Oh no


dare write it

honestly, I’m warning you

don’t do it.

Haven’t you been listening?

People (that’s the noise you hear outside your cardboard box)

don’t (that’s a definite by the way)

want . to . hear. about. you.

Frankly? They’ve had it up to here

(or even higher, if you stand on a chair, but mind you don’t tip over)

with the words of women who possess

white skin, light colored eyes, a middle class background

or something approximating (after all, the middle class are dying, they are

collapsing under the weight of holding up a false fabric and you can see

the lie of it, peaking from underneath a pretend sky, yellowed with time)

you are not

in the trenches anymore, you safe, safe feminist

you are yesterday’s news wrapping up cold fish n’ chips

we read your forebearers already (sometimes I too found them depressing and self-involved)

the ones who (drowned themselves with stones in their felt pockets)

the ones who (put their heads in the oven, miraculously keeping their stockings from running and their lipstick without a smudge

the ones who (had privilege even as they thought they were dispossessed and impoverished by the stern buckle of man)

the ones who (could get a university degree, were not turned away from being served at a restaurant in Cambridge Massachusetts only last year, with #BLM on the brick wall a few streets down, what a fucking irony that was)

So until you are (a person of color on the OUTSIDE where people can decide to treat you with respect or shit on you from their delusion of superiority)

until you are (condemned, mocked, belittled, ignored, rejected, for that skin)

until you know (what it’s like to grow up without any money, security, education, safety, prospects)

we’ve heard you and we’re bored of you and we don’t want to hear anymore


dial tone

letter unopened

goodbye sender.

It is 2021. The worn shellac from the withering year before has

begun to buckle, we don’t know what to expect, we only know

what we can no longer tolerate, even as our ivory towers

continue to hum with the incessant, nascent buzz of egos

bathing in each other’s radiance (but they are too far away to really count)

(aren’t they?)

those left in the shadow, carrying mixed-genes in multicolor packages

drugs on the tongue, under strobes, nobody can tell where you’re from

ecstasy is the iris and the onyx

pick up their belongings and leave town for good

they are done with Pushcart trollies of people

bartering and bantering, blinkers full on

creating a better world out of the same blunt tools

we used last time to ill effect (putting people in jars, saying who is and isn’t worthy, over compensating and then rejecting those who were and now are not)

it makes them laugh and then cry, if they think on it

but they do not think on it often, they are focused instead

on walking without shoes and how, by doing so,

they feel everything

maybe even the smooth stones in Sylvia’s pocket (was it really felt? Or fur? Is fur allowed?)

as they eat their Vegan treat and rub their foreheads clean

of Athena’s damning pinprick.

16 Replies to “ecstasy is the iris and the onyx”

  1. I think the big issue is, we are all human. We are all hurting. We are all healing. We all have potential. We all want to be loved. We all want to be understood. We are all valid.

    Skin color – doesn’t come into play, no matter what the main stream media tries to preach
    Gender – doesn’t come into play, no matter what Hollywood tries to flaunt
    Background, History, whether sick or healthy, whether rich or poor, whether intelligent or not, whether you own or rent, whether you live in India or the USA or Peru… NONE of it matters because inside we ARE the same. We are Human. Let us love freely, let us forgive freely, let us live freely.

  2. As I absorb the woven strands
    No, contemplate the flashing of
    Kaleidoscope shards (so sharp)
    On the radio the LA Philharmonic plays
    Stravinsky, the ritual, the sacrifice
    The maiden dances to death
    As the elders look on.

  3. Aah I love what you wrote here and completely agree in theory all of these things simply shouldn’t matter. We are all the same. I do so wish others thought as you did.

  4. The purpose behind writing this was how we make these social shifts and we ‘throw out the old’ in favor of what is ‘in vogue’ and by so doing we eliminate the very things that inspired those who inspired those who inspired those. I see it all the time. People published more for who they are than what they have written. People condemned for being this over that. It’s as you say, we’re all much more alike than not. But I was imagining a time when they threw out the old women poets I grew up loving and what they would say by way of reproach.

  5. As I was reading and then, writing, another connection, the chorus of Phil Ochs’ “The Crucifixion” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIwbeEGXj5E] kept playing in mind:
    “So dance dance dance
    Teach us to be true
    Come dance dance dance
    ‘Cause we love you”

  6. I got that perfectly from your piece, Candice. My response was only one echoing (or so I imagined) the underlying meaning. You know me: I believe in shining light into darkness, truth onto lies. The surface stuff shouldn’t matter if we, as individuals… who will ultimately change society, alter our perceptions and make the conscious choice to view each person as a Human, rather than a label.

    I agree with you. Society seems to shift far too far one way or the other in hopes of “something new/better”. Balance and respect, it appears, are rare in this day.

    I love and respect you, my lovely friend.

  7. Yes totally I think we’re on the same page more often than that and it’s worrying that some of that you can’t ‘say’ without people holding it against you. I really understand that too.

  8. so true about balance and respect being rare today you’ve nailed it. I respect you also my lovely friend and you know you have my eternal friendship which also is rare these days

  9. The inspiration is wonderfully mutual.

    The themes continued to rebound, going to remembering that Freud developed psychoanalysis with patients diagnosed with Hysteria, for which the usual treatment of the time was Hysterectomy, reflecting the idea that having a womb made women crazy. That reflected back to the emphasis placed is some discussions of feminist writers on depression and suicide (i.e. – “Can we take their analysis seriously when they are mentally ill?”).

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