Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. Leonard Cohen

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Beat

“There were women, they were there, I knew them, their families put them in institutions, they were given electric shock. In the ‘50s if you were male you could rebel, but if you were female your families had you locked up.” Gregory Corso

Them boys don’t know from beat-
I been beat up, beat down, beat in, and beat out
most all my life
Them boys don’t wanna love no woman;
they wanna make love to their mirrors
to themselves
They love each other;
woman gets fucked
Wanna hear some howlin’?
Listen to my late stage back alley abortion
to some volts of electricity jammed through my brain
Hear my fists beating 
against the locked doors of mental hospitals
I was born a woman
I live a woman
but I can die as good as any man.

This poem is inspired by the women of the Beat Generation. 

submitted for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Let's Do the Time Warp Again, in which we are asked to write as someone from  the year 1958.


Hey Monkey Butt said...

Love it!

Kerry O'Connor said...

Wow! This is some potent stuff! the 50s seem to have been an age of liberation for many men, but women continued to suffer the worst forms of prejudice. Your last line is fabulous.

Kay L. Davies said...

Ouch, I remember hearing horror stories, in the 60s, about "electro-shock therapy" being "better than a frontal lobotomy" which was a common surgical procedure prescribed for psychiatric reasons in the 50s.

Unknown said...

Powerful! Let us remember the struggle so as not to slide back down the mountain to the valley of oppression.

Ellecee said...

Yes, shit happened, it still does but we have a bit more control, use it well. Good write,,,,

Ellecee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Helen said...

Gut wrenching to think it wasn't all that long ago ... great write, Mouse!

Fireblossom said...

"Ya got no right!!!!" (You've seen "Frances", I'm assuming!)

Who defines what "crazy" is? In the 50's it was white heterosexual males. Goddess help everybody else.

Fantastic and chilling stuff, LM, and I love how you captured her voice and her defiance.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh this is good! Sadly, all too accurate. Great write, Lolamouse!

Brian Miller said...



Listen to my late stage back alley abortion Groove


Other Mary said...

Wow - raw and real and compelling! Powerful write.

Marcoantonio Arellano (Nene) said...

Lola, mi amiga, your scream, you wailing is heard loud and clear with this one. Wow!

Great expression


LLM Calling said...

so painful, just as living through that would have been, well done

Poetic Soul said...

This is really good, I wish it was fiction though