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April 30, 2016

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A meditation on feminist ideals after visiting “Killer Heels” at the Currier Gallery

 

Small, blue eyes watch

Mothers in their vanity glass

Glide lipstick across their mouths and

When alone their tiny feet

Prance in front of full-view

Reflections in platform

Shoes -corked in 70’s

Glamour. She dreams

Of growing up

Into the rites of passage

That define and condemn

Her.

 

The dichotomy of feminism –

Trained as we grow to love

And to hate the adornments

 

Of women. Am I weak

Because I will not go into public

Without mascara?

 

Do torturous stilletos

On the dance floor

Make me silly

 

And shallow?

Red shoe spikes

And jewels and

Power.

 

 

 

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April 27, 2016

 

Every once in a while

You have to turn that knob

And let the pressure

That’s been heating your house,

 

Banging your pipes, escape

Into the ether of the room.

Ghosts dancing

In the dusty sunlight.

 

If not you, who will?

The compulsion  becomes too much,

And the knocking commences.

The radiators are less efficient

And wail like a sorrowful woman

in the night. Give me

What I need, she moans.

 

It will grab you

Out of the best sleep.

It will torment you

As you write poetry

 

In your journal, as

The sun streams in,

And the flowers wilt

Under the surprise

Frost of last night.

 

This is Poem #67 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I decided for one year to wake mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee on each day that I didn’t teach. I was working part-time then, so in the end I wrote 241 poems.  These are second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

April 12, 2016

 

We often work to squelch

The unpleasant reminders.

Life is not always

Happy, nor is it meant

To be. But the Soma-

 

Nation wants us all

To feel good. She

Says, however, “Nourish

 

Your grief. Your guilt.

Give plant food to Melancholia,

 

The goddess of all sadness.

Let her grow into

The Amazonian Princess,

 

To run by  the river,

Nuzzle your short shoulder,

Hold your hand at the funeral.”

 

When she is full grown,

Do not chop her down,

Scythe in grasp, wheat

Tumbling over. Invite

Her to live in the guest house.

Next to the pool, sipping

Sangria and smoking clove cigarettes.

 

This is Poem #58 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I decided for one year to wake mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee on each day that I didn’t teach. I was working part-time then, so in the end I wrote 241 poems.  These are second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

This particular poem is part of a series inspired by my visit to The International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine. Some days I’d just point to a location on the museum map, and write from there.

 

April 9, 2016

 

We are still working

Hard – filing away

The shackles of Patriarchy –

 

Wondering where to drop

Them without littering

The world. But if

We talk too loudly,

 

And point it out, well,

We are whining and complaining;

Angry feminists all.

 

Once Helen Keller

Wrote a story and it

All was a rehash

Of something she had

Already read with her hands.

 

I wonder,

Is everything we

Do under a paper doll

Shadow of men.

 

This is poem #56 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I decided for one year to wake mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee on each day that I didn’t teach. I was working part-time then, so in the end I wrote 241 poems.  These are second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

relentlessly-gay

I am sure many of you have seen the resurgence of a two-year old letter making its way around social media in which a queer individual is accused of decorating her yard in a “relentlessly gay” fashion. Regardless of the legitimacy of this viral post, it can serve as a reminder of the ignorance and prejudice that is crawling out of hiding in the current political climate. Yesterday’s Republican confirmation of an unqualified, sexist, racist, and homophobic person  to our Supreme Court is a stark reminder of this. I am sure I am not the only person who felt physically ill when the notification popped up on their phone’s screen yesterday.

This is not, however, the time to sit back and give up. What we are experiencing is the backlash by the threatened, privileged group who have been in power for too long. It is evidence of the fear they have about the progress the rest of us have made. How else can we explain away the fact that they have sunk so low?

They are reacting to the eight glorious years of progress we have made by attempting to push women back into the kitchen, queer people back into the closet, and people of color to the back of the bus. We all must RESIST this effort and we must RESIST it TOGETHER as one group of relentlessly gay, femi-nazi, black panthers. There are more of us than there are of them, especially when we factor in all of our white, straight male allies.

