Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ancestors, Discrimination and Beauty

Both of my grandmothers were employed here by the Clothing industry when they came to the USA (both around 1913).  They were both strong, somewhat plump women who served as organizers of workers in their work places and, in the case of my mother's mother, chair of committees and women's auxiliary branches of organizations. Ironically I don't think they would have approved of Fat Acceptance, since their environment was saturated with anti-fat beliefs and sentiments. Their generation was determined not to raise fat children because being fat, for them, was considered anti-American (read: foreign and not White Anglo Saxon Protestant).

Somehow the same sentiment still lingers in a lot of the more fashionable areas of big cities, the cities which still receive the most immigrants. And yet the work done by NAAFA and other strong, determined, brilliant women of size has managed to push back against fat shaming just enough so that you will find more fat women beautifully attired and proud of their beauty.

I am proud to say that there are poems in both Fat Poets Speak (1): Voices of the Fat Poets' Society and Fat Poets Speak (2): Living and Loving Fatly about fat women who are now proud of their beauty.

We, the current generation of fat American women, are rising up against fat discrimination and stigmatizing faced by previous generations, our ancestors. But we have our ancestors -in my case, my grandmothers- to thank for their determination to fight back against conditions in their workplaces, thus sowing -and sewing- the seed for their granddaughters to rise up against a different kind of discrimination.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Before and After

You know, it's funny. Some of the slimmer and "average sized" people I knew earlier in my life -oh, say, about twenty years ago- have gained some weight. From what I can see, at least one of them exercises a lot and hopefully feels good. But he doesn't seem to be losing any weight. This of course matters about zero to me. I wonder if it matters to him. He was always hot as far as I was concerned when we were younger and he is quite hot now, with his shock of greying hair, still nice shoulders and strong thighs.

By the way (a little bonus for people who read this blog), he is the man about whom I wrote in "Forgiveness," which is in Fat Poets 2 - Fat Poets Speak: Living and Loving Fatly.

Does he dislike himself because he has gained weight? I hope not.

When he was a freshperson in college (ha, ha, yes, quite fresh), he liked women who were plump/chubby. Then he learned and aligned his tastes with others, specifically the ones who made fun of him for his tastes. And yet he didn't stop appreciating heavier women altogether. He just went out with a variety of women :)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A FatLand Resort

I was thinking that yet another way to create FatLand would be to have a FatLand resort and just live there at least six months of the year. (Once upon a time there was supposedly such a resort, or at least a fat friendly resort something like this, on the Mexican Riviera.)  We could have monthly rates, weekly rates and of course nightly rates.

Would want not only a pool, but at least a pond. Best would be a lake.

Lots of spacious chairs on the big porch and at the pool. Roaring fire in the living room during the autumn and winter months. Hot cider and hot toddies during the autumn and winter months, too, with some pumpkin bread and chocolate croissants. Cheese danish, too.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Poem: Grace

A poem :) (Yeah, by me. Yeah, I wrote it for this blog. Yeah, I wrote it tonight.)


That I grow breasts that extend
over several continents
and feed millions,
letting them graze on my nipples
and lap me hungrily, bounty never ending,
my large and flowing grace the sweetest nectar
of all.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Correction and idea

Correction! Correcton! The Southwest Popular Culture Association Conference will be held in Albuquerque not in Tucson. Same dates: Feb. 19-Feb 24.

Am now throwing around the thought and wish in my head that there would/should be a Fat Poetry Contest. Don't quite know yet how it would work, or who would sponsor it and be responsible for the prizes. It is an idea in its infant state and it is still saying, "Mommy, mommy" and asking for a cookie.

Here's a cookie, idea..keep growing..

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Reading your/our poetry at the Popular Culture Conference in Arizona on February 19-22, 2014

Even as we read and write, and even as Fat Poets Speak: Living and Loving Fatly wafts into its next phase - being published early in 2014- fat poets are rising up and writing and reading their own poetry.

So, Fat Poets Speak writers - is it time? Will you rise up and read your poems at the following venue? The announcement is from Deah Schwartz, a New Voice featured in Fat Poets Speak: Living and Loving Fatly.

