Shot Up in the Sexual Revolution (The True Adventures
of Suzy Creamcheese), Part 1
Amusing Notes for people under 50
Suzy Creamcheese: Fictional teenybopper from Salt Lake City, created by Frank
Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. They portrayed her as sexually desirable but
clueless and uptight.
"Girls say yes to boys who say no." Anti-war slogan, coined by Joan Baez.
"Hippies treat their women like squaws." Danny Rifkin's mother. Danny Rifkin
was the road manager for the Grateful Dead.
Betty Friedan called the suburbs "comfortable concentration camps for women."
"The correct position for women in the movement is horizontal." Stokely
The Dalkon Shield was an intrauterine birth control device popular in the late
60's and early 70's. It caused severe cramping and bleeding and was recalled in
the wake of a class action suit after it led to scarring and infertility in thousands
"Put your body on the line." Mario Salvo, Berkeley Free Speech Movement.
"All your private property is target for your enemy." The Jefferson Airplane,
"Volunteers of America."
"The movement hangs together on the head of a penis." Interestingly, Todd
Gitlin attributes this quote to Tom Hayden in his memoir, and Tom Hayden
attributes it to Gitlin.
When a reporter claimed that Janis Joplin was a lesbian, she said, "You go and
tell that son of a bitch I've slept with thousands of men and a few hundred
"My thoughts light fires in your cities." Quote from Charles Manson at his trial.
And the MC5 said: "Kick out the jams, motherfuckers!"
After twenty I stopped counting,
not like my friend Beverly, who sewed
an embroidered satin star on her bell-bottoms
for every new guy she fucked.
She had them running down both legs
and around the billowing hem,
and was starting up the inseam
when the jeans gave out in the wash.
It was a boys' game anyway, those years
of our extended homage to the penis:
the guitar playing the penis, drums saluting it,
cock rock, Molotov cocktail, the motorcycle
gripped between the thighs, and I went down,
we all went down, in the old cultural disaster
of idol worship--a thousand-year bender.
Only this time it was the adolescent member,
oiled and laved, thrust forward arcing,
thin with ache, all tight flesh poked upward,
claiming its own. How it came and went,
penetrating but never settling down,
and how often we were caused to admire it:
hairless sweet warrior, raider against the State.
But I have this sweet pink flower
here between my legs--I put my hand down and touch it,
still soft and wet, and many-folded, endlessly opening,
hiding, seeking, hidden and sought,
but never very much admired or even smiled on
in those years, never served much less sung to.
Not a garden to them but a citadel,
a wall to be breached, a new land claimed,
but linger there? No, I would say
there was an overall lack of appreciation,
though breasts were well respected, slopping loose
under t-shirts like little animals,
and I would feel my nipples brush the cotton
with pleasure, see them regarded also with pleasure,
still, sex then was a taking like spoils of war, a victory
over all those straight fucks back home, marooned
in the dismal suburbs that birthed us squalling and red
and watched us flee in ungrateful cars down night highways.
And God knows it felt good those nights.
I was ready, it was ready, to open and answer the call.
And take me down and roll me over, yes, and give
it to me--but why all this riding away afterward?
Where was everyone going
and why didn't I get to ride along? Who knew at first
nothing had changed, just wanting the thrust and tug
and slam up against the headboard, I should say so,
but left still wanting more, wanting to leap
out of centuries' shame and be something new,
not this old consolation of women for the powerless,
some kind of cosmic door prize you get just for showing up
with a dick, some proof to themselves these boys were men.
"You're good," he said. Hell, I wasn't taking a typing test,
I was fighting to live in a dying world.
I was throwing myself away, an offering to wildest space,
surrender to the mind's dissolve, the body's electric light,
nerve endings firing like exploding stars.
"You're good," they all said:
you'd think somebody was doing a survey.
Girls say yes to boys who say no,
and the old professor asks if you're wearing underwear,
when you meet for your conference on the poetry of Yeats.
Crossing the border after midnight in a borrowed car
after a visit to the after-hours doctor's office in Sarnia.
Nodding out in the back seat, pills wearing off.
He was a legend among undergraduates:
cheap and reliable, always on call
until a month later the headlines screamed
"Abortion Doc!" when a girl died in his office
and he dragged her down to the river
and dumped her body in the underbrush.
Author Discusses Poems