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J BOX 1306


Vol. V No. 2 Spring 1976

Statement of Editorial Policy

The editorial board of The Noiseless Spider agrees with
Henry Miller that the pangs of birth relate not to the body but
to the spirit. It was demanded of us to know love, experience
union and communion, and thus achieve liberation from the
wheel of life and death. But we have chosen to remain this side
of Paradise and to create through art the illusory substance of
our dreams. In a profound sense we are forever delaying the
act. We flirt with destiny and lull ourselves to sleep with myth.
We die in the throes of our own tragic legends, like spiders
caught in our own web.


At its final meeting, the editorial board of THE NOISELESS SPIDER de-
cided unanimously to split the $100.00 prize which had been announced in its Fall
75 issue. A prize of $50.00 was awarded to the best entry submitted by a UNH
student; another prize of $50.00 was awarded to the best item received by a
non-student. The student prize-winning entry, a poem entitled "Child's Memorj'
(World War ID" by Ms. Eleni Fourtouni of the Division of Ciiminal Justice, will
be found on page 24 of this special Women's Issue. The non-student award goes
to Ms. Michelle Carey's prose piece, "Caitlin," which is on page 29. The editors
are also awarding an Honorable Mention to Michael Petriccione's piece on
Patty Hearst (page 27), which was a strong runner-up in the contest.

Published by the English Club of the University of New Haven
® 1976 The Noiseless Spider


A Conversation with Two Poets
Women As Poets and Women

Mrs. Maclntire


To Robert Rauschenberg

High Tide


The Teacher

Modern Miracles


New Haven

Two Prose Poems

Greek Peasant Women (Photos)

Excerpt from a Diary

Child's Memory (World War H)


The New Americans:

Reflections on Patty Hearst


At the Sea's Edge

Caitlin Remembered

on the Subject of

Aft Women


Paul 0. Williams


Sally Wallian


Sally Wallian


Sally Wallian


Lili Bita


June M. Carrier


Dorothy Rawlins






Peter Moore


Elke Geiger


Sally Taylor


Eleni Fourtouni


Eleni Fourtouni


Michael Petriccione


Eleanor Roppo


Elia V. Chepaitis


Michelle Carey


Cover Design

Phyllis Ceccolini


dedicated to


novelist, diarist, friend of the Women's Movement —

and to six gifted women without whose zeal and resourcefulness
this special issue devoted entirely to writings by and about
women could never have seen the light:




"Why does the spider thicken her iveb in one place and slacken
it in another? Why does she use now one kind of knot, now an-
other, unless she possesses thought, deliberation, and the power of
inference?" — MONTAIGNE in "Apology for Raimoiul Sebond".


P. 0. BOX not?




On October 20, 1975, the English Club sponsored a Rimbaud
Day poetry reading on the campus of the University of New
Haven. The two invited poets who read from their own works at
this reading were Katerina Angheldki-Rooke and Mike
Parker. Mike Parker is a former UNH student who now lives
iyi Boiceville, New York. He travels all over the United States,
troubadour-style, giving readings and spreading the good word.
Katerina Angheldki-Rooke, a Greek poet who currently com-
mutes between Athens and the island of Hydra, is the author of
three volumes of poems and is at work on a big anthology of
contemporary American poetry which she herself is translating
into Modem Greek. After their exciting joint reading before
several enthusiastically responsive UNH groups, the two poets
joined members of the English Club for the follcnmng conversa-

SPIDER: Katerina, you come out of a culture which \s fiercely
chauvinistic. From Homer to Kazantzakis, from Pericles to
Papadhopoulos, one finds a consistent pattern of attitudes de-
rogatory to women among Greeks. How do you feel about being
a poet ayid a woman in a culture like that?

