link to .pdf Complete booklet includes “Downtime,” “PC,” “2004. Buenos Aires,” “DJ,” “Dear friend,” “John Doe,” “A haiku,” “Je t’aime,” “They told me something sad,” and “Too Much”
2004: Buenos Aires
and this was the city that i missed so much?
You have to dance, they tell me You have to be there dancing, always Sometimes in life you have to assume roles But I can’t get up from the floor
i get bored i smoke a joint i sit in a chair i think: i’m snub my photos have no poetic flight my poems have no poetic flight and aside from that, i don’t have tits
Small black room with tightly pressed bodies The DJ announces what’s hot: cuban hip hop
I spend the night waiting for him to play something from the nineties
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2005 From: “marina Alessio” Subj.: dear friend To: “Germán Garrido”
time’s flying by and i’m stuck here shut indoors counting corpses in ashtrays
i’d like to have two boyfriends equally gorgeous and live with both in a house with separated bedrooms
i’m a bitch and i’m suburban i had an ulcer when i was 17 my bathroom doesn’t have heated water and i don’t live with the man i love any more
Marina Alessio was born Buenos Aires in 1980. She studied photography and film. She is a writer, photographer and art curator. She has published the books of poetryAmigos, se sacarían la ropa para mí? (Plush, 2003), Contigo Punk y Cebolla (Abunda Ediciones, 2005) and Pecés (Triana, 2010). She has an unedited novella: No tengo ganas de bailar.
She currently owns the art gallery Mite, and a bookstore dedicated to contemporary art and poetry, Purr.
i want to walk into work and scream GO HOME IT’S OVER GET OUT
i kept thinking things like ‘fuck my asshole’ at work today
a child walked through the shampoo isle that i had just finished organizing
and used a buzz lightyear doll to ruin everything
i kept calling him ‘little buzz lightyear bitch’ in my head as i stacked the shampoos back up
i felt like i wanted to tell him that he will grow up to feel alone and disappointed and he will probably do something repetitive and boring for the rest of his entire life and he will constantly feel like someone is bludgeoning his heart with a buzz lightyear doll
but he was just a kid and he looked really sorry so i just looked at him and kinda smiled and said ‘it’s okay’
i’m pretty sure one of my coworkers came into work blazed out of his mind
he kept making ‘static’ sounds into his walkie so people would think it was broken
and he wouldn’t have to go up to the registers when they called for backup
he laughed and said to me, ‘i do this all the time’
he looked very proud of himself
a jamaican woman with a thick accent came up to me and asked me where the ‘dutch’ was
i felt confused as to what she was referring to
‘you know… the dutch… for your coochie’ and she pointed to her crotch
the coworker that i’m pretty sure was high kept bringing candles all the way up from domestics and kept making me smell them
he smelled a ‘cotton candy’ candle for ~2 minutes and then made me smell it ~3 times
he kept smelling the candle and saying ‘this is amazing wow’
an older coworker (~40) winked at me two times and made me feel uncomfortable
i feel like i was mainly uncomfortable because he had pieces of cheese in his moustache
the winking seemed normal compared to the cheese/mustache
a coworker named ‘spencer’ made a concerted effort to become friends with me
he kept telling me stories that were actually just sentences:
‘when i was a kid i used to wear really baggy jeans. it was crazy’
‘i accidentally took a semester off from college’
‘in my phys ed class we had to run through the parking lot and then they made us skip like this.’
did they make you hold hands when you skipped, i asked him
“Megan Lent writes about St. Peter. When St. Peter isn’t busy taking care of heaven, he’s getting fired from an office job for using company time to write novels. How did St. Peter even find Megan? We realize the guy has bad taste in music, has gotten overweight (goes with the office job) and used to be in a college band. College bands are the ultimate sad things once you are old. You can literally listen to your previous relevance.”—beach sloth (via whitehotvelvet)
vi entonces toda la corrida, la sangre, el pis y el agua del váter
muchas sustancias diferentes
pero volví a mirar mi sangre
y su semen
y me sentí bien al contemplar aquello que había estado tan junto
dentro de nosotros
Megan Lent es una joven poeta estadounidense que vive en California y colabora con distintas revistas literarias. Este poema apareció en Illuminati Girl Gang Vol. 1 coordinado por Gabby Gabby y es una traducción libre, hecha por mí misma.
Megan Lent re Marie Calloway, Sian Rathore, and me (Gabby Gabby)
I really love Marie, Gabby, and Sian, and from what I’ve read of theirs/how I’ve interacted with them, I think we do have a lot of similarities in worldviews/experiences/etc (a lot of differences too, as is obvious in this post.) I don’t know how universal this is, but in my own experience, wanting to sexually degrade and/or be sexually degraded has been tied up (har har) with deeper desires, psychological things, etc. Which is why I don’t really think that a bunch of screenshots of chats and emails involving a woman very coolly asking men if they want to piss on her face is feminist, nor is it non-feminist. There’s a power dynamic there that is interesting (again, in my experience) of being the girl behind the computer screen who can get men to say horrible things, making them sound like hungry little animals — and likewise, there’s the power that the men feel, imagining themselves getting another person to do, at least in their minds, whatever they want. (Wow I think the pronouns got mixed up there whatever.) Marie wrote on facebook that she’s surprised this piece has gotten such a quick response, and I am too. It’s not a story. It’s not even really written. It’s just a bunch of pictures of words and then some pixelated nudes.
