I use your insults against me as poetry

So yes, folk, I do get fan letters. I also get trolls. And then there’s spies who look at my social media for the purpose of running my name up and down hallways because they have nothing better to do, which is ironic, considering the fact that most of them get bigger paychecks than me. In fact one of them sent a nasty note to me via FB msgr whining about me being “sexually frustrated, anal retentive, and racist.” Someone, probably a man who really resents my voice on matters like consent and privilege, wrote this whiny set of accusations. I’m petty enough to use it in the next three poems in a short series called the accusations. Use it, said Blade to Whistler. Use it.

 

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Poems are like a box of clothes never worn from your brain

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I think my brain treats my poetry writing sessions as an exercise in unpacking boxes from the attic and every once in a while finding a good classic cookbook, or a lovely set of dishes never used. Or a dress worn just once and it still fits. Or even an old, raunchy paperback novel, like The Story of O.

I think I had once of these month long sessions of unpacking some really raunchy novels, and given what I just dreamed last night, I think that analogy fits like a ball gag. Someone asked me about teaching The Story of O by Pauline Reage, a work that should not be taught without matching it with the French Feminisms anthology that tears it to pieces. I pretty much view Reage, du Sade, and other erotic writers of the 18th through the latter 20th century attempting to expel the Church’s repression of sexuality—but not the misogyny that came along with the repression. How is it in the 21st century we are still dealing with repression, misogyny, and fear of female desire?

I did not dream of finding wedding dresses in my closet. I have many more stories and poems to unpack and put on a table to shine or toss. Some of them sound like fragments from a raunchy novel. It’s my way of getting my brain out of writers block as I finish my other writing gig for a deadline later this month. I wouldn’t say it’s better than sex, but given the level of frustration that summer brings me (it’s warm, so I exercise and that definitely gets me aroused), writing about these things helps chase away writers block and depression over my summer blues over my lack of companionship. Love and lust really do matter for us writers—at least for me it does. And vibrators don’t inspire 5000 word chapters. Or epic poems.

Enjoy your morning commute.

Who is the “you” and “I” in my poetry?

So, if you happen to know me, you may be wondering if I’m talking about you, or someone close to me or you. The answer is no. Yes. Maybe. Maybe not. Who gives a fuck? I’m writing about human experience and what we endure while living on this planet. I do include my twisted imagination and twisted reality and twisted feelings. I’m pretty strange in my flesh n blood world, so if my writing makes you feel a bit uncomfortable, welcome to my world. I might write about you one day. Let the world beware, said Catherine Tramell.

The Month is almost up. Not sure I feel like doing this in June. Holla at me and tell me.

Oh, and I’ve been holding back a bit. Look for me to just get straight up weird these last days.

Not so random thoughts about safewords and kink by Cherie Ann Turpin

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Reading Salon.com’s article When safewords are ignored six years ago, I posted this response after thinking about the many near-misses I’ve experienced as a submissive, as well as taking note of the hostility expressed by some of the men reading that article who clearly don’t get or care to get that there is a such thing as sexual assault in the kink community. Makes me very glad I am not a trusting person when it comes to people:

“No surprises from me on what this woman described in the article, and in fact, it is an uncomfortable reminder to those who don’t want to deal with reality that people in this scene are no different from anyone else out there. We have the same problems and issues as those “vanilla” people. That means you have the potential of running into a man who may be a sex offender, or at least someone with “latent rapist tendencies,” as Ntozake Shange once elegantly put it in “for colored girls.” Part of the resistance to waking up to reality is that sometimes it’s a bit of a wet blanket to realise that not everyone is family, or that even family members can rape. It’s also a bane to one’s self-comfort to realise that looks, status, race, sophistication, politics, age, or sexual orientation are not predictors or indicators of a man’s capability to sexually assault a woman or man (yes, men do rape other men). Do all men rape? No. Are men into BDSM more or less prone to rape? No. Are men in the scene safer than vanilla men? NO.

I recall a time not so long when the general attitude about college campuses was that rape was a rare occurrence or something not to be discussed. Part of what kept people resistant about dealing with it was the discomfort with confronting the reality that nice middle and upper class men were capable of doing something perceived as a crime of the lower class and/or men of color. As we now know [2012, and 2018], our college campuses are just as vulnerable to sex crimes as any other neighborhood, nice or not so nice.

What makes this scene so special or any different?

Nothing. I don’t see any magic castles here, so as far as I know we are all human beings.

We need to do what vanilla people do–get active and loud about advocating for survivors and helping to stop rape in our community.

We have work to do to educate people about consent, abuse, and safety. We need safe spaces both in the scene and in the vanilla communities for women and men who have been assaulted and/or abused. Police and other legal authorities need to be properly educated about BDSM so that they can be a true support system instead of a bane or even horror to those who need help. We need to be not afraid to speak up and speak out about these issues out of fear of being “not cool” or “paranoid.””

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American Nightmare

After reading Kevin P. Keating’scleveland-visitor-bureau post in Salon.com, “Cleveland’s Heart of Darkness,” I felt a need to respond to his description of racism and classism in my hometown:

I lived it everyday in suburbia. I faced it everyday, as did my parents, brother, and most of my relatives. My parents thought moving to Bedford Heights would protect us from the ills that plague our culture–it was there in suburbia–just hidden under euphemisms.

This latest incident in Cleveland comes as no surprise–but through it all, the people still come together even when the rich and privileged don’t care. Notice I didn’t say that this was about race. Race is only one part here–SOCIAL CLASS has ALWAYS been the measurement by which the institutions and those running them have dispersed services and care in most cities. You see just as many if not more poor Whites getting ill-treatment as Blacks and Hispanics. We just tend to be locked up at higher rates.

To be poor is to be invisible in this country. That, to me, is part of the horror story unfolding in my hometown.

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Brief thought to consider….

Regardless of genre, fiction must tell a truth about human experience. Science fiction is no less obligated to follow that principle.

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Quentin-questionable-Tarantino | Black Feminists

Quentin-questionable-Tarantino | Black Feminists.

Why does Quentin Tarantino believe himself to be an authority on Blackness or on African American history? Why do we continue to defend what seems to be Tarantino’s ever-growing and ever-public arrogance with regard to African Americans and racism?