Thursday, October 10, 2013

What Do Women Want? What Do Men Want?

My poem in "The Shutting Door", "What Do Men Want, for Kim A" is causing a lot of confusion, both on the page or when read live. What it is, is a hardcore sex poem...not erotica, but sex. Why would that be misunderstood, even after I explained it in 2010? Let me count some of the ways.

1) You have to know the poem, "What Do Women Want" by Kim Addonizio but since I only cited "for Kim A", instead of  "after Kim Addonizio's poem What Do Women Want" there is not enough frame of reference.

Her poem begins

I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
until someone tears it off me. 


Mine:

I want a woman in a red dress.
flimsy and cheap, too tight.
I want her to wear it
until I can tear it off her.  



2) I read this poem in Cambridge and some chump cited it to make me look bad to a female friend of mine, which is a douchy guy move. He tried to make me feel like this:
 

I want a red dress. I want it flimsy and cheap, I want it too tight, I want to wear it until someone tears it off me. - See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/16213#sthash.FQcJpo4m.dpuf
I want a red dress. I want it flimsy and cheap, I want it too tight, I want to wear it until someone tears it off me. - See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/16213#sthash.FQcJpo4m.dpuf
I want a red dress. I want it flimsy and cheap, I want it too tight, I want to wear it until someone tears it off me. - See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/16213#sthash.FQcJpo4m.dpuf
 
Again, not enough frame of reference. Ironically, she happened to be the one that picked that poem for me to read aloud that day. He ended up the chumped one, so roll out, dude. 


Fact: I don't own a van. 







 
3) People don't like the first person. People want "I" to be always be the poet or writer. Even if they know better, they still get tricked.  

Repeat after me: 
The narrator may be very different from the author. 
The narrator may be very different from the author. 
The narrator may be very different from the author.  

4) "What Do Men Want" is not "Fifty Shades of Grey", poetry version. Very graphic work makes people uncomfortable. Today my co-worker told me his wife blushed when reading it.  Enough said. 

5) Lay people expect poetry to be nice. They want it simple, about nature or flowers...even thematic. When writing about breasts, lay people expect them to be referred to as bosoms. Oh, and they may expect all of the above to rhythm.

6) The rest of the poems in "The Shutting Door" are tame in comparison so when you read that one near the end, it makes you go, "Gah."

7) Where credit is due: Kim Addonizio is a tremendous poet and is obviously pretty amazing. Her poem is very well know, except by those I am confusing by not giving enough frame of reference.  



8) People might think it's about them because a) they want it to be or b) they don't.  There may be a c) all of the above, which just adds to theory that people are very confused. 

I hope I've cleared things up. Here is Kim Addonizio's poem in it's entirety. 

What Do Women Want

I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
until someone tears it off me.
I want it sleeveless and backless,
this dress, so no one has to guess
what's underneath. I want to walk down
the street past Thrifty's and the hardware store
with all those keys glittering in the window,
past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old
donuts in their café, past the Guerra brothers
slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,
hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.
I want to walk like I'm the only
woman on earth and I can have my pick.
I want that red dress bad.
I want it to confirm
your worst fears about me,
to show you how little I care about you
or anything except what
I want. When I find it, I'll pull that garment
from its hanger like I'm choosing a body
to carry me into this world, through
the birth-cries and the love-cries too,
and I'll wear it like bones, like skin,
it'll be the goddamned
dress they bury me in.


Should you be scared by her poem? No. Should you be scared of my answer? I think not. 








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