Monthly Archives: September 2019

Toxic Masculinity

Until I was about four or five I didn’t know I wasn’t a girl.
Dolls are for girls. Give that back to your sister.
I was yelled at for going to the girls bathroom. I cried.
Boys don’t cry. Men don’t cry. Figure it out.
At the age of nine, I refused to have my hair cut.
Take longer steps; Stand up straight; Shoulders back.
School was extremely difficult. I got bullied a lot.
Damn long-haired queer, queer-bait, skinny queer-face.
I was picked on for being too thin, for being feminine.
Grow a set, fag. I bet you want to suck it.
The hormones and the transition were physically hard.
Ha, look at you. You’re an ugly girl.
I just wish the doctors could remove these voices in my head.
An ugly girl who can’t even write a good poem.

Workers of the World

Union of laborers
you the working
you the sweating
you the striking
you should own the factory
reap the rewards
direct the boards
stick it to the overlords
Strive towards
Towards equality
Towards community
Strive laborers mightily


Cooper’s Ferry Site

He pointed his long walking stick, notched, feathers aquiver:
“The Land we were promised by the Great Spirit!
This is the place” he told his wife, this river
Where a wall of ice said turn around or quit.
As if the end of the world.

His family, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters took flight
And walked North; many births, many deaths, many sighs.
He sang his song of hope, his chant of promise every night
As brother sun dropped to his left; to his right it would arise.
As if death is temporary.

This river, full of salmon, its valley herds of horses.
His heart burst with joy. Here they would take delight
Here would be laughing babies! But he knew the curses.
He could not enter it. He’s buried on the ridge, upright.
As if still walking.

The Ni-imí-ipu-u would tell the White Man 15,000 years later
About the village of Nipéhe and the ancestors, long gone,
Where the Salmon River once carried melting ice water,
Where people lived in peace and sang an ancient song.
As if hope echoed down from the canyon walls.

Jessi Combs’ Final Ride

Young Jessi’d get fire in her eyes
lean over the handlebars of her Schwinn flyer
and pedal fast down the steep hills
of Rapid City South Dakota.

Young Jessi’d encourage other women
to go for it, bust the myths that held them down
Overhaul the system like a broken race car
And wear “The Fastest Woman on Four Wheels” crown.

Young Jessi sat in The North American Eagle Challenger,
a jet fighter on wheels because 486 wasn’t fast enough.
She had everything to lose; family, friends, fans,
Her life to break her own record and reprove her stuff.

Young Jessi went 600 across the Alvord Dry Lake.
When she couldn’t stop and left the safe smooth dust.
Did the “Fastest Woman on Four Wheels” realize
That her immortality would be the last myth she would bust?