Your Occasional Butterfly Internet Negativity Collage
by Ellen Redbird


“Your Occasional Butterfly Internet Negativity Collage” is a series of poems with images. Each poem is a collage of negative comments I extracted from blogs and social networking sites on the internet. I had already painted many paper butterflies for an unrelated project, and I decided to repurpose images of the butterflies as companions to the poems.

What value is in the negative comments we write? What misunderstandings or damage do they cause? Do we contradict ourselves? Why do we feel we can share our harshest opinions online? How do we cope with the toxicity of reading comments of scorn or hate? Can the humor that occurs in cut-up collage reveal something we didn’t see before or help us cope with, or be compassionate toward, human fallibility?

I hope that bringing together different comments to be read in one poem will have the interactive effect of helping us re-examine how we choose our words. I envision each butterfly presenting itself in bright contrast to the collage of negative comments, thus acting as a catalyst for seeing those comments in multiple ways, i.e. performing its power as a symbol of transformation.

I don’t know what the effect of posting these poems will be. However, don’t they say that when a butterfly is posted on one website, it causes a hurricane of reposts and response across the blogosphere? Or at least one “like” from your best friend on fbk.



Your Occasional Butterfly Internet Negativity Collage #3: Pride and Prejudice
by Ellen Redbird

I’m sorry, but I don’t get the fuss.
Why this book is so highly treasured by society is beyond me.
The plot would have been better if it wasn’t
200 years old and so well worn.
I don’t really like stories that take place in the past.
It could have been told in about 8 pages.
There is barely a story to the story, just
mind-numbing balls and dinner parties and
characters like wispy shadows. I hate genteel poverty!
All the characters did was wait around to get married and go for walks.
Nothing happens! They just visit each other all the time.
No one grows or changes.
It’s old people gossiping
and conditioning women to like jerks.
A narrow, unrealistic vision of life.
What about this goes beyond a simple love story?
The characterization has been used too many times since.
I have never witnessed so many intelligible people act so unintelligent.
Who uses the word “vexation” in a conversation?
Did they use those words in everyday conversation in 19th century England?
I am truly vexed as to how this novel became such a classic.

If you like lots of drama, this is for you.
Lots of drama, and nothing interesting at all.
It’s the only book in high school I couldn’t finish.
Eating sand for lunch every day would have been
easier than reading every single page of this book.
Tried to force myself to read it, but the plot
felt so cringy and superficial.
I couldn’t get over the soap opera mentality.
In the modern era, I feel like this would have been
an episode of As The World Turns.
Pretty much a shot-for-shot rip-off
of West Side Story—just based in the early 1800s.
I am sitting here eating a Tootsie Roll, a Halloween leftover,
and I can’t help notice the similarities between it and the novel.

This book is quite possibly the most poorly written,
insipid, saccharine one I have ever read in my life.
So stilted and slow and sappy, it makes my teeth HURT.
I didn’t understand a thing they were saying.
The writing style was too descriptive and led me
more than once to skip over entire paragraphs.
Tedious, shallow, uninspiring, worthless babble from beginning to end.
If there’s one thing I dislike, it’s lack of description.
I find it virtually impossible to read a book when
I know nothing of what the characters look like.

Girl books aren’t generally my thing.
This is a snore—erotic imaginings of an untampered womb.
This isn’t meant as an indictment of women, but it is almost
certainly enjoyed by so many women because it appeals
to their baser appetites such as the ego
and encourages some prevalent forms of wishful thinking.
I just don’t care about women
and their intense desires to get married.

Turgid nonsense.
Deadly, endless.
I’m just glad it’s over.
Do not read this while operating heavy machinery.
Don’t read Moby Dick either, if you know what’s good for you.
To tell you the truth, I read this because I have
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
sitting on my shelf ready to go.
I think the only reason this novel is even considered a treasure
is because it survived a large fire.

See Statement for more about the series.


Your Occasional Butterfly Internet Negativity Collage #2: I’m Not a Misogynist—She Will Say Anything
by Ellen Redbird

She will say anything you want to hear.
These feminists are getting out of hand.
Shut up, woman.
Mere facts are irrelevant to her.
Her brain is permanently short-circuited by intentions.
She is ill.
The essence of being a woman is having the ability to bear a child.
She is unfit.
And carry all the burdens in taking care of the household.
She had several abortions.
Turned into a right little attention seeker, hasn’t she?
She is emotionally disturbed and dangerous.
Emotional woman, zero common sense.
I have no idea why people don’t see that? It’s so obvious it makes me sick.
Something is seriously wrong with her.
Her psychopathic nature.
I don’t have any issues with a woman president as long as she is past PMS.
She will most likely not live long enough.

Go home, lady.
We don’t need her.
It’s intentionally sexist and funny! So what?
She’s a joke.
No girl or woman should look up to her.
No one believes her.
I couldn’t imagine anybody supporting her.
She has created nothing in her life.
I will sign every petition that calls for her indictment.
What is she so afraid of?
Her failures.

