For the most part, the guys of Ole have it ass backwards in their views on women. In issue after issue, there are poems dicking around with rape imagery. Not surprisingly, the Ole reviews treat women poets roughly.
I will start off with a Steve Osterlund review of Diane di Prima because it is out of character.
"SEVEN LOVE POEMS FROM THE MIDDLE LATIN trans. by Diane di Prima / The Poet's Press / Box 951 / Poughkeepsie, N.Y. $1.25
I'm prejudiced -- she's wonderful, and this book's as well-done as VARIOUS FABLES FROM VARIOUS PLACES. Beautiful, erotic air about it."
Buk on Kathleen Fraser is much more typical.
"CHANGE OF ADDRESS AND OTHER POEMS -- Kathleen Fraser, $1.50, Kayak Books, c/o Bindweed Press, 2808 Laguna St., San Francisco, California.
The light innuendo supposed to be tipped, flared, with doom and insight. Old causations masked as New Reality. Bunkum. NEW YORKER stuff. No wonder the world has gone to hell -- stick a knife in the average poet and he (she) will only hiccup.
The cure for generals is Art. The cure for stupidity is Art. The cure for asthma, Falling hair, near-sightedness, boils, hiccups is Art.
Art is a bottle of whisky, a ride down the Ganges, a good night's sleep, a white dog. But where are you going to find it?
The lady poets have go to show me more than the dull comfortable agony of looking out of the window between a cup of coffee and the vacuum cleaner while poppa is out there getting machine-gunned to a time-card or pewked upon a a business conference.
I would dull the reader with excerpts except that the reader is dull enough already."
So go the Ole poets, lady poets do not fuck enough or just need a good fuck. Unfortunately even those lady poets who fuck, do not seem to fuck right.
Here is Gerard Van Der Leun on Lenore Kandel.
"THE LOVE BOOK by Lenore Kandel / Stolen Paper Review / 55 Mountain View Mill Valley / Calif. 94941 / $1.00
THE LOVE BOOK, better known as 'the busted book', is neither erotic, illuminative, inspirational, enlightened, or poetic. Its tone blares histronics that have little linguistic viruosity // writhing language jumping and spinning talking you into it // here, in this book, lacking. Orlovsky: 'I don't wanna tell you about God, make ya holy or good, give ya beauty. I wanna make ya cum' // Ginsberg: The tongue and cock and asshole are holy!' //
Kandel says fucking is god is fucking is divine is good. // Agreed. But the question is what are you like in bed? // Themes and things in the poem center on the absolute cosmic geewhiz of it all. // Galactic strobelights fucking fucking fucking legs thighs bellies breadcrumbs bottles gorgons gods kamas and sutras meaty mouths on flesh cocking cunting fucking sucking going to and coming from inside outside pulling massive folds of ad hoc labia over the head and in frenzy disappearing // into air // thin air // shouting words typographic insistence on relevancy of all to all -- but nothing happens except print patterns on the retina fading.
Professing orgiastic freedom // But something held back // An unwillingness or inability to get down to it // to physical description that builds into something // that is physical in its movement // She writes: 'The lust of hermaphroditic deities doing/inconceivable things to each other. . ." // which reads like Kurtz's 'unspeakable sins' in 'Heart of Darkness' because if the things in the vision get inconceivable, that is the point where the poet has got to start conceiving, and tell, in detail, just what they are doing out there in the void.
But sometimes tenderness and things human appear out of the general jumble: 'at night sometimes i see our bodies glow" // 'we are covered with each other my skin is the taste of you" //
Kandel is a better poet than these poems; has written things moving and true // But LOVE BOOK runs on the idea that saying makes it so // but it is the saying itself that must happen // be the thing // not a report after the fact // Must be union and loving // Not the stains on the sheets when the lovers have gone // elsewhere."