Cover image for Circa 2000 : lesbian fiction at the millennium
Title:
Circa 2000 : lesbian fiction at the millennium
Author:
Drake, Robert.
Publication Information:
Los Angeles, Calif. : Alyson ; London : Turnaround, 2000.
Physical Description:
xi, 331 pages ; 22 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781555835187
Format :
Book

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PS509.L47 C57 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

Renowned authors and editors Terry Wolverton and Robert Drake have brought together the gifted voices of Dorothy Allison, Rebecca Brown, Emma Donoghue, Achy Obejas, Gerry Gomez Pearlberg and Sarah Schulman plus those of a host of talented newcomers to provide a collection of fiction that serves as a cultural touchstone that not only illustrates the amazing metamorphosis of this important literary genre but also provides a beacon for the lesbian literature of the future.


Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Wolverton and Drake, who have worked together on nine previous anthologies, take stock of lesbian publishing at the millennium in this, their final collaboration. Pieces by Sarah Schulman, Shani Mootoo, and Cynthia Bond are successfully excerpted from novels; others, like Larissa Lai's, have shifting points of view and multiple characters that are too complex for the short story format. Established writers Dorothy Allison, Achy Obejas, Rebecca Brown, Ana Castillo, Beth Brant, and Mary Gaitskill are represented as well. Emma Donoghue, always a treat, brings lesbian history alive with her fictionalization of the story of a couple of anti-vivisectionists in 1880s London. Editor Wolverton contributes a story in which a writing teacher reluctantly realizes that what she had thought was an impossibly complex breakup can actually fit into a narrative structure and that she, like a fictional character, must play only a limited role in her students' lives. Well-stocked fiction collections with have many of these pieces in anthologies or novels. The likeliness of redundancy makes this an optional purchase.ÄIna Rimpau, Newark P.L., NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Chapter One Her Body, Mine, and His Dorothy Allison     Frog fucking. Her hands on my hips; my heels against my ass, legs spread wide; her face leaning into my neck; my hands gripping her forearms. Her teeth are gentle. Nothing else about her is. I push up on the balls of my feet, rock my ass onto my ankles, reaching up for every forward movement of her thighs between mine. Her nipples are hard, her face flushed, feet planted on the floor while I arch off the edge of the bed, a water mammal, frog creature with thighs snapping back to meet her every thrust.     My labia swell, I can feel each hair that curls around the harness she wears. I imagine manta rays unfolding great undulating labia--wings in the ocean, wrapping around the object of their desire. Just so my labia, the wings of my cunt. I reach for her with my hands, my mouth, my thighs, my great swollen powerful cunt.     Her teeth are set, hips are thrusting, shoving, head back, pushing, drawing back and ramming in. I laugh and arch up into her, curse her, beg her. My feet are planted. I can do anything. I lift my belly, push up even more. Fucking, fucking, fucking. I call this fucking. Call her lover, bastard, honey, sweetheart, nasty motherfucker, evil-hearted bitch, YOU GODDAMNED CUNT! She calls me her baby, her girl, her toy, her lover, hers, hers, hers. Tells me she will never stop, never let me go. I beg her. "Fuck me. Hard," I beg her. "You, you, you ... hard! Goddamn you! Do it! Don't stop! Don't stop! Don't stop! Don't stop!"     Jesus fucking christ don't stop.     Don't stop.     I have been told lesbians don't do this. Perhaps we are not lesbians? She is a woman. I am a woman. But maybe we are aliens? Is what we do together a lesbian act?     Paul took me out for coffee in New York and gave me a little silver claw holding a stone. "A little something for that poem of yours," he told me. "The one about the joy of faggots. I've been reading it everywhere." He drank herbal tea and told me about his travels, reading poetry and flirting with the tender young boys at all the universities, going on and on about how they kneel in the front row and look up at him, their lips gently parted and their legs pressed together. Sipping tea he told me, "They're wearing those loose trousers again, the ones with the pleats that always remind me of F. Scott Fitzgerald and lawn parties."     I drank the bitter coffee, admired his narrow mustache, and told him how much I hate those blouson pants women are wearing instead of jeans. "It's hell being an ass woman these days," I joked.     He started to laugh, called me a lech, looked away, looked back, and I saw there were tears in his eyes. Said, "Yes, those jeans, tight, shaped to the ass, worn to a pale blue-white and torn, like as not showing an ass cheek paler still." Said, "Yes, all those boys, those years, all the men in tight-tight pants." Said, "Yes, those jeans, the pants so tight their cocks were clearly visible on the bus, the subway, the street, a shadow of a dick leading me on. Sometimes I would just lightly brush them, and watch them swell under the denim, the dick lengthening down the thigh." He stopped, tears all over his face, his hand on his cup shaking, coming up in the air to gesture. A profound, sad movement of loss. "All gone," he whispered, the romantic poet in his suede professor's jacket. "I never do it anymore, never. Never touch them, those boys. Can't even imagine falling in love again, certainly not like I used to for twenty minutes at a time on any afternoon."     I started to speak, but he put his hand up. "Don't say it. Don't tell me I'm being foolish or cowardly or stupid or anything. I loved the way it used to be, and I hate the fact that it's gone. I've not become celibate, or silly, or vicious, or gotten religion, or started lecturing people in bars. It's those memories I miss, those boys on the street in the afternoon laughing and loving each other, that sense of sex as an adventure, a holy act."     