ANGHELAKI-ROOKE: Well, as I discovered much later in
my life — because it seems at the beginning of my life I had a
kind of benign innocence, it seems I was not at all aware — I was
simply not supposed to
run the race. But the
older I get the more I be-
come aware of this abso-
lute wall! One very small
indication, of course —
which became very signif-
cant later — is that this
term "poetess" now of-
fends me so much. One
J T 1- 1 i.1 ^ T Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke attending

day I discovered that I ^ ^^^^^^^ ^f ^^e Internation Writers-
started feeling great rage workshop at the University of Iowa.

against this word, I was feeling absolutely diminished when I
was called a "poetess." I was a poet, and if you want to make a
distinction I'm a woman poet! A lot of things are changing in
Greece and this is changing, too. But very, very slowly. I hap-
pen to live a life which is a bit idiosyncratic, if you would like to
call it that, and in a way I overlook a lot of the problems that I
should have looked into much more thoroughly. One of the rea-
sons is that I lived most of my youth abroad. This creates a lot
of problems for me. My male friends in Greece often say: "I
can't imagine anyone marrying you." And I answer: "Right!"
(Laughter) That's why I married a foreigner . . .

SPIDER: The men dominate the scene pretty much in the
literary politics of Greece, don't they? It's pretty much under
the control of men and it's men poets who —

ANGHELAKI-ROOKE: Yes, it's a man's world. Now there
are the beginnings of a breakthrough — and, of course, we've
always had very good women poets, but we were always
considered — ^how shall I say? — marginal. And —

SPIDER: But Sappho was hardly considered marginal, was

ANGHELAKI-ROOKE: Well, she's different. Besides, I'm
pretty old but not old enough to remember how things were in
Sappho's time! The point is the good thing about the non-
awareness of the problem is that we don't have so much this
division when it comes to literary works, you know. We don't
have all this stress — If a woman ever makes it through, she
really makes it through in a terribly competitive man's world. I
mean, the whole feminist movement is so much backward there
that no one would ever think of establishing herself as a woman
poet because of the feminist movement, on the momentum of
the feminist movement. In a way, women that are established
as poets or poetesses — whatever it is — are the women that re-
ally competed with men. They're not — there's noihmg provided
for a separate field of action, you know. So when there's an
opening in an anthology now and you see a good number of
women poets, these are women who went through a lot in order
to "certify" themselves. But not so much as women, as the
stress is now in America, but as — in the essence of their value,


you know? As poets. We write po^-fny, we want to write poetry.
Forget the rest! We don't want to be looked at as women and
then be told that that gives us the right to write poetry. Forget
that! I can name five or six women who really made it in the
field. But, of course, when you go to their private lives, you see
that their private lives are more or less untouched. They go on
being mothers, being — ^you know — fulfilling the roles that
they're "supposed" to be fulfilling. And this creates horrible
schizophrenia, of course . . .

SPIDER: Mike, how do you see the picture here in America?
Is it a bit different?

ANGHELAKI-ROOKE: It's better, probably . . .

PARKER: I guess the woman poets are pretty oppressed in
America, too, I think — for sure. Women are oppressed, periodl
in America. I think — like, male culture is — maybe the whole
machismo thing is very strong in Europe and in Greece, but it's
real strong here, too, and women poets have been fucked over
for a long time without ever — If you go almost anywhere and
look over the course structures in the schools and colleges and
see who's being taught, open up anthologies — huh? They're not
exactly filled with women
poets. And the women
poets that are there are
always poets that have
been accepted already in
the literary world. Like,
really radical women poets
still have a hard time
here, I think — Robin Mor-
gan, people like that, you
don't find them in the an-
thologies. Marge Piercy —
she's just becoming ac-
cepted now. It's a whole
separate thing.

Mike Parker at his cabin in Boiceville, N.Y.

SPIDER: How do you look at change, Mike? How do you view
the prospects for change in these matters? How do you feel
these attitudes of resistance to the unfamiliar role of women as

literary artifits of consequence can be altered?

PARKER: Well, the women are just taking it. It's not — Men
aren't really going to change anything themselvesl It's just that
women are doing anything they want to do right now. It's not
up to the men to really be in control of it any more, hopefully.
But it is everywhere, this new consciousness among women.

SPIDER: You feel women have taken the initiative —

PARKER: How can men have the gall to evaluate women
poets. . . ?

