When you can’t talk, write poetry.
I Ain’t Talking
by Lili Bee 9-15-11
It doesn’t fucking matter.
Nothing I can say will sway you.
I don’t even want to.
You think I’m gonna stand here and tell you
what a supremely bad idea it is
to take what isn’t given freely?
Recite the stats and watch you gasp?
Fuck that. You know them already.
Or you don’t, but you know they’re not good.
Got that right.
I’m not telling you shit about this one.
About the privileged frat boys who get off the hook
For things the other boys hang for.
You know all the tricks and who gets what, off of whom
and how much it happens.
So stop looking at me
like you want it to be different-
and I’m supposed to contribute
my gifts, my words, my insights
to open up a dialogue. But
“Di” means two-way and
“Logos” means words,
and that two-way assumes equal power
which there ain’t none of in rape
or the culture which breeds it,
not even on a philosophical level.
So, until you can show you’re listening,
there’s no point in dialogue.
Cause it ain’t gonna happen.
You have to hit your own damn bottom on this one.
Find out yourself
and then you’ll know, ’cause
if the action’s okay happening
to your daughter,
your sister, your wife,
it’s probably not rape-
and if you’re not sure, you’re probably too far gone
and I can’t help you anyway.
I hit the basement a long time ago
and stopped feeling anything anymore
like where my own body ended and a man’s began, from too many times
when I tried to say no
and the one standing before me
or sneaking up behind me
magically grew a thick wad of cotton in his ears just then.
Amazing, how that happens
and the quick slide down till you hate your own skin.
Group pass around the drunk babe?
Knife at the throat in a seedy drug den?
Locked in an abandoned motel, in a car, an office, in the darkroom of 7th grade photography class by my teacher?
Check, check, check. And check.
Wasted on Fire Island, Sunday afternoon Tea Dance at The Monster
dancing in my bikini in my delirium in my joy
in my suntanned celebrating sublime drug-filled euphoria
Just asking for it, right?
Got it, too:
Thrown up against a ladies’ room stall door when I ducked in to pee,
forcing her big butch body against mine and then her tongue
down my throat-
groping my breasts, pinching my nipples so hard one of them bled.
Two hundred twenty pounds of unknown flesh pinning my hundred ten pound frame
grinding me against a filthy bathroom stall door
choking me with her thick tongue
till I puked in her mouth.
You can see in my eyes all what’s been stolen and
you still won’t turn off the porn.
When I cry about sex + violence and all it begets
“I can separate it” is all you say
Yeah. And I’m Mary Fucking Poppins.
Sorry you don’t like me angry.
Hit your own damn bottom.
Maybe then you’ll be ready to play connect-the-dots
with your body and your heart and maybe even hers
Or find yourself one morning,
the umpteenth morning after having gotten over
on some unsuspecting chick,
but hey, she kinda sorta wanted it too, right?
‘Cause that’s what porn taught you-
Hungry horny bitches
they all want it, they’re just playin’
like they don’t.
And you’ll wake up
to hollow eyes, devoid of life
looking back at you in the mirror
like it happened to me:
Spent, by 24, like the allowance I used to get every week
when I was young and still alive
when allowance was for candy
Sucking pixie stix powder from their paper straws
tickling my tongue on the steps of our beach house
when I was young and still alive
Lili wrote this piece in response to being asked if there was something she could contribute to the topic of rape/ sexual violence.
Dedicating this piece to rape/ sexual violence victims everywhere, who might never be given an opportunity to express their feelings of loss, this free verse is her response, her contribution. It was written to encourage reflection.
In South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Act, amazing healing occurred when victims were allowed to speak their grief without needing to listen to responses.
Lili will not be reading or responding to comments left here, but as ever, please feel free to leave them for your own discussions.
She can be e-mailed at: [email protected]
art: whatmegsaid / Flickr