Featured Post: We Should All Be Feminists – Robert G Wertzler

Should we all be feminists?
Some, many, too many ask, “Why?”
They ask the wrong question
Better to turn that around
Stand it on its head
Ask, “Why not?”
That one tells the tale
Of the illusion of male
Supremacy
Control
Privilege
Myths of a God
Without a Goddess
The Father
without
The Mother
A universe out of balance
A world, a realm of Life
Men may
Rape
Devour
Carve up
Poison
Own bits of to
Exploit
Dig up
Dump on
Kill over
Because Earth
Is a Woman
Mother of Life
And so, fair game
Like all women
That is the answer
To, “Why not?”
And the answer to “Why?”
Is to heal the damage
Restore the balance
Between men and women
As between Humans
And the only home we know
The Mother of all

 


Bob Wertzler is retired from almost twenty years in the mental health field in California and Arizona. There are times the title, “Recovering Therapist”, seems to fit. In 2006 he retired to move to Western North Carolina to help and become primary care giver for his father who had developed Dementia. Before all that, there was work at various times as a soldier (US Army 1967-70), community organizer, cab driver, welfare case worker, wooden toy maker, carpenter, warehouse worker, and other things. He relates to a line in a Grateful Dead song, “What a long, strange trip its been.”

We Should All Be Feminists – Christine E. Ray

Feminist:*

adjective Sometimes fem·i·nis·tic.
advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.

noun
an advocate of such rights.


I keep my feminist agenda
clearly displayed
on the refrigerator
whimsical magnets
holding it firmly in place
much to the discomfort
of those visitors
who are convinced
that feminists have no
sense of humor
I would like to say
that I cross items
off the list daily
but combatting toxic masculinity
eliminating outdated gender roles
stomping out rape culture
and smashing the patriarchy
are a lifetime commitment
visitors are also flummoxed
to see my bra lying
on the stairs
perhaps they are surprised
that a self-declared feminist
actually owns a bra
or perhaps they are
confusing me with
a stereotypical gay man
no one would ever
accuse me
of being tidy
my bra and I
have a love-hate relationship
or is it a
hate-hate relationship?
I hate the bra
but I hate the laws of gravity
even more
speaking of gay men
I think most people
really don’t care
who puts what where
when two or more
consenting adults
are behind closed doors
I think homophobic men
are obsessed with the notion
that a man
attracted to
another man
could be perceived
as dainty
feminine
dare I say?
womanly
we wouldn’t want that now
would we?

© 2019 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All Rights Reserved
*Dictionary.com
Image courtesy of Pinterest

 

Featured Post: We Should All Be Feminists – Tamara Fricke

We should all be feminists
but inconvenience constrains us
in bra straps & high heels
as hair bleach and tweezers
fray the edges of self-regard
leaving a mirrored image
of superficialities that
life raft us to an early grave
praying that daughters
do better and shatter glass
bloodied knuckles
barely broke.


Tamara Fricke is the 2010 co-winner of the Gertrude Claytor Award of the Academy of American Poets and is previously published by The Lyon Review, Meat for Tea, Attack Bear Press Poetry Vending Machine, Whisper and the Roar, We Will Not Be Silenced, and has been included in a number of compilations.  Her poetry chapbook Our Requiem was released in 2014.  She lives in Springfield, MA, with an ungrateful cat, where she writes grants professionally.

Featured Post: Dear Charlotte Perkins Gilman (Yellow Wallpaper) – V.J. Knutson

I have examined your wallpaper,
discussed the scholarly attributes
of shades of yellow, traced the edges
of your unravelling with my mind,
argued the merits of Gothic horror;

marvelled at the brilliance of wording,
the courage to define the nature of
feminine madness, the boldness to
highlight inequalities long before the
establishment of a Person’s Act.

Forgive me, but I need to set aside
this keyboard for a moment, for I tire
easily, am suffering from an exhaustion
that is systemic and calls for elimination
of all stimulus in favour of rest, you see

I share your sentence of confinement,
isolated to a room with windows, my
mind wandering to ancestral gardens,
contemplating shadows and movement
cognizant of underlying forces, creeping.

