He Is the Reason I Don’t Trust Men

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(Art by Linda Vachon)

 

I speak on behalf of

oppression,

obedience,

silence.

Hey, motherfucker.

Yeah, I’m talking to you.

I know what you have done and what you continue to do.  I will expose you to anyone who will listen.

You are the one who beats the woman you claim to love.

You are the verbal/ emotional/ psychological/ spiritual abuser.

You are the sadist, the rapist, the kidnapper, the sex trafficker.

You are the waste of a human life who partakes in female genital mutilation.

You are the sex offender, the predator, the child molester.

You are violent against the minds, bodies and souls of women.

You are the reason I don’t trust men.

You have become so ingrained into the collective consciousness of women that, therein, lies an innate fear, a survival instinct that keeps us looking over our shoulders, questioning the kindness of strangers.

You are the invader, the manipulator who seeks to destroy our sense of self-worth by showcasing violent and over-sexualized images in the media.
You sanctify compliance and crucify defiance.  You teach our sons to desire this.

You seek to weaken us, corrupt us so that we will never feel beautiful or good enough, and we will pass this down as a family heirloom for our daughters to inherit.

You are the reason I don’t trust men.

You have pervaded the lives of women in every corner of the world for far too long now.  You have been let loose and shown no respect, no self-control.

You foolishly believe that violence against the
minds, bodies, souls of women implies that you somehow have conquered, and will forever dominate these territories.

You are the reason I don’t trust men.

You are the one who is convinced that the force to which you operate under is somehow more powerful than the one that drives me.  Herein lies your greatest weakness because you perceive that I, alone, am driven by this force.

You are the reason I don’t trust men.

You are the one who does not understand that these acts of war against women will always cause an uprising, and that the call will be answered from another woman, somewhere in the world.

You are the reason I don’t trust men.

And the words will follow you, echoes driving you into hiding because too many voices will sound the call:
You are the reason I don’t trust men.

(This was originally written in 2012, and is a catalyst for a future project I will be working on.  I hope to collaborate with other female poets and artists about such issues in a self-published book which all the proceeds will be donated to organizations dedicated to ending violence against women.)

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Gathering

image

(Exodus by Darko Birsa.  Slovenia, Painting, oil.)

It was the harvest,

yet, we were starving.

Even the baby’s snores

scattered.

A bent mink cloth,

a dilapidated gaze,

gold-plated skin of paint peeling the

splendors of war,

still rattling,

in the secular breeze.

Able,

we had nothing

left except the plain,

non-commital

lux

of blown-out museums and

bereft shopping malls.

I turned to hear the sound

of tortured faces

centering in the town square.

A diaspora had ended

amongst the ruins.

Never,

not ever,

would I forget

the paradox.

This was inspired by The Sunday Whirl as well as this story http:// http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2014/11/syria-war-assad-starvation-hunger I read earlier on Twitter.

Also linked to dVerse Open Link Night, and Poets United.

Sacred and Profane

image

(Gordon Parks.  Ingrid Bergman, Stromboli, Italy, 1949)

 

In the dark,

I become like the

priest

repressed far too long,

liberating

atop

ayahuasca clouds.

 

Skewed contours

shifting,

fluid,

I watch

illimitable relief.

 

Look at her face;

the ecstasy,

irriverenza

unrestrained.

 

Existentially,

a sliver

divides

reverie and pain.

 

I want to tear

the shadows

from all who

haunt and hollow the

alto-releivo

of your being.

 

Waiting for impact,

I scale

Rome’s horizon,

fast approaching

the moment

I left

light’s womb.

 

I am reminded of a quote that said, “Not saints, not whores, just women.”   So often, I have known instances where shame is used to disempower and silence women, especially in reference to their sexuality.  I explored this, as well as some of my own personal expressions of it in this poem.  Issues of sex, society, feminism, and violence against women have been on my mind for a while, and I hope to create more poetry and ponderings soon about these topics.

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