heart head gut by Melita White

heart says:
this is good
will heal wounds
subconscious drives heart
subterranean rumbles
seemingly seamless with self
fuels ecstasy
fired by heart
which always agrees
always says
yes please
i am flying
and i want
more
fill up the more
with still more
i beg you
yearnings come from heart
urges cravings
stoke want need
desire for skin
softly melts
swells lips
lubricates
mood set aloft
inebriates
heart
wants to soar

heart ignores head
head is distant
rationality
head is cold
says
i’m the boss
your filter
valorised by humanity
by vain argument
of capability
denial of need
my specialty
but use me
and i’ll keep you
level
aloof
removed
head looks for neat sums
that feel complete
but rarely come

gut knows best
shocks and churns
in instant response
to threat
knows head is slow
to catch up
language and logic
its speed bumps
and heart too quick
to drop guard
get carried away
on a trip
gut is ancient
wise
gut knows
and protects
gut’s whiskers detect
vibrations
gut’s feelers tingle
with signal
gut remembers predators
knows foe at a whiff
knows friends too
ah yes
i remember you

head battles for supremacy
i know
heart yearns to have its holes filled
i want
gut just knows yet struggles to be heard
listen

Melita White is founder and writer of the blog Feminist Confessional, a space that features feminist poetry, essays and personal pieces in a confessional style, with a focus on the MeToo movement. She is a composer and musician and loves making all kinds of things. https://feministconfessional.wordpress.com

I was a mountain by Melita White

mountain-2143877_1920

One day, when I was six, I became a mountain
It was the day I yelled and screamed with righteousness into thick air, the air my only witness, while I sat on my bed’s soft bedrock
And with my pillow I swiped at that air, at the bed, at the enemy sitting next to me — her name was Injustice
And the rage burst out like lava from a fissure that needed so much to crack open and Injustice was afraid of me and though the lesson did not teach her anything I learnt there was power in truth and in my anger
I was a mountain

To freeze is not to escape but is to survive by staying still
A fawn is a baby deer but it also means to play along so someone doesn’t kill you
To flee is to run away from danger and escape
And to be able to fight and win — what a dream and privilege that would be

The quake I felt once I’d escaped, its aftershocks I felt again
My heart was coming loud with aches
Thrashed heavy like the pillow you used to suffocate
The murmurs that catch upon my breath
Are the beating wings of the bird trapped in my chest
While she’s learning to fly she remembers to sing
And the frozen fawn she flees the scene

My six year old awoke this morning, her rage amplified so hard by life that the walls pulsed, the glass throbbed and the wood thumped in sympathy
I will give you a thumping my father said to my brother
It was a threat to behave better like your hands on my throat were a suggestion of death
The fawn froze
Half-dead half-here half-there
Brain bisected violently, hurtling towards life and death simultaneously
You refuse to give life, to grow branches and shoot out twigs and new leaves
Your roots stay stuck in your concrete pot, demand that others tend without taking
A puppet ruler, a tin-pot dictator — you fail to give even air

And yet we write — our words don’t flee, they stand and fight
Poems infiltrate the water supply like truth serum
Liars are exposed
The ghosts of those you murdered stand outside your house banging loudly on pots and pans
Charivari, the rough music of justice, the just music of shame
Groundwater toxins vibrate in time, buckle epidermis of earth which pops with stochastic rhythm driven nonsensical by algorithms forming sharp little mountains everywhere the music is heard
The anvil of avoidance presses down firmly, suppressing pain and signals that should be voiced
The pressure exerted here will form a mountain over there
The rough music of justice will be heard and it will make tall mountains

I remember the facile pointless lessons repeated to you yet not learnt
Like discussing morality with a naughty child in an alien dialect
Your tongue so close to my own, the timbre alike but the words made no sense
The dissonance so loud that the difference tones buzzed my eardrums and filled my brain with hot fuzz like lava
And the mountains swelled and popped up randomly on the surface of my mind
And I became one — again
I became a mountain

Melita White is founder and writer of the blog Feminist Confessional, a space that features feminist poetry, essays and personal pieces in a confessional style, with a focus on the MeToo movement. She is a composer and musician and loves making all kinds of things. https://feministconfessional.wordpress.com

When you are a woman in the country by Melita White

When you are a woman in the country
You should be careful to not look like a woman
You should not wear pink
That colour of women
When you go to collect your mail
From the letterbox on the main road
As the trucks whizz by at 100km per hour
And the men leer
Out of open windows
Sometimes waving, sometimes just looking
You’d better hope your titties don’t poke out
From beneath your top either
And give the game away
It’s best to wear drab baggy clothes
A hat
Dark glasses
And keep your head down
Hoist your shoulders up round your neck
And swagger a bit
You might fool them that way
And when you duck down that country lane
On foot, crying when it’s raining
Because you had a fight with your boyfriend
Whatever you do
Don’t shake the hand of the man in the pick-up truck
Oh sure, smile sweetly and answer his questions
When he stops to ask what you’re doing walking out here
In the middle of nowhere
But do not take his hand when he offers it
It is dirty with grease and dark like his soul and you know it
And when he drives away finally
After scaring you and deciding you are too much trouble (phew!)
You should quickly climb the fence and walk, no, run across the field
The muddy muddy field
Because you’re so much safer there
Even if your new shoes will be ruined
And soaked and caked with mud
Country men do not pretend as much as city men do
They let their lust show on their faces, unfiltered
And in their bodies
They readily stare as if they never got the memo
That memo the city men got years ago
Or, at least some of them did,
That it’s rude, and maybe even threatening
To stare at a woman
So at night when you’re getting undressed
Make sure the curtains are closed
So that the man with the binoculars across the fields
Can’t play Peeping Tom with you
And make sure the lights are out
So that your shapely silhouette doesn’t broadcast itself
On the thin yellow curtains
It might just be considered an invitation

Melita White is founder and writer of the blog Feminist Confessional, a space that features feminist poetry, essays and personal pieces in a confessional style, with a focus on the MeToo movement. She is a composer and musician and loves making all kinds of things. https://feministconfessional.wordpress.com