This lady is corrupt.
I can’t think of one good thing I like about her.
She has zero integrity.
I didn’t hear anything vile or sexist.
She represents what is wrong.
I heard nothing sexist whatsoever.
Only in it for herself.
Get over yourselves.
She is the queen of narcissism.
If he is sexist, that’s his wife’s problem!
She had to pay them to cheer for her.
I watched and made my own sandwich. How can that be sexist?

She is a despicable, lying weasel.
Traitorous, murderous, hypocritical, washed-up,
ugly, old hag of a has-been.
We all get picked on. It’s a part of life.
She is character-less.
Like so many, she is searching for things to be offended by.
She is desperate.

She hasn’t worked hard in decades.
Then she should look for a job that suits her, out of the public view.
She wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to make a buck.
Women don’t want equal rights; they just want what we have.
She works so hard because she knows you can be her slaves.
There is no such thing as a wage gap.
I would say she screwed her way to the top, but no one would touch her.
I don’t think anything but a monkey would whistle at it.
She is a puppet.
Playing the victim card.
She’s a troll.
Just because you see this as sexist, doesn’t make it so.
She will eat your young to get ahead and have more power.
Stop demonizing men.
She wants to control us.
Lock her up.
Keep her out.

Look around, there are plenty of reasons to dislike this woman.
Dumb-ass feminists…”sexist” this, “sexist” that, bullshit.
She is vulgar.
If you like her, you must be ignorant.
No wonder they say feminism has lost its meaning!
She is teaching children how to cheat and steal.
There are certain things that men statistically do better than women.
She is going to put your family in the poor house.
We live in a society of constantly offended cry babies.
She is teaching our kids it’s okay if someone rapes them.
Women are extremely emotional; they think with their hearts.
She has had a life that screamed from one scandal to another.
Feminists are always digging for anything they can call sexism.
She will ruin us
if given the opportunity.

Does your tongue bleed when you speak?
Nothing more advantageous than a woman’s sexuality.
This snake, she needs to go to prison.
Her body is a weapon.
She sold her soul.
How does she face God every day?
She’s a disgusting excuse for a person.
She is the biggest failure of God in the world.
Everybody loves to jump on board the victim train.
The witch destroyed millions.
Everybody loves to jump on board the victim train.
She is the final nail in the coffin.
I can’t stand watching her.
She is not who she says she is.
You believe everything you read on the Internet?
She will say anything and change nothing.

See Statement for more about the series.


Your Occasional Butterfly Internet Negativity Collage #1: Botanic Garden
by Ellen Redbird

Overall, there’s just nothing much—
a brown, barren, boring canyon or
an overgrown, under-tended backyard.
It’s basically a few paths in woods and a dried-out river bed—
no water flowing—just rocks, twigs, bugs, etc.
And there aren’t even any flowers!
It’s like any place in the valley, with grass and a bunch of other plants
that are not exotic in any shape or form.
Just native Californian plants.
Most of the flowers can be found on any California hillside.
If you wanna see weeds and chill with old folks,
if you wanna get really tired on a mile-long hike (I did it in flip-flops),
and if you’re local to the area, I suppose it’s ok.
I’m not really a fan of flowers.

For the price I paid to get in, I am disappointed
it only took an hour to finish everything.
It’s not even a long walk.
There is nothing to look at.
Not only is there no one, even the flowers are dead.
I am telling you we walked for two miles,
around and around,
looking for something alive.
There are a lot of rich people in the area—ask them for support!

I don’t know if it was just a bad time of year for gardens,
but this place was dead, literally.
Even in drought you can recycle water for a beautiful garden.
I don’t know why people are impressed by this,
but maybe they aren’t outdoorists and don’t get out much.
If you are not from here,
then I suppose you will like this place.

Need some shopping therapy after the let-down of the garden?
This place should be free.
There was no one at the entrance so we just walked right in,
but then the path becomes unpaved with
roots and stones sticking out in all directions.
It’s the biggest waste of $10 in your life.
Maybe I’m just jaded, but
I slipped a lot of times…which I didn’t expect would happen.
My experience was very underwhelming!
The walk here is like a troll in a forest at best.

This institution cries out for a benefactor.
It’s more dirt than anything else, and full
of couples making out, holding hands.
Don’t expect anything even near photogenic.
There is nothing really special that makes it memorable
except majestic redwoods and a large boulder for taking some great photos.
I went there looking for some ideas but found none.

Nothing about this park is anything close to botanic.
They should look up the meaning of the word, seriously.
Botanic garden is false advertisement,
a prevalent issue in our consumerist world.
It is NOT the same botanic garden I grazed upon
in the website photos—apparently
even natural beauties like botanic gardens
fall victim to being presented in a false light.

See Statement for more about the series.