back toJacket2

October 1997  |  Jacket 1  Contents  |  Homepage  |  Catalog  |  Search  |

Tracy Ryan

Three pieces


                    from SLANT

The figment not defended but
real persons made
to wear it like damage or
cost, little tennis dress
Kournikova trying to lift
her game only. The label
if you mean libel I’d say
so, says he can’t be if we fail
to picture him, trying to shift
the blame, our static.

Who [prose]

Always the invitation to succumb like Southey suggesting she visit after the demolition job she so nominally only deferred to. Or Coleridge refusing his little one the embrace if wearing anything other than white. I don’t quite know myself in your description, words sharp as biscuit cutter but my edges curl, other points we might occupy. Always the domestic image fallback, often sneered at. Still looking for grandmothers. So much energy expended just vaunting our cause. Reinventing that spiked wheel because wolf would swallow them all. What big teeth you have, he loses that part of himself over and over, finding it pleasure, deflecting fairytale. For the first time looks possible. Wants to know him, not contingent. Who is she if not your shadow, wearing herself down. Filled up with stones now and fed to the river, still not sinking. Assent, and you are sane. Not with a view to distinction. Cannot be the business of a woman’s life and should not be.


girl and man with red radio

Where [prose]

Divinest sense, this half being but from which escape is often only further bondage. Stick to your notions like guns but off the offensive, think to breathe. She took up caring for the elderly when the bodily changeroom taunts became too much. It was the other women squeezed her out. Under a new name she changed day for night & terrorised soapies, fed herself baby food as Lynch spoke directly to her via television. Nobody else could, she owned the world. After the eighth child they stitched her up. Much madness, too much madness: too much of water hast thou. Then take O take those well-connected & ditch them, falsies & depilatories all, as with the new consciousness ah but which didn’t last & we’re all lipsticks now. Explain to the daughter the long hair without flinching, where we will wage war with their symbols and undo ourselves. Make a collage of the bits that still mean something to you, Lucy in her borrowed paletôt. Where the only role is flirt or fop. I detect a poverty of vocabulary & an excessive preoccupation, viz., monomaniacal tendency to construct in terms of gender. You girls need to lighten up a little, and the supermodel reacts to her antibiotics despite being the happiest little piece of porcelain. Where women are no longer women. Where spice debased emblem of dispossession means merely standing up for micro-mini rights & a new order in which Single Mothers Will Work At Last.

Tracy Ryan is a poet and the author of the novel Vamp.
She lives in Cambridge, England.

Jacket 1 — October 1997   Contents page
Select other issues of the magazine from the | Jacket catalog | read about Jacket |
Other links: | top | homepage | bookstores | literary links | internet design |
Copyright Notice: Please respect the fact that this material is copyright. It is made available here without charge for personal use only. It may not be stored, displayed, published, reproduced, or used for any other purpose

This material is copyright © Tracy Ryan and Jacket magazine 1997
The URL address of this page is