On Poets who call me a”bitch” and a “whore” as an insult.

When I was a 13 and a half, my father would take me to an underground brothel in Tacoma.He said it was to “make me a man” but later I knew it was to throw people off the trail of what he was doing to me. The place is a condo spot now, but I can case the joint like the back of my hand to this day: the rusted black and red paint of the exterior, bottom room with black fur couches, reflecting mirrors and tables with lines of coke on them. And the Top floor: the walls with their white paint chipped and fading into an old green exterior, and the lights that flickered in an off tempo. I can remember how their flicker was a parallel to my heartbeat, and how they would send me edge.

Every woman my father would set me up with would take me upstairs, close the door, pull up a chair, and make noises with their clothes on to protect me.  The only thing that I can say about the lives, struggles they had, and the pain on their faces is that it wasn’t mine, isn’t a subject to for me to romanticize, and is something that haunts me to this very day. Because of it, I am frightened to engage in hugging or intruding in women’s spaces that aren’t mine, because I saw how much was taken from them at a very early age. In late 1992, One woman actually caught on to what my father was doing to me and actually threatened to tell the pimp, and if it wasn’t for me cooking up a lie for him to save his life, would have followed through on it. It was the last time I ever went to that brothel.

In the reddit districts of open mic circles in Bellingham and Seattle, there are poets who have written inferred poems in which a poet just like me is considered a whore selling out for money. In Portland, Deangelo Gillespie has out and out said I was it, calling me a bitch several times in correspondence and on his wall.  I wasn’t offended to be called one,  because A the sex workers I came in contact with were very kind and B: I don’t think it’s an insult to be called one. I was scared for them because in calling me a “whore” and a “bitch” these men show what so many men think of sex workers. I was scared that sex workers might come and contact with them

I’m not going to apologize for being who I am. I’m not going to apologize for being out of the mainstream of contemporary cis-black male sexuality. If you want to shame me for being a survivor, being different, or having an opinion that pisses you off, we’ll that’s on you, dawg. To quote Bernie Mac ” I don’t care of you like me. I like me.”

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One thought on “On Poets who call me a”bitch” and a “whore” as an insult.

  1. Your resilience is both humbling and inspiring, as is your ode to these women who did what they could to protect you, and for whom you express such compassion.

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