The Beautiful: Collected Poems

Overview

“Tea writes with a raw-hearted, wry but wide-eyed ebullience, rendering dyke bohemia with intense, gritty, glittering romanticism.”—The San Francisco Bay Guardian

Before penning her contemporary classic Valencia, Tea wrote wonderfully honest narrative poems, which she self-published in small editions, now collected here for the first time. A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2004 and a Lambda Literary Award finalist.

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San Francisco, CA 2003 Trade paperback New. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 224 p. Audience: General/trade.

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The Beautiful: Collected Poems

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Overview

“Tea writes with a raw-hearted, wry but wide-eyed ebullience, rendering dyke bohemia with intense, gritty, glittering romanticism.”—The San Francisco Bay Guardian

Before penning her contemporary classic Valencia, Tea wrote wonderfully honest narrative poems, which she self-published in small editions, now collected here for the first time. A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2004 and a Lambda Literary Award finalist.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A young stalwart of San Francisco's queer underground, a onetime "lesbian feminist radical activist prostitute," and a survivor of Boston's roughest neighborhoods, Tea has won plaudits with novels (the Lambda Award-winning Valencia) and a memoir (The Chelsea Whistle) which draw on her gritty experience. Her first success, though, came through the performance-poetry scene: Tea not only organized the famed SF Sister Split reading series but made a splash with her own readings and chapbooks in the mid-1990s. This expansive and fiery volume collects those chapbooks along with unpublished texts from those years, when Tea wrote (and performed) in-your-face work with a raw fanzine feel. "Listen, I come from pavement... here is my poetic apology," one says; another asks, "aren't all the poems/ a salvaged piece/ of something awful." Snappy sentences try hard to shock ("straight girls of America, I am lighting/ votive candles for your ignored and/ misused clitorises") while titles sometimes tell us what to expect ("On Learning My Lover Was a Whore And It's All Her Fault"). Tea's tough talk owes something to Nikki Giovanni, though older art works of any sort are kept at arm's length; instead, the poems make vivid Tea's own life, from the household she left in New England (with a leering father and a codependent mother) through college and the Tucson sex trade, to the happier life she made for herself on the West Coast, where queer activism does not rule out risky seductions, cigarettes and self-doubt. Hers is an art of emotions and direct statements, casual and harsh at once. (Apr.) Forecast: The Beautiful is a 2004 Lambda Award finalist as well as a Book Sense 76 pick for March/April. Tea may not stoke academic critics' fires, but she won't need their support: queer youth, all-purpose hipsters and other admirers of her novels, her memoir, or even her journalism (in the Believer and Nerve.com, among many others) will seek out this book. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780916397890
  • Publisher: Manic D Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/15/2003
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

The Beautiful 13
McDonald's 17
August-September 20
Orca 24
X-Girl 29
Sell-Out 31
My Pain 32
The Cruelty of Strangers 33
Unsmoking 36
Biter 39
Please 41
Motorcycle Funeral Escort 43
No Girls 45
Dive 46
Ask Me About My Grandkids 47
Oh God 49
If You Leave A Woman Flowers You'll Probably Scare Her Away 50
1/1/94 53
Letter to a Masochist 54
Suicide Poem 55
When I Love My Father 56
Nanabelly 58
Advice for the Lovelorn 59
Trying to Move the Mystery Muscle 61
How to Reprogram Your Sexuality 63
All These Wounded Women 65
For Zanne For Zanne For Zanne 67
We Could Be Soulmates 69
Three Male Abortion Doctors 71
Dragging the Recycling Out of the Whorehouse 74
Beach Poem 76
I Am the Light 77
A Brief Night Out in Tucson 79
Ode to Chelsea 81
And I Still Can't Drive, Really 83
Just What the World Needs 85
St. Candace of the Incest Daughters 86
Happy 88
My Life in 11 Parts 93
My Mother Getting Divorced 105
Johns Who Don't Pay are Rapists 107
Dream of an Ex-Girlfriend 109
Kathleen 110
The Enormity of a Beaten Woman's Blood 112
How I Lost My Poetry 115
Crabs are No Big Deal 117
Peter and Me 119
How I Lived My Life in Tuscon 121
What I Know 123
Bus Story 125
Right Where You Should Be 126
What Happened 128
Dysfunctional Love Poem for Ali 129
The Love for a Mother is a Tough, Tough Love 133
For My Nana 136
Go Kiss Go 138
This Doesn't Happen Often 139
Hell is a State School 141
This is About Karma 144
Fake Duck/Bad Trip 146
We are Girls 149
I Used to Be Straight 152
Trick Poem #2 154
My Heart 157
On Learning My Lover was a Whore or It's All Her Fault 159
That Look 162
Five Reasons Why I May Die of Cancer 164
Emotional Masochism or New Age Message from Beyond? 166
People I've Lost 167
Another Day at Work 168
Mr. Buzzle 169
Lovesad 170
Gazpacho 171
Sushi 173
Of Course 175
A Good Thing to Say 179
I'm Getting Really Sick of Writing Poems Like This 180
Percentages 182
Laurie 186
Nature Video 189
The City at the End of the World 192
Impossible 194
The Armageddon Dance 197
Pigeons 200
My Place in the World 203
Last Hope 205
The Biggest Mistake I Made All Year 207
Our Lady of Ridiculous Wishes 209
Nice Try 211
The Big One's Not Coming 214
What I Mean by American 216
Pickup Trucks 218
Cops 220
Pastry Tragedy 224
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