The Borderline Poems


The Borderline Poems


In the midst of all the hurt and fearing and wild yearning
and not knowing anymore anything,
I felt something wonderful beyond the horizon, gleaming….
In that time between the mists and the clearing
I remember the knowing,
the feeling
that you were coming to me….

Bev Jo


Stay in this place a little while longer.
Stop hurtling into space,
Rage frozen on your face.
Hold onto yourself a little bit stronger.
Don’t leave me alone in this empty space,
Replacing yourself, my love, with a stranger.

Bev Jo


Your words cut like a scythe,
Slicing right at my heart,
Your aim, as ever, so true,
As if you no longer want me alive.
Once, I never would have thought this of you.

I know you will retract your knife this time,
Such sweetness following that strike of your blade,
But the wound’s done, plain to see.
You do not think to ask forgiveness.
You do not see me nor this mess you made.
You do not notice blood flowing with tears.

And I do not think to leave, rejecting you,
But remain for our years of love,
Yet knowing this breach of trust will come again,
And no amount of kissing can heal this pain.

Bev Jo


On the run,
she always had me on the run,
Looking over my shoulder,
Waiting for her shadow to fall,
That ax of her tongue,
her hand ready to grab, smack me,
snatch me, reeling, almost falling.

I had fallen for her.
Oh, what a time that was.

But this is a different journey –
Worlds apart from diving into that so liquid
hot pool of never-ending desire.

Never said no to it, to her,
not once in all those years –
Any time, any place,
whenever she had that hungry look upon her face.

But this is a different face.
Unrecognizable, terrifying.
No warning – suddenly she spins around,
Shaking me from my foundations –
Love transformed into terror.

Oh where did my love go?
Did you ever exist?
How did this bully break in, taking her place –
You who I see in the skin of my beloved,
wearing her hair…

Did you kill her, swallow her soul,
slide into her body,
and then look out of her eyes at me?
It’s like a horror movie.

Are you the victim of a psychic vampire
Who has stolen your soul,
Or is it that you were like this
Even in our 

glorious mythic past,
Now that your cloak of charisma has fallen,
And this is just the real you,
Revealed at last?

Bev Jo




Thirteen years ago, this month, this May,
I was dazzled by a promise of love so sweet,
I didn’t notice I had lost my way.

I was sold and bought a pile of goods,
A passel of lies.
Fought over and won, I was the prize,
But what a surprise awaited me.
Oh, tricked so deep,
I didn’t even care if I came out alive.

The deeper I went, the freer I felt,
So far, far away, so far from me.
I felt I was coming home as the circle closed,
Coming back to the beginning.
Lost in eyes with limitless depths,
the wriggling pile of lies
Centered me, distracting me from grief.

My mother warned, “They want something from you.
Don’t go there alone –They might eat you!”
How right she was –
Oh yes, that one almost ate her too,
Sucked her right in, but what a glow —
We basked for a while,
Not feeling the cold behind the fire,
Not realizing the cord to the light
Came from our own warm hearts and my own desire.
We provided the juice for the Empty One
– so empty inside underneath her shimmering lies,
Behind the stories, the entertainment,

The dreams, she gave me dreams,
While stealing my heart, tearing me apart.
Oh, I didn’t care as I swam in her juices,
Tossed in her waves, melting, almost lost in her cave,
The steady dripping, dripping, filling up
Until I could scarcely breathe –
Breathless, she had me breathless.
Her eyes led me back, tracing my way,
Following the strands of lies from Ireland to England,
Thoughts of Yorkshire permeating us both
Until I was so very far from home.
Oh I did roam so far from home,
Though she’d named her very body my home.

So cold and dark, in summer,
it was on that mountain in Ireland.
I remember the night of endless stars,
Newly in love, in ecstasy,
Why so much sorrow, so much grief?
Why could I not see that she did not
Seem truly alive, for all her performances,
her drama, her tragedies?

I’d seen her change before my eyes,
Face growing different, hard,
and oh so cold, frozen in cruelty.
Her sweet voice which had once captivated me,
now transformed harshly, accusing,
Eyes blank and dull,
which had glowed a few moments before.
Where did she go?
Only the mask had fallen, the stolen joy gone,
This cold thing was her,
Underneath the bright shining lies,
This sullen cold thing was my love.
Too late to back out now,
Away from the immovable object.        

