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November 11, 2016

• Laura Goode

I.

 

I saw the best minds of my generation Facebook-friended by their rapists, stagnating in bad marriages, counting calories for patriarchy, wondering why he didn’t call, pluralistic in their power ever taming it with liquor, with Wellbutrin, with dancing themselves into half-starved exhaustion, with sex & want of sex,

who apologized for her accomplishments & apologized to her attackers & apologized

for taking up space & said her good manners & took up less & thanked him for it,

who fucked in dim lurid rooms & liked it & still remembered how

they said he wouldn’t buy the cow, you know,

who shot poison in her face even though she knew it was poison

    & hated herself for the relief it brought,

who pinched her middleweight before Tinder dates & hated herself

who went for the free dinner even though she hated herself

who abandoned her college feminism in a second for male admiration & hated herself

who plunged her finger down her throat in every one of the world’s bathrooms & hated

    herself

who knew her white body as a factory for the colonizer & hated herself

who knew in her black body ten generations of trauma & hated herself

who knew in her brown body a family she would never know & hated herself

who knew her privilege was so deep even her college rape reflected it & hated herself

whose rape formed the premise upon which her freedom was founded & hated herself

who had her pussy grabbed on the A train, in the backroom at the club, once in the park

    & twice on her birthday (different birthdays) & once at home when she was very small

    & 30 times a day on Twitter & another 100 when you think to follow Emma

    Sulkowicz on Instagram & another 57 for every rerun of The Cosby Show & 200

    for every time you wonder what to call that time you were so drunk & still ashamed

    & 500 for every time you had to explain generously to a man,

who smiled & kept calm & kept it to the facts as her ears rang with her own global

    defiling,

who didn’t push it because it was just easier for her to remember to keep the bathroom

    stocked,

who cooked a google of dinners for which she would never be paid,

who wiped asses & mopped vomit & pressed her cheek to every humid forehead,

who conceded so voluptuously that even the men who loved her most only saw her as

    human    

    in relation to men: daughters, sisters, mothers, wives,

who agreed when the work of her peers met less Serious Acclaim, who bad-feministed

    herself

    into oblivion, who secretly rooted against her friends,

who got up a little earlier to work out, who decided better not to say the objectionable

    thing,

who vowed to be better tomorrow, more patient, a better friend, better skin, tighter

    waist,    

    always thinner, smashing the paradigm is something someone should do but I can’t,

who never had the chutzpah to just be single, to get lost, to rove feral, to make a mess,

who always suspected the game was rigged but didn’t know where else to play,

who took off in dark flight ignoring the spectral voices in the woods,

who worked through lunch in thrall of her own words,

who smoked medical chronic in the Trader Joe’s parking lot because fuck it,

who fisted for cash & liked it,

who bucket-listed herself back to eating carbs & liked it,

who ate pussy & really liked it,

who binge-watched 20 hours of Law & Order: SVU & liked it,

who ripped a 9-pound baby out of her own tender pussy & liked it,

who told a man what he was going to do with her pussy & liked it,

who looked up to see a quiver of liberties rippling in the sun & liked it,

who gave herself permission to be thin enough, good enough, brave enough,    

    woman enough & already redeemed, & liked it,

who saw no structure that would permit her & built one & liked it,

who saw a messy madwoman proselytizing in the street & refused to call her crazy & liked

    it,

who did 30 things her mother told her not to & two she was always right about & liked it,

who finally got that traitor’s voice out of her head & liked it,

who figured out what advice to trust & liked it,

who avenged her grandmother’s honor in a way no one will ever know & liked it;

there are millions of these girls, us girls, joined by the ghosts of X & Anon

& all the ghost-girls still treading the broken glass of history;

there is an accretion of dreams; there is a gathering of momentum; there is the sound of

    fire;

we are all out of the wreckage until we dive back in for the others, never fragile; we are fire-dancers, nasty women, unreviled, rejecting every phallic premise; even the disappeared among us ululate over our sisters’ babies; those murdered slumped against the doorway now walk unfettered through the centers of streetlit streets in the thick of every midnight; our noses pressed against the glass that beckons our fists; Beatrix Kiddo punching her way up out of the casket; the taste of the dirt in her mouth that spelled her success; walking willing to fight dirty in place of eating shit; what I do not just for me but the little girl watching me; what will I endure for her; how do I stay willing; where will I find what I lack?

   

II.

