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Taylor St Onge Nov 2015
1611: Emilia Lanier became the first Englishwoman to publish and collect patronage from her original poetry with the publication of fifteen poems, all about or dedicated to particular women, in her “booke,” titled in Latin, Hail, God, King of the Jews.  She was the fourth woman in England to publish her poetry, but the first to demand payment in return for it.  The first to see herself as equal to the paid male authors of the era.

This was the same year that the King James Bible was first printed.  This was eight years after the death of Queen Elizabeth I.  This was 180 years after nineteen-year-old Joan of Arc was burned at the stake.

                                                               ­      +

The Querelle des Femmes is “the woman question.”
Frenchmen of the early fifteenth century created a literary debate: what is the role and the nature of women?  Is it stemmed within a “classical” model of  human behavior; gnarled and rooted with misogynistic platonic tradition?  Should women actually be allowed into politics, economics, and religion?  There are scholars that say this debate radiated across several European countries for three centuries before finally fizzling out.  

                                                         ­                   But it is still there; has crossed
continents, has crossed oceans, is sizzling, sparking up fires, flaring out
into the night, leeching onto the trees, onto buildings, onto people, onto
anything flammable.  It is burning down monarchs and their thrones.  It is
raking back the blazing coals.  
                                                   Exposing the charred corpses.  
                 Proving their death.  
                                                   Burning and burning and burning them
                                              twice more to prevent the collection of relics.
                 It is chucking the ashes into the Seine River.

Lilith: who was made at the same time, at the same place, from the same earth, from the same soil as Adam, got herself written out of the Bible because she thought herself to be Man’s equal. Because she got bored of the *******.  Because she wanted to be on top during ***.  Lilith was replaced in the book of Genesis with a more-or-less subservient woman that was made from the rib of man instead of the same dirt and dust.  She was replaced with a woman that Adam named “Eve.”  She was replaced with a woman who served as nothing more than the scapegoat for Man’s downfall.
                                       The original Querelle des Femmes.

                                                                     +

1558-1603: Queen Elizabeth I ruled England in what is considered to be a masculine position. Although a woman can take the throne, can wear the crown, can wield the scepter, can run the country, the actual divine task that goes along with being a part of the monarchy, being a god on Earth, is thought to be the duty of a man.

Nicknamed The ****** Queen, Elizabeth never married,
                                                     never found a proper suitor,
                                             never produced a direct Tudor heir,
                                   (but this is not to prove that she was a ******).  
Chastity, especially of women, is a virtue.  ((To assume that she never had ***
simply because she never married
                                                                ­ is another Querelle des Femmes.))

For nearly forty-five years, Queen Elizabeth I did not need a man by her side while she lead England to both relative stability and prosperity; did not need a man by her side while she became the greatest monarch in English history.  
                                                She held the rainbow, the bridge to God, in her
                                                                ­                     own small hands just fine.

                                                          ­           +

Saturday, February 24, 1431: Joan of Arc was interrogated for the third time in her fifteen-part trial in front of Bishop Cauchon and 62 Assessors.  During her six interrogation sessions, she was questioned over charges ranging from heresy to witchcraft to cross-dressing.

At age twelve Joan of Arc began seeing heavenly visions
                                                                ­               of angels and saints and martyrs;
age thirteen she began hearing the Voice of God—was told to
purify France of the English,                          to make Charles the rightful king—
age sixteen she took a vow of chastity as a part of her divine mission.  

When the court asked about the face and eyes
that belonged to the Voice, she responded:
                                                      ­                      There is a saying among children, that
                                                         “Sometimes one is hanged for speaking the truth.”


Joan of Arc was declared guilty and was killed by the orders of a Bishop during a time when men were beginning to question the role and nature of women in society.  They thought women to be deceitful and immoral.  Innately thought Joan of Arc to be deceitful and immoral.  (Perhaps she was one of the catalysts for the Querelle in the first place.)

((The church blamed Eve for the
fall of mankind.  Identified women as
                                                                     temptation:
                                                               the root of all sins.))

