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thankyou gstein

It turns out that I had to encounter Gertrude Stein, ancestral queer, before I could really write those six pages. I had a piece of A4 paper, snatched from a printer in Canaday one inspired though-full moment, covered on both sides with notes in pen and pencil in many thought-full moments, and it only took me an hour once I actually started transcribing those notes into the skeletal Word document I already had.

Part of my project (part) is to break out of the academic tradition of writing: I already know my way around that place, but it doesn't take a person everywhere ze might want to go. It certainly wasn't taking me anywhere in this endeavour for a new writing style. I was looking to Cixous and Stryker for inspiration, and I've been reading Zami: A New Spelling of My Name a biomythography by Audre Lorde for another class but none of them fuck up language on purpose the way Stein does. Cixous fucks around with her reader, but not as much as Stein. "The reader, like the writer, has to work ..." Damn straight! or queer! whichever! That's just how it is, JeannetteWinterson! That's just how it ought to be. You're a consumer, not a reader unless you work, or you do that thing between 'work' and 'play' ...

I've barely written any poetry at all in years: no encouragement, couldn't find any reason to, didn't know if it was good or not and I guess I don't do things if I can't do them well, except out of necessity by which I mean that it hurts too much not to do it which is how I started journal-writing in the first place which is why I am who I am.

And so a lot of see minotaur is poetry, and maybe maybe the whole thing will be capital-less punctuation-less poetry by the time I'm done with it. manohman but I'm enjoying it. There needs to be a word between work and play, to describe this sort of endeavor, which is pleasure, and easy because it's harder not to ("Maybe that is all any bravery is, a stronger fear of not being brave." -Zami, Audre Lorde) and easy because of pleasure and easy because it would be uncomfortable not to and easy because sometimes putting things into words is a natural function of the body and don't you just hate pins and needles?

My sense of insecurity (which I suspect didn't bother gertrudestein at all) comes from the fact that it's UnFrank and writing is supposed to have clarity. And ...

Ok, the thing with Lifting Belly is that it doesn't make sense if you don't figure out that the phrase 'lifting belly' basically means sex, lesbian sex. And when I first heard it I somehow (great minds, ha) knew it meant sex, not necessarily lesbian, but in my mind penis-in-vagina sex is hardly the default anyway and if it's by GertrudeStein then, well, if she talks about sex it'll be gstein'n'atoklas sex, surely. And the thing with a certain section of see minotaur is that you can't make sense of it unless you know what a certain phrase means, and it's just as sexual as Lifting Belly, just as secretly (not the writewrightright word) sexual which is why I ... not encode, but found my own words for it (Humpty Dumpty Gertrude Stein style, a bit I admit). It would be nice to talk about it Frankly, and in some spaces I could, though awkwardly and with the taste of shame at the back of my throat. But here I would be silent in Frank straightforward memoir prose. I had to make it hard to read, because it made me feel hidden, the seventh veil and the lights going out, rather than not dancing at all.

Part of it is still Frank. I think I'm going to translate all of it into UnFrank labyrinth words. This response is in labyrinth words a little, which means I'm not working as hard as I might and I'm getting more pleasure out of it. Which means you might be working harder. And that's fine by me. Except that I worry that it's just a Mess and not really anything clever at all. To be Frank.


-"Can sexuality even remain sexuality once it submits to a criterion of transparency and disclosure, or does it perhaps cease to be sexuality precisely when the semblance of full explicitness is achieved?....I would like to have it permanently unclear what precisely that sign [the word lesbian] signifies....[to establish] the instability of the very category that it constitutes." (Judith Butler, "Imitation and Gender Insubordination," in The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader, 1993)

Yes, but Judithbutler, having a sign at all is a bit of a luxury which you don't appreciate until you realize you lack a sign-therightone-foryou, and also when you find a sign-therightone-foryou and you didn't realize how desperately you were hoping for onejustlikeit without even knowing enough to look for it. 'Queer' is useful for me because it's constantly integrally unstable, it means Other, that 'I' is Other. But it's not a name for me, it's just a word that can encompass me. I'm walking around naked in a mansion with many rooms, and it's a little chilly. But I'd catch my death outside (remember what Styker said about the impossibility of being unmarked), and here I can move.

And now I don't have time for a shower if I want to get breakfast. Ohdecisions.


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