itty bitty titty ditty

Buttery sweet and birdlike the pallid women perch
quivering at Hell’s Bar studded with hordes of goofy bikers
who bloom like Dakota oil wells in the seventies
hitching their bikes, each to an old lady
lubed up and eager to crawl on back and rumble their
bodacious racks through rural Dakotan by-ways,
working their way to Sturgis where all the little white girls
line up at the bar and pretend to be bad ass biker bitches
but later cry about injustice underneath the stars
worried that the evening air will never salve the wound
of bikers and their bitches seeing straight on through their ruse.

 

Brenda Warren 2011

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Process notes:
With little editing, this piece came through quickly. In my early 20s you could say I was a little white girl, greatly intrigued by bikers and their “bitches.” I had some biker friends and got tattooed, but never quite fit the mold. I always thought that it was okay with me to watch their world from the outside, but after the speed with which this piece came, maybe the wound runs deeper than previously imagined. 😉

My diminutive rack made me certain that I’d fall short of biker expectations and that led to the title. I have driven through Sturgis, but never during the rally.

This piece was constructed around words from Jack Kerouac’s refrigerator. For more info on that visit my other blog, The Sunday Whirl, where you’ll find more pieces with Kerouac’s words waiting for your eyes to devour them.

***political aside (a balm for my conscience)***
The playground white America has made of South Dakota is a slap in the face to the Lakota and other American Indians who consider much of the land sacred. It’s kind of like an ongoing circus in a church parking lot.

Worse yet: Mount Rushmore is named for a white American male, and has the likenesses of four United States presidents carved into its face. Prior to the name change and its desecration, the Lakota called the mountain Six Grandfathers. Where are their grandfathers now?

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38 thoughts on “itty bitty titty ditty

  1. Getting around late to visiting other sites on this one. Yours made me smile. I was very scared of bikers in my youth and younger years and never would have tried to meet any of them. Are you from N Dak? My father’s family is from a tiny place in the center of the state, Max, so N Dak was legend in my growing up years. I always pictured my dad’s town as a mixture of Gunsmoke and Our Gang Comedies.

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  2. Intriguing title and a great poem.
    Despite being a teenager in the UK during the heyday of the ‘Mods & Rockers’ I never owned, nor wanted to, a motor bike. I’ve not got a tattoo either. What a sheltered life I’ve led!
    Thanks for a great read.

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  3. I had some inkling of the Harley culture through readings and the media. Never been part of any of them. It appeared to be rough and tough sort of revolving around teenagers. Your verse is an eye opener. Excellent piece!

    Hank aka kaykuala

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  4. I had a very brief stint as a ‘bikers’ girlfriend in my younger years and I never fitted in either – though it was wonderful and very interesting to be an observer and outsider in their world for a while.

    I loved your poem and appreciated all the imagery woven within it. I smiled at your title.and thought your process notes were marvellous. 😉

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  5. Brenda, I related to all of your words. I too was a white girl with a hankering, perhaps for that which is a bit wild, unknown, therefore exciting and even hopeful. The poem made me laugh, because I’ve been there long ago. I did ride on a few Harleys, mostly late at night coming home from a beer bar. Never made it to the biker bitch inner circle, and figure that’s a good thing.

    Also like your notes and your sensitivity to an ongoing situation that may never be fully addressed. But am pleased to find your willingness to address that reality. Hope your school year progresses well, and thanks for all the words. Some don’t necessarily fit well, but they are always a challenge.

    Elizabeth
    http://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/

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  6. This was just brilliant! It made me laugh – where I live, the biker chicks are gangster girls, with their long red nails and foot high poofs, carrying around their boyfriend’s bandanas in their back pockets. I can certainly see the similarities! I also loved your process notes: it cleared things up for me, and the political aside was so interesting, I’d never known that. Thanks for a great wordle and a great poem!

