yeah, i’m a feminist.

22 02 2010

“Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.”
–Cheris Kramarae and Paula Treichler

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christiane amanpour reports from afghanistan

16 08 2009

“we are all family” they shout,
      their minds echoing the sentiment in case they don’t yet believe
“and family means we die for one another.”

Sayeed holds a steady gaze with Raza
eye contact to usher their secret
farther back into archived thought:
      I miss my mother.

Necks whip around as the mullah calls their names
and over his reading
      select versions of the
Qu’ran they see windows and
their playground peppered by men with AK-47s
Soon, Sayeed and Raza will have no need to steal glances
because their eye will be focused on a target.

This is Afghani warfare
preparing for the fight against America
while losing the fight for their minds.
little boys given a heavy diet of fundamentalism,
they shit out glorified suicide missions
thinking their deaths will be synonymous with glory.

“You will find my body in little pieces,” they sing.
And we wonder how to rectify such a vision of grandeur.





venting.

19 07 2009

teachers and i have weird relationships, especially male ones. it has nothing to do with the attraction-factor, but rather because i’m so full of opinions and usually, they have no idea how to handle it. either i’m teacher’s pet or the bane of their existence. this summer, i’ve dealt with both. consider this a rant, if you will. we’re in the height of summer now, which means that the first session of summer classes are over and the second one has just begun.

my first professor, an older man with degrees out the asshole, consumed philosophy so much that ever word that came out of his mouth was buzzing with importance– in other words, he meant what he said and understood the respect that should be given to words of others (including EACH philosophy, however contrary it may be to his own beliefs). he never undermined anyone (even though there were plenty of opportunities to shut up some of the dumbasses who said things just to piss others off) and made every comment seem relevant. in terms of my behavior, he challenged me to think outside what i was comfortable with and although i was 24/7 raising my hand to pose different questions or letting smart-ass comments leave the sides of my mouth, he’d listen and either pleasantly offer another point of view or add on to what i was saying. how precious, it seemed, to have a teacher raise you up and give you room to grow. i would love nothing more than to take more classes with him. i did extra reading for that class, just so i’d have more to learn from him. love that.

now, just to fuck with me, i have a teacher who i think hates me. i raise my hand, and as soon as my question or comment has left my mouth, he finds all sorts of ways to make it seem like i shouldn’t have said anything to begin with. he just finished grad school, and although i believe fully that he’s a smart dude, he has far too many opinions to make me respect him. i say something and automatically he has a rebuttal for why the rest of the class doesn’t need to know it or why it’s not particularly relevant to what direction he’s going. “yeah you’re right, it doesn’t work for a social theory, but for an individual that doesn’t hold up.” he asked me about the disadvantages of a philosophy. since when do philosophies not need to be applied as social theories??? i have no shame in saying what i want to in class, especially because if i’m going to be in a class, i’m going to take the most out of it that i possibly can. that usually means asking questions and posing threats to what the professor is saying so i can learn how i’m wrong, but i hate when that person who’s supposed to be teaching you is so fucking condescending. i hate going to class, and that isn’t something that i’m used to. ugh i’m frustrated. and venting. obviously.

i’m gonna say nothing more until the class is over and then i’ll obviously go at it.





building castles

14 07 2009

playhouse

dietrich wegner sculpture.

i am in love with this.





three years later and it’s still echoing.

13 07 2009

once upon a time, i knew a boy who approached me while i was blunted as hell at journalism camp. we walked by each other in opposing directions, and minutes later when i had sat down at the cafeteria did this boy reappear, having changed directions and followed me into the court.

“you intrigue me.” his first words, and certainly not his last. he and i, despite having only a few days to spend with each other, spent hours talking about everything abstract and obscure that we could think of. we woke up at 4 and savored hours before classes just talking, took trips to downtown indiana (where our camp was based) and ate mangoes and chocolate covered pretzels. we kept in touch, obviously. we emailed each other frequently, mimicking the same dialogue that happened that summer, reaching out to each other with bloated questions and unrealized answers. i just reopened them now, seeing my writing take flight as i challenged myself to respond as eloquently as he had. we valued each others minds as learning tools, and although we always flirted with notions of typical teenage-love, our conversations were so salted with our personalities that i dare say we needed nothing aside from our usual conversations. what an incredible thing.

it’s rare, finding these people who discover aching parts of you that nobody else bothered to look for.

i apologize bryce, if you read this, is posting this have offended you. but words from this particular letter have stayed with me, even after three years, and finding this again has been a treasure too precious not to share. “hooked nose of opal beauty” has been written in margins and across my forehead. you made me feel beautiful, so incredibly fucking beautiful, and i’ll never forget that.