Hi Frannie!  So there is this upcoming Popular Culture Conference and they are looking for proposals for the Fat Studies track and one of the areas is having a panel of three fat poets reading their poems.  I would love to do this!!!  I would take care of all the paper work and send in the proposal if you are interested?  What say you?  The deadline to submit is Nov 1, but I have to work on it early because I have three other deadlines on Nov. 1. The event is in Arizona and it is taking place on February 19-22, 2014.

Would love to hear about our amazing poets reading at this event. Please contact myself or Deah if you would like to do so.

What will you achieve? More exposure for your work. More exposure for people who are not familiar with "Fat" poetry to the concepts of fat people embodying themselves proudly in poetry and being easy with themselves and their bodies in general.

A big step forward also for Fat Studies at the Popular Culture Conference.

So much can be accomplished for those who read at this conference, on many levels.

I ask you to consider going and reading.  I think it will be an incredibly empowering experience.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Jaya Prada

One day I would love to write a poem about Jaya Prada.

Jaya Prada was a dancer in Telugu and Bollywood movies in the 1970's through 1990's. She went into politics for a little while in the 2000's. She is beautiful and acclaimed as such still. She is fat. She was one of the best dancers Bollywood had or has ever seen.

In one of my favorite Bollywood movies, Sharabi, she tears up the floor and the scene with one of the most seductive dances I have ever seen. And she does not remove a thing.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


There are some, um, interesting pictures of women's breasts on Facebook these days. How photoshopped they are, I don't know :)

That is one of the few things that fat women have that are considered an asset. A fat and very endowed friend of mine -when I was in grad school- managed to sleep with most of the rock and folk musicians touring Cambridge, Mass. She was, it seems, esteemed for her bodacious breastage. (Neologism..I didn't want to write cleavage or boobies or knockers or tatas..) She was quite cheerful at concerts. I hope she's still doing her thing, even if she is a bit older.

Some of our poems in Fat Poets Speak: Living and Loving Fatly do mention breasts, not necessarily in an erotic sense, but because they are redolent of comfort and softness and make people nice to hug.

And when they bounce, they reset the shapes of those who happily possess them.

Only problem: getting a bra that fits correctly and is comfortable.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fat Poets and Poetry Workshops at Universities - A Dream?

Another dream of mine: to lead fat poets' and poetry workshops at various universities and colleges. I guess one has to be asked by a sister or fellow poet.

I say this because I think women are under an enormous amount of pressure on college campuses to conform to an obsolete physical ideal  -well, men are, too, but I guess I think of women because they seem to be more interested in poetry and more interested in issues pertaining to body images. Or they admit it. Or they are more at ease with talking about them.

I would love love love to teach young fat poets to sing their bodies and persons and minds and hearts - and not to stop, and to get their poems heard. And read. And discussed. To put us on the map!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Peaceful, nurturing

Do an exercise. See which words you associate with fat. I just did, and the words that came out were "peaceful" and "nurturing."

This in itself is of course a stereotype. When fat women march, whether in California or in Washington, DC, we are being anything but peaceful. We may not become violent physically, but our anger is almost palpable. This is what happens when fat women decide that enough is enough and decide to challenge the powers that be to stop thinking of us as numbers on a scale.

But I still like the words that I associate with fat because I associate them with my grandma, who was plump and loved me and cared deeply about me, as I did about her, but with a little too much selfishness because I was younger and heedless and in some ways thoughtless.. I wrote about her in Fat Poets Speak 1. I still like the concepts. Someone who is peaceful and nurturing isn't yelling at you to slim down, wear different clothes or become someone else entirely.

Sometimes I think that part of the "war" on fat people is also a war on "peacefulness" and "nurturing." After all, you can't compete and can't fight wars effectively if you are being nurtured a lot or nurturing a lot.

Hint, hint..

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Beauty of Our Moms

We all had strong relationships with our moms, some mostly good, some not. Same thing often with our grandmothers. From what I can see, our moms often struggled with food and weight issues, and often passed their anxieties on to us.

The sad thing is that they were beautiful, but the world -well, the country?- was not interesting in letting them know it, or in imparting standards of beauty that admitted other than tall and thin  blond women. And yet..whether or not they were blond or tall or thin, they were beautiful.

