Thursday, May 29, 2014

Fatting colors

Lesleigh Owen and I undertook the experiment of "fatting" colors - making them swirl, shiver, jiggle, as if they were fat bodies. A kind of inspired synesthesia. An experiment in movement and color naming and color stretching. 

Inner Evening, Autumn:  Fat Gold                      To The Memory of Celia Dropkin (1888-1956)

The sun wasn’t supposed to rise today.
They predicted rain and wind,
All the accompaniments of an autumn storm.
You know the kind,
Where the banshee blows over the roof
And water howls from wherever
You avoid the sky.

Instead the early morning flamed so red
It could have been a happy fat demon
With wand, smoker and spikes.
“Sailors take warn,” the saying goes.
Perhaps they did so
As the red slid into pink
With a tinge of blue at the edges
Then settled into a sun-culled lemon yellow.

It chose to drizzle.
Then at evening
Deep and serious red and gold
Erupted in a celestial coup d’etat
As if to inform above
That color was the new religion.
If this is the case,
Then you choose red purples and orange blues
For morality
And greenish shaded mauve
For ethics,
Perhaps the glorious fat swan
Over the barely visible

Crescent moon
For group identity.

At last light
In a particular spot
On Gardiner Street
The trees and lamps
Fall to the same
Softly faded
Corn dream.

So close to night
The hour comes
That it begs a new season’s time.
Call it inner autumn
The fattest glad gold
You’ve never imagined.

Frannie Zellman

Monday, May 26, 2014

To The Person Who Sent An Ad About Bariatric Surgery to my Inbox

I know it's Memorial Day, but we can also have a little fun.

To The Person Who Sent An Ad About Bariatric Surgery to my Inbox

Even if it were not
that BS (in both ways) kills
maims and mutilates
and then does not even
achieve its goal,
I resent the fact
that your algorithm
automatically assumed
my captive interest.

BS Algorithm,
meet FZ Algorithm.
Does not brook idiots
 has no use for strangers.
As a matter of fact,
what it probably will do
after coming in contact
is sit on you. Squoosh, squoosh.
Goodbye, BS Algorithm.

Don't eat any rotten variables
on your way out.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Eileen Rosensteel and Mary Ray Worley to read from Fat Poets Speak 2 on June 8 in A Room of One's Own Bookstore

Am so excited that I can hardly type.

Our very own amazing poets Eileen Rosensteel and Mary Ray Worley will be reading selections from Fat Poets Speak 2: Living and Loving Fatly at A Room Of Their Own, one of the most famous bookstores in Madison, in Wisconsin, for that matter.

If you have taken a look at Fat Poets Speak 2, you have been privileged to read the work of both of these wonderful poets. I wish we could all be there with them as they read.

A Room Of One's Own, in Madison, WI., stocks books from many genres, although it is often referred to as a feminist-themed bookstore. As if to accentuate that theme in the most positive way possible, it also has a public restroom.

From the webpage:

A Room of One's Own is an independent, local bookstore: Room offers a wide selection of current and classic fiction, nonfiction, periodicals, graphic novels, local interest titles, gifts, greeting cards, and t-shirts. We also have strong children's and young adult, women's studies and LGBT fiction and nonfiction sections.
Room's feminist community: We are proud to be a central part of Madison's women's community, and our roots in Madison's feminist community go deep. Our store has given us the opportunity to provide a meeting place, event forum, and safe space. We are happy to host community events. If your small book or discussion group would like to use our community room to meet, please call ahead to check availability at 608-257-7888. 

And from Eileen Rosensteel, in Fat Poets Speak 2:

It’s not the weight
it’s the hate that will kill you in the end.
Carrying the fat around
may strain your knees and feet
but the shame eats away
at your heart and soul.
Cholesterol in your arteries
hardens the walls
while discrimination
shreds self esteem and respect.
And prejudice stops a life
faster than obesity ever did.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

We're An Epidemic

When I first heard that we "obese" (read "fat") people constituted an epidemic all on our own, I was both angry and horrified that we, a group of theoretically non-life threatening folk, could be considered an epidemic - infectious. Then I read that we, non-dieters who somehow achieved something of note.-whether in athletics, music,  art, weather broadcastingu- were "promoting obesity." Imagine that. Non-dieting, non-starving fat people who had managed to push/work past societal barriers in a thin-centric culture were now "promoting obesity." I'll deal with this accusation later, in the FatLand blog.

Now it kind of tickles me to be an epidemic, or part of one, upon further thought. So I will respond to the accusation of such here.


Have you seen us? We are an epidemic.
Look at our faces, our eyes, our hands.
Look at our sometimes round bodies,
our predilection for thoughtful discussion,
our liking for analysis in many spheres.

