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The Edge: Poetry & Prose

Debra Tenney

Psyche's Reply

Hard core feminist,
What do you know of
passive aggressive terrorism?

Boy child, Breast explodes out of Cupid mouth like
a hot-air balloon.
Infant body, gondola like, clings to life source.
I watch you suckle and years of denied understanding...
Joy...wonder felt for the first time at peace with my bosom.
Incensed with realization
that all humanity was nurtured at this woman's hearth....
cornucopia of life giving nectar:
Gods and mortals alike take sustenance here.

Full stand before me,
impale my psyche with vile words....
tits, boobs, hooters, knockers.
Labels spit out by the same lips
that once tenuously clung to life,
abundance given freely at woman's breast.
You attach obscenity to the very act that
brought you forth.
Pornographic implication adorns the womb into which
you cast your seed,
as if the sacred nursery from which you emerge
were the inquisitor's dungeon you cast my sisters into
as you tried to erase the knowing....
It was Woman who wiped
your fevered brow and vomit when
your youth had not yet equipped you for such tasks.
We cradled you in loving arms,
wishing only to take your suffering unto ourselves.
It was Woman who aided your first step,
gave your babble meaning and taught you to hold your head high
when cruel words from peers sent you sobbing into our arms;
for non knew better those poisoned barbs
which leak their venom deep into virgin souls,
leaving spider web fissures;
microscopic death traps of spirit
that lay seemingly dormant
until one becomes entangled in a cocoon of
doubt and misconception
a slave to every bully puppeteer who will not desist
until who you rent asunder...
laid to rest in a graveyard of inconsequence.

Today, youth gone,
the Cupid mouth stern and righteous,
you call me hard-core feminist.
A tough old bird, armored in iron and steel.
Tears of frustration long dried up,
cemented into resolve...
encased in shallow graves,
hastily dug while dodging snipers
in an undeclared holy-war of "might is right."
Because i refuse to bow my head,
acquiesce and titter glibly
at obscene jokes about my womaness
or put on chains and submit
to comatose servitude...
a "damsel in distress."
When i refuse to remain silent
before your rationalizations of male "manifest destiny,"
which you brandish like a
crucifix to ward off evil,
or claim my right to respect....
for this, you declare me your nemesis,
gather up kindling, burn me at the stake...or
upon your funeral pyres of inequality,
so that I may not shine and illuminate the fallacy of
your faux pax kingdom,
which binds both our realities into separate dungeons...
and you come no longer unfettered to my breast.

Anya Urdak

The Cripple

Round and round she circles in
They have her trapped they tie her down
And then retreat and then defeat
The cripple--they have her where they want her.
These scheming brutes these grinning sultans
Proclaim themselves the good the all
And all else the low the weak the incomplete
And proclaim this perfect, perfect woman a cripple.
This perfect cripple they call a Woman--their Woman--
She looks inside she screams: "Spiders, spiders! I saw them eat myself!"
"See?" They say, "The woman's mad. We own no spiders.
All we own is a room but full-equipped--we gave her all we own."
"Spiders, spiders!" she shrieks, "I see them eat myself!"
"That's all she says," they say, "Except, of course, in dreams."
She limps in stride she strides a limp
She falls in bed, the ceiling dreads her stare.

The woman dreams, and in her dream, she sings:
"He leads the maidens down the hill
They call him Dionysus
They say he is the god of wine
Who cures the girls in crisis."
"See?" they say, "The woman's mad, the woman's ill
She makes no sense, she's read no books
She's even burned the Bible."
The woman leaps up, she trips and falls, she whispers:
"Watch out! Watch out! The spiders are approaching!"
"Her case is sad, the reason clear," they say,
"The devil has her in his grip--makes all we own seem worthless.
We gave her all--this room--and now we sleep on public streets
We keep her safe from cruel sights warm and safe from cruel eyes
The woman's mad," I tell you, "We own no spiders."

Morphine Biscuits

"There's enough to go for all--little ones.
Don't claw each others' faces.
You'll each get your daily share
Of fresh morphine biscuits.
Stand in line and await your turn
And remember that Daddy's working hard
To feed you well, to see you grow,
To teach you self-denial."

