Saturday, October 28, 2006

A Bitter Aftertaste

The Rockrose Moon (A Serial Fiction) Part 19

It remains foggy and yellow out.

I am for some strange reason that I can’t explain persisting in reading this bad memoir by the writer Marge Piercy, “Sleeping With Cats”.

She presents herself at least to me as eminently unlikable and the book is poorly written.

But the thing that unnerves and fascinates me is how arrogant it is. I also had this impression when I read Erica Jong’s latest memoir although Jong struck me as being fundamentally delusional and sad.

Maybe like the mom in “Running With Scissors”? I haven’t seen it yet.

I am interested in what makes someone arrogant. A friend of mine called me a couple of weeks back and asked if I remembered this guy we both used to work with. He asked, “We didn’t like him and thought he was arrogant but I can’t for the life of me remember why. Do you?”

I couldn’t. It was just this impression, this aftertaste.

“Proud and overbearing through an exaggerated feeling of one’s superiority…”

When does confidence turn into arrogance?

I believe my poetry is good, not all of it all the time, but that pretty much I have a gift and when I shoot I score more times than not. If you’ve been reading this mess you know I have that opinion by now.

I wonder if Sylvia Plath was that way, or Elizabeth Bishop, messed up big time both of them. Bishop a drunk like Jong. Dickenson was certainly a tad bit unusual.

Is it so difficult to be a women poet that has some modicum of success that it drives us to drink and over the edge into mental illness?

Is the arrogance a defense? A wall of fuck you armor?

I was watching two women talk the other day, they were walking and one was angry about something at work and was slamming a coworker or boss and her face when she barked out the staccato bitter words was just contorted enough to be profoundly ugly.

Audrey Hepburn used to say the best way to have a good picture taken of oneself is to think happy thoughts while the photographer is working.

I fret about these things, being arrogant and ugly—because I admit I believe in my work and I am bitter that other’s don’t.

Do I have to go further into these dark places and ways of being to have the work, instead of me, (like with Peter), seen and heard???

Yes dear, you write poetry dear? That’s nice.

I look at plain women and I think no one even sees them, particularly if they are old. I think of Marilyn Monroe, dressing down.

Sometimes I wear my glasses and my hair pinned up and kind of sort of slouch when I go to an event to see if someone will be interested in the work but even with that I am beginning to dislike the person I am becoming full of bile and frustration.

It is one funky vile mix.

Christy Turlington says that beauty is not so much in the eye of the beholder as in the heart of the beheld.

I would like to believe I have a beautiful heart.


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