Book #16: – The Girl Wants To: Women’s Representations of Sex and the Body

Edited by Lynn Crosbie

The Girl Wants To

I love Lynn Crosbie; she writes excellent book reviews that icily savage books she hates. Mostly I agree with her so they’re fun reading. No suckup, she. But as a book editor she could be a meaner: the word “uneven” features in a number of reviews of this book and I can’t disagree with that. It came to mind mostly because Gigi the Galaxy Girl‘s included story For the Love of a Good Toaster may be the seminal (as it were) mention of the lesbian/toaster-oven meme, even though the story’s main protagonist is in fact a blender. It also includes the previously-mentioned Barbara Gowdy necrophilia story We So Seldom Look on Love, obviously deeply peculiar in a unique way.

The collection is… harsh, for the lack of a better word. It certainly is neither passive (such a common complaint about women’s writing on this topic) nor heterosexist (a common complaint about most such collections), so there’s that. But it’s not cozy reading; this isn’t one for a curled-up-by-the-fireside read. Graphic artist Julie Doucette (Dirty Plotte, etc.) has a piece in here, as does Roberta Gregory’s Bitchy Bitch.

A much smoother? calmer? — something like that — suitable for fireside reading, anyway — collection by women writers is Touching Fire. I’ll put a sample poem from that collection below.

Maude Meehan: On Second Thought

Last night’s warm inspiration
write an erotic poem
So I sit here
cold early morning light
hard chair

Your body, familiar as my own
passes the window
working the garden
funky in sweaty
earth stained garb
old flop-brimmed hat

You are no help
conjure no visions
of flame-tongued nights
mad paroxysms of lust
or sutrian delights

Right now a second cup of coffee
a ripe and succulent peach
tempt me to leave this task
luring my senses with a pull
stronger than your proximity

On second thought
this is all that need be said
If you came in, touched,
took me to our bed
my breasts would swell
my nipples rise as they do now

The hell with peaches
there is sweeter juice
let someone else write poems
Come in
there’s better planting to be done