The former director of Small Press Traffic, Bellamy currently teaches in private workshops and at San Francisco State University, where she works to challenge standard notions of gender politics and female sexuality in literature. In an article she wrote for the Village Voice last year, she condemned the "expectations of traditional prose," suggesting a form of writing that would "collapse the boundaries between literary forms and confound the categories of sexuality." And confound she does: Defying conventional rules of syntax and logic, the "cunt-ups," like Bellamy's earlier work -- including the epistolary novel The Letters of Mina Harker and Real, a collection of letters between Bellamy and the late author Sam D'Allesandro -- also dispense with genre. Here, letters become novels, fiction becomes nonfiction, and words become images.
More than an exercise in creative writing or mere X-rated text, Bellamy's poems are purposely perverse and provocative; they create what Bellamy calls a "work of nonlinear, fragmented sexuality." Almost every sentence contains the words "cock," "cunt," "pussy," or "asshole," yet the prose is surprisingly unarousing: It's more like playing doctor with the boy next door than bumping uglies with him. Non sequiturs and 180-degree turns pepper the verse, jarring the reader and forestalling titillation: "I'm fucking you. Then I boil your head. We are on. My cock, I think it wants to go camping." The undeniable tension between the explicit language and the startling imagery -- lines like "The first time my cock bloomed into you I got manic" -- give Bellamy's pieces vitality and urgency. Her gift lies in her ability to make the familiar (in this case, the tired love poem) new again.