Nineteen Thirty
by t. zoEy benally

Nineteen thirty, and the world was poised
on the paper cutting edge of chemical technology
Symbolic fingers and cuticles prepared to be shredded
Wyatt Earp might have saved us, but, alas,
he was sucked into a wild vortex of discovery dreams
And he didn’t wake up in the morning
A time of innovation, breakthrough and understanding
New galaxies—not just the Milky Way
gravity related to electromagnetism—Einstein’s idea
Zeppelins flying around the world and landing in New Jersey
And Lysol douching

Exploration of Antarctica had begun
But American women were still “Held in a web of indifference…”
Patents were being issued for coin-operated vending machines
And women were still trusting “now-and-then care”
Women were careless and risking “married happiness.”
Grace Kelly was born and what did she have to look forward to?
Prescriptions for “Lysol brand disinfectant for douching—always.”

Day after heartbreaking day…
Held in an unyielding web
Leo Reisman and his orchestra sang
“Happy Days are Here Again”
But not so for these women
Webs spun by spousal indifference
Resulting from—you know—poor feminine hygiene
These women were banished because of—you know—poor feminine hygiene
Women equaled Trotsky, husbands equaled Stalin
Lysol equaled disinfection and—you know—feminine hygiene
Women were put on a five year plan of
Industrialization, electrification, and mechanization
A five year plan of Lysol douching

December 1931, poet, Nicholas Vachel Lindsay
Downed a bottle of Lysol, and his last words were
"They tried to get me—I got them first!"
But Lysol douching continued
And the capitalist misconception that
The only good bacteria was a dead bacteria
—funny how that mantra has been reused
for a variety of subjects including me—
Continued to be churned out
There were myths that Lysol prevented pregnancy
Vaginas smelled like government institutions

Perhaps it was psychological warfare
To permeate our mothers with the stench of Lysol
To make them seem like they were one with the government
Blurring the line between women, mother, and home
And the federal government
The whirling eyes of Ka
Telling us to “Trust in Me.”
And beneficial bacteria across America
Were being killed
Paving the way for opportunistic pathogenic bacteria
By Lysol douching.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Eye opening as is usually the case with your writing.

See, I always thought I was born in the wrong era and that the 30s would have been the best time for me. Technology really making significant change in peoples' lives instead of just turning out more gadgets, big band music, legal drugs . . .

I've seen the old Lysol ads (that was a recommended use of the product up into the 50s wasn't it?), but always figured no one would actually buy that, especially if she tried it once. Got be a very unpleasant experience. But then there is sometimes the attitude that something has to be unpleasant to be beneficial. Take airport security for example...

Glad to see you're publishing again. Back home for the summer soon ?