All Is Not Lost

Image


Photographer: Jodine Majewski

I have no ill feelings

surprisingly

God knows I have plenty of reason to feel

angry or resentful, hurt

but it’s not in my nature

I feel proud actually,

that I helped a  family to have a future

I really worked hard for her, for him

I am satisfied here in my garden

now, pottering

I’ve found peace here

finally, after losing it all

on a gamble

I should have known much better too

but love is truly blind,

even though my eyes were wide open

I can’t take money with me

so I’ll let it go

they need it more than I

I can hold my head up and feel proud

I don’t have to hurt anyone

to get what I want, tenderness

I can give to myself 

*

when you love someone,

you don’t do anything to hurt them

© Copyright 2016, Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Bottle

Visible Woman

Image

image

 

I’m a whore.
A hooker for all
Intents & purposes

I fuck

Men, women or both
If they show me
Respect & pay my fee

How they treat
Me is how I screen;
They peep through key
Holes in my web,
Mobile phone or face
Book

Leave me clues
I peruse at my leisure.

On my unpaid time,
Weeding
Always pulling
Out roots & bare
Back, barking mad
Messages

Cutting into my family!

My family time
Intrigues you & yours –

Watching how we
Balance on that edge,
While I swing my leg
Over, hold on
Tight & tiptoe
Around the giant
Dildo in the room

But we do

Those Bill’s
Just don’t stop coming!

*

I work hard for the money
I work hard for family
I work hard
Pulling my weight where it counts
To make ends meet;
Reconciling differences
Underneath

I bleed red & my shit still
Stinks but that doesn’t make me
Invisible, unless you’re
Anti

Anti this, anti that
Why should it matter
What I do to support my
Self or my family?

I should ram my fist right up
Your arse, to my elbows
(I’d like to – bend you over) &
Piss all over your pride & prejudice!

Your mind is already made up.
Stuck up, to the eyeballs
In condescending lies pandering
To (un) popular beliefs;
Nothing like countering ‘prostitution
Narratives’ in the belly
Of the beast

I am a very tall poppy.
I am not so uneloquently on display
I am not a victim
I am not coerced
I am not a survivor
I am not damaged
I am not suffering any
More than anyone else

I don’t buy into
Negative, stereotypically ignorant
Profit driven victimisation
Either!

I choose to be the
Architect of my own life
Doing my bit,
Arousing your awareness
So that those who are
Tarred with the same brush
Can find support
Not rescue

It’s called autonomy.
Something I have more of than
Some, but you are not one

Tomorrow I’m going to wake up
Turn on my phone
Answer messages
Boil the jug & light up a dart,
Considering all my options
Before heading back in to sex work

It makes me stark raving
Mad, to think you could
Possibly be offended!

*

For what it’s worth,
I feel sorry for you

 

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

Paragon

Written in protest of the ‘World’s Oldest Oppression’ Conference in Melbourne, Victoria 2016

The Online Protest

Pieces of Meat

Sound of Silencing Sex Workers

Online Pocket Guide to Dealing with Antis

Stewart Island/Rakiura (for Squizzy)

A rare Hector’s dolphin
rides the bow of Lo Loma
returning to Halfmoon Bay –
everything is rare on Rakiura.
even the locals
born from rugged resignation
and angry moans
stand stoic, proud
wild as the South Sea
confronting island inlets and the ferry from Bluff
These men are calloused, weather-worn and feral
who ride the waves
and tend their waters like rose gardens
carefully thinning and pruning
long lines and skin furrows sinking further than the eye can see;
long meaningful looks, cast
as the tourists land with raucous bluster
and high pitched squeals and screams –
“Listen up!” says Squizzy, commanding his crew
his Captains beanie pulled, folded and rimmed
he is clean-shaven, his rosacea cheeks peeking,
rise to the booming command of his voice
but he is not brash
tumultuous sea’s lay calm this day
I take instruction not from a Mainlander
but from an icon
Mollymawks ski and bob
like pontoons moored just out of reach
Seagulls circle and Albatross grace
our presence, all of our mouths watering and
gawping, tasting the salty sips of paradise
I am in Heaven
I breath in the crisp seasoned fresh air
deep into my lungs, my nostrils flaring
the bite of the cold stands hairs on end
brings tears to my eyes. exhaling
through my mouth, I let it all out
I let the Auckland carbon monoxide drain from my body
only to be recycled again and again and again.
although these men have never experienced
the scourge of traffic on the motorways at 6, 7, 8, 9
I now know why because I have tasted
I could learn from these people.
the women are equally as strong, equally as fierce
equally as protective of their land
and their men
“Fresh meat!” us women from up North
I scanned the horizon as I landed and saw
more than I bargained for
Paua (Abalone) and Blue Cod in abundance
and plenty of trawlers on the horizon;
Inside the South Sea’s Hotel I saw a sign.
25c, 50c, $1.00, $2.00 fee’s for excuses
offered up to angry wives and girlfriends
I had to laugh at the underlying meaning of it all
local women have given up on their local men
they bide their time and wait
watching for a break in the weather
watching for the tide to turn
watching with bated breath to see who stays.
who goes is of no concern
Rain and wind, as unpredictable as the locals
intermingles with sun and warmth
four seasons in one day is an understatement!
a contradiction in terms as pristine
beaches are bereft of bathers or bikini
clad nymphs but take another look
everything is as it should be
Oyster Catchers will likely peck you on the head
I only brought my Rusty summer dress
because I was unprepared for the bite
I leave this island with my emotions rolling
and listing, crashing about in this battered brain
if I stayed I would be eaten alive by the sandfly’s
but I am also strangely drawn, drawn
to the peace and people as much
as to the trials and tribulations that make up this land.
it would take years, to return to the land and live
here, off my life – I would leave it all behind for simplicity
but somehow there is much more here than simplicity
here, I could be myself.

