Saturday, May 29, 2010

"A Working Girl Can't Win" by Deborah Garrison


Really enjoyed these poems in "A Working Girl Can't Win" by Deborah Harrison. First came across two of these poems in the anthology "Kiss Off" by Mary D. Esselman and Elizabeth Ash Velz. Published in 1998, "A Working Girl Can't Win" sold over 30,000, which is very high for a poetry anthology.

NOT crazy, however, about this cover photograph. Do working women really LOOK like this? So snotty and scronny and non-human and sophisticated? And they are leisurely reading books with no laptops in front of them....this clearly is a bullshit photograph. Maybe working women on mars...give me a break.

Many poems have an anti-office theme; for example in "Please Fire Me" Garrison writes, "Here comes the alpha male ~ and all the other alphas ~ are snorting and pawing, ~ and kicking up puffs of acrid dust".

This poem has a really great ending, "I'd like to go ~ somewhere else entirely, ~ and I don't mean ~ Europe" (I think that this stanza expreses how I feeel prety much 24-7!)

Also, "Fight Song"; "Fuck them all ~ the artsy posers, ~ the office blowhards ~ and brown-nosers; ~ Fuck the type who get the job done".

A really nice passage:

"to wish ~ for a hard rain, or a hard wind ~ like one we sat out in together ~ or came in from together." (exerpt from; "She Thinks of Him on Her Birthday")

A sexy poem; "The Fireman"; "the darkest one is handsomest ~ the one with the thin wiry arms in handsomest... ~ Everyday I pass them at the station. ~ The word sexy wouldn't do them justice." Garrison, it seems, is explaining that raw sexiness in the kind of man "who wears a toolbelt and doesn't know how to spell it.'"

The persona she communicates in her poems; a woman who is so real and down to earth; is so different from the women on the cover. I just can't make sense of it.

The collection includes my all-time favorite poem, "Worked Late on Tuesday Night", which I posted just a few weeks back. It's a little sad and depressing, however.

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