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Susan Stinson

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09:58 pm: Adrienne Rich: Send Something Back
Here's a link to a remembrance I wrote about the effect that Adrienne Rich's work had on me. It's up on the Lambda Literary website.

I also loved this essay by Kenny Fries, which acknowledges her as a poet who wrote about disability and chronic illness. I was moved by that aspect of her work and presence as well.

Here's a poem I wrote years ago, drawing on-- among other things -- how Rich wrote about the pain from her rheumatoid arthritis. Can't get the spacing right here on lj -- oh, well.

for Lynne

That I am fat brought
me to these wooden steps
by the river
I come down turned
to keep weight
off one ankle

This twists my knee.

A poet I follow
said pain in the body
is not the same as
pain in the streets
It’s fifteen years since I left
my job at noon to listen
to her across another river

I loved her language already
then for its pressures
She seemed to ask
that I inhabit my politics
that I let a lesbian mind in me
sweat and stagger at least half awake
through my desires

but that afternoon
she turned our attention to pain.

Now, a heron turns and settles on the bank

and I am away

from a hotel full of other fat people
who might force me into the courage

to press my low breasts
against the air as if it were glass

to say we need our pleasures
but cannot be consumed.

This post at PEN has links to a lot of other really fine posts about Rich.

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