Delisile Godeffroy-Taylor

How I Prepare for an Accounting Interview

 

I
I let my hair grow out, at least a little. I don’t want the glare of my bald black head to distract you at our first meeting, when all it comes down to is that I like it that way. It’s comfortable and convenient. I love the way it feels and I love the way it ‘feels’. It is not a political commentary or sign of rebellion. I have no need to rebel; after all I am already free. Right?

II
I remind myself of all the language that will provide evidence that I am a rightful citizen of this world of administrative grandeur. Words like reduction and deplete, internal control and balance. They slide off my tongue like benediction and you clutch at them like salvation. I will make it all better. Take the jumbled chaos of paper, transactions, numbers, ideas, dollars and percentages and give you back a smooth, simple looking glass, polished to a brilliant shine and you will see nothing but the truth reflected back at you.

III
I will read about your organization obsessively. I will google it’s history, it’s critics, it’s founders and employees. I will study their faces if I can find pictures. Wonder what kind of people they are, why they wear their hair like that? Are they married? Do they love their job? Are they having an affair? What do they smell like? Are they organized and good at what they do? Will they annoy me? Will they impress me? Will I want to fuck any of them?

IV
The day of the interview I will take a shower, shave and masturbate before I slip into neutral blacks and whites, because I need to balance out the fact that I look anything but neutral. Short, black, fat, ridiculous big boobs, huge ass, short, short hair and a constant smile. I am never what you were expecting. My handshake is firm, my laugh is loud and I never pretend not to notice when you steal a glance at my breasts.

V
When you ask me, I will say, yes, I love this work: the beauty and precision of it; the chaos of it when it is not cared for; how mesmerizing any organizational structure is; how you can step back and watch it: a giant organism, writhing, twisting and rearranging itself, only partially cognizant of the parts that make the whole. I will tell you that is where the secret lies. If you can hold this vantage point long enough you can determine how to make or break the beast.

VI
You will laugh and think me original, intelligent and passionate, exactly what you are looking for. I will smile and let you. I will never tell you about all the moments I doubt myself. The days I wonder if any of my obsessions are healthy and why can’t I just be one or the other. Why are work and porn and spreadsheets and poetry and canvas and oil paint and music and trial balances and dancing and inventory valuation and good food and hot sweaty sex all live in the same place in me. I will never tell you how I am confused daily that I have to separate these parts of myself to keep you comfortable. How it hurts that my truth will cause you to back away from me.


Black. Queer. Mother. Writer. Artist. Almost Vegan. Atheist Witch. Daughter of Oya & one of Kali’s chosen. Delisile was the slam Champion of Champions three seasons in a row at the Cantab until she forfeited her title at the end of 2003 when she left the slam scene to focus on family and work and mundane things such as the meaning of her existence. In 2002 and 2003 she was a member of the Boston Lizard Lounge Slam Team that attended the National Poetry Slam. During the 2003 National Slam in Chicago she ranked third in the individual competition out of over 200 poets nation wide. In 2004 she was nominated by Cambridge Poetry Awards for Outstanding Slam Female and Performance Poet of the Year. Who knows when she will return to the performance scene (she certainly doesn’t). But when she does it is sure to be spectacular.

statement about performance poetry:

Coming from Southern Africa perhaps I have a different view of what performance poetry is. It is not a bastard offshoot of literature, it is a descendant of an old art that speaks directly to the masses (think of our story-tellers, and praise poets, the mourner at funeral that takes on the voice of all those grief stricken). When I write, I am (almost always) writing for the stage (or at least for the ear) and not the page and I will be making no excuses or apologies for it. I am not following the traditions of Frost, or Keats, or Dickson, I am following the tradition of the imbongi (praise poet, literal translation is “he/she who give thanks”).
“Written language is an attempt to imitate sound; the voice is mother to the word.” ~ Jack McCarthy