Wednesday, April 19, 2006


I feel the need to apologize to my sensitive readers up front. The poem below may shock and disturb you...I hope it does. It's poetic in both its message and delivery. I'm posting in because things like what happened at Duke still happen and because I feel like this.

with no immediate cause
by Ntozake Shange

every 3 minutes a woman is beaten
every five minutes a woman is raped/every ten minutes
a lil girl is molested
yet i rode the subway today
i say next to an old man who
may have beaten his old wife
3 minutes ago or 3 days/30 years ago
he might have sodomized his
daughter but i sat there
cuz the young men on the train
might beat some young women
later in the day or tomorrow
i might no shut my door fast
enuf/push hard enuf
every 3 minutes it happens
some woman’s innocence
rushes to her cheeks/pours from her mouth
like the betsy wetsy dolls have been torn
apart/their mouths
mensis red & split/ every
three minutes a shoulder
is jammed through plaster & the oven door/
chairs push thru the rib cage/ hot water or
boiling sperm decorate her body
i rode the subway today& bought a paper from a
man who might
have held his old lady onto
a hot pressing iron/ i don’t know
maybe he catches lil girls in the
park & rips open their behind
with steel rods/ i cdn’t decide
what he might have done i only
know every 3 minutes
every 5 minutes every 10 minutes/so
i bought the paper
looking for the announcement
there has to be an announcement
of the women’s bodies found
yesterday/ the missing little girl
i sat in a restaurant with my
paper looking for the announcement
a yng man served me coffee
i wondered did he pour the boiling
coffee/ on the woman cuz she waz stupid/
did he put the infant girl/ in
the coffee pot/ with the boiling coffee/ cuz she cried
too much
what exactly did he do with hot coffee
i looked for the announcment
the discovery/ of the dismembered<
woman's body/ the
vicitm's have not all been
identified/ today they are
naked & dead/ refuse to
testify/ one girl out of 10's not
coherent/ i took the coffee
& spit it up/ i found an
announcment/ not the woman's
bloated body in the river/ floating
not the child bleeding in the
59th street corridor/ not the baby
broken on the floor/
"there is some concern
that alleged battered women
might start to murder their
husbands & lovers with no
immediate cause"
i spit up i vomit i am screaming
we all have immediate cause
every 3 minutes
every 5 minutes
every 10 minutes
every day
women's bodies are found
in aley & bedrooms/ at the top of the stairs
before i ride the subway/ buy a paper/ drink
coffee/ i must know/have you hurt a woman today
did you beat a woman today
throw a child cross a room
are the lil girl's panties
in yr pocket
did you hurt a woman today

i have to ask these obscene questions
the authorities require me to
immediate cause

every three minutes
every five minutes
every ten minutes
every day

(reprinted from vegankid)


  1. I am totally disgusted by the duke story, too. I just can't imagine. Eastern Prep school kids, they were. And because of that they will most likely get away with that...

  2. This is one of those cases where I wish they'd present just the evidence...I want a list of pro/con evidence. I reread your older blog and sometimes cases in the media start to sound like SVU. They can get so sensationalized (is that a word?) in so many ways.


  3. my co-worker - who is male - and i don't see eye to eye at all on the duke thing. very strange, all because he's a boy and i am girl. he can never understand.

    amazing poem, raw.

  4. I'm curious for that male point-of-view now.

  5. This male point of view is sick that they keep talking about the lacrosse team and seem to forget that there was a young girl who's life will never be the same. She'll never have the sense of safety she once had. She'll never be able to look at another man without wondering if he's going to rape her. She's never again going to be able to trust a stranger or walk at night without wondering if she'll get home safe that night.

    There is a blog I read that has been dealing with this quite a bit of late. I don't remember the actual address, but if you click over to my blog, look at my list of people, and click on Alice (she should be the first person on the list) you will find who I'm talking about.

    This poem actually comes very close to some of the reasons I have that make me not want to get married or have children. When I was younger I had a very bad temper. I am totally scared of what might happen if I had children and lost my cool with them. What if I had an argument with my wife and lashed out? I don't think I can take that chance.