Double Ds: Nin Andrews

Nin Andrews joins the Double Ds.

Nin received her BA from Hamilton College and her MFA from Vermont College. The recipient of two Ohio Arts Council grants, she is the author of several books including The Book of Orgasms, Spontaneous Breasts, Why They Grow Wings, Midlife Crisis with Dick and Jane, Sleeping with Houdini, and Dear Professor, Do You Live in a Vacuum. She also edited Someone Wants to Steal My Name, a book of translations of the French poet, Henri Michaux. Her book, Southern Comfort, is forthcoming from CavanKerry Press.

Denise asks:
What is your favorite dessert and why?

Nin Andrews:
For the Love of Ginger . . .

1. Yes, I love ginger.
Nothing else will do.
I love any desserts with ginger in them.
Ginger.
The the name, the taste, the word on my tongue.

Ginger.

The g’s like gold, like yellow, like brown, like orange,
like a burn on my lips, my mouth,
like a sunset inside.

As a girl, I liked to think about the flavors and flow of letters,
like the letter g.
I could taste it when it was hard
and when it melted and grew soft,
softer, softest…
into a j.

I wished I had a name that began with G or J.

Ginny, Julie, Jacqueline.

(Did you ever hear Jacqueline Kennedy speak?  That lilt, like her words and
thoughts were written in perfect cursive . . .  Like her figure, like her hair,
like every bit of her was manicured, pressed, folded.  But I digress.)

I remember reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
What is Turkish Delight?  I asked.
(Turkish Delight was that seductive sweet the Queen of Narnia fed to
Edmund. I wanted to try it myself.)
My mother said it was a special candy, flavored with ginger and cinnamon,
eaten only by white queens.

She lied.

But for years I was certain that Turkish Delight was akin to the ginger cake
my mother made.  She almost never cooked desserts, but when she did, she
made a ginger cake that tasted like magic.

It was a recipe she knew by heart.

2.
There was a girl in my ballet school called Ginger.
She was the girl I’ve always wanted to be.
Ginger was all ginger.
Ginger had long ginger-colored hair.
Even her freckles were ginger-colored.
I wondered if she was named after her hair.  Or her freckles.
Her hair swung all the way down to her buttocks.
(I was not allowed to grow my hair.
I had short cropped hair until I was twelve
and allowed to grow my bangs
and buy Goody barrettes in every color.)

Ginger was long and thin like a blade of meadow grass,
like a tree in the wind,
and her head rose high above the other children’s.
Ginger was in the dance-class before mine.
I would watch her through the tinted glass,
dancing on point, her long arms extended,
her fingers dangling, her every movement a liquid song.
Ginger won all the parts in the recitals.
Every year a mother would ask,
Who will dance the solo?
Who will be our Clara?
The answer we already knew.
Ginger.   No one else would do.

Dustin Asks:
Plath or Sexton– Why?

Nin Andrews:
Sylvia or Ann?

The two ladies of darkness?  Which do I prefer?

I am afraid of both of them.

If I had to pick, I would pick Sylvia.

But I would read her only in small doses, only if I had to.

I come from a family tree where suicide is a legacy.  It’s a curse, passed down through the generations.  Last year my beautiful young cousin stepped in front of train.  In my parents’ generation, a few decades ago, my cousin Billy did the same.

With Plath and Sexton, it seems to me that their deaths were their last poems.  In my family, suicide is only an open confession that we do not belong in this world.

When I think of my cousins, when I think of Plath, I picture that famous painting by Edvard Munch, “The Scream.” And I feel a scream opening like wings inside me.
Poetry, I believe, is a spell, an enchantment, a drug.  I want to be careful who and what I am enchanted by.

There was a time when I read all of Plath’s books. I was a teenager.  I was miserable.  The more I read Plath, the more miserable I became.  I even had a recording of Plath reading the “Ariel” poems. I listened to it many times.

I admired Plath then because she was, I believed, a bitch.  I liked the bitch in women.  I liked the not-so-nice, not-so-quiet, smart-assed, mean-mouthed bitch-women.  I liked Plath’s angry letters and poems and journal entries.  It was as if she were writing back to the world that never wrote to her.

I was grateful for that.

As a woman, I never liked being the weaker sex, the scared sex, the silent sex. The gender that was supposed to be pretty and stupid and nice.

The gender that was supposed to lie flat on her back in a missionary position and just take it, whatever it was, if her husband or culture said so.

When I was a girl, my mother, a Greek scholar, read me many myths.  I remember, even then, being creeped out by the role the women played. Persephone, for example.  The King of Darkness just swept her away. And then there was Daphne, Helen of Troy,

Leda . .  The women were mere pawns in the men’s stories.

I liked Circe. She could turn the men into pigs.  If Plath had lived, if she had directed her rage outward instead of inward, she could have done the same.  There is that power in her.  I feel it sometimes, like an electricity, when I revisit her words.

