Date: Sat, 5
Feb 2000 16:00:55 -0800 (PST)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR--
Regarding THE CURVED JEWELS (reviewed in Cyber Corpse 3)
I'm sure that most Exquisite Corpseans have been following the strangest gender drama to be played on the public stage in recent years. I refer to the imprisonment of a useful, worldly woman in a porcelain tea cup.
Crown Princess Masako, a polyglot graduate of Catholic schools, not to mention Harvard and Oxford, has been a puzzle to feminists and misogynists, and everyone in between, since she agreed (or was forced) to abandon a prodigious career in the Japanese foreign service and throw away the rest of her life.
She's damned to suffocate in a kimono straitjacket while rightist fanatics pester her to cough up the next heir to the Chrysanthemum Throne. Look between your thighs, dearie, and behold bloody Hirohito's great-grandson. No wonder the unhappy woman had a miscarriage last month.
The most interesting solution to the puzzle of the Crown Princess is posed by Tom Bradley's THE CURVED JEWELS, reviewed so brilliantly in Cyber Corpse 3.
According to this devastating novel, she was sold to the imperial family by her grandfather, who just happens to be a big wheel in the chemical company that poisoned all those Japanese fishermen with mercury back in the sixties. The court case, which has dragged on all these decades, was miraculously settled the day after Masako agreed to pour her robust blood into the inbred royal family's languishing gene pool.
According to the bio on the author's home page, http://www.literati.net/Bradley, Tom Bradley has a Ph.D. In English. But it's evident from the very first paragraph that he managed to escape the hallowed groves without being infected by Foucault, Derrida, and that other Gaul whose name escapes me. This is one "doc" who has spent more time in libraries and low dives than post-structuralist soirees--which, no doubt, explains his wandering exile in Red Chinese universities.
Speaking of low dives, I'm not sure if he's gay. The old queen Head Chamberlain who "re-educates" the princess, and the wild American lesbian who helps her take a powder, are drawn with such wicked verisimilitude that I wonder if their creator might be a part of the alternate culture from which they spring.
Then there's the problematic fact, also revealed on Bradley's indiscreet homepage, of his being a "former lounge harpist" with a repertoire that seems to have consisted largely of Debussy (not your most rip-snorting composer).
His picture on the web site does little to allay my suspicions. Whoever worked the camera has taken the standard authorial back-cover portrait and twisted it into--I don't know what. But I'm sure someone like Camille Paglia, in her reptilian hissings on "sexual personae," could read volumes in his facial expression alone.
Incidentally, the androgynes snuggled like twin baby Jesuses on Bradley's motherly knees look like jail-bait, but I suspect they're full-grown and street-legal. They may just look tiny in context. I think Bradley's one of those big "bears" Paglia snickers about in her column.
Hines, a dedicated Corpse
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 12:02:33 EST
Subject: pitch for an open confab
CC: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wed 01-26-00 (10:05
In this space between issues I'm guessing there might be some discussion about how the bulletin board should work in the future. If so, I feel compelled to make a brief pitch on behalf of the forces of openness and light. A forum that allows people to adopt different voices and exchange them is a place that encourages a good kind of exercise. It also makes it hard to ignore that, besides individually creating marketable art, writing is about taking part in a dialogue, that it might not always be best to hug your muse like a plot of land, that voice is more than a talking persona, and that not all words are created equal. The forces of openness and light urge the Corpse to ask: Is it wise to kill a possible golden goose just because it might produce a few bad eggs? -- D.T. Harris
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2000 00:44:09 -0500
From: Tony Baize <email@example.com>
Subject: Hariette Surovell
I just discovered one of your rants on the Exquisite Corpse site, and I am totally enthralled. Although getting through all of it was time-consuming, I am glad I did it.
I am a ranter, too, although I have only achieved local (and somewhat regional) notoriety in the armpit of America (Southeast - Midwest). I was posting a rant a day at http://tonybaize.webjump.com , but I burned out quickly. I still do a monthly column in an underground (paper) publication, but my web presence has been limited to the paying gigs I can scrounge up.
Anyway, enough about me. I just wanted to say that you really kick ass, and I will be reading everything I can find with your name on it.
Never stop kicking ass, and never lighten up.
From: Doug Saunders firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Hariette Surovell
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2000
Your piece in Exquisite Corpse was especially on the mark, and also caused great micturations of mirth among all the freelancers around here. I did come away from Salon with the distinct sense that I'd much rather be writing about them than for them. The scene reminded me of my small-newsmagazine days, when I never phoned anyone back and tried to avoid paying kill fees. Except that I was at a dinky monthly with a $500,000 budget, not a NASDAQ-traded dotcom.
