Sunday June 18, 2017
They Used To Call Me Snow White…But I Drifted
Good girls wear miniskirts and have their hair teased, that was made clear. We were to smoke and choke and snort and suck and smile smile smile. This isn’t a poem, so don’t worry about it. We were welcomed with a weigh-in and then told that if we gained the normal fifteen whatevers we would be out out out on our bodacious asses. Cassandra even said that she knew a girl who knew a girl who did gain the whatevers and they actually did kick her out and she didn’t get her deposit back or anything.
Thursday April 6, 2017
The Birth House
“You’re not going to get pregnant and have to quit or something, right?” I looked down at my hands in my lap, clasped tight.
“I’m not sure if you’re allowed to ask me that?” I wish I hadn’t phrased it as a question. I wish I’d said, “You’re not allowed to ask me that.”
I wonder about my friends who are men, who are also finishing graduate school, who will also go on a series of good, bad, demoralizing, funny, awkward interviews. I wonder about these men, fine men, good, kind men, and if a man in a purple tie might ask them about their future babies?
“Thank you for your time. We’ll be in touch.” A clammy handshake.
“Thank you,” a knot in my throat, brow slightly furrowed, I go into the bathroom and change my shoes.
Thursday April 6, 2017
The Birth House
don’t hide your teeth
this world is due for a lesson
woman with fangs
woman with blood
the soft spun into a breastplate
is not made to protect weakness
woman with impusle
woman with growl
whoever decided to paint her
holding a flower
and said that
she wouldn’t hurt a fly
was hoping everyone would
be too stupid to question
whoever decided to paint her
was wrong about her weapons
Saturday January 28, 2017
This One Summer
Jillian and Mariko Tamaki
If he asks you what you’re up to or what your plans are, tell him you have a meeting with yourself and that you’ve got to keep it. Tell him that you need to be alone or without him or some space sometimes and do not apologize for needing it. Do not justify or bargain. If he doesn’t like it, tell him too bad. Tell him you don’t care. Tell him if he doesn’t like it, there’s the door. Tell him if he’d rather be with someone who needs only him then he should go right now and try to make a deal with the devil or something so he can find her.
If he decides the movie, or what you’re having for dinner, or the flavor of ice cream then tell him fine but tomorrow not so much. If he decides what you wear, if you’re talking too loud, when you’re allowed to talk about yourself, then tell him that it’s over.
Thursday November 24, 2016
Weddings from the Heart
Daphne Rose Kingma
We’re talking forevers now which really we have
no right to do which really is all a big joke anyway
We’re talking hay bales and baby names
and barbecued chicken and first dance songs and
Will I even wear a white dress anyway
This institution getting a reboot on the terms
of interracial feminism progression but
what about the minivan and the braces and
the mortgage and the mutt
We’re talking forevers now and it getting
us high and making us squirm
Wednesday November 16, 2016
Dear Sugar Radio
I found the sweet spot in a twin bed in my father’s house
second floor of the Victorian brick house on the tree-lined street
Lying on my back thinking thinking seeing thinking wishing panting
parting spreading leaking oh oh say it yes sweet sweet sweet
There was not shame on the futon on the floor of the basement
of my mother’s house
first love like liquid gold between my legs
first love passion and clumsy hands and is it supposed to feel like
I see these young ones
I see these crying mothers
for their daughters in crop tops with eyes the basins of longing
Fill me up
Fill me up
Tuesday October 11, 2016
From a Tangerine ad
No one tells you that you become invisible. Your nose gets bigger, you sprout hair out of your ears, you lose all your pubes, and you become invisible. That’s the truth. I want you to know it because I wish I had. I would’ve given a heck of a lot less attention to how I looked when I actually looked like a Goddamn goddess. I’m not exactly sure when the invisibility cloak was placed over my shoulders… Fifty five? Sixty? I even tried dressing extra sassy, then extra sophisticated, then radical… Didn’t real change a thing. It really showed me what we were fighting for in the Women’s Lib Movement… If you aren’t deemed valuable, viable (ie. child bearing) to MEN, then suddenly society doesn’t value you. You are no longer sexual currency. Might as well be in the bargain bin.
