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Poem of the Month

Denise Duhamel’s most recent book of poetry, Blowout, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her other titles include Ka-Ching!, Two and Two, Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems, The Star-Spangled Banner, and Kinky. Duhamel is a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenhiem Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is professor of English at Florida International University in Miami.


April 2017

From Scald

by Denise Duhamel



Whatever happened to those Riot Grrrl
fanzines? Extra r’s slashed to “girl power,”
the growl softened by the mainstream Spice Girls

who, in black Wonderbras, spout faux pearls
of wisdom and flirt with Matt Lauer.
Whatever happened to those Riot Grrrls—

Tobi Vail’s drums, Kathleen Hanna’s snarls?
I put batteries in dancing flowers
that boogied down with the mainstream Spice Girls.

Kurt Cobain knew music’s future was girls,
their pink/punk scalding fury and glower.
Whatever happened to those Riot Grrrls

happened to us, too. Revolution swirled
with sugar in blenders. We devoured
the stuff, sweetened by the mainstream Spice Girls.

Women do crunches, pushups and leg curls
so they’ll look good at cocktail hour.
Whatever happened to those Riot Grrrls

who kicked open that door for the Spice Girls?

© 2017, Denise Duhamel. All rights reserved.











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