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Archive for February, 2012
Alix Olson is a goddess, and her book, Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution, has changed my life and the way I look at poetry in every way. This poem is one of my favourites because it so accurately captures the struggle of a woman trying to make it in a “man’s world.”
So we’ve learned karate,
carry knives on our runs
wield words like weapons
prepare glares-like hidden guns,
we’ve deconstructed, demystified
tried retribution, remythologized,
we’ve been diagnosed with your diseases,
and still tried pleases, tried tears, tried Jesus.
You wanna see what it’s like down here
in this pool of someone else’s rules, well
jump in, take a swim or just sit in this pit
squishing bare toes in someone else’s bullshit,
we do it all the time.
Still we’ve tried being patient,
collected, calm, nice
trying praying, tried laying you
paying the price,
we’ve learned to scream
until our throats throbbed
what else do you do
while your cunt’s being robbed.
And they say “you’ve made progress, girls,
take a rest in-between”
but see while you’re resting,
someone else is progressing,
it’s what i’ve seen.
So i take back the whispers,
the cute mute act,
and the high pitched giggles, yeah
i take them back,
i won’t avoid your stare, evade your step,
nothing of that kind,
won’t help you help me victimize
the only space that’s mine.
See now I’d put my life on the line just to see them trip,
frown and say “funny love, i never saw you slip.”
i say, “my life on the line-”
you say “man, she’s jaded.”
i say, “maybe control’s overrated.”
like when we cackled, they called us witches,
now we don’t giggle they call us bitches
well I’m cacklin loud, taking it back, full of hiss,
cacklin loud, cackling proud now.
And they’re getting nervous with this kissing each other,
scratching their heads,
whats going on brother
and they yell feed your husband, stop feeding the fire!
and we just cackle,
we’re a fuckin witches choir.
and we sing “sharpen your knives, sharpen your daughters
steam up the mirrors, bake us some dreams,
cook up some riots, fry up some screams,
and when you’re sick of your skirts
slice open the seams
cause they want domestics,
theyll give us needle and thread
for patching their egos.
we’ll sow revolution instead.”
And i hear you saying
less bite, more bark
you can make your point without leaving such a mark.
stop your seething,
i think we got it, i think we’re even:”
subtle like a penis pounding its target?
subtle like your hissing from across the street?
subtle like the binding on my sisters’ feet?
subtle like her belly raped with his semen,
draped in his fuck, funny,
doesn’t seem even.
See, sometimes anger’s subtle, stocked in metaphor
full of finesse and dressed in allure
yes, sometimes anger’s subtle, less rage than sad
leaking slow through spigots you didn’t know you had.
and sometimes it’s just
you see, and to me,
That’s poetry too.