Am I A Feminist?

1.

Am I a feminist?

I make the fantasy real for him, giving up parts of myself –

My look

My mind

My body

My heart.

Pieces of me, served up over silver platitudes,

three course meals

and French champagne.

2.

Malleable breasts and tight buttocks

reclaim their complimentary one half of the whole

reality

filling holes in Psyche every time she is alone.

Separate and connected,

happy and unremarkable

half truths, open to anyone who will listen.

3.

In her deepest recesses, she is compartmentalised – a waif, aloof.

Dissociation

learned to leave a long time ago, doing only what they wanted to make them happier

for the two of us.

A tragedy, waiting for a fairy tale ending that doesn’t involve

the death of Eros.

Instead she paints pictures that never quite get finished –

My pencils

My paints

My inks

My pastel chalks

covered in charcoal dust fingerprints,

scared of letting go.

4.

She still held on

to dreams

of Volkswagon beetles,

Austin land crabs,

Holden utes and XD Falcon

panel van’s reinforced with 6ml steel plates

pink stickered on the side of the road.

5.

I say goodbye to all the abusers –

My family

My friends

My lovers

My colleagues.

Self care now cloistered in her abandon while you watch,

published one day by some back shed press, captioned

‘Clichèd-Poet-Ends-It-All’

because forfeiture has no shame.

She was happier then

and then she died,

turning grey like her foibles and colourless lines.

6.

Am I a feminist?

© Copyright 2019, Jodine Derena Butler & Poetry Out West. All Rights Reserved

Get Over It

Image

Original painting of Jodine Derena Butler, graffiti on canvas by Adrian Falkner aka SMASH, 2007

He said get over it,

& he’s right. My friend said to me once that I had to learn to live without needing a man. My daughter said, there’s plenty of replacements out there, (not that she was suggesting anything of the sort) but,

are these really the answers? I know they are all three, onto something, but me. I haven’t recovered from the last one, the trauma that stripped me down to my bare brittle bones & left me incarcerated in my mind – me, the iconoclast

reduced to a smidgen of my former self. I feel my body buzz, that digital alarm clock refusing to turn off, snoozing indefinitely in some futile attempt to deny it’s existence. My only relief,

an altered state that heals me, temporarily igniting serotonin filling me with laughter & lust, leading me astray into pleasure – the pain, retreating into recessed cavities like tooth decay.

In my natural state, my zombie-like vessel of despair is frozen in a headfuck, not dissimilar to those offering themselves up for cryogenic enlightenment; an obscene experiment, waiting for the utopian dream.

I struggle to hold on.

I smile at memories of when I was on fire, & you gathered around me like a moth, my flame fanning a wildfire of desire & I controlled the burn.

Life’s not like that now. I admire those who can turn a lemon into lemonade, mutton into lamb & a deep dish Russian pie served with liquor, into a feast for days.

I’m so introverted & egocentric that I can’t see you – you, with a heart the size of a universe, a mind as creative as Tesla’s & nature like a Phoenix that’s died a thousand times, only to be reborn, transformed into the beautiful man that you are.

I lie. It’s me who can’t seem to find herself, still lost in that ethereal realm inhabited by visceral ghosts, inciting death & despair into anger & self flagellation.

I am so blind I can’t find my way home. They say home is where the heart is – my home is an empty shell; it’s roof resembling dismembered body parts, now strewn across the lawn in a cyclonic fury, like pieces of me.

It was way too soon to start over again. I am still too fragile to smash.

*

Despite it all, you tell me you love me everyday.

Every. Single. Day.
© Copyright 2018, Jodine Derena Butler & Poetry Out West. All Rights Reserved

Cavity

Yoyo

Image

‘Visons’ by Jefferson Muncy Art 


I’m so up and down

nightmares

falling about the place

picking myself up

dreaming

dusting myself off

planning my future

scared

neither here nor there

clearing clutter

turfing rubbish

cleaning

pulling out weeds

rotating my garden

sleeping

up all hours

drinking coffee

high

low

bursting into tears

mowing the lawn

numb

lonely and tired

keeping appointments

shopping

feeding the cats

cuddling the dog

rearranging furniture

another movie

hungry

empty

moving this way and that

taking big chunks out

falling

waking

on a shoestring budget

/

wondering where it all went

wrong

© Copyright 2016, Jodine Derena Butler & Poetry Out West. All Rights Reserved

Clean