© Copyright 2010 Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved

Edited by Miriam Barr

First published by Blackmail Press, Issue 28,  http://www.blackmailpress.com/Index28.html

In My Face (Relationship Series)

‘Gimme the money!’

he said
in my face
my face staring straight
long lashes pointing like cutty grass
sharpening a knife

‘Gimme the keys!’

she said
between two unfinished corners
footsteps sidestepping a rusty nail
tripping over indignity
as it crawled between the wall space
catacombs

‘Gimme the fucking money!’
‘Gimme the fucking keys!’

a grab, a push and a shove
takes the piss, misses the bowl by a mile
handbags with long straps are useless.
Max was only vinyl like a 45
with a great big hole in the middle
only good for one thing

my arm hurts my shoulder plug
ripped from its wall socket
my power bill standing on end
like the hairs on the back of my neck
I guess he got the money
I can’t figure out where I put the keys

© Copyright 2009 Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved

Lady of the Night 

Your wish is my command
I will push back and pull forward
confronting your senses while tearing apart my own
I perform admirably
I hold my head up in the face
there’s only one thing on my mind,
no monthly specials here
no flat ‘on my back’ rate either!
I’m a bargain in the first place, comparatively
they should be so lucky
no chance of getting bored,
I re-invent events
creatively juicy and spicy hot with a side of lies
the blood never drains nor loses its metallic colour
and the well will never dry with KY,
spread from arsehole to breakfast like _______
Class?
I got class, my website deems it so

“It would be my absolute pleasure to welcome you into my
wonderful world, filled with all things naughty and nice.”

oh make me over, please!
I lie
on my back, my side, my stomach… and my face is covered
69 divine and women line up!
I’m not exclusive… smile ; )
sad and lonely is universally applied, like my eyeliner
smudged and blurred
obscured from most
I provide a service, the hostess with the most(est)
and fine wine will have you spellbound!
they line up
I spread em’

in a downtown apartment with a sea view
on Fur-Lined avenue – not!
my un-inhibited wide-on, exhibited
and the 26th floor, awaits you but
I am not for free
never for free
I am a Lady of the Night
who shines in the face of adversity
with trust issues and insecurities like the rest of us
I am not blinded by earthly needs by fools
I wake up,
I put on my make-up
I dance to my own tune
and pay the bills

© 2007 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

Exerpt reprinted on Quilt, Melbourne Festival of Sex Workers, 2012

I Met a Girl 

I met a girl
Red lights blazing
flashing backstreet bars
in an alleyway
shadows silent behind
lamppost’s, thin stripped
light bouncing off
her shoulders, Medusa
scantily clad
dancing through her
fractured Halo,
stockings hiked up
high, lest the cold
penetrate, short skirt
on latticed silhouette(s)
tiptoes pointing
slipping in behind
taxis.  Threadbare
pockets strain
fingertips smooth into
green folds;
a handful of jewels
lining her silk purse.


© 2009 Jodine Derena Butler.  All Rights Reserved

First Published in Side Stream ‘Poetry From The Fringe’, Issue 19, 2009

http://www.myspace.com/sidestreampoetry