Whispered In The Wind

Whispered In The Wind
Just a fairy blowing in the wind, singing tales to the west wind

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Creamed Earl Grey

The room is filled with women, the women that I do not know the colours of. 
The room is heavy and we hold ourselves tightly, our eyes filled up with all that we do not understand, the wet hurts of the past and present. 
I want to take out needles and sew our hearts back up, remove our tear ducts and feed them to wolves.

I want to take everyone up in my arms, kiss the soft hairs we spend so much time washing and brushing and chopping and cutting.
I want to dress us all in silk in cashmere, drape pearls on our collarbones. 
I want to feed us books and warm soup and pizza that smears our fingers and linen napkins. 
I want to send us home with big books and decorated notebooks, leather engraved and rough paged paper.
I want to hide daggers in our skirts, letter openers and gold pistols.
I want to make sure we walk into any room feeling safe, that our bodies are always respected, we feel safe in satin and short dresses and music that vibrates through our feet and dry hands. 
I want to hold us all, hold the weight of our lopsided hearts and the shirts with buttons that pull at our chests. 
But I am so small, a soft stomach, arms covered in red bumps, my eyes are leaded. 
I hold a mug of creamed earl grey in my hands and my hands are already full. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Apples In A Wheat Field

She turns to me. “I remember some days, some days hot and sticky, so sweet like peach juice, hot sun, broke asphalt.”
“What do you mean?” I ask.
She has no answer.
She has no answer to so many of my questions, can she see the shape of this cloud? So soft like a lamb, baby breath, the scent of hay, soft coat with mud sticking to its small hooves.
I don’t ask her if she sees it because I know the answer.
We don’t talk about clouds anymore or the pairing of the apples in a field, how did they get there? We’ve never had an answer for the bright red apples in cartons, cartons, do they call them bushels when there are lots? 
Bushels of apples, that sounds strange.
She is staring out and I don’t know at where or what or who. She has never spoken all that much, but never this little either. 
I used to fill our voids with chatter but I’ve come to speak to the silence.
I hold conversations with nothing, no one.
How can you expect response from that which isn’t there?
There is an art to asking questions and not expecting answers.
I wonder if she appreciates that aspect of me?
She is wearing a purple dress, long, silk, it clings to her, to her stomach, her thighs.
She is sweating.
I can smell her soft scent; earth, lavender, perspiration.
I do not find it comforting,
simply normal, as if spending long hours together, bound by something invisible, something I’ve
come to doubt is real, no words shared, just statements and the occasional unanswered questions, is normal, roundabout, a procedure of the day.
Maybe it is.
I am still wondering about the painting, apples in a wheat field.
Maybe her thoughts have found her way to them too.
No, her thoughts are elsewhere.
But mine aren’t, mine have never been anywhere else but here.
Apples in a wheat field, the lamb shaped clouds, anywhere but here.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Keys To My Family's Cemetery

When we were young we took a tour of a cemetery in Washington. My little brother, all blond curls and scrunched face, refused to go in. But I never hesitated. I have never hesitated. No, not in cemeteries. I do not know what draws me to the cemeteries, I’d like to believe that it is more than the morbid. Old, overgrown cemeteries do not strike me as melancholy, simply quiet, peaceful. Unlike the rest of my waking life, cemeteries do not burst with stories, there are no loud voices shouting out snippets and questions. Here, voices are quiet, I only hear whispers. The dead have not lost their will to speak, they just do not believe in its necessity. 

June 26th, 2015
Rexingen, Germany 

On the way up, we stop at an ivy covered home, the very edges of windows and a door peaking out from its leafy cover. I walk out of the car and walk towards the door frame. They are yelling out directions to me, but I’m confused by this faery home and by all that is to happen and I struggle to make out words. An older man, protruding belly leans out the upper window and continues their directions in German. Then English “The door. The side of the door.” I turn and reach for the keys hanging there, old and metal, heavy in my hands. They are spindly and cold and I hold to them tightly. I hold to them as if they belong to me, I hold them because I believe they do belong to me. To my family, my people. We continue driving and I consider letting others hold them, but I do not act. For now, these are mine. These are the keys to the last home my people have here, in this little town in Germany.

