Ohhhhh hi internet.
My poor man, so full of addendum,
driven through the asphalt to occupy the space
of a shit lake, shit river, shit rat god.
When you are mine you become animate
capable of burning selfies in the shit lake.
— Natalie Eilbert, “Man Hole”
Via / Src
I Don't Feel Brave


I’m so tired of this. And this. And this. Ad nauseam. It never stops. I’m afraid it will never stop. it will never stop.

I’ve spoken to very few people about the details of my relationship with my abusive ex-boyfriend. How, over the span of two years, he never cared about consent, how “rape fantasies” were just another way for him to legitimize control over my body while he held his hand over my mouth, how he threw tantrums when I said I didn’t want to have sex and managed to have sex with me anyway, about how haunted I still feel about letting him do this to me, that maybe it wasn’t so much “rape” in many cases as I just felt too beat down emotionally to say “no,” that maybe I owed him constant sex because he was my boyfriend, how I suffered a six-month yeast infection from birth control side effects and how when I went off birth control he still refused to wear a condom, how he promised to pull out and didn’t, how I had to take Plan B twice because he wouldn’t wear a condom and wouldn’t pull out, how he coerced me into sexual acts that made me bleed on the sheets, that left wounds and scars, how he expressed disapproval over how I dressed, how he wanted me to dress like a trophy girlfriend while telling me he loved me and it was all for me, how he coerced me to cut my hair a certain way, how we took a 10-hour train to Montreal and he was turned away at the border because of a rape conviction he had never told me about and wasn’t allowed to leave the country, how we took a bus back to New York in the middle of the same night, how I believed he didn’t do it even though he had already raped me repeatedly, how I denied even that fact, how he ignored me the whole bus trip back to New York because I had asked 6 hours earlier if we were taking the right bus (and how dare I question his authority), how I started making myself throw up before going to parties with him so I could stay home alone in my bed, how when I moved to Massachusetts for grad school and broke up with him he threatened to kill me, sent me a box full of things I had given him, including shirts he wore with phrases scrawled in red ink like “this is what I wore when we first met,” “this is what I wore when I first knew I loved you,” screamed “rot in hell” over and over on the phone, and “this hurts worse than when my dad died,” how I had to give campus police a photo just in case he came to town to make good on his death threat (he helped me move so knew where I lived), etc., etc., the details wear on and on and on.

Most of the time I am too sick to write about this, even to myself; instead, it is a running catalogue in my brain I try to puzzle through, sort out, try to stop blaming myself for all the times I could have walked away. It is difficult to walk away when someone says “I love you, and you’re making me a better person,” “I will be a better person,” “I love you more than anything.” It’s difficult to walk away when the person you love isn’t abusive or terrible all the time, and can fool everyone else in your life into thinking he is a charming, caring person. How I am told that relationship rape and assault and psychological manipulation aren’t “as bad” as rape from a stranger, that it is somehow not legitimate, that I should have known better. I’m so sick of living with this, and I’m sick of other women living with it, and I’m sick of the backlash women get for speaking out. I am speaking out. 

I recently ran a background check on him, and found out he moved back to Oklahoma where he grew up. Part of me was truly, honestly disappointed to know he is not dead. But, a small wave of relief did wash over me: Maybe now I can go back to New York without having a panic attack every single time? But that’s obviously such a small part of it. I will be living with this relationship the rest of my life, and fuck him for that.


If you don’t understand what victim blaming is, simply read comments on a “gossip blog” post that describes the rape of someone you care about.


ACTUALLY—if you’re annoyed by my constant shouting about this women’s safety//rape, i suggest you keep fucking following me. and look inward. and think about what you’re doing to contribute to rape culture. and about what you’re doing with your body. and your brain. and your power. and your voice. 

you want me to be quiet? fuck you. i’ll shut up when my girlfriend—an aunt to a 3 month old baby girl—doesn’t have to tell me ‘it’s not a matter of if a women will be sexually assulted. it’s a matter of when.i’ll shut up when my friend natalie can ride her bike down the street without being told ‘i hope you get raped.’ I’ll shut up when a brilliant 18 year old girl doesn’t have to live in fear of her rape story going public (and by the way it did) because ‘she doesn’t want to break her fathers heart.’ i’ll shut up when i don’t have to read sentences like ‘imagined what it would be like to be raped violently. I tried to feel grateful that he wasn’t hitting, punching, stabbing, or suffocating me.’ 

you want me to be quiet? fuck you. i will shut up when you stop raping women.


