Cartography

Monday, 19 July 2004

One of my coworkers is a poet. Last week we assigned each other an assignment: to write a poem to be workshopped by the assigner on Monday. My assignment was to “write a muscular poem about masculinity.”

Cartography

A man is an old map
charted in sharp lines and lies;
where north is up and west is left
where puff-cheeked faces blow and fume
where grim Atlas crouches at the bottom;
bearing up his legend – the half-truth map
where mountains have no height
where water is not wet
and past its paper edges
there be monsters.


What follows is the text of the email I sent to her about what I was aiming for with this poem.

what i’m going for is to show that masculinity is not a complete defining concept for a man. like, a man is a three dimensional thing, but masculinity is only two dimensional. thus, the earth is three dimensional, but a map is only a two dimensional representation of it and therefore incomplete. i also wanted a feeling of implacability and turmoil and maybe even a dash of determination. i was also thinking about how dangerous it can be to be male and live trying to be ‘masculine’ only. to not give the other dimension of being a chance to assert itself. i guess this could be called the ‘feminine’ side, but i think femininity holds the same danger. masculine and feminine are just roles that people play, but we’re all just people in my mind.

i don’t know if this is ‘muscular’ or not, since i’ve only heard that used in your mouth, but i tried for my own feeling of solidity.

Feel more than free to workshop or comment on this as much as possible. And give me your own assignments if you want. I feel that, at this stage, I write better when I’ve been assigned something.

v.2

Cartography

A Man is like an old map charted
in sharp lines; a plotted thing —
where north is up and west is left
where puff-cheek faces blow and fume
where Atlas bears his legend — a land
where mountains have no height
where water is not wet
and past its paper edges
there be monsters.

Half-price Fables

Sunday, 18 July 2004

woodcut.jpg I went to Half Price Books on Friday and managed to not buy the whole store. Instead I bought three illustrated books of fables and folktales. All brand new and all rather cheap.
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Pre-Sex Dreams

Wednesday, 14 July 2004

man-pillow.jpgAfter puberty but before I had seen a naked girl naked in the flesh after puberty and also whilst still a virgin, my mind nonetheless attempted to dream about sex. This failed miserably.
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Spiderman 2

Tuesday, 13 July 2004

spider-man-2-poster.jpgFinally saw Spiderman 2, not that I really wanted to see it, but I wasn’t averse to it either. I didn’t appreciate it so much for its story as for the auteurical flourishes that Sam Raimi brought for me. There might be a spoiler or two to follow.
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Williamses

Monday, 12 July 2004

williamses.jpgA friend of mine and her two sisters came to visit me for the weekend. They are roadtripping across the country, stopping when their money runs out, and then making cash by selling their art work. At least, that is the plan.
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