There are two kinds of people, soldiers and women,
as Virginia Woolf said. Both for decoration only.
Now that is too kind. It’s technical: virgins and wolves.
We have choices now. Two little girls walk into a bar,
one orders a shirley temple. Shirley Temple’s pimp
comes over and says you won’t be sorry. She’s a fine
piece of work but she don’t come cheap. Myself, I’m
in less fear of predators than of walking around
in my mother’s body. That’s sneaky, that’s more
than naked. Let’s even it up: you go on fuming in your
gray room. I am voracious alone. Blank and loose,
metallic lingerie. And rare black-tipped cigarettesin a handmade basket
case. Which of us weaves
the world together with a quicker blur of armed
seduction: your war-on-thugs, my body stockings.
Ascetic or carnivore. Men will crack your glaze
even if you leave them before morning. Pigs
ride the sirens in packs. Ah, flesh, technoflesh,
there are two kinds of people. Hot with mixed
light, drunk on insult. You and me.
Brenda Shaughnessy is an American poet. Her poem “Postfeminism” is intense and mordant, creating strong imagery with its every word.
Image by the fantastic Egle Plytnikaite.