A long time ago, in a time when "blog" was a term not even invented, and when "cyber," "virtual," and "the net" were terms used entirely unironically and unnostalgically to refer to the content of the "World Wide Web," well I knew a tall young lady with enviable arched eyebrows and a passion for Modernist aesthetics. You know her as Sweetney, but back then she was just Tracey. This was before either of us had kids (both our darlings were born within 10 days of each other) and our lives consisted of English graduate classes and interminable grading. Oh, and a lot of drinking, smoking, and parties that involved awkward small-group dancing in someone's sitting room. I will never hear Captain and Tennille without thinking of Tracey. Or see Showgirls, for that matter.
Circa 1995, Tracey and I were a part of a small group of English Grads asked to be the "judges" for an undergraduate creative writing contest (which on my part, was utterly laughable because I had never written creatively in my life). By far the best entry was by a young man who had written a very serious film-noir-esque short story, which involved a disturbing and erotic dream sequence where the protagonist was visited in his bedroom by his mother who leisurely "unzipped her robe..."
That choice of detail--the zippered robe. It slayed us at the time (unnurturing and bitter mentors that we were). And it still makes me titter now and then. (Chances are the author of this little piece is a vastly successful novelist or screenwriter now, so how do I like them apples?)
Anyway, as I have mentioned before, even though I slogged through English Grad school, I am not one to "curl up with a book of poetry." But long ago when Tracey shared a few poems with me I was quite startled and disarmed by them.
If you want a glimpse into another side of Sweetney and her creativity, check out a few of her poems here. They're.... Well, they're pure poetry...