Laurel's Blog

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"Loose Woman" by Sandra Cisneros

I wouldn’t say that I read Sandra Cisneros. I think I devour it. Or maybe it devours me. I get intensely jealous when I read “Loose Woman”, her collection of poetry, because it doesn’t seem fair that someone else can so perfectly capture in words what I’m thinking- what I want to write. I was reading her book at work and an older male English professor asked what I was reading. I showed him the cover and he almost dropped his hazelnut coffee when he saw the title. “My”, he said “that seems a bit inappropriate.” I smiled when he walked away, praising Cisneros for choosing a title that could so effectively provoke the same reaction as her poems.
Cisneros manages to write about sex, love, the earth and her responsibly as a woman in a way in which the reader is intrigued by and slightly scared of her at the same time. With lines like “My body. Ours/ swallowing each other/ whole. This. That./ Neck. Mouth. Cock. Cunt.” (36), she exposes her sexuality and boldly writes words about topics that are often danced around.
Cisneros’ poems stare at you from the page with an intensity that makes their permanence clear. She allows you into her memories but under the assumption that you will take them for what they are and nothing else. Her lines are blunt and to the point, but at the same time are nothing short of dramatic in their involved and sometimes multi-faceted connotations. Cisneros writes about time and space with a simplicity that makes her memories tangible. In “I Want to Be a Father Like the Men”, she writes “I want to know/ how love can grow irrevocable/ and prove the fable true”. (44) She refuses the urge to cloak her experiences in superfluous words, and as a result the possible meanings of the words she does use are strengthened.
Not much seems to be edited from Cisneros’ poetry. There doesn’t appear to be any topic she is scared to talk about, and her voice is so uninhibited that it makes the reader wonder why they’ve ever felt a need obscure the meaning of their own words. She is blunt without being callous and her poetry seems to mock censorship in the straightforward way it sits on the page.
The bilingual quality of Cisneros’ poetry gives the impression that her lines are stubborn and refuse to conform to their culture or their reader. She blends Spanish with English with an ease that allows the English-speaking reader to forget that they don’t know the meaning of the Spanish words. She writes “Beware el alacrán guero/ whose grief arrives delayed.” (45) Here the actual meaning of the Spanish words is not necessary to grasp an understanding of the lines.
After absorbing her poetry, the reader gets the sense that after every emotional encounter she faces, Cisneros grabs a pen and words explode onto the page. In a fit of passion, her experiences with sex, love, anger, and devotion devour the pages. There is a consuming quality to her work. She has been consumed by her passion just as much as the reader is consumed by the poetry her passion creates.

posted by Laurel  # 11:23:00 AM


sunshine? really? i'll expect clouds rolling within an hour. we really should find a way to control our dreams. awaking in another world is just so dangerous. (15 pages down, 12 + a final to go).
posted by Laurel  # 11:26:00 AM


between ithaca weather and my fucked up sleeping patters i really only see a couple hours of sunlight a day. messes with the mind after awhile.
posted by Laurel  # 5:10:00 PM
the timestamp here is so wrong. it's actually 1:35. yes that's right, 1:35AM, friday night/saturday morning and I'm blogging. "finally has figured out there aren't enough quiet little British films around to protect her from the real world" anyone else see love actually? i would have sat in the theater all day and watched it over and over again. sometimes i think my life is a movie, or the plot of a needlessly complicated narrative that some drunkard with a sick sense of humor concocted after a rough day in the office. he's watching us now with a gin & tonic in one hand and the puppet strings in the other. or maybe he was a genius novelist who was struck with the brilliant idea of you and me two weeks before his sudden death, preventing him from ever writing beyond page 48. That's you and me now, darling, stuck between chapters two and three, hoping for the return from the dead of a brilliant writer to tell us how the story ends. i hate AIM. i'm tired of you being black letters on a white background with a blue flashing border. im tired of wondering if the you of your words has ever been me. i'm tired of feeling silly for remembering the rhythmn you type when it's too late for questions for answers for sense. i'm tired of straining my eyes to see the screen. i'm tired of reading you like a novel and the you here i hate could easily be me. writing in this thing reduces me to oddly connected and curved black lines and white space. especially when it's late enough for my contacts to blur and for the words to slowly blend together into one giant mess.

