poems that help
On Joy and Sorrow
  Khalil Gibran

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

For Strong Women
  Marge Piercy

A strong woman is a woman who is straining.
A strong woman is a woman standing
on tip toe and lifting a barbell
while trying to sing Boris Godunov.
A strong woman is a woman at work
cleaning out the cesspool of the ages,
and while she shovels, she talks about
how she doesn't mind crying, it opens
the ducts of her eyes, and throwing up
develops the stomach muscles, and
she goes on shoveling with tears in her nose.

A strong woman is a woman in whose head
a voice is repeating, I told you so,
ugly, bad girl, bitch, nag, shrill, witch,
ballbuster, nobody will ever love you back,
why aren't you feminine, why aren't
you soft, why aren't you quiet, why
aren't you dead?

A strong woman is a woman determined
to do something others are determined
not to be done. She is pushing up on the bottom
of a lead coffin lid. She is trying to raise
a manhole cover with her head, she is trying
to butt her way though a steel wall.
Her head hurts. People waiting for the hole
to be made say, hurry, you're so strong.

A strong woman is a woman bleeding inside.
A strong woman is a woman making
herself strong every morning while her teeth
loosen and her back throbs. Every baby,
a tooth, midwives used to say, and now every battle a scar.
A strong woman is a mass of scar tissue that aches
when it rains and wounds that bleed
when you bump them and memories that get up
in the night and pace in boots to and fro.

A strong woman is a woman who craves love
like oxygen or she turns blue choking.
A strong woman is a woman who loves
strongly and weeps strongly and is strongly
terrified and has strong needs.
A strong woman is strong in words,
in action, in connection, in feeling;
she is not strong as a stone but as a wolf
suckling her young. Strength is not in her, but she
enacts it as the wind fills a sail.

What comforts her is others loving
her equally for the strength and for the weakness
from which it issues, lightning from a cloud.
Lightning stuns. In rain, the clouds disperse.
Only water of connection remains, flowing through us.
Strong is what we make together,
a strong woman is a woman strongly afraid.

(no subject)
I'm in Calgary. I'll be here for a long scary time. I'm confused & sad & my life is 100% out of control. call me, message me, something - let's hang out, I'll try to be more fun than I sound. :) I need sunshine, & to meet new people.

the revolution will not be publicized
freaky new issue of Maclean's:

I swear to god they're not even trying to be ironic!! whooa. the following questions (among sooo many others) come to mind: what are you doing calling your daughter a skank? what's with the faceless prepubescent blondie? are you kidding?
haha. I don't know. everything's so fucked! ladies, our time is now. !!!!!!!

PS do you really care about Britney Spears' underpants? why is this even up for discussion?

fucked up
Tories shutting Status of Women offices
Last Updated: Thursday, November 30, 2006 | 6:22 AM ET
CBC News
The Conservative government is closing down most of its Status of Women Canada offices, saying they are not doing enough to serve women directly.
Twelve of the agency's 16 offices will close by April 1, Heritage Minister Bev Oda said Wednesday.
"What these offices don't necessarily provide is the help directly to women. There was a lot of lobbying groups, there was a lot of advocacy," Oda said.
"We don't need to separate the men from the women in this country.… This government as a whole is responsible to develop policies and programs that address the needs of both men and women."
Oda said the closures will save on unnecessary rent and utility bills, savings that she said will free up more than $700,000 for women's programs even after $5 million in funding cuts.
The Public Service Alliance of Canada said the move will cut 61 of 131 jobs at the Status of Women.
Oda said women in regions will be able to get service from offices of the Canadian Heritage Department. Liberal critic Maria Minna, citing a letter from Oda, said there will be four offices left as of April 1:
Edmonton, serving Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, and Yukon.
Montreal, serving Quebec and Nunavut.
Moncton, N.B., serving the Atlantic region.
Ottawa, serving Ontario and national organizations.
Status of Women Canada works to advance women's economic equality and human rights, and eliminate violence against women.
Minna called the move "reprehensible."
"Canadian women are still only earning 71 cents to every dollar earned by their male counterparts, more and more women are living in poverty, and we are still waiting for the government to create child-care spaces," she said.
"With the closure of these regional offices, the government is taking away one of the very few remaining resources for women."
Minna said the closures are a clear sign that the Conservatives plan to completely dismantle Status of Women Canada.
But Oda insisted that women will be better served despite the budget cuts and the office closings.
"I'm very surprised that the opposition would say, 'Put money back into inefficiencies,' when you can find inefficiencies and streamline the operations."
With files from the Canadian Press

