the penis is something that fits into the vagina so's the tampax or sponge therefore Aristotle never thought of women at all the penis like a tree fits into mouth, hands and asshole too it can be the subject of an academic poem disguised as a sloop, catapult or catamaran's mastpole never the monthly menstruation will she belie tradition's bloody demagoguery enough to appear in the rough in a poem in a monthly I dream I had a deep cut on my finger filled with a delicious tofu cake and when you took off your clothes your penis was among them hanging by a cord on a hook I took it down hoping its disassociation from being would not thus prevent its manly erection from existing and therefore I tried it out and it went well such as license as mine perhaps made it swell independent I think the world is all fucked up in many ways (see footnotes) and one of these is the apparent interdiction in dumb poetic tradition of speaking of and being heard on the glories of sublime menstruation I first got my period when I was twelve the day my father died at least I knew what it was, some girls didn't then we were told you can't go swimming but don't you wanna have children so much for confessionalism I won't call on the moon like in a real poem or anthropology or the bible or talk about being untouchable or power etc. I've nothing at all to say but to exercise my freedom to speak about everything now that poems've got everything in them even rhetoric and dailiness plus the names of things again including flowers like the spotted touch-me-not so inviting to hummingbirds and I'm writing one I'd like to mention or say blatantly I got my period today probably like nobody certainly in the nineteenth century ever did and if you really wanna know most of us you know all get ours on the same day no kidding and we talk about it frequently and peripatetically Alice with Peggy Peggy with Marion Marion with me me with Anne Anne with Alice Peggy with me Grace with Peggy Marion with Grace So Friends! Hold the bloody sponge up! For all to see!
Bernadette Mayer - 1945-2022
Midwinter Day [Excerpt]
I write this love as all transition As if I'm in instinctual flight, a small lady bug With only two black dots on its back Climbs like a blind turtle on my pen And begins to drink ink in the light of tradition We're allowed to crowd love in Like a significant myth resting still on paper I remember being bitten by a spider It was like feeling what they call the life of the mind Stinging my thigh like Dante this guilty beetle Is a frightening thing When it shows its wings And leaps like the story of a woman who once in this house Said the world was like a madhouse cold winds blowing And life looks like some malignant disease, Viewed from the heights of reason Which I don't believe in I know the place Taken by tradition is like superstition And even what they call the Literary leaves less for love I know The world is straight ice I know backwards the grief of life like chance if I can say that I can say easily I know you like the progression From memory to what they call freedom Or reason though it's not reason at all It's an ideal like anarchism though it's not an ideal It's a kind of time that has flown away from causes Or gotten loose from them, pried loose Or used them up, gotten away no one knows why Nothing happens There is no reason, there's no dream it's not inherited Like peace but it's not peace there's no beginning Like religion but it is not God It's more like middle age or humor Without elucidation like greeting-card verse This love is a recognized occasion I know you like I know my times As if I were God and gave you birth if I can say that I can say I am Ra who drew from himself To give birth to Geb and Nut, Isis and Osiris Though it isn't decorous today to say this instead I say You are the resource for my sense of decorum Knowing you as Ra knew the great of magic, His imaginary wife, and without recourse to love Men and women are like tears I would lose my memory, I would sleep twelve hours, I would wake up And get into my boat with my scribe, I would study the twelve hours of the day Spending an hour in each I would have a secret name I would rush upon the guilty without pity Till the goddess of my eye in her vengeance Overwhelmed my own rage as you and I take turns In love's anger like the royal children Born every morning to die that night I know you speak And are as suddenly forgiven, It's the consequence of love' having no cause Then we wonder what we can say I can say I turn formally to love to spend the day, To you to form the night as what I know, An image of love allows what I can't say, Sun's lost in the window and love is below Love is the same and does not keep that name I keep that name and I am not the same A shadow of ice exchanges the color of light, Love's figure to begin the absent night.