Natural History Rape Museum by Danielle Pafunda
Bloof Books, 2002
The fifth poetry collection by Danielle Pafunda, Natural History Rape Museum centers around an unnamed speaker and her intimate/adversary, the fuckwad, in pieces interrupted (or violated) by their boxed-in titles. Further interrupting this narrative are a prose sequence and a menagerie of objects/animals/elements borne as totems by the speaker — a lump of coal, a stingray, a cord of wood, a wolf spider, an earthworm, the fly. The volume culminates in four linked essays on the subject of pain: The Bid for Pain, The Manner in Which Pain Becomes Me, Pain Beak-Pecks a Figurine, and Extraterrestrial Painsake.
Exploring the more grotesque branches of the Gurlesque aesthetic, in Natural History Rape Museum Pafunda ventriloquizes through the unstable identities of her characters to create creepy tableaux that resemble — despite their vivid, violent excesses — the world we know.