The Vagenda

A Feminist Classic, for National Poetry Day

The Complete Alternative History of the World, Part One
by Liz Lochhead
There was this man alone
In a beautiful garden
Stark bollock naked
(Scuse my French, beg your pardon)
He was, yes, the original Nature’s Gentleman.
He was in tune, at one, with nature
And the lion lay down with the lamb,
Each peaceable creature
Knew its place in the Order of Things
(And if God meant men to be angels
He’d have given them wings.)
The climate was brilliant
The weather was sunny
The whole land flowed with
Milk and honey
Soothing fragrant grasses
Waved verdant in the breeze
Breadfruit baked itself in the sun
And fell out of the trees
Where, by the way, songbirds were singing
With bees for a backing
- Oh a right bed of roses!
But there was Something Lacking …
He couldny put his finger on it,
He was in a right tizz.
But, the Lord Our God being a Male God,
He knew exactly whit it wis …
A slave.
And soon she was worn to a frazzle
Waiting on His Nibs
Ironing his figleaves
Barbecuing his ribs
While home came the hunter
With the Bacon for the table
She was stuck raising Cain
And breastfeeding Abel.
Him: The Big Bried-winner
Her: A Machine for breedin’
Barescud and pregnant?
Some Garden of Eden!
The sort of sexist division of labour
That went out with the Ark -
i.e. the nuclear family -
Bugger that for a Lark.
So they were both Ripe for Revolting
When that Slimy Serpent came
But – would you Adam and Eve it? -
She got the blame.
She could’ve saved us all a whole lot of trouble if only
she’d told him right at the start:
I’m not your Little Woman
I’m not your Better Half
I’m not your nudge, your snigger
Or your belly laugh.
I’m not Jezebel
and I’m not Delilah
I’m not Mary Magdalen
Or the Virgin Mary either.
Not a Novice or a Nun
Not a Hooker or a Stripper
Not Super Shirley Conran
Not Jill the Ripper
No I’m no Scissor-Lady -
I won’t snip at your … locks
I’m not a siren, you’re not obliged
To get off my rocks.
Not Medusa, not Medea
And, though my tongue may be salty
I’m not the Delphic sybil -
Or Sybil Fawlty.
I’m not Poison Ivy
You can throw away the lotion
I’m not your Living Doll
I’m not Poetry in Motion.
And if selling Booze and Cars
Involves my body being used, well …
I’m not Queen Victoria
But I’m not amused.
And if you don’t like my Body
You can sodding well lump it -
I’m not a Tart-with-a-Golden-Heart
Or Thinking Man’s Crumpet.
I’m not your Woman of Achievement
Not your Slimmer of the Year
I’m not Princess Diana …
No Frog Princes ‘ere!
I’m not little Ms Midler
I’m not little Miss Muffet
Make me An Offer I Can’t Refuse
And I’ll tell you to stuff it!
‘Cos I’m not your Little Woman
I’m not your Lady Wife
I’m not your Old Bag
Or the Love of Your Life -
No, I’m not your Little Woman
Not your Better Half
I’m not your Nudge, your snigger
Or your Belly Laugh. 

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