You are an agreeable woman.
You can’t recall any overt indoctrination. Your mother wasn’t particularly agreeable. In fact, she was always drumming the beat of her independent drum.
And yet, you were the agreeable woman who always needed saving at the party. You remember those inevitable moments when the creepy guy wouldn’t leave you alone, and your bolder, brasher friend would have to politely tell him to fuck off.
But you, agreeable woman, couldn’t just say no?
You are an agreeable woman because hours after an injustice occurs — let’s say when someone cuts you off or is blatantly rude to your face, for instance — then all the retorts you should have said come flooding in. Agreeable woman that you are, you couldn’t muster them up in the moment.
But it can’t just be a character flaw. Let’s consider the evolutionary advantages of being an agreeable woman. One could argue it’s a survival tactic.
Stay agreeable, agreeable woman, so that you keep all the men — the potentially dangerous, scary ones — docile, placated. The agreeable woman makes everyone her friend.
La di da, hunky dory.
Agreeable woman, where did you leave your backbone? Did its development get stunted in the womb of your childhood?
The agreeable woman who always chased the perfect grades, the perfect looks. Agreeable woman could also be called a perfectionist woman, an obsessive woman.
No, that’s too harsh, right?
But, lest we forget, there are also perks to being an agreeable woman. Think of all the people oh so pleased with your people pleasing!
The agreeable woman doesn’t make the poor, innocent man who accidentally came inside her pay for Plan B the next day. No no, it’s okay, the agreeable woman’s got it! Only fair, right?
The agreeable woman will only feel shame for that years later, cringing at the agreeableness of it all.
You, agreeable woman, wonder how you got through life relatively unscathed. But wait, let’s give the agreeable woman some credit. She’s no fool.
She eventually squirms her way out of the non-agreeable situations. She has an intuition, no matter how buried in doubt and Midwestern qualifiers.
That time the gray-haired man convinced you to pay him for his revolutionary new therapy that was being studied by a university in Switzerland, don’t you know?
The same one who told you to pose in an apron and tights, for art.
I know what you’re thinking, but now’s not the time to judge the agreeable woman, poor thing was trying her best. She also thought it might be art.
The agreeable woman eventually took her train far far away, into the next situation she will hope her parents never find out about.
And about those parents, you knew I’d make it to them eventually right?
Perhaps the agreeable woman is just the product of a sheltered upbringing.
The world of hard knocks will slap the agreeableness out of someone real quick, one imagines. But the agreeable woman’s existence, you know, maybe it was too cushy of one.
Many people want to look back and shake the agreeable woman. It’s like her gauge was broken, making her tolerance for bullshit a little too high.
An “Ope, I’m sorry” when someone bumps into the agreeable woman. A “No problem” when someone wakes the agreeable woman out of bed because of their drunken ignorance. The agreeable woman makes them coffee and listens to their troubles.
That’s the trick right there. What’s the line between agreeableness and kindness?
Agreeableness is a passiveness is a softness is a dagger turned inwards.
It’s a kite blowing easily in the wind — taking the agreeable woman far until she hits a tree or is simply tired of waving around on the whim of the sky.
Because the agreeable woman discovers her limits in starts and stops.
The agreeable woman starts to get flashes of her power. She may write it off at first as an unearned compliment.
But eventually, the agreeable woman will feel its fire rise up within her. A slow burn at first, until she’s set fully ablaze.
Confidence will rise as she tells the guy at the club without an ounce of hesitation “We are NOT interested” after he tries to edge his way into her friend circle.
When she stands up to a client who changes the terms with a flimsy justification.
Each splinter, fueling her fire until the agreeable woman stands strong in her flames, finally unafraid of the scene she’s making, the brightness she’s giving off.
In that moment, the agreeable woman will solemnly raise the unmistakable flag of her middle finger to the generations of conditioning that made her so fucking agreeable.
It’s been so long
but it’s about time we talked
Over time and static
I hope this message reaches you
in the space between
the clouds and your cozy home
with the cookies always piled high in the tin
Tin grey as the sky now
the wind whips and pulls
at the air Imagine that plastic bag from American Beauty
tumbling low and free
What’s it like there
in your new home
does it feel wide open
like desert highway
or more like a deeply~rooted~oblivion?
Tell me about the way it ended
and I’ll tell you about
the way the tram line here runs on an endless loop
Direction Gare-Direction Luxexpo-Direction Gare-Direction Luxexpo
Watch the sleek suits step on the silver bullet
and get off
at your grey bungalow
Come on in
I see the teacups lined up next to our notebooks and
your angels, angels, angels
They come and go
as the people rush in and out
Tell me now
Do their halos glow like the silver lining of clouds
or are they more like those babies held by mothers in the aisles
chubby cheeks and Michelin star puffers
Come on in
let’s have a tea and you can tell me about
their better nature
What does your lord tell you now
in the staticky space
between the channels
and the streets with stoic structures
Do you look down
and smirk at our harried journeys silly stresses
I tune in sometimes to listen
between the buildings’
sharp edges and soft arches
See if I can hear the sky as it transforms from
hazy gray to cotton white
The clouds whisper their own subtle language
softly like the woosh of white
framing your waiting face
Because your language was mine too
we shared it in sweet sips — and exalted exclamations!
Between us sat on the cushions
we found answers
to questions we never asked
Before we’re done here
Tell me about
the light the light the light
Does it feel closer now
Does it hold you
tightly like your knitted scarves
Still send you streaming
towards new heights
On your book cover wet paint
g l i s t e n s
While down here I dodge puddles
after the clouds
have poured their hearts open to the street had their way with the hedges
The way you poured yours into the book
And I watched as the rain curled its paper edges
What if I told you I never liked the taste of
What if after all this time and with all this light
I told you we could set them straight?
ıllıllı Listen to this poem
Close your eyes and feel the red—
that’s what I do now
A lizard recharging itself,
cell by cell soaking up all the rare energy
The color starts out a light orange
before quickly deepening into a bright fire engine hue
Ripples of light dance on the surface,
like sunlight on water
These days, simply leaving the house can feel like a herculean accomplishment,
as if I need a reason to put one foot in front of the other
— like something to buy
or someone to see, for instance —
But a simple walk can yield surprises
and the sun is reason enough
My thoughts dance around like the flickering red
movie screen saturating my lids
Sitting still with them,
that might be the hardest part
Humans, ladies and gents,
complicating even the simplest of tasks
Always finding new mountains to climb,
inventing new problems to solve
Come back to the red
A shock of vitamin D
straight to your system
Direct — unlike the inspiration that now needs to be
coaxed out through sheer will and discipline
I believe it was the ancient Greeks who credited their creative failures and successes to muses,
those mysterious forces of creative inspiration
Takes the pressure off,
Muse, oh muse, where art thou?
How can I call you back?
Give me something to feel,
to say, wash me clean of my sins
Because, I must confess:
I often write with the intention to share
A sign of attention or validation seeking? Perhaps
Or maybe it’s just about wanting to create and feel seen
In the same way that I close my eyes to see the sun,
the poem then is the moment of opening
A question, gently posed,
Did you feel it too?