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 21:28:13 EST
Subject: Hariette Surovell
Your writing is hilarious! Not being a New Yorker at all times, nor even a citizen of the great United States, I often do not know the people you are talking about. Still, I love the energy, the dissident tone. Somehow in reading what you write, I enjoy a kind of vicarious pleasure. The joy of saying, "I'm not going to listen to your drivel for another moment without telling you what I think!"
After I read your most recent rant, I found myself writing asides in dotcoms...
What fun to read your no-way-you-are-going-to inflict-this-on-the-public-without- a-carefully-worded-nasty-retort-from-me.com!
I'll be back to read more.
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2000
Subject: Hariette Surovell/Pregnancy rant
Am just now taking a moment to read your Meredith B./Pregnancy rant in full. How wonderful! And I'm sure you've read the NYT Mag (yesterday) story by now about the overwhelming insipidness of women-oriented media, particullarly web-sites. (That writer needs to be directed to Matahariette.com and WaySouth.com, thank-you-very much.)
Back to the rant!
From: "Kartr Higgins" email@example.com
Subject: Hariette Surovell/Two Rants
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2000
Dear Hariette Surovell,
It sounds like you believe yourself to be of superior intelligence. If you are so convinced the theory of evolution is indeed correct, maybe you would be interested in checking out the following website: www.drdino.com he has an ongoing offer for $250,000.00 for evidence for evolution. Maybe you should check this out. We don't believe the world is only 2000 years old, its more like 6000 years old. Maybe you should actually read up on a subject before you start ranting and raving about it. Regarding Dinosaurs in the Bible, they are there. Read Job 40: 15-24 and Job 41.
P.S. I found it very ironic, that on your web page you featured the poem "Happiness" by Jane Kenyon. This is clearly based on a parable from the Bible.
Hariette Surovell replies:
Dear Ms. Higgins:
Thank you so very much for taking the time to read my website, http://www.matahariette.com. I am glad that we share the same tastes in poetry.
I will give The Bible another shot, but I always get distracted by all the hot sex in it.
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2000 16:06:35 -0800
From: marcus D Slease firstname.lastname@example.org
Just wanted to drop you a line and let you know how entirely fascinating and exhilarating to find such a quality, experimental online avant guarde mag. I came to the states from N. Ireland and recently entered a creative writing programme. I quickly became bogged down with the lyrical sameness of Poetry Magazine, the easily-digestible aesthetic of workshops, and poetry stuck like glue to the ivory towers. Thanks to the stumble onto your cybermag yesterday, I now see that the experimental is alive and well in America.
It's nice to find a home for the daring. There are only a few well-known daring poets in Ireland like Trevor Joyce and Billy Mills, but I am seeing a large family here.
I am almost thinking of staying in America instead of returning to a country full of Heaney-Yeats worshipers.
Thanks again for the hope.
Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2000 23:36:09 -0500 (EST)
From: Mark Williams email@example.com
Subject: Running Commentary
On the February-March issue:
I love Aaron Petrovich's highway piece in particular, and I love the "Corpse" in general. And Andrei Codrescu is way the coolest thing ever to be naturalized (I don't care if he used to be artificial).
Date: Mon, 20
Mar 2000 13:51:24 -0500
Garrison Keillor is the Jack Parr of the radio. First he needs to blow his nose. I can't stand the ever present sound of thinly veiled emotion that permeates his every nasally-challenged word. Then he needs to get his head out of the 1940's and get a life.
And please, let us not hear any more about his infant child by some woman 30 years his junior. Enough of old men throwing over their wives for arm candy.
The biggest insult is that WETA here in Virginia thinks so highly of this big boob that we have to hear his monotone reading of obscure poets of questionable quality and relevance at 0630 every weekday morning and his dull and boring 2 hour radio show on both Saturday and Sunday evening.
Who appointed this guy cultural custodian, anyway?
Date: Sat, 01 Apr 2000 20:09:36 -0500
Subject: from Diamond Dog to the Chronologically Challenged
From: Barbara Mittleman firstname.lastname@example.org
Yo! Is dis sum kina lame April Foo's joke er what? Yous observing da Sabbat' or sumfin' ? You gots de goods, now quit jivin' an' friggin' print it!
Subject: Mike Topp
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2000 07:51:50 PST
It seems strange that all those other big name journals -- The New Yorker, Paris Review, and so on -- are going around Topp-less. Those shameless hussies!
-- Kirby Olson
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