Monday, March 31, 2014



Loose Woman by Sandra Cisneros

They say I’m a beast.

And feast on it. When all along

I thought that’s what a woman was.

They say I’m a bitch.

Or witch. I’ve claimed

the same and never winced.

They say I’m a macha, hell on wheels,

viva-la-vulva, fire and brimstone,

man-hating, devastating,

boogey-woman lesbian.

Not necessarily,

but I like the compliment.

The mob arrives with stones and sticks

to maim and lame and do me in.

All the same, when I open my mouth,

they wobble like gin.

Diamonds and pearls

tumble from my tongue.

Or toads and serpents.

Depending on the mood I’m in.

I like the itch I provoke.

The rustle of rumor

like crinoline.

I am the woman of myth and bullshit.

(True. I authored some of it.)

I built my little house of ill repute.

Brick by brick. Labored,

loved and masoned it.

I live like so.

Heart as sail, ballast, rudder, bow.

Rowdy. Indulgent to excess.

My sin and success–

I think of me to gluttony.

By all accounts I am

a danger to society.

I’m Pancha Villa.

I break laws,

upset the natural order,

anguish the Pope and make fathers cry.

I am beyond the jaw of law.

I’m la desperada, most-wanted public enemy.

My happy picture grinning from the wall.

I strike terror among the men.

I can’t be bothered what they think.

¡Que se vayan a la ching chang chong!

For this, the cross, the calvary.

In other words, I’m anarchy.

I’m an aim-well,

shoot-sharp,

sharp-tongued,

sharp-thinking,

fast-speaking,

foot-loose,

loose-tongued,

let-loose,

woman-on-the-loose

loose woman.

Beware, honey.

I’m Bitch. Beast. Macha.

¡Wáchale!

Ping! Ping! Ping!

I break things.

What I like about this poem is that it challenges common notions of femininity and female sexuality in both Mexican and American society. Since women are expected to be submissive to men, the speaker of the poem is labeled as a “beast”, a “bitch”, and a “macha.” Most of all, she is seen as both anti-man and anti-society. She aims, shoots, and fires, hoping to break the patriarchal barriers that are strongly held in this society. I say we should join her, right guys?

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