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

October Rising

“Words”

 

I became intimate with “Words,” during my infancy… “

Words” became my first playmate, my best friend, my confidante…

Tottering around my childhood home, I learned to utilize “Words” expeditiously, speaking in phrases, bypassing the seemingly nonsensical, monosyllabic utterances rendered by other youth in my age demographic…

I strung together sentences beneath the exuberant tutelage of my professionally educated mother. My fascination with “Words’s” intricate design, graduated quite expediently from oral regurgitation to verbal origination.

I developed my own form of cuneiform, with a toddler’s flourish, patiently perfecting the tenuous link between that which is “said,” and that, which is “written.”

I become the author of my life, ostensibly mastering my fate.

Sculpted letters became sound, to which I attached meaning, that metastasized into paragraphs, which elongated into pages that became rudimentary expressions of my talent.

I watched others struggle to conjugate verbs, while I entertained invitations to join Advanced Placement Literacy classes.

I wrote my first book at five (unpublished), and continued throughout my childhood into early adulthood, regaling eager listeners and readers with unpublished pieces of authentic literary work that gained me notoriety as an innocuous, yet brilliant, burgeoning authorette.  

I preened at their commentary, reveling in the knowledge that my Purpose in life was birthed from my kinship with “Words.” Be they spoken or written, I was never without them…

Until… …My daddy died, and “Words” failed me.

The betrayal was as instantaneous as it was crippling. How to adequately put into “Words” my shock…? My anger…? My disgust…?

How could I aptly convey my desolation…my fear…the sense of abandonment that now blanketed my security?

The absence of “Words” was noticeably offensive because of the devastation left in its wake…

We were no longer in tandem, because I NEVER gave permission for “Words” to bring into the corporal plane that which I would not even entertain through errant thought.

I never sanctioned my father’s death!

“Words” must be spoken into existence so that THAT which was NOT could be brought to fruition!

I didn’t give “Words” my permission…

My life force, intertwined with “Words” since my beginning…stuttered, abandoning me to a confusing emptiness that would not allow my to shape sound beyond the metaphorically silent scream of my transfixed lips.

My somber mien did not reflect my new reality…

Because the day my daddy died I lost more than my father; I lost my connection to the Son…

My identity, my self-expression, the salve for every anguish I’d ever sustained, lay in my ability to express myself thru “Words.”

Through “Words” I connected my soul to the spiritual plane.

Through “Words” I accessed God…

As I gazed at my father’s inert form, lying so achingly prone in his hospital bed, I tried to process that his body was not the only one in the room suddenly absent a soul…

I, too, had become an untenanted shell of what was once whole.


October Rising – I am a former aspiring author who decided to parlay a hobby into a profession.  Teaching is what I do; writing is who I am…

Taylor Hall

Where Were You? A Response to the Women’s March (and My Facebook Friends)

On the day of the women’s march in Washington, I could not hold my grievances so I aired them out. After seeing video footage and photographs from the march, I took to my personal social media pages and shared the one thought I couldn’t let go of:

There were mad amounts of white women at the march, as if they weren’t the reason Trump won.

As expected, as a black woman speaking up about the march, I was met with everyone’s favorite claim: I was being divisive. I was met by two non-black people of color telling me that I shouldn’t discourage anyone from marching because, and I quote, “We’re all in this together.”

Honestly, at this point words like, “Unity” and “We” cause me so much irritation that it makes my ass itch.

I even had someone I’ve admired for years throughout my college education make a similar point, quoting that Ella Baker wouldn’t have asked, “Where have you been?” and instead responded with a, “Glad you’re here.”

Well, it’s 2017 and I am a black woman still marching and fighting for my rights. My feet hurt. My back hurts from shouldering all of this pain and struggle inherited from the people who marched and fought before me. My damn head hurts from always being there to clean up the mess white women make and offering them a hand and forgiveness. Black women have always been in this together with everyone, from the black men that consistently refuse to acknowledge their ability to oppress us, to NBPOC that rarely show up and out for us like we do them, to white women that always, always, always want to know, “Why we make this about race.” because they still can’t wrap their minds around our simple request to be seen for all we are.

I can’t be Ella Baker. I can’t look at you and lie and say, “I’m glad you’re here.”

It DOES matter where you were before this moment because I know that your involvement here, right now, is rooted deeply in self-interest and completely half-assed.

I have something I’ve been battling with and it’s my desire for you all to see me completely. When I speak up, you condescend and play victim, you only reply when you want to berate me for my very valid opinion and I’m tired. Suddenly, all of you want unity, but you’re late as hell to the party.

Where were you?

And even now, after all of this, where are you? Why aren’t you comparing and contrasting how police officers respond to groups of white women protesting and how they react to groups of black people arguing against injustice? Why can’t you notice that you sound exactly like men when you hit us with that, “Not all white women.” response and show us how you feel when you aren’t as quick to shut that down when you hear it. Did you stop those women that took pads and wrote on them instead of just donating those items to less fortunate women? Did you tell that woman at the protest with the “No pussy, no power!” sign how exclusionary that was?

I want you to know I see you.

I’ve seen, or rather noticed how absent you were at protest, how silent you were when we were organizing. I see you.

I see you and I raise you nothing. Not a finger or fist.


 

Young, broke and fabulous is how writer Taylor Hall describes herself. On any given day you can catch her on twitter or at your local bar ranting about the world. You can read more from her at her blog, Whattaysaid.com where she documents the many trials and triumphs of life as a young, black woman in America.