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Best Famous Marge Piercy Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Marge Piercy poems. This is a select list of the best famous Marge Piercy poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Marge Piercy poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of marge piercy poems.

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by Marge Piercy |

To the Pay Toilet

 You strop my anger, especially
when I find you in restaurant or bar
and pay for the same liquid, coming and going.
In bus depots and airports and turnpike plazas some woman is dragging in with three kids hung off her shrieking their simple urgency like gulls.
She's supposed to pay for each of them and the privilege of not dirtying the corporate floor.
Sometimes a woman in a uniform's on duty black or whatever the prevailing bottom is getting thirty cents an hour to make sure no woman sneaks her full bladder under a door.
Most blatantly you shout that waste of resources for the greatest good of the smallest number where twenty pay toilets line up glinty clean and at the end of the row one free toilet oozes from under its crooked door, while a row of weary women carrying packages and babies wait and wait and wait to do what only the dead find unnecessary.


by Marge Piercy |

You Ask Why Sometimes I Say Stop

 You ask why sometimes I say stop
why sometimes I cry no
while I shake with pleasure.
What do I fear, you ask, why don't I always want to come and come again to that molten deep sea center where the nerves fuse open and the brain and body shine with a black wordless light fluorescent and heaving like plankton.
If you turn over the old refuse of sexual slang, the worn buttons of language, you find men talk of spending and women of dying.
You come in a torrent and ease into limpness.
Pleasure takes me farther and farther from the shore in a series of breakers, each towering higher before it crashes and spills flat.
I am open then as a palm held out, open as a sunflower, without crust, without shelter, without skin, hideless and unhidden.
How can I let you ride so far into me and not fear? Helpless as a burning city, how can I ignore that the extremes of pleasure are fire storms that leave a vacuum into which dangerous feelings (tenderness, affection, l o v e) may rush like gale force winds.


by Marge Piercy |

Colors Passing Through Us

 Purple as tulips in May, mauve 
into lush velvet, purple 
as the stain blackberries leave 
on the lips, on the hands, 
the purple of ripe grapes 
sunlit and warm as flesh.
Every day I will give you a color, like a new flower in a bud vase on your desk.
Every day I will paint you, as women color each other with henna on hands and on feet.
Red as henna, as cinnamon, as coals after the fire is banked, the cardinal in the feeder, the roses tumbling on the arbor their weight bending the wood the red of the syrup I make from petals.
Orange as the perfumed fruit hanging their globes on the glossy tree, orange as pumpkins in the field, orange as butterflyweed and the monarchs who come to eat it, orange as my cat running lithe through the high grass.
Yellow as a goat's wise and wicked eyes, yellow as a hill of daffodils, yellow as dandelions by the highway, yellow as butter and egg yolks, yellow as a school bus stopping you, yellow as a slicker in a downpour.
Here is my bouquet, here is a sing song of all the things you make me think of, here is oblique praise for the height and depth of you and the width too.
Here is my box of new crayons at your feet.
Green as mint jelly, green as a frog on a lily pad twanging, the green of cos lettuce upright about to bolt into opulent towers, green as Grand Chartreuse in a clear glass, green as wine bottles.
Blue as cornflowers, delphiniums, bachelors' buttons.
Blue as Roquefort, blue as Saga.
Blue as still water.
Blue as the eyes of a Siamese cat.
Blue as shadows on new snow, as a spring azure sipping from a puddle on the blacktop.
Cobalt as the midnight sky when day has gone without a trace and we lie in each other's arms eyes shut and fingers open and all the colors of the world pass through our bodies like strings of fire.


by Marge Piercy |

The Cats Song

 Mine, says the cat, putting out his paw of darkness.
My lover, my friend, my slave, my toy, says the cat making on your chest his gesture of drawing milk from his mother's forgotten breasts.
Let us walk in the woods, says the cat.
I'll teach you to read the tabloid of scents, to fade into shadow, wait like a trap, to hunt.
Now I lay this plump warm mouse on your mat.
You feed me, I try to feed you, we are friends, says the cat, although I am more equal than you.
Can you leap twenty times the height of your body? Can you run up and down trees? Jump between roofs? Let us rub our bodies together and talk of touch.
My emotions are pure as salt crystals and as hard.
My lusts glow like my eyes.
I sing to you in the mornings walking round and round your bed and into your face.
Come I will teach you to dance as naturally as falling asleep and waking and stretching long, long.
I speak greed with my paws and fear with my whiskers.
Envy lashes my tail.
Love speaks me entire, a word of fur.
I will teach you to be still as an egg and to slip like the ghost of wind through the grass.


by Marge Piercy |

The Woman in the Ordinary

 The woman in the ordinary pudgy downcast girl
is crouching with eyes and muscles clenched.
Round and pebble smooth she effaces herself under ripples of conversation and debate.
The woman in the block of ivory soap has massive thighs that neigh, great breasts that blare and strong arms that trumpet.
The woman of the golden fleece laughs uproariously from the belly inside the girl who imitates a Christmas card virgin with glued hands, who fishes for herself in other's eyes, who stoops and creeps to make herself smaller.
In her bottled up is a woman peppery as curry, a yam of a woman of butter and brass, compounded of acid and sweet like a pineapple, like a handgrenade set to explode, like goldenrod ready to bloom.


by Marge Piercy |

What Are Big Girls Made Of?

