Friday, April 12, 2013

Poem #7 Shameless Hussy

Clearly the Poem a Day is not going to be literally a poem a day. And that's...okay.

Shameless Hussy

yesterday i had a wild thot. hearing james brown on the radio singing say it loud: i'm black & i'm proud. i thot, wonder how it would feel to say, say it loud, i'm female & proud. it was obviously too silly. think how embarrassed i would be if a neighbor came to the door. what if john came home and i was making the bed yelling I'M FEMALE & I'M PROUD? i'd never hear the end of it.  i started saying it and nearly choked on the words. couldnt get them out. realized it was a lie. i aint proud. didnt have a thing to do with it. took pot luck and came out a broad. kept trying to say it. after a few tries, i could. it wasnt very loud. it was probly the quietest sound in the room. me patting pillows into place on the bed and muttering, i'm female & i'm proud. then i got a little hostile and said it loud, i'm female & proud and thot about it and wanted to feel it and said it loud i'm female & proud and after the record was over i yelled it a couple of times and it felt okay, and I havent done it since but maybe i will again.

Just...amazing. I love this poem.
I love how it builds up in that long sentence toward the end, and she gets more and more confident and louder and louder until she's yelling--but you don't get to hear her yell it--and then she sort of goes back to her old self, but now it's like she has a secret. Now she knows, even though she's just a housewife making the bed, that she has it in her to yell and be proud like she means it.

Alta started Shameless Hussy Press, the first female-owned feminist press in America, according to Wikipedia. Seems odd that a man would own a feminist press, but hey, whatever. Shameless Hussy published the first edition of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide, When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange, which I think is pretty cool. Alta now owns an art gallery in Berkeley that also looks pretty cool. Maybe I'll go there one day and tell her I think she's awesome.

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