So this weekend I got a note from a reader.
This is not a happy story and I was enraged on Saturday when I got it but I’m calmer now but we need to talk about this.
So this reader who lead their note by proclaiming their Whitey Whiteness basically told me they are “disappointed” that not all my writing is like my piece at Literary Orphans. Apparently this bit tickled this person:
This hurt is never small and has taken root in my soul. It is pain that reaches down and pulls at the things most private and most sacred to me. It blooms nausea and flaming shit.
Rather than telling me that my piece was well written or good or even thought provoking this person went on to tell me that they read some of my other work and was disappointed.
So basically this person wants m to be their pain porn presenting Negress.
When I asked for clarification about their disappointment basically this person told me I have the potential to write the “next Beloved” or something like it.
For those who haven’t read or seen Beloved it is fucking brutal. Don’t get me wrong Toni Morrison is one of my heroines but seriously, I will never read that book again because it hurt that much.
So here’s the thing. My piece at Literary Orphans was not fiction. That is my real life. That is my vomit, my flaming shits, my anxiety my real fucking pain and it was not meant to be entertainment for White people. I will never write that kind of thing just for White people to learn something or feel good about themselves that they are not guilty of (at least that they will admit to) whatever I’m writing about.
It is not for you.
As a matter of fact if you read something like what I wrote there or any of my posts or observations about my Blackness and my life and the only thing you get out of it is feeling like a Good White Person or a Nice White Lady kindly do not tell me
Don’t send me notes praising my ability to lay my racial pain bare for your fucking amusement.
Officially if you haven’t gleaned it before, this is a hurtful shitty fucking thing to do.
It makes me not want to share that sort of thing publicly.
Don’t write me to tell me how pleasantly surprised you are that I write/speak so eloquently.
Don’t write me to tell me how “bold” I am for telling my real truth.
Don’t write me to tell me how not racist you are.
Frankly if you (claim to have) read my work and you reduce more than 20 years of my work to “I wish there was more about race” (pain porn) fuck you.
I don’t honestly know how authors more famous than I am deal with this. I do want to be read by people with diverse points of view. I like it when people want to engage with me but, when people act out of pocket and demandy but sign off with a winky emoti (because obvs. a winky makes EVERYTHING permissible to say) I lose my shit.
My writing in all the forms and ways I do it, is not really always about one thing. I write a lot of things. I experiment. I try new shit. Sometimes said shit fails miserably (see my recent poems I’ve written, they are awful) and sometimes they are pretty great.
The ONE thing I cannot stand in my life is the expectation that I am only capable of a single mode of expression. I’m not here for that.
This is the part of sharing non fiction that frustrates me.
I don’t want people reducing me to the one thing they want to fap to.
So I don’t know.
I’m just- fuck okay you want some pain porn here it is.
It fucking hurts me on a deeply personal level to be reduced to a source of pain porn entertainment for anyone. Don’t tell me that shit.
Who and what I am is not summed up in that one piece. That one piece is a part of me and not all of me.
I need to stop here but let me just say that if you as a reader are disappointed that I don’t lay bare ALL my soul deep pain, fuck you keep stepping. I am not here for you nor am I here r that.
This is probably why I am not more famous.
So yeah. That happened and I really hope it doesn’t happen more because I honestly can’t handle it. At least not right now.
In other news I will be adding some more things to read for a dollar or two in my etsy store. Keep your eye on (if it is not there wait a few minutes and come back) my little etsy widget for updates, reprints and original etsy only stuff to read. Eventually you’ll find some of my crocheted items as well but not before Christmas I think.