Taking no prisoners. Including herself.

Poetry to a Transvestite Prostitute
- The Project

THE QUERY:
Who are these women (transvestite men) I see, walking up and down my block, night after night, looking for work as prostitutes? What is their world? What goes on in their heads? What makes up their life and experience, and were I to speak to them, would we have anything in common?

THE BACKGROUND:
Okay, let me back up: what I really want to do is interview the various transvestite prostitutes that frequent my block and write a stunning article profiling the secret life of — however, I am a coward.

No, no. Let me back up further: one morning, I woke up early, five o’clock, still dark. I marveled at my new studio, where I could afford to live alone, at the age of 24, in one of the most expensive cities in the world, in one of the wealthiest nations in the world. I curled up in my oversized armchair with a warm cup of Camomile Tea, still dressed in my crisp white cotton nightgown, and snuggled into a soft blanket; my radio was tuned to NPR; I had organic, whole wheat low-carb bread toasting in the oven;

I was the epitome of White Upper-middle-class Northern California — all snugly and comfortable and shit.

Outside my window, the city hadn’t yet woken up, and the street was empty save for the frenetic twittering of lights from across the street, and a lone prostitute wagging her hips.

Business for her was slow, and I watched her for awhile as she lollygagged down the street. She was blonde, thin, average height, about my age. Every time a car would drive by, and slow to a snail-pace, she would perk up her sweet little head, like a puppy — then her shoulders would slump when the car picked up speed again, not stopping for her. She looked so sad, dejected.

I almost felt bad for her. I wanted to run down to the street that very instant and — I didn’t know — pick her brain, shake her senseless, give her a hug? But instead, I wrote poetry.

THE PROJECT:
For the next week and a half, I will write in tribute to one in particular (who regularly works my block) a narrative and poem — utilizing a different poetic form each night.

§119 · By · February 7, 2006 ·


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