They say that femininity is sweet to the taste
and too delicate to choke on.
It is a platter of cucumber finger sandwiches
and lukewarm tea served with sugar cubes
decoratively catered to the Male Gaze.
You, girl, are an edible doll.
Soft on the stomach, primed and proper to devour,
the only thing to satisfy a sweet tooth as well as a bored hand.
And you were always taught not to play with your food
but that didn’t stop him from making you desert.
You are the epitome of finger food,
your worth designed to be unraveled like licorice twists,
candy coated in curtseys, blush, low self-esteem,
and poisoned pastel femininity—
you delectable, delicate, porcelain machine.
You only let yourself bleed in pink.
As fingerprints are exchanged for your “purity”
you must melt on his tongue like chocolate
and always smile with your teeth—
nice girls don’t shatter on display for the world to see!
And you should always be sweet like frosting
and convenient like a dinner mint
and only cry tears of glitter and confetti.
Your suffering is a bittersweet delicacy,
Like sprinkles, add just enough but not too much!
You are too much, girl.
Mourn your body in silence and bow defeatedly to frailty.
Cry in such a way that they still love you
and fall apart softly like angel food cake.
Because if boys will be boys, then girls will be play things.
© Copyright Samantha Rose 2018
You can catch more of Samantha existing at her blog, Existential Poetry.
The peace talks, prompted partly by the Račak massacre and attempting to get Serb and Albanian delegations to sign up to an agreement giving Kosovo substantial self-government, were held at the ancient Chateau of Rambouillet near Paris in Feb 1999. The Rambouillet agreement of the NATO powers looked like a game show with no multiple-choice questions, only one contestant and limited time to answer them. Furthermore, there were no ‘Ask the Audience’ or ‘Phone a Friend’ options, and the idea of the autonomy for Serbia’s southern province of Kosovo, along with an international military presence not only in Kosovo but also in other parts of Serbia, did not really sound appealing to the Serbian negotiators. Interestingly, additional demands were introduced in the final moments of the peace talks after Serbia had already agreed to the main proposals, which practically guaranteed the negative outcome. Now the other side wanted ‘free and unrestricted passage and unimpeded access throughout the FRY (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) including associated airspace and territorial waters, without limits or obligations or concern for the laws of the country or the jurisdiction of its authorities, who are, however, required to follow NATO orders on a priority basis and with all appropriate means’ (source: Kosovo Peace Accord, Noam Chomsky). The idea of ‘complete military occupation and political control of Kosovo by NATO, and effective NATO military occupation of the rest of Yugoslavia at NATO’s will’ that the Rambouillet Agreement called for was unacceptable for the Serbian officials. We can’t really blame them, can we?
President Milošević reluctantly went back to school. With his digressive questions, he was clearly trying the professors’ patience, who (kindly) asked that all questions be asked at end of the lecture. Moreover, the U.S. and NATO were offended and humiliated in front of the whole class by his contemptuous refusal to play by the book. However, they didn’t wallow in their distress long, and decided to plan for the future. If they walked away after having their mind set on making use of those bombs…eh…bringing us democracy, it would be embarrassing, right? Of course, Kosovo cannot be viewed separately from the Yugoslav wars. The behavior of the Serbian state in Croatia and Bosnia, when the JNA (Yugoslav People’s Army) under the control of the authorities in Belgrade had the upper hand, resulted in crimes against humanity and destruction of cities. It was obviously payback time. Be that as it may, violence is Washington’s strong card, and guaranteeing the credibility of NATO a must, especially at the time of celebrating the golden wedding anniversary. What better way to do so than making others scared of ‘the Global Minotaur?’ Very scared. To avoid their credibility becoming incredible, the Bogeymen in charge said loud and clear there was NO alternative to bombing, closing the chapter and inventing the new rules. Being the usual suspect is no fun though, hands down, we were nothing but collateral damage. We came in handy, being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was nothing personal. It was all about a fit at the given moment, which we didn’t. If it hadn’t been us, it would have been someone else. Anyhow, we were persuaded it was all for our own good, the ‘intervention/operation’ being lovingly called ‘humanitarian’ or, to be more precise, ‘Noble Anvil.’
Every anniversary is a milestone. Long-time couples often find great romance in seeking the most memorable ways of reaffirming their love for each other. Our couple, Washington and Brussels, first went on a picnic, popping open a bottle of champagne, and viewing the incredible sunrise hand in hand, which seemed more like a sunset to us. Then, they brought back the memories when they were young and used to spend a lot of time making out. Later that day, they lit some candles, gave each other a sensual massage, and spiced things up by trying new sexual positions. The evening culminated in renewing their wedding vows, promising love till the end of times (or at least the world) and exchanging gifts. Wedding anniversary presents are often themed to the year. Sexy lingerie, chocolate, flowers and jewelry are so out. This is when they thought of us (oh my God, we are golden!), and went shooting to blow off some steam. Charming, isn’t it? Happy Anniversary! We wish you many happy returns, your love getting stronger and stronger with time by making others weaker and weaker.
After 11 hours in the torture chamber, the peace talks failed, as Milošević refused to sign the generous proposal of the States and NATO. Clinton administration thought ‘NATO should be able to act independently of the United Nations.’ According to Chomsky, the bombing of the FRY, made of Serbia and Montenegro, in March ‘99, ‘threatened to undermine a growing democratic movement in Serbia, jeopardizing the lives of 10 million people,’ but, who was thinking about democracy when there were lives to save. There would undoubtedly be many fatalities along the way, not to mention a huge refugee flow that would follow the bombing, but that’s the price of peace, n’est-ce pas?
