women’s review of books

The current issue just arrived from Wellesley Centers for Women on my computer screen. An impressive collection of serious writing about thought-provoking issues, from academia, tenure and feminism to historical and current events, criminal justice,  sex museums, marriage equality, and so much more. Including poetry. And on the last page (32), two poems of mine.

When I first received the invitation to submit poetry to Wellesley College’s Women’s Review of Books, the call was for pairs of related poems. The challenge intrigued me, as I was just assembling a new collection about my sister. Of the three or five poem pairs I submitted, they accepted “Late Spring” and “Early Spring.” You can read them here.

The Wellesley Centers for Women, according to their website, “is a premier women- and gender-focused, social-change oriented research-and-action institute at Wellesley College. Our mission is to advance gender equality, social justice, and human wellbeing through high quality research, theory, and action programs.”

The Women’s Review of Books is one of their significant publications, and I am beyond honored to have been published by them twice now. (see my author’s note for HEAR ME, SEE ME).

the ability to love


Cupid and Psyche

Cupid and Psyche (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“If feminism is understood not as a battle in the war between the sexes but rather a movement to transform a world in which both men and women suffer losses that constrain their ability to love, then the story of Cupid and Psyche* is a feminist tale.”

( *a story which reveals that men must hide love and women cannot know what we know)

Carol Gilligan, The Birth of Pleasure, pp. 46-47

not political . . . really?!

I am not a politically active creature. Ever since ‘feminism’ first marbled across my lips, even sank into my taste buds, I have heard ‘the personal is political.’ The fundamental impact of those words, however, eluded me. For a time.

Fast forward to the coursing of ‘conscious feminine’ through my whole being – about concurrent with the National Declaration of Either/Or; add in my calling to write with incarcerated women; and I now find myself awake in a cold sweat, day and night, feverish to address everything at once.

And yet – I keep missing my self-appointed Friday blog date with the conscious feminine. Last night I learned why: I am outraged. Sputtering. Speechless, almost. At the Great National Divide between Those Who Think and, well, everyone else. It seems the latest national past time (and it’s WAY passed time for this to end) has become to elevate the lowest common denominator to the highest law of the land. Through repetition of the patently absurd (think ‘you can’t get pregnant from rape’). Where I come from, repeated wishful thinking never did make it so. A variant on Albert Einstein’s famed definition of ‘insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’

You can see how distant I keep myself from today’s political tactics.

What on earth is going on here? Well, dear Reader, it turns out we all – yes, women AND men – have urges. For sex, power, violence; as well as genuine desire for opportunity and the well-being of our citizens. AND we live, for better and worse, in a society. Which means we are in it together. What we say matters. How we act matters. Yet, along with reality and civil discourse, we seem to have lost sight of our basic God-given abilities to think, to reason. To listen. To reflect. With respect for difference; not the all-too-common derision or defiance, the coarsest acts of deception which have become the de rigeur standard of discourse by our would-be leaders.

Let’s focus on other d-words, like decency and decorum. I’ll even settle for democracy: that’s at least about the people, not a handful of very rich men asserting their unthinking opinions over and over again, hoping to move us toward change. The thinking man Einstein had it right: that’s just insanity.

English: Albert Einstein's signature Hrvatski:...

English: Albert Einstein’s signature  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)