Catcall by Holly Melgard

SKU: x1556

Catcall is a poem in which a voice catcalls a guy passing by in a public place. Written for performance, the voice alternates between speaking directly to this guy and speaking indirectly about him within earshot.

Catcalling -- the most avid activity of your typical heterosexual male. But him, with his stock of singular and eccentric aphorisms, is no match for Holly Melgard's literalisations. In this age of purely symbolic and frankly banal 'pussy grabs back', Catcall's claustrophobic babble instead narrativises the absurdity of feminine caregiving labour: "Hey pretty big little cute guy. Do you need to cuddle? Do you?" Here, Melgard stages the real comedy, illustrating how any man's sense of power exhausts itself in his very fantasy of what 'woman' might do for him -- by actually embodying it. And so, she smothers with a weaponised sympathy, burrowing neurotic pathways into your emasculation. Hey baby, there's no escape. C'mon baby, you know how much I care. —TRISHA LOW

Holly Melgard is the author of the Poems for Baby trilogy, The Making of The Americans, Black Friday, Reimbursement (Troll Thread) and Cats Can’t Taste Sugar (Gaus PDF). Along with Joey Yearous-Algozin, she’s co-authored White Trash (Troll Thread) and Holly Melgard’s Friends and Family (Bon Aire Projects). She’s performed her poems and soundworks at such sites as the Kelly Writers House, New York Museum of Modern Art, and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. Her writing has appeared in l’Officiel Art, 6x6, and the Best American Experimental Poetry 2015 anthology. A founding editor of Troll Thread press, she’s also co-curated the Segue Reading Series and co-edited P-Queue and Slightly West literary journals. She is currently writing her PhD dissertation on “Poetics of Ubiquitization: Textual Conditions of/for the Ubiquitous Computing Age” in the Buffalo Poetics Program, designing and co-editing Troll Thread press, teaching writing at CUNY, and living in Brooklyn, NY.

Price: $12.00