I read Falconer/Taylor’s poem and found there was no mention of angry fathers who rip their own daughter’s stomachs open with broken plates when they find out she’s pregnant (this happened to an ex-girlfriend of mine, and appears in one of my earlier pieces); no mention of Catholic parents who would rather disown their daughters, never speak to them again if they found out she’d had sex ‘out of wedlock’ (this also happened to another ex-girlfriend); no mention of unwanted pregnancies caused by rape, by lack of judgement, by alcohol and drug abuse; no mention of what kind of world the unborn baby might be forced into; no mention of the difference between a foetus and a human being; no mention at all of how your whole life, which is an actual, living, breathing, sentient, thinking life-in-progress – again, NOT a foetus- will be thrown into subjugation to the needs of the child. Is there any proof that anyone at any time in their life is in possession of a ‘soul’? Is that what you call science? And do souls come in sizes? Are some souls ‘little’ while others are ‘big’? How can something that does not yet exist ‘desire to be born’? They don’t call it ‘choice’ for nothing. ‘supposed to be waiting’…’must be waiting’…Because the woman who actually gives birth has no rights? This is written in stone somewhere? I could go on and on, but what’s the point? I happen to be a man. I don’t think it’s an accident that the writer of that poem is also male. Former girlfriends have had abortions of babies that would’ve been ‘mine’ and that was their choice. Whichever choice they made, it was the right choice for them. And to take away that choice is to say that ‘people’ who are not yet born have the same rights as actual walking-talking human beings who have to pay rent, work, live, make love, make art, write…or should they just stay at home and look after ‘baby’? I don’t know who posted the poem. I don’t think it was Falconer. But that’s one poem that contributes to the misery in the world.
Thank you for your response. It made me go back and read something I had skipped.
Thank you for saying what I could not.
Thank you, MichaelRpdx.
Leo thank you for speaking up.
Thank you, Xicano.
Well Leo, Falconer (aka Taylor)’s poem starts out with a “We…” but dissolves into a bloody metaphor of misogeny. And the title “The Sex Life of Fire” might be fueled by the drug Viiiiagra. Clever left justified text; some internal rhyme. He is a wordsmith. But, there is a Yoooootube video of the poet reading this poem in a black leather jacket, sitting in a black chair circled by a camera, and he looking very priestly, in Gestapo- like neo-Nazi self righteousness. We do have freedom of speech which protects artistic expression. Not my bag of tea. As a mother, I am aghast at the demagoguery and hate against women. My favorite song-writer, musician poet, Joni Mitchell has written beautifully about a woman’s predicament in an era (1960’s) where the few choice regarding pregnancy were dictated by men.
“Magdalena Laundries” by Joni Mitchell
…I was an unmarried girl
I’d just turned twenty-seven
When they sent me to the sisters
For the way men looked at me
Branded as a Jezebel
I knew I was not bound for Heaven
I’d be cast in shame
Into the Magdalene laundries
Most girls come here pregnant
Some by their own fathers
Bridget got that belly by her parish priest
We’re trying to get things white as snow
All of us woe-begotten-daughters
In the streaming stains
Of the Magdalene laundries….
Hi, Catalina. Yes, I was thinking about the Magdalene Laundries and the Magdalene Martyrs as I was writing earlier, having seen films and read novels in which those horrors are dramatised but I didn’t have the heart to go on. It’s not as if I’m going to convince the sender of the poem to change their mind about abortion. As you say, we do have freedom of speech, even when it advocates repression and oppression.