With or without you, I have no fear to say I watched Maleficent, a fairy without wings, a woman with a male in her name, like the bodily rites of those gendered feminine with men strangely there—menarche, menses, menstruation, menopause—as if blood meant men, as if to rule a land meant a fairy had to be criminal, harmful, had to be sliced and torn apart by a male who loved her. Why do so many words with man or male mean bad? Do you find this problematic? I find this problematic. I can’t be the only one. I have no fear to speak of Disney’s fairies—fairy godmothers, fairy folk friends, Saturday cartoons to couch-lull being entertained. I don’t fear to speak of Zelda, a Link boy who comes to fairies, who fills his bottle red to sip, who fly into his bottle as a pink pulsing dot to fly out just before he dies, who leap buxom and half-dressed from fountains he runs through yelling, Ahhhhh! I can even tell you of the myth I’ve read, but I can’t say fairy to my sister in her maternity clothes, not fairy to your mother who sneers my name because I live and her daughter does not, not fairy to strangers—homeless man on mountain bike, goodwill cashier, widow neighbor, yoga instructor at the Y, saying, Respect your boundaries, or Winter’s theme is adaptation. The practice now is forty-five minutes of sun salutations. Our body needs this. Needing fairies is weird. It’s like an unexpected belief in god, like finding Jesus, like inviting paranormal experts home to capture video they post on the web, how the whole thing goes viral. It’s like if I say the word, Fairies, I make them real.
Laura Madeline Wiseman
Laura Madeline Wiseman is the author of Some Fatal Effects of Curiosity and Disobedience (Lavender Ink, 2014), Queen of the Platform (Anaphora Literary Press, 2013), Sprung (San Francisco Bay Press, 2012), and the collaborative book Intimates and Fools (Les Femmes Folles Books, 2014) with artist Sally Deskins, as well as two letterpress books, and eight chapbooks, including Spindrift (Dancing Girl Press, 2014). She is the editor of Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013). Wiseman has a doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has received an Academy of American Poets Award, the Wurlitzer Foundation Fellowship, and her work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Mid-American Review, Margie, and Feminist Studies.
Artwork: Stellart, “Be Wild”