white girl

Spoken Word and I go back a long way, and have a very…complicated relationship.
But some words just can’t stay on the page. This was written to be performed as spoken word poetry, so I recorded it as such. 

If you’d like to hear me, please click the picture below:

 

stapleton 11

Post image by Briton Underwood and Hastywords

 

 

 white girl

 

I should have married the boy I fell in love with in 3rd grade

I’d be living in a big house in Brooklyn

Languid back yard days balanced with jive smoky Blue Note nights

Bedroom walls covered in laminated clippings

testaments in black and white

like me and Jamie

 

His drumming made me wet when I was 8, and he was 9.

Staten Island, Stapleton projects, and cause we were the only white family at 67 Hill Street I kissed a baker’s dozen of black boys

To see

to see

to see, if they tasted different.

They did.

 

Jamie was special

smelled like Raisinets

P.S. 14 talent show king

Drum solo arms moving fast, blurring his red and white shirt pink

His mouth was soft honey

We played doctor with a vengeance

And I knew jungle fever before I knew puberty

before it was called jungle fever, and it was still called, “NIGGER LOVER

 

Fierce housing project princesses, scary lionesses who leaned over their desks to growl at me, “just let me get you

who chased me down and beat me up

because I was too

I was too too too too

Too skinny, too nerdy, too smart, too white

Too white.

But Jamie loved me.

He loved me all the way through junior high

Mother, smacking my face hard, cause she wanted me to marry her white wet dream,

A Jewish doctor named Leonard,

hung like a hamster

Extravagant Rolex taste to overcompensate

for his Timex dick.

 

stayed together all the way until that day

Italian boys from Rosebank chased us down

down

down

deserted train tracks.

And while I screamed for help

banged on his arms with a crowbar until one

broke.

 

And when we broke up there was a soap opera storm of heartbreak and entropy

and relief

I was too young to fight that fight

my own private battles were enough

I waved goodbye to Jamie, going off to find fame at High School of Music and Art in the city,

leaving me behind to grow inevitably up and out of there

and expand my repertoire…

to Spanish boys.

 

Spanish boys with smooth skin and soft, fat, wet tongues.

Latin men who forbid me to wear mini dresses on the street and hissed at me in bed

Ai mami”

 

A Puerto Rican man turned me inside out

stole my heart for half a decade

still has not returned it

I spent hours days years with him in his Spanish Harlem hideaway

drenched in spicy salsa sweat that I didn’t know was mine or his

interrupted by phone calls from my mother

trying to hook me up with a white broker named Howard

who couldn’t move on a dance floor or groove in a bed

who could play the stock market but not my body

and who turned whiter than he already was when I lost a burgundy Lee press on nail,

Up. His. Ass.

 

Senoritas on 106th,

pink foam curlers

red toenails glittering under that hot sun,

look me up and down

And the home boys in his hood? talked about this gringa in a language I couldn’t even understand

because after 5 years all I knew was

“chinga me

monte me

chupa me mi gran pinga

mi mujer, me corteja,

mi PUTA BLANCA!”

(I always liked that puta blanca one)

and when we broke up, there was a soap opera storm of heartbreak and entropy

and relief

I was too old to fight that fight

My own private battles are enough

Recycling old pain, always to find, like laundry

light and dark, do not mix.

 

you talk to me at the bar until a sister saunters over and then I pale in comparison

listen to the banter in a language I can’t share

yes I know ‘fly phat fresh kick it, dope, ait?’

 

But they sound stupid off my lips.

I’m just this white girl

What could I have to say?

She’s just this white girl – from Staten Island?

Who let her in here, anyway?

 

yeah, I am too too too too

but I’m white enough to be your puta blanca

white enough to be your trophy wife

white enough to get this skinny project ass kicked

white enough to suck your big black dick

white enough to spend a lifetime ashamed of my skin

yet always trapped on the outside looking in

 

see, I’m always

trying to groove in a scene where there’s no in-between

there’s just black and white and that ain’t right

Or maybe I’m wrong.

But I feel I don’t belong.

 

And I should have had the guts to marry that boy.

I’d be living in that big house in Brooklyn

let him drum his laughter into my brain, to amnesia the pain

laughing at the projects

the beatings

and the landords that reject us

the cab he can’t flag, until I put out my hand.

let him inhale me with his love

and with that sweet, sweet sweet  9-year-old color blind honey mouth

lick these tears from my face

lick this poem

right

off

my

lips…..

 

 

Have you ever felt like an outsider? Like you don’t belong fully anywhere?
Have you ever felt excluded because of the color of your skin
?
Talk to me.  I’m listening.

 

*A special thank you to Lizzi and Briton for their unwavering belief that I could do this. ❤ ❤

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