Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Contemporizing Language

One of Greg's concerns with the pieces I sent him from the Lilith collection was that the language was too mythic/biblical for a contemporary audience, and that I should throw them a bone every once in awhile to keep them interested.

Admittedly, my first response was a snobbish, "Well, if they can't remain interested in an awesome female character who *is* mythic, they can bite my left buttcheek. let them read Shel Silverstein if what they want is rhymey babble." (No offense meant to Shel Silverstein, whose work I enjoy quite a bit.)

Then I looked at it as an opportunity. I mean, if I contemporize the language a bit, I can let Lilith take what she wants from *all* time periods, which could be sort of fun. I'm having trouble making this happen in the pieces that rely on the mythic tone for their delivery (like the rewrite of the Hail Mary and of the Apostle's Creed), but in other places, it's a fun experiment, like in the the piece below, "Lilith: The Interview":

Lilith: The Interview

We didn't have proper clothes
back then. But I'm a fan of black
leather, purple eyeshadow,
and sky-high fuck-me pumps.
I like to appear taller than men.

No, I don't eat babies. I'm not
a succubus (don't you wish!).
I do enjoy a rare prime rib,
paired with a delicate cheesecake.
Ooh, and a nice, bold red.

I have no problem with Eve.
I think her taste in men is poor,
but the woman's got spunk,
eating the fruit God forbade.
I like women who break rules.

If by "rutting with demons"
you mean fun sex with men
who let me be on top
and enjoying it immensely,
then yes, mark me as guilty.

Well, God made me, after all.
Perhaps we should talk less
about bowing to human judgment
and more about accepting the demoness
God himself allows to roam free.


Drew said...

Very nice, C. I'm digging the contemporary voice...especially since it has the potential to open up a whole new section of poems--modern Lilith and her reaction to our world...I think she'd be pretty proud with all our debauchery. Specifically to this poem, I like how each stanza is a question response--you do a good job with wording the answers so we don't need to see the interviewer. As far as some suggestions go, if this is an interview format, maybe include some appearance tags in angle brackets within the transcript? That might add too much length though. I think stanza four sounds a little too off the cuff casual; wouldn't she be a little miffed at that question? Maybe turn it back on the interviewer some?

Allison said...

My totally uneducated opinion from a girl with minor and a half in English? This Lilith sounds much more fun. I want to go have a drink with her. This is my preferred version.