I think of my mom, whom I wrote about (as you will see) in Fat Poets Speak: Living and Loving Fatly. She was originally fetchingly plump and thoroughly gorgeous. And yet now that she is very thin -and still gorgeous, at 85- she still - STILL- worries about her weight.

Is it a crime, to shame women for their weight (whatever it is)? I hope that one day, it will be.

Fat Poets' Resort

 A vision: a Fat Poets' resort, where we all can visit or live year round. Plenty of capacious chairs, strong beds, trails to walk and explore, amazing views, incredible food, haunting sunsets. Laptops to rent, with printers nearby, if we decide not to bring our own. A large carpeted library with loads and loads of books. And windows.  A lake. Lots and lots of strong chairs near the lake.

Our own rooms, each with a gorgeous and spacious bathroom. Beds strong enough to jump up and down on (and for other things).

 A pool.

A room with a fireplace and legacy games and chessboards.

Lots of trees.

An amusement park :) (For fat people, but for everyone else too, so it can make money enough to support the resort.)

Swings! Of various kinds. Hammocks.

A porch that stretches around the entire ground floor, for the Main House. Oh, also porch swings. Lots of strong wonderful Adirondack chairs and other kinds of strong chairs.

Staff that adore us and understand how to treat us really well.

Did I leave anything out? What would you all like to see?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

FatLand 2 is Free on Kindle

I don't usually write about FatLand here because I want to keep the blogs separate. FatLand, is, after all, for the trilogy - science fiction. Fat Poets Speak is for the discussion of the Fat Poets Speak books and writing "fat" poetry.

However, I do feel impelled today to inform readers that -if you didn't already know - FatLand: The Early Days is FREE on Kindle in Amazon from today (well, yesterday) until October 20.

Loving your body and writing about it is a very different proposition in poetry than it is in fiction.  But I must say that the poets featured in Fat Poets Speak: Living and Loving Fatly do it beautifully.

Talk to your body. See what it says! (Argue with it, if necessary, but don't get too mean. It is pretty sensitive..)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Food and fat

It seems "logical" to some people to connect fat people with eating, or eating more. But a lot of studies show that fat people do *not* eat more than others. The connection between being fat -or being any weight, for that matter- is not a simple "calories/energy in, calories./energy out" relationship.

It is sad that many fat people seem to believe that they eat too much - whatever they eat.

I remember that in second grade, a classmate of mine named Phil -who liked me, as I learned later- said to me, "Why are you fat? You don't eat so much." I said, "I don't know." He said, "I eat more than you do and I'm not fat."  I had no answer for that one.

What surprised me then is that I assumed that I ate too much. My mom had already tried to limit my food intake, with not a whole lot of success. She sent me to camp (not fat camp, just sleepaway camp), starting at eight, because she thought that moving a lot, as one certainly does at sleepaway camp, would help me to lose weight. It did, each summer. Then I gained back the weight each time, and more. I learned to like certain sports, and become good at them. But I didn't lose weight permanently.

I did not want to make known/assumed/stereotypical associations between food and fat people. There was one wonderful poem, not included, that discussed this area. I hope to include it and to remedy some of that lack of connection in Fat Poets 3.

Monday, October 14, 2013


Was just thinking..if someone were to ask very learned doctors (mostly male) of the Renaissance era why women's bellies were beautiful, they would probably be astounded, since it was then a given that women's bellies were beautiful.

If someone were to ask very learned doctors (some male, some female) why women's bellies are considered beautiful or not beautiful, they would probably be astounded, since it is still a given in many circles that women's bellies are embarrassing.

And yet if you consider the belly, a woman's belly, as part of a woman's body, without its cultural baggage and no-no's, of which there are still admittedly many, its slope and soft heft -and grandeur when pregnant- make it pleasing to touch and hold and nuzzle. Babies of course seem to know this. Why not others?

Happily, in Fat Poets Speak 2: Living and Loving Fatly, several of our poets speak lovingly of bellies. Bravo, belly-appreciating poets. May your love of bellies spread so all the world can once again appreciate them.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Fat men poets?

