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SUBMIT TO THE DARK LORD.
With one easy payment of 1 million trillion your couch goes to college dollars.
Please send to the moon or my Jeep or my dog.
This is not a joke. You’re not being at all clever. It’s dark and I’m alone and you’re bigger than I am. Probably stronger. So when you cruise by and say, “Hey baby, you don’t need to call me, I’m already here” and “Your ride’s here, baby girl”, you’re nothing to me but another threat — another obstacle between me and my way home. But you get pissed off because I refuse to laugh. Well, I don’t have to smile. I don’t fucking owe you my goddamn smile. My smile is not some fucking peace treaty between us. Your attempt at humorous flirtation is gross and misplaced. Get lost.
There are nights that I dream — tightly locked up inside the nightmare, sweat-drenched, needle-stabbing dread — that they will find me. That they will follow me home, lie in wait. That I will wake up to being seized, big hands gripping my arms. Weakened and alone. They have found me. The man with the round black sunglasses laughs and laughs. His face looks like a skull, those empty black sockets.
— that my luck will run out.
That the group of tall wannabe toughs blocking my path to the bus stop won’t always play nice when I cheekily say, no, I won’t give them sugar, and no, I won’t come back so they can get a better look at the color of my hair. I wish I wasn’t wearing my high heels as I walk away from them.
That the spacey dude with dreads won’t be so pleasant when I sweetly say I won’t accept his number, and no, I am not giving him mine. He says with a smile he will find me at the shop I work at. I let TLC run through my head while pretending I don’t feel queasy dread at the idea of running into him again.
That the fierce stranger won’t be there for me on the MAX, silently lending me strength while I get shit-talked by a 41 year old man. She locks eyes solemnly with me as if saying she will be my comrade if this creep decides to get physical. He insults my nose and my body and calls me racist because I repeatedly refuse to tell him where I live or where I am going. She tells him off. I have gone numb with surprise, realizing I am re-living the shame I once felt in middle school and little white boys used me as their verbal whipping post — a degradation free-for-all. I want to scream: “I’m not even white, you piece of shit! I just don’t want to fuck you!” When she gets off at a stop, he immediately reaches for my hair as the train starts up again. I think of Mia Zapata and shove off his hands, bolting to stand by the nearest exit. He doesn’t pursue me, even looks momentarily confused by how long he has sustained this harassment. I am relieved when he turns his back on me, but then I see him take the small vial out of his coat. I have a very private terror at the idea of acid attacks. Rationally, I realize the likelihood of one is zero, but even if it’s water, I am gone as soon as the MAX doors slide open. I look over my shoulder, to see him suddenly twist and splash the spot where I stood. His timing was wrong. My instincts were right. I got lucky.
What’s the point? I want women to see and be seen. I want women to feel. And understand. Women who feel alone. Women who actually are alone. Women and girls laughing, together or at each other. Holding hands. Crying, raging, afraid, loving, kissing. They kill, they torture. There are women who aren’t allowed to be women. And women with daughters and sons. Despairing. Dying women. Fucking. Creating works of art. Drinking coffee. Getting drunk. Waking up. Women singing. They are defiant. They are selfish. They are selfless. Women being beaten and murdered. Religious. Witchy. Warriors. Women who feel ignored and are ignored. Granddaughters. Women aging. Lovers. Leaders. Uncontrolled. Barren. Empowered. Silly. Women with red hair. Women with black skin. Women with no sight. Cruel women. Women curious about the world. Charming, strong, sensual, hideous, crude, awkward, simple, violent, ugly — human. The point is that we exist. We weren’t and aren’t someone’s most senior wife, someone’s queen mother, someone’s slave, some footnote-fucking-blip in history, some unusual woman who did a “manly” thing. Women — living and dying in a world that is ours too.
Day 10- Pick a one line song lyric to serve as an epigraph to your poem. Then, write the poem to accompany it.
I won’t be your soft one
Beaten into sweet, tender shape
Like the slab of meat you think I am.
If you want a fight
I’ve got the bite you’re looking for.
Quickly jot down four verbs, four adjectives, and four nouns. Write a poem using all 12 words.
Blisters on the throat of a flower
In thorn-apple patches
There’s mud streaks and rust streaks
On the inside of her thighs
A bony thing’s been hiding and crawling
Laughing and falling
Pale toes tugging and pulling at the dirt
For tiny burials of white clover
And waiting for worms to greet the moon
Write a cinquain on a topic of your choice.
Learning to lie
Choked up with fear and hands
You’re not the right one to let in
Take a walk until you find a tree you identify with, then write a poem using the tree as a metaphor for yourself or your life.
All this squirrel chatter about identifying with trees
Reminds me of white hipster wannabe-spiritual bullshit.
Can you decide between the Druid rowan or oak?
Or shall we be “Hindi” today and find a banyan grove to get “enlightened” in?
Have you ever cleared the ground of deadfall?
Have you cleared — that is, torn from the earth — the “undesirable” weeds?
Have you softened the earth?
Used the force of your hands, your arms, your body — with trowel, with plough
Re-directed the waters to saturate and weaken hardened grounds?
And then, carefully,
Have you placed seeds into the soil — and then waited?
Do you really understand what waiting means, when you’ve never waited for something to grow?
And do you understand how completely unnecessary you are yet?
The willow tree you look at like a mirror
Didn’t need you to clear the grounds,
Plant it, water it, watch it.
It unfurled tiny leaves of silver green before your mother even considered she might have children someday.
It is a tree.
And you are self-centric.