They stand in line
Their throats are dry
Their eyes are focused on the jar
Of crispy morphine biscuits.

One by one they stand and wait
To drink them down then chew some water
Thank God for treats and laws, they think,
What would the world do without them?

"Dip them in your cups of milk," she says,
"But save a biscuit for a rainy day
Don't grudge a hungry child your share
Just be sure to keep some for yourself

And if you're gentle and if you're kind enough
You''ll save the crumbs of every day
And feed them to the pigeons-
Or better yet the eagles.

"The ADA
Voted it product of the year--
You can rest assured my recipe's FDA approved
And got applause and got awards."

The lucky ones had started gobbling
And started packing up for school
But the last young frame was motionless
He could see the cookie jar was empty.

"Sorry, sweetie," his Mommy says,
"We're out of biscuits for today
And I won't buy the manufactured kind."
She turned away and headed for the sink
This last young face was soft with wonder
The sky was bright, the morning clear
"Then I guess I'll say goodnight," he said.
"But," she said, "you better be decisive."


Eivind Kirkeby

Leeches On My Brain (Australia)

Suicide is not a sollution
But it takes away the pain
And the darkness of the days
It brings oblivion and peace
It is the final conclusion

There are leeches on my mind
And I can't get them off
Without assistance

Leeches on my mind
Feeding on my inner
My hope crumbles
And my dreams grow stronger
Making my sanity grow thinner

I know a secret place
Deep down under
Where my hopes won't be
Torn asunder
But to me
This place will never be
Never be real
But always be in my mind

Happiness is never constant
There will always be some grief
Everybody hurts
Every now and then

Happiness will never last
But for me
Happiness will never come

There are some
Who hurt
All the time

Suicide is painless

In my head I have a dream
It is sweet
But I will never get to taste it

The leeches will never be heard feeding
By anyone but myself

My hope is crumbling
For I know that what I want
Will never be

All I hope for now
Is peace by the next holiday
Dead by Christmas

Pain in my head
Longing in my heart
Aching in my body
Leeches on my brain
And tears in my eyes
And unborn happiness
The feeling of contentness
Resting in my soul

I know what I want
It is so near
But still
Very far away
Deep down under

I want to live
As do all
But not like this
Not like this
Not like this
Dead by Christmas

The leeches are hungry tonight

Prettiest Eyes

I am honored
By your kindness
And your sweet words
Embraces me
But there's so many things
I'll never see
Never do
Never experience
And never be

You have so many
I don't have any
Except for you
Though you are not here
But you still say
That you care

Your life makes me jealous
And it makes me a tad
All the great times you'll have
And the ones you've already had

In my dreams I am a part
Of your social circle
And your life
In my dreams
You don't have a wife
And in my dreams
I'm not holding onto
My knife

Things never turn out
The way we want them to
Our futures are mere coincidences
Luck is a good friend to have
Too bad it's not one of mine
My fate will never change

Your words teases me
But they also give comfort
But when you say our paths will cross
And everything will be OK
I know it's a lie
Even though you are there
For me
You are never here
For me
And I hope you understand why
I want to die

Even though you tease me
And tell me those wonderful lies
My opinion of you
Is higher than ever
I hope you can see
My feelings for you
You have the prettiest eyes

The Knife Ain't Sharp Enough

Diggin' for gold but on the wrong side of the road
The ship is ready but there's nobody to load
The princess wants a child but the prince is still a toad
We're digging for gold on the wrong side of the road

You're always in my thoughts but I'm never in yours
I wanna get out but there are no doors
Trying to get to sleep but my new dog snores
You're in my dreams but I'm never in yours

There ain't no Heaven but there sure is a Hell
There's a bullet in my head but there's no one who can tell
The merchendise is here but there's nobody to sell
I know there ain't no Heaven but there sure is a Hell

Everything is wrong because nothing is right
Don't feed the animals 'cause they might bite
Want to join oblivion and talk about the past
We all know that happiness never last
Some people like it easy while the kids are playing rough
I only wanna die but the knife ain't sharp enough
Only wanna die but the knife ain't sharp enough



























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