I guess by now many of you have noticed that Fat Poets Speak, both 1 and 2, feature only women poets. I and Fat Poets Speak did not set out to exclude men. I am hoping that somewhere there are indeed fat men poets who are writing about their experiences of being fat in a thin-centric culture. I would like to think that there are fat men who are happy with, perhaps even proud of their fatness, and will embody it one day in poetry.

I somehow remember that there was one man in one of the poetry workshops I taught at NAAFA conventions and two or even three men in the others. However, they were not fat.

Perhaps a fat man poet needs to teach a workshop on fat embodiment in poetry for men.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Repost of Interview with Dr. Deah Schwartz, New Voice in Fat Poets 2: Living and Loving Fatly

I am reposting this interview with Dr. Deah Schwartz because she didn't get to view it previously. And some of you who might not have been able to see it previously can view it now.

Interview with Dr. Deah Schwartz, New Voice in Fat Poets Speak 2: Living and Loving Fatly

Dr. Deah Schwartz has more than 20 years experience using therapeutic arts, music, drama and recreation activities in a variety of clinical and educational settings with clients ranging in age from 5 to 80+. She has a Doctorate in Education, a BA in Theater, an MS in Therapeutic Recreation, and an MA in Creative Arts Education and is a Nationally Certified Recreation Therapist.

And…she is also one of the New Voices in the second volume of Fat Poets Speak:  Living and Loving Fatly.

This is the first part of the interview. The second will be published at a later date.  Read and appreciate her as she talks to us here.

1.      First of all - at least to my mind- many of us are excited that you have just finished your second book. Can you tell us a little of what it is about?

The book’s title is:  Dr. Deah’s Calmanac:  your interactive monthly guide for cultivating a positive body image. It is loosely based on The Old Farmer’s Almanac, which is a manual that provides information for growing and harvesting hearty and plentiful crops and gardens. People struggling with Eating Disorders and Body Dissatisfaction often feel trapped in cyclical patterns with no way out.  For example, Every January offers another reminder that whatever resolution was made the previous year has most likely failed and they are still struggling. 

But I believe that our history is not fate—it is knowledge, and our past does not dictate our present or future behaviors. We can learn from our past, hold on to the positives, and choose to throw the negatives in the mulch bin. In order to reap the benefits of the repetition or redundancy that our calendar year presents, it is imperative that we take some time to examine the months and seasons for their predictable ebbs and flows and plan our garden of positive body image around the elements that are most certain to occur.  This proactive approach has a calming effect in lieu of a self-critical outcome, hence the name, Dr. Deah’s CALManac.

2.  What made you want to go into the field  of eating disorders?

That is a difficult question to answer concisely but I will give it a try!  My career path was heading in the direction of Expressive Arts Therapy because of my interest in psychology and the expressive arts.  Concurrently, I was trying to figure out a way to resolve my own Eating Disorder by using psychodrama and drama therapy.  This resulted in co-authoring a three woman play called, Leftovers, the Ups and Downs of a Compulsive Eater.  While performing the show on Off-Broadway, New York, and up and down the west coast, I found that the audience inherently experienced a therapeutic benefit from watching the actors confront and ultimately step on the road to personal recovery.  It reinforced my belief in the Expressive Arts as a healing intervention for Eating Disorders.  In the process I found that even though my E.D. was improving, I was still grappling with my body hate, you see I was not just obsessed with food; I was obsessed with the desire to be thin.  I was also working in adolescent psychiatric hospitals at the time, and noticed that the two areas were intertwined.  The teens hated their bodies because they wanted to be thin, they developed disordered eating patterns to become thin, found ways to address their eating behaviors but still had to change their self-loathing to self-acceptance with or without a change in body size from their E.D. recovery.  I also noticed that  teens and   young adults resonate with expressive arts and are more easily engaged than when only verbal psycho-therapy is used because there is an integration of the mind AND the body in the process.  (I actually have a soundcloud recording Under the heading Expressive Arts Therapies explaining this concept   if you want to hear a bit more information about that).  So I suppose the answer is I gravitated to the field of Eating Disorders because of my personal experience with my own E.D.  and in my professional life, seeing the efficacy of the particular therapeutic work I was doing with this population specifically.

