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May 2, 2023

Maskuline Task Force: Prologue

Andrew Zaragoza
Maskuline Task Force: Prologue

oh hi,

you answered.

well lets get straight to it.

do you have time to talk about


you see,

i'm on a mission to find the

divine self in me

beyond the programming and


you'd like to join in the search

of what strength and


can look like on two sides of

the same coin.

so when it's flipped, one can't


the difference from the other

and shocks my brothers

like the electric transient shift

in moving the emotional


that took years for me

and for you, maybe a couple


talk about a forty day


i can tell you that the male

box is a sentence

since aggression is cherished

on the battlefield

and the football field

and the soccer field

and the baseball field

and the wrestling rings

and the boxing rings

and the weddings rings

and the onion rings

and the la streets

and wait...

don't tell me that

man versus food

and booze

and the tube ain't a sport in


because when did we decide

that our pride takes priority

and stifles a women's voice

on her body and clothing


because in the land of the

free market and capitalistic


ima need some time to take

off this mask, see,

it's been a while since i lost

the key.

do you still have time to talk?

and so i dont know,

i guess i call for a coalition

called the masculine task


where the catcalling,

name making,


and blaming are

cast out the window

and what's left in the


i can't say but i know this:

masculinity should feel like a

warm blanket

that i clothe myself in so when

i lay next to my partner in


and she sees the ink on my


i want it to breathe protection.

because we ain't teaching our

boys to be boys,

we're teaching boys to be

human again.

and i know what's on the

underside of that bed.

the toxic monster that still

tries to pull me down into


with bullet toys and big tanks

into someone else's home.

that's telling me this is worth


than what i can't even solve in

my own backyard;

clothing and giving a home for

a soul who’s homeless

and may have felt a little too

much aggression,

and the women in poverty

with them.

so if you or someone you


was a victim of the this

masculine phenomenon,

call me and let's put an end to

this next pandemic

with accountability,

especially for those struggling

with tomorrow to see

what life without the mask can


Andrew Joseph Zaragoza is a fellow Angeleno born in Lakewood, CA and graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills and founder of OpenHeart Spoken Word. His work can be found via two internationally published collections titled XI: A Collection of Poetry on Being Human and Second Chances in the Fall: An Account of Hope. Notable collaborations include Simon and Schuster's imprint Archway Publishing, Sims Library of Poetry, Field Trip Health, The Walt Disney Company, and local organizers in the Los Angeles, Orange County, and Long Beach regions.

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