Poems for Pussy Riot: The Eye of the Needle by Aoife Mannix

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On 13 September, English PEN launched ‘Poems for Pussy Riot‘ in support of three members of the Russian punk band –  Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich – who are currently serving a  two year prison sentence. We will be posting poems dedicated to Nadezdha, Maria and Yekaterina in the weeks leading up to their appeal hearing on 1 October.

The following contribution comes from poet, writer and workshop facilitator Aoife Mannix

 

The Eye of the Needle

for Pussy Riot

 

I bet when Jesus went into the temple

and started knocking over stalls,

there were those who said this is just

some punk from Bethlehem pulling a PR stunt,

and it’s disrespectful and it’s disgusting

and he needs to get what he deserves

so we’ll pin him to a cross and won’t consider

that two thousand years later his words will rise up

in a prayer that says Putin with your 22m roubles

worth of white gold watches, and your flotilla of yachts,

and your 20 palaces and your flying toilet

that cost 75,000 dollars, you with your Mercedes,

helicopters, villas, aeroplanes, swimming pools,

you are just an echo of that other Pilate dictator

who also thought he could cling to power

by torturing those that seemed weak

but knew the strength of turning the other cheek.

 

 

Poems for Pussy Riot posts

Poems for Pussy Riot – an introduction to the project

Soutien-Gorge: Ira Lightman

Vagina: Sophie Mayer

Song: Ali Smith

Abridged and Complete Biography of Olympe de Gouge: Claire Trévien

Women of the Year: Betty Doyle

Weapons of Minor Destruction: Sandra Alland

Our Glorious Leader Putin: Jack Underwood

Cat Power: Amy Key

Avoid using the word “pussy”: Charlotte Geater

Poem with Four Vaginal Walls: Mark Burnhope

Sheela na gig (deconstructed): Sarah Crewe

Dance of the Seven Veils: Alison Croggon

Skylined: Gareth Evans

Vox Populi (A poem for voices): Steve Heighton

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