Tuesday, December 25, 2007

dear diary

someone told me I should write more for this thing, like that's what it's all about, an invitation into this life. is that true? it is not just annoying? Should I tell you secrets? secrets that are not really secret except who would I tell them to? Like how it is Christmas and maybe the first time that it doesn't matter to me, there is something almost nice about it. this feeling like finally I don't feel lonely, don't feel resentful about other people having families, or resentful about why do we celebrate this sickculture thing? I just feel ok. like ok. for real. I don't have to go to brunch just because other people are. I got my sister stripped socks but I got myself some too, so it's ok. I knit a hat. I layed in bed and read.

Monday, December 24, 2007

is anyone driving from NC to the NE (like philly, ny, boston?) around the 27-31?

My very nice friend Michael is trying to find a ride up to philly or boston or ny or whereever, and I said I would ask on here, just in case. so if you or anyone you know is going that way, write me. thanks!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Lakota independence

Chief Big Foot Riders, 1990
Lakota Freedom Delegation

someone told me today that the Lakota Nation declared themselves no longer part of the United States. They are issuing their own passports, talking to Bolivia and Venezuela. They "withdrew from the constitutionally mandated treaties to become a free and independent country."

“This is an historic day for our Lakota people,” declared Russell Means, Itacan of Lakota. “United States colonial rule is at its end!”

“In order to stop the continuous taking of our resources – people, land, water and children- we have no choice but to claim our own destiny,” said Phyllis Young, a former Indigenous representative to the United Nations and representative from Standing Rock.
Young added, “The actions of Lakota are not intended to embarrass the United States but to simply save the lives of our people”.

After 150 years of colonial enforcement, when you back people into a corner there is only one alternative. That alternative is to bring freedom back into existence by taking it back - back to the love of freedom, to our lifeway. Canupa Gluha Mani

Monday, December 17, 2007

depression tip

Sometimes when I'm depressed, I try and learn the full lyrics of songs. like right now, don't try suicide by team dresch. I think I can sing it and figure out the notes, and I try singing into my electronic note finder, and every time it is different. someday. I am thinking of starting a rockandroll summer camp for grown up girls and grown up people who were never encouraged to rock. maybe in 2009, so keep it in mind. ohio.
I have left the ranch. the sweet kimba dog who can now only hear my voice when I yell because she is deaf and I am the only one who will yell in the right high octave, but she is still like a dear. she used to climb trees. she used to sit up in the branches. me too.
I have been thinking about friendship and how I once had a friend who was in it with me. who made plans around where I was, and who I made plans around what they needed too. and there were problems, of course, be we were in it together, and I never have that anymore. I was thinking maybe it is just getting older, and how people couple up. and I was thinking, maybe I just need to do it. commit myself that way. ok ok. I will. someday

Thursday, December 13, 2007

new orleans solidarity action

this is a call for action from the catalyst project

To Our Family, Friends, and Comrades,

We really want to encourage you all to do what you can to support the struggle to stop the demolitions of Public Housing in New Orleans, below are some ways you can. This is an incredibly intense and important moment right now to support thousands of working class and Black residents of New Orleans from being permanently displaced from their home. National solidarity is needed!
Catalyst Project organizers Clare Bayard and Ingrid Chapman are in New Orleans, working with our local and national allies supporting the grassroots mobilization. Ingrid sent us these suggestions for support and the overview of the situation.

Ways to show support:
Participate in a solidarity actions (see the list of events below).
Call all the representative you can and put the pressure on Nationally (all numbers listed below).
Share this information with others and ask them to take action.
Send folks you know who are from New Orleans or live hear loving and supportive email text and phone messages.
Donate money for supplies, many orgs down hear are broke.
Prey, meditate, do what ever you do to send some hope, energy and love to folks in and from New Orleans engaged in this struggle.

We have been in New Orleans the past week and we're really feeling the enormity of this moment. This week developers are scheduled to begin demolishing 4 major public housing complexes, a total of 4605 low-income housing units. Only 744 are slated to be rebuilt. Resulting in thousands and thousands of low income families unable to return home to New Orleans and or homeless. This is all happening while the government is evicting thousands of people out of the FEMA trailers parks. They are planning to kick everyone out within the next 3 month, that is 52,000 families! This is also happening at the same time that there are hundreds of homeless people camped out in tents across from city hall. The city gov has been threatening to go in this weekend and destroy the homeless encampment and erect a fence around the park. Protest has pushed this back temporarily.

Homeless folks have been organizing under the name of Homeless Pride and have had up to a thousand people sleeping across from city hall and have been occupying the park for months. They estimate that there are currently between 12 and 16 thousand homeless people in New Orleans right now.

Residents of Public housing have been fiercely organizing to reopen public housing for the past 2 years. They have done many marches, occupied the multiple housing complexes, done sit ins at government officials offices in Washington DC, erected protest villages in front of the fences holding them out, had sit down meetings with city, state and federal officials and much more. Residents and Allies are working really hard to hold off the wrecking balls and bulldozers these coming weeks. National solidarity is vital right now.
Contractors have to begin Demolition by the 18th to get millions of dollars in tax credits. Direct Actions are being organized for next week to trying do what every we can to hold off the developers until the 18th in hope that can give us more time to build pressure to permanently hold them off. Hundreds of people are stepping up locally and nationally committing to risk arrest and participate in these direct actions. There is a strong call from folks locally for people nationally to come to New Orleans and participate in the Direct Actions, the call is below.

There are also solidarity actions happening around the country.

To my folks in the Bay. There is an action Friday 12/14 @ 12pm, Oakland! at 13th St. and Broadway in Oakland. For more information on the Oakland action or to let them know you are coming please contact Katrinasolidarity@gmail.com

With much love and appreciation,

Ingrid, Catalyst organizer

The country is mobilizing in response to the horrendous treatment of New Orleans citizens. Below you will find a list of events being held around the country, as well as a list of phone numbers you can call to raise awareness and push for justice.

