The Prime of Ancient Catcalling

PART 1

It’s a modern whore

And she’s stopped by one of three

By his short pink tongue and shit brown eyes

“Now why’d you stop for me?”

The Cadillacs doors are opened wide

And I am next in line;

The guests are met, the feast is set:

You can hear the merry screams

He holds her with his skinny hand

“There was a car,” said he

“Hold on! Let me go, he was a maniac!”

His hand drops

He grabs her with his shit brown eyes

Everyone else stood still

We listened like children

And left with our will

She sat on a corners curb

I couldn’t choose, but to hear her weeps

She spoke on the man with shit brown eyes

The bright-eyed, shit brown eyes guy

“The car screeched off, no one is here”

Screaming did she drop

Behind the car, behind the wall

Behind hindsight

The light flickered up on the street

The rain came

And darkness on the right

Went down into the rain

Higher and higher every day,

Until it was night again

She stood with her beaten breasts

He saw the large bruise

She was placed in the corner

Red as the rose she is

Nodding heads before she goes

The screams

She stood with her beaten breasts

He didn’t want to hear her weeps;

So she spoke on the man with shit brown eyes

The bright-eyed shit brown eyes guy

And now the night terrors came,

And he was tall and superior

He struck them with the cane

And chased them south of their escapes

With sloppy men and drooping clothes

They proceeded to yell and blow

She still walked into the shadows of his abuse

And forwards bends her head

The car drove fast, loud roared its blast,

And south it seemed we fled

And now it was raining ice and heavy winds

It grew colder and colder

The ice began to float

Trees as green as emerald

Through the air, the heavy winds

We found a place to sit

No shapes of bad men, nor breasts to be beaten

The winds was all that as felt

The wind was here, the wind was there

The wind was all around:

It roared and howled, and screamed, and laughed

Like noises down a slide

He crossed when we crossed our Utopia

The shadows came near

As if it had been a Christian soul

We hailed it in God’s name

—-

I ate the food that I could never eat

And down and down it flew

The ice did split upon my lips

The nice man told me so

And a good south wind grabbed me from behind;

The shit brown eyes guy did follow

And everyday we ran for food, for a quiet day

I came to the bad man’s corner

In the middle of the rain and winds, on dry days and dark days

I was free for nights

All the nights, through the fog-smoke white,

The glittered eye moon shined

“God saved me, man saved me!”

From evil, from plague.

My imitation of The Rime Ancient Mariner focuses on the modern day pressures of young women that are constantly harassed on a daily basis. The weather warming up seems to be a clear indication to most people that prime catcall season is upon us. As temperatures begin to rise across the country and individuals begin to emerge from sweatpants and sweaters, SOME will be out in public places awaiting for their moment to mumble or even yell some shit as women walk by, as they mind their own business. As a woman, being catcalled is disgustingly unsettling, it’s dehumanizing. It comes with fear especially when there aren’t many people around to witness it. It comes with even more fear when catcalling turns into that individual following you just to talk to you more. What’s even more messed up is when there’s a crowd of people and no one does anything about it (@you if the shoe fits). Catcalling is none other than a bad habit stuck in tradition. From history books and political agendas, men have always been characterized to be followed as the dominant role in society. As a college student, I’m not here to tell grown men what they can and can’t say. That’s not my job. That’d be like men telling women what to do with their bodies. I mean, can you imagine? Women feel the pressure more than one would think. Towards the end of my imitation you can see the shift in which the woman in my piece references certain expectations regarding what she should eat or how she should behave. As she breaks through the long list of expectations created by male dominance. I chose to write this poem in a sarcastic tone, not to mock women, but to convey my audience to pay attention to the ridicule and taunting that most women have been exposed to.

