These girls aren’t wounded so much as post-wounded, and I see their sisters everywhere. They’re over it. I am not a melodramatic person. God help the woman who is. What I’ll call “post-wounded” isn’t a shift in deep feeling (we understand these women still hurt) but a shift away from wounded affect: These women are aware that “woundedness” is overdone and overrated. They are wary of melodrama, so they stay numb or clever instead. Post-wounded women make jokes about being wounded or get impatient with women who hurt too much. The post-wounded woman conducts herself as if preempting certain accusations: Don’t cry too loud; don’t play victim. Don’t ask for pain meds you don’t need; don’t give those doctors another reason to doubt. Post-wounded women fuck men who don’t love them and then they feel mildly sad about it, or just blasé about it; they refuse to hurt about it or to admit they hurt about it—or else they are endlessly self-aware about it, if they do allow themselves this hurting.
The post-wounded posture is claustrophobic: jadedness, aching gone implicit, sarcasm quick on the heels of anything that might look like self-pity. I see it in female writers and their female narrators, troves of stories about vaguely dissatisfied women who no longer fully own their feelings. Pain is everywhere and nowhere. Post-wounded women know that postures of pain play into limited and outmoded conceptions of womanhood. Their hurt has a new native language spoken in several dialects: sarcastic, jaded, opaque; cool and clever. They guard against those moments when melodrama or self-pity might split their careful seams of intellect, expose the shame of self-absorption without self-awareness." - Leslie Jamison, “Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain” (via et—cetera)
“Single women your age are cool as cucumbers despite everything we all hear and how they’re portrayed in movies and television. They drink, you drink, it doesn’t matter. Everyone can handle sex sober now, though people still like weed. No one is surprised to be asked out and hardly anyone is cruel or volatile. Every single person your age has had absolutely every weird edge smoothed off their personality. No one is crazy like in the old days. People work out, find new ways to work out, make videos about new ways they’ve found to work out. People talk about the world as if they don’t understand it. People talk about their jobs, get self-conscious talking about their jobs. “Girl” or “woman”? People often don’t sleep over. Once in a while someone won’t respond to a text but in general almost everyone is fantastic about communication. No one seems to judge anyone on whether you pay for whatever. Maybe they’re torn internally. Romantic comedies seem profoundly hollow in a way that makes it seem like a lot more work to be honest. A prostitute will get arrested on the sidewalk at night and scream “What did I DO?” You’ll know pretty much everyone you see in three or four separate neighbourhoods around the city. You’ll see them every day. You will be so good with people. You will have little money. Your confidence about your musical tastes will be shot. You will have this one thing you know about. A song will come on in a restaurant and you will light up inside, every dormant republic of your personality will tingle. The waitress will approach. You will order breakfast. Like an old man in a movie in a country that doesn’t exist, you will have a thick, dry New York Times. You won’t read it. You’ll read a book about a group of artists in another century who changed the face of things they cared about. You will have no one to turn to when you feel as though every single day you’ve lived you’ve wasted. You will earn $250 for a true story you mostly invented. You will dream endlessly on bathroom tiles, after a shower, of old lovers and what ever became of their lives. Whatever they’re doing, whatever choices they made to get to where they are now, you want to be there too, in that sun-algaed room or expanse where their person is, gently.”
excerpted from “The Life You Want” by Stephen Thomas.
Read the story in its entirety - it’s gorgeous & quietly devastating.
"Jenny Holzer’s famous truism “Protect me from what I want” renders in a very precise way the fundamental ambiguity of the hysterical position. It can either be read as an ironic reference to the standard male chauvinist wisdom that a woman, when left to herself, gets caught in the self-destructive fury, so that she must be protected from herself by the benevolent male domination: “Protect me from the excessive self-destructive desire in me that I myself am not able to dominate.” Or it can be read in a more radical way, as pointing towards the fact that in today’s patriarchal society, woman’s desire is radically alienated, that she desires what men expect her to desire, that she desires to be desired by men. In this case, “Protect me from what I want” means “What I want, precisely when I seem to formulate my authentic innermost longing, is already imposed on me by the patriarchal order that tells me what to desire, so the first condition of my liberation is that I break up the vicious cycle of my alienated desire and learn to formulate my desire in an autonomous way.”" - Slavoj Žižek, How To Read Lacan (via teacakes)
Dear Margie, hello. It is 5:15 a.m.
