Jamie Hood Loves Her Beautiful Daughter (Who Is a Dog)

Jamie Hood. Photo: Violet Jones

Jamie Hood (@veryhotmomm) is a poet, bartender, chronic oversharer, and dog mom in Brooklyn. Her most recent work has been published by Burning House Press and Bomb Cyclone. She’s finishing a book of poems, a lyric memoir, and other miscellany on sexual assault and rape culture, called Rape Girl.

This week, Jamie and I talked Yelp reviews, abandoning academia, and sleeping with skater boys.

I love this city, I do. I also, as most people who suffer my chronic oversharing know, want to be a totally hot, depressed housewife to some lumberjack in a cabin in the woods with 100 dogs and a herd of babies someday. My sister’s living that life (minus the babies because we’re both barren) already, but has never lived in a major city, and so it’s just a grass-is-always-greener kind of situation. And yes, a 34-year-old DJ had made me cry that day, but to my credit he only DJ-ed on weekends and had a proper 9-to-5 otherwise. I don’t date men who are exclusively in the DJ gig economy because, although I am lonely, I do respect myself.

While you’re incredibly funny online, you’re not a comedian IRL. Does it ever cross your mind to get onstage with your jokes?
I have no intention of doing stand-up, mainly because I love myself. It’s just not an avenue of performance that appeals to me; the variability and total (often hostile) precarity of it taps into some of the deepest fears and traumas I don’t need to keep trying to conquer. That said, it’s hilarious that so many Twitter users have started to delusionally imagine me as a person with some expansive and powerful platform, when literally I’m just a sadgirl bartender who works three physically terrible jobs and writes on the side. I get the same kind of trolling as lots of people who actually make money off this shit, which can make it a frustrating space to continue comfortably using and being vulnerable on.

Has Twitter been beneficial to your humor at all? Has it changed your humor?
Well, first things first, we all know that Twitter fucking sucks. But I think it only works if you streamline your feed enough to find an occasionally enjoyable niche. It was obvious to me that I gained traction as an account once I started getting lumped into the “brash cum queens” bracket of the site. It hasn’t changed my humor, although I will credit it with giving me a space to be open and warm with a lot of strangers, because I think interpersonally I’m pretty guarded and read as cold. It’s nice to have some recognition of my ridiculous sentimentality and my propensity for being nurturing and maudlin and hot and maternal. I’m now Momm to thousands of baby trans girls, irony bros, and shitposters. What a treasure.

I don’t know if it’s that I look like the kind of girl who will let a man with untreated chlamydia “crash” at my “pad” for 4–8 months at a time, but there was a period when I first moved to Brooklyn where I was sleeping with a lot of skater dudes, and I will forever maintain that skater dudes lay good goddamn pipe. This is why we put up with all the rest of it, when we decide to put up with the rest of it, but I have had some of my best orgasms with men who haven’t had a bed frame since they were flunking out of undergrad. The bit is that there’s like a collective skater unconscious, or like weird skate Borg brain, that subliminally compels hot skater boys to try and impress me. And you know, it feels good to be adored.

How did you get into writing poetry? Do you ever incorporate your comedy into your poetry?
I’ve been writing poetry since I was a kid and did a poetry minor in college, before going on to a Ph.D. in literature with a dissertation on women’s confessional poetry (I have Plath and Sexton both tattooed on me, because I am painfully obvious in some ways). Unfortunately, Ph.D.s tend to keep you too busy to do any of the work you actually want to be doing, which was the impetus behind my abandoning the academy and fleeing to NYC to go back into bartending and start writing my books. My poetry is pretty fundamentally dark, because my investments in that kind of work track towards the material realities (and transformations) of the body, and in trauma — particularly sexual trauma — but for whatever it’s worth, my book about my rapes engages directly with how we contextualize rape jokes in relation to actual humor and ethics. I make rape jokes about myself all the time, but frankly, it’s my general sense that the only people who should be making rape jokes are those of us who got motherfucking raped.

You’re, famously, a beloved bartender, and many of your funniest tweets are bar-related. Do you get comedic inspiration from working such a job?
I love that you love me as a bartender. I used to have floods of Yelp reviews calling me a bitch and a tranny and a cunt, and threatening to hurt me (which, much as with Twitter, Yelp cares less about monitoring people calling out white supremacists [than they do] suspending women who make “men are trash” memes). I think I had to go through my party-girl years after my doctoral program, and have calmed down a lot and become much more open and personable, including as a bartender. But yes, bars are perfect microcosms for situational humor, because they’re foundationally jarring spaces — they shove countless different sorts of people together — and, particularly in fast-paced urban spaces, function as the Primary Social Space, frequently even for sober people. We live whole lives in bars, with all the joy and messiness that attends to that.

I’ve bartended at a deeply divey spot in Bed Stuy on and off for six years, and we have an old-timey Moulin Rouge–ass absinthe fountain that dispenses ice water for absinthe dilution. (The fountain has a naked lady on it whose name is Delilah, and we do, indeed, stan.) The clientele of late has gotten increasingly … how do I put it? Blander? Wealthier? Bougier? So a lot of newcomers don’t realize that this is a bar where people have fucked and sucked on every surface for years and years, and you know, having a woman say we needed condoms in this antique piece that is actually functional for booze in a place where most people come to find other hot sluts to raw simply had me losing my shit. Yes, I did say this to her face. Yes, she was disconcerted.

My favorite tweets of yours are the ones where you record your pup taste-testing different fruit. Please take a moment to gush about your daughter, Olive!
It kind of sucks that we can’t embed video here, because the only thing missing from everything I’m blabbering about is my beautiful daughter (who is a dog) Olive! She’s actually the most perfect angel in the entire history of time, and she’s my entire world. I think because I’m largely an introvert, and also because my job takes so much psychic energy, I need a ton of alone time, by which I mean a ton of time reading to my daughter and taking her down the street to the cafe where the baristas give her pats and treats, and going to the dog park with her (which we call “the place,” because she gets too excited if I say “the park”). I can’t imagine my Twitter account without her being a huge part of it, because she brings so much love and happiness into my life. Our recent bit is the “Olive food review,” where I video her taste-testing different fruits, because we’re healthy ladies who need our antioxidants to stay hot as fuck. She despises blueberries, and her favorite fruit is watermelon!

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Jamie Hood Loves Her Beautiful Daughter (Who Is a Dog)