BY: Rosalinda Flores

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Inglewood

Imitation poem of “London” by William Blake

I run through each narrow street

Near where the oceans waves does flow

And a teardrop in every face I meet

Marks of murder, marks of woah

In every laugh of every human

In every child’s cry for hunger

In every nod: in every car boomin

The mind brainwashed by the televisions thunder

How the windows-sweepers dry their cries

Every clear transparent walls appalls

And the hapless women forced to oblige

Runs in water down the Palace walls

But all through the night are streets filled with screams

How the youth curse

Angrily the newborns hear

And plagues with evil fills their ears

By: Rosalinda Flores

Day N’ Night

A word is worth one thousand pictures. The Lyrical Ballad of Love can be different to anyone who chooses to interpret it. Everyone shares different perspectives and ideals when it comes to the concept of Love. Love itself can be represented as an emotion, amongst many others. It can paint way more than what it lets on. In the painting above you see light and darkness split in two. You see darkness standing over light as it wears bright and vibrant colors. The further away you stand from this painting the more you lose focus on the two individuals shown in the painting. The more you stand further away from the painting the more you see the world in which these two individuals live in. The beauty, the sky as it intertwines with the brightest yellows and the lightest oranges. As Love begins, the speaker is illustrated sitting near some ruins. The individual in this painting sits in darkness on some rocks.

As the ballad goes on the speaker is seen to be sharing a particular story with his lover. In the painting, the individual seen on the left seems to be sharing or informing (based on the hand gestures being shown off in the painting) their significant other. The speaker shares the narrative of a Knight who was heartbroken for a long period of time. That heartbreak slowly came to an end when the Knight saved the woman and she fell in love with him because of it. Through this narrative I see that the speaker was attempting to make the reference of love being one of the best feelings in the world and also the worst. Throughout his many years of being heartbroken the Knight finally looked love in the eyes. This word is worth a thousand pictures. Love is the thing that keeps you up at night. As shown in the painting it can bring you as high as you’ve ever been, build you, complete, or it can tear you apart, destroy you, and make you question everything you know.

You’re split between light and dark. You’re split between the good and the bad. Everything good that comes with love can be overshadowed by the bad, by darkness. The Knight stayed up all night wondering what went wrong for years. Love is sacrifice, it’s respect and selflessness, love is the thing that makes your world worthwhile. Your days without them seem so much longer and your years with them seem so much shorter. The colors being used in the painting symbolize romanticism. Everything that is further away from both individuals are out of focus while everything closest to them is bold and significant. In a way it shows their travels and how far they’ve come from the past as two separate individuals joining as one to clean up the mess they’d left behind without context. Both in the poem and in the painting we find two individuals coming together after a long time of self reflection. Both the ballad and the painting share the isolation between both individuals represented in both pieces.

by rosalinda flores

Genre to Conquer

Equiano’s implicates known English writers and abolitionists in an effort to restore and defend his claims to strengthen his own validity. Equiano appropriated the English language as a whole by containing the ability to present his literary status, even beside his troubling childhood. He was then able to coherently express the timeline of his life and individual reflection into a much more dense frame, that often seemed to contend with other various writers. Through reading and paying close attention to his autobiography, I found that he was often known to primarily expose the approach behind the English Language. Towards the end of the eighteenth century and beyond, the English language tended to be honored as the imperious move that essentially brought the world together as one. The English Language in and of itself came along with very well articulated phrases that compellingly illustrated Equiano’s timeline.

Later into the autobiography, we are shown his views on the subject of slavery. It is important to point out that Equijano’s narrative showcased and eventually helped establish the genre of the slave autobiography that soon enough encouraged Fredrick Douglas. Truth be told, those who were often persecuted within the English Language, were the main groups (particularly people of color) who grasped and apprehended the many attacks written during The Enlightenment. English was a language that was becoming more and more comprehensible to outside countries as well, which later became a somewhat popular and universal language of literature. Expressing the intimidating stature that is English Language, it often upheld and led to being conquered by those who were often exposed to its prejudice.

