Dear Def Jam Poetry,

Just so there’s no confusion,
i’m not mad.
And i’m not black.
And i’m not a woman.
And I didn’t grow up on the streets.

All that being said,
i’m not even sure if I can actually BE a poet.
All the hip poets these days seem to be mad.
Or black.
Or women.
Or they grew up on the streets.

Or they’re mad, black, women who grew up on the streets

I’m so white i’m transparent
and it’s fairly apparent that
the only streets I live on
have immaculately manicured lawns
and perfectly repetitive mailboxes lined up like pawns
in some sick, suburban chess match
where the King and Queen don’t so much
move around the board
as they simply catch you off guard
knocking on the door with

“Welcome to the neighborhood!”
“We baked you cookies!”

(NOT that i’m complaining)

But i’m guessing all the
mad, black, women poets who grew up on the streets
just shake their collective heads at me
because i’m a minivan and a family away from being a
soccer dad
and i’m pretty sure that
no one
with one of those stupid, soccer ball shaped magnets
adorning their main mode of transportation
can actually be a poet.

What I need…
is some drama.
Dramatically unfolding events i’m told
inspire line after line of poetic discourse
forcing fists to raise unconsciously
and strike nerves
and resonate in the hearts of all the
mad, black, women poets who grew up on the streets

not understanding me
not understanding them

because I didn’t grow up on the streets
and i’m not a woman
and i’m not black
and i’m not mad
(just so there’s no confusion)

but I think I am a poet.