The cemetery is marked by an arch and tall trees mark the way. I struggle to open the door, and when it does open there is a large creak. I am entering a grand place where the people do not speak but history looms heavy. “Do you want to see all your family?” They ask. We nod. They have maps and we weave through tombs, through headstones, placing rocks on each name. Here is your great grandmother. Here is your 4th great uncle. He was a butcher. She was a good mother. He was a brit malah. There lies the war hero. These names, a rock on each stone. We do not place flowers. My people do not place flowers on the tombs of those lost, it is too impermanent, too gaudy. What do these rocks mean? I have never really known. Are we people of rocks? Did we rise from the earth and to the earth we'll return? I find ones that fit my palm right, this journey has become one of holding. Nettles sting my feet and I find it ironic that even now, there is pain in this beauty.

The cemetery begins where my people end, the years on the stones seem to just stop. But walking further back, my family name reaches all the way to the 1600’s and I wonder at what point does blood stretch so far one can not claim relationship. These are still my ancestors, yet our lives could not be more different. Would they really claim me as kin?

I have so many questions about this plot of land, about these stones, these trees, the sun that swims lightly through this grass. But they are not many answers here. So I must content myself to walk slowly, to touch stones and breath deeply. There is peace here, as if the cemetery acknowledges but will not give in to the darkness that once stood. This is a museum, this is sacred ground. History can never fully tarnish what is holy. I pray to myself, to the One I believes hears me. But I don’t know what I’m praying or why. I just know that I am at a place that is somehow wrapped into my being, to one of the last homes of ancestors who have long since left this earth.


I do not know what draws me to cemeteries. But here there is a strange sense of home. Here I do not stay in melancholy. The grounds I walk ones do not burst with stories, there are no loud voices shouting out snippets and questions. Here, voices are quiet, I only hear whispers. My family have not lost their will to speak. But as I walk out, words are pointed out to me, Hebrew on a tree. It reads “We are leaving for Israel.” A message left by survivors, a message carved on their holy ground, on the one land that belongs to them alone. And only then do I understand that cemeteries are not quiet because here stories are laid to rest. Cemeteries are quiet because their  stories continue elsewhere. Because we are their stories. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Prayer Every Jew Should Know

My Jewish identity is
built of books spines
stolen from inside novels
found in the curve of a pen and stroke of a brush
I am not sure who I am
Or what it means to be
or how to find meaning in Hebrew
or hold my hands open to a heavy God
and say 
the prayers every jew should know
I do not know where to face when I pray
or who to face
I am not sure why I become silent in old synagogues
or hold onto my grandmother’s silver chain so tight
I cry sometimes when I hear the stories
feel my spine arch, my insides are weighted
I do not know why I am so drawn
to this side of me I barely know
this side I love with a fierceness I do not understand
I do not know why I find solace in shabbos candles and prayer shawls
I do not know why I hold onto my name so tightly
I do not know why I hold this word or idea or maybe religion
Jewish, Judaism, Jew
why I place these words on my tongue so reverently
so much gratitude, so much respect
that I am part of this something, this culture, this identity
that is spun around the wheel of history
that is weaved in ways I do not understand
I do not understand
who I am
or what it means
so I keep collecting
collecting my identity
through books
and paintings
and dust and stories and songs
through old bibles and old hands
constantly seeking instruction
looking for direction
Hoping to learn the way I must go
Hoping to understand the part of me
that cries out
at the sight of ancient psalms
and old scrolls
hoping to understand what parts of me belong in this gallery

what parts of me are hung on these walls 

                         By Janis Yerington (My Mother-from her Max's Bible exhibition)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

My Period Is Not A Spiritual Journey

I want periods to be beautiful, I really do. I want to be blissed out about diva cups and my menstrual cycle. I want to dare to wear long flowey white skirts and run down beaches amazed with the wonders of my body. I want to do ‘period yoga’ where I stretch out my cramps and marvel about motherhood. I want to write my body love letters, encouraging it to keep doing its thing and keeping me healthy. I want to wake up and drink chamomile tea while tenderly patting my pelvis and curling my toes.

I appreciate all the sweet feminist boys who say periods are beautiful. I appreciate the sweet feminist boys who try to get rid of the stigma surrounding women's bodies. I really do. I respect the women who paint canvases with their menstrual blood to make a statement. I respect the women who create new feminine product alternatives so that periods don’t keep young women from attending school. I really do.

