What is the best way to be a feminist? What is the best way to be a poet, a musician, or a painter? As a woman, what is the best way to be a friend to other women?
The very idea that these water marks of success exist, goes against the nature of being biased and beautifully flawed humans who have been formed and informed by our lived experiences. Humans do not fit into neatly framed boxes. We are messy, shape-shifters--we resist social constructs and sometimes we resist our very definitions of ourselves.
Bashaar employs a colloquial cadence to bring the reader into a conversation about defining oneself outside of these relationships/schools of thought and then in terms of them.
This isn't some sisterhood bullshit, some wannabe
salvation for Eve, some half-assed claim that before
god grew a cock there was no war, because I know
there is violence in all of us--don't try to tell me
I wouldn't slice a thing open to watch it die
I would be remiss if I didn't call attention to one of the most noteworthy, non-craft aspects of this book: it has been made available, for free, for anyone to download, print out and keep forever. Bashaar and Agape Editions understand that art is important and granting access to arts is a responsibility that falls, partially, on the artist. Artists can circumvent the broad cuts to funding in public institutions. Publishers can provide access to under-served groups. We all can foster a culture that elevates the arts and humanities to a central space.
We may not know the best way to be a feminist or a poet, but I think we are pretty damn close to finding the best way to be an artist and citizen when we give our labor to feed the culture's need for connection through art.