 

What sphinx of petroleum & credibility bashed open their skulls and ate their brains &

    imagination?

 

Trump! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans & unobtainable dollars! Children screaming under the stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men weeping in the parks! Girls violated in dressing rooms!

 

Trump! Trump! Nightmare of Trump!

 

Trump the loveless! Mental Trump! Trump the heavy judger of women! Trump the incomprehensible prison! Trump the crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress of sorrows! Trump the dry fingerblaster! Flaccid ugly Trump!

 

Rapist Trump! Trump whose buildings are judgment! Trump the vast stone of war! Trump the stunned governments! Trump whose mind is pure machinery! Trump whose blood is running money! Trump whose fingers are ten armies! Trump whose breast is a cannibal dynamo! Trump whose ear is a smoking tomb! Trump whose eyes are a thousand blind windows!

 

Trump whose skyscrapers stand in the long streets like endless Jehovahs! Trump whose factories dream & croak in the fog! Trump whose smoke-stacks & antennae crown the cities! Trump whose love is endless oil & stone! Trump whose soul is electricity & banks! Trump whose fate is a cloud of sexless hydrogen! Trump whose name is the American Mind!

 

Trump in whom I sit lonely! Trump in whom I dream Golems! Crazy in Trump! Cocksucker in Trump! Lacklove & manless in Trump! Trump who entered my soul early! Trump in whom I am a consciousness without a body! Trump who frightened me out of my natural ecstasy! Trump whom I abandon! Wake up in Trump! Menses streaming out of the sky!

 

Trump! Trump! Robot apartments! invisible suburbs! skeleton treasuries! blind capitals! demonic industries! spectral nations! invincible madhouses! granite cocks! monstrous bombs!

A thousand girls dressed in broken backs lifting Trump to Heaven!

 

III.

 

Emma Sulkowicz! I’m with you in the Cloud

    where they would discredit us but fail

I’m with you in the Cloud

    where our radical labor accrues into something

I’m with you in the Cloud

    where I imagine our lunar embrace

I’m with you in the Cloud

    where a duck flies off with Bill Cosby’s penis

I’m with you in the Cloud

    where we cannot be doxxed if we disabuse ourselves of secrets

I’m with you in the Cloud

    where Anon is buried & X marks the spot

I’m with you in the Cloud

    where likability is a foxtrap its teeth dug into our ankles

I’m with you in the Cloud

    where Mr. Phil gives lunch to the kids

I'm with you in the Cloud

    where black boys have futures & die old

I’m with you in the Cloud

    where we all conscript our nakedness to the locker room

I’m with you in the Cloud

    where we are eternally unsphinxed

I’m with you in the Cloud

    cleaved to the breast of Kitty Genovese

I’m with you in the Cloud

    where I light a smoke for Sandra Bland & pass it her way with a kiss

I’m with you in the Cloud

    speculating what part of God’s anatomy we comprise: which finger, or gastric acid?

I’m with you in the Cloud

    where the teacher who breached your confidence touched me too

I'm with you in the Cloud

where Moloch would name us Nasty Women & we agree

I’m with you in the Cloud

    where our names comprise a subway map of antiheroines

I'm with you in the Cloud

where our stories are stuffed in our mouths like rags & emerge a spectrum of flags

I’m with you in the Cloud

    where we unseat our fathers, brothers, sons, husbands

Ah, Emma, where you are not safe I am not safe

Meet me in the misty pixelated streets at dawn to ignite our own disclosures, our invisible labor, our gendered revelation, our hot meals of revolution, our radical inheritance, our girl-bodies whips & battleaxes, our multiform shame brandished like hot irons outward-facing, our explosive dissatisfaction, our demand for communion slapped hard like a vein, armed in all our preexisting conditions: vagina dentata, disaster, rankness, impatience, sloppiness, absence of graciousness, indefatigability, ambition, ironsides, harpy-shrill untameable mess, infinite bitch

I’m with you in the Cloud

    where we divulge our stories, eliding nothing, & are believed

 

Featured image:
  • MAESTRAPEACE (1994, 1995, 2000).
  • Artists: Yvonne Littleton, Meera Desai, Irene Perez, Susan Kelk Cervantes, Juana Alicia, Miranda Bergman, Edythe Boone
  • Location: San Francisco Bay Area Womens Building, 3518th St, Mission

Read more by

Laura Goode

Laura Goode is a writer, producer, and intersectional feminist. She writes author bios in the third person. You can learn more about her here.

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