November 7, 2007

Hump Day Poetry: Chrystos

Posted in Poetry at 4:23 pm by The Lizard Queen

She Said They Say

Especially for Winona

you’ve sold out
I roared laughing even though I only know you from brilliant articles
& gossip about your embarrassing relative
I want to be shown
the unlikely one person who
given our lives
hasn’t sold something to get by
one time or another
Even grandma’s turquoise necklace or
a story or some kisses or
days of ninetofive drudge or
polishing copper pots or pretending to teach
angry children who don’t want to know about it or
cleaning up after the lazy rich or
dancing topless to get through college
This IS the united states This IS capitalism
even when we have other ideas
We’re all selling out to stay alive
I’ve been in the rumor factory before
uselessly trying to wash my name clean
No escaping it: a powerful, articulate, ethical woman
doesn’t sell well
Where we live
insults are how you know
you’ve got them where it hurts
Myself I’ll definitely buy
any words you’d care to put on the table

—Chrystos, 1994

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