Saturday, December 19, 2009

today i:
- got out of bed at 1
- thought about making coffee but then didn't
- found my collection of angel pins from when i was a kid who was convinced that going to church was the next new social scene, and everyone was invited but me
- took a bath, complete with sea salt scrub and a fancy french clay face mask
- re-read beloved by toni morrison

being home with very few friends left in this city leaves room for a lot of relaxing, but man oh man am i ready for some social interaction.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

what i'm thankful for this holiday season

how is it that i can spend a year writing about the lesbian avengers and work with two professors, both of whom are lesbians?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

at least the cover art is neat

today's installment of shit that pisses me off:

i woke at up at charm city's house after he left for work and was layin around with the cat on my belly reading books i found on his bookshelf. there was this one, evasion, that i've wanted to check out for a long time. it was borne out of a zine chronicling the experiences of this unnamed kid who goes around dumpstering and squatting and stealing and living off excess. it's interesting, kinda. and granted, i didn't read the whole thing, but i stopped at the first sentence of like, the second paragraph, and knew it was gonna piss me off. the author, who is anonymous, insists that poverty is the key to living a rich life. ugh. i kept reading for like 50 pages, cause that's what i do, and all he did was reinforce this notion that a lot of kids who grew up in the suburbs (he did) have - that not having money, being a "starving artist," is the most honest way to live and gives you some insight into something. that it will teach you secrets about humanity or whatever. fuck all these kids who grew up with money and so can risk not having it. this kid chose not to have a job cause he knew he could steal anything he wanted and not get caught cause he's a white kid with all the cultural capital of an upper-class person. it would be one thing if there was even an instance of reflexivity about the fact that can and does choose to not have a job and refers to what money he does have as "vinyl money" (to be spent on records)... but from what i read there's not. just arrogance and privilege that he's proud of. and that's not even all the fucked up shit - just what i remember.

and all these kids think evasion is a religion now or something. ugh fuck off.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

honey and the moon

so i should be writing for the bit that's due to my committee on friday, but instead i think i'll say this:

1. i am really touched that charm city came to visit me tonight bearing gifts (wings) and Xs and Os. he is a special one. the tenderness never really ceases to amaze. he's just right. and so queer he sweats glitter (not kidding).

2. i love div iii. i promise. which is why i'm avoiding it right now? it makes sense, i promise. i have been doing a lot of reading and a lot of note taking and a lot of processing information but i am constantly distracted by reading things related to it that it's hard to write. is this what it feels like to be one with your labor?

3. i have a queue of things to knit for people and i'm pretty excited for all of my prospective projects. i don't know why knitting isn't more popular with all the DIY punk kids i know.

this is getting boring.
dyke OUT.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

scheme and scream and fight real mean

yesterday i went to boston with the intention of stalking sarah schulman. i went to this.

so my division III project is going to be a history of the lesbian avengers (more later), but what i have discovered is that there is very little actually already written about them. which is terrifying. but mostly exciting. it means i get to interview the women i've been reading about for the past few years, and some who i am just learning of.

so in the middle of the screening i attended, i saw sarah schulman get up to leave. after a quick conference with a friend about whether or not it was appropriate to chase her, i ran out of the theater and caught her on the stairs. i tried to write down as much as i could from our conversation but everything was golden and amazing and i am consistently in awe by the whole thing. i wouldn't call the avengers my heroes because i don't really believe in heroes, but they are who i aspire to be.

unapologetic, strong, fierce, brilliant, confident, and brave. someday.

"we're not waiting for the rapture. we are the apocalypse."
lesbian avengers' dyke manifesto

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

what can i say.

been busy.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

with fangs of fire and a gentle heart

i'm back in massachusetts, where everything is beautiful and nothing hurts. that's the idea at least.

dear new york: you are gross, you are too hot or too cold, it hurts to breathe and i wake up nauseous in the mornings. i pay a lot of money for not a lot in return. i'm scared for the cyclists who ride without helmets. people are assholes and sometimes lack boundaries. but i'll miss the beautiful view from my fire escape, those two f subway stops above ground in brooklyn, the ambition of plants trying to grow. and i'll miss the artist formerly known as dino who has been once again taken by new jersey. and i'll miss the photo adventures, and the weekend run-aways into the city where i fall asleep in a different friend's apartment every night but the sounds outside are always the same. and trying to finish that handle of gin all summer. and the subway stop at waverly street, with the shitty bikes locked to it.