3.  How would you say the shape of your life today differs from what you thought it would be 20 or 25 years ago?

 Life throws us interesting curveballs once in a while.  20 years ago I was an adjunct professor at San Francisco State University, working full time at a psychiatric hospital, and a new mom working on my doctorate.  I really loved the balance in my life.  Then I had a severe back injury that resulted in my having to leave my work and found myself at home as a full time mom and very part time doctoral student.  The good news was how available I was for my son.  Those were years I wouldn’t give up for anything, despite the pain and grueling rehab I went through because of my back, but unfortunately, it also catapulted me from my career path into the unknown.  I found that I needed to find work that did not require driving long distances and a variety of other physical limitations due to my newly acquired back disability.  And so I began to do two things.  The first was writing.  I co-wrote a workbook/DVD version of Leftovers that is a unique multi-media resource for Eating Disorders.  I started blogging; writing articles, and as previously mentioned, just finished my second book.  The second was I started a private practice in Oakland California called Dr. Deah’s Walkie Talkies.  Part of the rehab for my back is to walk every day.  Because I am a certified Recreation Therapist, I found that I could walk with clients who were struggling with body image and disordered eating and were either intimated to publically engage in physical activity for fear of being taunted, or they didn’t have time to squeeze in pleasurable physical activity and a therapy session during the week.  In my ‘Walkie Talkies” we do both things at once and I was helping my back in the process!  But despite the secondary gain for my rehab, ultimately my goal is that my clients find places in Oakland and other people where they can continue to explore trails and opportunities for weight neutral physical movement.

5. How does your son feel about what you do and how you identify yourself?

The timing of this question is amazing because of a recent conversation I was having with my son.  Z (short for Zachary) was home from college over the summer and he and I were talking about the concept of people living up to their potential.  One of the benefits of having a 21 year old son, besides being able to legally enjoy a beer together once in a while, is having more open and disclosing conversations.  I told him that sometimes I questioned whether or not I was living up to my potential because when I was a professor and a hospital clinician my income was exponentially more than what I am earning in my post disability “reincarnation”.  He looked at me and said, “But Mom, the work you are doing is all about helping other people make their quality of life better and feel better about who they are.  You help others live up to their potential.  That HAS to be the way you are living up to your potential.”

Yes, I was farklempt!  It was clear that my son not only really groks (understands) what it is that I am doing, but he is proud and supportive.

7. What advice do you have for fat younger women who are worried about "fitting in" with their peers, but don't want to diet or starve themselves?

Well, because I don’t believe in a one size fits all philosophy, I would need a bit more information before giving what I feel would be a truly beneficial response.  Chronological age is important, how long the person has been fat is a factor, the etiology of their fat has some import when offering advice about interventions. But assuming that all variables are equal, I would recommend the Dr. DEEEE’s 4 steps to increasing body-acceptance.

1. EXPLORE:  Find your support systems, people and organizations, websites, therapists, family members (lol notice how they are different from people) who feel the same way you do.  You do not have to fight this level of discrimination all alone.

2.  EDUCATE:  Educate yourself with facts facts facts about the realities of weight stigma, the relationship between fat and health, and the reasons behind size discrimination in our culture.

3.  EMPOWER:  Empower yourself with permission to love your body and EMBRACE the concept of body diversity. 

4.  ENCOURAGE:  Encourage others to do the same, whether they are fat or not.   Changing a societal norm HAS to include the oppressed and allies of the oppressed.  If one group of people is discriminated against, all people are subject to being discriminated against.

8. Tell us the addresses of your blogs so we can follow right along with your essays.

 The primary place to find my blog is on my website, Dr. Deah’s Body Shop at
Once a month I write an original post for the Fierce Freethinking Fatties Website at

I also write about once a month for where I post an   Expressive Arts Therapy Directive specifically created to explore issues related to Eating Disorders and Body Image Issues.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Romance, intrigue and fat desire

I have had problems with "Romance" for a long time. I don't like cutesy sweetsy things said to me. I like original, shocking and mysterious things, preferably said in at least two languages. I like glares, meaningful stares and intrigue. And slow seduction.

I think a couple of the poets featured in Fat Poets Speak convey their desires and longing and ambivalence wonderfully.