National Solidarity Events

1. California, Bay Area
Informational picket line on Friday, Dec 14th 12:00 in Oakland, at the entrance to Civic Center Plaza on Broadway, between 12TH & 14TH street.
Contact: Katrina Solidarity Network
Email: bayarea@defendneworleanspublichousing.org
Phone/s: Rebecca Ruiz-Lichter 415-902-2794 Sharon Martinas 415-647-0921

2. D.C.
Event in front of HUD building Dec. 13th
Contact: Legba Carrefour
e-mail: legba.carrefour@defendneworleanspublichousing.org
Samantha Miller
e-mail: samantha@defendneworleanspublichousing.org
Phone: 818-419-6994

3. Philadelphia
Possible press conference, and coordinating to support events in DC and NY
Contact: Drew Christopher e-mail: drewchristopherjoy@defendneworleanspublichousing.org
4. Denver
Contact: Luis Manriquez
E-mail: luism@defendneworleanspublichousing.org
Phone: 303-709-5497

5. Cleveland
Demonstration in front of HUD office Monday, Dec. 10th
Contact: Hannah Mccorkel
e-mail- hannah.mccorkel@defendneworleanspublichousing.org

6. New Jersey
Housing vigil Saturday December 8, 1:15-1:45
On Pinebrook Road (and Mitchell Drive intersection) Howard Commons Housing (about 1/4 mile north of the intersection of Pinebrook Road and Hope Road just beyond Eaton Crest Apartments).
Local public affordable housing is also planned for demolition in Eatontown at Fort Monmouth's Howard Commons on Pinebrook Road despite a $20 million renovation project.
Contact: Tom Mahedy
Phone: 732-292-0662
E-mail: shannoncasey@defendneworleanspublichousing.org

7. Boston
contact: lauhewitt@defendneworleanspublichousing.org

For more information and a constantly-updated list,

Make Some Noise!
We are calling on our national allies to take action at home against the demolitions and in support of housing as a human right. Because the assault on public housing in New Orleans is a threat on public housing across the U.S., we must stand up nationwide in the fight against neoliberalism and racism. We need people to make calls demanding the reopening of public housing AND organize demonstrations at local HUD and other government buildings on December 10th - Human Rights Day.

Call-In Numbers:

City Council Member Stacey Head: Head has been the leading force on the City Council in pushing for the demolitions and mixed income housing. (504) 658-1020

City Council Member Shelley Midura: Encourage Midura to oppose the demolitions and support the reopening of public housing. (504) 658-1010

D.H. Griffin: The Contractors hired to demolish Lafitte. . For the locations of local offices across the South (888) 336-3366

Senator David Vitter: The Louisiana senator actively support the demolitions by blocking the passage of Senate Bill 1668: The Gulf Coast Recovery Act. Put pressure on him to support SB 1668. Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-4623 New Orleans Office (504) 589-2753

Senate Banking,Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Members: SB 1668 is currently stuck in the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs committee. Demand that they approve SB 1668.

Senator Christopher Dodd (202) 224-2823
Senator Tim Johnson (202) 224-1638
Senator Jack Reed (202) 224-4642
Senator Charles Schumer 202-224-0420
Senator Evan Bayh (202) 224-5623
Senator Tom Carper (202) 224-2441
Senator Robert Menendez (202) 224-4744
Senator Daniel Akaka (202) 224-6361
Senator Sherrod Brown (202) 224-2315
Senator Robert Casey (202) 224-6324
Senator Jon Tester (202) 224-2644
Senator Richard Shelby (202) 224-5744
Senator Robert Bennent (202) 224-5444
Senator Wayne Allard (202) 224-5941
Senator Michael Enzi (202) 224-3424
Senator Chuck Hagel (202) 224-4224
Senator Jim Bunning (202) 224-4343
Senator Mike Crapo (202) 224-6142
Senator John Sununu (202) 224-2841
Senator Elizabeth Dole (202) 224-6342
Senator Mel Martinez (202) 224-304

Send info about any solidarity actions happening to action@peopleshurricane.org with "Solidarity" in the subject line.

If you have any questions contact the Stop the Demolition Coalition at action@peopleshurricane.org or call us at (504) 458-3494.

Monday, December 10, 2007

research assistant for support + apoyo zine

OK! the Apoyo zine (the spanish translation of the support zine) is at the printers right now, and I'm wondering if anyone wants to work on compiling a list of rape crisis centers in the US. (we are working on getting it printed in Mexico City too, so that's next). We're trying to get it in to more centers, and also in to schools - so we need lists of colleges that have women's health centers, or rape prevention programs.
If anyone's interested in compiling information for a state or region, maybe you could post it here, so there won't be overlap of people doing the same place.
And thanks everyone for donating! We've raised $250 so far. I'll be sending all you donators some kind of presents when I get resettled.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

contribute to good consent zine

Call For Submissions!
Stories of Good Consent!
As survivors find their voices and break the silence around sexual violence, it would be a valuable compliment to speak about the good experiences we have all had. Showing how sexy consent can be will help de-eroticize the coercion and violation that are so central to the sexuality we are taught. We would like to share stories of many flavors and contexts of consent. Everything from platonic friendship to the trickiest of S&M scenes is welcome. We'll be publishing these stories in 'zine format to be distributed widely. In order to protect everyone's privacy we will publish all stories anonymously and we ask that you please take care to protect the privacy of the people in your own stories.

please send submissions or questions to: bramble.greenbrier@gmail.com

Monday, December 3, 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

liz allium? phoenix?

I am trying to find my old penpal Liz Allium, who used to live in Phoenix and now maybe in Portland? also, I'm trying to find out about places in Phoenix to live - a friend of mine is about to move there to apprentice with a midwife, and where she was supposed to move fell through. does anyone know? anything? that might be helpful???

