Saturday, July 08, 2006

Sex at 31 redux: Kate Van Dusen

Apparently I haven't completely finished with my "sex at thirty-one" essay that is due to appear in my collection of essays in fall 2007 with ECW Press [see it here in an issue of]. For a while now, what I'd found of poems written as part of the ongoing series started by Barry McKinnon and others, there were no poems written by women until very recently, by Wanda O'Connor and Kristina Drake [see my note on such here]. That is, until I found one by poet west coast poet Kate Van Dusen (born and raised in Ottawa, she has long moved to Vancouver) in her first (and seemingly only) poetry collection, Not Noir (Toronto ON: Coach House Press, 1987). Are there any other poems out there I've been missing?
Sex (at 32)

and I worm my way
under this cold city
like an inelegant mole
in his brown coat. nor
so eloquent as one.

smell (now that nothing's
sweet) nothing at all
as donuts
waft from the subway.

don't look down. try
to find a job. try
to get a little writing
done. or reading. before

one of them shows up
bearing book or bottle
boring me all to hell
with his kind persistence

and love. as I have done
you with mine. sex better
really when you don’t feel
anything at all.

the tactful act. puts
the stress on nothing
but flesh. what

is it all if not
anything at all?
If anyone is interested, Barry McKinnon and I are still collecting poems for our anthology Collected Sex (Ottawa ON: Chaudiere Books, 2007), seeking poems that are/were influenced by the original "sex at 31" series. Inquiries and submissions can still be sent to me (with subject header "sex at 31 submission") at

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