Posts in category Poetry

If It’s Not Hurting You

“That’s not sexist,” he says, as she strips on the screen.

“She showed a lot more in that men’s magazine.”

“She’s an object,” I say. “Irrelevant to the plot.

It’s about telling women, ‘Shut up and look hot.’”

But he likes naked chicks,

Is that such a sin?

Why does he care

If it’s not hurting him?

 

“I’m not racist,” she says. “I have a black friend.

I just don’t believe that the races should blend.

The illegals come here and steal all our jobs.

They need to learn English – they’re ignorant slobs!”

Being white makes you lucky –

No hoops to jump through.

Racism’s not bad

If it’s not hurting you.

 

“The gays force their beliefs and have lots of sex!

They’ll redefine marriage – who knows what’s next?

They flaunt their lifestyle, even during the day!

It’s like they’re all trying to turn our kids gay!”

Straights can get married,

Show their love with a gem.

If they’re blocking gay rights

It’s not hurting them.

 

“You can’t have an abortion, because I don’t agree.

I’ll make the decision – you’re public property.

You had the sex; in fact, you’re a slut.

So you will be punished. Now keep your legs shut.”

Women don’t own their bodies,

It’s different with men,

Having no choice is okay –

If it’s not hurting them.

 

“There’s a war on religion led by liberals and gays!

They’re persecuting us when we don’t get our way!

This nation is Christian! Your history tells lies.

Jesus is the truth!” (Well, it’s my truth in disguise.)

Church and state combine

When voting from the pew.

Legislating belief is fine –

If it’s not hurting you.

 

“The poor are just lazy – they don’t like to work.

They want us to pay while they get the perks.

Now, perks for the wealthy is the American way!

Tax breaks and loopholes let us keep all our pay.”

You don’t have to share

If the scale favors the few.

When the poor kids don’t eat,

It’s not hurting you.

 

You take for granted your freedom and rights

If you never have to struggle and never have to fight.

You can use your position of privilege and luck

To selfishly judge, because who gives a fuck?

It’s not your problem.

You don’t have a clue

What it’s like to be hurt

When it’s not hurting you.

She is Beauty

 

Tall, striking

Perfectly thin

Elegant

Ideal.

Sexy, child-size clothing

Barely covers

Breasts

Disproportionate to

Fat-free thighs

And soft, gentle curves

Of ribs, prominently displayed.

Beautiful, thick hair

Glued at the scalp

Frames a flawless face

Etched in fine marble

Expressionless, void

Of unappealing character lines.

Teeth capped in pearls

To hide bile’s erosion.

Twenty years old –

Over the hill in five more.

She is who we

Aspire to be.

She is beauty.

You Will Never Be Merely Pretty

“[This is] about women who will prowl over 30 stores in 6 malls to find the right cocktail dress, but who haven’t a clue how to find fulfillment or how to wear joy …”


This performance made me a new fan of slam poetry. With passion and power, Katie Makkai summarizes our collective obsession with being pretty enough. I have to admit that she brought tears to my eyes. As a fellow poet who also wants to be pretty, I found her performance truly inspiring. For those of you pretty-seeking non-poets, you may very well find that it inspires you too.
Pretty amazing.

Don’t Watch a Movie with a Feminist

Don’t watch a movie with a feminist

She’ll analyze each scene

She’ll pick apart the sexist plot

And explain how it demeans.

 

Don’t watch a movie with a feminist

Tired tropes just trash her mood

She’ll ask why every female role

Supports the man or ends up nude?

 

Don’t watch a movie with a feminist

The boobs won’t get a pass

She’ll call out objectification:

”What’s with all the tits and ass?”

 

Don’t watch a movie with a feminist

When the actor’s cool and gritty

She’ll tell you that it’s bullshit –

Actresses just get to look pretty.

 

Don’t watch a movie with a feminist

When it stars an ugly guy

Who every hot chick’s drawn to –

She’ll find this hard to buy.

 

Don’t watch a movie with a feminist

She’ll ruin all the fun

Her eye-rolls, snark, and sighing

Won’t stop until it’s done.

 

Don’t watch a movie with a feminist

Frustration comes out a lot

‘Cause sexism sells in filmmaking

And sarcasm’s all she’s got.

 

Don’t watch a movie with a feminist

Just don’t invite her anymore

Disrespect of women matters

But it’s easier to ignore.

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