Blame

Blame me.

Blame poet.

Blame words. Blame truth. Blame lies. Blame
didn’t know better. Blame knew better. Blame yesterday. Blame tomorrow. Blame time. Blame early. Blame late. Blame traffic. Blame weather. Blame sun. Blame rain. Blame hot. Blame cold. Blame sick. Blame tired. Blame
sick and tired. Blame addict. Blame addiction. Blame drug. Blame rap. Blame disco. Blame hippies. Blame war. Blame government. Blame democracy. Blame anarchy. Blame dictator. Blame Patriarchy. Blame Matriarchy. Blame mother. Blame father. Blame Daddy Issues. Blame unavailability. Blame abuse. Blame abuser. Blame victim. Blame rape. Blame no. Blame yes. Blame conversation. Blame relationship. Blame him. Blame her. Blame lack of communication. Blame too close. Blame too soon. Blame too hard. Blame too fast. Blame too long. Blame too short. Blame sex.
Blame transparency. Blame honesty. Blame pride. Blame envy. Blame greed. Blame money. Blame money-makers. Blame money-takers. Blame corporations. Blame welfare. Blame Liberals. Blame Republicans. Blame Glenn Beck. Blame politicians. Blame politics. Blame institutions. Blame bureaucracy. Blame America. Blame treason. Blame reason. Blame faith. Blame religion. Blame that religion. Blame no that religion. Blame the wrong religion. Blame my religion. Blame your religion. Blame organized religion. Blame
organized chaos. Blame God. Blame Muslims. Blame Jews. Blame Jesus. Blame Jews for Jesus. Blame Christians. Blame Atheists.

Blame different.

Blame black. Blame white. Blame blue. Blame red. Blame green. Blame gray. Blame fine print. Blame never said. Blame I told you so. Blame everything. Blame “To everything turn, turn, turn.” Blame excuses. Blame this time. Blame last time. Blame every time. Blame yourself.

Blame blame.
Blame blame.
Blame blame.
Blame blame.
Blame blame.

Blame – I’ve written blame so many times it doesn’t even look like a word anymore.
Blame – if only overuse wore out the practice.

EJZ 09.16.2015

Stop

I looked up “synonyms for power-hungry” and I got
“ambitious”.

In our power-over society with lust for control,
we are taught that, “Stop”
is a four-letter-word,
that “No”
is disrespect to our elders,
but “Fuck”
is just fine
for a girl, barely aged nine
to speak and receive from
men with desire for dominance.

This poem is for everyone who was never taught
to utter the word, “No,”
who were told to erase it, instead, from their lexicon
and replace it with, “Sorry”.

You have nothing to apologize for.

This is for the girl who said, “Stop, no,
it hurts,”
but couldn’t be heard through the palm, open
over her mouth
so she shut it.

This is for the boy on the street
that was beaten for walking to a foreign rhythm,
who could not say “stop” because he did not know
the language of white terrorists.

This is for the girl at the party who can’t remember if she said no or not
because that’s what the drugs were designed for.

This is for everyone who has witnessed a crime
but choked on their words when they went to yell, “Stop”
because the crimson glare from his knife was too much to bear
and the sweat on their palms crippling, cold
so they shoved them in their pockets and ran
away
with the guilt and the shame of their silence.

This is for the ones in the street
starving
for their next hit
crawling on damp pavement,
searching for a needle
because they couldn’t say no that one time
and now
they will struggle to ever say no
to the regret corroding their veins.

This is for the child
petitioned
on the internet
for pictures
of her blossoming body
who couldn’t say, “no”
because he was a grown-up
and her parents
were not there to teach her
or let her
say no.

This is for every time you blamed me
for your addiction
to psychosis
and I couldn’t scream, “No”
as your hand gripped my throat
because I was afraid
that any breath of air I exhaled in attempt to escape
would never come back to me.

I have nothing to apologize for.

This is to remind you that your words are worth more
than the pearls that he gave you in attempt to excuse
each time he would beat you
to convince you
it would never happen again
to keep you
around until he could choke you
with that necklace of manipulation
until you had no lips of your own anymore to speak or say, “No.”

This is to remind you that you are more valuable
than your legs or your breasts or the way that you move
your hips when he begs you and pokes you and
holds down your wrists
as you wish you remembered how to spell “Stop.”

I learned to say, “No”
I learned to spell “Stop”
with an escape route, my two legs, twelve steps and
a restraining order
to leave behind lies,
the bruises and scars,
the insistence
that “No” meant “yes”
because I was his woman,
his property,
like I owed him,
like he was doing me a favor
by intruding my body,
stripped
of a soul by his –
– did they call it ambition? –
Quest
for control –
He is lost.

And I ran

And now,
with a climax of character,
the prowess of principle
an orgasmic oration,
I’m coming
I’m coming
I’m coming
I’m here!

And no,
I won’t stop.

EJZ 04.28.2015