[The righteous rant is an oft-neglected poetic genre in the contemporary poetry scene, but Barbie Angell positively owns it here! Funny, sad & right-on throughout—enjoy!]
Life as a Girl
Lately I’ve been breaking off all over the room,
so if you’re going to visit, you’ll want to bring a broom.
And I guess that I should let you know, I’m a little bit confused,
but I’m sure you won’t be bothered, most people seem amused.
See, sometimes I still see myself as this brilliant, sweet young girl,
until somebody mentions how I look upon the world.
Yeah, jaded is my color now, I must look great in green.
But I’m afraid I’m being bitter, and I’m scared I’m being mean.
So bring a good strong vacuum with when you want to come on by,
so you can suck up where I’ve broken off while I drink and smoke and cry.
Yeah, it’s fun for everybody, a smashing good old time.
Did I mention that I smash things while I scream and yell and whine?
I can tell just what you’re thinking. How did I end up like this?
And really, more importantly, are you, yourself at risk?
Well I know just how it started. I can pinpoint that sad day
when a stranger sauntered up to me and I didn’t know what to say.
So I started to get worried, and I pondered and I thought.
I used to know just who I was, but I guess I just forgot.
So I looked for help from others, you know, girls about my age,
I guess I wanted references. Some sort of “woman” gauge.
And I watched all of their TV shows and I read all of their books,
and I started to get worried about the way I really looked.
From that point on I lost it. And I tried so fucking hard,
but I’m too poor to be a woman, for new clothes and a perky car.
That’s when I succumbed to all the Pretty People lies,
like I’ll never be truly confident unless I have thinner thighs.
And I questioned what my value was without the perfect dress,
and would I ever get that far with these preteen, tiny breasts?
And who do I go asking then? And why would they ever care?
‘Cause my bible’s name was Cosmo and no one heard my prayers.
I soon tired of the life I led, and the low-cal, fat-free food.
I was sick of my appearance and my weary-broken mood.
I couldn’t listen anymore about why my wardrobe’s wrong,
or that some fantastic makeup will make me beautiful and strong.
Now I’m boycotting the companies who can’t do ads without nude chicks,
do they think that I won’t buy their shoes unless I see a little tit?
I don’t want another sleazy ad by Hardee’s and Diet Coke.
All I’m offered is body work when it’s my engine that is broke.
Why does society do this to their women and their girls?
And what do you do as a rag doll when you live in a Barbie doll world?
Barbie Dockstader Angell