Some lesbian herstory from Jane Barnes
How to Dress Like a Scary Dyke
She said, Wear my leather jacket, a looser
sweater. Take off that lipstick,
don’t fuss with your hair. Wear
jeans and boots. That ought to do it.
I still had stockings stuffed like
seaweed in packages, and nylon pants
that made my crotch itch without desire.
I still had black high heels
I bought to make me look all business,
but I couldn’t get to the business
of not dressing for men.
She told me what they’d like,
those scary dykes.
I took these notes.
Wanted to learn real bad.
How to Dress like a Femmy Dyke
Go with a perm or a duck tail
— low maintenance.
Heavy on the eye paint, a little hard.
Blood-red lips. Develop a swagger
in your fuck-me shoes, or wear
expensive cowboy boots, the kind
that go with gypsy clothes.
Get three holes in one ear
and pour on the gold.
Use tons of Yes, the new perfume.
Wear fifties coats with shoulder pads.
If you get a little plump,
just pile on the frills.
Go to Prelude and order Kaluha with cream,
or cream with anything.
Dance up a storm.
And if a scary dyke looks too long at you,
start picking the polish off your nails
or burst into tears and
beg her to take you home.
Jane Barnes is an American
lesbian bisexual (sorry) poet, the author of Extremes, a poetry collection.