Tuesday March 22, 2016
on the artist program guide site
A woman just crashed into a table behind me. I didn’t look up. I don’t know for sure that it even happened but I sensed it in some way and then I accepted it as not my problem. I hope I don’t go to hell for this. Like people say there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women. Well is there a special place for women who sense that other women around her are in distress but don’t actually have concrete evidence or even a witness account that that’s the case? I mean. If I can be real for a quick second, I very well may have invented that there was even a woman behind me at all. I felt the room’s energy shift. I also could have had a heart palpitation and confused it for someone being hurt? Maybe I’m the hurt one? Like is this even an issue. I’m sure she’s fine. No one around me has changed their activities. Either it didn’t happen or she didn’t need help in the first place. It’s not fair to invent victims. I’m simply saying if I had turned around to just see, I could have better assessed my destination as hell or otherwise.
Sunday March 13, 2016
From a sample CV
A stench in the music of his voice he invites
me into the backseat and I’m wary of the way that
his hands dance. “Make a kissy face make a kissy
face” he says taking photos on his flip phone my
femininity is not enough for him without pursed
lips. The sky is shitting hail and he rolls a joint
on my thigh jeans like armour legs spread.
“You want to go to the falls?” I know there isn’t
actually a question in there even when I look
inside the spaces between want and to.
Saturday March 12, 2016
There’s a man staring at me from under a balaclava. I am scared but more than that- I am furious. I think if I show fear he wins. I am mad that he is winning. I am so mad that he is anything on this planet, but because I have to deal with this, I am angry that these stupid tactics are working on me. He is on my mind. At the front of it. I tell myself not to look up at him. I don’t want to meet the gaze of this ridiculous human being who’s growing harder in his pants at the thought of displacing me in my rightful position on this earth. I tell myself that if I don’t look at him, I will be the one in control. I am desperate for another human to get on this god forsaken bus so I can avoid eye contact with him or her as well so it doesn’t look like he’s getting to me, just seeming that I don’t look at anyone, that I don’t give a flying fuck about connection.
I am afraid.
And I hate him for that.
Monday February 29, 2016
I don’t know how to tell you about
that breaks open
seeds all over the place
dying your hands the colour of the hurt
I don’t know how to tell you about
the time I was grabbed on the subway platform
too young to know what this body even means
to a world obsessed
the time I was followed
running up the stairs to
the house on the street named after a tree
heart pounding out of my ears out of my mouth
Thumbing through a phone book for the number to call
We are taught it’s not an emergency until someone
I don’t know how to tell you about
the complexities of getting home alone
keys gripped one between each finger
glances over a shoulder that burden kisses
and has kissed since breasts sprouted
Sunday February 14, 2016
Dear Mr. You
How to shake hands with the first ever Woman President
(who just happens to have long peach coloured fingernails and three very large rings on)
Shake her hand like she’s any other woman.
She is, in fact, an-other woman.
She too uses tampons.
She forgets to pluck a stray chin hair.
She sometimes smokes when she’s drunk.
She too wonders about frizz, and sexism, and avocado in smoothies.
Shake her hand like you mean it.
Like through your palms you’re able to transmit all of your heart’s yearnings.
Maybe you can.
Shake her hand and look her in the eye.
No one likes a watcher – you know the kinda person who looks at the hand their shaking.
There’s too much intimacy there,
Especially for a first meeting.
Shake her hand with power and attention to how her
particular hand wants to be shaken.
Don’t project your own desires on to her.
You’ll only learn her shake style a few shakes in.
