Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Writing and clothing

It's February, and so a whole month still between this one and the official poetry month of April. But I just read this Elaine Equi poem on Silliman's blog, liked it, and so decided to post it here.

"Men in Camisoles"

All writing is a form
of transvestism.

Men in camisoles.
Women drinking port
and smoking thin cigars.

Think of Flaubert, Proust,
Mallarmé in drag.

Or a woman (any woman)
trying on a man’s power:
”Now I clothe myself
in your blood, your wars.”

Like getting dressed
in a warm room
on a cold day

the sly smile
of the self
as it goes to sleep.

Everything contained within.
You read Rilke
and you become Rilke.

Nothing can stop this
endless, transformative
flow of selves
into other, opposite,
even objects and animals.

In a dream I took my
blue pentagram shirt
to the cleaners

and they said
it would take
three whole months
to get the werewolf out!

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