Poetic Permission: News Now

Lately, I’ve been deeply moved by so many stories of oppression and persecution in the news. It seems as if women and men all over the world now refuse to be kept down and the tide of freedom is gaining momentum. All of these strong emotions inspire me to write. What else is there to do when faced with so much horror so far outside the span of our control?


Western Saharah

While watching a Democracy Now! news report about the brave women of Western Sahara and their fight for self-directed governance, that little snarky voice in the back of my brain said,  “Ha! And men use the word pussy to call out a coward.”


news now

Now, she’s telling the story of the indigenous peoples of Morocco in Western Sahara.
Genocide and oppression cloaks the earth; no race is safe, no religion blameless.
The women are out on the front lines.
They go out into the streets and demonstrate publicly.
Police and military beat and arrest them.

The women are draped in brightly colored robes
with complicated patterns,
intricate designs bringing to mind
all the lush blossoming places on the planet.  
Sahrawi women speak for Sahrawi peoples.

Sky and blood and life.
The colors of their robes reveal the pulse of the people,
even as same coverings hide lost hair and gained scars.
She is strong. Look how strong,
how sane she seems.
Yet, the men will still say
the police are cowards for beating women.
Scum of the earth pussies.

-billie marie

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Courtship

Stalking easy prey. This was how he understood the wooing process. First dates are for observation; second, for laying the trap. By the third date, no possibility of escape existed for his victims.

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Stalking easy prey. This was how he understood the wooing process.
He chose the flowers he would present to her on date number three based on the color of her energy. She was always so impressed with his ability to ‘guess’ her preferences, and altogether failed to remember answering this question about herself, or elaborating on that childhood story. Guided by an experienced hand, her conscious discerned only an intensity of interest on his part, which translated as taking her seriously.

He prided himself on setting the scene. Sometimes, he wished her in a dress, and so, he arranged for a more upscale location at a later than usual dinner time. Other times, he desired her in something casually-cool so would get tickets to the theater or a concert. On rare occasions, he was drawn to the more masculine aspects of her person, and liked her in jeans and gym shoes. This prompted something along the lines of a sporting event.

He was truly and overly obsessive during these endeavors. Perhaps they served as his second advanced degree; quite possibly a graduate degree in seduction. He studied her mannerisms, voice inflections and facial expressions so intently, she had no choice but to believe he was genuinely ‘into’ her. Indeed, he was ‘into’ her, and though an inevitable end would come, he honestly hadn’t the foresight to see it.

By date number three, he knew all he believed was necessary to know about her. This was why he made sure to never schedule encounters more closely than one week apart. He found through experience, that after he had absorbed all of what he wanted of her, their time together was limited to merely an additional 11 weeks. An average 14 weeks was not ever the relationship time-frame he set out to achieve. Nonetheless, this is the span he tended towards.

By week 10, she began to notice that his interest appeared to be waning. Week 11 brought her to the realization that she had developed feelings for him. By the end of week 13, induced by his ever decreasing attentions, panic set in and she began to initiate contact more frequently.

Week 14. The end.

He simply could not understand why the women who chose to date him were always able to hide their ‘crazy’ until after he’d invested so much time, attention, energy and money. How were they so deceptive? How, with all the questions and careful observation, could he keep missing it until the end? “Ah well”, he often thought on the occasion of such an end. “There’s plenty more where that came from.”

 

 

 

Love …with a chaser of trauma

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Romantic relationships afford a most ideal petri dish for abuse.

Love doesn’t always have to come with a chaser of trauma.” I don’t remember where I originally heard or read this quote. And though I can’t claim it as my own, it communicates, so very clearly, a powerful and pivotal theme present throughout my journey.

If I chose to love you, and chose to continue to love you, do I then unwittingly chose suffering?

Intimate relationships afford a most ideal petri dish for abuse. And why? Because we are vulnerable with the ones we love; and vulnerability, in and of itself, invites abuse. On the other side of the love=trauma equation, we tend to get careless when we get comfortable. Our selfish nature asserts itself wholeheartedly, managing to inflict trauma, even without intention. The truth is that most of us will admit to staring in roles of both victim and villain when it comes to love.

So what is my response? Should I proceed with fear-laced caution? Or maybe I lead with a dagger, increasing the chances of delivering the first strike. I could also carry on through these chaotic seas shielded by iron (though I prefer masonry), preventing penetration – pleasurable or otherwise.

I don’t accept that there is one true and proper way to respond. I may try disparate approaches with different people in varying situations. Nevertheless, I do believe in the importance of being awake to the love/trauma dynamic and to the truly contrary nature of each, despite their perceived correlation.

-billie marie