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Of course, sexism in the literary world isn’t a new problem. Kahlo, Terrell and Cooper are not the only heroes of this book.In a 2010 blog post marking International Women’s Day, the poet Ron Silliman recalls how as late as the 1960s, the indomitable “Gertrude Stein was still considered a joke as a writer, an extra-literary phenomenon of those crazy between-war years in Paris.” In a move reminiscent of Stein’s Tender Buttons, Hemming the Water concerns itself with decidedly nondramatic domestic trappings traditionally associated with women—scarves, girdles, and, as the title suggests, sewing—as stitching, hemming, and thimbles reoccur throughout the book. As the repetition creates a call-and-response, half-singing quality, the speaker is caught in a web of limitations and unspoken dangers. Towering above them all is the influence of Mary Lou Williams.“Think about what happens when poetry becomes commercial,” she said.
Formerly known as the Alzheimer’s Associations of Capital of Texas Chapter, Alzheimer’s Texas separated from the national Alzheimer’s Association earlier this year to better serve and provide Central Texas with the quality, high-touch services consistent with its mission and keep 100% of its funds raised in Central Texas.I can’t help but conclude someone’s at work on a grand cliché I’m supposed to buy into & there’s nothing harmless about Frida Kahlo, exquisite painter of stitches & steel, thorns & wombs & vaginas—something utterly misleading about Frida’s face on a 4×4 note card, a little too neat & too square, which makes sense in the American sense of matinee love or lust or art or what passes for art, or living the life of an artist, those heroes & heroines dangling over the cliffs of vanity, begging for a little more rope.Kahlo’s co-option by makers of “feel-good postcards & magnets” renders the painter’s life and work less disarming, less dangerous, less threatening to the status quo.Later as a secretary in Queens, I would paper my cubicle with Frida’s visage, and years later, the pictures still line one curved wall of my Pittsburgh apartment’s turret; Frida’s formidable black eyes peer at me from magnets on my refrigerator, the calendar near my desk.So I feel a pang of recognition when the speaker of Yona Harvey’s “Turquoise” remarks, These days, Frida Kahlo appears like a god to whom I’ve prayed, like accessories that shake at the bottom of a woman’s shopping bag, a loose divinity of feel-good postcards & magnets rocking on paper handles in the crease of an upright arm.