Writing about terrible things

I have known for some time that using the clipped, incisive, deliberate forms associated with poetry was one way to write about the devastation caused by my adopted son.

I started writing the poetry publicly when the prose seemed too difficult for people.

You could call this the “it’s too awful” syndrome, or you could call it the complicity principle. People either do not want to face the devastation and intimacy of sexual assault or they have their own story and do not really want to scrutinize how their story was handled. Notice the passive tense–change the passive tense–how they handled their story.

We have debilitating and unwarranted stigmata which we apply to the victims of sexual assault in a highly prejudicial and unscientific fashion.

All cases of sexual assault are woefully underreported, yet we claim to understand rape victims.

You cannot have a principled, scientific understanding of a condition if you force the sufferers of the condition into silence.

Nor can you ever separate the “symptoms” of victimhood out from the original crime or the subsequent, devastating consequences of enforced silence.

Every victim of a crime deserves relief, but in rape, the victim often faces subsequent harm.

They are told to be quiet or they will be marginalized.

That marginalization never stops. It can happen any time a victim shares their story.

I know because I just watched it happen again, and again, and again when my daughter wrote her college entrance essay on her rape story.


We went to two concerts last year. One was at Whitewater Amphitheater and the other was at the Majestic in San Antonio.

While Whitewash was not bad, we were told that we could not bring in blankets or toys and we were searched at the gates. The people working there were actually helpful, but the excessive restrictions were oppressive.

By contrast, the Majestic concert was amazing. I realized that being treated as a valued and valuable guest made the Majestic a place I wanted revisit, while I will avoid concerts at Whitewater.

Believe it or not, this is not actually about venue policies.

I composed a several sentence reply to new, additionally restrictive policies at WA, then deleted it. Because I probably won’t go back, I just emailed them, why?

And suddenly that one small question meant the world to me. Sometimes silence is a form of cowardice, but this time it was power.

As soon as I sent my why I realized it applied to all the unanswered questions I had about far bigger questions than why Whitewater Amphitheater won’t sanction me bringing in a purse, a blanket, or a deck of cards to a concert I have to pay to attended.

I never have to go there again. They need to prove to me that they understand my value.

Not the other way around.