and the lesbians - always the lesbians - but that's a whole other story for another time. so there's no conclusion. instead i'll end with a quote said by martin luther king jr.:

"we must constantly build dykes of courage to hold back the flood of fear."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

yes i will lock the door

so maybe i'm in love or maybe just so
maybe just i'm in love with bodies on bodies i think
i think that's it
the summer came and the summer went and it was
it was sweet and salty and it was
a stone flinging over water
but the steam still rises in my bed at night
so no, summer is not gone from me alright
just there's no more riverstones in my head
and i hate when i try
but it just don't work, and the try falls away
today's chapter in why i'm too nice
in my heart lives behind my ears
in but i'm gunna do it anyway
so be quiet cause mom and dad might hear
boys don't suck cock in the basement at the sleepover
be quiet that's not what they do, be quiet

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

from my grandfather's will

"together as our final gift, we leave each of you, curt, chris, cary, lesley, sharon, cindy, john, willie, dulcey, and sally, all the love that we shared with you and with each other. use it to add to our love and respect for each other. we rest easy knowing that in all your actions, you will be worthy of the great pride we took in each of you.

we made a gallant effort to live with honor and love and you are our greatest reward and legacy.

god bless you and keep you. we have done all we can."

i come from a long line of soft-hearted men. gives me hope.

more later.

Monday, August 17, 2009

oh yes

come september, I lose so many people and places and things I've survived on for 8 months.

there are a lot of things I stand to gain but I'd rather wallow right now.

sometimes it just feels so good to be sad.


there are worse things than
being alone
but it often takes decades
to realize this
and most often
when you do
it's too late
and there's nothing worse
too late.

[charles bukowski]

Monday, July 13, 2009

thoughts on dykehood

being a dyke, and specifically identifying as a dyke, has 100% to do with my political and historical responsibility. it has maybe 80% to do with the person(s) I choose to sleep with*. bagel and I used to discuss our "percentages," - as in, the percentages of who we are attracted to, like, 90% women, 10% men, or whatever. we were younger and very cut and dry in how we looked at it and there wasn't any awareness of gender ambiguity, but we were 16, so, you know. the point is that even at that age I maintained that I am gay, so maybe I had a boyfriend at a point or two, it didn't change my overwhelming faggoty ways. attraction is fluid, but that doesn't mean I have to find a new identity every 3 months to match that if the one I have already still speaks to me. since when does my identity have to incorporate anyone else?

both historically and currently, dykes have always faced the "you're not a real dyke / lesbian / whatever for the following reasons" argument. it's divisive, heterosexist, sexist, racist, classist, and any other -ist you could think of probably. example: women who were involved in butch-femme dynamics were not seen as "real lesbians" by some because they either wanted to be men (the butches) or wanted to be with one (the femmes). nevermind the oppressive basis of this argument, who was leveling the charge against whom, and the assumptions it made. amber hollibaugh was one of those not-real lesbians who went to lesbian feminist consciousness raising groups by day and the butch-femme bars by night and had to grapple with these accusations. in her oral history, she makes an interesting comment about gay male culture, and why she found liberation in it:

"So I guess the other piece in here that I think is important is gay men were important to me because while they had this extraordinarily explosive and interesting sexual culture, they were not judgmental about each other’s sexual practices... The other thing that I think was really important for me during that period of time was that I kept gay men in my life because they gave me buffer and they didn’t judge me around my sexual desire when the world of women and the women’s culture and the separatist culture was an impossible place to be who I wanted to be sexually. And gay men might not get it, but they didn’t care. If I said I was a lesbian, I was a lesbian, and if I was a lesbian fem, so I was a lesbian fem, you know? I wasn’t inauthentically queer because of my sexual choices. In separatist women’s culture, I was always suspect and so, gay men ended up playing a fundamental role in keeping alive my options sexually, where separatism didn’t."

