We are pleased to present three poems from the important new collection Resistance: Righteous Rage in the Age of #MeToo (University of Regina Press) edited by Griffin Poetry Prize finalist Sue Goyette.
PLEASE NOTE: This poetry anthology deals with sexual assault and abuse in its many forms and the following poems may be disturbing to some readers.
Among the many responses to the anthology is Jennifer Musial's (New Jersey City University):
“Seventy-eight soul-shattering voices that refuse to be silenced or ashamed. Resistance provides the megaphone.”
Lisa Richter, author of Closer to Where We Began, writes, “The poems in Resistance do more than resist: they testify and bear witness, grieve and lament, howl and spark… A deeply moving and urgently necessary collection.”
In her Foreword, Goyette writes,
"I began writing this foreword five years ago, but the words resonate with the same urgency today. The injustice that sparked the #MeToo movement remains an ongoing challenge we face and endure in the systemic, patriarchal, white-bodied, late-capitalist times we find ourselves in. And in the midst of this global pandemic, the climate crisis, and overt and violent racist and oppressive events, may your vitality activate and embody the change we need for a more equitable and inclusive way of being."
Excerpts from Resistance: Righteous Rage in the Age of #MeToo Copyright © 2021 University of Regina Press, excerpted with permission of University of Regina Press.
A CONSIDERATION OF THE BUS DRIVER, by dee Hobsbawn-Smith
She prefers to imagine him alone with his rearview mirror,
rows of empty benches and all-seeing windows
bearing witness, his seat a backless stool,
its spring uncoiling, corkscrewed metal
This is the only form of punishment
she has, all she can rely on to allay
the way his hands unsheathed themselves,
the coiling ligature of fingers, the lines they left
along her throat and thighs.
She sees the stool, a brushy spring
motionless, its penetrating
from his mouth, as justice
she may never otherwise find.
THE TELLING, by Natalie Baker
i used to say
what i let happen
what he did
and i didn’t say no
i didn’t consent
i never knew
there was a difference
NO EMERGENCY, by Tara Borin
Such a small thing,
a body’s gesture
one of us ready the other
and whose need is more
As you storm
I picture you,
a little boy
who snatched up a garter snake
as it slid into spring sunshine,
tongue gathering your excitement
from the air
and your mother
did she hold her discomfort and
like a love note in her clenched hand,
She reasoned that
a garter snake won’t bite,
will be boys.
ABOUT THE RESISTANCE ANTHOLOGY
These collected poems from writers across the globe declare one common theme: resistance. By exploring sexual assault and violence in their work, each writer resists the patriarchal systems of power that continue to support a misogynist justice system that supports abusers. In doing so, they reclaim their power and their voice.
Created as a response to the Jian Ghomeshi case, writers including Joan Crate, Ashley-Elizabeth Best, and Beth Goobie are, as editor Sue Goyette explains, a “multitude, resisting.” The collection could not be more timely. The work adds a new layer to the ever-growing #MeToo movement.
Resistance underscores the validity of all women’s experiences, and the importance of dignifying such experiences in voice, however that may sound. Because once survivors speak out and disrupt their pain, there is no telling what else they can do.