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
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:
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