Wednesday’s Reading at E.M. Wolfman was our biggest turn out so far! Anna Avery, who I knew as an internet entity only, was there in the flesh and she was funny as fuck. She did an experimental poem, introducing herself and how she knew me through a craigslist ad, as she was looking for housing and now here she was reading. It didn’t clarify how we knew each other, but that was what was awesome about it.
Sharon Coleman managed to make Plague beautiful in a several part poem she debuted in front of us and congratulated us for getting through it!
Sandra Wassile read a series of moving poems from my personal favorite, “Marionette” to one depicting a hunting experience, to others taking on the overall political climate of our times as well as individual grieving.
Judy Elkan also read a debut play in progress about an one hundred and eleven year old woman who has a party in a banquet hall and only invites her female relatives because she doesn’t want to have to listen to the men.
Everyone was on fire!
The prompt from the writing workshop before hand had us consider how Feminist Writing is Liminal Writing. Here are a few of the responses:
On Writing the Threshold
The threshold is a space of observation and reflections where our faces are mirrored both ways, where our bodies turn around and back again as we steady our feet in the doorway.
It’s a place to stop. To stop from being pushed in or out, being lured in our out. We can dig our heels in and watch the comings and goings, the deals, the wheel that turns thoughts and desires. It’s a pregnant pause in which we strategize. We collect our desires and realign them with the next moment or action.
Liminal writing comes not so much from the rooms we inhabit, the room we’ve inhabited for millennia, but the doorways in and the doorways out.
Our minds are the windows between desire and perception and action, the windows from which we can write threshold and see for miles inside and out. Even in the fallen plaster or rising smog, the words are portals to seeing.
Words are the preliminary to the next action: If you wage your wars, you will win them. The art of waging anything begins with stepping out and watching what makes what happen or not happen.
It’s a place outside scripts, pushing energies, baits, lures, shame, guilt, the constant streaming of people like in a subway of empty souls that are so stimulated that they don’t realize that they’ve been emptied.
The threshold’s a moment of nothing, a different nothing: a pregnant emptiness that can be, will be filled consciously, in alignment with desire.
At the threshold time runs backwards and sideways. History hiccoughs and burps up and spins forward. Can you see it? Understand it?
You become a ghost among ghosts, a specter who speculates, a witness with wit.
You disappear from the structures of power and float through them unaffected—until you decide to pull the rope or push the wheel. Then you either appear or slink back into the fog only you can see through.
How is all this feminist? How can woman or one who’s feminine exist apart from power structures and re-enter a room or leave it as a creator rather than just a created?
How is Feminist Writing Liminal?
By Gina Goldblatt
Feminist writing is overtly fighting for equality, subliminally laying it down as truth, the only sensical way to be, creating realities that are both subtle and agressively subverting the norm. Feminist writing is both on purpose and not. It is a soaked through to the core way to express oneself through words. It is a concious decision. It is the result of hardened experiences, it is the result of soft cushiony love and open eyes. It is the privelaged and the unprivelaged, though they keep drawing division lines between them.
When I write, I walk through a threshold. On the otherside there is only telling the truth. I can lie to do so.
This is where I want someone. On this other side. This is where I want my pussy to live. In a place where she both weeps and wants. Is free to change her mind all the time and back again and not be called fickle or emotional like its a bad thing.
I am sweet and I am evil. Depending on who you are to me. In the liminal space of writing, this makes perfect sense though in our reality, it is questioned, documented, pathologized- or maybe this is the amount of attention I wish my writing would get and so in the liminal space it does. And of course it doesn’t too.
In my writing, I am always a feminist. I can fuck like one. I can smoke like one. I can be a big sister who no one wants to think about doing any of these things. I can both stylize, think too much, tell too much and only be chipping away at an edge.
The liminal is the stuff only inside of me. The stuff that pours out onto the page, that pours from other feminist writers, that somehow finds each other and sometimes stays so detrimentally far apart.
Feminist writing is everywhere and nowhere. A space made for it is a place it can evade. A space banning it may be a place where it alights, takes root, stays.
The secret weapon of someone who doesn’t label it, the empowerment of someone who does, the outcasting of either or neither or both.
Still people are so scared of the word. More than they are of fundamentalists, less accepting of it as a point of view, as a reality, than they are of war. It is liminal because history keeps throwing it back. And the writing keeps inscribing it, ticking off tally marks, forging a memory, a possibility, an actuality.
And something people don’t realize is that feminist writing can be fucking funny. It is allowed to be whatever it wants. It is allowed to mock itself. It is allowed to become quiet and hide, come out differently so it can have a space in the hollows of different walls, less accostomed to it. It isn’t all yelling. All angry. Feminist writing is liminal becuase no one can solidly say what it is or isn’t.
Our next reading, scheduled for February 9th, will feature Liz Green as your host. We are taking submission of ten minutes of reading or less as well as one works in progress reader. Send Submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org