Girly Man

Girly Man

Girly Man

Girly Man

Synopsis

After 9/11, postmodernism and irony were declared dead. Charles Bernstein here proves them alive and well in poems elegiac, defiant, and resilient to the point of approaching song. Heir to the democratic and poetic sensibilities of Walt Whitman and Allen Ginsberg, Bernstein has always crafted verse that responds to its historical moment, but no previous collection of his poems so specifically addresses the events of its time as Girly Man, which features works written on the evening of September 11, 2001, and in response to the war in Iraq. Here, Bernstein speaks out, combining self-deprecating humor with incisive philosophical and political thinking.

Composed of works of very different forms and moods- etchings from moments of acute crisis, comic excursions, formal excavations, confrontations with the cultural illogics of contemporary political consciousness- the poems work as an ensemble, each part contributing something necessary to an unrealizable and unrepresentable whole. Indeed, representation- and related claims to truth and moral certainty- is an active concern throughout the book. The poems of Girly Man may be oblique, satiric, or elusive, but their sense is emphatic. Indeed, Bernstein's poetry performs its ideas so that they can be experienced as well as understood.nbsp;

A passionate defense of contingency, resistance, and multiplicity, Girly Man is a provocative and aesthetically challenging collection of radical verse from one of America's most controversial poets.

Excerpt

“I ADMIT THAT BEAUTY INHALES ME BUT NOT THAT I INHALE BEAUTY”

—FELIX BERNSTEIN

“MY LACK OF NOTHINGNESS”

—THE GENIE IN THE CANDY STORE

A black man waiting at a bus stop
A white woman sitting on a stool
A Filipino eating a potato
A Mexican boy putting on shoes
A Hindu hiding in igloo
A fat girl in blue blouse
A Christian lady with toupee
A Chinese mother walking across a bridge
An Afghanastani eating pastrami
A provincial walking on the peninsula
A Eurasian boy on a cell phone
An Arab with umbrella
A Southerner taking off a backpack
An Italian detonating a land line
A barbarian with beret
A Lebanese guy in limousine
A Jew watering petunias
A Yugoslavian man at a hanging
A Sunni boy on scooter
A Floridian climbing a fountain
A Beatnik writing a limerick
A Caucasian woman dreaming of indecision
A Puerto Rican child floating on a balloon
An Indian fellow gliding on three-wheeled bike
An Armenian rowing to Amenia
An Irish lad with scythe

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