SPIDER: You feel they're over-extending themselves when-
ever they do that? But then how can the rest of those who read
poetry and try to live by the truths of poetry open themselves
up to this new kind of awareness of themselves which women
are desperately trying to give to their lives — and to their
writings about those lives? What can men do to get in touch,

PARKER: I don't know what they would do. I think it'd be
good if men could begin to get in touch with the feminine inside
themselves and begin to deal with their owti conditioning as
white men in this culture, because it's been done to every single
one of us and no one of us is exempt and we've all fucked up our
women and continue to do it, whether we realize it or not, a
whole lot. So that's something to think about. Think less about
poetry and think more about that, w^e'd produce a whole other
kind of poetry . . ,

SPIDER: About persons?

PARKER: Uh-huh. I think so.

SPIDER: You seem to believe, as Walt Whitman believed,
that we've got to have great persons before we can have great
poets. Katerina, how do you respond to this — this idea of men
cultivating the feminine in themselves?

ANGHELAKI-ROOKE: I think it's very well put. And the
other side of the same coin would be, for me, for women to go on
with the struggle while not coming to the point of hating men.
For me, this is vertj important. It probably has to do with my

own psychology, I know. Because I love to see these two ele-
ments in action together. I love the things that women have to
offer in this world and I love the things men have to offer. And
when I see the feminist movement, here in America, taking at
times the turn of hate — which, on the other hand, I fully under-
stand because it's like any oppressed gi'oup of people who go to
the other extreme — and I can understand that they can go to
the other extreme — but for me this has to come to an end.
Because if the condition for your survival is to hate and to
isolate yourself from your counterpart, the source of your own
completion — because a man is a source of completion still, the
two elements are absolutely necessary to each other — then
everything's lost! You cannot just ideologically "validate" the
one more than the other. For me, they are equal forces of a
different "feeling" — but the same thing, really. So you cannot gfo
on hating in order to save yourselves! You cannot go on hating
the source of your own completion as a human being . . .

SPIDER: Is there such a thing, Katerina, as a "feminine imag-
ination"? Does a poem written by a woman have to be different
from a poem written by a man? Should it be different?

ANGHELAKI-ROOKE: To my mind, no. But I believe that
there is a lot of art that is being done now that, because of all
kinds of social and political reactions, for me "smells" of the
female, which I don't like! The "smell" of the female, even when
those who cultivate it have every right to express themselves
like that, for me produces bad art. Because there's no
yiaturalness in it, and this kind of hidden complaint is some-
thing that I loathe in women. I say: ''Revolt, don't complain!"

PARKER: Complaining, I think, is just a first step. First of
all, it's not just poetry that's involved here but everything in
life. If you look at ew erythmg carefully , you see that everything
is so totally out of balance. Men are in total control. All the
power, all the weapons, all the wars, and all the shit that's come
down on everybody! So it's not like things are naturally in a
state of balance. These two "elements" that you like to see in
action together, Katerina, are totally out of whack at the mo-
ment because you have half the human race — ^the women —
who've been oppressed for thousands of years by this other half
who're in this total power I So all that anger and all that rage are

necessary. I think Marge Piercy's work is full of rage. It's real
different than men's poetry. It doesn't need men. She doesn't
say she needs men, she doesn't admit any such thing. What
she's doing is — she's enraged \ It's cleansing when you read
poetry like that. Because the two elements are just totally out
of whack right now. There's no "balance" right now, Katerina.
Men are still oppressors! It's not like the revolution's been won
and is over. Rage is just beginning. Whole cultures haven't been
touched by rage yet. It's half the world! There's going to have
to be lots more rage, / think, lots more. (Longr pause) Half the
world, man!

SPIDER: Katerina, what you were saying about women poets
a while ago — you said some of the women poets you've been
reading "smell" of the female! Do you mean to imply that in
your opinion they are too submissive, that they're giving in to
the system and not standing up for the movement at all?