dear Berrigan. He died
Back to books. I read
It’s 8:30 p.m. in New York and I’ve been running around all day
old come-all-ye’s streel into the streets. Yes, it is now,
How Much Longer Shall I Be Able To Inhabit The Divine
and the day is bright gray turning green
feminine marvelous and tough
watching the sun come up over the Navy Yard
to write scotch-tape body in a notebook
had 17 and 1/2 milligrams
Dear Margie, hello. It is 5:15 a.m.
fucked til 7 now she’s late to work and I’m
18 so why are my hands shaking I should know better
"Víctor Valera Mora, I have reversed the lines of your poem
so that you will never crash your Maserati
and all of us poets but especially the poets
of revolutionary inclinations will go into the city of Caracas
or Los Angeles to affirm that we must stop working
and never ascend from this cave to the surface
of stupid administrators and Mora, I also turn women
into weapons of war and I think it’s funny when all the poets
who live in shitty apartments get to a certain age and sheepishly
ask one another if they are going to ever buy a house
Never! No poet should ever have a jacuzzi I want
A Jacuzzi! We must stop working so we can love again
and pull ourselves from this stupid exile
and everyone will learn the language of exile to burn it up
The sun and the moon and the future are on our side
and when I when I fuck my husband in the morning
and walk into the city with sperm splashing inside of me—
with the infinite universe going everywhere inside my flesh and pulling
my cells along some continuum of nothingness—I will never be
on the surface—I will always be naked down here
among the poets and my body which is always underneath everything
calls out and thinks of you constantly, my reader.
I take one last red gulp of wine and duck out the door forever." - Sandra Simonds, from “To the Reader”
"for me, what falling in love means is different. it’s a matter of suddenly, globally, ‘knowing’ that another person represents your own access to some vitally
or radiantly heightened
mode of perception,
and that if you lose the thread of this intimacy, both your soul and your whole world might subsist forever in some desert-like state of ontological impoverishment." - eve k. sedgwick, a dialogue on love (via karaj)
You have the vague hope. Like a fritillary
it ekes along the perimeter of what
you can see. It is some consequence of youth,
this idea that you can be revived.
Until then, each day seems like that
apartment you’ve lived in—unfurnished,
wet with primer. Then the weekend is gone,
television having usurped it with
the dressage portion of the event. Increasingly
you rely on the idea that you were nearly
understood. The sky all fumes.
Inside, a refrigerated lily holds itself
still. The post-industrial town fits its
hours in envelopes. So you assuage yourself
with the person you never knew.
She sits in the mind like a
telephone. The feeling can’t help be
compounded. I read the article that said
we weren’t supposed to look each
other in the eyes. Without being asked,
the unceremonious plot resets itself. You are
in love. Everyone, at every corner,
suddenly like road flares.
Protests and looting naturally capture attention. But the real rage smolders in meetings where officials redraw precincts to dilute African American voting strength or seek to slash the government payrolls that have long served as sources of black employment. It goes virtually unnoticed, however, because white rage doesn’t have to take to the streets and face rubber bullets to be heard. Instead, white rage carries an aura of respectability and has access to the courts, police, legislatures and governors, who cast its efforts as noble, though they are actually driven by the most ignoble motivations.
White rage recurs in American history. It exploded after the Civil War, erupted again to undermine the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision and took on its latest incarnation with Barack Obama’s ascent to the White House. For every action of African American advancement, there’s a reaction, a backlash." - Carol Anderson, “Ferguson isn’t about black rage against cops. It’s white rage against progress.” (The Washington Post)
A silent protest in Love Park, downtown Philadelphia orchestrated by performance artists protesting the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson. The onslaught of passerby’s wanting to take photos with the statue exemplifies the disconnect in American society. Simply frame out the dead body, and it doesn’t exist.
Here are some observations by one of the artists involved in the event:
I don’t know who any of these folks are.
They were tourists I presume.
But I heard most of what everything they said. A few lines in particular stood out. There’s one guy not featured in the photos. His friends were trying to get him to join the picture but he couldn’t take his eyes off the body.
"Something about this doesn’t feel right. I’m going to sit this one out, guys." "Com’on man… he’s already dead."
There were a billion little quips I heard today. Some broke my heart. Some restored my faith in humanity. There was an older white couple who wanted to take a picture under the statue.
The older gentleman: “Why do they have to always have to shove their politics down our throats.” Older woman: “They’re black kids, honey. They don’t have anything better to do.”
One woman even stepped over the body to get her picture. But as luck would have it the wind blew the caution tape and it got tangle around her foot. She had to stop and take the tape off. She still took her photo.
There was a guy who yelled at us… “We need more dead like them. Yay for the white man!”
"One young guy just cried and then gave me a hug and said ‘thank you. It’s nice to know SOMEBODY sees me.’