Poetry / Kyla Jamieson
:: The Physics of Atmospheric Misogyny ::
We’ve been together For six months and I still haven’t written You a poem. I wrote many Poems to my exes So in theory this should Be easy, but all those Poems were arguments. Notice how I never wrote Poems to the women I dated? They deserved More than to be put In a poem in the role Of lover-antagonist. Women are always being Put places, like things. We are having sex and all That I can think of Is how easy it would be To kill you Elaine Kahn Writes. As a woman can Because the world Has made her feel Easy to kill. Last night I read the Wikipedia Page on Ted Bundy Because he’s trending And I knew only his name And that he killed a lot Of women. I think men Our age know more About Bundy than women Do and it shows. Just Yesterday another white Man killed five women In a bank. There’s an ad Playing right now That really annoys me: A woman waits At a bus stop and a man Starts playing a recorder. He leans into and over Her and the ad says use A car share. As though Women don’t already Drive to avoid street Harassment if we can Afford it. I watch TV In a nightmare future Where an ad for a banking App plays: the target Audience is women who don’t Want to get shot. What Does the world hate More than women In public is something Else Kahn wrote and Didn’t punctuate: it’s Not a question unless A bullet is a question. Can someone engineer Lead that turns into Inquiry mid-flight? In my dream future The NRA promotes guns That ask how you feel More than my meditation App. And when you shoot Them Donté Colley Comes out dancing. In this future I am the kind Of free I almost imagined But did not think possible And so are you.
From the writer
:: Account ::
I wrote this poem two years after a brain injury, when I was just beginning to read again. Because I’d been reading so little, the poems I read, from Elaine Kahn’s Women in Public, hovered, distinct, in my mind; there was no sea of language for them to sink into, no literary background against which they might disappear. I desire a future that transcends the gender binary, but the present, and present-day violence, and even my own trauma history, often feel defined by gender. Mostly, this poem describes a perspective on reality and popular culture that’s grounded in a body that feels like a target, like prey. But it also gestures towards possibilities that lie beyond this description, that my mind and my language have not yet corralled into text. Here, dancer and cultural figure Donté Colley acts as a symbol of hope, the embodiment of a joyful optimism that the intellect might consider too simple for serious consideration.
Kyla Jamieson lives and relies on the unceded traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry Is Dead, Room Magazine, The Vault, GUTS, Peach Mag, The Maynard, Plenitude, and others. In 2019, she was selected by CA Conrad and Anne Boyer as the third-place winner in the Metatron Prize for Rising Authors. She is the author of Kind of Animal (Rahila’s Ghost Press, 2019), a poetry chapbook about the aftermath of a brain injury. Body Count, her début collection of poems, is forthcoming with Nightwood Editions in Spring 2020. Find her on instagram as @airymeantime or on a rock next to a river.