Poetry for the Loose Woman

I first saw this Sandra Cisneros poem on Mystic Medusa‘s site, a funky Australian Astrologer who says ‘fuq’ a lot, and manages to make Astrology funny as well as interesting :).

Anyway, back to the poem: when I read it, it whacked me right in the eyeballs, made me smile and lit the fire in my belly. Can you ask for more?

Loose Woman

They say I’m a beast.
And feast on it.
When all along
I thought that’s what a woman was.

They say I’m a bitch.
Or witch. I’ve claimed
the same and never winced.

They say I’m a macha,
hell on wheels, viva-la-vulva,
fire and brimstone, man-hating, devastating,
boogey-woman lesbian.
Not necessarily,
but I like the compliment.

The mob arrives with stones and sticks
to maim and lame and do me in.
All the same, when I open my mouth,
they wobble like gin.

Diamonds and pearls
tumble from my tongue.
Or toads and serpents.
Depending on the mood I’m in.
I like the itch I provoke.
The rustle of rumor
like crinoline.

I am the woman of myth and bullshit.
(True. I authored some of it.)
I built my house of ill repute.
Brick by brick.
Labored,loved and masoned it.

I live like so.
Heart as sail, ballast, rudder, bow.
Rowdy. Indulgent to excess.
My sin and success
—I think of me to gluttony.

By all accounts I am
a danger to society.
I’m Pancha Villa.

I break laws,
upset the natural order,
anguish the Pope and make fathers cry.
I am beyond the jaw of law.
I’m la desperada, most-wanted public enemy.
My happy picture grinning from the wall.

I strike terror among the men.
I can’t be bothered what they think.
Que se vayan a la ching chang chong!
For this, the cross, the Calvary.
In other words, I’m anarchy.

I’m an aim-well,
shoot-sharp,
sharp-tongued,
sharp-thinking,
fast-speaking,
foot-loose,
loose-tongued,
let-loose,
woman-on-the-loose
loose woman.
Beware, honey.

I’m Bitch. Beast. Macha.
Wachale!
Ping! Ping! Ping!
I break things.

– Sandra Cisneros

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