I was an English Language and Literature student, and had been living in the city of Niš in the south of Serbia for a few years. I recall mom’s trembling voice crackling over the receiver sometime in March. Something has gone horribly wrong. There will be bombing. Take the first train home right away. Mom, what happened? You’re overreacting. Calm down. Right away, I said! For a few seconds, I was deprived of physical sensation and responsiveness. I was frozen to the point that I didn’t know what to tell my sister. We laughed when I finally did, concluding mom was blowing it out of proportions, as ever. She had been watching too many whodunits again. The thing is, she had a bad feeling, apart from listening to the news 24/7 and thought we’d be safer in a smaller town. Besides, she wanted us to be together. Eventually, we joined our parents because we knew they’d be worried sick if we hadn’t, hoping to shortly pick our lives up right where we’d left off.
The decision to bomb Serbia and Montenegro was ultimately made without Security Council authorization. U.S.-led NATO forces launched cruise missiles at targets in Yugoslavia, ‘plunging America into a military conflict that President Clinton said was necessary to stop ethnic cleansing (in Kosovo) and bring stability to Eastern Europe’ (source: Crisis in the Balkans, Chomsky). In a televised address, he explained that by bombing Yugoslavia, ‘we are upholding our values, protecting our interests, and advancing the cause of peace.’ Values, interests and peace. Wow, right?
“As President Bill Clinton and his coterie of ‘experts’ and media cheerleaders rejoiced in the first US ‘humanitarian’ bombs on Yugoslavia, Rep. Ron Paul was singing a different tune. ‘This cannot be a proud moment for America. Serbia has not invaded another country, but is involved in a nasty civil war with both sides contributing to the violence…Meddling in the internal affairs of a nation involved in a civil war is illegal and dangerous,’ he said on the US House Floor on March 24” (source: Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity). But, the missiles kept falling like rain. Needless to say, there’s more to this. The responsibility of the West at the time when the conflicts could have and should been prevented by supporting peace instead of military initiatives is indisputable. Let’s not forget that Milošević was once seen as ‘a factor of peace and stability in the Balkans.’
Once the party began, people started regularly sharing their most terrifying and funniest experiences under the bombs. The world went on spinning without us. I was 22, single and hopeless about life. Every evening when I’d turn in, I’d put on the headphones to muffle the sound of the planes. I made up my mind from the get-go that Bowie was ideal to die to.
* You can read more of Bojana’s work at Blogging with Bojana
you exist in your meaningful patterns
scattered through spaces
unaware of your age and movements
and unburdened by your weight
we learn of your formation, evolution, composition
your velocity and luminosity
we know of your distances and how constellations
change shape across the sweep of time
we travel back in time by looking up at you
yet, you hover over us
knowing much more than
we ever will
Published on Visual Verse
Here in the heat
All bodies are lost
No room for the vain
No fear anymore,
Down on the floor
In the diamonds and dust
Distorted truths fail
And lies bear their soul,
Space counts the distance
Marked by your hours
No time for the chosen
Who drown in the sand,
Rise like a phoenix
To burn in the Sun
I’ve bathed in your tears
Can’t feel any more,
Chance now to move
Take control again
To shed all the secrets
Like aging dead skin,
Dance in the heat
No care for the days
Which burn into one
No fear anymore,
Dance in the heat
All bodies are lost
No room for the truth
Can’t feel anymore.
© All original writing copyright Chris Nelson 2018
If you enjoyed this, thank you! To read more please visit chrisnelson61
Dead eyes, night lights A sea of stars drowns in obsidian skies And Time’s withered claws scrape across the mirror in your mind Or is it a window? Eyes shine bright in the reflection but there’s something on the other side The huff and bustle of sleepy coffee shop life Rain drips down the […]
This is an old feeling,
standing by this evening’s field,
these dark rags hanging, strung on wire,
beaks silent and unmoving under a stretched sky.
So which lore or gods apply?
Would it help to free your feathers,
wake thought and memory in cold skulls,
wear a black cape in silhouetted brotherhood?
Should I take up your work?
Am I a familiar to a Norse god,
with spying eyes in new watching brief;
become his ears in Midgard?
Should I kneel before a once and future King?
Does a messiah hang in this unkindness?
Have I witnessed the end of hope
for an ancient island people?
Should I fly the field, proclaim the news,
take up your role of fate carrier,
become the Mór-Ríoghain’s latest messenger
and find a song that sings of coming conflict?
Or is the battle already lost, our colours down,
and what’s required this late spring evening is
to take my knapsack, flask and tools
and tell the farmer this work is done?
You can read more of Jonathan’s work here.
We’ll build a monument to who we are,
Pack all we own and board a fast car,
We’ll leave our mark in tracks upon the road,
And throw away the things that we were told.
We’ll build our legacy in glass and stone,
And swear to silent gods we call it home,
But never turn and never look behind,
At promises we made to be that kind.
And were the castles that we built on sand?
The dreams we took meant for another’s hands?
As effigies grow taller by the day,
And all we see behind our eyes grows grey.
The mirrors steal the souls we never had,
And our capacity for good turns bad,
But still we build and sow and sow and build,
And empty hearts we hold are never filled.
Distorted truths the way we kill the time,
To make the scenes we paint all fit the…
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