We've mentioned Kim Addonizio before (Stolen Moments back in March 2020) but so brilliant is she and so accurate on love, sex, desire, longing that we couldn't leave it there. Her poems hit like a gut-punch. Raw, real, direct. Honest about love and loss and the thin line that barely divides them. And sex – some people can just write it. There's lines we've read only once that echo over and over. These poems reek of all that is human: good, bad, beautiful, ugly. They're tender and dirty, confident and needy. There's traces of e.e.cummings, Whitman, Bukowski. She's 'Emily Dickinson with a strap-on' (her words, we agree). Read this February, in love or not.
Our recommendations to get started: First Kiss, Like That, Fuck, For Desire, 'What Do Women Want?', First Poem for You, Intimacy, To the Woman Crying Uncontrollably in the Next Stall.
THE WATERMELON WOMAN
It's the mid-nineties and Cheryl Dunye, a twenty-five year old black lesbian filmmaker working in a video store and shooting weddings on the side, is working on a documentary about a black actress from the 1930s credited simply as 'The Watermelon Women'. Struck by her beauty and something indefinable Cheryl can't get out of her head, the hunt for information about this nameless starlet plays out alongside scenes from Cheryl's own life.
Dunye: 'The Watermelon Woman came from the real lack of any information about the lesbian and film history of African-American women. Since it wasn't happening, I invented it.' This is a work of fiction, both Cheryl's character (played by herself) and the life of the actress she's documenting. Low budget, scrappy and fresh, this seminal work (the first feature by a black lesbian director) deals with the weighty: race relations, access, representation, desire. It's also joyful and funny – humour being key to understanding and inciting change – 'That's Cheryl's power, she's funny,' says Alexandra Juhasz, one of the film's original producers, 'And she opens doors, but the doors she's opening are complicated.' Currently showing on Mubi, it's one not to be missed.
This year it's a lockdown Valentine's. Here's some of Loquet HQ's favourite meals to eat in with the ones we love.
'A really nice loaf of bread, salty butter and some good cheese. Beige dreams. Spend the money on a nice bottle of red wine, tidy the table and light some candles. Bread and cheese become the most luxurious of suppers if you are laughing and talking in between every mouthful. But most importantly taking your time. Thinking back to a meal that makes me smile, its always the people surrounding me, not the food on my plate.'
'I love to cook together with my soulmate. We start by putting some nice music on and opening a nice chilled bottle of prosecco and throwing a few frozen berries in our flutes. We love to try different cooking methods and food pairings and go and hunt for novelty food together. This Valentine, we’re going to treat ourselves and have fish and seafood for dinner. We like simple things packed with flavour, something like a nice seafood tagine or grilled fish koftas with a nice beetroot relish perhaps? Crab bruschettas with lime and cumin and a little samphire to start with. I am always in charge of the dessert so I am going to make a pistachio, raspberry and white chocolate tart which I have made countless times. But it’s still his favourite.'
'My favourite meal for special occasions is homemade Tonnarelli a Cacio e Pepe. My boyfriend’s most notable love language is cooking (lucky me) and even though this is arguably one of the simplest pasta dishes one can cook I can’t think of anything tastier than pasta with butter, cheese and pepper. He also loves making the tonnarelli from scratch, making it a true labour of love.'
'I'm in bed listening to radio 4 and catching up on product uploads, J is downstairs painting….we had a falling out this afternoon over something silly. I just decided to make up with him…via chocolate tart.'