Tag Archives: poem

Men:

when was the last time you were told to cover up because you were showing too much skin?

do you worry about whether you’ll send the ‘wrong message’ to women if you wear something tight?

do you get verbally and sexually accosted by women when you walk around in public without a shirt?

 

what steps do you take on a daily basis to protect yourself against assault?

how many times have you given out a fake number because you felt it would be dangerous to turn a girl down?

when you’re at a bar, or a party, do you take your drink to the bathroom with you so you don’t get drugged?

will you decline an invitation to an event where you don’t know many other people unless you have another guy friend to go with you because you know safety is in numbers?

do you text the license plate of the girl you’re out with to your friends, just in case?

does your family warn you to be careful and safe before you go on a first date?

before you go anywhere?

 

what do you do when you walk alone at night?

do you hold your keys between your fingers like a makeshift set of brass knuckles?

have you bought mace? a rape whistle?

have 911 pre-dialed and phone in hand? 

does a friend know to expect your call to let them know you’ve made it to your destination safely?

do they know to call the police if they can’t reach you by a certain time? 

 

when you try to explain to your female friends your long history of negative experiences with the opposite sex, do they tell you “but not all women are like that”?

how often do you get called pet names by complete strangers?

do you avoid holding eye contact with women you don’t know?

how many times has a woman tried to make you feel like you owed them sex because they were nice to you?

how many times have you felt unsafe because of the sexual advances of a woman?

how many times did they refuse to take no for an answer?

how many times have you been *almost* raped?

 

are you concerned that if you choose to have a child that you might lose your current employment?

are you worried that your doctor would deny you a vasectomy if you wanted one because they thought you might regret your decision? 

are you afraid that you will be stripped of all your reproductive rights every time someone new gets elected?

do you feel like the government is trying to take control of your body?

do you feel like the government is trying to own your body?

 

when you see men depicted in shows and movies, is the source of their power almost always about how sexually attractive women find them? 

despite how strong a male character is in an action flick, does he almost always have to be saved by a woman in the end? 

how many times have you seen a man say ‘no’ to sex on TV? 

after being pressured did he give in? 

did he get assaulted if he kept saying ‘no’? 

 

do you feel like if you’re too attractive no one will take you seriously, but if you’re not attractive enough no one will pay attention to you at all?  in school?  at work?  online? 

did you and all your guy friends know which teacher would give you a better grade if you showed some skin and acted flirtatious?

do you feel like it’s easier to get what you want by acting nonthreatening and stupid than by standing up for yourself? 

when you’re emotional do you get accused of being hormonal?

when you take no shit do you get called bossy? 

when you want to be seen as sexy do you get called a slut?

when you choose to have sex with whoever you want do they call you the ‘town bicycle’, a whore, told that you have no shame, you must not value yourself if you go around giving it away for free, what woman’s gonna wanna marry your used up dick if you keep screwing around, don’t you have any self respect?

 

Do you feel

that after centuries of fighting for your basic rights as a man

that you’ve finally found equal footing with women in the world?

 

Do you? 


How can I poem you?

 

The entire universe knows itself

through the curl of your toes,

the effortless swing of your dance-flung arm,

carrying kismet on the soles of your feet

and in the bold laugh

quaking your smooth belly.

 

I’m inspired by how body does not restrain you

but allows,

the enthralled discovery of your container temporary –

your bones

echoing against your flesh,

your spirit extending graceful

beyond your permeable borders

and how it shivers against mine.

 

As well I know

every particle is formed from love

your coalescence of being

remembers this simple truth;

it pours from you

and rushes beautiful

beyond language,

uncapturable,

but palpable, transferrable.

 

So, like dance

telling stories through moment

I’ll write around you

hoping to conjure some secondhand sheen

in the wide of your bright eyes

and the true of your smile

on paper,

 

as futile as calling a glass of water the ocean,

as important

as drinking it anyway.


Recognition

I’ve been afraid of truth-telling

when the stakes are high.

