Encoded

her ovaries must harbor

in sub-atomic particles

the Jungian aggregation

of all the silencings

the brutal

culturally sanctioned

“God says we should do this”

stoned-for-expressing-sexuality

burned-at-the-stake-for-witchcraft

disfiguring-acid-attacks-for-stepping-out-of-place

whipped-for-being-raped-by-plantation-master

silencings

the subtle

speak-only-when-spoken-to

nice-girls-don’t-rock-the-boat

don’t-be-hostile-I-was-just-kidding-can’t-you-take-a-joke

ignoring-her-comment-and-celebrating-his-quote-of-it

interrupting-to-condescendingly-explain-concepts-she-mistresses

eye-rolling-in-the-face-of-articulate-outrage

silencings

the genital

debasing-the-source-of-life

degrading-the-center-of-worship-if-she-dares-to-control-it

equating-strength-and-ecstasy-with-cowardice

pussy-calling-pussy-grabbing-without-permission

believing-she-bodies-are-public-property

silencings

the relational

perpetual-mother-blaming-for-all-offsprings’-foibles

coffee-fetching-office-organizing-boss-managing-scapegoat-for-missteps

don’t-worry-your-pretty-little-head-about-it-I-got-this-dismissive-“protector”

act-like-a-virgin-in-public-a-whore-in-my-bed-but-only-when-I-want-it-lover

save-me-from-myself-angel-go-along-with-my-wild-ideas-demon-wife

stoop-shouldered-bearer-of-familial-societal-global-responsibility

silencings

how else can she explain

how/why

her eloquent-wordsmithing-doctorally-educated-driven

intrepidly-public-speaking-on-camera-exposing-her-greatest-shame

advocate-passionately-challenging-the-establishment

speaking-truth-to-power-for-a-cause

self

falters

when she tries to say

calm-matter-of-fact-determined-insisting-it-be-honored

“I need this. I deserve this.”

…silenced.

The Beginning

It felt like miscarriage.

 There was the requisite agony and attendant

gore – absent the maternal oxytocin glow. This being

erupted from her unbidden, extruding through

dry constricted orifices.

It wracked her – a clamped

down silent caterwauling black hole

wrenching her skinside in and curdling

the yolk of the skies.

This thing was a raw bloody

mangled mess, confounding hope of life.

Expecting putrefaction

it squirmed and whimpered

inexplicably birthed in desolate

Siberian confinement.

At the end of all that was known

she bore a poetess self

Prostitution?

Is it prostitution

when she smiles and pretends

her rebound is to their

credit, not her own?

Is it prostitution

when she silences her talents

allowing them to think

they created her success?

It is prostitution

when she thanks them for

services rendered, genuinely

for their own gratification?

Is it prostitution

when she bites her tongue

painfully censors

to buy stability?

Is it prostitution

when they tell her

where and when to come

and she acquiesces?

Is it prostitution

when she doesn’t scream

that the royal ass-fucking

she received was no good?

If it ISN’T prostitution

why does her skin

clamor with the urgent

need to shower?

Failure of Imagination (Letter to Patricia Lynn Reilly)

Your poem adorns my wall

gifted by beloved

with whom I was supposed to grow old.

 

Countless times read and re-read,

I imagined myself centered and self-assured.

In reality, I longed for much too much

from others.

 

The rhythm of your words

chanted in my breath

whispered mouth to ear.

 

I imagined myself willowy –

bending, uncracked,  –

in life’s buffeting winds.

In reality, I shattered

myself and others alike.

 

The magic of your call

woman to woman

reverberates in my soul.

 

I imagined self-love

honoring elemental needs

with grace and dignity.

In reality, I eschewed neediness –

lost everything.

 

Your canticle of sisterhood

passionate in devotion

warms my heart’s frozen cockles.

 

I imagined I sat encircled

by those women of whom

you speak.

In reality, I had seated

myself awry, with remind-ers

of foibles, not truth.

 

I imagined myself as the woman

of your timeless verse.

My imagination faltered,

floundered,

failed.

At a Pub in Neverland

God: “You look dejected, my good woman.

– Barkeep, a restorative for the young lady. –

What troubles you so?”

 

Aletheia: “Efcharisto!

I weary of languishing in forgotten cupboards.

It grieves me deeply.

I long to be of service.”

 

God: “How can that be?

I have commanded my people to honor you!”

 

Serpent: “Ah, yesssss. But was I not cursssed

for invoking her name?”

It’s Who You Know or ……

She strolls not in corridors of power

Clad in finely-tailored suits

She strides in nondescript hallways

Invisibly cloaked in determination

 

She sits not in erudite circles

Hallowed halls of mental masturbation

She engages in solitary edification

Pleasures herself alone

 

She lounges not in elegant luxury

Ensconced with buddies bosom

She perches briefly between tasks

Unaccompanied by those who used to be

Trump-ing Veritas

A rich and powerful ruler,

brashly self-proclaimed in his fabulosity,

happened upon an elusive young woman.

Retiring, perchance virginal,

with no knowledge of this man,

she observed, reticent, from afar.

Brazenly, he assaulted her

with word and deed

and broadcast her complicity.

 

She is guilty, of course-

as women have been-

since Eve wrongfully believed

the truth, snake-hissed.

Bobo Doll

Sucker punched, she is flattened

smashed to the pavement

time and time again.

Leaden-hearted yet buoyant

she rights herself

painted with plasticine smile.

Returns to proscribed place

submits to sanctioned

crushing anew.

 

Behind the mask she wonders

when will she be permitted to

stand her ground

assert her humanity

shout “Enough!”?