Twenty-five years later she was declared innocent and raised to the level of martyrdom.
The Catholic Church stood back,
saw the blood,
                          the ashes,
                                            the thick smoke and stench of burned body that
                                                                ­               covered their hands, their clothes,
                                                                ­                    their neurons, their synapses;
        a filth that couldn’t be washed off by Holy water—
can’t be washed off by Holy water.

Four hundred and seventy-eight years later Joan of Arc was blessed and gained entrance to Heaven.  Four hundred and eighty-nine years later she was canonized as a saint.

                                                         ­            +

Lines 777-780, “Eve’s Apology in Defense of Women,” Emilia Lanier, 1611:
                         But surely Adam can not be excused,
                         Her fault though great, yet he was most to blame;
                         What Weakness offered, Strength might have refused,
                         Being Lord of all, the greater was his shame…


Adam, distraught and angered that his first wife, Lilith, had flew off into the air after he had refused to lay beneath her, begged God to bring her back.  God, taking pity on his beloved, manly, creation, sent down three angels who threatened Lilith that if she did not return to Adam, one hundred of her sons would die each day.  

                              (This is where the mother of all Jewish demons
                                         merges with the first wife of Man.)  

She refused, said that this was her purpose: she was
created specifically to harm newborn children.  This legend,
dated back to 3,500 BC Babylonia, describes Lilith as a
                                                                       winged feminine demon that
                                                     kills infants and endangers women in childbirth.

In the Christian Middle Ages, Lilith changed form once more:
she became the personification of licentiousness and lust,
she became more than a demon, she became a sin in herself.  Lilith
and her offspring were seen as succubae, were to blame for the
wet dreams of men.  Taking it a step further, Christian leaders then
                                                                ­                           wed Lilith to Satan;
                                                                ­                              charged her with
                                                                ­               populating the world with evil,
                                                   claimed she gave birth to
one hundred demonic children per day.

Lilith is considered evil in the eyes of the church because she was insubordinate to Adam.  Both she and Eve are considered disobedient; are too willful, too independent in the way that Lilith wanted to be on top and Eve wanted to share a knowledge that Adam could have refused.  They are perceived as a threat to the divinely ordered happenings that men see to be true.

Men wrote the history books because only their interpretation was right.  
Emilia Lanier writes:
                                       Yet Men will boast of Knowledge, which he took
                                           From Eve's fair hand, as from a learned Book
(807-808).

The Querelle des Femmes is not just a literary debate in the fifteenth century.  It is a way of life.  It is the divine portion of Queen Elizabeth I’s job being fit for men, and men alone.  It is Joan of Arc being a woman and hearing the Voice of God; it is Joan of Arc being burned three times by the same Catholics that revered in Jesus, a man who, too, heard the Voice of God.  It is Lilith being deemed a demon for not wanting to have *** in the *******.  It is Eve having to apologize in the first place for sharing the apple, for sharing knowledge with her partner.  It is women holding positions of power and yet still feeling powerless to men.  

The Querelle des Femmes is wanting to use gender
to keep one group of people above another.  The Querelle des Femmes
is continually thinking that the ***** is greater than, but
never equal to, the ******. The Querelle des Femmes is
                                                       not understanding the difference between
                                                                ­       ***          and          gender
                                                                ­              in the first place.  
The Querelle des Femmes is me,
burning your dinner and telling you to eat it anyway.
This is part of a larger project that I am working on pertaining to the Querelle des Femmes.
Taylor St Onge Oct 2015
Somewhere on the moon last night, Neil Armstrong came back to life and was standing in the middle of the Sea of Tranquility in complete darkness.  His frail, decaying hands that were no doubt filled with formaldehyde, held a rather large and sure-to-be extremely heavy boombox that loomed up and over his head, blasting “Total Eclipse of the Heart” on repeat.  He said that it crossed his mind more than once to replace the six faded white American Flags with the stereo, but ultimately decided against it.


In mythology, bleeding is considered to be a feminine attribute:  
                                                                                         * “I bleed, therefore I am.” * 
(But this is also the downfall of a version of feminism that is not intersecular.)  ((Your lunar cycle does not necessarily need to function in order to be considered a woman.))  (((I am not sure of which, if any, version of feminism Neil Armstrong subscribed to.)))

