Friday, May 27, 2016

I've been slowly, very slowly, composing a series of poems written in the voice, or sometimes through the eyes, of a character named John Doe. It's been an absorbing and also a melancholy task, pushing myself to dissolve into a kind of collective Everyman sensibility, then trying to come out on the other side (to mix my metaphors) with a distilled individuality. Writing these poems feels a bit like working to embody a chemical change.

At the same time I find myself, once again, an observer of the sadness of men. As a woman writer who considers herself a feminist, I have spent an extraordinary amount of time with the literature of men. I live in a household of men. I have adored many men, and have ground my teeth in fury at their behavior, and have abased myself and bossed them around, been patient and impatient with them, been fair and unfair.

But the sadness of men . . . why does it move me so? And how is it different from the sadness of women? For it is different--a mysterious slow sea, a rocket into the dark, an energy of the hands, a grenade.


Peg said...

"An energy of the hands" has me pondering the perceived differences between men's and women's hands. And, beyond that, how distressed some people become when they cannot tell right away from hands (or flesh, or face, or gesture) the gender of someone in their vicinity.

I might be focused on hands beyond my usual precious-tools-of-my-trades preoccupation because I recently interviewed some prospective colleagues and one of the items on the evaluation checklist was "handshake." And yet some of the strongest-minded women in my life have flabby or faint clasps in that regard.

Dawn Potter said...

I've noticed that women's hands tend to show more anxiety than men's hands do. I tend hang to around with laboring men rather than office men, and often their hands, when not working--and they can be very deft and quick, as well as strong--are quiet. Not so with women's hands. I've often wondered why.