JAVA MONKEY REVISITED: I've been so busy dealing with Dahlonega fallout and doing a Sinead on the Pope, I forgot all about writing about this past Sunday's Java Monkey Speaks. This was another one of those evenings where there was a touch of madness in the air, and that led to some brilliant and crazy poetry.

The legendary Alice Lovelace was there to support her daughter and granddaughters, who all read. These women are a force to be reckoned with. It was amazing to see them all in one room and on stage. ICON, who is actually a good poet but goes on and on until we have to scream "just read the poem, said that I must have some African in me. Well...I've HAD some African in me, Cherryl Floyd-Miller has made me an Honorary Black Woman and I do want to be Pam Grier, so maybe it's true. Then Mysterious Poet read this poem about meeting a girl on the subway and she shows up later at his apartment wearing nothing but a Victoria's Secret robe and then they had sex until her "Coca-Cola exploded." We were all screaming. It was off the chain!

Okay, so to tell you about the new poem I read I have to make a bit of a confession. It's not something I'm necessarily proud of, but it happened. For the last two years, I was involved with a guy who had a longterm partner. The partner somehow figured it out after all this time, despite the fact we had been discreet as hell. And then the partner found my cell phone number and started calling me. His first words, Bitch, you are sleeping with my man... which became the first line of my new poem. Of course the guy I've been involved with has never called me again. This happened before I went to LA, and I keep hoping he will call to at least break it off officially, but that's not going to happen. I was turned into the bad guy, the scapegoat. I didn't even know his partner's name, so I could never feel very guilty about it. I'm such a hypocrite, because I would totally freak the fuck out if I found out my husband were cheating. I really can't blame this guy for being pissed, but as Lady Hardin told me, "it takes two to fuck."

So I read the new poem, Bitch, at Java Monkey and it tore Java Monkey down. I haven't had a response to a poem since I first read Sex In My Parents' House and Why I Want To Be Pam Grier. I've posted it below. It has a killer last line that Cherryl Floyd-Miller helped me craft. As always, keep in mind this is a work in progress (actually my third draft).

Bitch

Bitch, you are sleeping with my man,
are the first words I hear
when I pick up my phone that has rung
six times in the last half hour,
a number I don’t recognize blinking

on caller ID.

Bitch, I want some answers from you,
is what he screams, as if it’s my fault
that his beautiful boy picked me,
lay his dark lean frame against mine,
gave me an orgasm every time we met
on Fridays.

Bitch, I want to know how you met him,
as if this matters now, but it was a chatroom,
an agreement for anonymous sex.
Who knew it would be so good, who knew
it would become habit, that it might evolve?
Because the last time we met,

his kisses were hungrier,
his small talk was heavier, subtly changing
the rules of engagement.
We’d been on this brink for ages, the easy fall
from sex into love.

Bitch, you fucking bitch.
I accept this condemnation, the anger
at seven years of fidelity up in smoke,
like the way his dreadlocks smelled of Djarums
as he moved above me, those braids our veil.
But know this, bitch.
For two years, he’s been screaming my name,
and I don’t even know yours.

Mike Dockins, the poetry editor at Terminus, featured and read some of his great poems. We both read poems poems dedicated to Beth Gylys, who we both love. I wish she had been there. Mike is talking about leaving Atlanta, which would be a damn shame. We need him here! Don't go, Mike, don't go!

If you've never been to Java Monkey on a Sunday night, you are totally missing the best poetry event in Atlanta. Come on out!

Comments

Teamaster said…
Wow. Quite a revelation - and poem. Complicated situation, to say the least. I really appreciate the admission of culpability in the poem:
"I accept this condemnation, the anger at seven years of fidelity up in smoke". This shows an awareness and honesty of guilt (the good kind of guilt that measures our actions) despite the anger of singular accusation from the cheater's "longterm partner". Nice.

Infidelity is viral. It multiplies and aggressively sickens. I tried it back in high school and never dared it again. And I've seen it destroy soooo many folks' potentialy lovely relationships. So I feel for the other cat who left those messages.

BUT...you make an important, worthy point. This guy is blaming YOU? No, no, no. You may have been fundamentally wrong in continuing the affair from your end, but it was the PARTNER'S choice - and his dedication must not be genuine if he was willing to endanger that "longterm" pact of affection. Right?

This is no different from the women who stick with the cheating boyfriend or hubby while hating the "other woman". Silly.

I hope you find closure to this mess through a phone call from the guy in the middle, at least. He owes you that much. Otherwise, his spinelessness scorns both you and his partner. Thus the virus works. :(

-D.

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