 The construction of a woman:
a woman is not made of flesh 
of bone and sinew 
belly and breasts, elbows and liver and toe.
She is manufactured like a sports sedan.
She is retooled, refitted and redesigned every decade.
Cecile had been seduction itself in college.
She wriggled through bars like a satin eel, her hips and ass promising, her mouth pursed in the dark red lipstick of desire.
She visited in '68 still wearing skirts tight to the knees, dark red lipstick, while I danced through Manhattan in mini skirt, lipstick pale as apricot milk, hair loose as a horse's mane.
Oh dear, I thought in my superiority of the moment, whatever has happened to poor Cecile? She was out of fashion, out of the game, disqualified, disdained, dis- membered from the club of desire.
Look at pictures in French fashion magazines of the 18th century: century of the ultimate lady fantasy wrought of silk and corseting.
Paniers bring her hips out three feet each way, while the waist is pinched and the belly flattened under wood.
The breasts are stuffed up and out offered like apples in a bowl.
The tiny foot is encased in a slipper never meant for walking.
On top is a grandiose headache: hair like a museum piece, daily ornamented with ribbons, vases, grottoes, mountains, frigates in full sail, balloons, baboons, the fancy of a hairdresser turned loose.
The hats were rococo wedding cakes that would dim the Las Vegas strip.
Here is a woman forced into shape rigid exoskeleton torturing flesh: a woman made of pain.
How superior we are now: see the modern woman thin as a blade of scissors.
She runs on a treadmill every morning, fits herself into machines of weights and pulleys to heave and grunt, an image in her mind she can never approximate, a body of rosy glass that never wrinkles, never grows, never fades.
She sits at the table closing her eyes to food hungry, always hungry: a woman made of pain.
A cat or dog approaches another, they sniff noses.
They sniff asses.
They bristle or lick.
They fall in love as often as we do, as passionately.
But they fall in love or lust with furry flesh, not hoop skirts or push up bras rib removal or liposuction.
It is not for male or female dogs that poodles are clipped to topiary hedges.
If only we could like each other raw.
If only we could love ourselves like healthy babies burbling in our arms.
If only we were not programmed and reprogrammed to need what is sold us.
Why should we want to live inside ads? Why should we want to scourge our softness to straight lines like a Mondrian painting? Why should we punish each other with scorn as if to have a large ass were worse than being greedy or mean? When will women not be compelled to view their bodies as science projects, gardens to be weeded, dogs to be trained? When will a woman cease to be made of pain?


by Marge Piercy |

Barbie Doll

 This girlchild was born as usual
and presented dolls that did pee-pee
and miniature GE stoves and irons
and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy.
Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said: You have a great big nose and fat legs.
She was healthy, tested intelligent, possessed strong arms and back, abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity.
She went to and fro apologizing.
Everyone saw a fat nose on thick legs.
She was advised to play coy, exhorted to come on hearty, exercise, diet, smile and wheedle.
Her good nature wore out like a fan belt.
So she cut off her nose and her legs and offered them up.
In the casket displayed on satin she lay with the undertaker's cosmetics painted on, a turned-up putty nose, dressed in a pink and white nightie.
Doesn't she look pretty? everyone said.
Consummation at last.
To every woman a happy ending.


by Marge Piercy |

To Be of Use

 The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element, the black sleek heads of seals bouncing like half-submerged balls.
I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart, who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience, who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward, who do what has to be done, again and again.
I want to be with people who submerge in the task, who go into the fields to harvest and work in a row and pass the bags along, who are not parlor generals and field deserters but move in a common rhythm when the food must come in or the fire be put out.
The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil, Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry and a person for work that is real.


by Marge Piercy |

A Work Of Artifice

 The bonsai tree
in the attractive pot
could have grown eighty feet tall
on the side of a mountain
till split by lightning.
But a gardener carefully pruned it.
It is nine inches high.
Every day as he whittles back the branches the gardener croons, It is your nature to be small and cozy, domestic and weak; how lucky, little tree, to have a pot to grow in.
With living creatures one must begin very early to dwarf their growth: the bound feet, the crippled brain, the hair in curlers, the hands you love to touch.


by Marge Piercy |

The Friend

 We sat across the table.
he said, cut off your hands.
they are always poking at things.
they might touch me.
I said yes.
Food grew cold on the table.
he said, burn your body.
it is not clean and smells like sex.
it rubs my mind sore.
I said yes.
I love you, I said.
That's very nice, he said I like to be loved, that makes me happy.
Have you cut off your hands yet?