Being seen, being seen as a whole
person—woman, mother, body, brain,
artist, aesthetic, sensuality, mastermind—is a neat trick.
I don’t care what they say. I want to see more.
You make feminism look good.
Every word, every move is politician
I keep looking and listening for a chink to sink my hook in
I want to believe, I want to, I want to, and when I get that ballot
I’m going to twist my eyes shut
and hope you’re still human.
If you’re the overlooked face of feminism
we all know why. I shouldn’t stoop but but butt
you don’t mind so I’ll make an exception and ask what
will you do with all this attention?
If your ass could talk, what would it say?
First things first, I’m a realist
liking your song might make me racist
if I can only hear rap when it’s sung by a white girl
who thinks she invented it.
I’m going to close my eyes, hum along, and pretend you’re different.
Seeing and hearing are two separate things
Being heard and seen. It’s hard to listen with your eyes
open, like blowing a bubble and whistling dixie
like challenging yourself to an arm wrestle
at some point, one prevails or they wipe each other out.
And in this corner we have our champion
weighing in at 90 lbs and wearing a long black robes
and lacy doilies, she punches the air as she taps out
some furious, eloquent footwork. Look out, boys, the Notorious RBG
is in the house.
When I announced to my seniors that we’d read Beloved,
one student raised her hand and spat, “I hate that book.”
When asked why, she blurted something about its being
too literary, too perfect for English classes, too full
of gravitas, and I wondered, what does it take to be heard?
When the school bell rings, it’s loud and rude and I clamp my hands
over my girl’s ears to protect her eardrums. It’s silly, I know
she has her own hands and when she was born I warned her dad
“It’s her vagina and she’ll do what she wants with it.” But still
when I see you up there I want to cover your eyes so you won’t see this.
You see a mess and you run to put your foot in
You take it and turn it into something personal, turn it into
art, into Artistic Mess on Amanda Palmer
that’s what you do (and what I’m doing now)
and I love that about you.
When I was very young, I posed naked. I thought then they’d all
understand. But for years after, I was the glossy thing in the girly magazine,
the freakishly short one with the weird mole on her neck.
The thing about being seen
is being seen.
Still a girl but already you know
seen not seen, hidden, hated, what we all dare do
with faces, minds, limbs, even when we don’t really want to
be seen. They see what they see
but you point and nod to the bones, the naked bones.
Who did you enjoy seeing or hearing in 2014?
I love this. And I love that it’s still snowing, for some reason.
Why is it still snowing? (It ought to turn to confetti at the new year.) Thank you for liking!
Very interesting. I like Rebecca Solnit and Naomi Klein, but not to look at, I don’t know what they look like. Though I could have sworn I saw Naomi Klein in the Department of Motor Vehicles yesterday getting a driver’s license.
Rebecca Solnit is on fire, and I’m afraid to say that Naomi Klein had not yet blipped on my radar until you mentioned her. Now I’m off down a rabbit hole to chase her. (I look at the author’s photo as a reflex. The face is just one more clue.)
I saw different women. I saw women with names I can’t share, because danger tacks along after like a shadow, gum-stuck to the bottom of their feet. I saw women who’d only seen the bad side of humanity. Women who’d barely escaped, barely been rescued, barely been given dignity. I saw them and cried with them and hugged them and thanked them. I learned from them.
I saw complete brokenness, and I saw healing come out of that brokenness. It was terrible and it hurt and it was delicately and deeply beautiful.
Yep so awkies moment – I recognized very few of the names you poet-ed about. *blush* Guess who doesn’t follow those things…? This shy silly lil one over here.
I don’t follow these things, they follow me. Plus, I have two daughters. So. But even so, I find most parts of our world fascinating.
Gianna Gianna Gianna. Where did you come from? I think I better follow you around for awhile to find out.
Not to sound tacky and fake or anything, but after not blogging or reading blogs for weeks, I sincerely hoped you’d have a recent post because I like your words.
It sounds a lot cheesier than it’s meant to.
I love this, Anna. A lot of it made me smile and laugh. I like what you said about Amanda Palmer. I really admire her. And Kim’s “what would it say?” Ha.
Amanda Palmer. *swoon*
I love that you keep stretching, making me think and wonder. New thoughts, new words, new means. Just gorgeous.
“Not knowing what one is doing is no prohibition to doing it. We all grope ahead.”
Awesome post. Fun and thought provoking. You are so right re: KK – what a waste of a platform. And hey, we’d probably just criticise her for any politics or philanthropy offerings anyway. More fool us she cries.
Or maybe she is saying something, something we don’t want to hear. I’m waiting to see what she’ll do when the being seen gets old. Or she does. She might surprise us.
I didn’t see her, but I hear her, and I can’t seem to get enough, and I feel so wrong about that, so anti-feminist. What is it about her death wish dreamy music that makes me feel so much more than any Cyrus every could? Lana.
Also, this “too literary, too perfect for English classes, too full of gravitas”. Scares. Me.
I love this, even though I’m so out of the cultural loop that I don’t know who some of these women are. But Malala, yeah, Hillary—well said.
Maryam Mirzakhani standing alone in a field of medals is a standout of 2014.
I love this, ‘you make feminism look good’ – I know a couple of those girls myself 🙂
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Reblogged this on rk.
I love this. Your words had a way of beckoning me forward, kept me wondering…waiting for what was to come next and in the end, I was left….satisfied. I just stumbled upon this post, but I think I’m going to have to stick around a little longer.
Put Riri and Katy there 👍 (Y)
Hmmm…I like you. ❤