i'm a dyke, and i'll stay a dyke. it's my gender identity, it's my political identity, my historical context. my relationship history has mostly been with women, but those boys and genderqueers who have made an appearance are not any less of how they identify just for being with me. and i'm not any less of who I am for being with them. and although I ally myself with many different identities and movements, I locate myself politically and personally among the dykes. my activism exists in many different circles, but shit son, I spend most of my energy at the lesbian herstory archives, so anyone who wants to revoke my lesbo membership card cause of my broad attraction can just try to tell me that i'm not a devoted and responsible dyke activist.

maybe if I was lucky enough to be one of those good dykes who is only attracted to female bodied, female identified people, preferably not too boyish cause you know that's just hidden straightness, I wouldn't have to feel the need to answer for my own life. I could waste time and energy pursuing the ladies that I'm supposed to pursue to be the right kind of dyke or I could do me, and then do that person over there if I want to. I could consider myself lucky that people I find hot find me hot too. and consider myself lucky that my attraction spans from high femme shark women to queer pink-wearing bearded boys to tough as nails butches to freckle-faced tomboy girls. I am, after all, a taurus and a hedonist.

I'll probably revisit this soon and tweak it as my personal philosophy evolves. but at the end of days, my little bio up there says i'm a dyke extraordinaire**, and i wear it proudly.

*i'm a social science person, not a mathemagician. whatever.
**seriously. google image search it and my picture is the fourth one.

Monday, July 6, 2009

on being gay and angry

okay seriously. I had no idea that my blog had gotten so weird and cryptic lately (thanks liz). it's easy to slip into a writing style that sounds good because it's mysterious and uses bizarre ways to explain things but it doesn't actually say anything to anyone else, and might as well just be in my paper journal.

so june was pride month. thanks a lot, obama, now I'm fucking exhausted from a whole month of being proud. In three words: drunk, hot, faggoty. I believe these are good things. In addition to that, conversations were had about the in/exclusivity of the nyc dyke march, the evolution of manhattan pride, whether or not it is appropriate to hate straight people, and how hot that-person-over-there is. seriously, my eyeballs fall out of my head whenever a horde of queers gathers. thanks, new york city, for being so damn pretty.

in any case, I was working through my $2 pbr the other night at the metropolitan (god what a gross thing to say. who have I become?), arguing as I am wont to do, and I remember a friend telling me that what I was saying was well-spoken and eloquent, but for the life of me I don't remember what I said. it has been bothering me, and not just because I speak the best when I'm on my way to drunktown. I've been working on living the phrase "the courage of your convictions," and it's so easy to be brave when it comes in a can. I wonder often where the power is in non-intellectual retaliation, also. it takes a certain level of... something (stupidity? bravery? the jury is still out) to yell at the dudes who called you a faggot to suck your dick, and I'm not sure if it does anything other than make me feel better. although if we wanna get all meta about it, I think it also represents a reclamation of space and power that someone like me can say something like that (not to forget the privilege that I'm a young white grrl and the repercussions are likely to be specific to that part of my identity) - maybe it evens the score a little, even if some day I get my ass kicked. people who decide in a split second to start shit most likely don't expect their target to respond, which is why they say it in the first place, but as the great audre lorde said in that ever quotable quote: "your silence will not protect you." I stayed silent most of my life, save my flushed face and gritted teeth, while the jerk in my physics class asked me againandagainandagain how lesbians fuck or if I hate men cause my daddy raped me, and it did me no favors, and taught him no lessons. I'm still angry about that. so I guess if I need to rationalize mouthing off to drunk dudes (I don't), there you have it.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

my name is not delilah

but it's close enough.

there's probably a reason for why life happens the way it does, but I can't see it. maybe I need to learn a lesson or maybe I just need to keep being stupid and young. I guess I could call it opportunistic instead of stupid.

oh, the things we sacrifice.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

dear bopu

I am writing you a letter now, now that it is too late. a day late and a dollar short, and you could have used the dollar.

I remember living with you on madtom road, and the lilacs and tiny daisies and fat bumblebees across from your house, and the way summertime smells in the vermont countryside. it rains like the seas are falling out of the sky sometimes and everything is green and the air is chewable, but at night it is cool on my skin as I would read and you would drink and the game would play on your little television.

you leant me your car anytime I asked and it was your car I drove when I discovered western massachusetts and fell in love, and your car I drove when I picked up the hairy hitchiker at the general store down the street because he reminded me of what my father must have looked like at his age.

thank you for my father, for the amazing man he is and the amazing father he is to me. I am sure you are at least partially to blame for the softness of his heart and his willingness to fiercely love his only daughter. did you know he cried on the phone today, when he told me the news? that you died in your sleep, hands crossed, finally able to breathe in whatever ether you found yourself?

who will take me to northshire bookstore now, bopu? what will I do with the crystals you used to buy me? the cards, the letters, the books I never read, the books I did read, the jewelry? you bought me my first (and only, so far) pocket watch. I still use the box.