ANGHELAKI-ROOKE: No, I meant it exactly the way I said
it. I meant in terms of complaint. This kind of mean way — and
I'm Sony, I should have thought of it before but I have no
examples in American poetry. I have a lot in Greek poetry. But
I can't think of any Americans right now. Well, for example,
even Robin Morgan to me — she's really — I mean, she's mostly
rage, but it's this kind of sickening rage which has no generos-
ity! I mean, for me this poem which she wrote on Ted
Hughes — it's really too much . I was thinking about it for days
after I first read it. On the one hand, I loathed it because I
couldn't think that in any open world of generosity and kindness
there could possibly exist such lack of understanding! How could
you take this one narrow view and attack a human being and,
really, put this awful burden on his shoulders? He's not a
criminal, Ted Hughes! But on the other hand, I "see" Morgan's
point. I see how Hughes became a symbol for her. And this is
the kind of thing that I can understand in a transitional period
like our own. I understand rage in a transitional period and I'm
all/or it. And sometimes I'm absolutely in it. But I cannot see
that as a goal. The goal is -a fusion. The goal should be a har-
monious crea^/o/? — out of all these taboos, out of all this shit that
we've been eating for centuries . . .

SPIDER: Some of that is beginning to happen — not publicly.


perhaps. But a lot of it is happening in the underground of
human Hfe, so to speak. A lot of people are starting to have this
feeling of fusion, this unity — just like we're gathered here }wiv.
Perhaps this is where there is truly hope for the resumption of
the human dialectic, which any form of oppression interrupts —

ANGHELAKI-ROOKE: But I don't think it's really feasible
yet. I think it's still early to tell —

PARKER: No, I think things aren't really separate yet! Sep-
aration hasn't really begun yet — in a way. Somebody like Sylvia


PARKER: — that poem against Ted Hughes, remember? Syl-
via became totally fucked over. This great writer who was to-
tally locked in the burden of being a mother and being a wife
— and, like, Sylvia's attack on Ted Hughes is not an attack on
just men. The role is being attacked.

ANGHELAKI-ROOKE: Exactly, that's what I said!

SPIDER: But Sylvia Plath's rage turned out to be tragically
self-destructive, didn't it? When you come up against rage of
that magnitude, is it possible to harness it creatively? Is it pos-
sible to control it in such a way as to make self-transformation
and self-realization the necessary consequence? Or isn't more
likely to unleash mere destructiveness? There's nothing inher-
ently "right" — or "magical" — about rage, is there? In fact,
there's a painfully fine line between rage and mere hatred — ^the
kind of hatred that destroys —

ANGHELAKI-ROOKE: But at this moment in history we re-
ally can't avoid it —

PARKER: It wasn't herself that destroyed Sylvia Plath! It
was her unwillingness to succumb to some psychological change.
This whole thing around her, this whole society press-
ing in on her — and she's this very aware human being, and she
can't hack it. Because there's no sisterhood back in 1962. Here's
this woman who's all alone and cut off. The poets that are
writin' now are very much sisters. Things have changed, some-
what . . .

SPIDER: You're suggesting — if we understand you right,
Mike — that her rage alone wasn't a powerful enough thing to
sustain her through that period —

PARKER: She was alone. If she were alive today, she would
go to a consciousness-raising group — she would have a new
group of friends, she would be part of a new culture. Back then
she was cut off and she was doing bad drugs, she was doing a lot
of downs, she was involved with psychiatrists. She was messed
up. She was trapped.

ANGHELAKI-ROOKE: Don't you think that her condition
had something to do with the fact that she was married to Ted
Hughes, who is an extremely good poet himself? Don't you
think —

PARKER: I think she would have felt this way if she'd been
married to anybody \

ANGHELAKI-ROOKE: But a woman of genius like Sylvia
Plath has simply got to be distinguished from some other
housewife who is suffering from feelings of oppression, don't you
think? This crucial fact of a very worthy woman poet living with
a very worthy man poet — don't you think that's enough to blow
anyone's mind?

PARKER: No! No! I live with good poets — a whole bunch of
'em! No, I don't think it's that. I think it was the —

ANGHELAKI-ROOKE: But, Mike, you're looking at the
whole thing from the point of view of NOW I Now our attitudes
are changing, somewhat, and we've created conditions that are
less suffocating for the sort of person Sylvia Plath was. But in
those days the simple fact of having to confront a life where
each one had to play the male/female role in a family, while both
of them were just seething with the urgencies of their respec-
tive creative drives . . .it must have been aicful at times for
both of them! You know, I really like both of them — I think Ted
Hughes is a fantastic poet and I think Sylvia Plath is a fantastic
poet. I mean, it's rare because usually in a creative couple like
that the one is down here and the other is way up there!