You don't see it yet?  Then regard what you don't see -
Invisible cells of fatness curling around you,
Churning to merge with and weaken
your innocent thin cells, squeezing them,
claiming them, choking them off
until they fall, helpless, into the grip of Demon Fats.

The Demon Fat Cells toss off their air of nonchalance
and dance naked over the shrinking thin cells
who beg for mercy
and are tied to the FatMobile.
The Demon Fats whoop with joy
as they hug each other
and crush the last rebellious thin cells.

The Fat Empire leader smiles
and tells the Demon Fat Cells
to relax. .
The Demon Fats
 devise new plans.

They'll infect more thin cells
come morning.
Meanwhile the Demon Fat Cells terrify
with their yells
and sing in dreadmaking, heartstopping fell language
the songs of their fell people.

Nom nom nom nom nom.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Whale - Anne Kaplan

Probably the best anti fat shaming haiku and affirmation of identity you will ever read.

And, dare I say it, the perfect ending to Fat Poets Speak 2: Living and Loving Fatly. For more of Anne Kaplan's amazing poetry, read the book. (We will of course feature some here, on this blog.)

Anne Kaplan


I swim for the joy.
"Look at the fat whale!" you yell.
"Thank you!" I reply.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

In Body Gratitude - Kathy Barron

Perfect poem for spring and women in all their fat, luscious glory.

From Fat Poets Speak 2: Living and Loving Fatly.

Tonight we feature a poem by Kathy Barron, who captures the sensual warmth of her body as it moves and rides in the sun. Brava!

Kathy Barron

In Body Gratitude

The sun kisses
my rounded thighs
as they pump strongly
up and down
moving me forward.

The breeze envelopes
my lush body
swirling over freckled skin
playing along with the kissing sun
as I ride my bike down the street.

Plump arms in front of me
hands loosely holding the grips
guiding my way
as my belly and breasts sway
and my abundant ass rocks side to side.

Music plays in my i-podded ears
pulses through my dancing body
filling me with joy and energy.
I pedal in time to the beat
grinning widely.

And I am filled with gratitude
for this life and this day and this moment
for music and sunshine and bike rides
and mostly for this body ~
this beautiful, healthy, miraculous body
which allows me to experience so much pleasure.
Thank you, Body!
I am grateful and I love you!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Repeat. For Mother's Day. From Fat Poets Speak 2 - Radiance, by Frannie Zellman

A repeat. For Mother's Day. From Fat Poets Speak 2: Living and Loving Fatly

Radiance                                                                      To My Mother

Frannie Zellman

Plump and radiant,
You adored them all
With your eyes.
Flowers in your hair,
You twirled your fan
From admirer to admirer
And led the boys
A merry dance
As you jumped from one
To the other
And winked at some
You didn’t care to know.

One summer morning
You raised your arms
And yawned
Into being
Another crop of young men
To appraise
To render helpless
In your presence
Turning, Circe-like,
Into sea swine
Who lost their speech
And instead
Could only make raw, rasping sounds
Of love.

Tiny, thin now,
You stay beautiful
Not just in memory
But in the eyes of those
Who meet your eyes
And report back
To their officers
That yes, the danger
Still exists
And by god and goddess
What a woman to win
And to keep
If you can avoid the spell.

But of course
the fun lies still
in bringing down
The danger of your spell
And in the allure
Of singing their aches
To you
Without words
In a far, unknown place.

And for a few,
If they were once easy with words,
in trying to find the right sounds
to capture the essence
of your eyes
all at once,
Without fading.

Monday, May 5, 2014

For No Diet Day - Shame, by Eileen Rosensteel, from Fat Poets Speak 2: Living and Loving Fatly


Eileen Rosensteel

The name of the game is blame,
pointing fingers play dodge ball with responsibility.
Shame prescribed in the name of health
with diet and exercise, the junk food of diet industry science.
Let’s aim our anger at the schools, teaching same is better than truth
and safety lies in uniformity.
Blame the media’s digitally enhanced images filled with
empty famous role models
teaching us to view our bodies with judgment.
Isn’t it a shame?

Friday, May 2, 2014



You dance.
You are fat.
New beauty swirls
as your legs
fill the split
that you do so well.

To fat girls
the planet over
you shine thick and full
and right.

When you jump
the world
greets the moon
and applauds.

Dance on,
fat woman.
Take the wind
in your arms

And let it roll
when you reach
for hidden stars.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The fires of May

A vision. Fat happy women dance around the Maypole, then around a Beltane fire. We greet spring with flame and raise our hands to the Sky, then down to earth, circle with our hands to greet the air, spread them as we flow with water. Our softness rolls sweetly through the night wind and the wood smells. The woods are still cool, but warmth wells up from the fire. Tempting to think of toasting marshmallows later in summer.

And at the same time, we raise our fists in salute to the workers, both women and men, we honor on May 1st.