The Obsessive Stripper


The Obsessive Stripper  (to know her was to love her)

To know her was to love her,
she just knew that was the case–
If the world scoped out her essence,
it would look beyond her face.

Not that her face was terrible–
round, sure, and sort of freckled
(but nothing like her dad claimed–
a hen’s bottom plucked and speckled–)

So, how to start? She bared her soul,
her deepest and her darkest–
but found that no one cared much
for truth at its most starkest–

Now, naked flesh was something else–
she noticed when the wind blew
and her skirt performed a Marilyn
that the street burst out with woohoo–

Wolf whistle wheezed into the breeze,
but it made her think again–
her dad had only mocked her face–
he’d approved below the chin.

She moved from skirt akimbo
to what they call decolleté,
neckline lower than limbo
on winners’ take-all-off day.

What she bared soon jiggled from shoulders
to waistline and well beyond
sashaying up her freckled thighs
past Venus’s precious mound.

But though the rhythmic clapping
burnished all her cheeks with glow,
still, she couldn’t see herself
as a girl the crowd cared to know–

not know for real, not know for self,
most certainly not for life–
her father’s sneer showed in their leer,
and cut her like a knife.

But to know her was to love her–
how could that not be true?
maybe the nightly dis-cloth-ure
left too much to be seen through.

So shaved her bod, so shaved her head,
uprooted every eyelash;
spoke without punctuation,
and spiked heels into the wet trash–

Stripped off, bleached out, believing
that revelations would end lonely days–
for to know her was to love her–
that just had to be the case.

The above is a rather sad and far-too-long ditty written very belatedly for  the very creative Fireblossom’s Friday prompt of a while back on With Real Toads, to write a poem based upon an assortment of mandatory composite titles. I am also posting this for dVerse Poets Open Link Night, hosted by Tony Maude.. 

Explore posts in the same categories: Perfectionism, poetry, Uncategorized

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22 Comments on “The Obsessive Stripper”

  1. ugh harsh sayings from a parent can haunt you forever if you let it… and the body image thing… the standard of beauty is based on how much work you get done in the doctor’s office more than ever now… makes me think of how many young girls have killed themselves for a bigger butt/breasts… but all that won’t fix a broken spirit…

  2. brian miller Says:

    she bared her soul an no one wanted it…that is the saddest part to me…and how confused we get as well in being known and what that really means…and what it means to be really loved as well….a very sad piece for me k

  3. So sad, Karin. It’s true, parents can make these things happen.

  4. kkkkaty1 Says:

    I see the father daughter connection, the conditional love that kills self esteem….I feel her need to do almost anything to get that approval…great title and metaphorical poem

  5. claudia Says:

    this breaks my heart k – so very sad

  6. ramblingsfromamum Says:

    This is extremely sad, a daughters call out for help, to try and please her father, the love that is crippling her.

    Wolf whistle wheezed into the breeze,
    but it made her think again–
    her dad had only mocked her face–
    he’d approved below the chin.

    This shocked and quite repulsed me – so well you have written this the reaction was strong.

  7. Truedessa Says:

    This is filled with pain..the third stanza is raw and bare one’s soul is difficult and so painful when no one sees the true worth. I have shown my soul to some who just took the pieces they wanted and left me to bleed. Heartbreaking read..

  8. Mary Says:

    This is such a sad poem, Karin. So important that children grow up being loved for who they are and that they are beautiful in the eyes of the parents. Nothing good can come from a child growing up with a poor self image…who must always seek validation and sometimes in not the most positive way. Powerful fare here!

  9. Lindy Lee Says:

    Very good; meaning well-taken by this follower…

  10. Steve King Says:

    Sad, yes; too long–no. What I like most about this is how you kept up the drama, stanza after stanza. Very busy imagination in creating this. It’s almost cinematic in the variety of pictures you give us. Nice work.


  11. hedgewitch Says:

    There is something so pathetic here, in the sense of pitiful, but also a lot of true pathos…you did make her obsessive, and the stripping to the soul, mental as well as physical…your refrain of ‘to know her is to love her’ seemed almost dirge-like at the final repetition. How we chase beauty, good opinion, admiration, yet never seem to find enough. For some reason this made me think of Miley Cyrus.

  12. Tony Maude Says:

    This is a tough read, k.

    We say that words can never hurt you even when we know it isn’t true; words can destroy the very essence of a person, leaving them like an empty husk.

  13. cloudfactor5 Says:

    You expose the superficial to reveal sadness but still she plays the part!! exquisitely written, and not too long, really enjoyed this !!

  14. Are women really that ignorant or taking the easy way out? Self revelation needn’t requires disrobing self respect ~ No matter what psychological exegesis ~ Written with deep concaves to read and reread. Sincerely D

  15. This is so sad… to only find anything in taking off her clothes… and that father’s cruelty… and men are beasts… this touched me a lot.

  16. shanyns Says:

    The words uttered to me when I was young still haunt me sometimes. We have so much power in our words. This is very good.

  17. Pamela Says:

    A child’s self-esteem or self-worth can be ruined, as you have stated so well here, Karin. Painful poem.


  18. kelvin s.m. Says:

    …’to know her is to love her’ — poor lady… hadn’t given a fair chance to be loved & be cared… what a cruel, cynical society she lived in… we lived in… sigh… this somehow resonated me the kind of disposition faced by Queridas… excellent portrayal Karin… smiles…

  19. ayala Says:

    A sad piece. Good write Karin.

  20. I hate this poem! (or rather the truth of it) It hurts to read and to think that for some (one is too many) that this is life and not just words. Powerful and painful.

  21. janehewey Says:

    I read this several days ago on a device that didn’t facilitate commenting. I’ve been thinking of it off and on ever-since. There is a removed quality of the narrator’s voice that accentuates the distance we feel as readers. 3rd person is effective–also effective is your casual recollection “round, sure, and sort of freckled” “so shaved her bod, so shaved her head” “stripped off, bleached out” this is very well done and solid throughout. I felt sorry for and empathetic with your character. I also thoroughly appreciated your voice here, karin.

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