Friday, April 2, 2021

(Black) LA Woman - Mimi Tempestt


what the white folk rave

as the best poet out



is a Black magician’s puppet

fire dancing

at the whisky a go-go

on sunset

little do they know

he still ain’t get it right

about me

“me” was

woman almost

on a decent LA day

never cared too much

for the construct

i cook up courage in cauldrons

considering against the cast iron

on my grandmother’s stove

which slaved

sizzled the breast


chicken to cry

unsatisfied in her husband’s belly

at a young age

my hormonal capacity

took no stock

in the conditioning


her kitchen

on my 29th birthday, i confessed

the indignation


my conception

i didn’t ask to be


my father giggled at the possibility

my mother stared blankly at her blessing

a loved mistake

i didn’t ask to be placed in this body as time capsule

my mother’s throat cleared “too late”

to discover you are

 a transcendental

accident manifested

through light speed


what the soul’s been yearning for millennia is the hardest throat slicing pill to swallow

my face blossomed in a bitter womb

my two eyes had to be pretty

to balance out

the rape renditions

that come spiraling




my third one

got gouged


to satisfy

a taste for flesh

on the oppressor’s tongue

 the oppressor’s tongue got a sharpened fork for teeth

 the oppressor’s tongue got a taste for melanated

(i mean marinated)


 the oppressor’s tongue

travels up my spine

makes me arch

 against the sensation

 until my world is down

on all fours

i ain’t got time

 for the business


my lady-like tendencies

i am approximately woman


my ego decided: i guess

my ego desires


in repetitive rejections


the pink bow

placed on my head at birth

my ego said

“this pussy is just an instrument you use

to duplicate the nonsense

of your father’s makeshift manhood”

my ego knows

it never needed teeth

to make nice

with this universe’s chaos

my ego said “ask about me”

“me” was

Black always



//invisible in a hollywood lens

the intersection makes

 the contradiction



my ego will two-step

and jiggy against

all their tap dancing pens

write about “me”


my ego’s smile got c(r)opped


on the front steps


the academy

i didn’t ask to be here

my ego cried

“all the this white man’s theory gon’ make a better nigger out of me”

fuck it.

i’ll blame that too

 on my inner child

in the confines


his bed

is where i][am “made”


he needed

all few

hundred pounds




bouncing on top


his small


to “make”

“him” cum

afterwards he had a tendency

to reminisce about

his grandmother

this is where our inner children often played

she was sweet//midwestern

 i am neither

he said he had

a thing

for LA women

me too

he said they don’t



like “me”

anywhere else

this one ain’t get it right about me either

my hair

always burning

fire dancing

against their fever


contended with

their tendencies

to shape me lady-like

like lady i am approximately woman today

i am


Mimi Tempestt is a multidisciplinary artist and poet. She is a daughter of California, being born and raised in Los Angeles and currently lives in the bay area. She is a graduate of Mills College with a MA in Literature. Her debut collection of poems, The Monumental Misrememberings, is forthcoming with Co-Conspirator Press in November. She’s currently a creative fellow at The Ruby in San Francisco and was recently selected for participation in Lambda Literary's Writer’s Retreat of emerging LGBTQ voices for poetry in 2021.

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