He put his cup down, glared at it and then at me. Indignant, excited, determined. "But you still do it, don't you? You dykes! You're out there all the time doing it. Flirting with each other, touching, teasing, jerking each other off in bathrooms, picking each other up and going to parties. Fucking and showing off and doing it everywhere you can. You are. Say you are. I know you are."     I said, "Yes." I lied and said, "Yes, Paul, we are. Yes." * * *     She has named her cock Bubba. Teases me with it. Calls it him, says, "Talk to him, pet him. He's gonna go deep inside you." I start to giggle, slap Bubba back and forth. Cannot take this too seriously, even though I really do like it when she straps him on. Bubba is fat and bent, an ugly pink color not found in nature, and he jiggles obscenely when she walks around the room. Obscene and ridiculous, still he is no less effective when she puts herself between my legs. Holding Bubba in one hand, I am sure that this is the origin of irony--that men's penises should look so funny and still be so prized. * * *     She is ten years younger than me ... sometimes. Sometimes I am eight and she is not born yet, but the ghost of her puts a hand on my throat, pinches my clit, bites my breast. The ghost of her teases me, tells me how much she loves all my perversities. She says she was made for me, promises me sincerely that she will always want me. Sometimes I believe her without effort. Sometimes I become her child, trusting, taking in everything she says. Her flesh, her body, her lust and hunger--I believe. I believe, and it is not a lie.     When I am fucking her I am a thousand years old, a crone with teeth, bone teeth grinding, vibrating down into my own hips. Old and mean and hungry as a wolf; or a shark. She is a suckling infant, soft in my hands, trusting me with her tender open places. Her mouth parts like an oyster, the lower lip soft under the tongue, the teeth pearls in the dim light. Her eyes are deep and dark and secret. She is pink, rose, red, going purple dark ... coming with a cry and a shudder, and suddenly limp beneath my arms. I push up off her and bite my own wrist. It is all I can do not to feed at her throat. * * *     I drank too much wine at a party last fall, found myself quoting Muriel Rukeyser to Geoff Maines all about the backside, the body's ghetto, singing her words, "Never to go despising the asshole nor the useful shit that is our clean clue to what we need."     "The clitoris in her least speech," he sang back, and I loved him for that with all my soul. We fed each other fat baby carrots and beamed at our own enjoyment.     "Ah, the ass," Geoff intoned, "the temple of the gods." I giggled, lifted a carrot in a toast, matched his tone. "And the sphincter--gateway to the heart."     He nodded, licked his carrot, reached down, shifted a strap, and inserted that carrot deftly up his butt. He looked up at me, grinned, rolled a carrot in my direction, raised one eyebrow. "Least speech," I heard myself tell him. Then I hiked up my skirt and disappeared that carrot, keeping my eyes on his all the while. There was something about his expression, a look of arrogant conviction that I could not resist.     "Lesbians constantly surprise me" was all Geoff said, lining up a row of little baby carrots from the onion dip to the chips, pulling the dish of butter over as well. He handed me another carrot. I blinked, then watched as he took one for himself. "I propose the carrot olympics, a cross-gender, mutually queer event," he challenged. I started to laugh as he rolled buttery carrots between his palms. His face was full of laughter, his eyes so blue and pleased with himself they sparkled. "All right," I agreed. How could I not? I pulled up the hem of my skirt, tucked it into my waistband, took up the butter, and looked Geoff right in the eye. "Dead heat, or one-on-one?" * * *     "FAGGOT!" That's what he called me. The boy on the street with the baseball bat who followed me from Delores Park the week after I moved to San Francisco. He called me a faggot. My hair is long. My hips are wide. I wear a leather jacket and walk with a limp. But I carry a knife. What am I exactly? When he called me a faggot I knew. I knew for sure who I was and who I would not be. From the doorway of the grocery at 18th and Guerrero I yelled it at him. "Dyke! Get it right, you son of a bitch, I'm a dyke." * * *     I am angry all the time lately, and being angry makes me horny, makes me itchy, makes me want to shock strangers and surprise the girls who ask me, please, out for coffee and to talk. I don't want to talk. I want to wrestle in silence. It isn't sex I want when I am like this. It's the intimacy of their bodies, the inside of them, what they are afraid I might see ill look too close. I look too close. I write it all down. I intend that things shall be different in my lifetime, if not in theirs. * * *     Paul, Geoff--I am doing it as much as I can, as fast as I can. This holy act. I am licking their necks on Market Street, fisting them in the second-floor bathroom at Amelia's, in a booth under a dim wall lamp at the Box--coming up from her cunt a moment before the spotlight shifts to her greedy features. I have tied her to a rail in a garage down on Howard Street, let her giggle and squirm while I teased her clit, then filled her mouth with my sticky fingers and rocked her on my hipbone till she roared. We have roared together. Everywhere I go, the slippery scent of sweat and heat is in the air, so strong it could be me or the women I follow, the ones who follow me. They know who I am just as I know them. I have ripped open their jeans at the Powerhouse, put my heel between their legs at the Broadway Cafe, opened their shirts all the way down at Just Desserts, and pushed seedless grapes into their panties at the Patio Cafe. The holy act of sex, my sex, done in your name, done for the only, the best reason. Because we want it.     I am pushing up off the bed into Alix's neck like a great cat with a gazelle in her teeth. I am screaming and not stopping, not stopping. Frog fucking, pussy creaming, ass clenching, drumming out, pumping in. I am doing it, boys and girls, I am doing it, doing it all the time. Copyright © 2000 TERRY WOLVERTON AND ROBERT DRAKE. All rights reserved.