Today is International Women's Day. I recently spent the afternoon at MoMA wandering through the Tim Burton exhibition. What does one have to do with the other?
Helen Adam (1909-1993) was a poet, free spirit and iconoclast. She wrote in the style of the Victorian ballad. Although much older, and working within a very different creative framework, she counted Allen Ginsberg and the very young Patti Smith among her colleagues, along with many other members of the literary avant garde in New York and San Francisco. I think she would have liked Tim Burton.
In "Apartment at Twin Peaks" she takes the crone stereotype and makes it her own, with characteristic black humour:
"New Year’s Eve, and the moon like a flame.
From as far as Fresno my girl friends came.
I knew my party simply could not miss
Though I served my husband as the principle dish."
Here's an excerpt from Ron Mann's "Poetry in Motion" (1981).