Air Quotes, also known as sarcasm, Spoken from the Other Point of View

They command us to be silent

Until they take our silence as consent

“You may speak!” they shout

With their hands over our mouths

“Just stop being so divisive

Your words are too harsh

Too inconvenient

Too plain to be true

Not quite what we wanted to hear”


“And your pain is manufactured

And inappropriate

And uncorroborated”


“And your bodies are not your own

And your memories belong to the collective

They exist:

For (our) comment

For (our) judgement

For (our) verification

For (our) pleasure”


“Our tears are heavier than yours

Yet (and because) they are few in number

Our logic is sounder than yours

Because (and yet) it belongs to the few”


“The gates through which we walk

Are made from the bars of the cells

in which we keep you

We paint them gold in celebration

And in order to forget”


◄ I am who I am

This Too ►


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Fri 12th Oct 2018 12:47


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Alexandra Rockwell Lorenz

Fri 12th Oct 2018 10:10

Hi Martin,

This was written in response to Christine Blasey Ford's accusations against the US Supreme Court Justice nominee (now confirmed justice) Brett Kavanaugh. I don't know whether her story has reached the UK, but it is heart wrenching.

If you would like more context for the poem, I suggest watching her opening statement:

If you don't feel like watching the whole thing, the take away points are this - Ford (and two other women) have accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. In her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, she described Kavanaugh and his friend pushing her into a room at a party and drunkenly attempting to take off her clothes, covering her mouth with his hand to prevent her from screaming, and laughing as she was terrified that she was about to be raped.

To answer your question, "they" refers to several different groups of people. It refers to Kavanaugh, it refers to the men and women in this country who refuse to believe the stories of survivors of sexual violence, and it refers to the structures of power which allow for this sort of violence to occur.

I hope I've answered some of your questions.


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Martin Elder

Fri 12th Oct 2018 08:57

I am probably being a bit dim here but I am not entirely sure who the they are. However this is a very powerful and passionate piece of poetry which could work on many different levels for all kinds of people.
Love it

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