The Rape Poem

By Marge Piercy

This poem first appeared in “Red War Sticks”
Feminist Alliance Against Rape Newsletter April/May 1975


There is no difference between being raped
And being pushed down a flight of cement steps

Except that the wounds also bleed inside.
There is no difference between being raped
And being run over by a truck
Except that afterward men ask if you enjoyed it.

There is no difference between being raped
And being bitten by a rattlesnake
Except that people ask if your skirt was short
And why you were out alone anyhow.

There is no difference between being raped
And going headfirst through a windshield
Except that afterwards you are afraid
Not of cars
But half the human race.

The rapist is your boyfriend’s brother.
He sits beside you in the movies eating popcorn.
Rape fattens on the fantasies of the normal male
Like a maggot in garbage.

Fear of rape is a cold wind blowing
All of the time on a woman’s hunched back.
Never to stroll alone on a sand road through pinewoods,
Never to climb a trail across a bald
Without that aluminum in the mouth
When I see a man climbing toward me.

Never to open the door to a knock
Without that razor just grazing the throat.
The fear of the dark side of hedges,
The back seat of the car, the empty house
Rattling keys like a snakes warning.
The fear of the smiling man
In whose pocket is a knife
Waiting to glide its shark’s length between my ribs.
In whose fist is locked hatred.

—————————————————————

Source: The All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA)

http://aipwa-aipwa.blogspot.in/2012/12/the-rape-poem.html?spref=fb

 

All the pharoahs must fall

(click this link) [all the pharoahs must fall]

by Hossam El-Hamalawy

Mohamed Bouazizi didn’t have a permit to sell fruit

didn’t have government permission to earn a living
to live.
the police took his fruit and slapped his face
he went to the governor’s office. they refused to see him
he poured paint thinner on his body
and lit the match

all the pharaohs must fall

we needed inspiration, to be awakened
in our bodies, our lives made present
here we are
the world is not right, just or fair
the most have the least
the least have the most

all the pharaohs must fall

all the kings of jordan
all the queens of england
all the bridges crumbling
dictators like dominos
israel is a pharaoh
and must fall. all the leaders
with colonial control
who ransack resources
in Africa, who steal
lives in east oakland
who protect jon burge

all the pharaohs must fall

all the pharaohs who reign
over fruitsellers and farmers
the world over
the world is over

all the pharaohs must fall

the tycoons and filthy rich
heads of state on the chopping block
chairmen ousted from their seats.
there are many ways to do this
the giant is waking, it is the body
of the people who have little
to fall back on. no doctor or bank
account. the people who hand to mouth
who check to check. all this
scrounging kept us occupied.
all the gathering of crumbs
left us looking at the ground
but the bodies ablaze have given
us literal whitman’s, at wits end
they sing the body electrocuted
incinerated, sparks to wake us in the war machine
wake us in the mineshaft stuffing richmen’s pockets
wake us in our second job, our second mortgage, our second marriage
wake us in the routinized mechanics of our own labor
wake us cleaning gold toilet bowls, searing foie gras
all security guards, fast food line cooks and cashiers
all barbers and teachers, basket weavers and tea makers
all field hands and construction workers
all women with needles and men with hammers
all bodies who drive or lift, who sweep or cook
every body who takes away, who takes orders
every body whose body needs a break or bus pass
who needs an eye exam or job or a better job
every body whose body is uninsured, under fed
unaccounted for by governments and corporations
who bureaucratize their love

wake in this new day
look around
neighbors are allies
we don’t have to compete with
we can ally and fight with them
there are more of us
who don’t drill or bomb or legislate
more of us who 3rd shift and wash dishes
more of us who forge papers and sneak over fences
more of us worried about unlawful arrests
and whose worry arrests in the night without sleep

wake in this new day
we will all die soon
let us live while we have the chance
while we have this day
to build and plot and devise
to create and make the world
just
this time for us
this time for all
this time the pharaohs must fall

“Kevin Coval – All the pharoahs must fall” by Hossam El-Hamalawy is licensed under a Creative Commons License

December 26, 118 years since the birth of Mao Zedong: revolutionary leader, thinker, teacher, poet

Mao Zedong with peasants in Yenan, 1937

Reascending Chingkangshan

(To the tune of Shui Tiao Keh Tou – May 1965)

I have long aspired to reach for the clouds

And I again ascend Chingkangshan.

Coming from afar to view our old haunt, I find new scenes replacing the old.

Everywhere orioles sing, swallows dart,

Streams babble

And the road mounts skyward.

Once Huangyangchieh is passed

No other perilous place calls for a glance.

Wind and thunder are stirring,

Flags and banners are flying

Wherever men live.

Thirty-eight years are fled

With a mere snap of the fingers.

We can clasp the moon in the Ninth Heaven

And seize turtles deep down in the Five Seas:

We’ll return amid triumphant song and laughter.

Nothing is hard in this world

If you dare to scale the heights.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Continue reading

I don’t write poems but, in any case, poems are not poems

I don’t write poems but, in any case, poems are not poems

Ghassan Hage

Long ago, I was made to understand that Palestine was not Palestine ;
I was also informed that Palestinians were not Palestinians;
They also explained to me that ethnic cleansing was not ethnic cleansing.
And when naive old me saw freedom fighters
they patiently showed me that they were not freedom fighters,
and that resistance was not resistance.
And when, stupidly, I noticed arrogance, oppression and humiliation
they benevolently enlightened me so I can see that arrogance was not arrogance,
oppression was not oppression, and humiliation was not humiliation.
I saw misery, racism, inhumanity and a concentration camp.
But they told me that they were experts
in misery, racism, inhumanity and concentrations camps
and I have to take their word for it:
this was not misery, racism, inhumanity and a concentrations camp.
Over the years they’ve taught me so many things:
invasion was not invasion, occupation was not occupation,
colonialism was not colonialism and apartheid was not apartheid…
They opened my simple mind to even more complex truths
that my poor brain could not on its own compute like:
‘having nuclear weapons’ was not ‘having nuclear weapons’,
‘not having weapons of mass destruction’ was ‘having weapons of mass destruction’.
And, democracy (in the Gaza strip) was not democracy.
Having second class citizens (in Israel ) was democracy.
So you’ll excuse me if I am not surprised to learn today
that there were more things that I thought were evident that are not:
peace activists are not peace activists, piracy is not piracy,
the massacre of unarmed people is not the massacre of unarmed people.
I have such a limited brain and my ignorance is unlimited.
And they’re so fucking intelligent. Really.