MISFIT DOC: The Mansplainer

Art by Lee Boyd (“She Rode Her Storm Well”)


Once upon an endless meeting, when no amount of tea could ease me from men’s incessant bleating,

as they engaged in unsolicited advice and opinions—

While I was nodding off and on, suddenly there came a disruption,

Yet another man loudly clarifying, clarifying by the meeting room door.

“’Tis another fellow,” I muttered, “clarifying near the meeting room door—

Only this and nothing more.”


Not succinctly he pronounced, and it was bleak to feel no finish;

And each separate dying neuron blinked into darkness on my brain.

Eagerly I wished the day would end;—vainly I sought a way

to distract myself from minor points and well actualies —well actualies of

the know-it-alls and chairmen of the board whom the women workers abhor—

Nameless here for evermore.


And the swaggering, staid, arrogant posture of each overconfident bro

deadened me—filled me with analgesic ambivalence once more;

So that now, to increase the beating of my heart, I stood repeating

“’Tis yet another bore prattling on and on at the meeting room door—

Some opinionated dude prattling prattling on and on at the meeting room door;—

This it is and nothing more.”


Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,

“Sir,” said I, “or rather, “Fuckwad, shut your cake hole I implore;

But the fact is I was napping, and so loudly you came yapping,

And so rudely you came yapping, yapping at the meeting room door,

That you drowned out everyone”—here I opened wide the door;—

Babbling there and so much more.


Deep into that babble hearing, long he stood there explaining and jeering

Spouting, scheming schemes that made me weary to the core;

But the noise was unbroken, and the noise gave no token,

And so many words were spoken even after I yelled, “you fucking bore.”

This I shouted, and a question declared back the word, “bore?”—

Not just this but so much more.


Back into the meeting room turning, all my soul within me burning,

Soon again I heard a yapping somewhat louder than before.

“Surely,” said I, “surely this man is going to desist;

Let me see, then, how to stop him, how to cease the fucking roar—

Let his voice be still a moment and cease the fucking roar;—

’Tis a windbag and nothing more!”


With mouth agape he began to leer, when, with many a there there dear ,

In he stepped a puffed up Mansplainer of the awful days that should be yore;

Not the least apology made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;

But, with mien of lord, leaned against the meeting room door—

Standing there and yacking just inside the meeting room door—

Standing, and speaking, and not listening, just rambling more.


Then this self-important turd inciting me into anger,

By the smug self-satisfied decorum of the countenance he wore,

“Buddy, you’re just a guy” I said, “it doesn’t mean you can monopolize the meeting,

you monotonous, blithering Mansplainer, rabbiting on and on

are you ever going to stop and listen?

Quoth the Mansplainer “Nevermore.”


Much I marvelled this ungainly fool to hear discourse so continuous,

Though its discourse little meaning—little relevancy bore;

For we cannot help agreeing that women everywhere

Ever yet are cursed with withstanding these dudes at every meeting room door—

when you ask them to stop talking and listen

they say “Nevermore.”


And the Mansplainer, standing nonchalantly by the door, spoke

so many words, as if his verbal diarrhea would outpour.

More and more he uttered—not a breath was taken—

And I scarcely more than muttered “Other men have yapped before—

On the morrow he will cease, as my Hopes have been raised before.”

Then the Mansplainer said “Nevermore.”


Startled at the stiff-necked insistence of his reply so confidently spoken,

“Doubtless,” said I, “what he utters is its only propaganda and lies

Caught from the inherited patriarchy that Mansplainers refuse to recognize

Followed fast and followed faster till his talk must have made his jaw sore—

Till the dirges of my Hope that melancholy epiphany bore

Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”


But the Mansplainer still repeating all his blather into bleating,

Straight I wheeled a boardroom chair away from him, away from the door;

Then, with my head facing the wall, I mulled over his gall, the

swagger unto swagger, thinking what this old fart of yore—

What this tone-deaf, pig-headed, selfish, overbearing, and tedious old fart of yore

Meant in repeating, “Nevermore.”


This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing

To the guy whose unresponsive eyes now dulled me to the core;

This and more I sat wondering, as this oaf continued blundering

saying more words, and more, turning the air blue with bluster

and I fancied myself throwing my heavy board room chair against his head

so he should talk, ah, nevermore!


Then, methought, the air grew clearer, silenced from an imaginary desire

of the devil in my head who suggested this unpardonable crime

“Wretch,” I cried, “another mansplainer—an internal patriarchy

No respite or cure for the Koolaid

“Drink the misogyny, keep drinking,” quoth the Mansplainer

I replied “Nevermore, you insufferable fuck.”


“Mansplainer!” said I, “manterupter !—mansplainer still, if blowhard or gas bag!—

Whether you are a misogynist or a product of systematic hierarchy,

Condescending and undaunted, in this typical board room in a typical office—

On this land by empire building destroyed—tell me truly, I implore—

Is there—is there any story that isn’t dominated by men?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”

Quoth the Mansplainer “Nevermore.”


“Bastard!” said I, “manterupter!—mansplainer still, if smart ass or wise acre!

By that patriarchy that rules above us—by that system you adore—

how dare you tell this woman to be silent, how dare you to ignore,

anything she says, you insufferable bore —

Stop talking and begin to listen to women.”

Quoth the Mansplainer “Nevermore.”


“Be that word our sign of parting, braggart or smarty pants!” I shrieked, upstarting—

“Get thee back into the dark ages and the cave, caveman!

Leave no business card as an entreaty to call you for more!

Leave the women to our machinations! —quit the meeting room, close the door!

Take thy blathering from out my ears and take thy form from off my door!”

Quoth the Mansplainer “Nevermore.”


And the Mansplainer, never ceasing, still is speaking, still is speaking

On and on in every meeting room, by every door;

And his eyes have all the seeming of a stuffed shirt that is scheming,

And the nonsense from him streaming fills the room and covers the floor;

And any ideas, plans or creativity of ours lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted—nevermore?


Edwina Alien Po’ is Edgar’s 21st C. homologue, a twin, long gestated in the womb of a ghost.

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