Do you remember when we met
in Gomorrah? When you were still beardless,
and I would oil my hair in the lamp light before seeing
you, when we were young, and blushed with youth
like bruised fruit. Did we care then
what our neighbours did
in the dark?

When our first daughter was born
on the River Jordan, when our second
cracked her pink head from my body
like a promise, did we worry
what our friends might be
doing with their tongues?

What new crevices they found
to lick love into or strange flesh
to push pleasure from, when we
called them Sodomites then,
all we meant by it
was neighbour.

When the angels told us to run
from the city, I went with you,
but even the angels knew
that women always look back.
Let me describe for you, Lot,
what your city looked like burning
since you never turned around to see it.

Sulphur ran its sticky fingers over the skin
of our countrymen. It smelled like burning hair
and rancid eggs. I watched as our friends pulled
chunks of brimstone from their faces. Is any form
of loving this indecent?

Cover your eyes tight,
husband, until you see stars, convince
yourself you are looking at Heaven.

Because any man weak enough to hide his eyes while his neighbours
are punished for the way they love deserves a vengeful god.

I would say these things to you now, Lot,
but an ocean has dried itself on my tongue.
So instead I will stand here, while my body blows itself
grain by grain back over the Land of Canaan.
I will stand here
and I will watch you
run.

Karen Finneyfrock

women in porn

September 14, 2019

In film theory everything has meaning. Everything is symbolic. Similarly, in pornography, as Dworkin points out “everything means something.” Gender means something, bodies mean something, body parts mean something, the acts done to women mean something. Getting a facial in your bedroom doesn’t necessarily have the same meaning as a woman getting a facial in a porn movie does and, in fact, the relevance of whether or not the individual actress in the porn appears to be ‘enjoying’ the cum shot to her face is less important than the larger meaning of the image on screen. I am not at all surprised that “the majority of porn shows women basking in and positively loving receiving a facial” or that “a lot more straight porn features women happily accepting facials than reacting with disgust and evident humiliation” because women in porn are presenting a fantasy and that fantasy is that women enjoy being objectified, cum on, gang-raped, called whores and bitches, whatever. Porn is about male fantasy. The fantasy is that women like everything you do to them, as man.

Megan Murphy
Facials, feminism, and performance: On f**king men in a patriarchy

This Photograph of Me

September 13, 2019

It was taken some time ago.
At first it seems to be
a smeared
print: blurred lines and grey flecks
blended with the paper;

then, as you scan
it, you see in the left-hand corner
a thing that is like a branch: part of a tree
(balsam or spruce) emerging
and, to the right, halfway up
what ought to be a gentle
slope, a small frame house.

In the background there is a lake,
and beyond that, some low hills.

(The photograph was taken
the day after I drowned.

I am in the lake, in the center
of the picture, just under the surface.

It is difficult to say where
precisely, or to say
how large or small I am:
the effect of water
on light is a distortion

but if you look long enough,
eventually
you will be able to see me.)

Margaret Atwood

Horror

September 12, 2019

Horror cannot be spoken because it is alive; because it is silent and is going forward; it drips into the day and it drips into sleep.
Sorrow-recalling pain.

George Seferis
Last Stop
trans. Rex Warner

Rant

September 9, 2019

When Noam Chomsky said, ‘The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum,’ he could easily have been predicting the Brexit debacle in the UK. For three years the country has gone to hell in a handcart and the only thing up for discussion is Brexit!

Pre the UK referendum on its membership of the EU, polls showed that internally the top six issues important to the UK electorate were:
1. NHS
2. Economy
3. Low Pay
4. Immigration
5. Housing
6. Education

Not a mention of our membership of the EU. It wasn’t very high on anyone’s agenda. Although the fourth important issue to voters, Immigration, was closely tied to EU immigration rules and ‘freedom of movement’.

With the launch of the ‘leave’ and ‘remain’ campaigns, Ipsos MORI survey data showed that voters considered sovereignty and migration the most important issues by far, the economic impact of leaving the EU was only important to 27% of those polled.

My own view is that the decision to withdraw from the EU is a nonsense. It’s absurd. However, Parliament okayed a ‘people’s vote’ and the majority of the people voted to leave. It was the largest turnout of voters in the history of the UK.

Since then very little has happened. Cracks in the parliamentary party system have become chasms. Politicians on all sides who once claimed they would ‘Honour the result of the Referendum’ now don’t, and justify their actions with a variety of excuses, usually based around the economy, which is being seriously damaged by continuous uncertainty.

And the people on both sides of the great divide, Leave / Remain are increasingly angry. Everywhere there are angry people and confrontations. The government lacking a majority in Parliament is helpless to legislate to solve the nation’s problems; the leader of Her Majesty’s opposition, a man with all the communication skills of a stale piece of bread, has spent the past three years demanding an election, but now doesn’t want one – because he might lose!

