#ForgottenFire Suzy La Follette #iNeedFeminismBecause

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Nothing is gentle for me here. The fire’s
heat is brief, occasional. it’s their eyes
that burn the back of my neck. I was hired
through the same requirements and I’ll rise
through the ranks with the same tests. Yet, somehow
I’ll have more. With every alarm I prove
my strength, prove my skill prove my worth. My brow
furrowed, clothes soaked with sweat. But all my moves
are soon forgotten, disappear like steam
rising from my head, with helmets removed.
Surely, when they tell stories they don’t mean
to forget me, but they do. In their truth
it must’ve been one of the guys, that pulled
that body from the car. Now who’s the fool?

Suzy La Follette

Career firefighter, poet, singer Arti Twit and the Alibis. From Austin, Texas.

http://www.girlsrockaustin.org
http://www.annrichardsschool.org

From: We Will Be Shelter, edited by Andrea Gibson.

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Dear Black Barbie #BlackLivesMatter by Candace G. Wiley

#iNeedFeminismBecause #INTERSECTIONALITY #endpoverty #idlenomore #onelove #lgbt

This poem is a hard one to read and to acknowledge: power of white patriarchy and internalized racism, sexism, homophobia. White people need to make space in their privileged life and work and free time for people of colour. Every day. And if you think that is tiring… it is. Less tiring however than to be indigenous, black or of colour. At the moment being a muslim, especially being a woman with a headscarf is tiring, scary, sad. The least we can do is to stand up for those women and step in, step up and defend them if anyone, including unfortunately cops who were meant to protect us (?), attacks them or harasses them. Record, but don’t just record. Protect and support your neighbours.

And we have to ask for more. One black barbie isn’t enough just because she didn’t used to be there (isn’t true anyway, there have always been black dolls), our kids need more and different ones!

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DEAR BLACK BARBIE

Candace G. Wiley

I made you fuck my white Barbie
even though I knew you didn’t want to.
There were no whips or chains,
this was a different kind of plantation fantasy.
I didn’t have a Ken doll, so I made you the man.
Not knowing what fucking looked like
I just rubbed you against each other and made you kiss.

I kept you barefoot like you came
three worlds later or fifty years earlier,
but I had Nicki Minaj dreams for us:
bleached brown skin, long stringy yellow hair,
God-blue eyes, lips pink as a Cadillac. Only then
could you wear the best dress and the one pair of pumps.

My dear black Barbie, maybe you needed a grandma
to tell you things are better than they used to be.
There was a time when you didn’t exist at all.

 

http://prairieschooner.unl.edu/excerpt/dear-black-barbie

“Candace G. Wiley is a poet and fiction writer.

She has served as the creative writing director for a reproduction of the musical revue Jacques Brel: Alive and Well and Living in Paris, which was a benefit performance for Haiti, and

she has written dialogues and poetry for the prototype of Ghosts of South Carolina College, an iPhone app.

She recently returned to the United States from San Basilio de Palenque, Colombia, where she conducted research as a Fulbright Fellow for her poetry manuscript.”

https://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/prairie_schooner/v088/88.1.wiley.html

 

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Brenda Hillman #iNeedFeminismBecause Claudia Rankine

on the back and forth blanket
from the fathers’ cars—
they lay down with you, and when
did you start missing them.

As Sacramento missed its yellow dust 1852.
When did you start missing those
who invented your body with their sparks—

(LS, 4) Brenda Hillman

all love is representative
of the beginning of time. When you are loved
the darkness carries you.
When you are loved, you are golden—

(LS, 5-6)

—Then the owl came back the druid the helper
and you asked,
Where is she who we love. Who-who,
it said, who-who, matching sets
for you and her—

you who had thought distinction
in the pronouns
found they were all the same—

(DT, 9)

American Women Poets in the 21st Century, Claudia Rankine ed.

Franny Choi: speaking about vaginas! Rebel mouth.

Vagina poem (I think) by spoken word poet Franny Choi. What are a vag’s ghost stories? What a poet.

Second Mouth
BY FRANNY CHOI

Other-lips whispering between my legs.
What they called black hole not-thing
is really packed full of secrets. A rebel mouth

testifying from the underside. Careful
not to let it speak too loudly. Only hum
demure in polite company—never laugh

or spit on the sidewalk or complain
lest we both be dragged under the wheels of
one of those. Or worse coddled

smiled at as at a lapdog acting wolf.
Or worse called ugly a cruel joke. Or—
there are always worse things.

Too many messengers shot. But then
who wouldn’t fear an eyeless face
whose ghost stories always come true?

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/247316

http://frannychoi.com/lit/

To sit quietly beside a friend

To sit quietly beside a friend

I would like to come to all my friends
– well, also those who are not my friends-
And ask: Love me the way I am
and don’t make demands. See I can’t
entertain you with lively chat, can’t be
quick-witted, witty nor share confidences
about myself or speak my deepest thoughts.
Should we so wear out ourselves – one for the other?

Let me sit next to you without words, quietly,
wrapped up in our own work, our own thoughts
Or- if you’d like to talk- do speak to me
I will listen– if you good-humouredly
with light chat would keep me company,
I will laugh at your banter and your drollery
I will watch you with an earnest face if loftily, or deeply
or idly you speak of much too serious a thing.

But when I sit quietly like this, and listen
to your words- or to the ticking of the clock-
Or, if I let the silence rustle around us,
-it does whisper so delightfully when folks are still-
When I feel glad to be around you,
then I would like to ask, and break the silence

or with my question interrupt our talk:
Say, are you glad also, that I sit here beside you
And if you say yes, then I will say me too.

And that would be all I wished to know
and all that you would need to know of me.

Jacqueline E. van der Waals

Ik zou tot al mijn vrienden willen gaan
-Ook wel tot hen,die niet mijn vrienden zijn-
En vragen:Heb mij lief,gelijk ik ben
En stel aan mij geen eischen.Zie ik kan
niet onderhoudend praten,niet gevat
Of geestig zijn,en niet vertrouwelijk
vertellen van mijzelf of van mijn ziel…..
Wat zouden we ons vermoeien voor elkaar?

Laat mij maar zwijgend naast U zitten.stil
Verdiept in eigen werk,eigen gedachten.
Of-als gij praten wilt-spreek gij tot mij.
k zal wel luisteren,als gij vriendelijk
Met lichten kout mij onderhouden wilt,
Wel lachen om de grappen.die ge zegt,
Wel ernstig kijken,als ge hoog, of diep,
Of ijdel praat van al te diepe dingen…..

Maar als ik dan zo zwijgend zit,en luister
Naar uw gesprek-of naar het klokgetik-
Of , k laat de stilte ruischen om ons heen,-
-Die ruischt zoo prettig,als de mensen zwijgen-
Als ‘ k mij dan blij in uw nabijheid voel,
Dan zou ik willen vragen, en de stilte

-Of ons gesprek-verbreken met mijn vraag:
,,Zeg. zijt ge ook blij,dat ik hier naast u zit?”
Spraakt gij dan,,Ja”, dan zei ik zacht: Ik ook”

En dat was alles,wat ik weten wou
En al, wat gij van mij behoeft te weten.