PARKER: Fantastic poets could be oppressive husbands at


the same time, though. That's the treacherousness of the role.
That's what makes it so subtly destructive. You could be all
these things and you could be held up in the culture, and then
you go home and your wife's a gi'eat poet too — except she does
the shoppin', she does the laundry. Huh? It's the roles that have
to be destroyed. People are just products of the roles. Get rid of
the roles and people could be different, hopefully.

ANGHELAKI-ROOKE: Yes. Sure, that's true. ( pause)
That's very true.

SPIDER: That's related to something we wanted to ask you
about. Would you think that after someone, man or
woman — let's say at peak condition — let's say it had worked its
way down into the depths of their psyches, all this societal stuff
that had messed them up in the beginning, OK? — suppose you
get back to "ground zero." Then would you think men's and
women's writings would still be different — in a dialectical oppo-
site? Or would you think then they'd tend to be saying the same

ANGHELAKI-ROOKE: They would be saying the same thing
... in a dijf event way , as a lot of languages say the same things
in a different way, as autumn says the same thing in a different
way than winter! This is the big thing that I've been trying to
understand all my life. I really think the difference is qualita-
tive, but there's no value in it. It's like comparing carrots with
sunflowers. There's no value in that. You cannot say carrots are
"worse" than sunflowers, can you? Theii' mechanism is different.
That'? the law of life. All things "say" the same thing! They all
say we're living and we're dying. They all say: "God, I can't take
it anymore!" and they all say: "God, I'll try to take it." "I can't
go on, I must go on." "I'll never get there, I'm sure to get
there." They all say the same thing. But the difference is — like
the way the body is different, like the way each of us breathes is
different. But we have to acknowledge difference, and not sim-
ply put value judgments on mere differences. For this reason, I
agree with you about the dishonesty of so much of the role-
playing that's going on, Mike. I think role-playing must break
down, to a great extent — ^the rigidity of role-playing, anyway.
But even here I agree with you only ivith a qualification. I'm

afraid once all roles disappear, we'll all be "together" — true
enough. But I think also there's the danger that we're going to
have fewer and fewer genuine individuals. Genuine individual-
ity, paradoxically, is based on the willingness to play a role, you
see — different, exciting, rebellious, risky roles! And I'm afraid
in the process of aiming for a kind of social and sexual parity
between men and women, we will lose some of that individuality
which is rooted in the acceptance of polarity. And in the accep-
tance of thensA:s of polarity!

— The other participants in this
conversation, recorded on the
UHN campus, were Dom Anthony
and Bert Mathieu.

Mrs. Maclntire

Down the rain-splashed sidewalk,
passing the dropped daffodils,
the fluffed and shuddering robins,
the still leafless maples, washless lines,
passed by swishing cars
bearing the window-dimmed children,
yellow and black-coated, to school,
under her red-domed golf umbrella,
Mrs. Maclntire sees the first
undaunted dandelion blooms,
and she herself pauses, holds up
her own wide face fully to the rain.

— Paul 0. Williams


How come
when you're lonely
all the people
on the streets
are couples
holding hands
and hugging?

How come?

And whyisit

that tonight

of all nights

my roomate


his old lady

here and

fucks her

ears off


on the other side

of my wall?


To Robert Rauschenberg

I fell in love
with your picture

Not the you

that hangs

in galleries


the you that

wore a fur parka




and set your mouth in a serious line.

Were you


not to smile?

High tide


liquid sunshine

washes us

holds us

hushed and


for suspended


noted only

by the tide.

— Sally Wallian



The night ravensmooth
glides between us

Dreams pull us by the hair

Our bodies hang
Hke stripped skins
in a tannery

A guillotine
beheads the day
with a rusty shriek:

"Lies, lies, compromise!"

Women with stormclouds
pass under doorways

whores covered with cigarette bums
slip foetuses through the transom

I open my palm

and am alone in the dark

your breathing is like

the pulse

of an incorruptibly distant star

We are someone else

Final divorces

are granted at night

Lili Bita


The Teacher

Baby bom with skin of black


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