December 25, 2014



for some reason I haven’t been
or have I been what have I been
there were those men

the Sex Offender in a women’s bathroom at Harvard
the Flasher on Beacon Street in Boston
the Public Masturbator by the Charles River
the Sex Offender whose large sneakers looked wrong in the next stall as I peed
the Flasher who coughed and then artfully undraped his crotch
the Public Masturbator who shook the bench on which I rested supine

there would seem to be a myth about the years
in which women field intrusive intentions
young years older years our years measured
by how we regard women as available to comply
to something that becomes unhinged in men
inflated important and necessary in some men this idea
of men and this idea of women for which temporarily
a female body passing through (in whose public

space) becomes an example

LINDA RUSSO is a creative-critical writer with an interest in experiential and ideological geographies (for details, see Works of poetry include Mirth (Chax Press), and more recently a chapbook, picturing everything closer visible (Projective Industries). The Enhanced Immediacy of the Everyday (Chax Press) and Meaning to Go to the Origin in Some Way (Shearsman Books) are forthcoming. A collection of essays, To Think of her Writing Awash in Light, was recently chosen by John D’Agata for Subito Press’ inaugural Lyric Essay/Creative Nonfiction Prize and will appear in 2015. She lives and teaches in eastern Washington state.

Curatorial note: The following poems are a response to a call for poetry about 
rape culture for the annual Delirious Advent Feature; the call is in turn an 
immediate response to the Rolling Stone story “A Rape on Campus” about rape 
culture at the University of Virginia. However, they are also part of a larger 
conversation about rape in poetry communities. Curated by Jessica Smith and 
Susana Gardner.

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