Thursday, November 29, 2007


photo from near where I've been living for the past few months. where the grass all dies in the summer and the burrs are everywhere so you can't walk off the well worn paths.

what I've been reading: The Gangster We Are All Looking For, by le thi diem thuy.
and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, by Serman Alexie.

what I've been thinking about: how so many people I talk to lately don't read fiction, and how much I've learned from fiction - how important I think it is. I've learned the feeling behind so much history, embodied the knowledge like I don't with pure history. like what it means to live under a violent racism, what life is like under colonialism, what it means to traditional cultures when the kids leave for the citys, what voices have been silenced, what forms they take when breaking out of the silence. I have learned about how people think, how they use reason, how they use emotion, and insights into what I do and how I want to strive to be. and stories that evoke hidden emotion. that teach me places that I need to look deeper. these and a million more things I have learned from fiction.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

donate to spanish translation of support zine! (if you can)

Ok! I am just finishing putting together a Spanish translation of the Support zine, which is a zine about supporting survivors of sexual abuse. I am hopefully going to be getting some printed up in Mexico for some friends of mine there to pass around, and I could seriously use some help with printing costs. I need to raise about 1,000, so if you can donate, that would be really great. There is a page on my website about donating, at click here to donate

Saturday, November 10, 2007

please sign this petition

please sign this petition to repeal the Hyde Amendment
click here for link to the petition
Petition to Repeal the Hyde Amendment
For nearly 35 years, women in this country have had the right to obtain safe, legal abortion care. However, bans on Medicaid coverage for abortion have taken away the ability of low-income women to exercise this right. Since 1976, the Hyde Amendment has prohibited federal Medicaid funding for abortion in almost all circumstances. The Hyde Amendment is fundamentally unfair:• Medicaid is the government-sponsored health insurance program for low-income people. The program ensures that people are not denied health care simply because they cannot afford it. The Hyde Amendment undercuts this guarantee, denying coverage if the care a woman needs is an abortion. • The Hyde Amendment denies women access to a medical service simply because they are poor. Too often, low-income women are forced to use money meant for rent, utility bills, and food to pay for an abortion. • Due to racial inequalities and the racial distribution of poverty, women of color and immigrant women disproportionately rely on Medicaid for their health insurance. Therefore, the Hyde Amendment especially burdens women of color and immigrant women. 30 YEARS IS ENOUGH! It is time for Congress to repeal the Hyde Amendment and restore Medicaid coverage for abortion. We must close the gap between the legal right to abortion and genuine access to care. I call on my Senators and House members to repeal the Hyde Amendment and ensure dignity and justice for all women.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

consciousness raising groups

How to start your own consciousness-raising group Reprinted from a leaflet distributed by The Chicago Women's Liberation Union (1971) (Editors Note: The CWLU organized many consciousness raising groups around the city.)

Consciousness-raising groups are the backbone of the Women's Liberation Movement. All over the country women are meeting regularly to share experiences each has always thought were "my own problems". A lot of women are upset by remarks men make to us on the street, for instance, but we think other women handle the situation much better than we do, or just aren't bothered as much. Through consciousness-raising we begin to understand ourselves and other women by looking at situations like this in our own lives. We see that "personal problems shared by so many others--not being able to get out of the house often enough, becoming exhausted from taking care of the children all day, perhaps feeling trapped--are really Political problems. Understanding them is the first step toward dealing with them collectively, whether in forming a day care center, exploring job possibilities, or planning the best strategy for getting our husbands to help with the housework.

It's easy to form a group of your own. Here's how: A consciousness-raising group consists of a small number of women (generally not more than 12) who meet informally once a week at a member's home or women's center. Ask friends to bring friends--it isn't necessary to know everyone.

... A different topic could be chosen each week, and everyone discusses it in terms of her own life. Go around in a circle, each woman talking in turn so that everyone speaks; this keeps anyone from dominating a discussion and helps keep on the topic. After everyone has talked (when you start your own group you will find it isn't hard to speak in a small, close group), you might want to discuss the information you gained as you went around the room. The first meeting: each person can talk about why she wants to join Women's Liberation, what she thinks the group will be like, and tells a little bit about her own background and how she came to be at the meeting. This breaks the ice very effectively.

Topics: a different one each week or so. They should be both specific and basic. Here is a partial list of topics that other groups have discussed:
why did you marry the man you did? (or date the man you do?)
How do you feel men see you? ...
Do you think that what you do with your day is as important as what your husband does with his day?
What did you want to do in life?
What kept you from doing it?
How did you learn as a little girl what "feminine" meant?
Do you worry about being "truly feminine"?
What does "femininity" mean to you in terms of your own life?
What did you do as a little girl that was different from what little boys did? Why?
Did you ever want to do anything else?
What did your parents teach you about sex?
How do you feel about menstruation?
How did you feel when you had your first period?
What was your first sex experience?
What is a "nice girl"? Were you a "nice girl"?
Do you pretend to have an orgasm?
Have you had an abortion?
How do you feel about being pregnant?
Do you enjoy taking care of your children? All the time?
What hopes do you have for your daughter? For your son? Are these hopes different? If so, why?
Do you think you could get a better job? Why not?
Do you compete with other women? In what ways?
Are you economically dependent on a man?
How do you relate to women of a different economic status and/or race?
What things do you have in common? What things differ?
What do you feel about lesbianism? What do you know about it?
Who was Sojourner Truth? Elizabeth Cady Stanton?
What do we know about our history as women?
What is the basis of love between a woman and a man?
Between a woman and a woman?
Between parent and child?

You don't have to stick to this list. Other topics will present themselves. At the end of each meeting you can choose the topic for the next week. After a period of several months, your group might want to begin study or action projects. CWLU has literature available and a special introductory packet that might provide a good basis for discussion.

