Shot Up in the Sexual Revolution (The True Adventures
of Suzy Creamcheese), Part 3
So you move in with the guy and get political.
Captive since Troy, I learned to run a mimeograph
and make stacks of sandwiches, toting gallons
of coffee laced with benzedrine to fuel all-night meetings
to bring down the state. I learned to keep my mouth
shut and my legs open. "The correct position for women
in the movement is horizontal." IUD bleeding and cramps.
Blood clots and cancer scare from the pill.
Come home on your Dalkon shield. Cocaine,
acid, and crystal meth: ball all night
and blow your mind with revolutionary theory.
"Put your body on the line." We meant it.
The world was changing out there in the streets,
where the masses would rise up to claim their own,
and we'd be with them, waving and shouting.
"All your private property is target for your enemy!"
The cities were burning
and the streets were more dangerous than ever
but no one would walk you home. Weren't we
liberated? Upholding class solidarity: it was
a compliment if a man yelled at you on the street
or even grabbed your ass, and if he followed you
home and you couldn't get rid of him, well,
that didn't even have a name. It wasn't rape
unless he had a gun and you fought for your life.
I wanted only to walk with my eyes up
ready to meet every gaze, wanting the streets to be mine
as they were anyone's. But it was still a boys' game.
"The movement hangs together on the head of a penis."
Women were learning massage or singing backup
or waiting tables to keep him in art school
and out of the army--it was no time to think of ourselves
with the war needing ending and the cities in flames.
So, I slept with my lovers, I slept with my friends,
my lovers' friends and my friends' lovers,
friends of friends and so on. I slept with my dealer
and my dealer's dealer, just to be sure.
I slept with some men I barely knew
to prove I was open-minded, or to avoid an argument,
and I slept with some men I didn't like
just to be nice, or, well, to avoid an argument.
You might say I had an open door policy.
I took it three ways, I took it sideways:
"thousands of men and a few hundred women."
Hum jobs, tie me up, half and half, and fuck the dog.
I took it in the ass, in my mouth, between my thighs
and way up inside from any angle. Yet what I loved most
was hard dancing to loud music: that beat through the floor,
and bodies swaying, sweating, the tension building,
and getting just to the edge of it, in a room, in a woods,
down a hallway wedged inside a bathroom stall, falling
down fast, or leaning back brace yourself
on the wall, diving into it like stepping on a mine--just
blowing yourself up, all the while holding on
to some sweating panting guy also blowing himself up--
just kick out the door hard mindless sex--I wanted it
as much as the next guy, the next high priestess of come,
and it was ours and all new and fine, and would never end,
until one day love comes roiling up like swamp gas
fermented for years in the collective unconscious
of old songs and bad movies, a distant memory wakening.
His thumbs in his belt loops, his crooked smile
and dark moods, and you think this one is a god
or an avatar of destiny, and you're nothing unless
he loves you too, and now everything is changed
and you let your life go, like a bad gene or a slow virus.
You've bought the gypsy's curse, the heroine's undoing,
that fatal weakness inscribed in a hundred novels
you read as a girl in your sweet gabled bedroom
while you were waiting for your life to happen.
Author Discusses Poems