Sly Speaks + Fat Friday + Friday Flashback: Diet Culture Rhetoric Is Not Poetry



This poignant gem was originally published on 17 January 2010 on my now-retired poetry blog.

life It would be far easier to diet if I didn't like food.

This, apparently, was the entire-ass poem.

A year later, I would finally take the long-needed step of ditching diet culture for good.

That is a terrible statement, let alone being a terrible poem. 

It isn't even a poem, it's a blurb. A very stupid and brainwashed blurb. It's a tweet that shouldn't have been tweeted. It is a lot of things, none of them good. A poem it is not. 

The Chili Bean Tanka is a better poem, and it is not a good poem. In fact, it is close to Vogon poetry in its poetic injustice.

It goes a little bit something like this.

I ate the chili
between the beans and the spice
digestive horror
beneath the cover of night
noxious eruptions take place

As I mentioned previously, I struggled over the holidays. My abusive partner ED (Eating Disorder) reared his ugly head and I relapsed into my old restrictive eating and self-loathing patterns. Which, by the way, never made me thin, they just fucked my metabolism over and made me hate myself even more. 

However, reading this micro-poem that should not be, I could see where I'd been myopic in my criticism of a poet whose book I reviewed recently. I gave the book overall high praise, but I stated that her "poem" which read as follows, and I quote:

love ends but calories are forever

was not so much a poem as unfortunate diet culture rhetoric, and I wouldn't want to read it as a tweet, let alone in a book of poetry.

Given the unseemly evidence above, that critique was hypocritical of me.

However, there is a lesson to be learned.

Next time you think publishing a pithy pearl of poignant perspicacity such as this...

Go to the kitchen and grab yourself a snack. Or at least have something to drink. Your blood sugar may be low because if you think that's worth publishing, you obviously haven't been thinking clearly. Step out for a breath of air and clear your head of the Diet Culture nonsense. You've obviously bitten off more of it than you can chew.

That being said, Words Written in the Dark is, overall, a thoughtful and thought-provoking volume of modern poetry, and I recommend it highly.


Fat and Ornery
Image copyright Open Clipart Vectors

Sly and Snarky
Image copyright juliahenze @123rf.com


2 comments:

  1. Thank you.
    I hope you are managing to ignore ED a bit more at the moment. I really hope it. Life is hard enough without being ruled/tyrannised by the voices in our head.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ED has less power over me than he used to, but he still gains the upper hand sometimes. Every day is a wrestling match. Hell, every meal and every snack is a wrestling match.

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