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Short poem

Pier Giorgio Di Cicco (1949-)

Male Rage Poem

              1Feminism, baby, feminism.
              2This is the anti-feminist poem.
              3It will get called the anti-
              4feminist poem. Like it or not.
              5Dedicated to all my friends who
              6can't get it up in the night,
              7accused of having male rage during the
              8day. This is for the poor buggers.
              9This is for me and the incredible boredom
            10of arguing about feminism, the right
            11arguments, the wrong arguments, the
            12circular argument, the arguments that stem
            13from one bad affair, from one
            14bad job, no job -- whatever; fill in the
            15blanks _____ _____, fill in the ways
            16in which you have been hurt. Then I'll
            17fill in the blanks, and we'll send rosters
            18of hurt to each other, mail them, stock
            19them for the record to say: Giorgio Di Cicco
            20has been hurt this way x many times.
            21We will stock closets of Sarah's hurt,
            22Barbara's hurt, my hurt, Bobby's hurt.
            23This is where the poem peters out ... oops! -- that's
            24penis mentality, that's patriarchal bullshit,
            25sexist diction and These line lengths are
            26male oriented.
            27                      Where did he get so much male rage?
            28From standing out like a man for a bunch of
            29years, and being called the dirty word.
            30"When you are 21 you will become a Man."
            31Christ! Doomed to enslave women ipso
            32facto, without even the right training.
            33Shouldn't have wasted ten years playing
            34baseball; should have practised
            35whipping, should have practised tying up the
            36girl next door, giving her cigarette burns ...
            37oops! Male rage again! MALE RAGE -- the words ring out --
            38worse than RING AROUND THE COLLAR, worse than KISSED
            39THE GIRLS AND MADE THEM CRY, jeezus, male rage
            40in kindergarten. MALE RAGE. You've got
            41male rage; I look inside myself and scrounge
            42for all this male rage. Must be there
            43somewhere. Must be repressing it. I write poems
            44faster and faster, therapeutically, to make sure
            45I get all the rage out. But someone's
            46always there to say, Male Rage -- more Male Rage.
            47I don't leave the house, workin' on my male rage.

            48Things may lighten up. My friends may meet
            49fine women at a party someday and know
            50what to say to them, like "I'm not a Man and
            51you're not a Woman, but let's have dinner
            52anyway, let's fuck with our eyes closed and
            53swap roles for an hour."

            54I'm tired of being a man.
            55Of having better opportunities,
            56better job offers,
            57too much money.
            58I'm tired of going to the YMCA and
            59talking jock in the locker room.
            60I'm tired of all those poems where
            61I inadvertently used the word "whore."
            62I'm tired of having little blonde secretaries type out
            63all my poems for me.
            64I'm tired of being a man.
            65I'm tired of being a sexist.
            66I'm afraid of male rage.
            67I'm afraid of my male rage,
            68this growing thing, this buddy, this
            69shadow, this new self, this stranger.
            70It's there. It's there! How could it have
            71happened? I ate the right things, said
            72yes to my mother, thought the good

            74                Doc -- give it to me straight.
            75How long before this male rage
            76takes over completely?
            77                                   The rest of your life.
            78Take it like a man.


38] RING AROUND THE COLLAR: soil on the collars of shirts ... supposedly a sign of male personal neglect.

39] "Georgy Porgy puddin' pie / Kissed the girls and made them cry" remains a popular nursery rhyme.

58] YMCA: Young Men's Christian Association.

59] jock: sports.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Copyright Pier Giorgio Di Cicco 2001
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Pier Giorgio Di Cicco, Living in Paradise: New and Selected Poems (Toronto: Manfield Press, 2001): 63-64.
First publication date: 1982
Publication date note: Pier Giorgio Di Cicco, Flying Deeper into the Century (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1982): 55-57.
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2003
Recent editing: 1:2003/8/10

Rhyme: mainly unrhyming

Other poems by Pier Giorgio Di Cicco