Risa Denenberg’s courage to write so boldly, plainly and master it with such brevity astounds me. Her honest, clear, and easy to read poetry goes against everything academia seems to put on a pedestal. I’m stunned by her frank language and stark energy. She writes poems straight-up and without ego. Even if you only read this one, I’m certain you’ll feel the rebellion in her heart—pounding—a great, fierce fist beating at the door of life, “Either you swallow the pill or you refuse to swallow the pill. You can’t do both…”
There are holes in the night sky.
My brother calls it excess light.
I’m looking for an exit.
The holes are small.
A moth bangs against the screen.
I held the wrong theory in my back pocket until it flattened like a crêpe. Rebirth is easy. Just pop out of any anonymous vagina with fresh hair-do and matching socks. Either you swallow the pill or you refuse to swallow the pill. You can’t do both, our current model of time being what it is.
These symptoms are all I have!
Memories are false.
I could say my mother raped me.
But we know mothers don’t rape.
They just erase every fifth word.
I made a man cry.
I admit it excited me.
Rebellious Women in Poetry (brought to you by rebellious women) is made possible by rebellious women. “Excess Light” printed by permission of the author. Risa Denenberg is an aging hippie poet currently living in the Pacific Northwest. Her chapbook, what we owe each other, is available on Amazon.com. The introduction is by Susan Yount, editor of Arsenic Lobster Poetry Journal, madam of the Chicago Poetry Bordello & author of Catastrophe Theory.