My husband has just left, dear man, having
checked on me, taking on my burden,
concerned that I am not sleeping at night
thinks that by reading and rereading your
words I am only fueling an already over-

active imagination; begging me to be still
as the doctor has recommended; but I am
burning to tell you that time has no
relevance between us and that you and I
exist simultaneously – a secret we dare

not confess – how correct your impulse
that there was more than one woman,
that we are many, barred by the designs
of society, papered over by irrational,
outdated shades of yellow, lacking

symmetry, or sensibility, suffocating
our creativity, tortuously contorting
ourselves to been seen, accepted.
It is the smell of our discordant souls
that pervades your consciousness

the rotted withering of  a stifled
existence – a yellowed existence –
once hopeful, sunny, now molding
mucous, desperately torn away
at the edges, pleading for escape

How grateful I am that you see –
may I call you Charlotte – that you
have smelled the angst, witnessed
the struggle, are willing to tear at
the sticking places, to set us free.


You can read more of V.J.’s writing at One Woman’s Quest

Featured Post: The Yellow Wallpaper – Tamara Fricke

A butterfly trapped in your net,
again, unable to fathom such
a carefully laid cage, again,
still knowing, painfully and
again, that every wing beat
is a lifetime lost; stillness is
a guillotine again, because
your affection crawls slowly
through wallpaper, again
consuming tendons, blood,
and bone, again and I die
screaming in silence
again.


Tamara Fricke is the 2010 co-winner of the Gertrude Claytor Award of the Academy of American Poets and is previously published by The Lyon Review, Meat for Tea, Attack Bear Press Poetry Vending Machine, Whisper and the Roar, We Will Not Be Silenced, and has been included in a number of compilations.  Her poetry chapbook Our Requiem was released in 2014.  She lives in Springfield, MA, with an ungrateful cat, where she writes grants professionally.

Featured Post: The Yellow Wallpaper – Georgiann Carlson

she was kept in a room
or a box
as she thought of it
dismissed by those around her
who never listened to a word she said
or understood what she meant
labeled
as
unimportant
worthless
insane
she was bored
and purposely driven mad
by those who were supposed to love her
she started crawling
around the baseboard
pulling off small strips
of the yellow wallpaper
that’s when she began to talk to herself
finally having someone who would listen
so she crawled
and she talked
and she tore
and as she tore
the strips grew larger
and larger
which made her very happy
so when she finally
killed her husband
she wrapped him
in strips of yellow wallpaper
and in the silence
when she could no longer
hear his hateful voice
she began to blossom


I’m an artist, a writer, a vegetarian, an animal rights activist, and quite a few other things as well. I love books, cats, philosophy, good conversation, Chicago and the arts. So my blog is full of bits and pieces but it’s the bits and pieces that make life interesting to me. You can read more of my writing at Rethinking Life

Yellow Wallpaper – Susanne Alexa N. Hillman

With my sisters we tore down the yellow wallpaper
the maddening one that ensnared you when you wanted to run
we found you hiding under the bed shaking and mumbling
and we listened and returned to you your song
which had been silenced by a heedless spell.
We patched up the walls and painted them purple
and then we opened some windows so the light could shine through
we folded the shreds into paper boats and set them afloat
on the river by the well
your husband, we sent him to hell.


Susanne Alexa N. Hillman grew up trilingual in Zurich, Switzerland with a Swedish mother and an American father. The first time she heard poetry was at the C. G. Jung Institute, where her father was director of studies. Though very young, she remembers the beauty of language and the rapt audience in the dark, packed auditorium. At 18 she moved to New York to pursue music, playing drums in the bands Hit By A Truck, Five Easy Pieces and Lieutenant 70. She was part of the New York underground scene of the 1980s and spent most of her young years in clubs dancing, attending concerts, rehearsing, and performing. In her 30s she studied art history and received a PhD with a dissertation on Robert Rauschenberg. She then moved back to Europe to start a family and write, and spends her summers on a remote island in northern Sweden. She has lived in Berlin since 2013 where she became inspired by the lively English language poetry scene to write poetry full-time.  You can read  more of her writing