Mixed Messages – dVerse

once, they said we could have it all –
the partner, the career, the children
we could be superwomen all day long
immaculate, capable, professional
the mother, the lover, the corporate boss
all superlatively and effortlessly achieved
the house, the car, the long-haul holidays
yes, once, they said, we could have it all

and then, and then
we were vilified for wanting a career, and
for wanting to leave our babies at nurseries, and
for making someone else prepare the dinner, and
we were penalised at work, we were penalised at home
whatever we did – we were wrong
the back-slapping testosterone board-room, boar-boorish doors were closed
the mothers at the school-gates-club
raised their collective eyebrows at parents’ evenings
as the strange apparition of the ‘career woman’ made her appearance

and then, and then
the childless, the husband(or wife)less
were dragged through the biting, back-biting, tight-lippedness
un-natural, bitch-in-the-boardroom, frigid, husk treatment
damned if you do what they want
damned if you don’t
damned every which way but young, blond, legs-up-to-here and easy to please
we are our own worst enemies, and
we listen too much to the media, and
to the politicians (who listen too much to the media)
we listen too much to our inner bitch voice
you know the one, the friend who nobody wants
can we turn her off?
only if we work harder than was ever expected
of the mother-lover-corporate boss –
only if.

Mixed Messages

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It’s that time of the month, the last Saturday, where us poets can leave whatever type of poetry we like at the dVerse bar – yes, it’s Open Link Night! Tonight, Mary is our congenial barkeep – her first time on OLN, so be kind, don’t wave money in her face to get her attention or reel off a long list of drinks. All in good time!

This piece of mine was something I was working on for submission to an anthology, but I decided to go with something else instead which was more fitting. I only half-finished this poem, so this has been buffed up a bit and chopped around. As is common with my work right now, it’s a little political! I obviously have issues I need to get off my chest.

Please pop over to dVerse to see what varigated delights await you. No two poems will be the same, that’s for sure. Happy reading, all.

 

 

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Bassline – dVerse

You speak like the words are tripping over your tongue, boy, like your brain’s runnin’ too fast to share all your street joy, your mental agility, your linguistic ability- – – – – it silences me. I cannot compete, you’ve been doin’ it for years, listenin’ to those MCs, they’re controllin’ like masters, freestylin’ with fluidity, there ain’t no rigidity, shoutin’ over ghetto blasters – – – – – you’re a tough act to come after. So I ain’t rhymin’, or reasonin’, or trying to emulate, you win hands down, boy. I dig it.

Watching drum and bass MCs spit words like broken teeth sends me crazy.

 

Bassline

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This week, on dVerse Meeting the Bar, Bjorn is our benevolent bartender and he has cordially invited us to indulge in haibun (prose, followed by haiku), but he also invites us to test and distort the tradition. I think that I have broken all the rules, apart from using 17 syllables in the closing line, which is in the style of an American Sentence – because I love, love, love Allen Ginsberg, I couldn’t resist. And, because I spent some time last night watching a drum & bass DJ and MC on an internet radio station, I threw rhyme and rhythm into my (not quite) prose section.

Poetry is all about breaking the rules, right? I hope you enjoy it 🙂

Please pop over to dVerse to see how others have risen to this challenge.

 

 

Veritas – dVerse

If I had the belief
had the guts to be street-wise,
could save my own spirit
from those pernicious, damned white lies,
I’d grasp it with both hands
and take the world on my plate
adopt the mentality,
eliminate the disparity
that pervades every alleyway, back street and door,
I’ve said it too many times
from down here, from the floor
that the shadow that dogs us,
pulls us down to the ground
is the vague sense of emptiness,
the lack of completeness,
the dullness, great sadness,
the all-pervading madness,
no – there ain’t no Messiah
at the bottom of that glass,
or in that last chocolate chip cookie
I’m adding to my ass,
no, where we’re all going
– those silent, straight rows –
won’t give us the second chance,
we can’t repeat the romance,
do it all over again,
have just one more, sweet last dance,
excuse our poor ability,
blame our short life’s fragility,
nobody will do it for us, it’s a tragedy
of giant proportions
we can’t believe the distortions
the hard work is necessity
and we must do it ourselves –
be our own self-believers
and lovers, and fighters
for at the end of my journey
when the white light is calling
the one, the last judge on my mind
will be me.

 

Veritas

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This week, on dVerse Poetics, Anthony has asked us to write a poem using at least 5 of the words below:

 – Messiah, Allegory, Luminous, Plate, Shadow, Door, Persona, Glass, Vitiligo, Epochal, Pernicious, Warmth –

What a collection! I didn’t really have a particular idea in mind before I started, but then, as is often the case, my poet brain took over. It’s a bit of a rant – about trusting yourself, about not buying into consumerism, about feeling free to be your true self… Lots of issues, mixed up in one, big old chunk of words. I think I’m still considering Claudia’s question yesterday about how real we get in our writing. And I just know that each poem offered up by the dVerse community will be vastly different. A great prompt, Anthony!

Please pop over to dVerse to see how others have taken the bait – and enjoy!