posted by Laurel  # 2:05:00 AM
screaming outside again and then the sirens again. no one ever said that $390 a month meant the bad side of town.
posted by Laurel  # 1:33:00 AM
does anyone else think it's odd that drinks at collegetown bagels are named after hockey players? do you think when ryan vesce goes in he orders a "grande 'me', skim and no whipped"? i would.
posted by Laurel  # 1:25:00 AM


KitKat0009: i want you to meet him
KitKat0009: one of the loves of my life
LaLu101: i like that he's one of
LaLu101: funny though that i know what you mean

posted by Laurel  # 11:56:00 PM
I’ll find my poem
about you one day
like a corpse buried in
worms in the woods
and it will sit there decaying but
still taking up space and
still waiting to be found and
still with police tape marking the scene
and a trickle of blood left in a vein.

/-some might say i have a soc paper due tomorrow...la di da di da. any thoughts on the development of gender identity before age 5? i think this paper is me re-living barbie-power-wheels days. that car was so pink and so pretty and my cousin crashed it into a tree (same cousin who had a baby last night, my how we grow up, i think it's only fitting that i buy little 21 hour old zachary his own power wheels) do they still make them?-


we moved quickly
because of the rain
and got to the car
laughed shut the door
and your hair dripped
on the seat
the radio played and
oh what was that song?
we knew all the words and anyway
we fled the racket
of Camelot of Gatsby
of apartment buildings and The Waterloo
and I could smell you then
sweat and cologne
and it was hard to breathe
to see headlights in the rain

did you ever think
we had a choice?
that rain that sky that speed
don’t you think
that all the theories of science
collided to make
that kiss that night
but look at me now still
screaming my song still
the audience yawning
sh, sit down

And now I’m still writing
pretty poems for pretty nights
in Spain in Mexico on Tropical Islands
where I imagine our kisses
held magical powers
still assigning high love
to the rain to the night
here a part of my mind
awake again
a part of my hand
still asleep.

/- there is NOTHING of substance in our refrigerator so it's strictly shirley temples from here on out. odd how a kitchen can have no bread eggs cereal or milk but instead two full bottles of grenadine. and dinner mints. lots and lots of dinner mints with all the green ones carefully picked out and the reds struggling for survival... -

The recipe of me
creates a bitter dish
of one part tired
one part insane
and one part just plain

Half of me watching
for you to slink by
the other half saying
fool go blind.

My chest burns from
chocolate, too much
sugar in my coffee, too much
syrup in my veins.

And my hand forgets
the hardened skin from the pen’s
furious movement
in a desperate attempt to be
Fitzgerald Picasso or
John Coltrane
the brain’s attempt at love poems
at novels
at suicide notes.

I forget on this high,
the sight of blood and
28 day cycles of
failed potential, an unused womb
an almost Van Gogh
an almost Marilyn,
an almost Mozart
down the drain,
the sticky jewel of afterbirth
the only time death
comes before life.

Yes I forget my white skirts
that floated over the grass and pulled
me above the roses
the river, the dirt
and the way the blinding sun reflected
off my ring and for a second to me
you were a Monet
in a brilliant stroke of
blue, white, gold.

/- i think you're the beginning of a poem that's been swimming in my head for 19 years-

posted by Laurel  # 10:39:00 PM


my ideal reader

- someone uninformed, so that they buy what i'm telling them, thus boosting my confidence. everyone likes the reader who says ooo good point.

- scratch that, someone informed, so they challenge me and destroy any first second seventh draft i have. otherwise what's the point

- someone who isn't scared of driving with the gas light on (these people tend to be more fun, and probably wouldn't feel the need to apply meaning to the thoughts of insanity i put down on paper that i have never, and will never prescribe meaning to)

- someone who understands that addictions, obsessions, infatuations are the root of good writing, that they stem from the same desire that drives us to pens, pills and nuthouses (i'm really sleep deprived, bear with me)

- someone who at least once wanted to be a ballerina, a sword fighter, a superhero or a princess

- someone who doesn't let me get away with fake smiles and bullshit answers. someone i can't fool.

- someone who understands that thoughts and dreams and ambitions can be controlled and distorted by nicotine/caffeine/cheesy movie cravings.

- someone who is willing to say i never heard it put that way

- someone who has ever been my "you" of a poem story 3am scribble.

- a girl, 19 years old, 5'7" green eyes who sometimes pretends to be spanish.

- someone slightly afraid of me and himself.
posted by Laurel  # 2:49:00 AM


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