Boys & girls, this is the biggest feckin’ cock-up I’ve ever seen. It’s a mess. But worse, much of what’s happened is totally anti-democratic. Britain has stripped itself naked, leaving our economy, our society and our democracy exposed. And whatever happens next, there will be dire consequences in future for the politics of the UK. Just you wait and see.

Rant over.

Normal service will resume as soon as possible.

I NEVER MET DONALD TRUMP BUT I SURE HAVE BEEN GRABBED BY THE YOU-KNOW-WHAT & I really don’t even want his name in my book & I almost didn’t tell this story but sometimes it’s important to name names & the luxury of fame is that it doesn’t matter what a nobody says if you have enough money you can buy any kind of truth you want when you’re a star they let you do it & actually when you’re a man in general the one who did that to me wasn’t anyone famous it was a homeless man on the La Brea bus I was 15 & had on a white T-shirt & a denim skirt I was with my mother & she tried to protect me but he chased me from the front of the bus to the back & the driver who happened to be really tall & muscular with his uniform sleeves rolled up past his biceps & sunglasses on with a strap he had to stop the bus at Rodeo by the old movie theatre & push the homeless guy down the exit stairs & even on the street he still kept banging on the flimsy doors & sticking out his tongue & shouting

Khadijah Queen
from: I’m so fine: a list of famous men and what I had on

Ballad of the liberated woman

September 4, 2019

Deep in the gloom of the cavepeople’s hall
(In prehistory times that were no fun at all
Except for the caveman who lorded it there
And dragged his cavemate about by the hair)
The female cooked dinosaur over hot fires
And scrubbed down the rocks with her angry tears
And she growled at her caveman, but she drudged away
While he strutted and flexed, and hunted prey.
Til she to her man cried, “No more! No more!”
Then joined a committee and showed him the door.

Now back in the days of the chastity belt
Under threat of barbarian Mongol and Celt
The wife was a chattel, she’d better not doubt it:
Her lord was of no mind to function without it.
Things had got better, that is for sure,
But this was a damned odd way to stay pure.
She still scrubbed and cleaned, her work never done,
While sundown to sunup didn’t show her much fun.
There was much to complain of most bitterly
But the thing most rankled was that lock and key.
So she to her man cried, “No more! No more!”
Then joined a committee and showed him the door.

Unnoticed, she moves on through history–
Yes, that’s the demure little wife you see
Still scrubbing and cleaning, but with nary a care
And plenty of time to frizzle her hair.
She primps and she preens and she rearranges
In the wake of humanitarian changes
While he takes care of affairs of state
And comes home to grouse if his dinner’s late.
Til she to her man cries “No more! No more!”
Then joins a committee and shows him the door.

Leaving history behind she now carries her weight
In every decision affecting her fate.
She doctors and lawyers and sits in the senate
And smugly smiles at the soreheads aginit.
Then when her horrendous day is done
She comes home and scrubs her own house down
and tends to the children and feeds her man
And puzzles the glitch in this long-term plan
That worked so well by crying, “No more!”
And joining committees and slamming the door.

Diane Engle

Wars

September 3, 2019

The worst thing about wars is that they reduce the enemy to a single characteristic. The country ceases to be history, language, architecture, theatre, gardens, and legends;  a heritage of love stories, philosophy and science; shared ancestral dreams and uncountable varieties of human striving along the roads of the universe. Instead, everything becomes a mere label, blot, field of battle. This is what war has done to the names Palestine, Vietnam, Lebanon, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. These are no longer multifaceted countries and their names are mentioned in news bulletins not as such but as ‘fields’ – fields from which the numbers of the dead and wounded are garnered daily like the output of a canned goods factory.  The whole of history is now  ‘today’  and today has become a reduction of every ‘yesterday’ that has passed over the face of this earth, a reduction of all history. As though al-Mutanabbi had never walked the markets of al-Kufa hugging himself with joy at a nation that would be singing his verses for a thousand years.  As though the Abbasids had never built their libraries on the banks of the Tigris and Abu Nuwas never maintained his pinnacle of shamelessness and flagrant sexual indulgence through to the pinnacle of day,  after first exhausting the night with poetry and lovely depravities that spared neither male nor female. As though al-Hallaj had never been crucified defending what he had seen with the eye of the imagination and the eye of the mind. As though Hammurabi had never written his code on tablets of burnt clay before Coca-Cola and McDonald’s had been transformed into a religion for all mankind, while Gilgamesh,  who achieved immortality but not finding the plant of immortality on the steppes of his everlasting legend, is treated as though he were not of the land of Iraq. Bush and Rumsfeld reduced all of this to the word ‘enemy.’

Mourid Barghouti
I Was Born There, I Was Born Here

Suggested hobby

September 3, 2019

Everyone should have a hobby, boys & girls, something to take your mind of everyday cares and woes. Could I suggest you take up flashing? You can do it anywhere, anytime, and at any age; also you don’t need expensive equipment etc, which is another big plus.