The creative writing process doesn’t always lend itself to timely responses to current events; the recursive rethinking and rewriting to get a poem or story just right can’t always be compressed to the news cycle timeline. Yet, creative, well written ripostes are vital to the national dialogue. Within the debate, art has the power to reveal the emotional threads that are bound to the economic and political ones.
For every constitutional, ethical, and social argument about the “due process” of a United States Supreme Court Justice, there must also be the poems and stories of women, like Ariana D. Den Bleyker’s ‘At 40, I Crawled Between My Mother’s Legs as She Lay on the Couch & Wept the Evening Brett Kavanaugh was Confirmed.’ The title itself narrates the heartbreak of many women in our country as we feel the institutional walls rising, pulled into place, like some macabre modern-day barn raising, by systems that disproportionally support white men. Den Bleyker illuminates how it feels to have the shadows of the walls blocking the sun, the view—our freedom. She is as angry as me, but more eloquent. Let’s look at her poem, at all the poems like hers, that speak to the emotional toll of our historical and current political policies on women, of every generation, even those yet to come.
Poets Reading the News