PSAC Calls on Status of Women Minister to Resign
Ottawa--Canadians are outraged at the $5M cuts to Status of Women Canada (SWC) and the
changes in the guidelines which saw the elimination of funding for research and advocacy
for women's equality rights.
To add insult to injury, under the guise and premise of "achieving efficiencies" at
SWC, the government has decided to eliminate almost half its workforce across the
"How can Minister Oda expect Canadians to believe that she and her government are
acting in the best interests of women? We are calling on this Minister to resign. She
simply cannot profess to represent Canadian women, nor can she claim she is defending
women's equality" stated Robyn Benson, PSAC Officer responsible for women's rights.
Out of 131 positions, the majority of which are held by women, 61 positions are being
cut. We know that the government is shutting down 12 of 16 regional offices in all
parts of the country. We also know that some senior managers at SWC are getting a
SWC should be more than a granting agency and secretariat to the Minister. We still
need in-house policy development on gender equality. We still need independent research
on women's issues. We still need in-house monitoring of government policy for its impact
on women. We still need SWC to promote women's equality all over the place - inside and
outside government here in Canada and internationally. But that's what the Harper
government's "administrative efficiencies" are going to cost us.
"What the Harper government has done to SWC is an outright betrayal to all Canadians,
women and men, who have been working to ensure that systems and programs that promote
equality are supported," affirmed PSAC National President John Gordon.
"We haven't achieved equality yet. To achieve equality, restoring funding for advocacy
and research and increasing funding to the Women's Program should be a priority,"
confirmed Robyn Benson.
"The government should listen to elected MPs on the Standing Committee on the Status
of Women" said Heather Brooker, President of the PSAC National Component which
represents the affected workers. "Their majority report calls for a reversal to the $5
million cuts in SWC's operating budget."
To quote SWC Report on Plans and Priorities 2006-2007: "Equality is as critical to
Canada's future as it is to the individual lives of girls and women." Minister Oda is
certainly not living up to than commitment. We say she needs to go.
PSAC represents 160,000 members from coast to coast to coast, including the majority
of unionized workers at Status of Women Canada.
Information: Alain Cossette, PSAC Communications, (613) 560-4317; cell: (613) 293-9210

"In 2003, women who worked full-time were paid an average 70.5 cents for every dollar paid to men; immigrant women made 58 cents to the dollar of a Canadian-born man. Separate earnings statistics are not available for Aboriginal women, though it is documented that 38 per cent live under the poverty line."

(no subject)
I want to complain, or talk or whatever the difference is. LIFE IS SO HARD.

We ate the birds. We ate them. We wanted their songs to flow up through our throats and burst out of our mouths, and so we ate them. We wanted their feathers to bud from our flesh. We wanted their wings, we wanted to fly as they did, soar freely among the treetops and the clouds, and so we ate them. We speared them, we clubbed them, we tangled their feet in glue, we netted them, we spitted them, we threw them onto hot coals, and all for love, because we loved them. We wanted to be one with them. We wanted to hatch out of clean, smooth, beautiful eggs, as they did, back when we were young and agile and innocent of cause and effect, we did not want the mess of being born, and so we crammed the birds into our gullets, feathers and all, but it was no use, we couldn’t sing, not effortlessly as they do, we can’t fly, not without smoke and metal, and as for the eggs we don’t stand a chance. We’re mired in gravity, we’re earthbound. We’re ankle-deep in blood, and all because we ate the birds, we ate them a long time ago, when we still had the power to say no.

