Roseanne, vagenius poet, East Colfax, and yellow bathroom doors

I must admit that the title of "Vagenius poet" was a huge ego burst for a short time. Yup, I wrote a great poem. I knew it when it was being penned and I mean that literally. I do not write poetry. It writes me.

And so I have spoken this poem, i am stood in the mirror and recited this poem when finally, then-memories of my own childhood abuse came rushing to me in that terrifying, liberating, life-changing day. I remember standing and looking at myself in that mirror and knowing, finally, truth.

So the Roseanne I met at the bookstore back in the '70s was a helluva woman. She became part of the collective with the spirit, dedication and absolute conviction that has become evident to the world. She opened the door for many of us

Those memories flooded when we connected on twitter. I did a photo exhibit for the first Lesbian convention held in Denver, and most of the subjects were women from the bookstore. These are packed away, I work to get to them and will find them soon as i have helpers coming to go through some of the things I need to finally accept.. time to give away, throw away, or keep dear.

I remembered being a single woman. I didn't marry a man until I was 43. I married a woman at age 39. We remain wed, though she is incarcerated in a nursing home in Texas.

And so, the vagenius poet has not much to poeticize today. Oh wait. The poem I wrote for my wife.

Roseanne's Poem can be found at

you are the twelve year old
child   who daddy
used to lie on top of   his thick palm
slapped over your mouth
you learned not to scream
you are a twelve year old
child   who learned
to pierce your screams    with a needle
you spiked heroin into your vision
you learned not to scream

you are a hundred year old
junkie     the monkey
lays  on top of you    his thick palm
forcing himself inside you
you need no screams

you are that sixty year old
daddy     the rapist
who lays on top of me   your screams
forcing yourself inside me
I learn not to scream
twelve year old
children    we watch
from the corner of the room
slapped silent     by his thick palm

©2000 lisbeth west
written May 1, 1992
for my wife, Candy. 

You will have to come back for the yellow bathroom door. 

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