Crow and the Pornographic Gaze


The Old Art Masters indulging in their pornographic gaze….

Once she believed that

it was her fault

they came on to her,

that she owed them


They owned her?

Secretly the

girl was pleased

because any kind of attention

was better than none,

or being so “different” –

stitched into an Indian skin.

She was a pretty shell,

an abandoned spiral

worn down by waves –

assaulted from within

by the pornographic gaze.

How she hated being young.

Walking down the streets

of New York

They leered at her from rooftops –

Whistling and yelling,

“Here comes the Madonna…”

She tried to make herself invisible.

How she hated being young.

When she sewed on her woman coat

she discarded tight jeens,

began to weave her hair in braids,

became a scholar and writer,

turned to the animals

and plants that loved her

to find acceptance and trust.

Unconditional love

assuaged the isolation

the void in psyche and body

where once no one breathed.

How could she have known

that Nature would save her?

Learning self respect

is a life-time process.

As an elder,

she has broken

the spell –

toppled the edifice of


pornographic gaze.

She knows its

an ‘old boy’ problem –

a result of male privilege

bullying, a need to objectify,

chop women

into parts

behind closed doors.

Dirty old men

who stare at standing nipples,

hidden beneath a feathery cloak

leave only night chills

and a hoarse croak.

Revolted, she discards them,

and picks the bones clean.

She has the power

to render her tormentors


Inadequate, and knows it.

She leans

towards males

who are emotional adults,

men who are accountable,

men capable of honest relationship,

men whose deep humility

has rendered them human.

Their friendship,

respect for her integrity,

ideas, honesty, and empathy,

are the lenses through

which she has learned to see herself.

She is healing from sexual assault.

She is a tree with a star at her center.

By living a self directed life,

She has become the partner

she once longed for –

a birdwoman with tree roots

sunk deep in sweet Earth.

November 11 2020 Postscript:

I feel as if I am emerging from a deadly trance brought on by the monster who took over the White House and made it his own for four intolerable years. It seems to me that every aspect of this man reflects the pornographic gaze that has stolen our woman souls and bodies. Only now with 71 days left of his reign of terror is he being rendered impotent.

Last night I laughed when I heard Joe Biden’s response to t’s tantrums. He said something to the effect that t’s behavior was an embarrassment – not a positive legacy for him to leave behind.

Joe Biden’s attitude towards Trump helps break “ the spell.” He reduces t to an annoyance and refuses to give the man credence, attention, or the power the man so craves. Impotence!!! This return to normalcy is heartening. Maybe we have a chance.

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