“By turns hilarious, wise, sad,
horrifying, these poems are the real thing. If you think that we're living
in the puritanical 50's, a time when politics, religion and most public
art are tailor-made by and for fools: you need this book.”
“Lisa Glatt is the best
kind of bad girl: brave and vulnerable, grieving and tough. These poems
hold up the female experience to a shard of mirror; look closely and take
heart from the searing tenderness of her knowing, sensuous work.”
The Body Is in Charge
As soon as her arm is working again, my mother starts making dresses. Without a machine, without a pattern—by hand. She goes to the fabric store once a week, at least, and buys yards and yards of various prints. And black, she brings back plenty of black for me. All my mother has to do is take a good, long look at my friends’ asses and she knows exactly what sizes they are. She says, Lisa, all your friends are small but their asses are big. And then she lays the fabric over her bed and cuts a dress out in the shape of one of them. It’s healthy, she tells me, their big asses. She names them: Jessica, Holly, Gwen, and Denise. You’ll never be alone, she says.
She sits either in the leather chair by the window or on the couch, with or without a wig, with or without her rubber breast, and opens the sewing box yMichael gave her for Christmas. Then, she sews. She watches Jeopardy, then Seinfeld, and keeps sewing.
She doesn’t do buttons or zippers, so she’s limited in style and fabric texture. It has to be durable, flexible, she explains, pulling the needle from her mouth. The body is in charge, she tells me.
Last weekend, while she slept, I opened her closet. There wasn't one store-bought piece of clothing. She’d given it all away. And the closet was full—hundreds of her dresses hanging up—stripes and plaids and dots and flowers, summer pastels and earth tones, winter greens and dark browns.
Tonight, my mother stands in the hallway, pulling a bright red number over her bald head, working the stretchy fabric over her shoulder. And she is beautiful, at the edge of everything, standing on that cliff in our hallway, working the vivid dress over her still sexy thighs.