Yo, if you’re annoyed by my constant shouting about this topic, i suggest you please unfollow me now.

Via / Src
I'm tired of being brave


This happens all the time. I’m upset that it happens. I’m upset that the men who do this don’t even realize what they are doing is rape. It would mean you have gone from a man to a rapist and this is to be resisted for as long as desire and silence breathe in the same space as disgust and silence. Our actions do define us sometimes, even and especially when you would believe they wouldn’t, couldn’t.

I went on my first OkCupid date in 2009 with a man whom I had briefly encountered months earlier at a party. I believed that this first date would certainly be a safe first date. He was responsible, well-liked, wore designer glasses, spoke Mandarin, looked like a movie star. And when I was no longer held down by booze or his body I left and it was 5 AM and I vomited in a garbage can and this dirty man on the street called me a thing I forget how to repeat because of how repetitive this thing I am appears in eyes of men and when I got on the train with his stuff still drying on my stomach and when I could not go back to sleep and let myself say to the walls “I let him do that” and when I could not go back to sleep he texted me to say he had a great night and if I had interest in dinner. If he could not see the wrong that was done then certainly, I thought, no wrong was done to me. I had a crisp notion that my body was again a thing to be entered and so what was the harm. I didn’t go on a second date with him. I ignored his texts and eventually he went to China.

I wanted to say something else when I started putting words down about this. There is a disconnect in perception to what happens when we find ourselves in intimate quarters with somebody else. This membraneous skin forms over these types of sexual encounters so that when one person exhibits signs of discomfort and when the other person only views this discomfort as potential rejection, this is to be resisted for as long as it takes to remove the potential rejection from the equation. As if fucking is the sole balm against present insecurities. My way of dealing with these bad memories has always been to intellectualize them, which now I see is one more form of repression. I’ve settled for a long on this notion that I should be compassionate towards those who have done me harm because how they perceive what they did to my body and how I perceive what was done to my body are vastly different, pleasure and harm on opposite ends of a spectrum, never touching, never grazing. So then I/we settle again on words fed by the patriarchy like “overblown,” “dramatized,” even “attention-seeking.” They move to China, they invite you to their wedding, they send you Linked In emails. But then Tiffany but then Sophia, they say Yes This Happened and Yes It Was Wrong and Here They Are, They Who Did This. I don’t give a fuck about being brave. I care about speaking. These strong women, they spoke the very hard language of their damage. They spoke to their communities, to several communities, and thank fucking god people are listening.

Via / Src
Via / Src



This morning (9/29/14) woke up around 4 a.m. and scrolled through my various social networking timelines until my friend’s Instagram post with a screenshot of Sophia Katz’s story caught my eye. As I read it, my heart dropped into my stomach. I want to thank Sophia for being brave enough to tell her story, and to the friend who reposted Sophia’s piece with added commentary detailing her own experience - both so closely resembled my own that reading their accounts made my skin crawl. Without their bravery and candor I might never have found the courage to come forward with my own story and accept the reality of what happened to me.

On the night of April 17, 2014, Stephen Tully Dierks invited me along to a poetry reading that I hadn’t planned on attending. I agreed to tag along when I realized many of my friends were also going to be there. Since almost everyone present was drinking, Stephen asked if I wanted anything before going to a neighborhood bodega to pick up alcohol. I asked for a mangorita which he brought back along with his beer just in time for the reading to start. Stephen was attentive and affectionate, barely leaving my side the entire night. We chatted intermittently about the reading, about what was going on in our lives, about mutual friends.