And I really want periods to be beautiful, I really do. But let’s be honest. I’ve gotten period blood on my feet. On my feet. There is about nothing worse than waking up, standing up and feeling a waterfall gush down your legs. Pads are the grown up woman's equivalent of a diaper. When I’m on my period I consistently wonder if it possible to become addicted to ibuprofen. I spill little red pills all over my purse and swallow them as if they are magic. 

I’ve written slam poetry about periods. There is something really poetic about bleeding over the possibility of a child, of children for years before their potential arrival. My mother bled for me, for my brothers. And I bleed for the children I may never have. I bleed for possibility. I am thankful for my mother’s blood. But let’s be truthful, no child’s gratitude is ever going to cover waking up at 2 am, clutching your stomach. Is my child ever going to thank me for that? No. No one is ever going to say to me “Thank you so much for feeling like you might die once a month for me. That’s so nice of you.”

I cry when I have my period. It freakin’ hurts. It has always, really, really, hurt. I do not tend to be an envious person. But I envy all females whose periods do not feel like a small drummer is banging on the walls of their uterus. If your period does not hurt like heck, do not gloat. If you gloat, I will hate you. Though by the time you have mentioned it doesn’t hurt, I have probably already put serious thought into hating you. Give gratitude and have lots of compassion for your not as blessed sisters, here. Let me just tell you, I missed many days of middle school, with a stinky lavender compress against my pelvis, in bed, worry about how I would survive college without my mother checking on me and my cramps. However, I did just make it through a whole year of college without missing a day of school.

This year I bought a little pink diva cup in hopes I could learn to love my period. I don’t know how to use it and i hate seeing its little daisy bag. My period is not daisies. It is not a frolic through a little feminist field of body celebration. My period does not bring my closer to nature. It does not make me feel like an empowered women. I do not go on spiritual full moon journeys and bleed into the earth. Instead I fill my purse and pockets with tampons and curse he who created waist bands and tight clothes. I do not find this experience transcendent or spiritual.

And I’ve been trying. I have really been trying. I do have affection for my period. I think my body is neat. I’ve written my poetry, I’ve read my feminist literature, I’ve yelled at my brothers for thinking my period is gross. Here’s the deal, I don’t think my period is gross. But I also don’t find it beautiful. I find its rhetoric, its poetic potential, its symbolism beautiful. But this actual experience, this waking up to stained blood sheets and fear that sharks will eat me when I swim in the ocean, I’m not really digging this. I’m not digging stuffing bleached horrible things in my body. I am not digging reading articles about Toxic shock syndrome and that tampons are ten dollars a box. I am not appreciating that my government taxes feminine products because its run by a bunch of old white men who don’t care that I’m over here glaring at them all. I am not digging cute little acronyms like T.I.M. “Have you met T.I.M yet?” Yes, I have and I hate him. I am not digging any of this.

So in case you were wondering:
My period is not a spiritual journey.
It does not connect me to the moon, or God or whatever inner women goddess crap you’re selling me.
It has not caused me to transcend my human form.
It is not my body’s way of calling out to Mother Earth.
It does not want your red cupcakes and pink balloon parties.
It does not want your homeopathic remedies and krill oil.
It does not want to be your feminist art project.

I want periods to be beautiful.

But more than that, much more than that, My period and I just want to curl up with a bottle of ibuprofen, a pair of loose pants and a bowl of frozen cream puffs and wait this thing out. That is all we want.

That is all we have ever really wanted. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Young And Pretty

