Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Jane Bowles / Kate Colby
Browsing the Ugly Ducking Presse catalog today introduced me to Kate Colby's long poem Unbecoming Behavior. She describes the work at the Bookslut website. I really love the premise: Jane Bowles was a writer of great gifts, but also known to make a fool of herself. She is recast as the subject of this poem, what Colby calls "revisionist biography". In her interview, Colby describes her interest in Bowles: "She embraced the unbecoming, but not in an empowering way, really; so why? I guess that’s why I got into it. To me, gender and, especially, femininity and its toilsome physical signs, are particularly untruthful constructs. And yet, what’s the alternative? Look at me. Look at Jane. What else is there to go on? There are a lot of things scrawled on the body and you become them."