Straddling the Fringe

Sent on October 30, 2018

In 2013, I visited Belgium for the first time and while I was there my friend Eva took me to visit an old beguinage which was once home to what I call medieval feminists (beguines). They looked like nuns and they lived in a community like nuns but they did not take formal religious vows and they did not "retire from the world."

Beguines belonged to no religious order, so they made their own rules. They lived apart from society in beguinages—self-sufficient clusters of individual houses grouped around a church—but could enter the town at will (though they had to return at dusk). That allowed for an exceptional degree of independence, unknown by their medieval sisters, whether wives or nuns.

Here are all the pics I took at the beguinage in Leuven. It's been completely restored and is now campus housing.

Here's the wikipedia article and some other website with cool photos. I have also been collecting various other forms of unmarried women in an channel.


The short stories of Leonora Carrington are surreal and absurd but this line from “Waiting” (1941) absolutely makes a lot of sense.

How can anybody be a person of quality if they wash away their ghosts with common sense?

I've started a new season of my podcast about every single vampire movie ever made. I'm trying to watch them all. I'm not obsessed with vampires or anything, I'd consider my interest to be average. I like buffy, etc. The origin story is that I tweeted long ago that I'd seen every vampire movie and now I'm trying to do that so no one finds that tweet and calls me a liar. Anyway, season 2 episodes are probably better than season 1 episodes because this is DIY podcasting and I'm learning as I go.

Listen: or itunes or google play or stitcher.

I am now accepting word submissions. Send me one word and I'll write a custom poem. The following poem is the first in this experiment and it was hard because it was a word I had never used in my life. The word is alpenglow submitted by CW.

Straddling the Fringe

step one:
look it up in the dictionary
the rosy light of the setting or rising sun seen on high mountains

step two:
make an erasure poem out of its wikipedia article

no direct path
to reach normal
generally confused
straddling the fringe

step 3:
dedicate the poem to [redacted], using a pseudonym

Dedicated to CW

Send me a word and I'll make you a poem.