Brag 2016 | Telaina Eriksen

I have stood by the sandlot/ and watched the boys play –Sharon Olds

No, I won’t bow down to
your literary manhood. I won’t place my lips
around your millennial pride and blow.

I have never had the luxury of being given a place,
I’ve had to carve this ledge out of marble.
Working stone to survive has interfered
with my scholarship. When women place an “I” in a poem,
I see Harold Bloom’s sneer from here in the
heartland of Michigan,

when I say the placentas of both of my children were
large and firm, I feel the collective male shudder.

I am so tired of being told what
my eyes see isn’t real.
That what I value is tarnished.
That the years I’ve spent rearing my children have
been at the expense of my career.

Spare me your verbal sudoku.
You have your syllabic machinations. And
I have a samurai’s heart.

Telaina Eriksen’s writing has appeared (or is forthcoming) in The Good Men Project, Under the Sun, ARS Medica, Role/Reboot, Fem2.0, The Feminist Press’ Under the MicroscopeThe Truth About the Fact, poemmemoirstory, Mother is a Verb (poetry anthology), and in other online and print publications.  She teaches creative writing at Michigan State University and holds an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles.

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