Gina: Spoken Word & Poetry

| component parts | opportunity | Slut | Girl |

component parts

sometimes lately
i awaken in the night
and wonder where our blood goes when we die

i suppose
they do something clean and final
morticians throw it out
medical examiners
label it BIOHAZARD and dump it down the sewers
sometimes i think not...

they sell it to avant-garde painters
to illustrate grimoires
they have a secret government contract
to grow bacterial cultures
using human blood as a medium
it's bio-warfare's Next Big Thing

they meet at night in grungy bathrooms
shoot it up with hypodermics
("a hit of speed on top of that
and brother, you see God...")
but it's strange...

two months ago
all the ink in my pens dried up
turning darker, thicker, slower
and finally clotting
i suppose...
i haven't investigated
it's not important

i've started writing in pencil again
(i like being able to take things back)

4 Jan. 1996--G

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jewel-toned poison
wrapped in razor-edged scales:
so this is where it ends:

where it begins.

full circle, i
swallow my own head, turn
myself inside out again
and taste salt
from my own skin

let memory,
poured out with bitter bile
onto reddening ground,
form an epitaph

for the one i no longer resemble.

--G 1/22/97

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Fucking Slut

Believe it
as i do

Believe it
in the places where you bleed
pierced viscera
from temperamental slices through skin and down to bone

Believe it in those mythic rooms
their unspeakable acts
names carved into bodies with ash and cigarette fire
a crystal drop at the tip of the syringe
and thin liquid womb-light

Believe it in the places where it lies:
the coarse exquisite feedback
of guitars and bass
the low build
that rises to the burning scream of rage
the scrawled coffeehouse words
their pagan neon cathedrals
subverting every sacred thing

Believe it
as an animal cry
caught in my throat
a sound you never heard
drawn life-wracked from my transfixed self
the arch of my back
the curve of my ass
the rise and fall of my chest
the tracery of thin blue veins under cooling sweat

believe it
as i do
this god that you have named
settling mindless
in this tortured pantheon
and passing judgement
on the unafraid.
--1994, R.A

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Girls: One

are smooth and sleek and curvy

wear pretty dresses and frills
pinker than their own flesh.

quiet and demure, they
care about the Trinity:
Makeup Clothes and Holy Hair
world without end amen.

never get C's, never belch
and do not concern themselves
with poetry or angry music.

never Do It
without a license
and a blessing,
never change partners
never change their minds.

They do not,
for example
find themselves in a blue-lit room
with some hip black musician type who finds them beautiful,
writhing naked under his touch
alive for the first time in years.
That's not the way it happens; goodness, no.
They also do not Do It with each other.

girls wait
and marry well
some pasty white lawyer maybe,
with hands like cold lunchmeat
a pre-med student
with his precise and clinical soul
above all,
girls do not Like It.
The ideal girl
has no clitoris.


keep things together
they do not,
for an example
leave their husbands at 3 A.M.

and because the car radio is playing a favorite song
cut off trucks in feral joy uncaged
laughing their way down the Ryan

or stare down their mothers' unblended faces
smoke-blurred and four in the morning
walk out for good, important things in hand
all for the sake of dreams

girls do none of these..Three

Round and bumpy in all the wrong places
flannel-shrouded, most comfortable in jeans
angry and impulsive and finally free
I hate myself.

this morning
i looked up at a fogged shower window
i wanted to write FUCK
but there was no object for the verb:
me? my mother? Jesse Helms? no, none of them
i cannot talk about these things

i cannot talk about him inside me
i cannot talk about who i am
i cannot talk about what i think of when i come
i cannot talk about where i come from
i cannot talk about my art
i cannot talk about the fear

I am sleeping in a place
where art is stripped away
and only naked thought is left

there are no words for naked thought
the closest i could get would be a scream
or a song

there is no beauty in this poem
except the mythic angel my mother wanted
she is not me
i am not her
i am fat and ugly and think too much
about all the wrongest things
peace and justice, rock and roll
drums and bass and guitar
image form and meaning

at odd moments
i find myself
liking myself
and i hate those moments too;
it is in those moments
that i am closest to evil.

and i hate this poem
for all the things it isn't:
loud and brash and unafraid
beautiful and gracious and curving
i hate it
because it is like me

and i cannot love
anything ugly or weak.


I thought that when I left
you would go away
but you still sit here in my head and talk to me
i wish you would shut the fuck up
and let me be

i wish you would swallow your guilt
and let it bloat you
until you explode
i wish you would keep your hypocrite god
and your gifts strung like marionettes

Little-known fact, Mom:
based on geography
and what we know of the ancient world
that Jesus you claim to worship
was probably black.
Choke on it.

Build your fort to keep out truth:
no one here is human
no one here is drunk
no one here is dead
no one here is twenty-four
or in love with a black man
or stoned
or beautiful
and you'll paint the walls with stained-glass colors
as long as all of them are white.Five: Manifesto

I am Regina.
I am twenty-four.
I am a poet.
I am not afraid of you.

my fingers fight me like they know
that what i'm saying is sedition
and utterly true

I am living with my lover, a black musician.
I am in the middle of a divorce.
I am an agnostic, or maybe an atheist, or maybe undecided.
I am bisexual, though only in theory right now.
I am seven hours away from being stoned.
I am trying heroin because I can.
I am trying to be famous because I can.
I am writing this poem because I have to.
I am still not afraid of you.

Remember when I was a kid
and you used to rag on me for a messy room
and one time i tried that "At least I'm not..." defense?

At least I'm not rebellious.
At least I'm not a slut.
At least I don't stay out all night.
At least I'm not on drugs.

It didn't work
And now I am.
I hate everything you stand for.
I stay out forever
I fuck for hours
and by the way...oh, fuck it, nevermind.
You'd probably
call the cops.

Did you know
that the real reason
marijuana is illegal
is to keep white women from fucking black men?

Little-known fact, part two:
is not

Try this at home:
I want you to imagine
that baby girl, that malleable child,
that quiet fat unremarkable teenager
who never applied herself


i want you to imagine her, grown now
sinking her claws
into the back of her lover
hard enough to draw blood.
I could show you the scars.

I want you to imagine
him touching her face with the edge of a knife
as he holds her down
and rams himself inside her.

I want you to imagine
her growl of rage
as she fights and claws and comes.
You can't, can you.
Well, fuck you, then.

You have never known me
and you still presume to judge
who I am.

You do not care what I want
and you still dare to tell me
what I should be. .Six

i should have been a man
men can say fuck you
and mean it

but i'll bet most men
can't mean it like i do

why should they?
there is a certain freedom
to not having a uterus

and to being bigger stronger faster smarter
and all the other things they think they are
...oh, hell
i don't even mean this;
i know better
who's on my side.

we have met the enemy
and she has no balls

don't touch yourself there
don't eat that cookie
you're nothing without a man

i'm only looking out for your best interests

I have no best interests; get it straight.
You haven't got a rug
big enough to sweep me under: nearly a suicide at 15, at 19, at just-past-21
raped at 17, molten hate at 24
taking care of you
as you drank yourself into peace
and left me holding the glass

hating myself for who I was
yet thinking I was right:
sanctimonious and punishing

but living with this -thing- inside me
this light-seeking diva of want
pouring out finally from between my thighs
in the ultimate song of infidelity-as-art.

--1994, Gina

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