I don’t know everything, but I know what a woman is.
A woman is someone who remembers what it was like
to see those blood drops in her underwear
for the first time,
and know that she would never be the same.
A woman is someone who remembers how it felt to be a girl
listening to the songs she was told were cool
and realizing they were mostly about treating people like her as if they were things or slaves
and thinking, “that’s what they think when they look at me” or even“that could happen to me.”
And to forget that maybe she drank too much at parties and then sometimes
those things did happen.
A woman is someone who remembers the first time she went out in the summer without a bra,
maybe when she was 16 or 22,
and saw men staring at her,
and some said things that sounded like threats.
And to forget that, she spent more time with a boyfriend
who didn’t say those things and made her feel safe. Until
he went somewhere and didn’t come back.
And then to forget that she worked too much and spent more time with girlfriends who talked too much about men.
And to forget that she joined a political group
where people didn’t talk about men
but there were men there and
some of them said things that sounded like flirting
and when she wasn't interested they stopped talking to her.
A woman is someone who remembers that once upon a time
she wore shoes that seemed like they might not be a good idea
but kept wearing them because a doctor in a magazine said if you
didn’t wear them everyday or you walked a certain way or they weren’t higher than two inches
they wouldn’t hurt your feet. But now
she's 56 and has to have foot surgery and
knows she was lied to.
A woman is the total of what she has been, and done and seen.
A woman isn’t a decision.
If I could have decided to be a woman or a man
If I could have chosen the chromosomes
I think I’d still pick being a woman
despite everything. Because otherwise
it would mean everything I learned I wouldn’t have learned
and now I know the truth about a lot of things
and that truth is worth more to me than
Caitlyn Jenner is a man in a dress.
People think poems are confessional
That what they say is the truth
But then they would be one dimensional
And not really of very much use
Poetry is best as a crucible
Where ingredients and fire are at play
Where all the images and verbals
Add up to more than they say
Every poem is an audio visual
With a background, a plot, and story
The Poet is catalyst to what's magical
So the Reader can claim all the glory!
PLOY ... a maneuver in a game or conversation
I woke up on the wrong side
of the bed.
I washed my face, shook yesterday
out of my head, and I
opened up my curtains, thought
"what's so great about a blue sky
when it could never match the beauty
that I found in your eyes?"
But I hope you won't remember
how I was at the end, and if
I could go back now,
I'd do it all again
with much more grace and wisdom,
with a tender heart this time,
and I'd pray that'd be enough
to keep you by my side.
I woke up in another stranger's bed.
I looked at her and hated
that all her hair was red, then I
stepped into the city, thought
"*******, I hope it rains -
let the water all run over me
and wash away my pain."
I hope you can remember
how we were at the start, and if
I could go back now
I'd give you my whole heart
and trust you just to keep it.
I'd never be afraid.
Then we might be together
and you'd be here today.
The elixir was mixed.
The potion had been poured.
The candles were all burning.
Over the Book of Spells, I’d pored.
I handed you the goblet--
my commandment you ignored.
I intoned the incantation--
you sat and just looked bored.
I looked into the crystal ball
and told you of your fortune.
You disagreed—but how is this?
Of the two of us there’s only one
who is the sorceress.
Why did I paint the pentagram
and summon all the spirits?
I’ll have you know I’ll still be charging
my fee for all your visits.
Originally titled "Psychotherapist's Lament." But what's the difference?
Hear the Ghosts of tomorrow's children
begging we tell them
why their world is broken.
Listen to their stories of climate chaos,
the seas of pollution
and the fields of dust.
Hear them in your daydreams and nightmares,
look at your reflection,
don't avoid their stares,
Their last ghostly breaths harnessed to blame us,
we who failed to protect them
in our burden of trust.
Such is the guilt of what we have done to them,
these Ghosts of Tomorrow,
our precious children.
See their fingers pointing, the betrayal.
Washing your face in the mirror
in complete denial.
Send me a letter on cream linen stock,
written in cursive in handwriting fine.
With ink from a bottle, and a fountain pen sharp.
Seal it with wax and your signet ring’s sign.
Build me a desk of strong walnut and ebony,
filigreed with gold and with mother of pearl.
Joined without flaw, and with handles of iron,
and legs shaped like lion’s, each paw in a curl.
Roast some wild boar on a spit on a fire,
with figs and wild plums, some thyme and rosemary.
Tell me a tale of legends and heroes,
of magic and myths in the land known as Faerie.
Take me away from the plastic and gasoline.
Take me away from the tv and memes.
Let’s live somewhere else, anytime we can get away
from this place, doomed to darkness, to the truth in our dreams.
By the time I got to Woodstock, I was pushing Sixty-five.
I was qualified for Medicare when I finally arrived.
All the famous bands that played there, by and large, they are no more.
You can hear them still on vinyl; just not at the record store.
It was mud and drunken nakedness in the summer of sixty-nine.
There were ******-active drugs too if you were so inclined.
All the gorgeous girls who made that scene back in Love’s own summer,
Now use Clairol to hide the gray and are somebody’s Grandmother.
And what about the tall lean dudes who lusted for them then?
They now rely on small blue pills to get it up again.
Imagine standing on that stage staring out at the tie-dyed throng
as Janice Joplin poured her heart and soul out in a song.
I hear Hendrix was electric even as the skies did pour.
And Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young were up for an encore.
Lennon couldn’t make it and Jethro Tull declined.
Joan Baez was magical; Joni Mitchell would have cried.
They are but ghostly echoes now, playing to an empty field.
We were all once young and beautiful, and Love was true and real.
Still, Time is a heartless arrow, relentless now as then.
I only fooled myself to think I could go back again.
Standing in that now empty field in Bethel, New York in the summer of Trump