SPOTLIGHT: Radical Anti-Fascist Manifesto: Poems by Heidi Blakeslee


the squirrels are running around in the space between the downstairs ceiling
and the upstairs floor

the cats acknowledge the loudest stampede sounds
and ignore other lesser noise

they look to me to make sure
I’m alright

they see that I’m fine and not reacting
so they act accordingly

they’ve cased every inch of that floor and they know
that the squirrels aren’t anywhere to be got

the ruckus will eventually die down
and they can go back to sleep

nothing to see here


is color

entire shops dedicated
to marionettes or wind chimes

walking down the block
next to a canal
I see

a calico cat sunning
on the roof
of a boathouse

beyond her a flower market
so huge
it takes up blocks

in the market
a handmade pretzel stand &
row after row of every shade of tulip imaginable

I could easily get lost
in here
and i
wouldn’t care

our hotel was called The Sphinx &
by the end of the night
we were calling it Sphinxy
it all made sense
at the time

the spaceship candy shop at the airport
with horrible candy

the art in the van gogh museum
a mecca
for artists and art appreciators
for intelligent people who care about the planet

history written into the cobblestones
generations of ghosts who hate change

I will retire in you one day
but until then

stay strange

Be a Feminist

you have nothing to lose by
calling yourself ‘feminist’

it’s not like the world does a big curtsy and change
to welcome you into the thinking sector
of your gender

it’s not like you get a scarlet letter
on your sweater

there is no guild of reverends
who will set you on fire
(they might jail you for life for not choosing to be a mother, but)

stand up for your

and for those innumerable other women,

out in the
mute silence

berserk nerkedness

for me
the real heroine of trump’s presidency is melania

I think she loathes him,
with her little silent tantrums,
her “be best” anti-bullying campaign launched
as trump snidely bullies every single person around him,
fair-weather friend or foe

her legendary scowl smolders

it must be like being married to tony soprano
and telling him that if he’d only go to anger management
none of this would be happening

her level of delusion is THICK
she has to be twice removed on Xanax

and no matter,
after this presidency she’s set for life

after the divorce

gold digger status will be platinum
in the
history books

she will have finally achieved it,

American dream

Come to jesus

I can’t escape jesus
no matter
where I go
or how hard I try
to live this life uncontaminated
by other people’s faith

he is synonymous
with so many
American octopi tentacles reaching into the meat
of civic life

church bells breaking numerous sound ordinances

dinners where I wasn’t
expecting him to be mentioned
before I could

in our pledge of allegiance
which I sat out in high school
because I couldn’t make myself
conform to the patriarchy
before I even knew what the word patriarchy meant

Six-year-old me told the pastor at vacation bible camp
that I would not
take jesus into my heart

It was the best decision I ever made-
I’m great at being a heathen

I coddle babies with coos and smiles
I donate to charity when I can
I am kind to everyone I meet
I try my best to be a decent person
I don’t murder anyone, rape anyone, rob anyone

so yeah, I’m just here heathening it up

if you ever finally stop and think about everything
that you are signing up for
with religion:

the wars, the judgements, the patriarchal exclusion of women, the hate, the sexism, the molestations, the witch burnings, the crushing of gay people’s souls, the rejection of science, the ultimate cult,

call me


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