#amreadingpoetry: Paula Gunn Allen

An excerpt from Paula Gunn Allen’s Dear World, included in the Calyx anthology A Fierce Brightness: Twenty-Five Years of Women’s Poetry

Dear World:

Mother has lupus. She says that it’s a disease
of self-attack. That it’s like if a mugger broke
into your house and you called the cops
and when they came they beat up on you
instead of the mugger.

I say that makes sense. It’s in the blood,
in the dynamic. A halfbreed woman can hardly
do anything else but attack herself.
Her blood attacks itself. There are historical
reasons for this.

I know you can’t make peace
being Indian and white.

Paula Gunn Allen, who passed away in 2008, was Lakota, Sioux, and Lebanese. She edited several anthologies of critical studies and American Indian fiction. She published two collections of essays, two volumes of poetry — Skins and Bones; Life Is a Fatal Disease — and a novel, The Woman Who Owned the Shadows.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Game of Thrones Season 7 Gendry Theories (Really Just Wishful Thinking)

Self loves the Gendry thread on Twitter. It is the most “fun” thread of all the different GoT character threads. Mostly because of the intensity of the viewers’ frustrations.

Likely the reason the showrunners brought Gendry back is because this and next season will be about battles. Self doesn’t mind seeing how mild-mannered, loyal blacksmith Gendry morphs into this fierce warrior. Any excuse to see Gendry in the series is great. So, battles, huh? She’ll take what she can get. Self will make this prediction: When — not if, when — Gendry finally puts on that bull helmet, the internet will just go wild.

(Oopsies, self just realized that helmet is long gone — wasn’t it lying near poor Lommy when the soldiers killed him, which then worked out great because cunning Arya convinced them they had just killed Gendry? Well, that is such an anti-climactic end for the helmet, seeing as it figured so prominently in a scene between Ned Stark and Gendry, waaaay back in Season 1)

Self has a sinking feeling: because the longer it takes to get Gendry on-screen, the more his significance as a character is reduced. If he comes in during Episode 4 or 5, all he’ll be doing is helping Jon Stark prepare for war. (Which is why scenes like the one with Ed Sheeran and the puppy-ish Lannister soldiers was so excruciating.)

She’s been re-watching Season 3, Gendry’s scenes with Melisandre. Her telling Arya, “We will meet again” and telling Gendry, “You will make kings rise and fall” and “Haven’t you ever wondered where your strength came from?” Season 3 was so very, very promising — for Gendry, for Arya, for Melisandre, for Stannis, for Brienne, for Jaime.

Digression: There were other things about Season 3. Remember the hot tub scene that launched a thousand Brienne/Jaime ships? Remember the fight with the bear? Amazing to think: all of that happened in Season 3. Season 3 was really the last time the show focused so closely on these particular characters, and they were her favorite. After, it all got complicated and angst-y. We watched Danaerys’s (entirely predictable) rise and rise. Gendry disappeared.

Now Gendry’s return might simply be nothing more than a sign that the series has entered the mop-up stage. There’s definitely a bittersweet quality to his return.

She hopes there will eventually be a confrontation between Melisandre and Arya, and that Gendry is right there for it. Melisandre took Gendry and Arya turned into an assassin. The sweet girl Gendry used to know is no more. This is such a heartbreaking development. Each one of Arya’s kills comes at such great cost — to herself. Self keeps being reminded of the quote (she forgets the source): When you pursue the path of vengeance, dig two graves.

In revenge, self hopes Melisandre morphs into that weird crone thing that’s been popping up on Instagram, and self hopes it happens in front of Gendry and Arya’s disbelieving, horrified eyes. The transformation will be so powerful. Those three actors would act the heck out of such a scene: they’re all so great.

Stay tuned.



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