                                                ­              ­                            When a woman is bleeding, they say that she is at the height of her power; she is aligned with the tides and the cosmos.  She is celestial.  Blood is sacred,
eternal—the very essence of our beings—
                                                ­        ­      ­                      but if the Blood Moon was
                                                ­            ­  ­              really just the moon on her period,
what could she do last night she could do at no other point in her life?  
Where was her power?  She was isolated,
                                                                ­              forgotten by the sun,
                                           hidden away inside the umbra of the earth.  

(Which is the part where the masculine power of the sun rejected the most important feminine attribute of the moon.)


Michael Collins flew solo around the moon while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin played with dust and rocks.  For 48 minutes he was completely alone, radio silenced behind the shadow, and he thought about death and being the last man standing from Apollo 11.


Inside Neil Armstrong’s speakers, Bonnie Tyler was crooning that
                      “your love is like a shadow on me all of the time,”
and I have not yet decided if this is                       good or bad.  Instead,
I am wondering if Buzz Aldrin feels sore for eternally being second best?  Or
if he still thinks that the view from the moon is still one of “magnificent desolation?”  And does he feel this way about all three of his ex-wives?  Do they know that the moon was his first love?


We name missions to the moon, to
Luna’s surface, to Diana’s territory, after a
Greek and Roman god of the sun, when
                                                            ­          wolves howl to the goddess
                                                         ­                                                               instead.
sometimes i try to be funny and yet serious idk
Taylor St Onge Aug 2015
You were born in the cold black heart of the Cold War, under the fist of
Eisenhower, under the satellite eye of Mother Russia—1960 America.
Chinese Year of the Rat.  U-2 Pilot Gary Powers forgot to **** himself.

Space Race Baby looking up at stars she does not comprehend—the world is
big, the sky is bigger—Shhhhhhhhhhh: huddle under your desk in case a
big, black, bomb falls down and burns you so bad you feel nothing but cold  
                                                          ­                                                   cold         cold;

huddle inside yourself in case your plane is shot down over Soviet soil and
everything turns to red, turns to blood, turns to your fingers shaking and your eyes stinging,                                  and you think about that time when
your mother told you about the Year of the Rat being associated with white,

with the Chinese color of death.  You think: This is it.  There is where it ends,
but this is not it; this is not the end.  You will die in a hospital bed in 49 years,
                                                                ­      so just give it some time, alright?
Khrushchev and Eisenhower can play Tug-of-War and
                                   Vietnam can burn in the meantime.

Mother, when you were born you could not breathe.  Mother, when you died
it was because you could not breathe.  Mother, when you are not here I think
of Gary Powers not having time to press “Self-Destruct,” of the Year of the Rat
                                                                ­                                        choking to death on
                                                              ­                                          Lily  of  the  Valley,
­
of learning how to talk to the 58,286 dead Vietnam War soldiers. I want to
know what it is like to look up at the sky and fear a missile strike smack in
the middle of winter. I want to know how cold the Cold War felt to you in the
Chinese Year of the Rat, and what he felt when U-2 Pilot Gary Powers fell like
                                                                ­                                                    Lucifer
     ­                                                                 ­                                         into the arms
                                                                ­                                          of Mother Russia.
or “The Zodiac Symbol of the Dead”
written for my foundations of creative writing class. this is an experimental villanelle.
Taylor St Onge Aug 2015
1969 Cult Mentality: Charles Manson
is asking you to “leave a sign… something witchy” at the scene of the
crime.  You listen because you believe he is Jesus.  You smear the word
                                                                ­                           “Pig” across the door.

1978 Cult Mentality: Jim Jones
is asking you to drink grape Kool-Aid infused with cyanide.  You do this
because you have been convinced that he is “Christ the Revolution.” You
                                 inject your child with the toxin before gulping it down.

1997 Cult Mentality: Marshall Applewhite*
is asking you to tie a plastic bag around your head after you consume a mixture of phenobarbital, applesauce, and *****.  You do this because you believe dying will take you to the spacecraft flying behind
Comet Hale-Bopp.  You make sure you have a
five dollar bill and three quarters
                                                                ­in your pocket for the interplanetary toll.
written to my foundations of creative writing course.  prompt: five lines, five words, but I later edited it after I turned it in and this is the final.
Taylor St Onge Aug 2015
[New]
Scientists know more about the
                 moon
           than the ocean.

