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here i am….

Photos of Barbie Angell by Rodney Smith - Tempus Fugit Design © 2013

there he was. he was dead, or so i’d been told, but there he was. he was alive, on my television, talking about christmas lites. i wasn’t expecting it. i hoped that it wasn’t real. but there he was….alive and talking about christmas lites. he was here, where i lived, 20 years and 650 miles from when i knew him. and there i was, curled up with my son to watch a local holiday special and fully unprepared….because there he was.

there i was. one year out of college and out of the oblivion that is nowhere, a call from an old college friend. he had some news and had tracked me down. while in chicago he had heard of a murder. gang-style, with the victim pleading for his life. a horrible, violent death. but my friend thought that i should know. it was so confusing to feel both hatred and pity for the man who died. but there i was, feeling it all, and wishing that i didn’t feel anything.

there i was, freshman year in college and i needed a book for my acting class. i needed to take it with me to study it over christmas break. there i was, at two in the afternoon in his dorm room while he looked for the book. there i was, oblivious as to why he turned on the stereo and cranked up the volume of “les miserables”. there i was, too slow when he locked the dead bolt. there i was, thrown backward across the room and onto the bed. there i was, half-naked and begging for him to stop. there i was screaming until he finally let me up. there i was, standing in the skin-scalding temperature of the shower, and there would never be enough soap. there i was, hiding my clothes in the dumpster and praying that no one would find them.

there i was, over the years, thinking back at what i should have done differently. should i have just not borrowed the book? should i have realized why the music was so loud? should i have been quicker at the door? should i have fought harder on the bed? no. the answer is always no.

here i am, 20 years later with only one regret….i should have gone to the police.

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5 Responses

  1. 20 Years later and the commentary and/or criticism for this revelation? How about, “what a strong young woman came out of that horrible nightmare”?

    You never lost your strength of thought or the beauty and power of your words, victory is yours.

    1. thanks. i do like that synopsis of my character. i’m glad that the poem is written well enough to illustrate what a nitemare rape really is. thank you for the feedback ron. it is greatly appreciated and always welcome. : )

  2. Sad, sad and ashamed for my sex. I have known, loved and married women that confided such experiences to me. All I was ever able to do was hold them and cry while they cried. Not enough but all I could do. Men want to “fix” things, but some things can’t be fixed.

  3. I eat regret
    so that
    it does not eat me.
    I taste bitterness
    as I realize
    I have binged on emptiness
    “Nevermore shall I return
    escape these caves of ice”? (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
    I will not devour myself
    “I will reach out
    from the inside” Peter Gabriel
    (I am living hope)

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Contact Information

Barbie Angell

Release Date

March 5, 2024


“Barbie Angell Uncensored” is a dazzling fusion
of poetry, comedy and tragedy

ASHEVILLE NC – Poet, playwright and raconteur Barbie Angell performs “Barbie Angell Uncensored: An Unfiltered, Uninhibited and Unapologetic Event” at 8pm Wednesday, March 27, 2024, at LaZoom Bar & Gorilla. The 90-minute show is a melange of works spanning Angell’s career, including her poetry, excerpts from her autobiographical play “Death by Sparkle,” pieces from her children’s book “Roasting Questions,” and rarely performed mature works.

A multitalented, multi-hyphenate personality based in Asheville since 1999, the always colorful Angell is recognized around town for her work as a poet, playwright, columnist, emcee, artist and fashion designer. She has been voted “Best of WNC” poet by Mountain XPress readers for 10 consecutive years, and her skills as an emcee have made her a sought-after host for local festivals and large events such as Planned Parenthood’s Condom Couture and the Reproductive Rights Rally. 

Angell has written sketch comedy, co-authored “The Kids Show: Definitely Not for Kids,” and penned one act of “Grimm’s Fairy Tales” for Montford Park Player. She is currently creating and selling upcycled clothing in her own fun and funky signature style – some of which will be available for sale at the event, along with original artwork and prints.

Equal parts stand-up comedy, poetry slam and public confession booth, “Barbie Angell Uncensored” promises to be emotional, unsettling, hilarious, and as unique as Barbie Angell herself!

Tickets are available at for a suggested donation of $20.