Monday, August 31, 2015
Mama had a ranch and she lived a good life
With her dogs and her horses and her cows and her ribbons
Mama had a good life and she wrote herself letters for 45 years
Today we branded 20, yesterday Henrietta rode on Lyla for the first time
Mama made her own history and she changed into someone she liked more
With her spirit and her intentions and her sanctuary and her home
Mama made us meat loaf and made us take seconds
Cause we are family, eating like family, reminding each other of what’s important
Mama knitted life lessons in afghans and couch cushions
With her advice and her kindness and her generosity and her magic
Mama stayed up late walking outside under the stars
With her open heart and her open hands and her rain boots
Wednesday March 25, 2015
Yesterday I glanced down and I was surprised. Surprised that after all these years (31 if you’re wondering), I actually liked what I saw. Yeah get over it I’m talking about my vagina. Why can’t I? Don’t answer that, I don’t give a shit. I’m allowed to talk about whatever I want, especially when it’s something I love. You hear that, I don’t just like my vagina. I love her. With a thousand deeply regretted shitty comments I’ve uttered about myself, I take a stand today, mirror in between my legs, and facing the setting sun. I see who I am all over. Soft. Capable. Hungry. Open. Closed. Both. Alive. Strong. Resilient. Self-preserved. Willing to house others.
My vagina is my spirit animal.
I am she and she is me.
Wednesday March 25, 2015
She mentions the book over pottery mugs of Earl Grey tea, cupped in our open palms. We’re perched in chairs that used to live in her parents house, smaller versions of their armchair grownup selves. She tells me that it’s changed her life, this book, and I trust her, this woman, and I promise myself that when I see it, I will buy it. I want a new relationship with my vagina, too.
The timer is running out of time because I’ve paused a bunch while writing this, feeling nervous, not wanting to overshare, but wanting to be very honest.
If you haven’t read Vagina by Naomi Wolf, please find someone to borrow it from, or buy it, or order it from the library. If you are a woman, this is for you. If you are a man, this is for you. If you are neither, this is also for you. No matter who you love or why you love them or what you have or what you don’t have, this book is for you.
It took me a long time to recognize the politics of my body. I want to understand them and I can’t simply from reading The Globe and Mail.
Saturday October 25, 2014
The back of a room spray
It’s late. The rain’s stopped but the moon’s to blame now. For this insatiable urge to eat gelato. I pull on shorts and a tank top. I’ve been naked because it’s so hot. There’s a gelato place three blocks from the room I’m renting. I see him and I recognize him but I’m not wearing a bra so I keep walking. “Hey!” He calls. I stop. I don’t want to be rude. Fucking Canadian. I stop. He runs towards me. I don’t know him well enough for him to run. My best friend didn’t even run towards me when I got home from China and she hadn’t seen me in two years. He smiles. “You look like you just woke up,” he says and I didn’t just wake up but I’m disheveled. I’m not wearing a bra. “Where’re you going?” His eyes dart to my nipples, then to my lips, then to my eyes. Too slow. “Home,” I say. “I’ll walk you,” he says. My mind races with options – how can I avoid him but get to the gelato but avoid him? “No thank you.” I say. “It’s not safe for you to walk alone right now… You know how it goes with the men here…” “I’m fine.” I say. His face eclipses. His face changes. He looks angry. He starts to say something and then stops. “I’ll see you around,” he says. I wait. I catch my breath. I close my eyes and I think about my first real boyfriend, who took my virginity, who cried when we had sex because he was so scared of hurting me. Where are you, Steve Levine? Where are you now?
Tuesday May 6, 2014
Resourcefulness and self-reliance are prized traits in my family. “Resourcefulness” was fostered on yearly camping trips, on being left to my own devices in the wooded ravine behind my childhood home. “Resourcefulness” came from hours spent playing alone. “Self-reliance” was the ability and, perhaps more importantly, desire to ride the subway alone in Grade Three. Perhaps some of this comes from being raised by a woman who lived through the sixties, who was one of two women on her university campus who didn’t wear a bra, who read Simone de Beauvoir and built a cabin from the ground up wearing only her undies. Perhaps some of this comes from being a youngest child, sometimes left behind when the older ones would go off and I would be left to mix mud pies and speak in secret languages to my stuffed lion.
