Amidst a ripened teenage angst of 18 going on 30, I discovered the written word. To write and record my own history and experience became a political activity for me. Being 'punk' had less to do with how many colors my hair went through and everything to do with communication and survival on this planet without losing my mind. Love Like Rage has been an exorcism in the combination of my chapbooks, So Much For Passion (1990) and She Knew Better (1992), and various new poems.

Let tenderness prevail in the blackest hour of cynicism, or there will be nothing left of my generation.




He mixes an attitude
 with a slice of ego
 and calls all the shots.
Belly full of himself
 and the horseshit he rode in on
I play along
observant observer,
distancing myself
 just close enough
 to see his mask slip,
because every girl knows
that looks aren't everything.

Ulterior motives
 like tricks shoved up his sleeves
 that he shows off with pride
And I start to wonder
what kind of guy
 fucks women
 and then talks total shit about them
what kind of person
 can't admit to his own game-playing
Men are so predictable.

And he's got it all figured out,
 whatever 'it' is.
A brick wall like a blank stare
 it was a long time ago
 but she hurt him real bad
 she sunk her white teeth
   into his fragile ego
and now every woman on the planet
is gonna pay for it.


So Mr. Attitude himself
waltzes in
and lays down all the rules
cause he can never lose
in their eyes.

Of course,
 I have power and mystique
 shoved down my pants
 and I can get myself off
 because I know
            he'll never find
            what he's looking for
And I just feel so goddamn smug.

He's paid a heavy price
 forgetting who he is
 or how to cry
 or how to reach out to others
he'll never know what's out there
because he's too busy
 playing the part
 just like everyone else does
 and he's got everyone fooled,
 including himself
except me,
I'm not really in the picture
he's discarded friendship with women
 a long time ago
and since I'll never fuck him
 he's got nothin' on me.

And I only have one question
for men like you:

what do you see
that you can't have?


Reprinted without permission from Love Like Rage, copyright 1994 Wendy-O Matik. published by manic d press.

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