Another one for Der Struwwelpeter heap

I was wearing fish-heads when we met.
You told me that nets were the socially acceptable thing.
I explained that nets are contrary to my taste.
You accused me of being contrary for effect.

I explained that being contrary was never an affectation
But first nature to my perception of shoulds and shouldn’ts.
You told me that I was extraordinary and interesting.
I was saddened as I've been stalked by the likes of you before.

I did predict that you would take to hiding behind telephone poles
Just to see what I'm wearing and who I'm with,
Try to take cuttings and sprout me from your head.
I did warn you about the dangers of concepts like 'interesting'.

You are just another idiot.
I am NOT quirky and charming.

I see that I will need to take out another restraining order again.


Ruela said...


Anonymous said...

I...I...uh, I'd love to see you wearing fish heads. Promise I won't follow...

Iryna Harpy said...

Thanks, R! People are such strange animals: they collect trophies; see magic when it doesn't exist; think that something of their sad obsession with 'image' is going to rub off onto them if they think someone else has got it.

Whatever did our species do before glamour magazines?

Iryna Harpy said...

Come on, Mr. D. Do you truly think I didn't see a glimpse of your lycra leopard-skin leggings and the faux mohawk from behind the elm at the end of my street?

I know you were disappointed at the fact that I was only wearing a whalebone corset, had a three day pubic growth begging to be shaven and were disappointed that I have barely enough booty to adorn a teenage boy. Still, you mentally dressed me in fish-heads.

Not for going shopping. Never for shopping. I reserve them for special occasions only.

Anonymous said...

"Still, you mentally dressed me in fish-heads."

I admit, I tried, but I'm so lacking in fashion sense...

I am challenged by something you said on your MySpace page; didn't ask it there 'cause I don't like to join stuff, and you mention it in this piece too, so: Why do you find the concept of 'interesting' so objectionable--unless of course it's what someone says about a piece of art because they don't care enough to tell you why they don't like it. I hate that.--? Otherwise, I'm flummoxed by that assertion. Eh?

C.J. Duffy said...

As for wearing fish heads, I think you will that good old Captain Beefheart did it first!

Excellent piece by the way.

Anonymous said...

Space Age Couple!
Why don't you just do that?!


Iryna Harpy said...

Mr. Duffy:
Captain Beefheart did so many things first in the public domain. Sigh. I wasn't consciously referencing him... but I'd have him or Mr. Zappa's bones (et al) without so much as a bell to set me off. So much time has passed, nevertheless my response to either of them has become Pavlovian. I am 'smitten kitten'! Do what you want with my mind, boys! Liquefy me!

Iryna Harpy said...

Ah, Mr. Decker, if only Captain Beefheart would have me I would have him in the blink of a satellite!

Yesterday, I responded to your request to elaborate/qualify/define my concept of 'interesting'. Yes, I suppose I've formed my own lexicology, as have the majority of us.

Fortuitously, without considering concepts such as 'save', the response was swallowed by cyberspace. I qualify this as being fortuitous in that I suspect that it ended up being a minor thesis rather than as succinct a definition as I could muster.

If you're still interested, I'll get back to qualifying this particular signifier/abstract shorthand ASAP. I do feel, however, that it is only fair to warn you that harpy Jargonese waffles on and on and on and... babelogue.

Iryna Harpy said...

PART the 1:
She clears her throat, ready to answer Mr. Decker.

Many, many years ago I discovered that there are people in this world who want to appear to be special, different - thereby 'interesting' - because they have no realistic sense of life beyond images of that which makes others seem special, different and therefore above the mass of the rest of us who are simply human beings inhabiting the earth within the confines of the same time.

When a person perceives other entities as abstract/image, they seem to like the idea of attaching themselves to images/abstractions they consider to be somehow exotic.

I've always been a bit 'weird' (in that I don't have a noticeable sense of the appropriate or a sense of embarrassment). I have dressed to amuse myself and/or make a statement about notions of that which is socially correct and incorrect. I speak my mind... usually very loudly in inappropriate venues. I can be witty, insightful and plain strange. I won't be modest: people find me 'attractive' in a multitude of ways.

I have come to despise those who want to attach themselves like parasites thinking that, by keeping my company, something of the exotic qualities they imagine me to have will rub off on them.

The fact is that I don't do things for effect as much as for my own amusement but, if it amuses others I like, so much the better. Fridays, for example, have long been my drag queen false eyelash days for several years. The whole faculty (including any students around on a Friday) come to my office to see what kind of impossible false eyelashes I'm wearing. Often, just to amuse myself, I don't wear any. Expectations do need to be kept in check.

Basically, I know I'm perceived as being a little bit of a crazy woman. That's fine. Everyone knows the lurid details of my history. I don't hide anything... and, in all seriousness, even from my own perspective I've led a dangerous, strange life. Being bipolar (I hate that new term: I'm a Manic Depressive), some of my behaviour could be attributed to this so-called 'condition'. Most of my 'quirky' (blah!) behaviour is just me.

Only a couple of years ago, I was invited to attend a party being held by a new acquaintance. At my age, I don't do much in the way of partying and - while I suspected that said person wanted me there as a performing seal - it was an opportunity to wear my new dominatrix boots and perhaps meet some new people with whom I could converse as human being to human being.

Iryna Harpy said...

Part the 2nd:
When I arrived, the room stopped dead. "This is Iryna, the woman I've told you about.", declared the carrion-muncher who'd invited me. I knew, from years of experience, that I was there for their entertainment. I instantly regressed to my student years, went straight to their liquor cabinet and pulled out a few bottles of spirits to take home (only had my huge handbag instead of an old trenchcoat to stuff them into); grabbed a plate and stacked in with horses-douvers and various lovely vegetarian treats. I even asked for some cling-wrap because I wanted to keep everything fresh and on the plate (and was accommodated), then bid everyone a good night because I could be bothered being a sideshow attraction... then left with everyone waving happy good-nights to me.

Even there, I hadn't betrayed this stupid woman's trust in my being exotic, strange and interesting. Even in being pissed off and behaving in a contrived rude manner, I hadn't put a 20cm-heeled foot wrong! Apparently, everyone was amused by my antics and I was the subject of conversation for the rest of the party!

This, Mr. Decker, is why I have such an aversion to being 'interesting'. This is why I am disgusted by being 'collected'. Early this year I had to to to court in order to have a restraining order taken out against a man who has literally been stalking me (on and off) since our university days.

I was also in a position where I should have taken out a restraining order against one of our 'bastions of the community' about twenty years ago. At that stage in Australia, you could only apply for a restraining order if you had been in a boyfriend/girlfriend/sexual relationship unless you could afford to take them to criminal court: the onus of proof as to harassment being on the plaintiff.

I promise you that I'm not delusional. I haven't encouraged such 'interest' in me. I just am as I am and feel that I have a right to be a little inappropriate; a little strange; a little unlike 'other' people without becoming a target for obsession because it isn't an affectation on my behalf.

Human beings have been socialised to be a repressed and sad lot. While I can feel compassion for their own insecurities and desire to be 'other', I don't believe I should be subject to the 'gaze'.

Anonymous said...

I see. This I did not expect(more on that in the email).

OK. No more about fish heads.

(I'm lying! Wait'll you get the email! ;-)

And thanks. I do appreciate it.

Iryna Harpy said...

I don't mind the additional references to fish heads. They are good for a bit of a slap and tickle around the thighs!

Anonymous said...

Great. Now I got that image in my head...


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