous and lucid – a manifestation on female excess. Lust is something to be used against a woman (a wench, a slut, a harlot). Eventually, doing the dishes and carrying the fate of Two begins to grow on her, on me. There's a tiresome weight and languish in my body; my warring heart turns black and terrible. To save face and career, one must flee like Lola. And yet, I prefer succumbing and vulnerability to a fairy paradise.

Will Matthew ever speak to me, I wonder.

(Ms Montez photographed by Southworth and Hawes of Boston, 1851.)

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