Lara Mimosa Montes

The sadistic revolving door of femininity that is the film Chinese Roulette, directed by the German auteur, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, first prompted this poem. I remember writing it beside Gilles Deleuze’s book on masochism, Coldness and Cruelty, while listening (on repeat) to The Flamingos’ “I Only Have Eyes For You”—it was a very self-indulgent time.

 

 

Margit Carstensen in Chinese Roulette, dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1976

Margit Carstensen in Chinese Roulette, dir. Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1976

 

***

 

The Charm of Chinese Roulette

is its icy nudes, greys, and blues

Those colors  nude
grey and grey-blue
are like masochism

and in that way they are just
like this song a song which is
ideally suited for women who prefer bourbon

I do as you ought to
do as these women do
and ask yourself why?

Go ahead, ask yourself—
Be Modern or Suffer
if it yields nothing, cunt, standby

because to be a woman is to be patient
but if you are a woman who can afford silk
suede, or, say, bourbon you may know that
some questions will be as unknowable

to you as your mother’s maiden name
drunk or not you know better than to ask
your mother or your muse Margit why

***

Lara Mimosa Montes is a writer based in Minneapolis and New York. Her poems and essays have appeared in FenceTriple CanopyPoor ClaudiaThe FanzineBOMBrecaps, and elsewhere. She currently teaches feminist and queer theory at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.