THE BEST WAY TO HAVE SEX WITH SOMEONE WHO ISN’T INTO YOU - IS TO NOT HAVE SEX WITH THEM - and other life lessons WHY I AM THE BEST POTENTIAL PARTNER OR WHY I AM ALWAYS SINGLE - a book of affirmations for the “forever single” WHY BEING A VIRGO IS PAINFUL BUT REWARDING AFTER ALL OF THE STOMACH PROBLEMS - with a collection of very organized short stories BEST ADVICE FOR ANYONE WHO FALLS IN LOVE WITH A VIRGO - and for the virgos who wants to love themselves
WHY DRINKING FEELS LIKE THE BEST TIME SAY YOU ARE SORRY - with tips on how to start conversations not revolving around alcohol WHY RECOGNIZING YOUR MENTAL ILLNESS IS CRUCIAL TO ANY MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIP - HOW TO FIND A PARTNER WITHOUT USING THE INTERNET - and other myths HOW TO NOT FALL APART IN PUBLIC - with a bonus CD on advice for those who take drugs in public and wake up full of regret after their birthday HOW TO NOT FUCK UP A FIRST DATE - a memoir WHY DYING IS BETTER THAN LIVING - an autobiography WHY LIVING IS BETTER THAN DYING - a self help book for the clinically depressed HOW TO BE A GOOD PROSTITUTE - a safety guide for knowing what your body is truly worth WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER DATE A SOCIOPATH - how to recognize the signs in your partner before it is too late HOW TO GET A GUY OFF - includes an instructional, full-size, colored poster! HOW TO NOT GET JEALOUS - a book of personal interviews from every polyamorous person I have ever met HOW TO BE SEXY AND HOW TO BELIEVE IT - a guided book of self love WHY DOING YOU IS BETTER THAN DOING SOMEONE ELSE - and how to take the radical steps to become the person you’ve always wanted to be WHY I DON’T MASTURBATE - and other bad conversation topics HOW TO HAVE SEX WITH A MARRIED MAN WHO THINKS YOU ARE A LESBIAN BUT FINDS OUT YOU ARE QUEER AND DOESN’T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS BUT HE FIGURES IT IS THE CLOSEST HE WILL GET TO SLEEPING WITH A LESBIAN SO OH WELL - and other regretful stories HOW TO BE A FUNCTIONING ALCOHOLIC - with an intro by Charlie Sheen WHY IT IS BETTER TO NEVER SAY YOU ARE SORRY - and proper timing for apologies WHY BEING GAY SHOULD NOT BE A FASHION STATEMENT - a book of queer awakening HOW TO BE DEPRESSED - for those who find the “good life” a little too easy WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO GIVE UP, WHEN IT APPEARS YOU HAVE EVERYTHING - and the other masks we wear HOW TO HAVE SAFE, RECREATIONAL SEX - and the dangers of little mishaps WHY I STILL WON’T SAY I LOVE YOU - a 8,000 page choose your own adventure book HOW TO BE SMOOTH AND HAVE SWAG - a collaboration of poems with YouTube Superstar Sensation, Alex Dang THE DAY I KNEW I WOULD NEVER RUN AGAIN - and other short poems about disability and loss WHY WE SHOULD CAT CALL AT MEN - for the inspiring young people of America HOW TO KEEP THE BAD GUYS OUT - a book for stopping unwanted sexual advances, and keeping your body safe WHY AM I STILL HERE? - an extensive muti-part poem for the lost WHO WOULD EVER LOVE A MONSTER - a 12 step guide to self acceptance WHY POETRY CONTINUES TO SAVE MY LIFE - a picture book of the brave, beautiful people, who push me to stay alive
I could say that every man who has ever put his hands on me has hurt me. I could also say that every woman who has ever put her hands on me has hurt me too. But they don’t mean the same thing. Not when you say it out loud. If I’ve learned anything about men and women and sex and gender and people in general, it’s that everyone hears what they want to hear and what they expect you to say will be be correct.
