Ode on Periods
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!
From Another Smashed Pinecone by Bernadette Mayer, published by United Artists Books. Copyright © 1998 by Bernadette Mayer. Reprinted by permission of United Artists Books. All rights reserved.