Monalisa Maione: Two Poems

Monalisa Maione is a published feminist poet and visual artist with several degrees in analog photography which became virtually obsolete the day she graduated. In lieu of working-for-the-man, she founded a vampire fang company, a performance space for uncensored art and a unicycle club. She lives with a brain injury which informs her life and work in beautiful and mysterious ways. She lives between San Luis Obispo, California and Paris, France. 

What you can learn on a date

getting to know each other –
the ex-wife curled up naked
weeping after sex
let’s call her intimacy
the narcissistic mother ignoring
your lengthy texts
let’s call her agency
telling a woman
she should be patient
let’s call her control
want to go on two dates?
fucking a young man on December 31st
let’s call that New Year’s Eve
fucking a different young man before
showering the first one off
let’s call that New Year’s day
never intending to fuck either man again
let’s call that a New Year’s resolution
let’s just call it what it is
say it for what it’s worth
once upon a time, a woman
controlled a man with his own lust
now that’s an old story, isn’t it?
they all want to take a bite of the apple
then stuff the rest of it into her mouth
let’s call that lipstick
she thinks –
I will not personalize anything self-damaging
he explains the problem to her –
it pisses her off when he’s trying too hard to fuck her
it pisses her off when he’s not trying hard enough to fuck her
it pisses her off when he’s not fucking her right
it pisses her off when he’s fucking someone else
they move on to dessert
you say tomato, I say NO!
I don’t want you to hit me when I come
he is from Mars she is from Venus
their sexes are opposing
he is Pisces she may or may not be Pisces
or Gemini or Cancer
she is definitely cancer
let’s call that happily ever after


Because I said I would write you

things in California are as
one would expect, climate
change, no water
and people fighting
over it from a distance
further than clouds, nest
of rattlesnakes in my shed
a snake print dress arrived
in the mail, I caught one and
moved it deeper into the canyon
I’m sure the snake and the dress
are not connected
stop saying yes they are
you always say that
a man I used to have sex with
accused me of having
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
but I couldn’t match any of the
criteria to my behavior
except something
about needing to feel
this man who came
inside me, came inside my
mouth, I pulled tightly at his
body with my hips and
he could not resist
releasing a venom knowing
I owned a part of him
for the better
half of a week
I’m sure the sex and the man
and the snake and his
fear and the change in the
weather are connected
stop saying no they aren’t
you always say that
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