Your group might want to start its own action project; for example, a group in California joined the picket line of women factory workers who were protesting discriminatory hiring practices, a group in Washington, D.C. held hearings on the pill, several groups began newspapers and magazines. or, you can check to see what on-going projects are happening in the city that you might want to become involved with: learning how to give pregnancy tests, having a study group in the Liberation School for Women, doing abortion counseling, working for childcare, etc. The CWLU office (927-1790) can put you in touch with these projects. Starting new groups: Once your group has begun, you will find that other friends want to join. Some will want to come as guests. But consciousness- raising really depends on participation. Sisterhood doesn't come from just listening. It is important to keep the group small enough for everyone to participate. What you can do is keep a list of women who express interest. When your group has met four or five times you will be confident enough so that two or three of you can help a new group get started from the list. Go to the first meeting or two, to make sure the new group gets off on the right track. Every week new groups start all over the country. Before you know it, you will have several groups in your area, and you will begin to feel that you really belong to a movement.

Friday, October 5, 2007

MRR column 2

How we turned our shitty little town into a punk rock mecca, 10 point program.

1. Hanging out
2. Create a visible public presence
3. Show space
4. Dance
5. Form bands
6. Freak + Punk unity
7. Inviting strangers
8. Treating bands
9. Dealing with Nazis, sexist assholes or speedfreakhippypunkgutterscumbags
10. Events and Projects to draw people in

When I moved to my town, there were just 5 punks, mostly just graduated from high school, plus 3 IWW folks, some EarthFirsters and some art freaks. Here are some of the things we did to transform our shitty town into a punk mecca:

1. Hanging out.
Never underestimate the power of sitting around in public as a way to draw people into the world of punkness. Punks look cool. Just by standing around looking good we become a vibrant propaganda tool.

2. Creating visible public presence.
Posters, flyers, graffiti, public art. Nothing is more depressing than a town with punks that just post on the internet, nothing is better than walking around a shitty town and finding an Anarchy sign spray painted behind the grocery store. You must put up flyers about shows. If there aren't shows in your town yet, put up flyers about other stuff. Flyers thats main graphic focus is on girls body parts are not rebellious, they are jock. Make flyers about your beliefs. Make art and staple it to telephone poles. Make it look like there is something mysterious going on that people should want to be a part of.

3. Show Space.
Basement shows rule. No basement is too short or too small. Even if people can't pogo, they can still skank. Our first show space was a storefront on a crappy main road, and we had an art project in it, where anyone could pick a section of the wall and paint it. It made it so that punks that otherwise would feel weird as hell just trying to hang out, could come and be busy, but still part of things. Our next space was in a short basement with a small creek running through it. We built a retaining wall to try and keep the water away from the electricity. The whole place was cavern like, the energy just hung in the moldy air and the stage was just a few pallets. Everyone said it would suck to have shows there, but actually they were the best shows ever, with everyone crammed in and dancing and sweating, mashed together, and trying to see and going wild in the sweetest way.

4. Dancing.
I can not overstate the importance of dancing. Dancing rules. Dancing is punk! At first, no one danced at the shows in Asheville, then me and my sister decided to dance as hard as we could to the entire set, no matter how bad the band might suck. It was difficult, especially because in the beginning there would only be about 5 - 10 people watching the show, and everyone thought we were crazy, but after awhile everyone started dancing, and then when new people came, they thought that's what punk was all about - dancing like fucking maniacs. Punk is participatory, not entertainment. If the audience is not working as hard as the band, then it is not totally punk.

5. Form Bands.
Everyone can play. Everyone can scream. If I can form a band, you can. When I first started to try to scream, I just made a terrible choked croaking noise and I cried because I felt so stupid, now I scream like hell. Also, I've been playing the bass with only two fingers and only the top two strings for about 8 years. It's fine.

6. Freak + Punk unity.
One of the sad things about our shitty town become a punk mecca, is laziness and scene isolation. In the beginning, we all needed each other, punks and freaks and weirdos and intellectuals. If we wanted things to be interesting, we had to make it happen. There was the beautiful heyday of punk and freak unity, with amazing talent shows and musicals and cabarets and dance performances, but then, by the end, so many punks had meccaed out to our town that they thought they no longer needed the freaks, and it became just a bunch of isolated people who didn't need or care about each other any more.

7. Inviting Strangers.
So, the truth is, a lot of people are sort of afraid of punks. And a lot of people are scared to go to weird new places. So, it is important to reach out in person to people who look like they might secretly want to join the scene. Give people flyers, and talk to strangers, and if they come to the show, talk to them and make them feel welcome. I was always really shy, but then when I ran the door at the club, I got to watch how so many people felt uncomfortable and unsure what to do with themselves, and I realized it's important to be a welcoming committee and introduce people to each other, and do all the usual things of a good hostess. I've been to many towns where the only people who talked to me at the punk show were guys who wanted to sleeze on me, and I think it's so important that girls talk to girls, non-sleezers talk to the new people. Unity!

8. Treating Bands.
ok. So, if you book bands, be nice to them. Cook them food and give them a place to stay. If you are not going to have a place for them to stay, tell them that ahead of time. Also, give the bands money. Unless you are a greedy self absorbed capitalist bastard, paying the band should come first over show space rent. Figure out some other way to pay show space rent. Also, local bands should play first. If you start to create a scene where people only love the local band and only dance to the local band and the local band plays last, it sucks. Just play first, and make everyone stay for the touring band. Create a culture where people want to show off for the touring bands, and show them how much your town cares about punk by going wild and giving the band the best show they've ever had - I mean, dance!

9. Dealing with Nazi's, sexist assholes or speedfreakhippypunkgutterscumbags.
Don't let Nazi's into your shows. You can tell them that if they quit being a racist asshole then they can come in, but otherwise, no. Same with the fuckers who grope women. It is good to have some bitter ex-punks or bitter tough old punks around, because they are usually good at beating up Nazi's and other scum-bags if necessary.

