Friday, November 17, 2006



One day last week between classes, I trudged into Vertigo Books and was delighted to find the S.C.U.M. Manifesto by Valerie Solanas. I admit, somewhat bitter about graduate school, perhaps more as a function of just being a graduate student rather than anything in particular, I thought to myself, no one around here is going to buy these other copies of the book. The students that go here don’t know Andrea Dworkin and they think when I write poems about my wife that I am writing persona poems from a male perspective. Poor Valerie, she will be on this shelf forever. I nearly bought them all myself thinking that I, like Valerie could give them away on the street corner to women needing to be radicalized while scowling and snarling at men passing by. I didn’t do that; I’m a poor graduate student, though wanting to rescue Solanas had its appeal. in retrospect, however, I’m glad I didn’t.

The next day, after working up enough nerve to hang out, socialize, pretend that I fit in, I was in the graduate student lounge in the English Department when a fellow student from Queers and Theory came in. “Guess what I just bought?” He held it up proudly: The S.C.U.M. Manifesto. I was so thrilled! A kindred spirit, a fellow traveler.

When I am out on the corner of Baltimore Avenue and Lehigh Rd, handing out my own mimeographed P.R.I.C. Manifesto (Proclaiming Radical Interpellations to my Cunt), perhaps someone will gently take me to Coldstone Creamery, call my wife, and make sure that I get home safely.

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