Every morning as you drink your coffee, apply your eyeliner, lace up your Doc Martens, crank up Public Enemy or Ani as you prepare to continue to fight.  We cannot let the hope we had for two presidential terms die. We have to dust it off, hold it up, and #resist.

After the third beer

The truth trips

Telling off his tongue.

 

He does a good job

Of masking contempt

Otherwise, but booze

 

Bring out the illogical

And unlock what he

Truly thinks. The way

 

To imagine her slunk

In a corner, cowering

At all he’s done

 

To rescue

Inferior her.

His willingness to take

 

On a fallen woman

A superman cape

His ego can wear

 

Around the other abuses.

“Get back down into

Yourself” he commands,

 

Indirectly, of course,

With words not chosen

But hurled forth

 

From the grey matter

Where they’ve drunk

Cocktails together for decades.

 

This is Poem #33 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I decided for one year to wake mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee on each day that I didn’t teach. I was working part-time then, so in the end I wrote 241 poems.  These are second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

It’s all in the eyebrows.

Do they tilt up and out,

Or create raised rainbows

 

Above each watery eye?

The way they inch

Into each other – a crevasse

 

of worry deep between.

Draw them second, after

The circle of the face, the bulbs

 

For ears. Paint them on like

Snake-lady, who shaved

Hers away and drew them on

Each morning with

An eyeliner pencil,

 

In the days before

Benefit Brow Bars

And string art

 

Amputations at the mall. Without

Them a naked countenance,

No means to say

 

(without words)

 

I want. I lack.

I love.

 

This is Poem #27 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I decided for one year to wake mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee on each day that I didn’t teach. I was working part-time then, so in the end I wrote 241 poems.  These are second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

I appreciate your feedback as these poems are not “finished,” and I intend to go back into many of them in the future.

In English class

I teach two African

Girls who’ve experienced

 

Such trauma in their

Home country, they have

No memories of their childhoods.

 

It’s interesting that

Michonne wields a machette

as her weapon of choice

and skill

and grace.

 

How she dances

With her implement

of destruction

 

The beautiful beheadings

of zombies.

 

She spins. Her powerful

Arms, her smooth

And perfect skin,

 

A foil to the failing,

Falling, pallid

zombie flesh.

How could you allow

Yourself to become

Such a caricature

 

Of a human being –

Being nasty and mean

And letting your

 

Pointed face lead?

Under your tall, thin

Frame, flowers die.

 

But once removed –

The sun can shine

And new buds  –

 

Seeds planted

 

Before your shadow

Came – will push up

Through the loam

 

And years of compost,

Healthy, revived

In spring – to stretch

 

Green, vibrant, joyful.

Blonde Bitch, your

Reign of terror

 

Over this garden

Is over. You’re

The invasive species

 

Sprayed with Round-up.

Eradication makes room

for what is meant to be.

 

This is Poem #15 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. Starting in mid-January 2016, I decided for one year to wake mornings and write a poem before my first cup of coffee on each day that I didn’t teach. I was working part-time then, so in the end I wrote 241 poems.  These are second drafts of  those pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state.

I appreciate your feedback as these poems are not “finished” yet, and I intend to go back into many of them in the future.

This is a work of fiction.  Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

 

 

Do not drop it

In a gang shower

They joke – but hope

 

Will help you wake

at 4am and actually

Want to get out of bed.

 

And will shrink

The amygdala

And let creation

 

And planning grow.

Flourish again.

Hope destroys

 

The Plague of Pessimism

She worked so hard

To spread around –

 

And infect each of us.

Hope the antidote;

Relearn to stand

 

At the front of a classroom,

Write on the chalkboard,

And teach in peace.

 

This is Poem #10 from the  Poem (almost) Everyday Project. These are second drafts of  pieces copied directly from my journal with minimal editing from their “vomit draft” state. Feel free to give useful critique.

 

Some of these  poems are quite  “cringe-worthy” but I’m publishing them here anyway. Let it suffice to say, there had been some very bad things happening for a lot of us at work, but we were on the cusp of action and change. This poem and others upcoming reflect this time of uncertainty.

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