How often has my own depression been
A stage play dramatizing the tension
Between my version of integrity
And what this culture tells me I can be?
Wrapped in black brown yellow skin, bearing this
Or that apparatus between my legs,
What versions of my integrity will
Feed the beast that is this culture’s ease?
And what peril do I invite if I
Disturb that universe of set, proscribed
The cultural dis ease demands that I
Dis integrate certain ways of being—
Dis re membering them, swapping certain
Parts for somewhat less disruptive new (w)holes.
I recollect how the Soviets used
To label dissidents as crazed, and
So they were, unsettling the discourse
That structured their society.
How recently we named as illness ways
of framing a self that unsettled us.
Said only a dis eased man would seek to
Surrender the role of female screwing, guarding
Guy; how only a dis eased woman would
Refuse to chase a man’s satisfaction
Rather than her own, would find fulfillment
Sexual romantic emotional
Only in another woman’s embrace
My television teaches me dis ease
Will generate pathology, birth some
Criminal mind that runs amok, threatens
Those sent from central casting to play the
Role of helpless, hapless, clueless victim.
Two birds with one stone: dis ease demonized,
female weakness neatly reasserted.
What do I do, then, with my dissident
Integrities? Acknowledge I am in
A criminal enterprise that seeks to
know its own mind, its own skin, regardless,
and realize that ease is not the aim.
Welcoming now a Kairos-times chaos.
Erase the seeming gap so I can then
set discipline and self acceptance dancing.