Film Fest

By | 1 February 2017

Do you identify with Jeanne Dielman?
you asked after 201 delicious minutes watching
Delphine Seyrig in housewife drag.
At 9:30 a.m. the downstairs theatre at Dendy at the Quay still stank
like yesterday’s cinephiles & their meat pies.
The Professor of English was there & Dora the male cat
was waiting at home. She tells me about another student
who can’t stop writing. Of course I stalk his blog
on my phone on the train home. It’s smart shit.
Yes I like to feel raw veal
between my fingers & so what
if I want to murder my mother.
The mise-en-scène reminds me of therapy;
a room with a routine keeps us in place.
(Bury the thought he only loves me while I’m on the couch.)
You think she faked her orgasm?
We bypass neon & nostalgia at City Extra
opting for $4.50 flat whites from Opera Bar.
Remember when N couldn’t come? Now it’s me
but that’s Zoloft. Should try harder.
I’ve read you’re meant to orgasm during the insemination
so your cervix sucks it up like a vacuum cleaner.
I’d take motherhood without the baby if I could.
I didn’t watch all those melodramas for nothing
& Dad thinks it’s one long coffee break anyway.
She left the baby crying & it did seem happier that way.
Who am I kidding?
Over attachment is more my style.
Maybe we’ll be all talk & kisses like Chantal & Natalia
or (more likely) I’ll impersonate the other mums
instead of writing poetry.
Right now I’m bound
for the next season of The Good Wife.

This poem borrows the description of Delphine Serig’s ‘housewife drag’ from Annamarie Jagose’s forthcoming essay on Chantal Ackerman’s singular film Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelle (1975).


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