We are walking past the Ferry building, San Francisco. He tries to stop us, “Hello Ladies! I am only talking to stylish people today.”
We ignore him and she turns to me angrily. “What did he say?”
“I’m only talking to stylish people..”
A lady, wearing his same green shirt shouts out to us. “Was he bugging you ladies? I’m sorry! This will only take a minute of your time…”
“No thanks.”
Her face is still flared. “Maybe they should teach him not to hit on people he is trying to sell things to!”
“He’s not hitting on us. It’s a script.” I reply.
She is not buying it. 
“He was hitting on us. It may be a script. But he only said that to us because we are young and pretty.”
Young and pretty. Young and pretty.
I look at her. Yes, yes, her. But when I catch my own reflection in the dark glass of buildings along the Embarcadero, it’s harder for me to agree with that statement. I wish I had not worn this silly pinstripe romper. I reflectively pull my stomach in, try to stand straight. The view is not much improved.
At her home, I change in the bathroom after my shower, stare at my bra in the mirror. It seems too small to me. It leaves little claw marks across me. But I’m okay with this view. And I wish I was all body love and positive, but its always so much easier when its other people’s bodies were are talking about. You go sister, rock that crop top. I’ll just cut up this tee shirt too short and not wear it outside of these doors. I walked out the bathroom towards her room and lay on her bed, my body warm, my legs tired.
She walks in with a towel on and checks her phone. She is in no rush to get dressed. And when she does, she sheds her towel lightly and fully. I have seen her body many times. We are best friends, there is no strangeness in our changing together. But still, I am in aware of how completely and without hesitation, she is willing to stand in her own skin, completely comfortable. I try to emulate her, in shifts, but I am still too uncomfortable to be fully unclothed for seconds in front of any person but my own.
Young. And Pretty.
Another night. It is not warm here. I traveled by train to get here and we are walking across the wet grass. Our cheeks are flushed, our voices are raised the sort of octave produced by freedom and heady giggles. She is wearing a short skirt, maroon. The sort of skirt you shouldn’t bend in and watch your twirls, darling, we might catch sight of your underwear (The cotton and little lace sort, she never wears thongs. This is a point we agree on.) Not that she would mind too much. She is not easily embarrassed. 
The lights of the campus are warm. Our breath comes out in little clouds. We speak in the tones of our youth, feminist terms interspersed with the names of boys, literature, twinges of gossip. We compare our collected experiences and scribbled first semester notes. Names and people we do and don’t know bounce back and forth. I say “I mean, she’s just one of those people is pretty and knows it.”
She turns to me and speaks without missing a beat. “Well, I know I’m pretty. But I’m not obnoxious about it.”
I blink, I feel a kick inside me. Young and Pretty. Are we allowed to know we are pretty, much less claim it? Isn’t that against everything..what? I don’t know. I’ve never known. But isn’t one supposed to be in constant questioning about one’s body, one’s face? There should never be any answers, no real affirmation. That’s how they keep us tame.
“I know.
I know I’m young and pretty.”
It reminds of another time. Another time turning to another friend, the sort of friend you walk down the street with and boys stare. But you know its never at you. “You know you’re gorgeous, right?” I ask. I expect her to rebut this, to be shocked by such an accusation. But she isn’t. She isn’t at all. “I mean, I’m not stupid. I know I have a decent face.” How can you know this? How can you state this with such utter confidence?
Young and Pretty.
Back in her room now, she stands in a pink bra, lace like icing. “Isn’t it cute.” she squeals, half on jest, but in pride, the sort of pride only young women share between each other in relation to underwear and little skirts and sun hats. 
And it is. It is very, very cute. I look at her. Her body is soft and gentle. Her face is familiar, little freckles playing against the bride of her nose. Even from her, I recognize the scent of her hair, gently scented shampoo. 
“Aren’t I pretty”
“Yes, yes you are.”
And if only I could learn to see myself, through the eyes you see yourself through. 
If only I could learn to see myself through the eyes you see me through.
If only I could learn to see myself through the eyes I see you. 

Young and Pretty. Young and Pretty.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A Writer's Prayer

May I find the words I seek. May I find companionship and solace in the stories I write. May I find a voice and give voice to those that are silenced. May my words be brave and courageous, may they stand against time. Dear Lord, I pray that my words bring healing, that they allow battle wounds to deal. They come in peace, they desire to build.. But they are not afraid to be bold, to speak that which is uncomfortable, that which may pain. They are not the stuff of simple fairytales, but of wildness and heady freedom. They are found in the tartness of summer’s first blackberries, caught between thorns and brambles. May I write words that hold their weight, but know when to wear white dresses and yellow flowers. Words that are nomadic and yet rooted. They take hold in hearts and swing themselves up into the wind. These words, my words, they are the vines up ancient trees, they are the newest of spring’s children. They are human and flawed. But they are sanctified, made holy through candlelight and prayer. They are the beats between music that cries and music that laughs. They are not the sort to be contained to the page, they are too untamed for such a notion. They crawl into hearts and sleep in the curves of the ear. These words, they are words that fight. These words, they are words that love. They are contradictions, they are parables. May these words be blessed. May the Lord, look upon this little church of words and bless its boughs. May She anoint these fingers, may She consecrate this ground. May each word here be kissed by angels, may each word be a balm to those that in need. May these words matter. May these words dance. 


