My first poem was on discovering the other woman. Looking back I can see that it was also my first performance piece and my first installation. I didn’t think of myself as a poet or an artist. I was just writing. And what happens when you write is you make discoveries. One of the highlights of my writing, reading and performing was meeting Gloria Steinem at the UK Women’s Writers conference in about 1990.
He said, “She is just storing a few things here.”
Heart beating fast, I threw it all on the floor.
First, from the drawers, came the nightgown, panties and bra.
Next, from the closet, came the pants, shoes and shirts followed by birth control pills and make up from the bathroom.
I went to the kitchen and piled on the dishes she brought to cook for him in. Then emptied the fridge of her leftovers—salad, spaghetti, fruit, hamburger.
Needs more texture. How about pancake flour dusted everywhere. And the bubble bath she “stored” in the bathroom—poured it all over.
Finally, icing for the cake—maple syrup, drizzled everywhere.
Even on top of the angry, goodbye note— “have fun you fuckers!”