April 30, 2007

Marianne Moore: “Poetry”

Posted in Blogging, Poetry at 10:13 pm by The Lizard Queen

I thought this was appropriate for the final day of National Poetry Month. I think I’ll continue posting poems, but rather than one per day, I’ll cut it down to one a week (perhaps borrowing Sera’s Humpday Poetry tradition?). And again, if you have any requests, just holler!

I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond
      all this fiddle.
   Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one
      discovers in
   it after all, a place for the genuine.
      Hands that can grasp, eyes
      that can dilate, hair that can rise
         if it must, these things are important not because a

high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because
      they are
   useful. When they become so derivative as to become
   the same thing may be said for all of us, that we
      do not admire what
      we cannot understand: the bat
         holding on upside down or in quest of something to 

eat, elephants pushing, a wild horse taking a roll, a tireless
      wolf under
   a tree, the immovable critic twitching his skin like a horse
      that feels a flea, the base-
   ball fan, the statistician--
      nor is it valid
         to discriminate against "business documents and

school-books"; all these phenomena are important. One must make
      a distinction
   however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the
      result is not poetry,
   nor till the poets among us can be
     "literalists of
      the imagination"--above
         insolence and triviality and can present

for inspection, "imaginary gardens with real toads in them,"
      shall we have
   it. In the meantime, if you demand on the one hand,
   the raw material of poetry in
      all its rawness and
      that which is on the other hand
         genuine, you are interested in poetry.
--Marianne Moore, 1921/1961

Jill Scott: “Nothing is for Nothing”

Posted in Feminism, Poetry, Sex at 7:47 pm by The Lizard Queen

As promised in the last post, here’s a video. It’s Jill Scott reading/performing a poem, and I got it from the awesome, inimitable UBUNTU! blog.

“And what I like is all a part of what I am.” Absolutely.

My thoughts on the sex industry

Posted in Feminism, Musings, Sex at 3:09 pm by The Lizard Queen

I’m not entirely sure I want to write this post. I consider myself a card-carrying feminist, and I feel like there are far too many other feminists out there (particularly, perhaps, in the blogosphere) who are all too ready to strip me of that card I carry (if you will) if I publicly disagree with them. The trouble is, there’s an issue about which I disagree with certain feminists who are more vocal than I am and/or have made their name as Feminists to a greater extent than I have. And normally I wouldn’t talk about it in a blog post for fear of never wooing the sort of readership I’d like to have. But I’m just so tired of the “good feminists believe x” meme that I had to say something: I don’t think the sex industry is inherently anti-feminist. Now, please don’t misunderstand me; there are a number of problems with the sex industry as an overgeneralized monolith, as well as more specific problems with more specific arms of the sex industry that generally connect back with reinforcing patriarchal ideas, subjugating women, and making violence against women acceptable. However, I disagree strongly with the idea that things like pornography, phone sex, erotic dancing, and even prostitution can never be empowering for a woman, and that any woman who does take pleasure in any of the above is deluded, or worse. Here are a few of my problems with the anti-sex-industry stance: Read the rest of this entry »

April 29, 2007

Lisa Gill: “Matricaria recutita / Chamomile”

Posted in Poetry at 9:53 pm by The Lizard Queen

Oops–I almost forgot to post a poem today! That certainly wouldn’t do on the penultimate day of National Poetry Month, now would it? Here’s today’s, from a collection entitled Mortar & Pestle. Enjoy!

Matricaria recutita / Chamomile

Some plants thrive even when walked on.

Resilience can seem so dowdy,
so hard pressed,
so forgiving.

It’s not like I want to accept every slight
or boot on my skull.
I’m stubborn. Read the rest of this entry »

“3 Atlanta Police Officers Charged in Drug Raid Death of 92-Year-Old Woman”

Posted in Civil rights, News at 5:45 pm by The Lizard Queen

I used the title of this article as the title of this post because the only other apropos phrase I could think of was What. The. Fuck. Here’s what happened during the drug raid referred to above:

The charges followed a Nov. 21 “no-knock” drug raid on the home of Kathryn Johnston, 92. An informant had described buying drugs from a dealer there, police said. When the officers burst in without warning, Johnston fired at them, and they fired back, killing her.

Fulton County prosecutor Peter Johnson said that the officers involved in Johnston’s death fired 39 shots, striking her five or six times, including a fatal blow to the chest.

He said Johnston fired only once through her door and didn’t hit any of the officers. That means the officers who were wounded likely were hit by their own colleagues, he said.