I swear I will make this work.
By the force of my will,
with all of my strength,
and the power of my love,
I swear I WILL make this work.

Surely her lover for me was real?
She had given up so much for our love.
She proved it time and again,
while draining my life force away.
I wondered if we would die there  by the hand of her ghost.
That hand that I felt on my shoulder,
Shuddering as I struggled to sleep.
Was it a threat, a warning, a comfort?
Poor ghost, having witnessed her madness all those years before.
And now I am left so many ghosts,
so very many little ghosts to remember.
I am haunted by their sweet faces and loving hands. 
(I hadn’t yet known how she used animals for their love,
and discarded them when done.)

Oh what desperation made me bring the vampire home?
Why did I bring the tantruming vampire home?
Into my heart, into my life,
Into my home, into my room,
into my bed…?
So I could never think again,
Never be alone, to remember,
To know, to think what was missing,
What was lost.

She left her scent on my mind,
Her passion on my skin,
Her stories on my wall.
She left her pain on my heart
And I didn’t want her to go.
She clung to me so,
And I promised to never let her go.

Extrication came with fire,
Such burning and pain,
Pushed so hard and reeled back again,
Years of this game.
Punished for my crime of refusing to join in her lies,
She denied our life together, our very love.
Yet for all she took,
she did not steal every drop of my blood,
and she did not steal my soul.
She wanted me dead,
Yet I remain.

So now, 13 years later,
This spring, this May,
She no longer stalks me.
I am free, so free.
Surrounded by green and water falling,
Rushing and roaring, the sacred trees.
I can see it all clearly now
Like the sky washed clean by the rain,
And I am free.

Bev Jo
May, 2011

About Bev Jo

I’ve been a Lesbian from my earliest memories and am proud to be a Lesbian. Lesbians are my people and my blood. My life’s work has defending Lesbians and our culture and existence against those who oppress us. Working-class, ex-catholic, mostly European-descent (with some First Nations, probably Shawnee, ancestry), from poverty class culture. I’m a Lifelong Lesbian, born near Cincinnati, Ohio in 1950. I became lovers with my first lover in 1968, became part of a Lesbian community in 1970, and became a Dyke Separatist in 1972. I helped create Radical Lesbian Feminist and Separatist community and worked on some of the earliest Lesbian Feminist projects, such as the Lesbian Feminist Conference in Berkeley in 1972, the newspaper “Dykes and Gorgons” in 1973, the women’s bookstore, Lesbian coffeehouse, and taught self defense to women and girls for ten years. I’ve been published in journals and anthologies, including “For Lesbians Only,” “Finding the Lesbians,” “Lesbian Friendships,” “Amazones d’Hier, Lesbiennes Aujourd’hui,” “Mehr als das Herz Gebrochen,” the Journal for Lesbian Studies, Lesbian Ethics, Sinister Wisdom, Trivia, and Rain and Thunder. With Linda Strega and Ruston, I co-wrote our book, “Dykes-Loving-Dykes: Dyke Separatist Politics for Lesbians Only” in 1990. Our book and my more recent articles have been updated at my blog I’ve been disabled since 1981 with ME/CFIDS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) and MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.) I love nature and plants and animals — and especially the animals who are feared and hated and killed by people who don’t even know them, just as Lesbians are. I’ve learned to love rats especially, who I do not consider inferior to humans. I’m a spiritual atheist, but I’ve found out that there is definitely life after death because a little rat returned from the dead for three days to comfort us. These hated little animals are so kind and loving, and willing to die for someone they love. I say, in our fight to protect the earth — distrust all “truths” we are taught by patriarchy. The true truth is often the opposite.
This entry was posted in Additional Radical Lesbian Feminist writings and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Borderline Poems

  1. Eliane Jones says:

    what a beautiful poems , I love the inspiration and the imagination the people have, I really enjoyed read it every time I can because I love this kind of literature
    Prostate Surgery


  2. Bev Jo says:

    Thank you so much, Eliane!


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