Back to Issue Eight.

Starving Complacence



Recalling where I am in between, desperation calls
For answers from complacency, my companion
I watch and cannot do much
I’ve been told I’m weak, and I give birth
Yet I feel my freedom starving complacence
I hear a call
Questioning my femininity and asking of my courage
And I answer as I seek the support for justice in between thick walls
Separating me from those with control of power.
But with or without their control, I know my freedoms can starve
Complacence, I logger on for the delayed and denied moments of expression
I so much want to speak and inform, yet all I’m left with is yearning
For the intimacy of enabling, sidestepped as the prostituted who can’t get enough.
All that has been done for me is to limit my identity to my vagina,
which has no political power, but can get a zip open for those high up there,
For with intent, I’m domesticated in a space that I can change to starve complacence
Wondering why nations are tipped to women in number,
Lamenting at what number has failed to do for her,
How, clenched in fist is her map for justice, she may not find her way
For the direction is slipping in the open palm she had hoped in.
Legacy has been blocked by those who feel past sacrifices fighting
Those who feel they are the end of a hope and a dream

Emma Kemp is a writer and artist based in Los Angeles where she teaches at Otis College of Art & Design. Emma is one half of artist-duo Earl Gravy, as well as a co-founder of the publishing platform WhichWitchLA. She is currently at work on a book of biographical cultural criticism that traces the life and work of musician Conor Oberst. Follow her @e_e_kemp.


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