Sunday, October 5, 2008

Norfolk: The Poem


Note to Readers from me, Jesse:
As much as it kills me to leave a disclaimer, I feel I need to with this one. This is a satirical poem I wrote in grad school. It's purpose is to challenge and deflect certain Northern prejudices against the South.
It also exists to lovingly mock a certain genre of poems that aims to shock with its brutal honesty about societal norms, expectations, and personal bias.

In other words, it's fun. Chill out. Y'all know I love Norfolk. 


statistics1 (poems that should be read all serious and ornery like Maya Angelou)

NORFOLK
I am from
the Northeast,
which means
that I am
an
asshole
and that places like
Norfolk
bring forth images
of used condoms on lawns
and ignorant whites
and unrefined blacks
on their porches
drinking moonshine in 40 bottles
and sliding condoms off their
giant Southern black dicks, only to fling them
on the lawns
of their homes.

I also picture
jade green fields of swaying, bursting white cotton buds
but such a beautiful image
goes against my theme
so I will
ignore it.

I also think of iced tea.
Which is sort of neutral
because sometimes iced tea is great
and sometimes not
so I'll leave that out
too.

In any case.

I moved to Norfolk
expecting a bunch of boring, ignorant, artless,
couthless, physically deformed,
possibly with one leg shorter than the
other, many fat, many who have sex
on the perilous leather curves
of tractor seats
and then also some black people
condomed and otherwise,
but on my first night in Norfolk I met Malcolm
a black poet
a brilliant guy
who actually has
one leg shorter than the other
so shows what I know.

I stood on the hood of a car and yelled
(because don't Southerners do such things?)
'But where are the gays?!'
and who should appear but Marco,
not only gay but Mexican,
and not only gay and Mexican
but some sort of pharmacist,
three things that don't fit well in my
head,
forcing me to later masturbate into a book at the public library
like a confused middle school
student.

If all this
wasn't enough
to sell me on this place,
this Nor-
Folk
(get it?)
(did you really get it?)
(because)
(there's nothing)
(to get)
(I'm trying to fool you)
(with senseless line breaks)
(you jerk)

So
Like I was saying
on top of all this
I met a cool Filipino girl
who could actually read
which is hilarious
when you think about it
because Asians
are better known
for math.

Finally my roommate
a buxom Virginia native
told me she used to be a madam
for Super Sexy Strippers
and Norfolk was okay by me
because even though I didn't feel safe
or accepted
or warm enough
or well fed
now at least I found a place
where there's a buffer between me and the hookers
because too easy access is dangerous
when you're a lonely Northerner like me

and now I fling my condoms
out the window
and watch them fall
like jelly fish throbbing, breathing through the atmosphere
onto my lawn
and I am
officially
a Norfolkian.

4 comments:

CaladoniaMarch said...

You're right. You're an asshole.

Anonymous said...

I like the poem, but honestly don't think Norfolk is so great.

PoshMiss said...

I'm all about poetry, but this isn't a good piece period. I've seen great pieces about race relations that were "real", but this in my opinion is just ignorance. Express yourself, but understand that I in return will express myself and this is not what you are trying to make it seem.

Anonymous said...

Amateurish. Forget the content. Purely as a "poem," it's awful. Written in college? Could have been written in middle school.