end the silence

July 30, 2009, 9:17 am
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Well, the Blog-a-thon is finished and slowly I am starting to return to a more normal state of being. If you haven’t had a chance to read through the posts from last week, you should. There is a ton of great original poetry, writing prompts, and work by some of my favorite poets. I will try to post everything under the “Poetry” section of the site as well.

Stay posted for more regular updates!


The End (49)
July 26, 2009, 8:59 am
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We have reached 9 AM. There have been some bloodshot eyes, short naps, jokes from Mario Dones, many episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm and delerium. On behalf of the entire End The Silence Campaign family, thank you and good night!

We’ll leave you with a quote:

These words want to answer your questions.

These words want to stave off your suffering,

but cannot. I leave them to you.

-Terrance Hayes, from “Wind in a Box,” Wind in a Box

the poem after the end of the world (48)
July 26, 2009, 8:24 am
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inspired by Lucille Clifton’s “shapeshifter poems”…

the poem after the end of the world

its quiet
not morning quiet full of birds and slipping dreams
its middle of the night quiet
when you can whisper your secrets out loud

last night god looked down on us
said enough is enough
toppled mountains like dominos
spilled ocean, wiped her hand clean across the sky

and you wake up rubbed pink with sleep
naked and smiling,
you look out the window.

and where there were buildings
there are now trees
and where there were sidewalks
there are now trees
and where there was running away
there are now trees as thick as atmospheres

everything is green again.

Lucille Clifton (47)
July 26, 2009, 7:59 am
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The last hour is here!!! I am going to near the end this crazy Blog-a-thon with a poem by the lovely Lucille Clifton. This poem is absolutely and utterly amazing.

shapeshifter poems


the legend is whispered
in the women’s tent
how the moon when she rises
follows some men into themselves
and changes them there
the season is short
but dreadful__shapeshifters
they wear strange hands
they walk through the houses
at night__their daughters
do not know them


who is there to protect her
from the hands of the father
not the windows which see and
say nothing__not the moon
that awful eye__not the woman
she will become with her
scarred tongue_who_who_who_the owl
laments into the evening_who
will protect her_this_prettylittlegirl


if the little girl lies
still enough
shut enough
hard enough
shapeshifter may not
walk tonight
the full moon may not
find him here
the hair on him


the poem at the end of the world
is the poem the little girl breathes
into her pillow_the one
she cannot tell_the one
there is no one to hear _this poem
is a political poem_is a war poem_is a
universal poem but is not about
these things_this poem
is about one human heart_this poem
is the poem at the end of the world

Choices (46)
July 26, 2009, 7:26 am
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As I said, I could analyze Terrance Hayes’ poem “A Girl in the Woods,” for hours, but I just want to touch on the very first line. It begins, “Why wouldn’t she have wanted to be there?”

Exactly. None of us can predict the future. Everyone of us has found ourselves in situations that we know were not born of the very best decisions. Each of us has made mistakes. But no mistake, no error in judment, no poor choice warrants a punishment like rape. Sometimes it is comforting to point to a victims choices, but this is only because tragedy begs for logic. If we can place blame, then someone it is easier to comprehend. But that’s the point. This crime is not something that can or should be comprehended in a conceptual sense. And hopefully less of us ever have to understand this reality. But in the meantime, blame should remain where blame belongs. Solely on the shoulders of the perpetrators.

Terrance Hayes (45)
July 26, 2009, 7:00 am
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Here is a really important poem to me by one of my all time favorite poets. This poem touches on so many issues that I would like to examine more deeply. But I would like to focus on a common sterotype about sexual assault – that victims should have been smarter or avoided the dangerous situation. In this lyrical yet haunting poem, Hayes shatters this stereotype with truth.

A Girl in the Woods

by Terrance Hayes

Why wouldn’t she have wanted to be there at first,
riding low into whatever song the radio played,
that girl running her nails along the worn backseat

of a Cadillac, beat-up and beach blue
with a busted muffler and fur-covered steering wheel,
that car clamorous and big enough to seem ridiculous

rambling from the high school parking lot
with laughter in its belly: two thin brown boys upfront
and the thin brown girl they’d promised a ride home

rocking in the rearview, music coating their teeth?
She might have wanted to be there because
they were her friends, just as they were mine,

and when their long blue door swung open,
even you might have climbed in and gone smiling
behind their tight-lipped tinted windows,

and you would have had nothing to fear
until they turned from the road and parked in the woods,
as they turned and parked that day where the road was soft:

the brown boys who turned to reach for the brown girl
and coo how she was about to be raped.
They should have known better than to fool around that way.

I remember the way your mother told me to take off
my sneakers and wait for you in the hallway
before our first date, and the sound of her footsteps following

you through a room somewhere in that house
as she warned you against staying out late with a boy like me.
After we’d parked and made love kneeling in the woods,

I laughed and asked you why she had to be that way.
I have thought of your body in the underbrush for year.
And I have thought of the story you told me about being raped.

Because they were my friends, they told me the story
they had promised to never tell: how the girl wept
even after they raised their naked palms, promising

it would be okay. It was a prank, it was a simple mistake.
They should have known better than to fool around that way,
those boys who were not boys, men who were not men,

their narrow veins, narrow rivers
of hunger branching into muscle and skin.
Who made the road leading from the road?

What was the song they sang before turning off?
Who made them stop? Maybe her weeping
made them become themselves again,

or made them something they had not been.
Before they reached her house, each of them trembling,
I imagine the girl drying her face, her mother looking

from the window when they pulled into the driveway.

Future Plans through Sleepy Haze (44)
July 26, 2009, 6:24 am
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