Tuesday April 29, 2014
The Holiday Inn note pad/em>
According to Dale, women shouldn’t have to pay for their own meals. Carmella agreed with this notion because she worked as an underpaid nanny and couldn’t avoid the trap of wanting and needing free things.
Dale and Carmella met at the carnival two summers ago when Carmella was struggling to find enough coins to pay for her burrito-dog and Dale had watched with a glint in his eye from a distance. He waited till it was the right moment and came up, placed 2 dollars on the Carny’s counter and began to walk off.
Obviously Carmella had chased after him, wanting to thank him for his heroic act, and Dale knew exactly how it would go.
Thank you for..you know, you didn’t have to do that..
(turns back to keep walking)
Wait. That was..
No, that was nice. Nobody’s ever..done anything like that–
It’s totally fine, really.
For me before. So.
Can I buy you a drink?
I don’t know can you?
(embarrassed laugh, shy eyes)
I could in a couple weeks?
So let’s do it then.
In a couple weeks?
Yeah, why not.
I’ll take you up on that, you know.
I hope you do.
(turns back to walk away)
What was that.
I said I can’t believe I got so lucky…
Thursday April 10, 2014
From a quote by John Grisham
Franky used to be a real prick. He’d line up my Barbie dolls and shoot the heads and the tits off each one. One by one by Barbie dolls would undergo their painful transformation as my brother Franky (who obviously didn’t believe women existed as human beings), would ruin their bodies and their faces satisfying his cruel desire for violence and nudity. He grew up one day and I told him that he should really try to make sure his own kids didn’t do that to their sister because it was actually pretty traumatizing for a 6 year old to witness her precious little dolls experience such a travesty without an explanation that it’s because some men just hate women.
Friday February 7, 2014 at Early Bird Espresso
An e-mail from the Playwright’s Guild of Canada
I’m working on organizing my thoughts about feminism. For a long time I’ve called myself a “humanist”, perhaps a naive cop out in an attempt to disengage with the question at hand, a cop out based in fear of ignorance. If feminism means equality, I am a feminist. I feel a flutter of fear and excitement at that proclamation. I remember being in the third year of my undergrad and in an elective Gender Studies class called “Women’s Sexualities”. The professor was a short-haired, sweater-vest wearing lesbian with square framed glasses and a deep love of the term “insofar as”. I was resistant to the male-bash, to the man as predator, to the negative focus on the differences of gender. I was challenged by our discussions that felt far away from my actual experience as a young woman in an urban centre and more based in academic jargon and name dropped heavy hitting feminist scholars.
Saturday January 4, 2014
Actions-The Actor’s Thesaurus Marina Calderone and Maggie Lloyd-Williams
You say 10 years? Were you even old enough to have a driver’s license 10 years ago, sweetheart?
Yeah. You dumb fuck of a man. I was. So would you like fresh ground pepper on that or do you have any other lame remarks about my life?
I do want pepper. But I also want you to know that I was complimenting you. You look like a new born for chrissakes! It’s a good thing!
Ok sir, that’s nice that you’re some fucking pedophile. How wonderful to receive your heart-felt congratulations for looking like a child. I suppose you think that tipping in ‘advice’ and Canadian Tire money is also a really great idea. Because you believe it’s still 1909, you fucking prick.
Sunday October 27, 2013
You don’t know this but I will roar. The size of me is greater than the size of you. My anger moves mountains. My kindness moves them back. I’m sick to my core when I think of the pit that lives there. It collects it all, shakes it around, and fills me to the brim with spite and power and rage and honesty. I cannot lie. I cannot, will not, cannot lie. And you don’t know this, but I will roar. I will blow the determination of a thousand armies through your heart and punish you there with the real hurt from my stomach lining. I will make you fear the day you see me at my most. I will make you rue the day you witness what my strength allows me to do. The journey of my mind, the span of my wings, my hips, my dreams. I’m everything and I am full of the aching. You don’t know this, but I will roar. From the ocean floor to the sky’s vast ceiling, I exist and I change, I sway and I remain. I am courageous. I am bright.
I am not waiting for you to know this.