[Waxing Crescent]
Light can only dive 200 meters
            down into the ocean.  Below it,
the “Midnight Zone” glows in the dark.  
(By standing in your shadow,
I am hoping to become
                                     bioluminescent.)

[First Quarter]
Life has a tendency to thrive in hostile environments.  
                                                 ­                        For this reason, Jupiter’s moon,
                                                           ­              Europa, may be able to support
                                                                ­         life within the global ocean of
                                                              ­           liquid water that is hidden beneath
                                                                ­                                    the ice at its surface.
(This is why I am able to bloom in the dark.)

[Waxing Gibbous]
The ocean bows to no one but the moon.  Turn
off the lights.  Turn up the stars.  Low tide wants to
fold back inside itself and lap against the
                             shores of the Sea of Tranquility.  
High tide just wants to be noticed.

[Full]*
But a heated black body sunspot,
                (isolated from the rest
                of the photosphere),
still shines brighter than the moon.  Wolves should
be howling at the sun instead.
written for my poetry: intermediate course. prompt: stages
Taylor St Onge Aug 2015
venus
morning star
lucifer  f a
                  l
                     l
                       i
                          n
                             g    backwards and forwards in time
                                                            ­                    in rotation
                                                        ­                        in retrograde rotation

(“the fall of lucifer” painted darkly against the bright spot in the sky)
                                                                ­                                        ((i see myself in the
                                                                ­                                           shadows beneath
                                                                ­                                      his tumbling figure))

light-bringer
dawn-bringer
the rising sun in the east
a supernova exploding in the background: there are subatomic particles bigger
                                                                ­                              than what i can offer
                                                           ­                       there are greenhouse gasses that
                                                            ­                      give off more heat than my body
                                                                      will ever be able to produce for anyone

day light
night light
the setting sun in the west
a constellational birth in the foreground: there are not enough moons in the
                                                                ­                                            solar system
                                                          ­                       there is not enough space
                                                                ­      between planetary rings to explain        
                                                                ­             gravitation and the human body

(aphrodite tell me: is this sin or is this love?)  ((i will dip my toes in sea foam
                                                                ­                             until i deteriorate
                                                     ­                  i will put my ear against conch shells
                                                                ­                until i can hear your answer))

venus
evening star
lucifer pouring sulfuric acid into the car vents
                                                           the air ducts
                                                           the atmosphere
it becomes the thick dark clouds that obscure
my vision of      myself      from      reality
written for my poetry: intermediate course.
Taylor St Onge Aug 2015
I was driving to work tonight and I almost swerved off the road because I was staring at Orion's Belt as it hung near the horizon of the sky.

Please study the following photo and connect the dots on Orion, his belt, and his arrow:
(A detailed answer will be on the back for comparison)

I do not pretend to understand astrology nor astronomy.  

Orion’s arrow always points north.  You can use it as a compass if you are traveling somewhere where there are not many signs of light.  In October, if you crane your neck and squint your eyes and maybe pray to God, Orion will shoot arrow after arrow off into the sky and you will be able to make your first wish upon a shooting star.  (If you are in a desert, and that is why you are navigating by constellations, pray for help.)

His belt is made up of three sisters and I wonder if they talk to him in the night and keep him company?

(Is it possible to be up in the Heavens, overlooking the world, while still feeling lonely and insignificant?)

Constellations move minutely every year.  In this way, they are similar to humans.  Always roaming.  Always looking for change.

When Orion boasted that he could **** any living animal on the planet, Gaia, the Earth Goddess, objected and sent a scorpion after him.  After his death, Zeus flung his body into the stars; fractured to pieces, glowing softly in the night sky, Orion continues to hunt his prey into the dark, cold depths of the Milky Way.

Maybe, if you prayed to the Greek Gods, you could find yourself breathing in the stars, too.
wrote this for my poetry: intermediate course.  prompt: factual poem.
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