Stories For Women

if you think you read this previously on a personal blog which no longer exists, i have two words for you: prove it.

My wife says I should listen to her more often. Perhaps.

Then again, Frank Ocean’s Nostalgia, Ultra grows on me. It’s still “okay” in the “it’s not wack” sense, but I’m not ready to jump on the bandwagon. That said, I see the appeal–infectious beats coupled with “young-man” lyrics.

Often, I thought as I listened, “Grow up,” but that’s my problem, not Frank Ocean’s, I’m sure.

Favorite joints so far: “novacane,” “songs for women,” and “lovecrimes.”

In “songs for women,” Ocean muses about singing and writing songs to get with women. I can’t sing, but I figured–once upon a time–that literature would do. Yeah, I just assumed women would drop panties at the sight of a postmodern parable on love and loss…written in prosaic form, no less.

Which begs the question: are there literary groupies? If I go on a book tour, would I have to deal with freaky, busty librarians who want their “cover pages” autographed?

Now, I’ve heard about some of the debauchery at such events as AWP, so–I mean–is it a stretch?

Baby, I’m the new Proust…just roll with me. No?


In my early writing days, I kept my passion a secret. I’d bring my high school girlfriends home–it helped to have a workaholic father–and we’d converse, laugh and giggle, make out and take it there.

But I was no fool–when her bra dropped, that was not the time to compare the styles of Langston Hughes and Nikki Giovanni. And let’s be real, I was a young lad with a wavy haircut and navy-hued Jordans unlaced; though fat, I had dimples and orthodontically-correct teeth, so I didn’t need to write poetry or stories for women.

Besides, what could I say?

“Yeah girl, I was in the lab–in the studio–working on these stanzas, trying to lay down these paragraphs for the novel.”

Music translates to literature, sure–but it’s not a clean connection.



And every time somebody ask me if I write stories to get at women, I say “yeah,” they say “no fair no fair, that’s cheating,” I say “shit, oh well, oh well.”


But okay, I wrote poetry for my high school sweetheart to lose my virginity. Yeah, I loved her–yeah, it all came from the heart–but she swooned and swayed and covered her lips [licked] like, “It’s like that?”

So I understood the power. By the time I dropped out of college, I used it haphazardly. It got me in trouble. “Trouble” is defined as serial cheating [emotional, for the most part] and serial getting-caught. Seriously breaking hearts–serial killer of sorts.

I thought it was cute in the “I’m an artist and I got appetites” sense, but I grew up. The cute shit just left behind a trail of embittered women and left me lonely; my nonsense precluded any opportunity for future friendships with them, so


Now every time somebody ask me if I write stories to get my women, I say “nah,” they say “okay I don’t believe it,” I say “no, I swear I never do it.”


Dudes like Frank Ocean remind me of my age. I’m still young, but not quite–time slips–and it’s a new paradigm to navigate. It shouldn’t scare me to get old, to become irrelevant, to be the elderly man holding up a gaggle of teenagers rushing to walk up the block–but it does. It frightens me more than death, but that’s regret talking. Wishing I was a little bolder during my younger youth, a little more confident, a little–dare I say–swag in my repertoire. Maybe–just maybe–I would’ve worn my hat tilted and donned my eyeglasses more often, shared my love of Miles Davis with girls, escorted them to my bedroom and before legs splayed, I could’ve opened my notebook to show them the power of literature, of expression, of creation–

I mean, we ended up creating a baby accidentally, but that’s not what I mean.

The could’ve, would’ve, should’ve–each in plural form–mount up like the years.

mensah demary, whose prose has appeared or is forthcoming in various publications, is co-founder & editor-in-chief of Specter Literary Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @mensahdemary or trolling his own author site at