Read the rest of this entry »

April 28, 2007

Lisa D. Chávez, “Toby in the Garden”

Posted in Poetry at 8:35 pm by The Lizard Queen

I thought this one seemed appropriate after Tiwa’s entry. Here’s where it was first posted, with info as to where it was originally published (support small publications and presses!), as well as pictures. Incidentally, if you have any poem post requests, speak now or forever hold your peace!

Toby in the Garden

The devil’s in the garden
again. Trampling the herbs–
lavender and lamb’s ears.
When he’s done, he’ll pace
the window sill, scratching
to get in. Or leap to the roof,
surveying his domain. Sure,
he’s cute–curl of a tail,
and puppy swagger.
Sweet. Until he sinks
his teeth into the skin
behind the knee.
Little heathen. Devil dog.
Just like the men I love:
beautiful and fierce, trailing
just a bit of brimstone.

Keep your plaster saints.
Angels are overrated.
Who wouldn’t want
a devil in their garden?
That flashy charmer and the fruit
that flourishes in his hand.
He offers it all with a grin,
says, come, taste,
live a little. Sin.

–Lisa D. Chávez, 2006

Saturday dogblogging: Tiwa’s turn

Posted in Animals, Blogging at 2:39 pm by The Lizard Queen

Mama said that another dog has been writing a lot lately and so it’s finally my turn to write some! I’ve been telling her that I should get to write for ages but she keeps forgetting, even though I showed her how good I could write!


See! I’m a writer, too! Mama says so lots and lots! She also says stuff about me being a good girl and a naughty girl and talks about how I convince my big brother Shay-mus to do naughty things and about how Shay-mus taught me to dig holes closer to the fence but I still don’t understand why I’m digging them but boy do I like to dig! Read the rest of this entry »

April 27, 2007

James Wright: “Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota”

Posted in Poetry at 8:00 am by The Lizard Queen

Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota

Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly
Asleep on the black trunk,
Blowing like a leaf in the green shadow.
Down the ravine behind the empty house,
The cowbells follow one another
Into the distances of the afternoon.
To my right,
In a field of sunlight between two pines,
The droppings of last year’s horses
Blaze up into golden stones.
I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.

–James Wright, 1963

April 26, 2007

Amiri Baraka: “Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note”

Posted in Poetry at 8:00 am by The Lizard Queen

I spent some time trying to find a different Baraka poem to post, to try to be different, but my search was in vain. I do so love this poem. Something about that middle stanza… I could analyze the crap out of it and try my best to put my feelings into words, but hey, this is my blog, not an academic paper… 🙂

Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note

Lately, I’ve become accustomed to the way
The ground opens up and envelopes me
Each time I go out to walk the dog.
Or the broad edged silly music the wind
Makes when I run for a bus…

Things have come to that.

And now, each night I count the stars.
And each night I get the same number.
And when they will not come to be counted,
I count the holes they leave.

Nobody sings anymore.

And then last night I tiptoed up
To my daughter’s room and heard her
Talking to someone, and when I opened
The door, there was no one there…
Only she on her knees, peeking into

Her own clasped hands

–Amiri Baraka, 1961

April 25, 2007

Also, freedom is slavery.

Posted in Conservatives, Government, Politics at 10:05 pm by The Lizard Queen

I was struck by the cognitive dissonance evident in the following Bush quote, from a speech he made this morning (hat tip to Crooks and Liars):

Last November, the American people said they were frustrated and wanted a change in our strategy in Iraq. I listened. Today, General David Petraeus is carrying out a strategy that is dramatically different from our previous course. The American people did not vote for failure, and that is precisely what the Democratic leadership’s bill would guarantee.

Um, except that we sorta voted in that same Democratic leadership! How on earth can someone translate the results of the November 2006 election into a mandate for more troops in Iraq for an unlimited period of time?

Oh, but there’s more. This is from an article released yesterday (hat tip to… er, well, Crooks and Liars):

Extended overseas deployments affecting soldiers serving in Afghanistan and other locales overseen by U.S. Central Command should help to alleviate the stress on the Army, a senior U.S. officer in Afghanistan told Pentagon reporters today.

“I’m absolutely confident that that’s going to work and that’ll manage the pressure and the stress on the force,” Army Col. Martin Schweitzer, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team, said during a satellite-carried news conference.

Longer tours… means… less stress… Riiiight…

I really don’t understand what’s going on in these people’s brains.

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