Shame Amidshipmen


Shame Amidshipmen

Gobs of semen lobbed
on a lolling face–don’t talk to me
of protecting and defending when a woman
drunk to sleep
is but a c(o)untry to be surrounded,
invaded, ground
into your back seat, thoroughly

Your compatriot,
your comrade in arms,
your fellow human.


This was written, crazily, in response to Claudia Schoenfeld’s poetics prompt for dVerse Poets Pub about bathroom poetry – I was thinking of “shower” and this came up.  I’m sorry.  I’ve been very disturbed and outraged today reading about the investigation of a serial rape case involving midshipmen (primarily from the football team) at the US Naval Academy.  Facts are not in, and I don’t mean to implicate the men involved in this particular incident, but lately there have been many reports of sexual abuse and harassment at the academies, and in the military generally.  There are proud institutions that have garnered and deserved a great deal of respect historically, so it is pretty shocking.  (At least to me.)  Sorry this is so grim – I could not think of a graphic.  Check out dVerse for much more cheerful poems today! 

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40 Comments on “Shame Amidshipmen”

  1. I understand when you say grim.. and I would probably be shocked but not surprised. Men in group can be terrible (I have never felt at home in such places)… even if it’s just talk I have heard things said that certainly can lead to such actions… yes grim but much needed poetry… it’s about behaviour and culture and that need to change.

  2. claudia Says:

    oh heck k. – this is a grim verse indeed but so glad that you wrote about it – it’s a terrible thing and esp. from those who we expect to protect the country and people makes it double worse..really glad you wrote this k.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Well, all the students are young and were probably drunk too, but it truly sounds terrible. What if a woman were wounded? I have to say, the military people (men and women) I’ve met are all pretty terrific and super reliable, but of course, there are all kinds everywhere. k.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks, Claudia.

  3. Mary Says:

    Oh, yes, this is very disturbing indeed. I would expect so much better of these midshipMEN. Truly I would……

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Yes, of course, it’s only a few people that do these things. The bad thing is that there seems to be widespread knowledge of something bad happening–k.

  4. hedgewitch Says:

    At least people are starting to make some noise about this–not that it’s new, but it seems worse somehow, in these times, when woman have fought so hard to be treated with some modicum of respect—sexual exploitation, rape and abuse shouldn’t have to still be going on in this troglodyte fashion. This is in your face and flung, fine writing, k.

  5. Glenn Buttkus Says:

    Even Obama has taken up the huen’cry for this shameful, selfish, stupid male behavior needs to stop, completely, forever. Thanks for your audacious bravery & poetic anger.

  6. Rowan Taw Says:

    Great write – really tight comment on this issue…and wherever the prompt takes you, go with it.

  7. Dang, I hadn’t hear about this latest. What a well-crafted, scathing indictment of a cultural icon gone terribly awry. It hurts me because I do want to look at our service men and women as those who inspire.

  8. Grace Says:

    Grim and a sharp rebuke of these men K ~ It’s sad when then these things happen 😦

  9. nessa1313 Says:

    It is hard not to get upset.

    Flash 55 – prick lee

  10. brian miller Says:

    dang k….vicious write and you go right at it…stark…punching in the word play….and a shame really—idiots & animals, i hope that should the evidence bear out they are meted the justice they deserve….

  11. janehewey Says:

    i admire your courage and your voice, karin.

  12. LaTonya Says:

    There are times when poetry should incite, provoke. This is incident certainly warrants a disturbing commentary. Well done.

  13. punnypalaver Says:

    Had not heard this news yet. You gave a vivid voice to the victims and exposed the unheroic.

    • Truedessa Says:

      This is grim but, so is the crime..perhaps you needed to be a vessel for the voice of the innocent..poetry has many shades and sometimes the shades are drawn in darkness. Always feel free to use your voice..

  14. Jamie Dedes Says:

    The reports are distressing and the poem is an honest reaction and also happens to be well done.

    Poem on … No apologies.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Jamie – really enjoyed your post re Henry Miller – I haven’t read him for a while, but when I was young I read many of his novels, really enjoying them. k.

  15. David King Says:

    Nothing for you to apologise for. More outpourings like this and… who knows…? society might begin to heal itself. Powerful.

  16. aka_andrea Says:

    very vivid, striking write. never explain why your voice speaks the truth, speak it with clarity as you have done so well here.

  17. Great writing about a grim reality. And we need to speak out about such things. The defense in one of the trials was “She didn’t say no”- despite the fact that she was unconscious. How can we have any response to someone unconscious other than to get her help?

  18. Kelvin S.M. Says:

    …better to secure thine own safety by yourself for this world is no more reliable & productive in giving such… ever since i am not a believer of those alligator faced extended evolution of justice & security ‘giver’… i’d rather use my claws & fangs than call their names for help… ha… smiles… a tight punch…

  19. Laurie Kolp Says:

    Powerful and emotive… I hear ya, Karin. What has the world come to? Or has this kind of stuff been going on all along and it’s just now coming out in the media? Hmm…

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      I don’t know, but I do not think abuse is something particularly new. On the other hand, I wonder about the effect of so much pornography available, just at the click of a finger. I think it gives people crazy ideas of norms. k.

      • Laurie Kolp Says:

        I agree. Plus everything is right at the touch of a fingertip now, so people have forgotten how to wait. Immediate gratification is not a good thing.

  20. Your poem was painful to read, but very truthful, and for that I commend you. There has been a spate of sex crimes in the UK, mainly committed by men, so against that background, your poem is the sane voice amidst the noisy crowd. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  21. tigerbrite Says:

    It doesn’t need a graphic. It is. Glad to read your explanation of the work, I did wonder.

  22. zongrik Says:

    and that’s what i call toilet sex

    high tech toilet power

  23. kaykuala Says:

    Grim, yes! Deplorable in fact! Good to bring it out in the open K! Those involved are just sick!


  24. Akila Says:

    It is shocking karen to say that ppl with whom our security lies are the ones breaching it with much more than betrayal. I really hope and pray that justice is done

  25. clawfish Says:

    sobering and saddening Karen how cruel can one person be to another always defies thought, and i understand the outrage

  26. Luke Prater Says:

    Well said that. I am disturbed by these stories in the news, from whichever country (The India bus gang-rape case was so disturbing I had trouble getting that out of my mind).

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