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Owens, Elisabeth, R. (ed.) / Encore: more of parallel press poets

McDermott, Sharon F.
What for the women poets,   pp. 40-42

Page 40

What For the Women Poets 
Virginia, we are welcome in the syntax now. 
No tweedle-dum or tweedle-dee to take away 
our rights to eat a peach or strike pins to gutters 
in the alleys. Grass grows beneath our feet 
within the libraries. Still the old rage glints 
like sun on spoons. We ladle boiled 
broth in green tureens and sup: 
(there are sesame seeds on crackers; 
lemon wedges in the water; cubes of Monterey 
Jack and triangles of Brie.) All the geometry 
of eating though we've got a handle on that, too. 
We're post-fork. We've simply stopped. 
We're thin as dermis, thin as phylo. 
And still we want to say something. 
Here's the bra I spill out of; here's the thong between my cheeks. 
I'm still the same dress-undress- 
able daughter. Even Vanna found a job to fit her wardrobe: 
I'm in letters, she might murmur. I put pressure on the vowels. 
Hostess, hostess, moon is now a party favor, decorative, 
discrete. Can't talk of pansies, rose or foxglove-pabulum 
sentiment! Mother of our mothering. And when we return to moon, 
we're reminded of his footsteps-Wordsworth, Byron-in the craters, 
flagged, quantified, don't tread on me. 
And to the male poet who said, woman, you don't need a book 
as much as me because you have a child, I say- 
And to my peer who said your poems won't speak 
untilyou write cunt and prick in them, I say-- 

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