fat womon/renaissance (1978)

Title (as given to the record by the creator):  fat womon/renaissance
Date(s) of creation:  1978
Creator / author / publisher:  Sharon Bas Hannah
Location: Venice, CA US
Physical description:
16-page PDF of a poetry chapbook, and a film of the author reading one of the poems
Reference #: FatWomonRenaissance-1978
Links:  [ PDF ] [ Film ] [ Sharon Lia Robinson ] [ Sharonah Robinson Archives ]

http://www.sharonrobinson.org Sharon Lia Robinson shares her poem “whoever i am, i’m a fat womon”, written in 1976 in Venice, California. The film is from a rehearsal for the Radcliffe College Women’s Theater Festival, Cambridge, Massachusetts, in January, 1979. Film of Sharon by Lynne Conroy, January, 1979, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Edited for youtube in May, 2014, by Reverend Ed Evans, Sequim, Washington. Produced by Sharon Lia Robinson in May, 2014, (with screen titles and roses added then). The poem is in Sharon’s 1978 chapbook, “fat womon/renaissance” (poems by Sharon Bas Hannah/her penname at the time) and also in the 1983 anthology, Shadow on a Tightrope, (writings by women on fat oppression).

Chapbook transcript:

fat womon/renaissance 

poems by Sharon Bas Hannah 

fat womon/renaissance 

Sharon Bas Hannah 

“My name speaks trust it is ancient 
I am called fat womon” 

fat womon/renaissance
poems by Sharon Bas Hannah
copyright © 1978
by Nomad Press
P.O. Box 5621
Santa Monica, Calif. 90405
distributed by the
New Haven Fat Liberation Front
Box 342, New Haven, Ct. 06513
(please note that addresses are not current) 

aiming to share the spoils 

in egypt she was queen
oiled flesh amber
lifting round the moon 

in such temperate climates
she danced freely
her fortune sold
for bread and pearls
robes of satin
sashayed with crimson 

garlands before the waterfall 

here she arrives
shattered by a wound that has no ending
rough edges cover her body
with a spat on future 

living in a body that is spat on
she is a survivor of specialized murders
like the rough edges of an abyss
surrounding her future 

her thighs have been
the strange mirror
for a tryst of forsaken loves 

a cactus of frozen petals
from her luck in history 

more and more a longing:
to dance in the sweetness of flowering

to share the jewels
ageless ancient
of her existence. 

whoever i am i’m a fat womon 

the space of a silhouette
entering the space of a silence 

curvatures of silk
caverns flooding
welcome to a canyon: 

she’s a horsewomon
a tennis match
a champion runner 

she’s an artist womon
a desert womon
a dancer 

she’s a fat womon 

a fashion hall for dreams 

she’s a seeker your lover your sister
a dreamer a bohemian a thinker
your doctor she’s a healer
a psychic her stories will set you free 

herb lady
clothes designer
museum curator

a farmer 

a laughter’s echo
she’s a fat womon
a fat womon
a womon
bound to cut
this earth of the shadows inside her 

ballroom dancer

scene stealer wheeler dealer 

a leaper a runner a roller 

she’s a fat womon and she’s breathing 

the unknown womon
the womon who flavours her own song 

she’s a genius
she’s extraordinary
she’s an ordinary girl
she’s a fat womon 

cab driver copper welder tea drinker
street walker prude 

she’s a blues singer
a floutist a drummer 

a pin up girl
an ice skater
an icecream lover
a hindu 

a hiker a kite flyer
your shadow on the tightrope
she’s a fat womon 

your shadow
a brake mechanic
a concert cellist
a jazz saxaphonist
leaping on laughter’s echo the rhythms of
her life. 

poet playrite witch nun Jew 

bathing beauty
high heeled sexy tramp 

scorpio rising 
rubenesque pearl 

priestess potter shoemaker
hairstylist jeweler
thankyou. a furniture design. 

