Saturday, November 20, 2010

NSFW In San Francisco: Library Vixen

I've been intrigued lately by the several endeavors of a digital librarian in San Francisco who goes by the nom-de-blog, Library Vixen.  In addition to being a librarian and doing graduate work in information sciences, she is a photographer, writer, poet, blogger, and student of culture. 

Warning: Not Safe For Work.  I only recently ran across this term (I hear Obama's the President, too!) and immediately thought about people who work at nuclear power plants and missile silos, and in fireworks factories, or in mines--or on BP oil rigs.  They'll show you Not Safe For Work.

At any rate, one of LV's blogs--the one called Library Vixen, as it happens--is a sex blog, so read no further if you're likely to be put off for any reason.  The LV refers to the subject matter variously as sex, smut, porn.  What makes it different from other sites? I'm glad you asked. The LV deliberately blurs lines between autobiography and fiction, erotica and porn, art and reportage, private and public, love and desire, making art and living life.  And/or works with existing blurs. I like the project(s) she's undertaken, including this blog; she also photographs "fugitive art" in San Francisco, and she writes about cutting-edge library stuff.  She's smart.

One thing many feminists on the Left and many moralists (I didn't say moralizers) on the Right seem to agree on is that all porn is bad, although I guess first they agree that all porn is porn.  Yes, there's an exploitative, industrialized aspect to much if not most mass-produced porn, but that's not the LV's project.  Moreover, the boundaries of what's acceptable do shift even if they don't and shouldn't disappear altogether.  Remember that Joyce's Ulysses was once labeled "obscene."   I just happen to have gone to a Picasso exhibit today (they're renovating the museum in Paris, so they took the show on the road), and his art was once called junk, etc.

I do concede that it's easier for me to keep an open mind because I seem to have been born with one. For example, I liked "The Missouri Breaks," and when I told a chum that in graduate school, he looked at me as if I'd just thrown up on his lapel. (I hadn't, by the way.)  My tastes are so broad in music, I reckon they've ceased to be tastes.  If you suffer similarly you might like parts, some, or all of the LV's blog; or not. No worries.....

.....I like to write sonnets about the darnedest things--good for me, bad for the form (arguably).  So I wrote one for the LV but not about her, so do remember that the "LV" in the poem is not the real LV--heavens, don't blame my poem on her.   The poem is sadly far too tame for the LV, alas. Not to mention alack.

Sonnet For the Library Vixen


You always knew she kept more than the keys
To information. And you sensed the cool
And stern affect and skirts beyond the knees
Hid sexuality. Of course, only a fool
Would underestimate this vixen's power--
The holdings and the indices, the hair
Unpinned, a tryst after the aching hour
Of closing time, commingling truth and dare.
Imagine this: she keeps the glasses on
But nothing else. She shushes you, and then
Instructs you how to do the search--keyword:
Libido. Once--and then again--
Insatiable. Oh, no--it's not absurd.
Librarian-as-vixen: perfect sense.
Sheer force of smarts and lust: it is immense.


Copyright 2010 Hans Ostrom
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