my desk.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

What's Up With My Book Shelf? Only Reading books by Women Authors For A Year

When I set out to only read books by women authors for a year, it was not a political statement. I was simply addressing an imbalance in my life. I saw that my crammed book shelf was filled with books by men, I could barely remember the last book I had read by a women. It felt wrong. I knew I needed to fix something. So I decided that every book I read outside of my school curriculum would be by a woman. At first I would go to grab a book and then shake my head and put it back-by a man. I did this over and over again, but over time only looking at titles by women became second nature. It became like I couldn’t see the other books. But at the same time, I was shocked. As I became highly attuned to grabbing books by women, I began to see how rare they are. Take a moment to really look, look at your book stores, your library shelves. Where are the books by women? Sure, they are there. But the numbers are nowhere near equal. 

And so the personal became political. I did research, I sent out a survey, I took a class on women’s voices, I created a list of my school librarian’s favourite books by women authors. I started to organize and stock the up cycle book centre with books by women. Now home, I’m setting up writing workshops for young girls in the community and giving them venues to share their work. 

The truth is women are writing, women are being published. But we’re not getting the shelf space, not getting the recognition we deserve. We are not in your school curriculum. We are not the authors of your textbooks. We are not on the top of the best seller lists. So I’ve come to understand that if I want space for myself on book shelves, I will have to carve that space out for myself, shove my way in. I am willing to do this because I know I deserve that space, I know that women deserve equal space. So yes, I read only books by women for a year, and yes it became political statement.

It was a statement 
-that my gender is worth recognition.
-we deserve space.
-I’m done with a literary canon that is not inclusive.
-I believe books are one of the most important tools on this planet, and if we don’t have access to a full toolbox than we are only shorting ourselves.
-women don’t write books for women, they write books for people. ALL PEOPLE. It is beyond time we recognize that. 
-This is bigger than gender…
Books are what make our lives rich, teach us to be curious, teach us compassion. Our first loves lived in books, our earliest friends played in pages. It’s an absolute tragedy to be kept from the diverse range of voices and experiences out there. Yes, I read books by women for a year, but beyond gender, this experience showed me what amazing literary voices I have lost out on by being stuck to a western white literary canon. 
-This is not just a feminist stance. 

And you know what, I read so many amazing, rich and inspiring books that I may never have laid my hands on if not for this experience. 

So here is my book list from this past school year. 

The Book List :

1.The Orchard By Theresa Weir 
2.The Lives Of Monster Dogs By Kirsten Barkis.
3.The Glass Castle By Jeanette Walls
4.Commencement by J. Courney Sullivan (I spent much of the year cutting up this book and turning it into an art project…in other words, don’t read it). 
5.The Daughter Of The Queen Of Sheba by Jacki Lyden 
6.Going Bovine by Libba Bray
7.Things I Don’t Want to Know by Debra Levy
8.Faith Unraveled by Rachel Held Evans
9.A Map Of The World By Jane Hamilton 
10.Help, Thanks, Wow By Anne Lamott 
11.The Night Book Mobile (Graphic novel) by Audrey Niffennegger 
12.Love, Anger, Madness by Marie Vieux-Chauvet
13.The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
14.The Age Of Innocence by Edith Wharton
15.Jezebel by Irene Nemirovsky 
16.Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
17. Dog Eaters by Jessica Hagedorn 
18. The Cure For Death By Lightning by Gail Anderson-Dargatz 

So where do I move on from here? I work on creating a more balanced book shelf. I look to empower and support women writers in my community. I constantly evaluate my reading habits and why I choose the books I choose. I do not just randomly grab from shelves, but make sure I’m reading a diverse array of books. I read outside my comfort zone, I read books that didn’t make it into the white male western literary canon. I read the sort of books I want to see on the market more. And I vocally celebrate all bad ass women writers. I invite you to join me!

Want some great resources? Here are some of my favourites!

KT Bradford’s “I challenge you to stop reading white straight cis gendered male authors for one year.”

The 2014 VIDA Count
VIDA looks at whether women are being reviewed in major literary publications, newspapers and magazines each year. (Answer: Not Enough).

Occupy The Syllabus
A call for to evaluate who’s work is on our course syllabi 

A Mighty Girl
A company that only sells products and books written/created by women and/or with the intent of empowering young women

Me, with some of the awesome books I read this school year on my head!

