Jezebel’s Manifesto by Merridith Allen

Nobody talks about what a slut Ernest Hemingway was.

You don’t wax poetic about T.S. Elliot’s sexuality over dinner and drinks.

But the mere mention of Mina Loy – if you remember her at all – and words like ‘morally’ ‘bankrupt’ ‘whore’ slide off the tongue

Or if you flip to a page of a Frida Kahlo painting
Squint at the fine print
And you’ll find explanations like ‘demented’ ‘bisexual’ ‘broken dove’
And maybe you’ll feel a tad less insecure

Cause – you’ll say ‘mad genius’
You’ll say Jezebel
Throw stones at the archetype divine female
When she is not chaste and virginal
When she bleeds
Throws punches
Flings sweaty sheets off the bed
Because they’re soaked through with her holy water

And lucky you if you are showered with her favors

But oh –

Never mind she’s got tears and dreams and fantasies just like you
Or maybe bigger – so much bigger than you

And you think “Broken Dove,” my Jezebel
I feel so much better
If you’re dirty instead of me
As if dirty were an adjective reserved for all things woman

But I’ll tell you this.
I would rather be remembered
As a whore than a good girl

Good girl –
Who left the world alone with her please and thank you’s
With her ‘Yes, dear, ok, daddy, whatever you say sir’
I’m wearing your string of pearls around my neck
Even if they strangle me
Pulled around by your leash
Hooked up to your morphine drip
Kind of girl

Fuck no.

So.  Please.
Yes, please, call me a whore.
Call me slut
Call me demented genius
Who makes you sit up in your seat and cough
Kind of girl
Cause I’d damn well rather be
Some Jezebel
Who set the world on fire with her wanting
Her impossible dreams
Her not so casual fantasies

Because when I leave this earth
I’m going out like the wicked witch of the damn west

In a tunnel of flames.


About Merridith Allen

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