To Niche or Not to Niche

I have been giving this a lot of thought. This blog is almost 40 years after my first published piece–something written for a school newspaper. A writing experience which started me on my way to majoring in journalism in college and working on the college newspaper. I interned at Rural America Newspapers working in the communications department. As a city girl, I enjoyed writing about small-town news and happenings.

Upon graduation, I had to think of work as providing a source of income over enjoyment. Growing up in a single-parent household a lot of time was given to bills being paid. Writing and reporting was something I wanted to do, but I was going to need to sustain myself and having lived in the crack of lower and middle-class, middle looked better. It looked damn good. I sold writing my soul (do not think that is possible but–I like the cliché) and started a marketing career. I put together fancy presentations and won awards and trips and finally relinquished my writing to marriage and children and a house in suburbs but secretly tucking my poems inside journals and drawers and photo boxes.

There is a lot to unpack over 50 years of living. I am not sure I have a niche in my writing. I have lived ‘seasons’, a child, an adolescent who had great freedom to explore the city and see things some young people should not. A daughter, a mother, a sister, a niece, a cousin, a good friend. A girlfriend, a wife, a businesswoman, a divorcee.

Life has been bitter as winter’s breath and balmy as a summer sigh. I have seen those that died and those that lived. The blog is all my complexities and some of my poetry. As a writer my poems are soft and hard. An advocate for those marginalized, I realize the gap between us is small. So, a niche? No. I do not have one like the seasons inevitably the blog will change.

Here’s a spoken word piece I have been reciting around town (imagine me standing in front of you and being choleric):

Somebody asked me why are you here?

Let me be clear. Im here for those who could not be here or should be here but are full of fear or lack of ear or dumb luck or getting fucked or riding high or ready to die. Anywaythey aint here.

I stand for the man or the woman who sits on the side of society’s lines or maybe hides or rides in the back of the Streetcar Named Desire because they couldn’t get hired or they got fired and thing’s got tough and they got roughed While getting older the streets got colder and now they got nowhere to lay their head until their dead.

And the city reclaims them... and puts them in a plot of land that they should have had all along before everything went wrong.

Their ancestors had to make the trip on the ship that was never to return to the beautiful land in which they left. Here they lay bound and deaf to the depths to which they would eventually creep and the beatings would get so deep, they could no longer sleep and the only thing that they could think of was death and the beautiful plot they had back home.

Maybe, things would be changed from the chains if they had that little plot or a dirt lot to call their own to make a home instead they remain homeless. While, we about the business of making business, making money keeping our mind on it and ignoring the bodies piling up around the streets that we drive and the parks that we sit.

But we hip. We got our mind on how to make money and all the sweet honey’s and the him’s and the Tim’s (Timberland’s). We got our “whip’s” and “rim’s” and them? They lay in the street dying and losing limbs. So, why am here? I’m here for those who can’t be here who are living with the fear of everyday life.

Not knowing whether they get beat down tonight and die in the glow of the street light. 

If there is one…

So let me ask you – Why are you here?

© 2018 little pi


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