“so here we are, or here i am.  typing black symbols onto an electronic page which does not actually exist, sending a message to you over many miles.  i hope these words find you well.

like open wounds of drifting light
cast over thick lipped lovers eating dreams
where only beating hearts keep time to dellusion angels
and angles, dear, like flash blulbs of desire
and i
i, darling
am free
so these words cascade to you over river beds like
stones skipping
and ants bite veins
and needles stretch for new found love and hope and anxiety-washed walls of brand new white
she smiles for miles, holding her hands tight to the wind that moves her hair
dark skin and darker eyes
hooked nose of opal beauty
pine scrapes of brushes cast shadows over streams of jane
magnolia, sweetheart, don’t you know me?
like sunstones and freedom rings like snow and heaven casts
a light
everywhere
stone temples and sheer metal milkshakes drift slow to placid lovers
twisting rules and desire around their forks
wringing this world for all they can
and drinking to each other’s  health
shhhh
here comes the toast…

.

i’ve been thinking a great deal lately, and i’m beginning to think that in order to not go crazy or become unecessarily neurotic, i have to let some things go and not think about them as much as i tend to.  i still have to find the balance, however, because if i don’t think enough i feel i am wasting life, drifting by in this beautiful sea and not ever seeing the waves.   maybe life is all about balance.  when you fantsize about people, is it ever sexual?  is it always sexual?  i’m finding that my illusions tend towards sexual.  why is that?  maybe i don’t want to imagine any other facet.  somehow sexual fantasies require less commitment.  i dunno.  as far as other stuff, i’d rather just do it, rather than dream it.  *shrug*   strange.  what bothers me is that though i dream of having wonderful conversations with you for hours on end, i still wonder what your lips taste like.  not even in a very interested way, just as a curiosity.  why is this?
the book i’m working on is about how to predict how people will act based on psychological and biological analyses.  could you recommend any books in this vein?  it would be most helpful.

my main passion at the moment is a non profit organization i’m working on organizing.  i’m not in the mood to go into details at the moment, but i’m very excited.  that and the aforementioned book.

well, it’s 1:29 am here, nearly 2:30 for you.  i hope these words find you well, kiran.  enjoy the time which passes between this letter and your response and know i will be thinking of you.  when you pass through your day, at work, in your room, on the street, in your car.  whenever you are worried or scared or you feel alone, know that i am here.  that you can call me or write me and i will be here, willing to be at your service.

remember the sun
bryce”

one of the many people who have altered my perspective– for that as well, i am forever grateful. language is a crazy thing, ain’t it?





miscategorized.

13 07 2009

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i ask you questions with premeditated answers because i want you to tell me exactly what i want to hear but you don’t. and my heart swells when you give me another answer that’s outside of the box i’ve drawn for possibilities of us and it throws me off and i hate it but i love it at the same time because i don’t think i want what’s inside the fucking box. so i still ask these questions, half waiting for you to tell me what i want to hear and half waiting for an answer that’s going to break my heart because you do it all the time. those are the only two possibilities, i realized, because i put all the positive ones in the back of my mind and you, surprising little fucker that you are, give me words with daggers attached and they scrape my throat as i swallow them with smile. fuck, i hate you. but i come back, fueling hopes off of your stupid fucking words, saying “yeah, me too” when the entire time, i want to burst out in tears from pain in my chest because my heart is cracking my ribs from the size it’s swollen into. and finally,

“do you love me?”

“i fucking hate you.”

but give me an hour and a bandaid and fuck–i’m ready for round 2.





do i have the heart for it?

12 07 2009

i started this blog as an outlet for my writing, but so far it hasn’t generated much work out of me (obviously). can’t be mad, though, considering all of my work has gone into a. atetraks (www.ATEtraks.com, if you haven’t already checked out the genius) which means writing and travelling for the interviews and photoshoots, b. classes and c. my job. busy bee, ain’t i?

i’m thinking about things for the fall– opportunities, schedule, how i can fit in sleep in between all the things i want to accomplish. as much as i love sleep, i hate that it’s such a necessity. i’d rather recharge by caffeine (which is usually what i do). it’s probably why i think i’m having heart problems… lol, but not at all because it’s scary as shit.

chris craymer

last night i was sitting with friends of mine who had all gone through tumultuous breakups. they fueled each others’ heartache by swapping stories of missed phone calls and misinterpreted texts. being the single one, i sat on the bed and took my phone out. they nodded at their similar circumstance, mused at what went wrong and gave opinions on rational next steps. i stayed silent– who am i to give out wary advice or pep-talks when i was in no place to share their experiences? people come to me all the time, choked up and tears gushing out, and i’m usually the one that’ll nurse them back into a happy moment, but lately, it’s been getting harder. i don’t have the same optimism, nor do i have the same experiences (anything resembling them happened been too long ago that i’m tired of using them as comparison points). that, and i’m tired of making up solutions that sound great but i don’t believe in.

a friend of mine collapsed in a heap on the floor when she found out her ex had been talking to other girls, her chest heaving from the emotion she held inside. “i want to cry until i feel better,” she told me, and although i nodded, i don’t think i ever knew what that was like. crying for me comes so scarcely and leaves so quickly not because i don’t have emotions– but because i didn’t know or realize what their worth was. thirty seconds after a fit, my tear ducts well up and i get up and get some food. it’s more out of habit than strength, considering i was taught that crying solves nothing (logically speaking, it’s true, though it may help you feel better). maybe that’s my problem too, though. logic has gotten in the way of my emotions. it’s strengthened my work ethic, but eliminated opportunities to help me grow as a person.

they all sat in their heartached pow-wow until they had exhausted themselves from sharing anymore.

they stopped with sat eyes, nostalgic smiles and furrowed brows.

i was still on my phone.

i wonder like i forgot, what it’s like to miss someone that badly.

the rest of the series pictured above can be found here