reflections on using and being used


Marge Piercy – “Song of the Fucked Duck


“In using there are always two.
The manipulator dances with a partner who cons herself.
There are lies that glow so brightly we consent
to give a finger and then an arm
to let them burn.”

“Fantasy unacted sours the brain.
Buried desires sprout like mushrooms on the chin of the morning.
The will to be totally rational
is the will to be made out of glass and steel:
and to use others as if they were glass and steel.
We can see clearly no farther
than our hands can touch.”

“You said: I am the organizer, and took and used.
You wrapped your head in theory like yards of gauze

and touched others only as tools that fit to your task
and if the tool broke you seized another.
Arrogance is not a revolutionary virtue.
The manipulator liberates only
the mad bulldozers of the ego to level the ground.
I was a tool that screamed in the hand.
I have been loving you so long and hard and mean
and the taste of you is part of my tongue
and your face is burnt into my eyelids
and I could build you with my fingers out of dust
and now it is over.”

“Nothing I do/smoothes out the feelings of being used…”

(I spent a week trying to remember where these lyrics came from, as they floated through my head… and at last, tonight, waiting on the arrival on uninvited guests, it popped up, clear and perfect.)

Sleater-Kinney – The Ballad of a Lady Man

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