We Are All Lesbians

We Are All Lesbians - Cover

Cover of We Are All Lesbians
Poetry Anthology
cover price: $2
line drawing as artwork

We Are All Lesbians - Title Page

Epigraph

I found the words to every thought
I ever had - but One -

Emily Dickinson

Title Page
we are all lesbians
line drawing of four sets of clasped hands
a poetry anthology
violet press
p.o. box 398 n.y.c. 10009

stamp mark from library at bottom of page

We Are All Lesbians - Copyright and Poem

page 2

Copyright (c) 1973 by Violet Press
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 0-912968-02-8
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 73-80155
First Edition 3000 copies
Printed by Aenjai Graphics

Front cover and graphic on p. 8 by Jan Barber;
title page and graphic on p. 22 by Carol Hernandez;
back cover and graphic on p. 46 by Flavia Rando;
graphic on p. 5 by Maxine; graphic on p. 29 by
Morgan Sanders; calligraphy by Judy Rosen

The line from Poem 581 by Emily Dickinson is reprinted by
permission of the publishers and the Trustees of Amherst
College, from Thomas H. Johnson, editor, THE POEMS
OF EMILY DICKINSON, Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap
Press of Harvard University Press, Copyright, 1951, 1955,
by The President and Fellows of Harvard College.

"That Year I Loved You", by Judy Greenspan,
was published in teh Nov. 1972 issue of
THE LESBIAN TIDE, 1124 1/2 N. Ogden Dr.,
Los Angeles, Ca. 90046

"Night Noises" and "Never Take More Money to the
Bar Than You'll Drink Up or Gamble Away", by Lee Lally,
are from her book, THESE DAYS, (c) Lee Lally 1971, 1972,
Some of Us Press, 4110 Emery Pl. N.W., Washington,
D.C. 20016, $1.00.

"Invocation to Sappho", by Elsa Gidlow, is from her book,
MOODS OF EROS, (c) Elsa Gidlow, Druid Heights Press,
685 Camino Del Canyon, Muir Woods, Mill Valley,
Ca. 94941, $2.00.

"Lost at 33", by Alicia Langtree, originally appeared in the
Dec./Jan. 1971/72 issue of THE LADDER

"Willo and Pete", by Karen Snow, is taken from the section
of her manuscript, HELLO, BRIGHT BIRD, GOODBYE,
which originally appeared in the April/May 1972 issue of
THE LADDER.

page 3

(hand written)

awaking at dawn

warmth after a chill
a burlap blanket
frost on the window
and one melting drip
like a crack,
a crevice in reality
showing, beyond,
hills as infinite
as the bodies of women,
and the dawn wet,
and the night's
soft darkening
melting into green

Susan Daily
Sept 30, 1971
Willet, NY

We Are All Lesbians - Dykes

dyke

i've learned to dance
with other women
free and moving
many of us
i run acrosstown
four a.m. singing
i write poems
about me about my life
which i've learned to value
i've learned to say
aloud who i am
what i believe in
to share my feelings
even when i'm angry, confused
or in pain.

today i'm staying still
alone and quiet
absorbing all this
that it's taken me
my lifetime
to know exists.

morgan murielchild

line drawing on facing page

We Are All Lesbians - That year I loved you

page 6

That year I loved you
beyond your deepest dreams
sitting across the table from you
in room 19
gazing into your eyes
as you talked about school and Matt
and my head and yours
ours was never mentioned, unspoken, taboo
the early evenings spent
sitting in your car
after driving me home
my mother was always uptight
about those evenings
and the feelings constantly
sweeping through me
my arms wanting to hold you
my lips kissing yours
I couldn't bring myself to touch you
couldn't begin to explain my love
our abstract discussions
about homosexuality
there is nothing wrong with it. .
you'd always say
the lesbian who tried to sleep with you
and your disgust, your horror
you said you didn't know
what you would do now if it
happened again
did you want it to happen?
I wanted to be your lover-friend
I wanted to take you away from the
straight world
and your businessman husband
but it was all too new
I didn't understand what our love meant
The times that you reached for me
brushing past, touching by accident
your role slipping
caressing my hair
holding my hand

page 7

brief moments of ecstasy
moments when I wanted to make love with you
Kathy, you wished all along
that I was a man
not thinking that you were capable
of loving women, one woman, me
then you broke it off
destroying the dreams, feelings, lives
that we had built
you used to call me love
but it was too heavy
flipping out you dragged me under
dropped me from a cliff
a year's silence was my punishment
a warning, we had gotten too close
your life had almost blown up
in your face
I still love, think of you
even though you're married and pretending
to dig it
I'm a lesbian
I didn't cop-out
your world nauseates me
but now you're out of reach
somewhere a thousand miles away
chained to a job, family
and I'm your other self
your hidden feelings
laughing and loving women.

