Wednesday, July 22, 2009


by, Nikki Giovanni

it's not the crutches we decry
it's the need to move forward
though we haven't the strength

women aren't allowed to need
so they develop rituals
since we all know working hands idle
the devil
women aren't supposed to be strong
so they develop social smiles
and secret drinking problems
and female lovers whom they never touch
except in dreams

men are supposed to be strong
so they have heart attacks
and develop other women
who don't know their weaknesses
and hide their fears
behind male lovers
whom they religiously touch
each saturday morning on the basketball court
it's considered a sign of health doncha know
that they take such good care
of their bodies

i'm trying to say something about the human condition
maybe i should try again

this piece enbodies a conversation i was having the other day, about images in the lives of men and women. Women especially. the idea that we're supposed to be happy once we've attained certain things, and not happy when we're missing certain others. and we can't show certain feelings without being labeled as one thing or the other. in addition to all this, we must uphold a certain we may put up a certain front, while engaging in certain behaviors privately, or perhaps not so privately, but under false motives. a friend of mine once told me that it is not safe for one person to hold a secret within, and i suppose that is part of the human condition that Nikki is trying to get at here. that people, in order to protect their images, hold in certain things. i haven't yet decided how i feel about that...