Summer 03


Cunt Spectacular




 for Alix O.


I don't like the word. Admit it. Neither do you.
It is a locker room word the size of a crevasse,
as cold as a glacier. If women were like mountains,
the word might work:


the angle of the cunt—utilizing an integrative
approach combining geopolitics, astrology,
meteorology, geology, deep ecology, mythology
dream-ology, botany, hydrology, and entomology,


men might venture into our wilderness, bring back data,
help develop a better understanding, illumine our complex
dynamics like newly discovered icefields, develop serious
fondnesses for our rapid-sliding,


not just quantifiable, but qualified, beautiful,
stunning, so large a man could repel down
us suddenly aware of his smallness against
the glacial plane of the mysterious cosmos.


I would call mine Yukon, you could call yours, Ranier
or Antarctica, Svalbad, Siple Dome, even Cryobot.
Touch my siple dome, please, you might say, and a man
would, his whole life and education


up to that point preparing him for the effort;
he'd win awards, get degrees, make it into peer
reviewed journals like Cunt Quarterly. Somehow
I still don't like it, the men winning awards, us


on our backs, an unglobalized country just waiting to be raped,
colonized, then liberated so we can end up exporting all of our
best resources and importing everything we need to get by.
But I like the glacier metaphor


because it will piss off men who don't like women,
who think they're cold, when the rest of us, including
men who like women, will see it as a brilliant analogy
about landscape and enigma and crystal science


and tectonic forces worthy of awe and respect.
I still don't like it, but I'll whisper it to my lover
and watch his face contort into shock, surprise,
a kind of naughty glee.


We'll giggle because it's a non-giggle kind
of word. Maybe it's not the men who have
to go on the expeditions, but us, spikes
on our shoes, Gore Tex clad, brave the winds


of our own ice-natures, descend into crevasses of all angles,
slip into them, no fear or embarrassment, rename them like stars
after new born babies: Madeline Gelpi, Barbara Weist, a registry
of cunts recording how nature repeats the spectacular after all.


Laura McCullough is on the faculty of the English Dept. at Brookdale Community College in NJ where she Chairs the Visiting Writers Series. She has an MFA from Goddard College, has won a NJ State Arts Council Fellowship, and recently was awarded a Dodge Foundation Scholarship to attend the Fine Arts Center in Provincetown. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Paterson Literary Review, Exquisite Corpse, Poetry Motel, Faultline, The Journal of Art and Literature, In Posse, Slant Review, SteelPoint, and others.