scrabbling for anything useful to write

“He’s right! I did mention gender while discussing gender problems.”

8 Things Some A$$#ole Says in Every Debate About Sexism

#7. The Semantic Quo
Assholes will try to disprove your points with all the obsession and specificity of someone proving Green Lantern could totally beat Superman. But less connection to reality. They’ll apply more minute attention to detail than the search for the Higgs boson, and act like their results have more massive effects on reality.
These commenters are Kings of Polysyllabilogic (the art of proving a point with really long words they aren’t actually using correctly). They write like Vulcans cheating at Scrabble. They try to sound like alien energy beings who’ve never even heard of these hu-man “testicles” but feel an altruistic compulsion to list impossible errors in anything threatening their scrotal sanctity. As if the desire for equal rights was a Star Trek computer malfunction that could be exploded if you convince it of one mistake.
Sexism isn’t a scientific proof: Someone can’t unravel the whole thing by picking at one point. And unless they’re a wizard they can’t reshuffle syllables until reality changes. Sexism isn’t “identifying that a gender exists,” it’s “unfair treatment of people because of that gender, especially women.” It’s such a universally understood problem it’s in the dictionary. It doesn’t matter how much someone obsesses over the exact phrasing of a Twitter rape threat: A thousand more have been posted since. The Semantic Quo is an extended waste of time. Because when someone’s arguing semantics from the side of the status quo, wasting time is all they need to do.

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Drafting, Calisthenics

(Selecting lines at random from The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry, then crafting them into something entirely different, then stringing it all together in an attempt to actually write something decent for once. Don’t really think it worked, but oh well. Practice is as practice does.)

It takes a special obscurity to rot
bananas like this house does, all
flapping, gummy rinds spotted
in the window, hungry deer gazing
in, then fleeing at the creak on the stairs,
the percolating coffee. 
My flea-bitten hip bumps the fruit bowl atop the dish
washer, and in that moment, I can’t tell what is a
good war or a bad war and whether my father likes Ann
Coulter or just likes
brown, creased apples.

When I run over the oppossum tonight
I smell hot, wet pavement and, curiously,
watermelons.
My brother rains at times, feels unwanted and beats
his shivering, brand new puppy when it pisses
hot and fresh
on his bedspread. The puppy comes back thick and grateful,
all cow spots and pink belly. My brother will smoke
until his hands become wise, until his fingernails
wither. Nicotine and tall tales and thieving for drug-money.
I don’t want to write about death – they all do –but
then the bananas blacken and Aunt Fran shrinks
beneath cancer from the waist up, and I beat
a single drum on a oppossum with my tires, smash
a cricket for singing
too loud in the stems of the peace lily
and some muggers kill Steve Gale, a friend of a friend
on the internet, and a motorcyclist lies prone in
chunks of plastic as I pull over
for the ambulance.