Thursday, June 22, 2017


I went to the zoo with a friend yesterday. This is the big zoo, the Minnesota Zoo. We saw bears, otters, takin, Bactrian camels, a Siberian tiger in a pool, kangaroos, wallabys, an Amur leopard, caribou, a sleeping dhole, sharks, moon jellyfish, seahorses... All in all, satisfying. I also rode on the carousel and had a root beer float. I feel about ten years old.

It has been a long time since I have seen so many blond mothers and children. Aside from needing a car and time off, you need a bucket full of money to go to the Minnesota Zoo. (An adult is $18. A kid is $12.)

On the other hand, the Como Park Zoo and the awesome Conservatory are free and can be reached by bus. And Como has a lovely restored carousel.

A poem about Como Zoo, since I was talking about zoos. Zoos and operas lead me to write poetry.

A Visit to Como Zoo and Japanese Garden

Three silverback gorillas
knuckling in the sun,
two feather-duster ostriches,
too hot to run,
picking grass along a fence,
while giraffes with shambling elegance
perform a kind of mating dance.

Bears and monkeys! Maybe cranes,
though not in view. ( The sign remains.)
A deep, green garden,
a silent pond,
shining koi,
and so we end.

Sunday, June 11, 2017


I did one panel at Wiscon this year: an introduction to the history of feminist SFF. One of the other panelists said SFF feminism in the 1970s was like race now, when white people are learning to care about the problems people of color face. I said, No. Feminism in the 1970s was a fight. For the most part, the men in fandom -- along with some women -- resisted, ignored, mocked... Wiscon was created because almost all SFF cons ignored women's issues. The Tiptree Award was created because all existing SFF awards were named after men and women rarely won them.

I am not sure what the speaker meant. I heard the comment as saying that women didn't have to fight in the 1970s, that it was men learning to care about women's issues that was important. At that point, I exploded.

(Among other things, I thought the comment gave an odd impression of current anti-racism struggles. But that is another topic.)

Later, a woman in the audience said we were talking about women feminist authors. What about the men feminist authors? I wondered, what the hell kind of question was that? Several people on the panel mentioned Delany and then some much more recent men as male feminist writers.

The thing that bothered me was a panel on women and feminism was being pulled around to men.