 

Loss was my parent

wearing my father’s disintegrated face

once I outgrew my childskin,

 

then it morphed

into lovers who never opened

the soul I wrapped up like a birthday present

and handed over whole.

 

Still I would not be jaded.

I knew, in the way that I cannot disprove

and refuse to negate

the existence of magic,

that love was the only thing

worth belief,

no matter how many times

it miraged through my hope-shaken hands.

 

So I hold you,

not clutching

as though I have a fairy in a jar,

but with a tendering awe,

nervously reaching out my fingertip

just to know it’s real enough to touch.

 

The words sit under my tongue

even as it tastes you,

never thoroughly enough;

each stolen/gifted hour savored

until the flavor is sucked dry,

 

but I haven’t taken time enough

to memorize the pattern and color of your eyes

still fearing that if I were to address

your wild heart

it would spook like a whitetail

taught that all 2-legs have guns.

 

On the way to a wedding

my mother told me to be brave,

that it was important,

to be naked

 

even when culture says

to reveal invites abuse,

though I never listened

until love

gave me

one too many times

without consent.

 

I’ve never felt taken from,

only that at times I gave too freely

to the same cruel lover,

who arrives each time with a new face,

greedier and hungrier.

 

I don’t think you’re a bully’s joke.

I don’t think you’re here to teach me another hard lesson.

I don’t think I’ve learned the last,

maneuvered through the final rough patch, but

I do think

you are worthy of pause,

the glimmer in the forest

I know is real

beyond all want of proof.

 

I have been afraid of love

like I am afraid to go out into the wilderness alone,

knowing exactly what lives there unseen,

the hairs on my neck noticing,

instinct overriding rationale.

 

I know now that it’s best to wait

until the scent of adrenaline

has dissipated from my hair,

to stand soft in the clearing

and make no sudden movement

as I watch you from this closeness.

 

I know exactly what you are

and what it might mean to call out your name

into the tingling space,

 

clutching my breath,

pierced sudden

by recognition.

 


For Jay

 

While driving this morning

I caught up to the sun

throwing its hot

on the frosted fields

full of browning goldenrod,

 

and the finest steam rose up

breathing out of the gnarled creek

in swirling gasps,

held so tenderly and through

by the light’s soft yellow

that I wanted to reach out and take your hand,

 

even from this impossible distance.

How could anyone not see

that every particle

is pure love. 


Garden Poetry

Garden Poetry

Garden Poetry at the 1st Annual Metro Way Community Garden Poetry Faire. This was a project I was Director of this September.


I didn’t want to make life easy for you.

Simple is for heaven,

here there is work to be done.

 

To say that you are made of love

is too many words.

So is it to say,

you are love.

Find the lushness of language

and choose just one word

to tell your heart.

 

The body machine

wants tending.

The soul is stronger

than you credit it.

 

What if letting go

was all you ever practiced?

What would ache then?

What if stories

were all you ever said?

Does it make you feel  more real

and less like a mote?

 

Don’t be afraid

to touch deeply into

with more than shaking hands

all that you are,

the one thing that you are,

the oneness.

 

Don’t run, as you do,

from the edges peered over.

Your brother

threw himself from the plane

and you

are meant to throw yourself

from yourself,

to bare yourself

with no hand-holds,

 

to not tell the truth,

but to Be Truth

in all moments,

to forget quiet

as something one does

and live

in the calm roaring. 


September

I have spent myself –

my passion,

is drought;

I drank it all summer,

unquenchable,

uncontrollably.

 

Blow something

into my parching soul,

enough to stoke

fall’s frag’ling fire

til buried deep in winter I. 

 

One year away

and I forget snow’s capacity

for purification.

One year gone;

I will

a blooming

from this threat’ning frost

wind blew so cold today

it reminds me

that here:

September isn’t summer

as you are not

and they are not

my lovers

anymore.

 

I bought closed-toe shoes

in resignation.