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The damsel in distress was not for me…

The damsel in distress was not for me…

– Poetry by Samantha Fox – 

Helen of Troy“for nasty women”

1: beauty

Helen of Troy stares in the mirror
and wants to destroy what stares back.
She’s fifteen. She doesn’t know yet
how history will talk about her face,
but she knows that no one
can love a beautiful woman
for who she really is.

2: history

All they ever tell you about Sacagawea is that she led two strange men through her country and no one remembers how to pronounce her name.

They conveniently forget that all she wanted in exchange for her services was one glimpse of the sea.

And all those dead white men who made her a footnote in history will never know how her heart raced as she gazed out over that vast expanse of blue, whether she wanted to drink or drown in it.

3: hunger

Eve bit the apple and jump-started the universe,
and now women everywhere repent by starving themselves dead.
Isn’t it funny, woman’s first sin was her hunger?
Isn’t it funny, it was Adam who couldn’t keep his fucking mouth shut?

cool strong woman“eve’s anger”

Touch me like I’m made of glass,
I fucking dare you, and you’ll see
I’ve got daggers for edges.
You think I don’t know this game,
your fingers a whisper on my flesh
to wake me up?
Motherfucker, I’ve been awake,
and I have not forgotten the taste
of that first, sweet fruit.

It was never about you.
It was never about you.
Original sin wasn’t apples or oranges
or my hand between my legs.

It was thinking the earth or I
could be promised to you
just because you’d named us.

You think women are such
delicate fucking flowers?
I’ll hurl you to the ocean
first chance I get.

aphrodite takes a selfie“Aphrodite takes a selfie”

Angle your chin just so your hair
tumbles over your shoulder like
the ocean waves you crawled from.

Treat it all like some grand production.
Don’t smile too bright; leave your eyes
hooded like Mona Lisa with a secret, and
when they call you an attention whore
post another because you do want the
attention, don’t you? And they want to
give it. Let them eat Valencia.

This is your gift. You’ve made this
into an art, your body its own canvas,
and nobody ever called Van Gogh a whore.
And every photo, that familiar ache
lingers in the corners of your eyes.
You are a spectacle, that’s your curse
because everyone wants to look,

and you’re just dying to be seen.


Artist Statement – Samantha Fox
The stories we hear about the people who are most like us create a foundation for our entire lives. One of my first role models was Madeline, of the twelve little girls in two little rows; she was spunky and curious and unafraid of the world around her – and since she had red hair, I naturally wanted it too. From an early age, I understood how my identity was being formed around female characters with attitude, with depth, and with compassion. The damsel in distress was not for me, nor am I certain that’s she’s for anyone, really.
But there are women in our cultural mythos that I’ve long wanted to claim toward whom I feel our society has done a grave injustice. Women like Aphrodite, Sacagawea, and Eve. Women with an intense desire bubbling up under their skin – desire even they don’t understand, a desire I think all women have caught glimpses of in their own lives. I hope these poems encourage that desire, encourage the women who read them to drink deeply from the cup of life.

Samantha FoxAbout the Author – Samantha Fox

Samantha Fox is a writer, actor, and feminist thinker based in NYC. Having earned her BA from Knox College in Theatre and Gender Studies, she prides herself on telling stories about women who have long been shamed, ignored, or misrepresented. Find more at officialsamanthafox.com.


Did you like these poems by Samantha Fox? Read more poems, like: 

Mother Poems
Dragon’s Fire, Sick of Dancing
The poem was still pulsing…
The Space I Take
We’re here, now.
before whisky after jazz

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