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New poem in In The Mood Magazine! (again ❤️)
A N V I L S
One of my poems, “LOST ANVIL TAPE,” is in the gorgeous Issue 7 of In The Mood. While I’ve barely gotten a chance to read through this issue due to simultaneously moving1 and getting laid off,2 I love what I’ve seen so far. Especially the cover, which I can’t stop staring at, and the surprisingly strong presence of Pingu among the other work.
This poem is a pantoum, or I guess a busted pantoum, because I dropped a bunch of anvils on it toward the end. Given my love of repetition and being annoying, I’m shocked I had never heard of this form until now. I wanted to work with something formulaic to complement Looney Tunes plotlines and the ubiquity of the cartoon anvil.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about trope and canon, how they both create in-groups and out-groups among the stories we live off of, for better and worse. These concepts seem closely related to me, even if tropey usually = derivative or unserious, while being part of a canon (literary, film, whatever) means a thing is very Significant and Meaningful. Tropes teach us what to expect, canons teach us what to value, and sometimes vice versa. They’re both the self-fulfilling prophecies of who’s been talking loudest or has had people listening (and copying) most intently.
I think this relationship is part of why almost every queer narrative is considered subversive, at least in mainstream criticism. We’re finally establishing patterns beyond bury your gays, but not quite to the point of something like a pansexual Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Lesbians ending up happy together is still kind of like an anvil falling upward. A genderqueer baddie with a storyline fully unrelated to defending their personhood is like Road Runner on a casual stroll.
Not that it’s always that serious! Thing-falling-from-sky is also just one of my favorite cartoon tropes. When it comes to the Looney Tunes anvil (who is trans), my love-hate relationship with tropes is all love. Here is a supercut.
Poems I’ve enjoyed lately
Aubade Between Homes by Ellene Glenn Moore
The descriptions in this tweet
The new place has a LIBRARY and the ceiling is MAGENTA and I am NEVER LEAVING