(audio version from
"The Alchemy of the Word: SF Poets Live At Venue 9")

I live in a world where women have operations

where Frankensteins armies give us

what we think we want

collagenated lips and

hard blisters in our chest

tombstones betraying the mounds

our grandmothers fed time with


a world where doctors tell women

it is our fault, our uteruses are wrong

our emotions too unstable for lasting health

where women say

I dont use it anymore anyway

as if times had changed

and it was routine

to have our insides gutted

that the terror we felt

when Hitlers men did it

wasnt our nightmare


where we have our viscera vacuumed

clean out fat

like chocolate stains

left behind by idle fingers

our thighs and bellies sucked barren

by gambling hoses

again and again

each time deciding an aneurysm

is a trivial price

for yet another shot

at willpower


a world where women buy magazines

populated by perfect little dolls

pages of un-ripened arms and asses

hips too narrow for children

airbrushes defying the gravity

we see in the mirror

leaving us to compete

against ourselves

against credit cards

wielded as our only defense


where our hair is plucked

waxed and shaved

and a Halloween mask

plasters our skin

shadowing our eyes

tarring our lashes

dying us blonde

because corporations

of not-so-gentle men

--of both sexes--prefer it


a world where beauty is pain

and surgeons are sadists

paid to break our noses

use knives to cut away

the echoes of our laughter

as if tucking the memories

could turn the clock

back to more victorious times

those years when women were afraid

and men listened

even if only to hear us in bed


where breasts are scaffolded

feet spiked, nails pressed on

where we discount our flesh

for the deed to a five bedroom house

a six-figure checking account

a seven dollar blow job

our smells douched and flowered

sneaking just enough pheromones

to lure him away from his desk

his secretary, his wife


a world where women cook

feed others so we can binge or starve

slip mindlessly into the calorie mantra

haunt grocery isles and bakery counters

losing hours to the fat content of Haagen Dazs

skin our chicken bones

till there is nothing

worth fighting for

nobody fit enough for battle


where women have forgotten

forgotten we are lifes urn

the instrument of every song

these temples desecrated

their dreams turned wicked

leaving only dead, plastic bodies

our once-watchful moon

shrouded by Prozac

and the lunacy

of motherless milk, ghettos

and war and war and war


I live in a world where women







are hushed, flattered

beaten into service

one by one

their visions


their strength

mocked by cigarette billboards

univited hands



This is a world where women do not belong

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