Nothing To Lose

Cicadas play their
late-summer buzz-screech melody.

A wet heaviness hangs
in the afternoon air
like a bad punchline.

Bed rows of red roses
mope and bob
their drooping blossoms,
unwitting hostages in the prison
of the current administration’s
white house
rose garden.

sit in your raunchy puddle of smugness,
squint into the “Fox and Friends” camera,
and say
(with all the authoritarian gusto
you can muster,)
that if you ever get impeached,
the market will crash,
and everybody will be “very poor.”

Oooh. A threat.

If you being impeached
means me being “very poor,”
…then what are we waiting for?

Let’s put an end
to this trash fire
of a presidency already.

Don’t you get it?

Whatever the opposite of you is,
I’m going for that.

I dream of this impeachment
like madmen dream of jeannies
in bottles,

and you’re threatening me
with poverty?
Is that all you’ve got for me?

You think I care?

I’m your worst nightmare:
a rabble-rousing loudmouth poet
of a Jew who spellcasts and
incants chants
and mixes potions
and steeps brews
without a thing to lose
and a trick or two
up my sleeve…

…and if you think there’s just one of me?


You’ve got another thing coming,

because all of us “poor women”
have had more than enough,
thank you very much.

And if what you’re expecting next
is some little biblical snippet
or “hell hath no fury” Shakespeare-esque
quote at this moment,
then you still don’t get it yet.

I’m not the “bounce around the old
patriarchal echo chamber” type.

In fact, this time,
we’re burning that dumpster down
and breaking ground
on the new paradigm.

We’ve been seeing this coming.

We’ve been covening up.
Going undercover.
Banging our drums.

Meeting in secrecy.
Learning our unwritten history.
Taking back our sovereignty.

We’ve been weaving our melodies
to sing ourselves back into being.

Canceling our subscriptions
to outside approval issues.

We have no interest
in how you value us
or if you deem us
beautiful or useful.

We’re way past
blacking out Facebook profile photos
to show you “a day without a woman,”

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because our worth is not contingent
on your acknowledgment,

nor decided
by societal standards
of material acquiring.

So, if your threat
is that I’ll “get very poor,”
then yes,
I’m going for your

We can’t take jack with us anyway,
why not practice what we’re preaching?

None of this stuff
is going over the celestial threshold.

We are all poor as dirt
in the face of
the great and wild mystery
that awaits us.

There is no bribe high enough
to buy you
the power to bypass
the proverbial
line to the great
Space Mountain ride in the sky.

Those of us
fortunate enough
to ever have been
broke and
broken open

are that much closer to
our eventual showdown with destiny,

and better prepared for the revolution
already underway.

Make no mistake,
though we may stumble
in the throes of PTSD,
watching one predator after other
be sworn into office,

don’t write us off just yet…

what does it matter?
Write us off if you want.
It is of no consequence.

We “poor women” can’t afford
to pay you any mind.

We won’t be frightened into silence
Despite your attempts to gaslight and infantilize.

We got a lot of fight in us,
us “poor women,”
and we’re just getting started.

This is the unstoppable momentum
of a collective sobering-up
following millennia of force-fed

a radical
of handmaidens,

a phalanx of witches
hopping on broomsticks,

a battalion of rightful lovers,

a sky full of angels,
with wings so wide
they darken the sky,
blot out the sun,

and nothing
to lose.


Originally performed at Write Club Los Angeles.


Photo by Jessica Hanna at Los Angeles Lady Arm Wrestlers—LA LAW at Bootleg Theater. Brian Allman in background.