MALE RAGE POEM - Don Marquis Poems


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Feminism, baby, feminism.
This is the anti-feminist poem.
It will get called the anti-
feminist poem. Like it or not.
Dedicated to all my friends who
can't get it up in the night,
accused of having male rage during the
day. This is for the poor buggers.
This is for me and the incredible boredom
of arguing about feminism, the right
arguments, the wrong arguments, the
circular argument, the arguments that stem
from one bad affair, from one
bad job, no job -- whatever; fill in the
blanks _____ _____, fill in the ways
in which you have been hurt. Then I'll
fill in the blanks, and we'll send rosters
of hurt to each other, mail them, stock
them for the record to say: Giorgio Di Cicco
has been hurt this way x many times.
We will stock closets of Sarah's hurt,
Barbara's hurt, my hurt, Bobby's hurt.
This is where the poem peters out ... oops! -- that's
penis mentality, that's patriarchal bullshit,
sexist diction and These line lengths are
male oriented.
                      Where did he get so much male rage?
From standing out like a man for a bunch of
years, and being called the dirty word.
"When you are 21 you will become a Man."
Christ! Doomed to enslave women ipso
facto, without even the right training.
Shouldn't have wasted ten years playing
baseball; should have practised
whipping, should have practised tying up the
girl next door, giving her cigarette burns ...
oops! Male rage again! MALE RAGE -- the words ring out --
worse than RING AROUND THE COLLAR, worse than KISSED
THE GIRLS AND MADE THEM CRY, jeezus, male rage
in kindergarten. MALE RAGE. You've got
male rage; I look inside myself and scrounge
for all this male rage. Must be there
somewhere. Must be repressing it. I write poems
faster and faster, therapeutically, to make sure
I get all the rage out. But someone's
always there to say, Male Rage -- more Male Rage.
I don't leave the house, workin' on my male rage.

Things may lighten up. My friends may meet
fine women at a party someday and know
what to say to them, like "I'm not a Man and
you're not a Woman, but let's have dinner
anyway, let's fuck with our eyes closed and
swap roles for an hour."

I'm tired of being a man.
Of having better opportunities,
better job offers,
too much money.
I'm tired of going to the YMCA and
talking jock in the locker room.
I'm tired of all those poems where
I inadvertently used the word "whore."
I'm tired of having little blonde secretaries type out
all my poems for me.
I'm tired of being a man.
I'm tired of being a sexist.
I'm afraid of male rage.
I'm afraid of my male rage,
this growing thing, this buddy, this
shadow, this new self, this stranger.
It's there. It's there! How could it have
happened? I ate the right things, said
yes to my mother, thought the good

                Doc -- give it to me straight.
How long before this male rage
takes over completely?
                                   The rest of your life.
Take it like a man.