10. Projects and Events to draw people in.
Punk is about creating our own lives, creating lives worth living, creating new and vibrant culture outside of capitalism's corrosive effects. Punk picnics, punk kick-ball, punk scavenger hunts, punk organizing, punk zines. And brainstorming up your own 10 point program for changing your own shitty town.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

love, family, death

I was talking to my mom's sister about how none of them (the sisters) came to see my mom at the hospital when she was dieing, and how she was the only one in the whole family who came to the funeral, and how insane that seemed to me now. I mean, they were her sisters!

she had a lot of excuses, like how they didn't think she was going to die (denial), and that my mom had said she didn't want them to come (pride). and I told her I still thought it was crazy, and she said "well, it doesn't mean we didn't LOVE her."

I wish I'd had the courage to say, "actually, yes. It does mean you didn't love her." maybe if that had been the only thing they hadn't done, but it was a lifetime of no support, no commitment, no active care, only care when it was convenient.

love is not an undefinable thing. It has real meaning and I think it is important that we define it. I like how bell hooks does - even though sometimes her definitions makes me feel terrible, unloved. but clearer. I like her definition ... "we utilize all the dimensions of love -- "care, commitment, trust, responsibility, respect and knowledge", in the chapter Values: Living by a Love Ethic, in her All About Love book.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

MRR column 1

I started writing a column for the magazine Maximum Rock and Roll, here's the first one, sort of an introduction one.
I didn't become a punk until my mid 20's. In highschool I was a loser, freak, drama-fag, posuer, stupid, wannabe, so and so's girlfriend, that other guy's girlfriend, the girl on the back of the motorcycle. My friends were over punk already, but we could still listen to a couple things: the Bad Brains, The Replacements. We still worked shitty jobs so we could buy shitty records. Music was still our lives.

I knew there were secrets out there that I couldn't find. I searched the city as much as fear would let me. I searched into other people's lives. I was from the suburbs, 3 cats, 3 sisters and a brother, 2 alcoholic parents, one elementary school teachers salary, spotty child support payments from the real father, secrets and forgotten memeories, screaming and did he really throw her to the floor and kick her? Not too violent to forget. It had been as spotty as the money was now. Now there was the incest pushed under the rug, forgotten by them but not by us, never by us. We protected our parents the way they never protected us. We kept secrets.
I didn't have the courage to leave for real, but I did find out how to make it to the city, the bus or hitchiking if I had to. There was a corner where the weirdos hung out: the soon to be junkies and the highschool girls trying to hide their age, slicked back hair and red lips or long skirts and henna, or whatever, anything, 50's housewife dresses, men's suits and shoes. There were the street musican hippies and the anti-racist skins. It's not like there were a ton of people really, but it was a funny mix. Public space and meeting ground. There were punks across the street from where we hung out, and they spare changed and fought with the christians who would sometimes come to preach. They hung out at the McDonalds and got drunk. They had Exploited painted on their new leather jackets. There had to be something else.

I hear people sometimes complaining about the kids now, buying punk, it's just another thing for sale. Everything in America is co-optable. Captialism takes our resistance and turns it in to commodity, ripping out the soul, ripping out the meaning. It's true, but punk was never so pure or perfect. I sometimes sit on the newspaper rack downtown and watch the new kids walk by, plaid skirts, suspenders, suit coats, strange mixes. Maybe they are posing just like we were, trying on anything that has a potential to lead them someplace more real.

Once I was hanging out with my cool-boy-motorcycle-boy clique I was accepted into by being a girlfriend and tough, not hysterical or talkative or giggily, and they were talking about this girl who was so hot. They all agreed they would marry her. They all agreed she was so hot. She was in the Babes in Toyland band, punk band. I hated her, had never met her. Couldn't wait to meet her so I could hate her better. I had ideas of how she would be, beautiful and skinny and long pretty hair and perfect features like a model, probably french, probably really sexy and smooth talking, a flirt. And when I met her, this Laurie Barberos, she was smiles and welcome. She made sure to talk to me, another girl, she was not a girl hater like most of us were. She was not super skinny, her nose was not perfect American model, but turned up sort of squishy and her hair was huge and dreaded. She was not flirty sexy style and didn't try to be. She didn't play the game at all. She was fully herself and so nice. I thought - if punk girls get to be like that and still be wanted and loved and respected, then there is something to punk I don't know about. something of punk I need.

I moved to a tiny town, population 1,000, and there were no punks there. Actually, once a punk came for the summer. She was more metal than punk and had a plan that metal was a real place of potential resistance. She was going to bring information about anarchism to metal shows and try to convert them, but the next time I heard of her she had started a punk band. If I rememeber right, she said they didn't know how to play yet.

The idea of girls playing music together sounded crazy to me. The idea of girls playing music on their own terms.

When I lived in the country, I read about anarchism. It changed the whole way I saw my life. Every fundamental thing, like the way we sectioned our lives off - work time and learning time and leasure time. The way we viewed growing up as becoming numb and giving up. It talked about how people have been turned into consumers - how our identities are formed by the products we buy, or the products we want. It talked about becoming human again. Forming community, self-reliance, community reliance. Gardens on rooftops, no more cars, no more suicidal despair. It talked about the history of oppression, the history of resistance, the failures and sucesses, and the need to get rid of all forms of domination. the need to look deeply into all our actions and intentions, our conscious and subconcious. It talked about active citizenship (and by citizenship I don't mean offical papers, offical existance, I mean creating community and decision making processes to organize to fulfill our own local needs.) It talked about living a life worth living. It talked about being able finally to feel alive, to love without defenses, to be safe at home, to be safe. To be whole. To be real.

Anarchism gave me an idea of a new world, and eventually I found the punks who were living something of it.

Every movement has a million cliques and subgroups that may be don't even have that much in common. I remember when I thought punk was something solid and cohesive that I couldn't understand. There was Laurie Barbaros, who was just how I wanted to be, and then there were these punks in my livingroom in Portland, spiked up jackets and sweet but getting drunker, and then drunk, talking about porn. and they were friends of my best friend, and I was trying to talk about how porn had played a part in the continuum of objectifiction that led up to me being sexually abused. They didn't care. I wasn't trying to demonize all porn. I was trying to say that it wasn't always funny for all of us, and that there were serious sides to it, there were real reasons to think deeply. that objectification was real and killed us in real ways.

