Hate Has No Restricted ZoneCoffeeshop in which you write is across
the street from where, so many nights, five years
you unbutton a white Oxford and toss
it on a backlit stage. Five years of cheers
escaping father’s rage necessitates
you enter through a parking lot that hurts
post twenty years of pleated skirts. Law states
strip clubs cannot open where there’s a church.
Converse is not true, so these Christians rent
a building to scream at you, “Burn in hell.
Whore. Jezebel.” Epithets your parents
used for a body they abused you sell
to lock it safe inside a home your own.
Hate in this town has no restricted zone.
I had a poem brewing in my brain that dealt with geography as an aggressive state. When I was stripping, which I did at first to escape abuse, a church rented the property across the street from the club to harass the strippers And customers. Many of the dancers like myself were abuse survivors and to hear this rhetoric nightly that was quite threatening was brutal. Yet it was legal. The geography was legally appropriate for what they were doing.
Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Best of the Net & Rhysling nominated sonnet stalker. Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of fifteen books of poetry including Pink Plastic House, Shut Your Eyes, Succubi (Maverick Duck Press), Candy Cigarette Womanchild Noir (The Hedgehog Poetry Press), Flutter: Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press) and The Meadow (APEP Publications). She is the founder of Pink Plastic House a tiny journal and co-founder of Performance Anxiety, an online poetry reading series. Follow her on Twitter: @lolaandjolie and her website kristingarth.com
Cathy Daley @CathyDaley1 is a Toronto-based visual artist who teaches at OCADU. Her work is exhibited and collected internationally and deals with the intersections between abstraction and representation, exploring cultural depictions of women.
Banner Art: “Dancer” A Drawing by Cathy Daley