Judy Greenspan

We Are All Lesbians - 7:45 Clock Radio

line drawing on page 8

page 9

7:45 Clock Radio

Joycey,
I know
you hate waking up early
in the morning,
but when my alarm goes off
& I realize you're there
next to me
in our bed
in our house
I get so excited
that I have to tell you
how wonderful I feel
to be really living this life
& no longer dreaming
of fantasy lovers
& fantasy me's
in fantasy places
where I'd never really go.

So I rouse you a little
with my cold feet
against your calves
& my fingers
along your shoulders
& you groan
& I laugh
& the crazy pooch
groggy but rammy
licks you awake
to another day
of working on our house
& ourselves
& all the little routines
that would be trivial & meaningless
if I weren't sharing them
with you.

Rachel Rubin

We Are All Lesbians - I remember that I didn't dare

page 10

I remember that I didn't dare
Didn't dare to say
Didn't dare to love
Didn't dare to feel
It's wrong--I knew it was wrong
At least I thought I knew
Anyway, years passed
I came to my senses
Or, my senses came to me
They were alive and steaming
I wanted to love
A woman
And be loved by
A woman.

Now I feel as a full person
I have a lover
A beautiful woman
Yet we have problems
Everyone assumes that these problems are
Because we're gay
And they're right!
But the difficulties emanate from externals
We could be completely happy
If we were allowed to be
Be ourselves
Be in love
Be together
Without lies and deception
Stories and dissembling
False introductions
And outlandish maneuvers.

Mother, Jan is my lover
It would be nice not to say
Jan is my friend.
It's the truth, but not enough truth
There is more
So much more to be said
Shouted!

page 11

Yet it can't happen now
Or maybe it could
But after it was said
What would be?
Now there's only tension
To which they are oblivious.

Who am I protecting?
I know I'm hurting myself
Why do I continue
Because it would be another problem?
Fuck the problems
They exist outside of me
I can be free
Free of shame
Free of doubt
Free to be just me.

Deborah J. Glick

line drawing in bottom half of page

We Are All Lesbians - Night Noises

page 12

line drawing

page 13

handwritten

Night Noises

for Jane

You woke from a dream,
the revolution
in the streets
calling you out.

I had to tell you
the noises were not in your dream.

The army of lovers
was saying goodnight
at the foot of the stairs.
Loud sounds.
It was the revolution.
You were not sleeping
or dreaming
either.

Lee Lally

We Are All Lesbians - A Plumbing Poem

page 14

line drawing

page 15

A Plumbing Poem

i go off before the alarm
my paranoid must-not-clock
runs faster
much faster than the Westinghouse one
i wake up half an hour early
to must not--must not
you must not
not
stay in bed
over sleep
be late

in the morning
i trade pipes for pipes
nightmares of pipes
for the reality of pipes
i should wait
wait a few years and write
write my memoirs being called
'my life among the pipes'
or
'i can't get out of the waste stack'
or better still
'out of the water closet and into the sewer'

awake or asleep always pipes
dreams of pipes
pipes that grow
and pipes that shrink
and pipes that wrap themselves around me
like 50 lb. lead snakes
binding me constricting me
but the reality
the real
the pipes not dreamt
but felt
those wonderful cold metals
those hollow tubes

We Are All Lesbians - A Plumbing Poem (cont) and Invocation to Sappho

page 16

from which i keep expecting my destiny to emerge
or better
wanting to construct
construct a wonderfully complicated structure
22 ideal bends
and lots of pipes
that will carry
all of my unhappiness
all of my i don't wants
all of the must nots
away around and down
down the sewer
into the Schuylkill
i've put my faith in pipes
i trust them
i know
pipes are always
always there
are carrying
carrying waste and rot and ugliness away
and bringing
bringing fresh clean cooling consoling waters

Diane Devennie

Invocation to Sappho

Sappho
Sister/Mother
free-
souled, fire-hearted
Psappha of Mitylene on
sea-lapped Lesbos
miracle of a woman
(Strabo wrote)
now now
let me declare
devotion.

page 17

Not light years love years
on how many love years
across the fields of the dead
does your fragrance
travel to me?

Since maidenhood in brain blood
by you haunted
in my armpits I have breathed
sweat of your passion
in the burning crotch of the lover
tasted your honey
heard felt in my pulse
day-long
night-through
lure of your song's beat
insistently echo.

