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Phases : new poetry

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  • Author: Betker, Belinda
    Date:
    Created
    2019
    Summary:

    "Phases is a collection of poems about gender, coming-of-age, and sexuality. Part 1 is spoken from the point of view of a girl who is coming to terms with the end of childhood and the development of her own gender identity and sexuality. She attends her grandfather's funeral and talks about the changes she notices in her body. She describes being a tomboy, the beginning of menstruation. She catches her father masturbating to Playboy magazines. Later, she snoops at the hidden magazines and conveys her unease, knowing that her body is not like the models on the page. She talks about standing up to a bully and how she could tie a tie better than anyone.Part 2. Now she speaks as an adult. She talks about an unhappy marriage and a conflict with her son who doesn't want to cook at a family gathering because it is "girls' work". Her and her husband are going to marriage counseling. She describes getting an ultrasound. She must get a hysterectomy to remove pre-cancerous tumors, which will leave her infertile. She menstruates for the last time. She describes the operation and recovery and resenting her husband for his lack of support. She compares her loss to the "dark side of the moon." Part 3. This section is called "Deviation." Describes the awkwardness and unease at a school dance between the boys and girls. Says that she will "cross over" and how she is drawn to the beauty of the dangerous black rocks while visiting Peggy's Cove. She describes getting a tattoo and the pain of it that takes her to a "place of knowing". She describes her first kiss with another woman, conveys scenes of various trysts with a female lover. Then she is at a gay bar, flirting with women, gay men, drag queens. She describes being at a strip club for straight men and how it "couldn't have been less sexy." There are a series of erotic and intimate poems here where she describes her relationship with her lover. "Why a Parade?" summarizes the themes of the book where she describes various people from childhood to their senior years who struggle with a non-conforming gender identity that needs to be expressed and embraced. The poems then shift towards the speaking voice of a drag king's liberating and bombastic performance. "--

    Original Publisher: Regina, Saskatchewan, Coteau Books
    Language(s): English
    ISBN: 9781550505221
    Collection(s)/Series: Saskatchewan Book Awards 2020