I claim these "rights" for myself even though I am fat. I feel that I cannot "settle" for safe and peaceful patterns.

I got into hot water on what billed itself as a fat-friendly discussion site because I said that I liked relationships with a spice of mystery and the unknown, and even danger, occasionally. I had to explain that I didn't mean physical danger. I was told that these things were not appropriate.

Oh, really? Since when do fat women have to conform to vanilla and safe desires?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fat People in Motion

One really nice thing about Fat Poets Speak 2, if I do say so myself, is that Fat Poets Speak: Living and Loving Fatly contains many more descriptions of fat people moving/in motion than did Fat Poets Speak: Voices of the Fat Poets' Society.

In 2009, at the NAAFA Convention in Washington, DC, Lesleigh Owen, one of the poets featured in both Fat Poets 1 and 2, gave a poetry workshop that emphasized moving. She hit a deeply felt chord. The workshop was electrified. Poems poured out of the workshop attendees about moving.

It is a sensitive, highly emotional topic for fat people for many reasons. Some fat people feel that they have trouble moving and getting into places:  public transport, bathrooms, planes, restaurants (all varieties), stores, amusement parks, chairs in classrooms - and so many more. Some fat people are harassed when they try to accomplish movement that they like: walking, running, dancing, training, games.

In one way or another, the subject of movement  brings up many issues for those of us who are fat. I seem to remember that one person who attended that workshop was crying as she wrote. It is wonderfully cathartic for fat people to write about moving and their feelings about it.

Thank you again, Lesleigh, and thank you, poets.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

FatLand, Love Your Body Day and Poetry

I am not sure if this is really the space for news about FatLand, but here goes, anyway.

FatLand: The Early Days (aka FatLand 2) will be available free on Amazon Kindle from October 16-October 21 in honor of Love Your Body Day.

In 2006, at a hotel in Natick, I taught my first (although I am sure that it was not the first) workshop on writing poetry that embodied ourselves as fat people/fat women. I think the name was "Writing Our Fat Selves" or something like that. I see now, however, that what I was really teaching was for us to love our bodies in poetry.

Something that I learned late and hope that others won't have to take 59 years to learn:  If you are at war with your body, the poetry you write will never embody yourself.

One doesn't have to learn to love one's body instantly; sometimes a first step of simply respecting it and not hating it helps a lot. Appreciating it comes later, as does being content with it. Loving comes even later.

A little more advice: Don't ever, ever become involved seriously with anyone who does not appreciate your body just as it is.

A little more advice: Ask yourself constantly what you can do for your body, and ask your body constantly what it can do for you.

And if it is having fun.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Super Duper and a bonus

In 2008, I and three other poets who are featured in  Fat Poets Speak 1, two of them also in Fat Poets Speak 2, gave a surprisingly good rendering  of my weird but amusing performance piece entitled "SUPER DUPER Incontrovertibly Incredible Unrelentingly EXCITING FAT ACCEPTANCE Multiple Choice Test." The three poets were Lesleigh Owen, Anne Kaplan and Corinna Makris.

People who watched it enjoyed it so much that they suggested we form our own Fat Liberation theatrical group, an endeavor  in which we were nobly preceded by the Fat Lip Readers Theater.

Performance pieces are actually more like plays than poems. But who's to say that we are mono-talented, we fat poets?  Am oh so tempted to try for a volume of performance pieces. Alas, there are only so many hours in a day.

And as a special bonus for reading this blog:

Monday, October 7, 2013


Another dream, besides having a Fat Poetry journal: an entire conference, with scholars and poets and those who are interested, devoted to Fat Poetry and fat poets.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

First FatLand Sunset - a poem for an imagined Fat Poets 4 volume

Was having fun wondering how a FatLander's poem about sunsets in FatLand might go..maybe we need a Fat Poets Speak 4:  Fat Poets in FatLand!

First FatLand Sunset

Never thought a jet could feel so good.
30 escapees turned refugees.
FatLand captain checked each of us,
then slammed the doors shut
from the cockpit.

As we rose above ribbons
of clouds
and coasted over rain,
we flew pink, then red
as if we were the cure
for some disease.

Gold glinted down,
first blessing in six years.
The captain told us to belt,
then said, "51 degrees
and by the looks of it,
rain just stopped.
Welcome to FatLand."

