BREAKING: Local Lesbian Is Sad, Thinks Solution Is To ‘Start Doing Poetry Open Mics’

Janet P., a local lesbian in a midsize city that is known for its robust-ish arts scene and proximity to a larger city but that is described as a “quaint” “escape” from said larger city (rent is just as high in both), says it was heartbreak that brought her to the “Free Drinks (Two Per Person Limit) Open Mic Night” at McKinney’s Irish Pub.

“Sapphic heartbreak,” she specifies, though the reporter did not ask a followup question.

Janet, who initially asked for her name to be changed in this story to Kelly in case her ex-girlfriend would read this before ultimately deciding she’d rather her ex-girlfriend know it was her and possibly reach out as a result, says she never wrote poetry before the morning of her first open mic but that she was feeling a type of sad that only pen and paper could accurately put into words.

“Like, give yourself a haircut kind of sad,” she says.

The first poem Janet read of the evening, titled “When You’re So Sad You Give Yourself a Haircut,” was met with sparse snaps and uncomfortable laughter in the modestly attended backroom of the pub, occasionally drowned out by the sound of people cheering for the sporting event playing on televisions in the main part of the bar and another local lesbian getting increasingly drunk and challenging random men to a round of darts.

Janet says she’ll definitely be back for the next open mic.

“I just feel like the only way to move through my breakup is to share my soul with the world,” she says. “Plus, the two free drinks are a sweet deal!”

In addition to Janet, the weekend’s open mic lineup included one MFA student in the midst of a mental breakdown, one MFA dropout in the midst of a mental breakdown, one recently canceled formerly famous author, and an elderly gay man who thought it was karaoke night and sang a strangely haunting a cappella cover of “Love Will Keep Us Together” by Captain & Tennille to a standing ovation from the audience.

For the full upcoming schedule of the “Free Drinks (Two Per Person Limit) Open Mic Night” at McKinney’s Irish Pub, visit any random streetlamp in town plastered with half-tattered fliers and stickers advertising people’s mixtapes.

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 814 articles for us.

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