(March 2005) My pal Christine is re-reading a thin volume of Adrienne Rich poetry that she read in college and realized that it provides a yardstick by which she can measure how much she has changed. The poems seem angry to her now but, of course, she has changed, not the poems. They're exactly the same.
Interesting how we often need to traverse that reactionary domain before we can settle into a place with less anger and more acceptance ... but with a firmer grasp of our beliefs, our convictions.
I had similar experiences with some of Muriel Rukeyser’s poetry and find some of it too strident now (although I admire her commitment to being a poet/activist).
So now an untitled poem by Alta from the No More Masks! anthology:
penus envy, they call it
think how handy to have a thing
that poked out; you could just shove
it in any body, whang whang & come,
wouldn’t have to give a shit.
you know you’d come!
Wouldn’t have to love that person,
trust that person.
whang, whang & come.
if you couldn’t get relief for free,
pay a little $, whang whang & come,
you wouldn’t have to keep, or abort.
wouldn ’t have to care about the kid.
wouldn’t fear sexual violation.
penus envy, they call it,
the man is sick in his heart.
that’s what I call it.
I believe someone should introduce Alta to some kind gay men. And to dildos. Yeah, maybe that woman Cloud from the women’s music festivals could introduce Alta to dildos. (Remember Cloud? Surely there are other lesbians out there who remember Cloud. She sold crystal dildos. They were beautiful. But what if one broke?)
LISTENING TO: ani defranco’s amazing “Amazing Grace”