Monday, May 18, 2015

You May Kiss Me In The Poetry Section

I’ve always wanted to be kissed in a bookstore, my body gently pressed against the poetry section. Bookstores are the most romantic of places. They are full of ancient history and secrets, brimming with full bodied sentences and the scent of jasmine wafting out from exotic storyscapes. They are places of escape and content, of danger and peace. In book stores, one gets lost and one finds oneself on shelves that are at once unfamiliar yet make perfect sense. Of course parts of you were left in the Mesopotamia section, its only logical. 

I imagine being looked at in the way I look at books after I finish them, with wonder, gratitude, warmth spreading over my skin, a hand placed at the spine. Or with confusion, with puzzlement. Yes, I want that too. Look at me with confusion, with puzzlement. But mostly with wonder, I want to be looked at with wonder. I want to be lead down the aisles of an old winding book store. The sort of book store where books fall off shelves and you have to side step around piles. Pull books down from the dusty shelves and read random snippets of books read out loud to me, the sentences that make you smile. I want to hear you laugh, laugh before you put your hands to my waist, bow your head towards me. Look at me, look at me with wonder. How did you find this novel of a girl, this little slip of a poem, this curious newspaper clipping? Did you find her in the pages of a book, tucked into the binding? You must have, that’s the only sort of place I really reside.

I sometimes sit on the floors of bookstores, and simply read book titles. I run my fingers across them, this is a form of meditation. If enough words sink into my skin, I will be more whole, I will be of better form. So in my curving train of thought, relationships founded among the shelves of books surely have enough ink to flourish. A silly thought? Probably. Write it down dear, it will last longer. Book stores are the homes of all sorts of longing, all sorts of secrets, all sorts of starts. Mine have only been of the ink variety as of yet, but I am not opposed to the meeting of flesh and star blazed eyes, pressed against the poetry section. Our heads bowed, excuse me Emily Sylvia Plath, excuse me Richard Blanco. Having to make those sort of apologies, oh no, I’m not opposed to that at all, dear. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Which Story Is It?

I know there is a story inside me. But I don’t know which one it is. Have I found it yet? Is it about my two hearted girl, my heart seamstress? Is it the one I wrote lonely, late at night, my hummingbird heart pounding? I wrote it curled in bed, sophomore year, mistranslating my loneliness as a pang for words, for a world balled up inside me, pounding to get out. A mistake I often make, a mistake I never regret. It is hard to be lonely when entire worlds spin inside you, when books whisper the sweetest of secrets. Is it that story, that little novella of fairytale cliches and sugar sweet sentences? It is a story both grandiose and humble, flawed and crystalline. 

Or is the one about a bookstore, the one where people trade in secrets and wishes? Another story about longing, but longing turned to other books. You deposit a secret in the black box, and then you take out a book for your heart ache. Little do you know, your wishes are worming their way into other’s books, into other’s stories. A wild little town, one set by the sea, bright colours. What if revolution really lead to bone deep peace? This story doesn’t belong to one character, though you always thought it did. No, it’s a story of many, a story of a town. A town you call home, turned surreal, turned wild. It has lost its sweet candour. Is this the story I set down to write?

Is it one about the notes scrawled in the margins of a book? A story of madness written alongside one. The Queen of Sheba dressed in blue coats from Gimbel and baked anchovy cookies, while her father painted paint by number masterpieces. 

I know the story inside me wants to blur the lines between faery speak and English. She, for I know she is feminine, wants to dine with doubt, wants to speak with faith. She wants to call her God female, for He has been masculine all her life and she has come to doubt that her God is all that attached to the male pronoun in the first place. She wants her God to be a feminist, to delight in critical theory and have a proper library with leather bound books. Can I write of that God? This God so different from the one I’ve grown up with, I can’t fashion God in my own image. But if I am fashioned in their image I must assume that they aren’t opposed to such ideas. Should I refer to God in my story as they or their, he or her? Will God make an appearance in this story I am trying to write?

