In the Men’s room(s)…

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In the Men’s Room(s).

When I was young I believed in intellectual conversation:

 I thought the patterns we wove on stale smoke

 floated off to the heaven of ideas.

 To be certified worthy of high masculine discourse

 like a potato on a grater I would rub on contempt,

 suck snubs, wade proudly through the brown stuff on the floor.


 They were talking of integrity and existential ennui

 while the women ran out for six-packs and had abortions

 in the kitchen and fed the children and were auctioned off.


Eventually of course I learned how their eyes perceived me:

 when I bore to them cupped in my hands a new poem to nibble,

 when I brought my aerial maps of Sartre or Marx,

 they said, she is trying to attract our attention,

 she is offering up her breasts and thighs.

 I walked on eggs, their tremulous equal:

 they saw a fish peddler hawking in the street.


Now I get coarse when the abstract nouns start flashing.

 I go out to the kitchen to talk cabbages and habits.

 I try hard to remember to watch what people do.

 Yes, keep your eyes on the hands, let the voice go buzzing.

 Economy is the bone, politics is the flesh,

 watch who they beat and who they eat,

 watch who they relieve themselves on, watch who they own.

 The rest is decoration.

-Marge Piercy.



  1. C’est vraiment superbe ce poème ! Et qu’est-ce qu’il est vrai : pendant qu’ils discourent sur l’imperfection du monde (dont ils sont largement responsables) et comment y remédier (ah ah), les femmes en ont la charge et font tourner la planète. Je partage sur Twt, merci encore :))


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