Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Elliptical Poetry, Part 5 (1 of ??)

So I'm trying something new - I've decided to attempt to read a full-length book of poetry while on the elliptical machine. Of course, I can't be exercising for the hours that this would take, so I'll be reading a bit at a time. I'll probably go back and forth a bit - I've been enjoying chapbooks too much to let them go for more than a couple days. We shall see how it goes. Monday (yes, it's taken me that long to post this) I was on the elliptical machine for about 50 minutes, but I would guess that only about 20 of those were devoted to reading, the rest to chatting with Mihnea and Ben.

Manatee/Humanity by Anne Waldman (Penguin Poets, 2009) I got to see Anne Waldman and Gary Snyder read at this year's AWP and it was pretty fantastic. Quite different performances from two legendary poets. Of course I got in line for the book signing, and of course I paid a slightly inflated price so I would be able to grin like an idiot and ask Anne Waldman to sign my book (which she did, quite graciously - both she and Gary Snyder were extremely kind). So it is to my shame that only now have I cracked open Manatee/Humanity and gotten past the introduction. My excuse is that, because this book is based on the Kalachakra, I was hoping to read it with Mihnea. I got through the first two sections of the first part of the book on Monday - about 12 pages. Now, what I am about to say, I say in all seriousness - it is fascinating to read this particular collection while planning a TypewriterGirls show about furries. In the section that I've read so far, Anne Waldman is looking at the lines between humanity and the animal kindgdom, as well as what makes us the same. She purposefully blurs the animal with the human and sets her reader in the position of questioning why we treat animals so differently, so horribly, after all. While I will say that, for the most part, I do not see furries as a philosophical movement, I do find that desire to become an animal most intriguing, and not necessarily a deplorable thing. I'm very interested to continue on reading this book.

Yes I did just take one step from Anne Waldman to furries. What of it?

God I hope Anne Waldman isn't reading this...

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