Adipose Glose by Andrea Scott
2020 CBC Poetry Prize shortlist
Andrea Scott has made the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize shortlist for Adipose Glose.
You can read Adipose Glose below.
You know you need a new one when you're bored
or overcome or underwhelmed, or sad,
when you can feel the jangles of your age;
when you have matters weighing on your mind
- The Lipstick Effect by Alexandra Oliver
This body gives and grinds for you. There were the babies —
a trio and a try at another — and that red brick path you shaped out back
hinging at your thickening waist. This body can bowl a strike, pick
its slippery way around a timestep of Sandpipers. Bolt for a bleeding boy.
But your brain bangs out a heavy beat about the container it's in.
You know it's not gross, mais grosse — potential energy that's stored.
This body can finger-twirl through a tight parade, tap-dance itself into naps
and still you gather its parts into dark, sorry sacks.
It's the narrative you can't carry, or afford.
You know you need a new one. You're bored
of your own tales of the coaches and folks
their measured looks — weekly weigh-ins.
It's enough to ground a growing girl
with Diet Cokes, diuretics, naked rice cakes.
Fat shamed, sure, but kid, you're the grownup now.
Yesterday's leaders, the garbage feeders you had,
blurted bulbous words from flapping lips: liposuction, adipose
endomorph. Muscle memory chews on the leftovers.
It's a Twinkie snack that spikes and slumps until you're mad
or overcome or underwhelmed, or sad.
The kids today show off your old curves
in their high-waisted Mom jeans — all belly pooch, thumbs slung
in belt loops, and your Madonna is their Lizzo
urging tempo you've contained, and a campaign for
thick thighs. Hungry eyes, you observe
seeing lots to gain from teen age
stones to shed at this age — bathroom scales, carnival mirrors
lycra-veiled princess tales. All wobble and warp.
Slip into something more. Be comfortable. You're at the stage
when you can. Feel the jiggles and jangles of your age.
Roll around in this bittersweet apple, and the genes of your mother
and hers. Hypo thyroid, hyper bladder, it balances the ever-loving load for you.
The lake swimming, milk-jug slinging, earth digging
that flight from the man in the night. And the fight —
tug o' war — with undertow, some vertigo, stage fright. You know
with your doughy cradling arms, and boxy quads, defined
this body has more in its stores. It could fill right up
digest itself. Outgrow disgust. This body — you
might imagine girth and gifts combined
when you have matters weighing on your mind.
- Conversations with Niton, Have you ever fallen in love with a day by Selina Boan
- alley/bird/ally by Hiromi Goto
- Tickling the Scar by Matthew Hollett
- Learning to Count by Emily Riddle
About Andrea Scott
Andrea Scott is a writer and educator. She spent 20 years editing others' work before sitting down to write her own in 2020. Her creative nonfiction was recently included in a storytelling event hosted by The Flame, and her poetry was a finalist for the Malahat Review's 2020 Far Horizons Award for Poetry. Raised in Regina by an art-loving nurse and a poet/geologist, Andrea lives with her family in Victoria.
The poem's source of inspiration
"The League of Canadian Poets shared Alexandra Oliver's The Lipstick Effect in its Poetry Pause in April. The poem arrived in my inbox during an early morning Zoom writing session, and Oliver's words resonated. I'd been struggling with a creative nonfiction piece about body image, resisting the temptation to tie the thing up with a bow and declare, 'It's all great. I love my body now, folks.'
I told a story that seeks acceptance, but doesn't spin a body-positive fairy tale.
"I borrowed four of Oliver's grounding lines to structure a glose/glosa. Then, following the steady self-talk in her piece, I told a story that seeks acceptance, but doesn't spin a body-positive fairy tale."
The winner of the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, have their work published on CBC Books and attend a two-week writing residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity. Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and have their work published on CBC Books.