Lianuska Gutierrez, July 2013

Poster Makes Me Hark Back to Commercial, Bio

The yoga poster in the elevator of the Student
Health building pictures a woman not too thin
with arms extended hands clapped overhead
like javelin or this is my house, one leg akimbo,
shark fin, to the side, the other trunk. Someone
has drawn an arrow pointing up at her crotch.
I think, I should draw arrows drawing the eye to
the crotch of male actors, posers on any posters
I come by, to even, to make known, how do you
like it: that is, if I could get every poster in the
world, or most, they would know conspiracy, that
there is a problem here–because the arrow to
the crotch is all my life, since I was girl: person,
of can-see-back, of ownmost take, ipseity, second,
sex first, woman, woman to be appetent for; woman
not woman meet failed woman; always scrim of
the body; the body as consumable, as joke. But Duras
writes of it differently (why women needed the pen);
she tells that what is in the way is not the female
form, blocking off humanity; it is the penis as obelisk
that man cannot get around, too big before his vision,
he cannot crane his neck to see about it, his arms
are not long enough for meeting fingers when
encircling, hugging to self as if to deracinate. When
I was a preteen, how it rubbed me wrong, sickened
me like finger of a stranger pushed in, the network ad
on Univision, most popular channel for U.S. Latinos:
a man buys a woman from an Italian ice cart vendor;
she wears a caveman rag, off-the-shoulder; he is
dressed civilized, in slacks; the vendor asks him,
do you want a spoon with that? The buyer says, naw
thanks, I’ll just eat her like this, and she lies slack
and mute in his arms as he carries her off. That
fantasy of prostrate woman, like dead, submissive,
doll, to any petit savage, to any who cannot deserve,
even wanting to; getting way with her, and she cares
not, lets it go, is For that, made to, knows her point
and doth not protest; the culmination of that wish
allowed to show on mass T.V., for them to see, be glad;
what I fought off every day when I walked in my
hood; looking stern, taut in the face, mean, tense
as if the push of me down would boom-thud like lead-
filled pillar, to show they have no entry to me, no
claim; and then there on T.V. I am a thing of no flail,
for exchange. I remember how that hit me, the crawl
in my belly, in my crotch, the rape. This is the world
thrown back to me, it matches nothing what I live.

Promote. Poetry.
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