Where do I find this story? Do I already have it bundled up, ready to assemble or has it not found its way to me yet? For me, finding a story is like finding a warm ember on a freezing day. I simply hold it, wondrous of its existence, grateful for its presence. But how do I know when it is THE story. The first story, the first novel, Adam and Eve. This is the beginning. How do I know when I have found the beginning of my novel writing days, when I am about to embark on the journey of the lifetime? Do I just have to buy the ticket and hope the journey leads somewhere? I guess so. I’m just having trouble finding the station I leave from. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

On Listening To Pebbles and Guitars

Should I live for one reason?
Should I die for one reason?
But really, have you ever met a pebble, dear?
They are not precious, dear.
They do not take long, deep breaths
The sort of breaths that exhaust the soul
They do not absorb your remains
But they do fit in the palm of hands
slide into pockets

Must I live for one reason?
Must I die for one reason?
Have you heard laughs in the wood, dear?
Little laughs
sometimes gruff
they will ring in your ears through all your wild and soft walks
Did you hear them again? Or are the leaves simply singing?

Should I live for one reason?
Should I die for one reason?
Wouldn't it be simpler to live by ink and die by pen?
They can burn me with my books
They can feed me to the wolves that slink among the library shelves
insufficient sustenance

Have you ever met a pebble, dear?
I, myself, have met many.
And sometimes the right rock is known to bring me to shivers.

Have you heard a guitar cry, love?
Tears need not be visible to contain moisture
Have you heard it laugh?
Those deep sort of prayers that must be collected by someone up there with heavy arms

Must I live for just one reason?
Must I die for just one reason?
Or may I simply sit here on hard surfaces and listen to pebbles?

Monday, March 16, 2015

In Striving

Find one thing to fall in love with today
as if it was that simple, that sweet
hold it in words
and in the striving it will be enough
in striving to do justice to the light on the mountains
the cold smell and shiver of wind
the gentle upturn of a stranger’s smile
it will be enough
fall in love with somebody or something today
and hold it with words
with your words and your words alone
hold it gently with adjectives and ink
hold it with your words and your words alone

As if it were that simple, that sweet. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Crisis and Reclaim

There are a million ideas I’ve been playing with, constant state of crisis and reclaim. I’m collecting wreckage and garbage and good, good books. I am picking up bits of stone, adding to others sea glass collections. I am playing with words and coming with ideas that explode and fizzle, and steam. There are all sorts of theatrics here, I’m building a regular theatre workshop. Maybe a candy store, stocked with the strawberry drops and caramels I’ve taken from the little bowls in front of restaurants. 

I am bursting. I just want to curl up with my stuffed seahorse and stare up at the ceiling, with the ugly light. I am a lukewarm fanatic, a quiet radical, a loud shout and burn and scream. My heart is pumping venom, my eyes are red. I am between sheets and over beds and under covers. I am of hot breath and sweat.

I spend times in lavender fields and bury my face in the fur of canines. I have puppy hands. I am spent. I am renewed. I am alive. I am comatose. I am of contradictions and declarative statements. I avoid semi colons like the plague. I use spell check and I have forgotten how to spell. I write stupid comments on posters in class and I buy Canadian things with American cash.

I swell up when I hear the word Israel and I call my mother every day. I write feminist statements and wear too much makeup. I am rising with the sun and sleeping with the moon. I am fire and ice. I am cliche and original. I am on the verge of something, on the verge of absolutely nothing at all. There are a million ideas I’ve been playing with, constant state of crisis and reclaim.

Monday, February 16, 2015

My Kind

Against her bed, fingers tapping, bad pop blasting, this is it. 
This is safe space, a makeshift community. 

Worlds colliding

The girl on my right, our arms touching, she’s who kept me strong through text book breakdowns and walked across the night beach starring up at the lights of San Francisco across the bay. 
At my feet, the girl who shares a wall with me that I knock against to see if she is there,who dances with me in rooms too hot with music too loud. 

3 writers. 

I always find my kind; smart, driven, ink fuelled females. We know our kind. We fall in and out of theatre, dance to strong female anthems, secret and not so secret, Taylor Swift lovers, the conscious consumers. 

We are of bright red lipstick, hawk eyes and excellent at getting lost. We hare differing degrees of tidiness-clothes everywhere to shirts organized in all colours. We hold notebooks clutched against our chest and sometimes leave them on the floors of cars. We grow our roots deep, but we always notice clouds. We are idealistic. But how could we not be, when words run through our veins?