Then there was Kyle, also portland, also spiked jacket, who stood with me and my sister in the kitchen while we listened to some kind of girl folk music and mixed up a big batch of squash bread for all our friends and neighbors. He said "You two are the punkest girls I know."
So punk meant this too: mixing bread with all your arm muscles. loving your friends. Giving. Dancing in the kitchen. Not caring if people thought your music was stupid. Trying to be true to yourself. Trying to change everything.

The punks I ended up with were the ones who usually maybe only hesitantly identified that way, but they were the ones that, depite the depair, couldn't really crush the life inside them. They wanted life, all of it. They wanted community and family no matter how fucked up we all were. hop trains but no bragging. swim. walk. We lived together in crowded houses, challenging american ideals of individual space, individual lives, alienation, nuclear family. We didn't let the corporate control of media keep us from writing. We wrote zines, we passed them out to eachother, at shows, on the street, to strangers. We took up public space. We danced like crazy, we screamed our heads off, we held eachother up and carried eachother home.

I am not writing a eulogy, this is still what I love about punk, these same things.

I love the farm punks, the punks building shacks on forgotten land, the self-defense punks, the bike punks, the girl punks refusing silence, the awkward punks trying to find someplace to fit in, the finding out new ideas and being passionate and finally sure about something, the self-righteousness - not that I really love self-righteousness, but I remember the power of feeling sure and strong after a life of no power and no certainty. I know that for most people the self-righteousness fades. I love the ways that despite everything being against us, we create culture, we create resistance, we create ways to live with integrity.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

do you have any questions for me?

the next doris is going to be partially about questions. so if you have any questions for me, leave them here in the comments. so far the questions I have are - what do you want to do most. who do you want to be most.

Monday, August 13, 2007

road trip, day two

day two. Little Rock.

once, years ago, when I was driving to move to Ithaca NY (but got so tired I ended up just moving to Asheville instead), and the truck was so full of stuff there was no where for me to sleep, and the roads kept icing over and the freeways kept shutting down, I ended up in Little Rock, at Rice St. house. It was a big old house with lots of kittens and people. It was the first time I traveled alone and got to call friends of friends and be just welcomed right in to their house like I belonged there. and now these years later, we stay at Collins house. this big beautiful sort of falling apart house, that he's fixed up some but says there's raccoons in the attic and if he ever buys the house he's tearing down the back half and adding another floor.

Down the street is a house show that we get the last song of. Old punks. still rocking. and they come over to Collins house, and Anna from Sofie Nun Squad which was this amazing punk dance band with like 10 people in short shorts and so many instruments and so much dancing and movement. from the moment they hit their first note to the last, they were jumping up and down and running around, and it was the best, the absolute best. Collin is working as a restorator now. Up on scaffolding, scraping paint off and trying to get to the old original art underneath things. and Theo came over and I'd never met him before, but it was like I had because he used to run a distro for a long time that distro'd my zine, and he wrote too. He's a botanist and loves it. He says - every day I am happy to go to work. He has a kid now and I say "I'm thinking of having kids" and he says, "you should totally do it. It is the best thing ever."

Saturday, August 11, 2007

parent death

One of the biggest things when my mom died, was I thought I had to get it all figured out. All the complexities of our relationship, all the unsaid things, all the unmet needs, all the mixed feelings of love and abandonment, betrayal and goodness. I was afraid that there were all these things left undone that now I would never be able to resolve. But the truth was, maybe I never would have been able to resolve them, and maybe I would have been able to. and in time, even with her dead, I have. There is this peace about it now. In the sorrow and bitterness, in the beauty of how she moved and how she survived, and the strength she passed on, and in her pain.

The thing that surprised me was how long it took. Like, for years it hurt. The first three years were the worst. I think if I had know in the beginning that it was going to suck for three years, I would have may be taken it easier on myself.

Not that it totally sucked all the time. There were times when it was easy, times when I would forget. Times when I was worried that I wasn't sad enough. Times when I was worried that I was more sad about my failing relationship than my dead mom. I thought I had to get it right. There is no getting it right, it will all come. there is time for it all.

What I needed most was for the people around me to know that I couldn't hold up my side of things. Every task was difficult, most of the time. Cooking, figuring out what to do with my day, holding up my side of the friendship, calling people, reaching out, making plans, answering the question "what do you want to do". I couldn't care take. I needed taking care of.

I read a lot of trashy books. Weird pseudo-feminist mystery novels like by Elizabeth Peters, or Rita Mae Brown. Trashy pseudo-historical fiction, like Zorro by Isabel Allende. Paperbacks. Best Sellers. Shit I didn't have to think about. I read a book a day sometimes.

Part of what I needed was just to get through the day.
Part of what I needed was to do the normal things I did.
Part of what I hated was people being normal around me.
Part of what I needed was for people to be normal around me.

I wish more people had just brung up questions about death and mom in the beginning of each time we hung out, so it wouldn't be looming over us, waiting to see if it would be addressed. Like, they could ask questions about my family, about funeral stuff, about if there were things I was realizing I needed, about what she was like, about did I want to talk about how she died. did I want to talk about my relationship with her. did she read to me. did she know I wrote a zine. did I have ideas about what happened when you die. anything. anything to break the ice. And if I didn't want to talk about it, I could have just answered shortly, abruptly, I could have said I didn't want to talk about it right then. I could have said anything, instead of always waiting to see. Instead of feeling like a freak and a burden. Instead of feeling so locked up and terrible and pretend.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

road trip

tour diary
day one. escape from Asheville.

How do you leave a place you've lived for 12 years. with bitterness and sorrow? with tenderness and pain?

I got out. It felt like I was just leaving for a little bit. everything in storage. Michael in the seat next to me.

First stop, Ida.

