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Thursday, February 15, 2018


by Diane Elayne Dees

In Missouri, an acolyte of President Trump is running for the U.S. Senate and denouncing “manophobic hell-bent feminist she-devils.” The candidate, Courtland Sykes, . . . is worth quoting as a window into the backlash against #MeToo and empowered women: “I don’t buy into radical feminism’s crazy definition of modern womanhood and I never did,” Sykes wrote on his campaign’s Facebook page. “They made it up to suit their own nasty, snake-filled heads. . . . I don’t buy the non-stop feminization campaign against manhood. I want to come home to a home cooked dinner at six every night, one that [my fiancée] fixes and one that I expect one day to have daughters learn to fix.” —The New York Times, January 31, 2018

My head is filled with snakes of many kinds—
huge pythons, cobras, moccasins, and corals.
Unlike Medusa’s, mine are hard to find;
they lurk within and poison my morals.

The venom of equality
is stored in my fangs,
paralyzing your patriarchal limbs,
rendering you unprivileged.

The reptiles crawl; they hiss, prepared to strike
at monsters who are deadlier than they
could ever be. You hold me in contempt,
for my head is filled with snakes of many kinds.

Editor’s note thanks to the Poets Collective: The dorsimbra, created by Eve Braden, Frieda Dorris and Robert Simonton, is a 12-line poem consisting of (1) a quatrain of iambic pentameter rhyming abab, (2) a quatrain of "short and snappy" free verse, and (3) a quatrain of blank verse (unrhymed iambic pentameter). The final (12th) line is the same as the first line. The form's creators suggest the use of enjambment, interlaced rhymes, and near-rhymes to bind the three stanzas.

Diane Elayne Dees's poetry has been published in many journals and anthologies. Diane also publishes Women Who Serve, a blog that covers women's professional tennis throughout the world.