Thursday, March 1, 2007

Submission Example, Ellen Hagan, Writer

It Was Me
Published in America! What's My Name?

By Ellen Hagan
Born in Bardstown, Kentucky

Body calling. For you. This is what they say. My body needs. What’s your desire? You want to be 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 and tight, one slick body calling you up, dialing.

At 13, I wanted to be kissed deep and long, not because MTV told me that’s what I wanted, not because of Jodeci’s ‘Forever My Lady’ or Naughty by Nature’s ‘Hip-Hop Hooray’, or the street corner or the pressure of my peers. Not because of anything other than wanting another mouth on mine. At 13, I was all legs and frizzy hair and nowhere to put all my longing. It wasn’t music videos, Madonna in a sprawl on a cross with a black Christ that made me want to slow grind on all the boys at the parties, throw my head back shooting tequila or vodka or bourbon and laugh high and loud.
It was me.

At 14, I lost my virginity at another 14- year old boy’s house, while his mother watched The Price is Right in the living room and his dog barked till he had to yell “Shut the fuck up,” while he was thinking of saying the same thing to me. And it was not Teen Beat, with Silk on the cover that had me wasted and naked from the hips down, not Seventeen or Beverly Hills 90210. It was not a zip code that made me buy a box of condoms on my way to his house because he said, “I don’t have none…could you?”
And I could. And I did.

At 15, I made out, put my tongue into warm mouths and kissed slow and deep in dark alleys, but I was terrible alone, and it wasn’t mass media that told me I was ugly. It was the mirror. “Sex me baby.” It was at 15 I learned other girls got breasts, not the girls in Snoop Dogg videos or on the covers of magazines, but my best friends. Got tits. And asses. And figures. And curves that went Bam! And touch me. I’m hot, kinda figures that said, “come and get it. come and get it. come and get it. come and get it.”
Like a looped record, full of Kentucky Southern.

Re-mix. “Turn off the lights cuz girl it’s on. Sex me.”
Re-mix. No matter how much I re-mixed it, I was still alone and there was no sex me in my future. And it wasn’t the supermodels on TV that told me I was ugly, or too skinny, or too stupid. It was the mirror. It was growing up.
It was me.

*Lyrics from R. Kelly’s Sex Me

Ellen's Bio

Ellen Hagan is a writer, actress and educator. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and can be seen in Failbetter, La Petite Zine, nervygirl, Monologues for Women by Women, Check the Rhyme: An Anthology of Female Poets & Emcees and upcoming in Submerged: Tales from the Basin and America! What’s My Name? Her work has been featured on Kentucky Educational Television, New York’s WBAI and WNYE and produced by SpokenWorks for the New York International Fringe Festival, ROAR Theatre Festival and the American Living Room. She has had residencies at the Hopscotch House and The University of Kentucky and received grants from the KY Foundation for Women and the GSA Toyota Alumni Fund. Ellen recently performed for season five of Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam and tours the state with her duo show Becoming Woman. She is also the co-founder of girlstory, a multi-generational, multi-cultural women’s collective based in New York City. girlstory was recently nominated as Vagina Warriors for V-Day at Adelphi University and performed for Eve Ensler’s Stop the Violence Campaign in the Y.Now Festival at HERE Theatre in summer 2006. Ellen holds an MFA in fiction from The New School University, and is working on a full-length novel entitled The Kentucky Notes.

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