After the reading, several of my friends decided to go across the street to a nondescript Brooklyn bar. I was nervous about being carded since I was only 18 and don’t carry a fake ID, but nothing happened when we walked in. Almost instantly Stephen and I were somehow separated from the rest of my friends. I walked over to a barstool at a table in a far corner and sat down. Stephen asked if I wanted anything to drink. I asked for a margarita, and he went to the bar to order. I began to feel slightly anxious, but told myself to calm down, that everything was going to be fine. Prior to the reading I hadn’t eaten anything throughout the day. It slowly dawned on me how intoxicated I’d become in such a short time. I told Stephen I’d be right back and stood and went to the bathroom and texted my friend Wynn that I was too drunk and very alone. I kneeled in front of the toilet and shoved my fingers down my throat in an attempt to force myself to vomit and purge some of the alcohol out of my body. When I was done I sat on the floor and leaned my forehead against the cool porcelain and let my eyes flutter shut.

I gradually became aware of the sound of fists pounding on the wooden door - a line of people waiting for the toilet had formed in the time it took me to get myself together. I stood up slowly, splashed my face, and stumbled out. When I got back to the table Stephen looked up from his phone and I can only assume my intoxication was very visible. He leaned over to put his mouth against my ear.

“Wanna bounce?”

I nodded. We exited the bar and I began to walk toward the subway. Instead of letting me go or even walking with me to the train, Stephen insisted that I was too intoxicated to get back to Alphabet City by myself, and stepped to the curb to hail a cab. He directed the driver to his apartment, and once there, guided me up the stairs and into his bedroom.

Completely exhausted, I sat on the edge of his bed and kicked my shoes off and curled up in a ball as far from where I anticipated he would lay as possible. I left my jacket on in the hopes that it would send a clear message that I wasn’t uncomfortable removing any of my clothing in his presence at all, but he asked me over and over if he could take it and hang it up for me. Eventually, I agreed just so he would stop talking. I sat up, wiggled out of it, and handed it to him. He hung it up and I curled back into a ball and shut my eyes, hoping more than anything that he would go to sleep and leave me alone.

He didn’t. Stephen kicked off his shoes, lowered himself onto his bed and crawled over to me. He began caressing my arm and pressed his mouth against mine with feverish urgency. I protested, but it imediately became clear that my attempts were futile. I lay still and stared at the ceiling as he groped and fondled me. Eventually, as Sophia did in her story, I began to do things that I thought would make him finish faster. He used my body off and on all night until he fell asleep. I willed the sun to rise faster. After a few hours that felt more like an eternity, he told me that he had to go to work. I nodded, and he kissed me one more time before getting up to go shower. As soon as I heard the water running I gathered all my things as fast as I could and left his apartment.

My mouth was swollen and raw from where his facial hair had rubbed against it. There was dried cum on my sleeve. I went to a bodega and bought two muffins and a bottle of water. I walked to the train and unwrapped one of the muffins and bit into it. I tasted nothing. I felt nothing.

I didn’t know how to process what had happened, so I coped by lying to myself and to everyone else. When my friends expressed their concern I told them that everything was fine, that we hooked up, that it was whatever. I never fully believed that but I managed to convince myself and everyone else that I did. I began to avoid Stephen both online and in person, but after some time I convinced myself that what had happened was an isolated incident of misunderstanding. Months passed and it blew over. I rebuilt a friendship with Stephen on the pretense that everything was okay. Out of sight, out of mind.

In the course of the 12 hours since I found out about the existence of Sophia’s piece my life feels like it’s been turned on its head. Instead of worrying about the mountains of homework my professors have been steadily piling on week after week, or where my friends and I will bicker over going out to eat tonight, I’m grappling with crushing fear and anxiety. Stephen took so much from me and I will be damned if I’m complicit in letting him take anything from anyone else.

Via / Src


The John Mortara Issue « Big Lucks

i’m guest editing an issue for Big Lucks coming out this winter!!!!!!!

i like a lot of stuff, but here’s a list

  • political poems
  • poems with social commentary
  • abstract poems
  • surreal poems
  • love poems
  • formal poems
  • informal poems
  • confusing poems
  • beautiful poems
  • ugly poems
  • prose poems
  • lyric poems
  • narrative poems
  • poems with long lines
  • poems with short lines
  • persona poems
  • found poems
  •  etc

send me stuff!