I do adore October’s blue sarong,
the sliding slits along her whistling hips,
and I would die to kiss her ruby lips
for all the wet and rotting leaf night long.
A “girlie calendar” makes one think of men’s lockers, walls of auto repair shops or a military barracks: They’re typically collections of nude or scantily dressed women in provocative poses, designed for the male heterosexual gaze.
But what if a girlie calendar is designed with a lesbian gaze in mind? That sort of subversion is what lesbian poet Mary Meriam has in mind with the title of her new poetry collection, Girlie Calendar, and for the Ms. Blog, she’s going to excerpt from the book a poem-of-the-month, beginning with the Jewish New Year instead of waiting until January. Meriam is also selecting accompanying artwork for each month from both historical and contemporary lesbian-related images.
October’s artist, Grace Moon, is editor-in-chief of Velvetpark, an online arts and culture publication with a feminist and lesbian bent. Born in Honolulu and now based in Brooklyn, Moon is a queer artist who captures everyday transgressions between female masculinities and femininities. The painting seen here, “Meera,” is one of a series inspired by “late colonial era graphic art from Asia,” she says. “These paintings are renderings of the east/west fusion upon early 20th century graphic design. ‘Yu Fen Pai’ is a term which loosely translates into girlie posters, and were calendars made for ex-pats in Shanghai in the ’20s and ’30s.”
“Meera” courtesy of Grace Moon.