By dush of five-and-twenty centuries
not smothered
by book-consuming flames of
the hate-filled churchmen
unsilenced
your fame only haloed made
more splendid.

Sappho, little and dark,
the Beautiful, Plato called you
(though his Republic had
grudging use for poets)
Sappho, whose veins ran fire
whose nerves
quivered to loves illicit now
in your day
honored by the noblest
Sappho, all roses,
do we not touch
across the censorious years?

Elsa Gidlow

We Are All Lesbians - I want to tell you

page 18

I want to tell you
what I want from you
and why
and why you.

I want you to love me

because I'm alone and lonely
because I've been shot
my eyes torn out
my throat cut
thorns in my ears and under my toes
and my heart ground down to glass

I want to love you

because your dovesoft eyes are shy
because you smell warm and alive
as dark as a dream of the sea
filled with phosphorescent anemonea
and the gold of reflecting mirrors

because you're a woman
and I'm a woman

and no woman ever called me cunt.

Bobbie Geary

page 19

I hear of a real place
where women walk roads
with mace in their pockets
with knives in their throats

there are separate bars
for aggressive women
drinking halls filled with drag kings

what gall pretending they got balls
between their legs

I went there once with alex
he said 'these women are confused'
I said 'maybe their mothers named them
Duke and Bobby
maybe they enjoy it'

'I think it's sad' he said
'Don't you agree' he asked and I lied thru my teeth
because I never told anybody that I loved Susan in
every way
(even the nasty way)
she is a part of me
that in order to get to you drive across the river,
over the R&R tracks, and down a gravel road at night
and pray that nobody you know sees you there.

Patty One Person

We Are All Lesbians - Gertrude and Emily

page 20

GERTRUDE AND EMILY

Gertrude I have your voice on a record
and I listen to it
when I do exercises in the morning
feeling your rhythms on my skin
Emily when Im lonely
I think of your face
with its quiet look of endurance
youre my friends
marking places in time
where my consciousness existed
before me
you had to hide
and so became obscure
Gertrude your language was called hermetic
as in 'hermetically sealed'
you were a nonsense woman
they tried to make you a clown
your writing was called
stream of consciousness
so it couldnt make sense
your consciousness
couldnt be allowed to make sense
when you talked about
"tender buttons"
were those breasts you meant
when you asked
"when do I see lightning"
and answered
"every night"
were you talking about making love
Emily who thought to look at you
myth of a spinster
wounded by emotions
too deep for physical touch
religious mystic mulling over
god-bones snow flakes and death
when you praised madness

page 21

and insisted
"the sould selects its own society"
described the people around you
as a world "that never wrote to me"
everyone thought
poor woman
what made her stay indoors so long
and never come out
if only we knew
well now we do
Gertrude at least you lived
the life you wanted
you would have felt better
if you could have said it
even at the expense of not creating
that hard to follow style
you needed
to be able to write at all
without quite lying
Emily if only you could have
lived it
instead of having to bit your lip
and count your losses
whispering
"my life closed twice
before its close"
I dont know if being gay
is part of what youd want
to be remembered for now
but youre my friends
in our past lives
we were all
Gertrude Stein and Emily Dickinson
in your present lives
you are us
telling the truth
and living it too
at last

Fran Winant

We Are All Lesbians - I wanted to meet a woman who was tough

We Are All Lesbians - we are all lesbians

We Are All Lesbians - Never Take More Money to the Bar

We Are All Lesbians - Lost at 33

We Are All Lesbians - For the Woman Who Pours Molten Lead

We Are All Lesbians - Gladys' Revelation

We Are All Lesbians - Report

We Are All Lesbians - Amazon woman witch with such skillful hands

We Are All Lesbians - Willo and Pete

We Are All Lesbians - Invocation to Diana

We Are All Lesbians - Middle Class Hippie to the Warehouse Dyke

We Are All Lesbians - the fifth street women's building

We Are All Lesbians - Christmas

We Are All Lesbiasn - crinkley crackley cont.

We Are All Lesbians - and be ordinary cont.

We Are All Lesbians - To a Sexual Politician

We Are All Lesbians - Straight Talk

We Are All Lesbians - To Emma Goldman

We Are All Lesbians - Ruby Webb

We Are All Lesbians - Lying thinking about the love floating around me new

We Are All Lesbians - You can harvest in Oregon

We Are All Lesbians - Inside Back Cover

We Are All Lesbians - Back Cover