February 23, 2013

"Slingshot Ouroboros: The Poetics of The Notebook" by Kate Colby

If there’s a theme to my work, it’s reflexiveness. It’s beyond reflexiveness. It’s the trite-and-true self-self-reflexiveness of standing between two mirrors, receding from and into one. Toward that end, which is not an end, but a perpetual process of self-digestion and evacuation, I often quote my own poems. It’s a part of the hammering home (“a weary, insistent banging”).

What I am trying to access, though, is not myself, but everything other than. I’m a slingshot Ouroboros (“I mean I’m a rebar Medusa”) and my impetus is language. Thus, the images of pocking, peppering, punching through this self-healing wall that runs through and around my poems. And while the sledgehammer might not bring down the house, it can still put a decent hole in the drywall.

February 22, 2013

27 Questions (Doez He Luv U?! Shud U Call Him?!?! Teenage Gurlz Only!!!) by Tiffany Denman


Plain, old, unromantic Anne Shirley. But please call me Cordelia. Anne is such an unromantic name. If you must call me Anne, please call me Anne spelled with an "e" and I shall try to reconcile myself to not being called Cordelia.

February 21, 2013

"Blood & Guts in High School: Ginger Snaps" by Jenn McCreary

We meet death-obsessed teen sisters Brigitte and Ginger (aged fifteen & sixteen respectively, but in the same grade due to brainy Brigitte having been skipped) as self-identified social outcasts who revel in their lack of status. Skulking in baggy pants and oversized jackets, smoking during gym class, and mocking the jocks and mean girls who backfill their high school in pop-culture shorthand, they spend their time staging elaborate & gorgeous death tableaus for an undefined school project. They are all inside jokes and private exchanges; they drip with sarcasm & condescension for anyone outside their circle of two. They make Winona Ryder’s Lydia and/or Veronica look like Mary Fucking Sunshine. Their bond—& their pact made at age eight, out by sixteen, or dead in the scene, together forever—is the emotional core of the film, a Canadian horror flick that’s kind of about werewolves, but really about girls, sisters, of female bonds and how they break.

February 20, 2013

"Dirty Dancing (Baby, Oh, Baby!)" by Catherine Esposito Prescott

I was in middle school. Pimples dotted my chin, nose and forehead like a connect-the-dots map to my awkwardness. In many attempts to define myself as something other than smart and shy, I tried and failed at almost everything: I was a lackluster cheerleader who couldn’t do splits, an over-padded and slow-reflexed field hockey goalie, softball’s most-improved-but-not-starting player and a short, benched would-be basketball star.  I had no boobs and no boyfriends.  To compensate, I laid more makeup over my oily face in one year than I have in the 25 years since combined (think color-coordinated outfits and eye shadows!).  Enter, Dirty Dancing.

February 19, 2013

Responsible Magic: Maureen and Rachel Thorson in conversation on Labyrinth

Maureen: You have no power over me!
Rachel:  That's what you think.
Maureen:  True. But if I say it loud enough, maybe I will vanquish David Bowie. So…rough guestimate...how many times did we see Labyrinth?

February 18, 2013

“Some Like It Hot” by Laura Orem

Curator's note: sorry about the ad at the beginning of this—it's one frame. I just had to show the clip.I’ve seen Some Like It Hot something like 100 times, and every time I still laugh out loud. The American Film Institute has picked it as the #1 funniest movie of all time. Why? The film’s basic schtick – two guys dress up like two girls to escape the bad guys – is fairly rusty as a comic premise. But this premise can be extrapolated into the larger, more layered and interesting theme of appearance vs. reality: who we are vs. who we pretend to be, and why we pretend in the first place. Billy Wilder’s fabulous script and direction, and the precise and luminous performances of the stars, combine to make a movie that is extremely smart, exciting, and, even after more than 50 years, still funny as hell.