Friday, April 07, 2006

Friday Poetry Blogging: Alma Mater Begging Letter Edition

So, the begging letter came. This time it had a barely veiled complaint about the lack of alumnae dedication to the old college fund. (Pseudo-feminist guilt-bombing, interesting.) I'm debating whether it's worth my time to send the letter back informing them that if fewer women left the university feeling like this, they just might get a few more alumnae donations.

Unlearning to not speak: Marge Piercy

Blizzards of paper
in slow motion
sift through her.
In nightmares she suddenly recalls
a class she signed up for
but forgot to attend.
Now it is too late.
Now it is time for finals:
losers will be shot.
Phrases of men who lectured her
drift and rustle in piles:
Why don't you speak up?
Why are you shouting?
You have the wrong answer,
wrong line, wrong face.
They tell her she is womb-man,
baby machine, mirror image, toy
earth mother and penis-poor,
a dish of synthetic strawberry icecream
rapidly melting
She grunts to a halt.
She must learn again to speak
starting with I
starting with We
starting as the infant does
with her own true hunger
and pleasure
and rage.

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