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  7. Interesting! I had a boyfriend once with a motorcycle, had my own helmet. Enjoyed it while it lasted. Now I wouldn’t be caught on a motorcycle for anything (though they sure look cool) because I consider them pretty dangerous. A big Harley Fest is going on here this weekend (in Harley’s hometown). Interesting, I was on a city highway Friday, and the police were stopping traffic to allow a stream of WOMEN on Harleys to ride in. ALL women. NO men. Must have been 150 or so, single file. All converging on the Harley Fest. I found myself wondering where they came from. It was a pretty cool scene, and yes though I could ride a motorcycle in dreams (perhaps being a ‘bitch’ to James Dean or the like), I think I’ll pass! Your poem sure struck a hord though. (I chuckled over the title.)

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  8. Brenda, the title caught my eye, and gave me a good laugh. As for the biker culture, there is something alluring about it. Maybe the sense of freedom, open roads, wild parties around a campfire, who knows. Excellent write. Thanks for the process notes. I visited Mount Rushmore once. You’ve reminded me I need to watch “The West”, my husband keeps telling me to watch it. I must make a point of doing that.
    As for the tattoos, I have a couple myself which I got later in life. My first was with my daughter on her 18th birthday, we each got tattoos on our ankles.:) Now I must go finish my poem which I started just last night.

    Pamela
    good luck with the school year!

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    • My apologies, Nanka. This piece does have cultural specificity. There are some readers who felt an immediate connection, but I can understand how it won’t hit every reader that way. Thanks for leaving your impressions.

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    • Thank you Marianne. My year started out well. I’m looking forward to a great group of students. There are a couple of tough nuts in the mix. I’ll figure out a way to reach them, but sometimes that takes time. Trust for some has huge barriers I need to slowly disintegrate with creativity, perseverance, and patience.

      I do appreciate your well wishes….and that you called my poem juicy.

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  9. Ah bikers and their allure…you’ve done a succinct piece, Brenda. Interesting what you shared about not really in their mold. I did hung out with some bikers in my 20s as well, and yea I didn’t fit the mold either.

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  10. We had a bikers rally over here yesterday, or probably they’re here for the whole weekened. Just boys (middle aged men) and they’re very highly polished Harley Davidson ‘toys’ lol Some women on the back, but not many.
    I agree with what you say about how the white men stole all the Native American lands from them, renamed it all and called it ‘theirs’. We have the same thing here in Canada but, they have at least tried to give back a lot of their lands and they try to work with them to make good for all the past damage. They also allow our Native American Nations to rename their lands back to their old names too. It’s not much but, it’s something to at least try to do the right thing for these peoples all of whom were so very badly treated, abused, and cruely dealt with. I so agree with you on all of what you say. Their ways were so much more peace-loving and respectful of mother nature too.

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    • My husband has talked about getting a Harley..he knows that they hold some fascination with me, and that I’ve never ridden on back before. (I did have a friend with a Norton….but no Harley.)

      The issue of land is multilayered and complex. Thanks for sharing your impressions. As for Canada treating Native Americans better than the United States,… I think the jury is still out on that. Look up Thomas KIng…he lives in Canada. He argues that the Canadian government is trying to define Indian people out of existence. The hoops they jump through to be considered Indian are as convoluted as they come. King is also an amazing storyteller. My favorite book of his is called “The Truth about Stories.”

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  11. The title of your poem certainly caught my eye!

    I’d like to answer your final question, if I may: The grandfathers are where they always were..waiting until the appointed time to re-emerge. Then watch the faces of those four white guys crumble!

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  12. I liked your poem although there were parts of it I couldn’t understand. But I liked the following explanations even more. It is indeed sad that the First People in every country have been so misused.

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  13. What a fascinating history you have, Brenda. Where’s the tattoo, or shouldn’t I ask? I hooted with laughter at your title, but the poem and your notes are no laughing matter – bravo.

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    • I have one tattoo on my ankle, and three on my back. I got my ankle tattoo when I was 21. The other three, in the last 8 years. A good friend of mine is a tattoo artist. My husband, step-daughter, and I all went together one day and each of us got tattooed. LOL It’s a family thing. Thanks Viv, for stopping and reading. And for your kind comments.

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