I mourned your death before you died, but now that you are gone I regret. my family is so small, and so scattered, and there are so few that I wish to know, and now that you are gone I am feeling stretched thin already. I will possibly have more to say later, after it hits me that you are truly gone, but maybe then I will just cry.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

my emotional house story always goes like this:

oh hello, welcome.
please come in.

sorry about the mess.
the dog chewed on the chair-leg, which then broke, and I just really need to vacuum. I know there are dishes in the sink and I cut my hair in the bathroom and didn't get all of the tiny pieces off of the floor, and then there's the laundry piles and I'm wearing my last clean pair of underwear. and I am down to dried beans and rice, and the trash needs taking out and the recycling needs sorting. please, please ignore the cat hair on the sofa.

but in any case, welcome, sit down.
can i get you something to drink, sugar?

there's a key under the mat.

come by any time at all.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


my words for the present are: accountability and integrity.

when I work that the archives, I drink too much coffee that is too acidic for my stomach and it manufactures nervousness. unsettled and hungry, annoyed that pandora radio is following my life so closely.

I have been thinking a lot about texas lately. it is the most beautiful place on earth because it was, and always will be, my home. so much pride, so little perspective. not unlike my life as a 21 year old. I think about the skies, and the fire ants, and the cactus, and the dust in my nose, the hot hot asphalt and dead and dying all around me, the constant film of sweat, and the cold shower after mowing the lawn, and I fall in love over and over again. what a human tendency - to love dearly what is technically painful but undeniably home.

I'll leave it at that.

Friday, May 15, 2009

happy anniversary

a year ago today was the day that I woke up and couldn't stop thinking about you. and here I am, and I still weaken at that look in your eye.

Friday, May 1, 2009


if the adjective to title my life's past few days was "tender," these two moments would explain why.

first, I was on the train platform, waiting for the C to take me home. i had my headphones in, as usual, quite loud, as there were crowds of people and it was rush hour. in a city with so many people, i spend an alarming amount of time not speaking to anyone, or interacting with them really. so i'm standing on the yellow stripe that, were there an advancing train, might be taunting death, but really there were just so many nauseous waves of people and imposing crowds that i felt like i could breathe in the yellow. then came a touch that was very soft at my elbow. it was so gentle. i looked down at a small hand on my arm, then looked up into the face of a wrinkled old man pushing a cart. he appeared to be homeless, with all of his belongings dangling off of his cart, and he lingered at my arm with such softness and, yes, tenderness, that even several days later I am still thinking of that moment.

the second moment happened today. first, you should know about my mother's cedar chest. in it, she stored all of her wools, her yarns, her shawls, and other fibrous things that she would use with her loom. i was always fascinated by the cedar chest, because it held such treasures, and it had the most heady, delicious smell. it was cedar, but also sheep, and oils, and age. so today, the UPS man brought me a birthday package from my parents. among the cute things, the recipe book, the candle, and the soap, snuggled hanks and spools of yarn. maybe twenty or thirty different balls of wools and cottons, because my mother knows that i recently started knitting. i nearly broke at that point, because these were hers, but did not until i found the largest hank. it is undyed, ivory wool, loosely looped and about the size and mass of a pillow. i held it to my face, and it was the cedar chest. at home, there are usually heavy things on top of it, so i haven't had my face in it in years and years, but i recognized the smell all the same. it was my mother, my youth, my curiosity and the beginning of my art consciousness, infused into this hank of wool. and i got weepy, and my heart softened and squished like an overripe banana.