Re tits: What Sian says about girls showing tits basically being the easy way out as far as getting attention goes, there is validity to that. I don’t really know why the majority of alt lit girls write about sex as much as we do. I write about sex very often and part of the reason I do that is because, yeah, it gets attention easily, people like feeling they were offered a glimpse into your ‘personal life,’ but also because sex is such a handy metaphor and catchall for so many other feelings/themes. (Note: I am not saying that everything written in which sex plays a large role also represents larger emotions and ideas, just that sex CAN do that.) I think Gabby is right that showing tits esp. in a non-sexual way is a way to defetishize patches of flesh, and I agree with this mostly because it’s really hot outside and I want to be able to take my shirt off and ‘beat the heat’ but I CAN’T because my boobs will either a) make it hard for people (esp men) to ‘go about their day’ on account of being ‘turned on’ or b) disgust people because my breasts aren’t ‘magazine-ready.’ And I also agree that a dialogue on issues like rough sex is cool and good. But like Sian wants to be able to write about her experiences with sex and not HAVE to include a nude just to get ‘hits,’ and I agree with that, too.
In conclusion: we are all the Avengers and patriarchy is Loki and patriarchy wants to tear us apart and distract us with our issues with each other to keep us from realizing that the patriarchy is the enemy and we need to get the blue cube away from him uh-oh where’s the hulk the hulk is gone this is bad call in sammy jackson pronto
yesterday in my blog post i made a couple of jokes and used a little irony and i think some of that was lost on a couple of you. maybe it’s because i’m british and we use sarcasm and irony so much that it can often resemble normal speech.
i’d like to again point out i am not into girl hate and slut shaming. i don’t have any dislike for this writer. i am indifferent to this writer as a person, it is the literature produced that i have opinions about, and that doesn’t relate directly to them as a person, i am seeing the literature as a stand-alone rather than an extension of the writer. maybe this is something i learnt at university when i was spending hours poring over poetry and poems and discussing their meaning and worth. maybe i’m a little too stuck in those traditions.
my problem was precisely that: *my* problem. my own concerns over what this means for the rest of the female alt lit community who are already relatively over-looked unless they are very slim and beautiful, which is a very contentious thing to say indeed, but i am not slim nor am i beautiful, but i am a good writer. when i write something i take an idea and i expand on that and i try to do that in an artful way. i spend time sometimes researching the thing i’m writing about, or i’ll carry a notebook around and write down the odd word or phrase that i think might be useful and try to weave it in later. i read a lot of work by poets writing today, a lot of alt lit too, and these are all mechanisms working toward the construction of the work.
but this is 2012 and of course literature can be produced and experienced on many levels. rather than go about literature the way i do i could instead be “living” and writing about that. i could be copying and pasting, i could be getting myself involved in red-hot situations with questionable men, the whole time knowing that i will later use this as part of a piece of literature. every word exchanged in my head i could be thinking “i could use this for something” and whilst it might make the exchange slightly contrived and insincere, it’s still a method of writing. it’s called collage, it’s also found writing. it’s legitimate and i accept that. it is not the standard of literature i’m contesting. i have always argued that absolutely anything and everything can be art, i love conceptualism, i love dada, surrealism, everything. when i first heard about flarf i felt completely content knowing this was a movement that existed.
as stated before, my problem was just my problem. i am not going to try and use the word feminism any more because i’m not entirely convinced that some people really know what i mean when i say that word. there are many different kinds of feminism, no two feminists are the same. i am clearly from a different chapter of feminism and that’s fine. i do not wish to tell marie calloway what she can and can’t do. i do not wish to “slut shame”. a friend said to me that this wasn’t writing, it was just whoring, and in this instance i disagreed with their comment. no woman should be called a whore, or slut, or anything like that. those words shouldn’t exist in our vocabulary.
so this is perhaps a kind of rebuttal. i shouldn’t have an opinion on this, i suppose it just briefly hit a nerve. today i woke up thinking why can’t we all just stop fighting and get on and yes, girls getting at eachother’s throats isn’t a good idea in any situation.
as marie calloway sarcastically told me yesterday “don’t worry one day you’ll get in the new yorker!” - well, maybe i will, probably i won’t. but if i ever do i think i’ll feel pretty happy knowing that it was down to a lot of hard work and dedication and love for my craft, reading as much as i can and trying to create something innovative and “good” and the way i produce literature is completely my choice, the same way that how marie produces hers is her choice too. who knows. maybe one day she’ll get in mcsweeney’s.