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  1. WoMen In Black

    Tuesday, November 5, 2013

    On Saturday, November 2, 2013, I was one of three poetry features at a poetry reading at the Riverside branch of the NY Public Library.  The other two were Evie Ivy and Penelope Maguffin.  Both are women I know from the NYC poetry circles.  We decided to dress in black.  There's a kid in me who loved the idea of matching colors with the others.  I don't have sisters, so this was a nice taste of that sort of thing.  We are each seasoned, lived, and with lots to poem about.
    When I look at the above photo, I find it interesting that we all have long hair.  Most of my adult life, I kept my hair very short. 
      I'm in the green with the shortest hair in the photo.  It was easy.  I could comb my hair with my hand.  But during my separation, the guy who cut my hair well had to leave for a job with a pension.  He left what he loved, as so many have, out of fear for his older years.  I began to let my hair grow.  And grow.  It is more work, but it is my chance to enjoy having long hair.  As a youngster, I didn't like my hair.  Times were different and less types of looks were considered attractive, and I was as brainwashed as any other Barbie-owning American child.  I must insert here that before having any Barbies and Kens, my dear mother, a unique individual, sent away for a Barbie-like doll with a different name, and her hair was coarse.  I remember having such mixed feelings about the doll's hair.  Yet I knew deep down that my mother got me a doll whose hair was more like mine and hers.  I had trouble liking it in the age of Dippity-Do, Sun-In, ironing hair, using juice cans to set it straight, and doing whatever to get it long, straight, and, if possible, blonde.  Such wasted energy on not liking what one has.  Now I enjoy my hair and the freedom to do whatever I want with it.  Every now and then, I entertain the thought of cutting it again, but when I see the photo of the three of us, I'm glad I can still pull off this long-hair look.  
    The other thing that comes to mind when I look at us being introduced by David Elsasser, is WoMen In Black.  We send poems out into the world for those open to them.  The movie would be different than Men In Black
    Evie suggested we rotate for our reading.  I liked that, and Penelope decided to jump into it with us.  It turned out so well.  Considering it was a library and not a bar, and I was totally sober, I had so much fun.  The mic was good, so I didn't have to project my voice.  I was able to speak in a conversational way.  I had dug up old poems and edited them.  I read very new poems also.  Some were sad, touching, serious, but most were funny at least in part.  So there was laughter and applause.  The rotating helped keep it alive and moving.  Evie, me, Penelope.  I've heard a lot of Evie's work in the past but much of Penelope's was new to my ears.  We each enjoyed the experience so much.  The audience was soooooooo appreciative.
    One of the people who approached me after the reading asked me where I read.  I said, "Wherever I'm asked," but I'm not out there as much as I'd like, and I went on to explain that I also do comedy and have two jobs to just exist.  Her reaction is what I loved.  She said what a shame it is that such a gifted person has to work so much to exist and not work as much on her craft.  Later it occurred to me that the man I had a child with and gave so many monogamous years to never said such a thing to me.  As high as I felt from the wonderful event, I am so capable of sinking fast again.  So I've been actively re-running the reading in my head.  I work at feeling decent.
    A man named Fred, who I have met a few times before at another reading series, came over to me and asked if men really are such jerks (I think he said jerks.  If not, it was something along those lines.)  We talked for a while, and I said that I like mature men and that it had little to do with age.  I didn't need to explain anything to him.  He understood already.  He's not incapable of imagining life as someone other than himself.  He even said how much he doesn't even realize until he hears a voice like mine.  I'm so okay with that.  He can't realize everything without hearing from us.  He hears.  He lets it in and doesn't argue the validity of my reality.  That speaks worlds about him.  Sooooooo, of course, he's married.  Add to that, he behaves like he's married.  I like that in a person. 
    A co-worker and friend, Richard, came to the reading to tape me since I don't have any video of me reading my poetry.  He enjoyed the whole thing.  I won't see him until Wednesday, so I am not able to include a video here today, but I can share a poem.
    Urban Goddess
    She's an urban goddess
    has a woman home
    rounded, shaped as a dome
    stretch marks
    worn as badges
    veins and bellies bulge
    talking and singing and laughing
    abound; spontaneous shimmies
    occur.  A home
    menstrual flow celebrated
    welcoming fertility and maturity
    women's periods   
    like the phases of the moon
    not altered but respected.
    A home -- girls safe, clits
    protected as they were
    physically designed to be.
    A home -- boys and men welcome
    to love, not rule.  She's
    an urban goddess.
    Let her in.
    (c) Mindy Matijasevic

  2. 6 comments:

    1. Mary said...

      An urban, urbane goddess is who I see and what I read here. I am sorry I missed this reading, but revel in how you continue to unfold and uncrease to reveal yourself. Much like your hair, it is beautiful and natural.

    2. Mary, thank you. It's a different experience now that I know who you are. :-) I've got to go vote now for who I hope will be a good mayor for NYC.

    3. Canada Anne said...

      You are an urban Goddess!

    4. Thank you, CA. Now I've got to work on that woman home. :-)

    5. RHC said...

      I LOVE that POEM!

    6. Rhonda, it thrills me to read/see/feel the reactions. Thank you.

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