As I stood watching my brother dig
into loose soil,
the carcass of our wolf-toothed rabbit,
eyes looking at me,
I put black-eyed susans on its grave
and did not cry.
As we stood there,
brother and sister,
away for the afternoon happy to be away
but for only a moment,
of a malignance we could name.
something with a name
years have passed
and yet, I remember
that solitary act of burying
something we mutually loved.
And how we never once
spoke a word.
It was as if
we both knew
what was to come.
I'll never get you out of me --
I've tried with sticks and stones and have turned my hair
from blonde to red and black again.
I have driven the long and winding road
past the family abode.
Still you are here.
I have written many, many poems about men.
I have written many poems about the wind and cruelty and the
blue kamikaze who tells me when to
eat and sleep and pay the phone bill.
But it is you I sense when the words smash down on white,
blood on the fleece of slaughtered sheep.
A lamb is not free
because it is young.
Not even the young are offered a timely innocence.
You taught me this.
You taught me many things:
How blind trust is fatal,
or how a woman could be a woman and still there's something
something wild in her eyes,
untamed and faithless.
Or why I lust for fire and strong drink and men who reinvent
in their solitary cells of inadequacy.
I am a train gone loco,
the way destiny made me from you,
and how I fight against it.
Though we both share the same dream of being loved and beautiful,
we are not.
I go to the house of a married man who wants more from me
than I am prepared to give.
Yet I keep going back.
Somehow you know I am confused by your scent, which seeps
through their clothes,
all those men,
Father figures take in the baby girl,
the girl whose lost sheep
won't stop crying; the girl who's not a thing
but a ghost wearing black nails and mouth
searching the streets for her ripper man, Jack.
I don't write about you that often.
I write about you
all the time.
You are in what is supposed to be
and what is not.
You are everything,
And now I step up like a witch to you
and curse and scratch and gobbledy-goo a spell that destroys
the evils that occur while good people sleep,
Your rebirth happens every time I stop screaming and turn
my head to the fact that every man who touches me
gets me a little farther away from you.
I let these strangers in.
I accept their rides.
I take their candy like a good girl.
How else do you stay alive?
What kind of power is this -
making me pull thin fingers
through matted hair
and a strangely unshaven face
to my breasts.
Trembling fear in my pulse -
I do it again until it no longer frightens me
let it go,
a tornado in its destructive path.
What is it in me
that brings down the walls of
Makes untidy these halls where you and I
and our families have lived for years
Am I the bored sister of Delilah?
Pounding stone into man into
and stone again.
I cannot let it end -
The hair of the holy has already been snipped.
I have walked through a desert of mistakes
and I am trying to live like the rest,
sitting at their desks
calculating and chatting about winter and their families,
children and how we need to order staples
And where am I in this?
I run through the halls of our home
putting things in place
and death grip what we have
like it will slip
from my clutches.
But it is me
who is drop kicking the contentment.
It is this powerful need to purge
the love into
a red sea of solitude.
No matter what man you accuse,
none can compare to death.
A woman such as me
can only ever love
i pop the tape in the vcr and
just what i thought, a porno.
and so it goes,
i begin my 27th argument
by defining shit and erotica, as if a woman
would ever have to explain the difference
but again i do this and
we agree that porn is sexist and classist,
and you apologize
for the 27th time,
though still not quite convinced
of your sin.
but see, the thing here
is that it isn't sin i'm arguing,
or what you like to call
your man-made liberties
to buy and sell poor people
if it is true we have a conscience.
no, what i want to know is how you can
ask me to choose
between you, with your freedom
after all, you only slip every now and then,
small cuts on skin,
and if i were any reasonable
i would choose
like i had a choice
in the matter. 11/2000
Medea and Me
the baddest of the bad
ride thunder to meet me
with perpendicular smiles
and greasy hands
stinking of cheap beer
what makes women like me take these men in
Christopher Walken's lips across my skin
even in dreaming
i dream of bad men
the mad recluse
i want most
inexplicable weakness in the soul's knees
waking in a cold sweat shaking
mama said no good for me
i took that bait
fingers point at the girl in the bar who dances slow and easy
with another woman's man
i am the celebrity whore asking for more and more
until there's nothing left but alimony
a whimsical Rumpelstiltskin
i am U.S. Masochist in snakeskin boots
paying her dues in sickness and booze
natural selection beats at the doors of others
not at the doors of women like me
preferring freedom to sanity
red skies to blue
debasement than what you have to offer
we die alone of consumption
in the basement of secrets
wigs false lashes leather dresses and styling gel
one million autographs and maps that line our strategies
the baddest of the bad
girl du jour
leaving her trail of