In celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Anna Crusis Women’s Choir (the feminist choir in Philadelphia and one of the nation’s longest standing feminist choruses) — I found pieces of myself. They weren’t forgotten — but rather strengthened by being in the company of women who have known me for decades.
That’s what community is all about.
The concert was billed as reclaiming the f-word — and joking to my partner I wondered which f-word they were talking about. Both came up — and on the screen at the concert! I realized that for me, the two major f-words are somewhere synonymous. My first chapbook of poetry was called “A Fucking Brief History of Fucking” from Insight To Riot Press (my favorite line was and still is ‘the dickless dyke fuck’). I was delighted to be in the company of women who remembered me from my poem Boobs Away! — which I performed with the choir twice around 2005 at the Friends School in Center City Philadelphia and at the large Episcopalian Church in West Philadelphia. Boobs Away! is written on a broadside based on a breast portrait by the artist Clarity Haynes. Clarity went to women’s music festivals where she painted breast portraits of women. The portraits were and are a powerful statement — undoubtedly, my inspiration for the Boobs Away! — which includes the lines
…. The boobs refuse to be replaced by imposters / one boob, two boobs, double mastectomies, phantom boobs, third nipple boobs// Boobs All! //BIG BAD BOOBS// ….
I guess you could say it was kind of a rant. I don’t have a link a video of me reading the poem — but I hear that such a video does exist — but recently I put the image of the broadside, along with my published books on my You Tube banner of my channel that show cases my new work (Janet Mason, novelist). You can click here to see the image.
We went to the Saturday evening Anna Crusis Concert. Here are some photos from the powerful event and from the F-word celebratory weekend. Enjoy!