Becoming the Monster

from by Sticks Calliope

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A while back, some stories were coming out of Pakistan about women launching acid attacks against men. For years, acid attacks have been a common mode of violence against women in parts of the developing world - it was a serious human rights issue in India when I was there for a spell. The attacker surprises the victim by essentially throwing a vat of acid in their face - usually burning all the skin off, sometimes causing death. What was unique about these stories was that they were the first recorded instances of women fighting back.

It's hardly enough to say that these stories are complicated. On the one hand, an act of violence is always deplorable. On the other, it fills one with a kind of sick satisfaction to know that the victims of crimes aren't content to lie down and be abused. It created a complicated setting for a song.


I was scared of becoming the monster but I
was more scared of dying under his thumb.
And I ain't no revolutionary,
just doing what my sister should've done.
For every daughter buried early,
may it visit upon your sons.
I was scared of becoming the monster until I
saw you making kingdom come.

First they taught me you could not tame this violence
with any kind of love.
Then they taught me not to wait on heaven,
at least not they heaven they had coming.
Then they taught me how to bury a sister
let out in the sun.
Then I learned to make the chemical bath that they had made
and I said alright, now. I think I've learned enough.

I just think I lost my fear and it moves me, now, like heaven help us, boy.
I just think I lost my fear and it moves me, now, like heaven help us, boy.
I just think I lost.
I just think I lost.
I just think I lost.
(and I go, and I go where my mother has gone)


from The Grist That Keeps On Giving, track released January 2, 2013


tags: folk New York


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