-Rosalinda Flores

Two Ranks of Grace

At the start of the early 1700s, there was an undeniable break that linked discipline and humankind. Nonacceptance regarding self-satisfied protests of natural philosophers and their confident reliance towards the progress made within their population, allowed for their to be an acute desire for the dispute between the Moderns and the Ancients. In much mature oral history, men who were well informed were often sickened because of the developing literalism.

There mov’d Montalto with superior air;

His stretch’d-ou tarm display’d a Volume fair;

Courtiers and Patriots in two ranks divide,

Thro’ both he pass’d and bow’d from side to side;

But as in graceful act, with awful eye

Compos’d he stood, bold Benson thrust him by;

On to unequal crutches propt he came,

Milton’s on this, on that one Johnston’s name.

During this time Pope’s poem was set to become one of the most controversial pieces, in which brought along many disturbances and troubles. Image #2 seems to finely represent just how the standard and distinction of his upside down world seems to be. Even in his writing he speaks of this sense of division in two ranks and how one side is often viewed as elegance, while the other is often viewed as distasteful to the public eye. In Image #2 you have a child holding on to the naked body of its mother (distasteful) and a man embarrassingly running to cover and hold on to his persona of elegance a bit longer from the sunlight coming in. The Dunciad in and of itself is a very heavy, and challenging poem. It contained many phrases and forgotten names that often stood out, as if these were words that were being splattered on to the page, each time overlapping with the words previously used. Pope’s terminology and forms of expression was very complex to grasp on and what made it even more difficult was the fact that this piece is particularly represented to be a lampoon.

-Rosalinda Flores

Daybook

This novel can be foreseen and represented as a daybook, in which this first person narrative is being told off of observations, much like that of Rowlandson’s. Though in Rowlandson’s readers are given solid observations and often individual thoughts and emotions were not included. This technique tended to illustrate the stories context in a complicated way. Swift often mimicked this complex way of telling the story in order to illustrate the scandalous, mythical setting, written in a sort of monotone/non emotional piece that is presented to us today. “This diversion is only practiced by those persons who are candidates for great employments, and high favour at court. They are trained in this art from their youth, and are not always of noble birth, or liberal education.” (Swift 38). The beginning of Chapter 3 starts with him ridiculing the government within the country, as well as the observations displayed of the poor. Further into reading we are presented how people often do whatever it takes to take the position of the a fallen member in office.

People during this time bent over backwards to hold a job position with the country’s government. When a great office is vacant, either by death or disgrace (which often happens,) five or six of those candidates petition the emperor to entertain his majesty and the court with a dance on the rope; and whoever jumps the highest, without falling, succeeds in the office.” (Swift 38). The narration of the novel tend to particularly be taken as impartial. In Rowlandson’s narrative we saw the conversation she had while she debated on leaving the corpse of one of her children. This specific moment was viewed as non-emotional as Rowlandson treated leaving the body of her deceased son as a chore she desperately needed to cross off. Though Swift’s narrative lacks emotion, many could assume that he creates this sense of irony in the process. Both stories share some similarities especially when it comes to representing certain events as observations that hold no emotional value.

King of Disaster

(Apess) In his blood is the savage and the master

With abuse of intoxication

In his blood is the King of disaster

Fighting the bloodline of his doubled-nation

Sent to the monkey house to be damaged

Feeling every inch of his body torn apart

He learned to understand faith filled with baggage

In one God, she (Rowlandson) believed in

With acceptance she took her fate

And they grew closer than they had ever been

They had a society in common

His blood and her captors had a reality in common

She insulted what was part of him

He understood the stance against his line

But through the eyes of the beholder

She saw what was needed to be changed

A life worth living, with a God worth believing

Something that they both agreed upon

She is more deserving than he

And as they fear death, they believe in the same God to be called upon

It all started with a set of a different faith and belief

So much difference, so much color

So much faith, so much odor

Even today

Nowadays you’re a felon for wearing a hoodie and walking alone at night

Should we just start roaming the streets naked and cold, no that’s not right

What’s up with this racial divide?