(hi charm city.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

what an odd phase this is

in the hothot waters of my bath, I always bring a glass of ice
I set the cubes on the top of my head
the coldcold water trickles down through my hair
and licks my scalp, and it makes me think of
how it would feel
to crack an egg on my head
and let the yolk run down to sneak into my ears,
while the white
leaves slimy snail tracks on the back of my neck and
tickles the tiny hairs there
like a ghost

but it's just an ice cube, not an egg
which is hidden,
buried and cozy,
redred clots in the water

Saturday, April 11, 2009


the phone rings.
"hello, archives."
"do you allow females in the club?" she asks.
"I'm... sorry?" the word females throws me off. it sounds so clinical.
"do you allow females in the club," she repeats.
"um, I'm sorry, I don't understand your question. this isn't a club," I tell her.
"Isn't this a strip club?"
"no, we're an archives."
"what's that."
"kind of like a library."

she hangs up.

the funny thing is that apparently this sort of thing happens all the time. people call, thinking we are a sex club, a strip club, an escort service, a brothel. what surprised me the most was the idea that a "strip club" with the word lesbian in the title would not invite women.

Friday, April 10, 2009

it's national poetry month

you get what you put in
I think, while at the laundromat
there is not nearly enough foam amidst my tshirts

and also, I'm alone
save her warmth at bedtime

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

a little thing

I like her dust-spider-legs that clump together
when she cries
fringe that I want touching my nose
or my cheek
when she blinks

our hearts, when they touch,
rub together with a soft

Sunday, March 8, 2009

the E train feels like a strange place to be

two moments on the subway today:

I could see his penis through dowdy polyester khakis, lying like a benign, sleeping cucumber along his thigh. it bothered me, but I had a hard time looking away.

two people on opposite ends of a long bench seat seemed close to tears, at the same time. a girl was not wearing pants in that fashionable way, just leggings, with her thin calves disappearing into tall boots. her eyes glittered and her lips were red and pouty like they get after a good sob. on the other end of the bench a man held his face in a grimace like when you chew back tears, until a child lept into his lap and broke the spell.

Friday, March 6, 2009

furniture adventure

an exciting piece of news in my life lately is that I now am the proud owner of a new (used) bed. with a frame. this is kind of mundane in the broad sense of things, I suppose, but the journey it took to get it safely in my room is worth noting. not unlike the fried chicken pursuit of 2 years ago, that marked the true downfall of my vegetarianism - probably also the downfall, or at least quashing, of other things as well. but back to the bed. 7 hours, one 10-foot moving van, 5 boroughs, 40 dollars in tolls, several bruises, and two states later, and I have a bed. the van only had two seats, so the artist formerly/currently known as dino sat in one (her legs are basically longer than, well, me) and noggin sat in the other. crouched on the floor, leaning against the edge of the seat, and able to see nothing but the street lights shoot by reminded me of high school - it seems that we always ended up crammed in, clown car style.

spoke to bagel, because these days we only call each other a) during a crisis and b) when we need directions. in this case, it was both. I do miss her. are you reading this, bagel? please do come visit me.

I had a lot of energy for this post, but suddenly it's gone. perhaps I'll revisit later.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

this is not anything fancy but

I love my parents so much it hurts sometimes.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


around the time I realized that the cartoon of tintin on my watch could, and should, be a dyke, I became aware of how young I am. working at the archives, I am surrounded by lesbians of generations past and am often teased for being a youngster. dyvester teases me about being twenty years younger than she is, but I think it's because she likes me. toddy is brash and unafraid, yet she softened when she found my delicately embroidered hankie on the floor. not some paisley, hardy bandana, but one of soft white linen, the type you fold and arrange so the point peeks out of your breast pocket.

"no one gets these anymore," she sighed. "dykes who had these were always so dapper."

this year, the archives is thirty-five years old. these women who sit next to me, make me tea, and request I walk them through the apple interface have been at this for almost twice of my lifespan. yesterday, I changed a lightbulb for joan nestle. with my arms over my head, my shirt hitched up. as instinct tugged the hem down, she told me with a grin that my bellybutton was welcome to come out if it wanted. she is aging and has a bad knee, so I helped her up the stairs and back down again. she patted my lower back and told me, "I just love strapping young women."

I realized recently that I know history best by themes, rather than by dates or chronology. part of thematic history is the birth, death, and sustenence of community. a community is sustained by the young and the old and the new, by those born into it, brought into it, and in love with it; but above all, by those who need it. whether for survival or growth or both, it is the throbbing of need that breathes community alive.