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Houston Breakthrough, May 1979
Pages 14 and 15
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Houston Breakthrough, May 1979 - Pages 14 and 15. May 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 21, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/630/show/616.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(May 1979). Houston Breakthrough, May 1979 - Pages 14 and 15. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/630/show/616

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough, May 1979 - Pages 14 and 15, May 1979, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 21, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/630/show/616.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough, May 1979
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date May 1979
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Pages 14 and 15
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  • image/jpeg
File Name femin_201109_550an.jpg
Transcript Teresa Anderson Our People For more years than I can remember, the crops have failed in this land where rain is a fugitive; and the people in my blood have lived in houses cut from the earth. In summer children here have always made music from the rhythm of the long days, and the women in my veins have learned to make banquets from meagre tables., More than once in spring blizzards the cattle have been lost, and more than once the winter-born child, in a room with no stove, has died at the breast. Yet we have been more than survivors; all the best I will ever be lies rooted in the earth ' where my grandmother sleeps, on a prairie swept clean of trees, under harsh, cloudless sky, where wheat flows in waves over the first sod houses, and the dust of the dead sings under the blade of the plow. For the Woman in My Lover's Soul for Steve / watch the swallows tracing circular patterns across the vault of this dream, my eyes full of the mist that falls here long before dark gathering together these hills closing around us. For such a long time now I have lived in this world of women whose voices are the tender closing of your hand around my shattered heart. And I know that the hearty man's laugh, his swaggering, steady gait are alien to this place I have shared only with these soft round shapes. But I have seen in your darkest time and place the one I have been, the same famished child who searches his barren house for the woman waiting so long suspended in the chrysalis of her cell. I have found her in the fragile corners of your smile, heard her, a pale brown bird, singing inside the smooth bones of your chest. And as she comes to us now across so many years and miles of pain gathering in her cupped hands the melting fire of your tears. Woman, Dance It is a cold clear night lit by a half-moon; don't praise me for my pout, don't reduce my size by calling me lovely; I have wasted too many years in that disguise. Make my heels wings, my pulse light; give my bone-chilling laugh and black hair power to destroy the simpering old husk. Let me be as strong as my sisters at the plow, fearless as my sisters at the front; Let us sing and dance on our way, we who are pathfinders and warriors, map makers and sowers of green new worlds. Let us sail out, always together, forging our own fiery roads through the night. The Secret Room Tonight I feel the scars of your body cut deeply into mine, because you too have listened for the cry and risen in the dark to answer the nursing child for whom you were first lover. And each of us knows what it is to look for meaning in the tasks at hand; the house with its relentless pulse and its eternal oven once covered us over with its heavy air and the treadmill of our cleaning, polishing and beginning again. But now while our men wait for us upstairs wondering at the number of jobs we find to do down here so late at night, together our bodies make a new shelter hidden in the high grass along the river where we create life, and hands that have served the will of the house, lips that have smiled for happiness defined as duty, breasts that have fed many outsiders can now be joined for primal joy, for the glory in the dance, and in celebration of our perfect silence. July In memory of Virginia Tromblay Fesler I have dreamed of you every night for a week, having almost forgotten and then remembering in my burning throat how we buried you last summer at the end of the dusty road where sixty years before you were married. Our house is old and white and wears the layers of the lives it knew with the same pride you showed when recounting your immigrant years and the long winter when you bore my mother. Your hand-tatted sheets cover our bed and the quilt you made for my crib now covers my son; photos of you peer down at us as we fill this house with the voices of our joy. Sometimes early on mornings long before the others wake, I open my eyes, and through the window streams the same pure light I saw as a child not yet able to speak, hungry for your face suspended over mine; and I still hear you singing the old French tunes, rocking me back to peace in that yellow room I will never find again. But tonight I walked along quiet streets fragrant with sycamores in the still summer air, and the man I love touched me with his low rambling voice while locusts droned, and the soft outlines of ca ts leap t Ugh tly out of the dark. Teresa Anderson, Speaking in Sign, West End Press, 1979, Cambridge, MA. 32 pages, $1.50 and $.25 postage from Blue Heron Books, 2114 Mason, Houston, Texas 77006. My first and last mother is the Midwest with her endless dry seas and harsh wind and her small, fragile towns that somehow manage to cling to life after every emergence from her howling winters. I have been saved from the narrow, smothering confinement of these places by the rising of women all over the land. Our growing strength and collective voice have been my refuge for an end to the oppression of all people everywhere. Poetry is just one of the tools we have forged for this struggle we will win. — Teresa Anderson There is a new breed of poets thriving on the plains of the Great Midwest/Southwest and they are the West End Poets. Teresa Anderson is one of them, and her songs course through the dust bowl air like pollen, fertile and fair. This poet has come of age in the Aquarian age, when she can write freely now of the years of "trying in maidenly despair to create or falsify curves and later smoothing over bumps and hating the irregular face with its flaws." She has confronted the shadow and transformed it. "Yes," she says, "we are all afraid,/but when fear is shared,/it is changed. Now you and I here are/ talking without masks/in this darkening room,/and when we join hands,/we burst into flame." (Talking With A New Woman). Her love poems are so delicately sensual that one feels the flesh quiver reading them: "touch me, yes, in the thicket/and let the wood thrust be our judge;/ never mind the lunatic wind/roaring through pines/ listen to locusts,/close your eyes,/feel the* grass with your toes;/that is so good!" (Breaking Out) Her lovers are legion: men, women, children; and she is true to them all. But most of all, she is true to her blood. Her fragile great-aunt Delphine, prairie woman from Damar, Kansas, is breathed alive again in Delphine they come back, the man with his bawdy laugh, hands reaching for sweet, home-made wine and eyes following the woman, a diminutive, green-eyed girl now, just come from the wedding dance, who stands uncertainly at the parlor door, wondering at the crude sound of his English, picturing a cradle by the stove and wishing he would remove the pins from her heavy dark hair. In Alone After Sixty Years, three months after her grandmother's death, her grandfather catches himself late at night "preparing her morning tray, turning.back/in the dark closet to touch again/the dusty jersey of her Sunday dress." These people are soil and salt, whose lives were "lived in houses cut from the earth." Anderson's poems reincarnate them from the soil, where "the dust of the dead/sings under the blade of the plow." (Our People) They are dignified by their work, by the labor of their hands, and by the songs sung to them in these poems. We are reminded of lusty men and women, "wrapped in blankets of corn liquor and smoke,/ who played harmonica and danced through the thirties,/drove Model T's 'til they broke down near Gallup,/who thumbed their way West and jumped freighters/whistling out-bound so far from home." (Woman's Blues Okie Style) History is alive and well in these poems, and work is honest and hard. Anderson says on the cover that she "has been saved from the narrow, smothering confinement of these places by the rising of woman all over the land." There is no sense of confinement here. These poems are free as the Kansas-Oklahoma-Texas air where they and Anderson pulse their lifeblood, and endless as the earth that spawned them. Mary McAnally Cardinal Press Houston Breakthrough 14 May 1979 Houston Breakthrough 15 May 1979