A Real Hot Mess: How Grits Got Weaponized Against Cheating Men

February 14, 2019

In her poem grits, Angela Jackson’s woman narrator stays up all night, seething and stirring.

all night

she watch the pot, cooked

her grits thick for hours

(not the quick kind) till grains disappear

into smooth with a slick

coat on top

hot enough

for a man to wear

(she said) on both

his faces.

Ten lines of tension: They pulsate with an untold backstory of betrayal real or perceived—and an act of violence the “she” may or may not commit. Jackson paints a conflictual portrait of a woman unraveling yet rational enough to plot. She’s stirring up a strike against a lover.

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