Margaret Atwood, Eating the Birds


The thing that arrests me is

    how we are composed of molecules

    (he showed me the figure in the paving stones)

    arranged without our knowledge and consent

            like the wirephoto composed
            of millions of dots

            in which the man from Bangladesh
            walks starving

                          on the front page
              knowing nothing about it

            which is his presence for the world


We were standing in line outside of something
two by two, or alone in pairs, or simply alone,
looking into windows full of scissors,
windows full of shoes. The street was closing,
the city was closing, would we be the lucky ones
to make it? They were showing
in a glass case, the Man Without A Country.
We held up our passports in his face, we wept for him.

They are dumping animal blood into the sea
to bring up the sharks. Sometimes every
aperture of my body
leaks blood. I don’t know whether
to pretend that this is natural.

Is there a law about this, a law of nature?
You worship the blood
you call it hysterical bleeding
you want to drink it like milk
you dip your finger into it and write
you faint at the smell of it
you dream of dumping me into the sea.


The tragedy of sex
lies around us, a woodlot
the axes are sharpened for.
The old shelters and huts
stare through the clearing with a certain resolution
--the hermit’s cabin, the hunters’ shack--
scenes of masturbation
and dirty jokes.
A man’s world. But finished.
They themselves have sold it to the machines.
I walk the unconscious forest,
a woman dressed in old army fatigues
that have shrunk to fit her, I am lost
at moments, I feel dazed
by the sun pawing between the trees,
cold in the bog and lichen of the thicket.
Nothing will save this. I am alone,
kicking the last rotting logs
with their strange smell of life, not death,
wondering what on earth it all might have become.




blinding and purging

spears of sun striking the water

the bodies riding the air

like gliders

the bodies in slow motion

into the pool
at the Berlin Olympics

control; loss of control

the bodies rising
arching back to the tower
time reeling backward

clarity of open air
before the dark chambers
with the shower-heads

the bodies falling again

                faster than light
the water opening
like air
like realization

A woman made this film
the law
of gravity


All night dreaming of a body
space weighs on differently from mine
We are making love in the street
the traffic flows off from us
pouring back like a sheet
the asphalt stirs with tenderness
there is no dismay
we move together like underwater plants

Over and over, starting to wake
I dive back to discover you
still whispering, touch me, we go on
streaming through the slow
citylight forest ocean
stirring our body hair

But this is the saying of a dream
on waking
I wish there were somewhere
actual we could stand
handing the power-glasses back and forth
looking at the earth, the wildwood
where the split began

Adrienne Rich, Waking in the Dark

(no subject)

I am in Charlottetown! I arrived yesterday, I leave tonight. I passed the fuck out on the bus here because I didn't sleep the night before, so I missed a lot of the scenery but at least I've got another chance on the return trip! why didn't anyone tell me everything was so beautiful here? Halifax is awesomer than life. it's no lie about the dirt in PEI, it is a miraculous shade of red. Toast said he will be "sorely angry" if I return without a potato. there is a big field of sunflowers two seconds from where I'm staying.

(no subject)

Kananaskis, Horsethief canyon.

Alberta's crazy! I'm loving these pictures - like, not everything is small & mean, after all. I was looking at my notebook from last year & there's a quote written in it from my favourite feminist's best friend who says, "if Canada was a high school, Alberta would be the remedial class". hahaha. ♥! The Pembina Institute should keep their noses out of anyone's business, especially businesses that want to take risks!

(no subject)

(channeling Morvern Callar?)

(no subject)
I got my film back today, I did cross-processing for the first time. I love it!, but it's so expensive! I had no idea. worth it though. the colours are so bright.

downtown two weeks ago, with the moon two days away from full.


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