Organizer: Jackie McNamara
writing the ox: 100,000 Poets for Change in Yreka, CA
Monday, October 15, 2012
100,000 Poets for Change in Yreka, CA
At first, when asked to read, poet and owner of Nature’s Kitchen, Flannery Clouse said, “Since change is inevitable, I’m for it.” We laughed at our dilemma. As a writer, I don’t see myself as attempting to change cultures and societies when I write–my only focus is to shape images, ideas, impressions into language and to shape that language into a satisfying whole.
In preparation for the reading, we all had to think about what change we wanted to see and to look at our writings to discover what social and cultural issues were already there in the work.
In the course of the reading, a theme emerged from our personal writings that had political heft. In one poem, Fernandez exposed the depth of Demeter’s pain at her daughter’s kidnap and rape. I read “Leda Talks Back,” a poem that pulls back the curtain of Romanticism reveals the ugly truth of that rape. These poems stand as voices against the recent political “War on Women.”
Clouse (above) even surprised herself by writing a long and blatantly political ditty for the occasion. In one verse, she dealt with the current view expressed by one conservative who is still being supported by many of the Republican mainstream:
Akin has said
If a woman’s raped right
She can’t have a baby
Because she’s too tight.
Roe vs. Wade
Must be unmade
Because we all know that
All of this rot
About a woman’s say
In her body’s parley
Is a freakin’ feminist plot.
For more information about the global event, visit: http://www.bigbridge.org/100thousandpoetsforchange/