Ida is some land in Mid Tennessee, near the Radical Fairy land, it is transgender sanctuary land. two houses, a few trailer, a few barns. Maybe ten people living there, something like that. Big gardens. and in September, the Ida Palooza music festival. The first time I went there, I fell so in love. I cut them wood. I made tortillas. This time they were rebuilding a barn that seemed unsaveable. they are good at saving seemingly unsavable things. like me. like my heart.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


"The quality of light by which we scrutinize our lives has direct bearing upon the product which we live, and upon the changes which we hope to bring about through those lives."

-Audre Lorde, Poetry Is Not A Luxury

Monday, July 9, 2007


Dorothy Allison says that the early Feminist movement changed her life. "It was like opening your eyes under water. It hurt, but suddenly everything that had been dark and mysterious became visible and open to change."


read these three books: Trash, Bastard Out of Carolina, Skin: talking about sex, class and literature.

Friday, July 6, 2007

crush and crushing depression

Sascha says on the phone to me - we each have our stories that we repeat over and over.

It's true and our stories are similar - the letting someone fall in love with us who we know we're going to hurt, then feeling shitty and falling for someone who will never love us how we deserve. I don't want to repeat the story forever, and I don't think we have to.

It is one thing to see the story, and then another thing entirely to unlearn it and write a new script.

Here is what I am trying to do:
1. recognize what it's about - like how I like to be either in control and safe that way, or totally out of control and safe again, in a different way. the familliarly safe feeling of wanting more than I'll ever get. I know I won't get it. safe. sucks.

2. what is it about the out of control? what is it that is similar in the people who make me feel that way?
there is a thing in it about masculinity and ego, butch players and bad boys. wanting famous eyes to fall on me, to pick me, to count me special.

3. what is it inside of me that holds that part?
Inside me there is this too - this person who I neglect. and it's a little more boring to make inner peace than to look for it out there, so maybe a little of both.

Instead of beating myself up for repeating this story, I say - thanks for letting this in to my life, for letting me feel this way. this crazy way of crush. thanks for letting me some insight into this pattern. Maybe I will still repeat it, but maybe I'll be on a spiral out, on a further tragectory out of the spring loaded place that holds this need.

so if I was good good good I would go to a yoga class, forget the crush, get grounded, talk to my inner butch, but I don't really want to. There are reasons for this defense, this fun thing. so I compromise.
I will go get a vest, a tie, some boy glasses. I will nurture that inside part some, let him out.

4. also, what project can I work on when I can't think and can't write? Draw, interview people. In this whirlwind between crush and crushing depression, the most important thing is to keep something in my life that is worthwhile and outside my head.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


Carefree AZ.
It is so sad to me the way people grow old in america, so many people. this loneliness and isolation. My grandma saying it's not fair, still being alive after her husband died. My grandpa. A few weeks ago. No funeral. There is such close feelings, deep sadness and new love. That can't eat feeling and can't focus and hard time sleeping. I am pretending to have new love, but it is makebelieve, faking to cover up something else I don't want to feel.

How do you mourn someone who you never really loved? but maybe grew to love a little bit in this last year. someone who did nothing while the daughtors were beat and abused. Wash your hands of it. Wash your hands of bad memories and eachother.

I never understood my family, the way they didn't look out for eachother. The sickness inside all of them. I wanted a different kind of family, still do, bigger than me and my sister and her partner. I want the family promise of punk and feminism, the promise that I can't seem to ever quite get a grasp on, and is it me, am I washing my hands when other people are holding close? or is it just the incideousness of capitalism and individualism and isolation that is so fucking hard to break out of.

The sadness is the sadness for a whole generation of my family, and for me, and for my dead mom. The sadness is for being so scared I won't create something better after all.

Sunday, July 1, 2007


"People are really, realy hungry to feel some hope about anything. The simple idea that because of challenges people face with the environment, over the next 40 years things must change is daunting. But if you say it's a great opportunity (for this generation) to build a new civilization - that generates hope. We've spent the last two decades being so discouraged and detached, that need to feel some hope is a latenet urge that has been long neglected. In the end there is no practical alternative to hope. Only a certain proportion of people are montivated by despair. The rest of us are motivated by hope."

(I ripped this out of the paper and forgot who it was quoting)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

getting out

How do you get out with your soul intact, away from your family who maybe loves you but wants something different for you, away from friends who want to sit still, away from mindsets that want to hold you close, close you off, defend shallow thinking, defensiveness.

you can let life happen to you, or you make it your own. please make it your own.

i remember when every sentance I said, I wanted to apologize for. when I thought I was so stupid, and half my struggle was unlearning that. Learning things helped. learning physical things that I could feel confident in - like how to fix broken radiator hoses, how to use a chainsaw. learning history helped, understanding that it was not just me, but a world based on keeping us stupid feeling, keeping us wrapped in a silence of competitiveness and gossip and feeling never enough.

When I was too shy to talk, I used to copy articles I liked, political essays and poetry, and put them into little pamplets with beautiful covers and set up tables at anarchist gatherings, selling pamplets for donation. Sometimes it seemed like there was so much talking and not enough poetry, and no one reading black women's words, and I wanted to change that.

As much as there was too much talk and not enough poetry, I remember how amazing it felt to be around lots of people wanting to change things, lots of people who thought along the same lines as me, and it gave me strength to go back to where ever I was from, where I couldn't find the right people. It gave me hope that I would find them someday.

I remember when I started to take more responsibility for my life - when I saw how my self-hate protected me, kept me from challenging myself in fundamental ways. And I knew I had to take these chances - to learn to say what I thought, to learn to say what I felt, to learn what it was that I thought and felt outside of what I thought I should feel and think because I thought that's what someone else wanted me to feel and think.

if that sounds convoluted, that's because it was. that's how my mind was. how a lot of our minds are.

to take responsibility for yourself. deep self-reflection. deep self-forgiveness. taking on a daily practice of become human and strong and fragile. stop hanging out with people who don't want to go beyond shallowness. start risking real conversations. learn. teach.


"I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood."

