Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Vagina Monographs: an illustrated poem

In the bookstore where I work there are books about the vagina. 

They are critically acclaimed and prominently displayed.

None of them have an actual image of a vagina on the cover, of course. They have symbols, suggestions, sly visual puns. Allusion beats mimesis in the rock-paper-scissors game of book sales (and obscenity laws).

I began to collect them, in my mind: these substitutions. 

I thought they were funny, even clever, until I spoke to a woman who had come in for a book on sociology. 

She snorted. 'That's all we are to them,' she said. 'A shape.'

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