måndag 24 oktober 2016

A collection of woman's work

  Jag vet inte om det framgått riktigt i de två tidigare episoderna med författare från Split this rock. Jag är väldigt nöjd med läsupplevelserna så här långt, även om jag gav uttryck för kritik till Rachel Eliza Griffiths bok. Kvällens boktips är skriven av en välkänd Spoken word-poet, Dominique Christina, och den går inte av för hackor.


  Dominique Christina är en amerikansk författare, artist, lärare och aktivist, som specialiserat sig på Spoken word-poesi. Hon har tagit fem nationella titlar under de fyra år som hon aktivt har deltagit i Poetry Slam, däribland två vinster i Women of the World Slam Championships, och en nationell seger i Poetry Slam Championship.
  Hon har gett ut tre böcker, och jag har läst hennes senaste This Is Woman’s Work. Hon har fått en hel del uppmärksamhet för en tidigare dikt, "The period poem", som handlar om menstruationen och riktar sig till hennes dotter.


  Så här beskriver Dominique och bokförlaget vad som ligger bakom boken.

"There is an urgency for women. When you have inherited a construct that names, describes, and practices an ideology that women are somehow less important, less necessary, then the work of defining yourself carries with it a kind of fury.”
Dominique Christina

  Every woman is composed of many selves—inner players of the psyche who contribute their voices to the greater “I.” In This Is Woman’s Work, Dominique takes you on an inward journey to meet, listen to, learn from, dance with, and embrace the gifts of each persona. Source: Publishing company, Sounds true.

  I bokens tredje kvinnobeskrivning handlar det om en persona som Dominique själv tycker är svår att sätta sig in i. Dennes karaktärsdrag ligger samtidigt väldigt långt från de som framförs i det tjugonde och avslutande porträttet, som kanske är författarens idealprofil. 
  Jag väljer att citera båda dessa.

The willing woman, by Dominique Christina
(From This is woman's work : calling forth your inner council of wise, brave, crazy, rebellious, loving, luminous selves. Boulder, Colo. : Sounds True, [2015].) 

She a closed mouth. She a yes every time.

For "N"

You squattin' down under
a clanging life with too loud
a man in it, look around and
all your parts are scattered
'cross the living room like you forgot
what dancin' felt like and it takes you
so many mornings
to collect all the broken
syllables in your name,
each mishandled moment
that made your bones
sit in your body
like canons,
like war,
like thrumming from the inside
wouldn't eventually kill you,
like your mama didn't tell you about your magic
before you struck a match
between her thighs.
And now all you know is your shut mouth.
Don't have enough teeth to chew through
the bloody stumped memories.
You want to climb the sky but
can't find your throat no place
everything is a bottled up capture
can't no light get inside the way you love
cuz you love like a lynchin' rope,
like a wound,
like a dead thing,
like a broad stroke,
you love like a trench,
gobblin' up the night ...
lawd your own sunken self
is peekin' up through bolted door
wantin' to know somethin'
about the outside
if you could get your limbs back
if you could get your limbs back ...
you could get up ...
you might could get free.


  Efter varje dikt går Dominique Christina grundligt igenom den persona hon just beskrivit. Dels genom andra relaterade texter och förklaringsmodeller; dels genom språkanalys (ex. vilken betydelse lägger vi i ordet obey och hur det är grundlagt genom etymologin); och slutligen så ger hon läsaren sitt förhållningssätt, eller ska vi säga sina reflektioner kring personans karaktärsdrag. Det är ett ambitiöst bokprojekt.

  Den tjugonde dikten, om "The every woman", är väldigt lång men samtidigt en viktig slutpunkt för författarens intentioner.

The every woman, by Dominique Christina
(From This is woman's work : calling forth your inner council of wise, brave, crazy, rebellious, loving, luminous selves. Boulder, Colo. : Sounds True, [2015].)

She is a woman built like an atlas. You cannot help but see her.

In my just-me-and-nobody-else universe ...
In my own impromptu life ...
I want to live each day for itself ...
Like a string of Mardi Gras beads ...
Not lookin' for any promises in the sky
No soon and very soon maybes no ...
I just wanna make me a world and
Build me a bridge with no trolls underneath
When everything else is sleeping and still
I wanna work long into the night
Putting my elbows into the making of me
Ever mindful of sleeping giants
I know the work will be great and terrible
Fraught with confusion and the
Shudder of uncertainty that
Softens the sterner parts of resolve and ...
I wanna find me some songs to sing
Through the sagging shouldered moments
And be fantastically tough
Forgetting insular agony to reach
For bright orange possibilities
Found only in my smile.

This is woman's work.
We know what this world can be ...
We whisper its magic into our
Daughter's ears at night
It is the only lullaby that matters.
Yes! We have forgotten
To be small in this thing
To be afraid in this thing ...
There are millions of us
Stretched across the topography of
Our own resilience
We swing our hips and
Clap our hands until the earth believes us
There is a chorus that shimmies
Under our skirts ...

We are women.

It is written in bone and marrow that we fight.
We have taken the trenches and
Bedecked them in star shine
There are no dark places that we cannot conquer

Can you see us?

Can you see us making a world?

We have centralized our bodies into sonic boom
And deep river wailing
And sugared-over laughter
We have known the moments
When doubt is a hiss in our ear
When we do not know what words
To offer to these cosmic fights of endurance
And that is when we remember
We are women
Our bodies have shown us
All we need to know about
Magic and mountains

We are women

Can you see us?

We are everything
That is anything
About this life

You ought to see us and say amen
You ought to see us and say amen

You ought to see us ...

You ought to see us ...



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