The two ladies of darkness?  Which do I prefer?

I am afraid of both of them.

If I had to pick, I would pick Sylvia.

But I would read her only in small doses, only if I had to.

I come from a family tree where suicide is a legacy.  It’s a curse, passed down through the generations.  Last year my beautiful young cousin stepped in front of train.  In my parents’ generation, a few decades ago, my cousin Billy did the same.

With Plath and Sexton, it seems to me that their deaths were their last poems.  In my family, suicide is only an open confession that we do not belong in this world.

When I think of my cousins, when I think of Plath, I picture that famous painting by Edvard Munch, “The Scream.” And I feel a scream opening like wings inside me.
Poetry, I believe, is a spell, an enchantment, a drug.  I want to be careful who and what I am enchanted by.

There was a time when I read all of Plath’s books. I was a teenager.  I was miserable.  The more I read Plath, the more miserable I became.  I even had a recording of Plath reading the “Ariel” poems. I listened to it many times.

I admired Plath then because she was, I believed, a bitch.  I liked the bitch in women.  I liked the not-so-nice, not-so-quiet, smart-assed, mean-mouthed bitch-women.  I liked Plath’s angry letters and poems and journal entries.  It was as if she were writing back to the world that never wrote to her.

I was grateful for that.

As a woman, I never liked being the weaker sex, the scared sex, the silent sex. The gender that was supposed to be pretty and stupid and nice.

The gender that was supposed to lie flat on her back in a missionary position and just take it, whatever it was, if her husband or culture said so.

When I was a girl, my mother, a Greek scholar, read me many myths.  I remember, even then, being creeped out by the role the women played. Persephone, for example.  The King of Darkness just swept her away. And then there was Daphne, Helen of Troy,

Leda . .  The women were mere pawns in the men’s stories.

I liked Circe. She could turn the men into pigs.  If Plath had lived, if she had directed her rage outward instead of inward, she could have done the same.  There is that power in her.  I feel it sometimes, like an electricity, when I revisit her words.

Gov. Perdue Wants to Screw Nonprofit Hospitals

First, I feel my feelings about Governor Sonny Perdue
may best be expressed through a picture and WordArt.

Now, I want to share part of a newsletter:

This week, the governor unveiled his latest proposal to address the budget shortfall by announcing a 10.25% Medicaid cut to hospital and physician payments and the repeal of the nonprofit hospitals sales tax exemption. He made this proposal due to a lack of support among lawmakers for the hospital revenue sick tax.

The heat is being turned up under the Gold Dome with the focus of the 2010 legislative session on the budget shortfall.  On Thursday, the governor lowered his revenue estimate for the FY 2010 (current fiscal year) revenue estimate by $343 million and the FY 2011 (fiscal year beginning July 1) revenue estimate by $443 million.

The governor’s proposal to take away the tax exemption on nonprofit hospitals is a tax increase! And, if a 4% state tax on revenues is placed on purchases, it’s likely that counties and municipalities will in turn place a sales tax on purchases and on property.  A 4% sales tax in Georgia could quickly become 8% doubling the impact on certain hospitals in the state.

When lawmakers go back into session on Tuesday, March 16, they will be in day 24 of the legislative session.  That leaves 16 legislative days left in the 40 day session.    Time is not on our side!

Please consider voicing your opinion today to Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, Speaker Ralston and your House and Senate members! Even if you have already contacted them, please do so again!!!! Ask them to oppose a tax increase on nonprofit hospitals by removing the current sales tax exemption. This financial impact could result in job layoffs, a reduction or elimination of capital projects, and reduction or elimination of free community health projects that provided by hospitals.

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle’s Contact Info:
Click here to use the Lt Gov’s online contact form.
Call: 404-656-5030
Fax: 404-656-6739

House Speaker David Ralson’s Contact Info:
Capitol #:  404-656-5020
Email his staff: Dianne Hardin (dianne.hardin@house.ga.gov), Leishea Johnson (leishea.johnson@house.ga.gov), and Gina McKinney (ginny.mckinney@house.ga.gov)

Westboro Baptist Church Hates Lady Gaga

SNL’s Mary Katherine Gallagher expressed her feelings via dramatic monologue, and Westboro Baptist Church members are now expressing themselves via song production.  Yes, it is true.  Yesterday, I discovered that Westboro Baptist Church has moved into the realm of songs and music videos to spread their love and cheer.

Who is the latest Westboro target?

Lady Gaga.  Apparently, someone at Westboro has a direct line to God, and He has it out for Lady Gaga.  The video created by Westboro is disgusting.  I pity the people of Westboro Baptist Church, and I believe in my heart of hearts that each member with this twisted beliefs will have a rude awakening when he/she gets his/her one on one with God.