You said No

Sometimes you love
The man who assaults you

In the shower
From behind

You are five feet five inches
One hundred seventeen pounds
He is six foot four
200 plus pounds

He lifts you
Pushes you against the shower wall


You say no

He continues
You hear the shower
Spout to sewer

You say no

He enters you

You say no
Torn apart

Afterward he touches your face
In tender caress
He loves you

You say no

He can’t help it
You’re the one
Who joined him
In the


You said no




Words like moron
eat your power
punching holes through
your endless sense of

Preening your ingenuous
you swirl distractions against
your inner collapse,
indignity in tow,
charging over roads
showing us who’s boss.

Your struggle creates
a mystery game,
dangling divinations
as calm before storms.

American spirit lists
as invisible fringes muster
in dissipation
of your work against
the nation.

“Time will tell,”
you say.
“You’ll find out.”

At night
even the stars sigh
by the collapse your dark portends.


That one lady, That nut.

That one lady
That nut
Simmered color
In waves

When She laughed
It burst
Like rain from high white clouds

In her mind
Nothing mattered
But the angle of her throat
When her head tipped back
Babbling brooks
like sunshine spilled
If She could bottle it and label it She would

Waves of Babbling Sunshine
Sure to shiver your timbers
Shimmering diamonds mixed with
Your eyes
Spread your thighs
Be wise

That one lady
That nut
Fruit punch
Drinks too much
Down below the surface
She knew She’d won
‘Nothing’s at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box’
Everything She never needed
She received for free

Empty chains evaded her privilege
She laughed
Until she cried
Her disguise

That one lady
That nut

Did you see her over there?
Breathing color,
Eating popcorn from a box.

-bwarren 17


Nothing’s at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box is a line from Meatloaf’s song, ‘Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad.’

She just can’t.

A storm of words
Creams the poet

Her solipsistic need for walls
Collapses as
Everything she flees
She faces
She skins bare her soul
Ripping labels from life’s undoing
Brutally unmasking the corrugated
Landscapes that box her in

Her peculiar scorn exposed
She spirals round its eye

see? See?

It’s not so bad

She digs at her scabs
to watch herself bleed.

bw / 17


A is for Alacrity
an antiquated term,

displaced in deed by indolence,
lethargy, and sloth—

displaced in phrase with eager cheer

alacrity is lost.



Note: New to ABC Wednesday, I’m looking forward to making new writing connections. To keep me going, I’ve come up with a gimmick to drive my posts. Each week, undercaws will feature an English word not in the common vernacular.

Alacrity: promptness in response :  cheerful readiness

To the guy in the White House who claims to cherish women

I am a woman.
What is it about us
that makes you see us bleed?
From our faces.
From our eyes.
From our wherever.

How can you cherish women
when you call us
fat pigs
disgusting animals
a piece of ass?

You do not cherish women.
You loathe us.
You fear us.
You see us as objects.

Literally and metaphorically,
you fuck us.

What transpired to create you?
Were you born this way?
Did your mother love you?

Or is it true that monsters are fed,
not made?

I hope your supporters wake up.
I hope they understand what it means
to honor women.

I hope they stop feeding you.

We need to show
the sons and daughters of today
how not to be you,

Brenda Warren

Sheer Spun and Billowy

Drunk and rooted, our
words billow like tattered sails

scattering meaning across
red vinyl booths that

curve us into this circle of faces,
where we snatch

single moments like
specks in eyes

let loose by lashes in the
blink of time–

sly, like dust
with its sheer spun sugary shine,

all glittery and shit.
We forget about that sometimes.

Brenda Warren 2017


Visit The Sunday Whirl


Threads stitch
Lines through our hearts
Broken by the space
Between apart and now

We falter

Spinning our wheels
Yearning touch
Hand prints on wet windows
Where echoes ring rivulets
That seep beneath our skin
Gnawing air
Like butterfly wings we blow
Until the sugar falls off
And all that’s left is gasps

Words, pierced mid-syllable
By needles
Filled with ink
So it sticks
Like a whistle through our lips

So many stitched-tight lines
It’s easy to forget how things spin

Brenda Warren 2017


Visit The Sunday Whirl

Something Sacred Fills Our Sway

For Len

Your touch ripples me liquid
Swelling tides within
As whispers of miracles
Drop like pins
Summoning angels
Dancing a trance

Water moves through our low spots
Surging sighs
That ebb our flow
Until shores reemerge
Spent with foam
And soft sweet sleep
Evens our tide

Brenda Warren 2017


Visit The Sunday Whirl

Letting Go

There was no groove for me
No gifted island of misfit toys
That salved mercy through my puberty
I cowered beneath the piercing eyes
Of peers
Calling me Spaz
On their meteoric rise to
“I’m so cool
You insignificant
Watch me squash you”

It cost me
My serenity

It powdered me empty
A spare
Bound by malevolence
I clung to hissed taunts
Echoed in faces
With voices that glared

Years passed
Before I learned
To breathe my way free

A gift of letting go

Brenda Warren 2017


Visit the Sunday Whirl