This Red Oozing

Bryner, Jeanne

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Annotated by:
Coulehan, Jack
  • Date of entry: Mar-24-1997


The hostess at Benny's Lounge comes to the Emergency Room after being raped at gunpoint by "a friend of a friend." The doctor makes her tell the story of the rape again: "How tight he holds the muzzle to your neck, / jerks your dark hair like a mane and rips / you until you bleed . . . . " But the poet knows that "this red oozing" will not fill the rapist. It never does. She knows "how he rapes you / endlessly . . . How his boots climb the back stairs / of your mind year after year / as he comes and comes and comes."


A graphic and powerful poem about rape, not only about the specific act of rape, but about contempt for women and the vast imbalance of power in our society.

Primary Source



Kent State Univ. Press

Place Published

Kent, Ohio