I always find my kind.
We always find our kind.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

I Do Not Want To Be A Statement

There are nights when I no longer want to feel female
nights when I sleep in a long shapeless robe
so there are no curves to be seen, my body is soft and shapeless
These are the nights when I have been too reminded of my female form
days where my bra has pulled too tight, left claw marks
parties where boys touch at that which they have no right to
believe they have ownership to the movement of our hips
yelling comments at my beautiful friends, 
afraid of females who value and claim their bodies for themselves and no one else 
I remember how my form is politicized
and I do not want to be a statement tonight
I do not want to be topography
I do not want to align myself with any party, with any megaphone
I do not want to have to be a feminist right now
I do not want to have to be anything.
I just want to be a human, to have a body
These are the nights I sleep in a long shapeless robe
one of the few moments of my life where no one is telling me I need to be anything
where there is no agenda 
besides a human form
where my body is nothing
besides mine
nothing besides a sleeping shape. 
I do not want to be a statement
I do not want to have to be anything tonight
but human
I want my body to be nothing 
but human
but mine

Illustration by Lina Kusaite

Monday, January 26, 2015

Banish The Thought

Banish the thought
banish the thought of
beautiful inaccessible boys
who don’t readily express emotions
and wear their opinions openly
and hold friendships tightly

Banish the thought
banish the thought of
inadequacy and never good enough
and if you were a sun
I’d be a sulking moon
and this stomach is too soft 

Banish the thought
banish the thought of 
constant survival, I keep on
just surviving, deep breaths, deep breaths
when reality is so different
so full of breakthroughs and catalysts
and fierce new ideas

Banish the thought
Banish the thought of 
proving intelligence brashly
cravenly making points
to make my intellectual stand point
Those that you admire most, wear their intelligence quietly
remember this, remember this

Banish the thought
Banish the thought of 
not doing enough, too slow, too inward focused
you were never one to rush and ram 
You will do what you need to do
and more, 
and much, much more.

Banish the thought
Banish the thought
of emotions that are not requited
dreams that are not substantiated
hopes that are hurtful

Banish the thought
Banish the thought of all
that does not honor and love you
that does not come in healing
and mercy and wonder. 

Banish the thought.

Thursday, January 15, 2015


She has the most beautiful hands I believe I have ever seen. They are small, as small as a dolls. And they are not soft hands. They are rough from her hours in the garden. She keeps her fingernails short and clean. She does not use lotion, says it isn’t good for the skin. I have bought her all natural, unscented lotion but she never opened the bottle. She says her hands should speak of the work and the weather, just like God made them to do. I do not argue with her. I stopped as soon as I left my teenage years behind and developed half a mind. She may look like a china doll, but my mother is an iron ox. Once her mind is made up, there is no changing it. But either way, sometimes I can’t help wishing she would take better care of her little hands. 
She had to leave art school because she bought booze for the cute guy next door with her fake I.D. She looked like trouble, shaved hair, belly pierced and undeniably cool. She made horny jokes and wore dark lipstick. She had long lovely legs and she was overtly comfortable with her hips. She was a film student and she was good at it. She had her own camera and she cared it proudly around, slung over her round strong shoulders. You could tell by looking at her that she was into guys...mostly. When she was kicked out none of us were surprised but we still all cried. Especially when we saw her cry. The night she left we watched her film on the wall while sitting on the lawn. It was of hands, hands moving slowly, hands touching and holding and melding, the curves and lines and palms. They pressed and kissed, for yes, hands can kiss. They moved over each other and under each other and I had to turn away, for up to that moment, I had not known that hands could be so sensual, so sexual. But she had, which was why she was the sort of student to be kicked out of art school, while I barely made any friends. 
He likes to pick up my hands, compare sizes. He always has, since he began to grow taller, till I could no longer wrestle him and pin him to the ground. He is in complete marvel of his body, watching his arms and chest strengthen. He takes his shirt off whenever he can, the proud peacock. He struts with the plumage of a teenage boy. And he picks up my hands whenever I sit next to them. He peers at their tininess,wraps his fingers over mine, exclaims in delight every time. His hands are long and thin. His hands help him dribble the balls, carry his surfboard, he hangs car keys from them loosely. My hands serve their purposes too, but they do not reach a scale on a piano and he wonders at this fact, proud of his growing body. He is proud to watch himself tower over me. I try to remain silent to the fact.

"I want warm summer nights, to lie in a hammock, staring at the stars, telling you stories. "

"I want warm summer nights, to lie in a hammock, staring at the stars, telling you stories. "
"When asked not to make waves, I just smiled and said, don't worry this is just a ripple"