They might say,
“Did he beat you? Did he rape you?” “Did he give you any bruises?” “He’s not going to get away with this!” “I’m gonna kill that asshole next time I see him.” “He’s got something comin’ for him, I’m sure of it.” “What the hell was he thinking?” “How many other girls will suffer?” “He needs to be stopped!” “You should report him, go to the police!”
Or, they might say,
“Aw, baby. I’m sorry she hurt you.” “Everything will be okay, you don’t need her anyway.” “She was a bitch, you’ll find someone better.” “She doesn’t know what she’s missing, I promise.” “You’re better off without her.” “I already feel bad for the next poor girl she finds.” “Don’t worry, you’ve got better friends than she does.” “I always knew she was crazy.” “You really need to stop falling for such broken girls.” “You can do so much better.”
These assumptions we have regarding the mistreatment between men and women exist for a reason. I wish they didn’t. And then I think about my life, feel the hurt in my chest turn black, heavy stone, when I realize no one has ever asked me if my girlfriend hit me if my boyfriend broke my heart if it was my fault to begin with if I expected any of this to happen if I could have prevented it and if I could, would I have even wanted to?
The way a man hurts a woman should not be a fact.
The truth is, you’re right. I have been hurt exactly how you imagined I would be. Your responses are legitimate. I am not unique. Everyone has been right.
Close Quarters Poetry - Featuring Clementine von Radics
Thank you to the amazing Jill Greenseth for allowing me to be a part of this series.
Take a look at my newest Close Quarters Poetry video! Clementine was such a pleasure to work with. She has a brilliant vision and is one of the most inspiring young writers I know. I look forward to having the opportunity to get her behind my camera again. Take the time to also check out her blog. She’s an incredible woman.
A lot of people are using November as a month to write a poem-a-day (at the same time so many brave fiction and prose writers perform the more ambitious task of writing a novel in one month.) I have done this in a few different formats, and these are the ones I have found most effective for…
I couldn’t have explained this better myself! Join this writing challenge with us!
There is no easy way to explain what it feels like to want to die. To know what it feels like to feel nothing at all. Vulnerable is a safer word for saying that you expect people to hurt you. A body does not want to die. A mind is not so easily predictable. When death is barreling toward you as a fifty ton, unstoppable force, fear can set, or can be accepted. Life can be accepted, or given up with either a second of judgement, or a lifetime of debate — Of questioning — Of knowing the answer, but unsure of how to vacate skin and bone. Choice wears a black veil. Stares at you with barren, grey eyes. Takes you by the hand and walks you to a cliff with no foreseeable ground and steps away. It burns where you feel like your heart should be. It fills your throat with clouds and the ocean waves push the back of your eyes. The ground does not shake. The air is temperate. There isn’t even a draft but your skin still crawls. There is no such thing as weather. Silence is the loudest sound you’ve ever heard. It builds in your skull where your brain should be — Where your brain should be telling you the only thing a reasonable person might say; No. No… A human infant can only wrap their tiny hand around an adult’s finger and want to survive, without even knowing what survival is. That same soul, now, can’t even fathom sustaining life itself. Would it be wrong to slay the only vessel that has ever carried you this insurmountable distance? That tried to keep you alive every time you ever got sick? That got out of bed when it was so tired it didn’t want to move ever again? When you choose an ending, does it therefore mean you choose the story? Can we create our futures by creating our lives? Is it possible that we were given the power of choice to see stare death in the face if we want to? A body does not want to die. A mind is made up of every mistake you’ve ever made, but is also made up of every time you laughed and every time you pulled someone out of the wreckage by saying or “You’ve got this” — “I believe in you” — “I love you.” A mind is made up every time you touched someone else’s skin and didn’t feel afraid. A body does not want to die because it does not deserve to. You are not a coward. You are not weak. You are as strong as your body. There is no easy way to explain what it feels like to want to die. Nobody can tell a brain what to think, but a wise, reasonable person I found somewhere in mine once said, “no.” Keep your body. It fought hard for you. It will always fight for you. You must always fight.