I couldn't tell where the sun ended.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Rhymed versus unrhymed and a reward

Yes, it is true. I tend to privilege non-rhymed poetry over rhymed poetry in Fat Poets Speak, even though we have gotten a few great entries in rhyme which are indeed featured in FPS 2. See, when you write a rhymed poem, most of the time the rhythm and sounds are what people notice. And often it can be a stretch to rhyme each line with other lines, so at times you will sacrifice meaning for rhyme.

And let us also remember that unrhymed does not mean or equal unrhythmic. We have but to look at the Bard himself to see this; he wrote in unrhymed iambic pentameter. Most unrhymed poems have rhythms of their own, which may or may not fit into the poetic rhythms you learned about in school.

It is simply easier to convey meaning, most of the time, when we write unrhymed poems.

A reward for your perseverance: (From Fat Poets 2: Living and Loving Fatly)

Eileen Rosensteel

One Size Fits All

No room for me
In that space you created.
Am I supposed to twist myself?
Hold it, suck it in.
pretend to fit
in the space
where I am expected.
Leave parts of me out,
dent my sides on walls
where I am supposed to be

Friday, October 4, 2013

Why did you have to desert me? Secret Fat Love and Lust

In Fat Poets Speak 2, I have a poem entitled "Forgiveness." It is about one particular interaction with someone I was batshit crazy about during my college years. He chose not to speak to me any more in 2003 for reasons that remain murky.

I was thinking about him tonight because I am sure he would not have approved of Fat Poets Speak or of FatLand. The ironic thing is that he always appreciated fat women aesthetically but then kept saying that we should lose weight, even as he looked at us with lust in his eyes. It was as if he were pushing himself to like slimmer women.

What it adds up to is that if he and I were still speaking, it would have been that much harder for me to write FatLand or edit and write in Fat Poets Speak.

There are so many men like him. (Perhaps women, too.) They know that they appreciate and lust after women (and men) who are fat and luscious, but they are embarrassed to admit even to themselves that they adore us.

And this is yet another thing that I hope Fat Poets Speak and books like it will continue to accomplish:  to make it that much easier for people like my former friend to like fat women and fat people and not to be ashamed that they like us.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Fat Poets Speak and FatLand

Was thinking that FatLand and Fat Poets Speak, as blogs and books, complement each other. With FatLand, I jump into a visionary world/territory in which fat people are already accepted and welcomed. With Fat Poets Speak, I get to deal with things as they are, but in poetry. We fat poets in Fat Poets Speak (both 1 and 2) write about what actually occurs in our daily lives. But we write about it using images and imagination.

Ironically in FatLand, I write about life and love and ideas in extremely realist/realistic prose. The better to know you, my dear..

But then again, writing about the visionary realm gives me energy to go back to the other, "realistic" realm.

I must admit, however, that when I go back and forth frequently, sometimes very late at night or early in the morning, I forget which is real, and which is visionary...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fat Acceptance, Fat Poets Speak and Community

Some people say that there is no such thing as a community of fat people. This may or may not be true, but there is certain such a thing a a community for Fat Acceptance. When we take the dramatic and radical step of accepting ourselves, we automatically acquire a community. We then start seeing not only ourselves differently, but those in our community, as well. They become strong and beautiful with the same strength and some of the same beauty that we wear like a burst of light when we all start seeing and appreciating each other fatly.

And this is the premise behind Fat Poets Speak 2.

In the first volume, Fat Poets Speak: Voices of the Fat Poets' Society, we were voices talking, crying out, screaming, whispering, laughing. But we were voices, just beginning to gain embodiment. In Fat Poets Speak 2: Living and Loving Fatly, we become bodies, hopes and dreams connected to the voices as we go about living our day(s). The strength we derive to live our days and go on living our days sometimes comes from knowing exactly what I stated in the paragraph above: that we are indeed a community in Fat Acceptance, and that there are more and more of us over time.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

FatLand in poetry

FatLand is actually a beautiful spot for communing with nature and going off for a retreat to write poetry. The next step will occur when FatLanders actually start to write poetry about FatLand itself..and of course, FatLanders.