Saturday, August 09, 2008

Make the world your salon.

Lisa Robertson places the above quote from Mina Loy at the beginning of Debbie an Epic--which you've all read, right? It is a direct address to you women:
Rhetors, Travellers, Neighbours, I've Been
thinking--yours are names I'd like to wear in
my lungs. All grace and catharsis you pull
thought across, and this stuff, this dignity
and doubt and tenderness pumping over
your flesh shows you exquisite. Since pari
ty is your minimum take this swank kiss:
This goes out to the women who read Lemon Hound and other blogs. Those who don't comment, don't enter into public discourse. What would it be like to make the world your salon? To be as comfortable with one's opinion at a conference table, or weblog, or otherwise, filled with experts (all men of course, with endless commentary designed to undermine your place at said table), as one is sitting across from friends in one's living room, a cup of tea and endless streams of commentary about everything from the design of the cup in hand, to the possibilities of poetry as a political tool, and so on?

Looking at the media surfaces, the illuminations on the net and elsewhere, I tire of seeing women commenting on commentary, or the style sections of newspapers, as adornment, as fluff. Note on the side bar a new list building. That of the she-blog, or other-blog. The voices outside the dominant streams of things. May it build. May it bite. What if Susan Sontag had blogged? What if Gertrude Stein or Mina Loy had blogged?

Make the world your salon.

* Note regarding fluff. What I meant by that statement is that women get to do "fluff" or be "fluff" easily enough. Check the commentary postings on the Globe and Mail over a week, you'll see it's largely men who get to have opinions about things, unless it's to do with a toaster, or pumps... I like pumps, you like pumps, but I wouldn't mind seeing women invited to comment on Afghanistan, climate change, the sinking loonie, and so on...

13 comments:

Beth said...

I'll take this opportunity to say that yours is one of the best poetry blogs I've read - I always learn from it. I'm surprised it doesn't receive more comments.

Shawna Lemay said...

I agree beth. A necessary, always thought provoking blog.

I like the challenge to 'make the world your salon.'

I think it's incredibly difficult to overcome that fear of leaving comments - at least it is for me. But also, that it's important to overcome that particular fear...

lemonhound said...

Yes, it is important. I'm thinking of a boot camp for girls...flagrant disagreements, out n' out slams...not that I advocate that kind of behavior, just that we face it.

And of course it's not only a gender thing...

lemonhound said...

And thanks for the feedback.

Very much.

VanessaP said...

If you do your bootcamp, I would very much like to play the part of the effete one from the Big City whom they refer to as "Professor," who turns to a sniveling pool of terror at the first sure sign of gunfire. Either that, or the one called "Cookie."

I'm in. And thank you.

Shawna Lemay said...

Yep - sign me up...

lemonhound said...

Vanessa, you are already Sir, in my mind.

Steven Fama said...

Question: "What if Gertrude Stein or Mina Loy had blogged?"

Answer: We'd probably not know who they where.

Forgive the pathetic snarkiness, which I use here to (perhaps foolishly) suggest that the towering achievements of Stein and Loy required immense effort and time, sustained for years, as well as an engagement in the flesh with the people about them. If they'd blogged, we maybe wouldn't be thinking about a silver Lucifer who serves cocaine in cornucopia, or that a rose is a rose is a . . . (etc.).

I ain't convinced Web Logs are a salon, or anything close. Blogs may be to salons what fun-house mirrors are to a bevel-edged wood-framed beauties.

Still, I wish you the audience and interaction you desire, and deserve (I gotta order your recently published chapbook).

lemonhound said...

Yes, there is probably some truth to that...one does wonder whether the blog is like a hole in one's creative well.

lemonhound said...

On the other hand, the call to make the world your salon has little to do with blogging and more to do with taking up space, or thinking publicly.

Thanks for the comments all.

Amanda said...

dang,i love commenting and i have a host of female pals who blog and comment too, about poetry, about the world at large & life in general. where are these quiet uncomfortable women you speak of? i know of few. or maybe they are just not into commenting...so what?sometimes things become self fulfilling prophesies the more they are repeated.
Amanda, who is not much of a tea sipper but enjoys a few good swigs from a whisky bottle anytime

et said...

Steven, I think your point is well taken about the Stein & Loy. But also, forms and forums change, and surely La Stein spent ages cultivating community (with the help of the Toklas browny).
Amanda, with all respect for your aplomb, I see no need to dismiss the encouragement and inspiration that comes from Sina's continual pointing out of patterns of our misogynist culture that absolutely occur in every poetryland I'm aware of. And her championing of existences that ride up against this by sheer virtue of their existence (and aplomb).
Perhaps I should look up what precisely aplomb means, but my girls are asleep and I'd be wise to be.
I am not blogging or writing much as I am busy caring for two young children, more work which is invisible/fakely visible in our culture, often thankless like poetry and feminism, but totally vital despite.
Love to all,
Elizabeth
PS I also like to read the blogs of Detorie & Boyer.

et said...

PPS Sina, loved the Bukowski a few weeks back. I went to sleep laughing somewhat terribly about how "the lines don't work."
His Bob Dylan Bob Dylan Bob Dylan poem is etched in me head.