the womon procurred by money
the womon who is heard above laughter 

the womon who walks beyond
the streets of desire
the womon who has always walked these
with passion
the womon who has taken over the space of
her body
and the womon who has refused to conquer
that space. 

worker bohemian boss scholar aristocrat
roadrunner sailor weaver 

a fat girl
she’s a wallflower
socializer leader recluse wanderer 

an advertisement for love:
in lillian russell days
you’d follow her
her bare ankles
down the rivers muddy edge by foot
making love to her on your knees 

she’s a stallion a fleet of rivers. 

feel the womon
whose river bathes in mammoth luxury
tracing the moons
that are inside her 

she’s an aesthetic womon
she’s a plastic womon
she’s a junkie
a hobo
a housekeeper 

stuck up bitch
fast smiler
on welfare
or could be
she’s a fat womon 

the silent womon
with a mask around herself 

the womon who is challenged to a duel 

the womon who is tortured 

tied to the bed and raped 

the womon who always sleeps in black
the womon who never says “excuse me”
or smiles when she’s supposed to 

the womon whose existence is in question 

rough outrageous dull graceful ingenious 

exciting to be alive as being a fat womon 

she’s a deep sea diver
a windmill climber
a motorcycle mama
and a bicycle rider
she’s a fat womon

she’s a snow shoveler
a short stopper
a wind lover
a heart breaker 

certain truths
will make your heart beat fast
when you hear them from a fat womon 

you’ll grow pale
get chills
but she’s marching toward you
she’s here and she’s taking back her life. 

a tough springer
a dead ringer
watch the stones
they throw
her will turn
to looks of beauty 

the stones
they throw to works of art
will turn to looks of beauty. 

(The anthology of women’s writings on oppression Shadow on A Tightrope takes its title from this poem, which was also published in the book.) 

where am i

where am i?
in most places
yet i’m not supposed to be here at all.
in the eyes of a greek orange cat
i bellydance
in robins eggs and tree seasons
i meander. 


the moon is getting full
would Beth ever climb a shady tree
unchallenged we walk to the grocery
putting out a face in limelight
the opera singer neighbor
navels folks who made fun of your body
younger folks made fun of mine
lets go for a swim 

fat circus woman 

in a sense we’re all
fat ladies in the circus
our image sized up
too full too plush too contrary
won’t satisfy the cosmetic lie. 


I’d like to plunge through 
La Brea tar pits become a nun 
wear black all day so no one’d 

storm waves 

rain an open air intruder
violating the streets
allows her to go out in public
she orders pancakes
and dances down the beach
her hips in wild waves
an ocean few can see. 

uninvited space 

a great fat woman
hips swaying wide
claims to be an actress 

and you who see the film
might renounce old illusions
mistakes bad attractions
and you who know the score
recover your minds
to see you’ve been had 

like this woman
the smile your eyes once buried
those looks which murdered her mind 

like this woman
slashing contortions
shaming betrayals
shattering insults 

dissolving the blindness
dazzles you with her life. 

laughter bursts 

I something new
corning from the moon
who dances best here
can a fat woman have the part? 

II backstage a woman is leaping
through the whispers
public looks
diet sodas
toward center stage. 


your essence speaks
not yet refined
a secret language
we talk
chiseling out of silent stone
the jutted teething form
the silent sculpted eyes
finding concreteness in the aura of clay
your nearness
turning each minute
on its mask of dance
unmasks the form they tried
so many times
to bury. 

comets in the snow 

she has left a funeral of sunshine
where her bones were bleached by

she has cast her self away from warmth’s
illusion in a california sun 

in the streets of an east coast storm
her flesh can grasp fire 

in winter’s ice camouflage
an image walks
once scorned dismembered for a lifetime
with other women shadows in vaults of mist
unshriveled slowly opening 

our varied shapes our ancient patterns
a cosmos vision abducting the heavens 

as wintered ice reaches past times lost

secret fires
under ice of ice
are warmed luminous illumined alluring
joyful to display their self discoveries 

renaissance of womanhood
reclaimed in forms rubenesque,

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