It turns out we’re all the same

Red blooded and still discriminated because of the pronunciation of our names

No one is wrong for who they are

No one is at fault for who they are

Race is a concept made up to define superiority

over someone else’s life

Don’t be blind

-Rosalinda Flores

Set Free

As Rowlandson begins to recount this story as a chronicle, she tended to make the focal point of the narrative on the occurrences and personal encounters that she’s experienced. I felt that Rowlandson’s storytelling wasn’t necessarily influenced by her own personal feelings, but instead it also does not signify that her narrative was objective. The style in which she writes this narrative seems to be in a perspective where she illustrates incidents given from an outside spectator. From an outside perception one could only assume that the storyteller does not share the same sentiments as the main character experiencing this torture. Much of history is told this way. She shares the narrative of her imprisonment after being set free. The tone throughout her story seems to be a bit informative as she makes this experience be taken as a lesson in life. Most cross cultural, cross linguistic, and cross-religious exchange between Rowlandson and her native Algonquin captors confirm, contradict, or complicate the history of intolerance against indigenous people during the English colonization of America is very intricate to answer.

During her captivity her captors treat her as dirt as the colonizers treated the natives. Upon colonizing Native American lands, Europeans viewed this movement and action of war to be something that would change the history of migration and its people. They had no resentment towards the men, women, and children that were slaughtered and sexually abused during their colonization. At this point in the narrative, the natives want revenge or at least they seek it. When the natives held her in captivity, colonizers viewed this to be an act of terrorism even though they themselves had done the same to the Native American people. In Dryden’s play we see the European attack towards the natives and their prejudice to forcefully become superior to Native American Indians. They were not only forced to fall under their Kings rule, but they were also forced to give up their lands in exchange for their lives.

On the other hand, you can see how standoffish Rowlandson was towards the indigenous people after they had killed her own. Again this narrative was written through an outside perspective, so I feel that even the narrator was unaware or at least biased towards the relationship of between Europeans and the Indigenous people. All in all, it would further add much more complexity to the history of intolerance as wars are often now fought for living rather than a battle stemmed from purpose.

-Rosalinda Flores

The Era’s Choice

Though, it is known by most to be a “heroic drama”, which involved the reverence of the brittle political mood in the beginning of the Restoration era, its effect continued to rely on the audience. As John Dryden’s The Indian Emperor stands to be apart of the late 17th century’s Restoration-era, its popularity and literary interest stemmed from the play’s representation of a nonnative new land. The play dispensed the superiority of Spanish Conquistador Hernán Cortéz over the Aztec people. Not only did the voyage of the Spanish cause great demolition to the earliest natives, but also it led to conquering the grounds of Mexico. The play itself brought on a visual exhibition that introduced possible representations of empire, governance, honor, and love. The destruction of the Aztec Empire was construed to be a perfect display of a recently reinstated monarchy.

Two major themes that were reinstated time and time again throughout the course of the play was honor and love. At first read, I found myself stuck on the troubles of making decisions on temporary emotions, as well as making decisions that best fit with tradition and word. We encounter characters in this play that base decisions on what feels right to them, while others base their decisions in good conscious and in respect towards their surroundings. We encounter characters that choose honor and love, and we encounter characters who psychotically interpret love as the only thing that should be fought for. Both bloody and miserable, characters such as Alibech are left to sin and see it as an interpretation to illustrating just how far they would go to honor love.

Cortez, who in fact is tied between choosing both honor and love instead carries the capability to differentiate both. Cortez is then left to decide whether he love his country more than his love interest Cydaria. Though there was no definite end to their relationship, I feel that Dryden left their status hidden to allow his audience to decide what was to be of them. Maybe it was to avoid controversy, but if he wanted to avoid controversy regarding the union of their two cultures, he could’ve easily kept them apart. Different cultures/people witnessed this play together in their own liveliness. They saw love grow and deteriorate, as well as their country. Dryden never agreed nor disagreed to their love, this era did.

BY: ROSALINDA FLORES