- Audre Lorde

read Poetry is Not a Luxury. read it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

old and young punks and activists

My old punk friends complain about feeling alientated at shows, and not knowing how to relate to the fire in young people who are struggling with things we've already come to conclusions about, and complaining about bad tactics of young punks at our small little protests in our small little town. Like there was a Critical Mass bikeride recently, and at the end of it, someone locked themselves to the doors of an abandon Bank of America, and they were shouting out the ways the Bank of America was actively killing the world. My old punk friend left. I mean, I probably would have too. He said there were parents with kids there, there were lots of people who didn't want to get arrested, and it just seemed like how many times do we have to repeat the same tactical mistakes, alienating people, getting arrested.

Yesterday I was talking to Finn and he was saying that the generations in activist circles are so small. Like a couple years brings a whole new generation, and a lot of the people who two years ago were active, now have disapeared, and there's no one to pass down the lessons learned from experience.

I see a lot of my older friends giving up. Losing passion. I hear them say things like "I used to read a lot and now I almost never do." And I think it is so essential that we figure out ways to support eachother in growing older and staying committed. I think it is so important that we continue to challenge ourselves and eachother. I think it is so important that we try and figure out how to pass down our experiences and the lessons we've learned without being condescending, and without telling young people that they shouldn't try things anyway, even if when we did the same things we failed. Sometimes you have to learn things for yourself.

And we need to make more of an effort to talk to talk to young people, like when I heard about that Critical Mass, I was thinking I would have left too, but I probably would have tried to find the people who organized it later, talked with them later in the week, asking them what were their goals with that action, and talking about the importance of letting people who come to a protest know if they're going to do something in an effort to get arrested. Talk about the ideas of symbolic action, media, buliding mass movement, building visability, or small, cohesive groups. Talk with them, instead of saying "this isn't for me anymore".

And I think young people should know that for the most part we are a bunch of babies, scared of their fire and scared of their judgement, and unsure of our place in things anymore. Some of us may be bitter and jaded, but most of us are little fraidy cats and would probably really love to be asked questions about what we experienced, what we learned.

Monday, June 18, 2007


"White anti-racists need to develop their capacity as organizers and step up to help provide leadership in majority white sectors of the movement, rather then critiquing from the sidelines."

catalyst project www.collectiveliberation.org

Saturday, June 9, 2007

imagine the impossible

"One must have faith of a kind that our history has made nearly inaccessible."
-Ursula Le Guin

"...a whole bunch of us were talking about how we imagine recreating ourselves and our society, and so many said they just couldn't imagine any other way to live..." - excerpt from letter.

Imagine the impossible.

they want us to believe there is no other way to live, that things have always been this way, that there is no way out and no reason to try, no reason to resist. I rememember learning about Paris, 68, when the students took over the university and the workers had a general strike, and the city was shut down, and people talked about what they would want in a post-revolutionary society. On the walls were slogans. It was a time of great slogans. Imagine the Impossible, Make Your Dreams Reality -- Slogans that are these days used for car commercials. But in those days, my parents days (even though my parents were in office buildings and schools and had no involvement in any of this, aside from that my mom read Anis Nin, and my dad loved a history that said white people weren't the first and smartest people on this earth), in those days the slogans meant that plain Marxism wasn't enough anymore. There was something more that movements for social change were going to have to incorporate.

When I was growing up into politics, there was a whole debate about lifestyle anarchism vs social anarchism. (I can't even remember the titles now. Social?? I don't know.) Whatever we were, we hated lifestyle anarchists. We thought focusing on how you lived was a real waste of time and very self-indulgent. I remember one debate we had about Food Not Bombs when that was just starting, and we decided it was more or less just charity, despite it's pretentions of revolutionaryness. We did not live in collective houses because in the 60's people lived in collectives and it turned into such drama and sucked the life out of real social action and organizing. I lived in a little apartment with my dog. I was very lonely.

But there is a thing that is real. My friend Dave said to me the other day -- I know what I want because I have felt it in moments. -- Moments of communication, moments of protest or parade when we move like one being, times of collective decision making when decisions are made with respect and without fighting, moments of creation when true connection is real and present. Living together outside of nuclear family. Building houses together, feeding eachother, dancing. Times when you can see that another world could exist - this is what I ended up liking about lifestyle - trying to figure out a way to live with integrity, how to live in a way that would feed me and ground me and give me inspiration to keep fighting, keep figuring out how to do more outward struggles for social change.

I have a clear utopian vision. Not clear in the details, but clearly I believe that we could have a world without hierarchy and domination. And for me it becomes embodied in the vision of a world without sexual abuse. For someone else maybe it becomes embodied in a world without the torture of animals, or a world without pesticide use, or a world without schools that turn us into robots. A world without racism. A world where culture can flourish without being turned into commodity. A new world. A world we are told we can't imagine -- but we can. Imagine it. Fight for it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


the healing journey as a site of resistance - billie rain

When I was 18, I was transformed by my experiences with a group of young feminists in the punk music scene called riot grrrl. In the summer of 1991 I helped inititate all-girl meetings at a local punk activist house in the DC area, where I grew up. At the meeting I met young women who were motivated and willing to connect on a deeper level and find ways to challenge and heal from the wounds inflicted on our lives by sexism. It was the first time I had met with any group that was willing to talk openly about sexual abuse. At that point, a floodgate opened in me. I began to consciously articulate the sexual abuse I had experienced from infancy. The other women in riot grrrl believed me, supported me, and were outraged at what I had experienced at the hands of my sadistic father. Through riot grrrl, I was able to write and tell my own story, or what I remembered of it at the time.

One point of this healing journey is not just personal, but to use my personal narrative to create a better world. I want my story to be a jumping off point to critically understand what oppression is and how it relates to child abuse. I want you to make a commitment, if you have not already, to take responsibility for the kind of society you really want to live in. Any understanding you come to as a result of my words must push us forward towards concretely and physically transforming society. "A people's revolution that engages the participation of every member of the community, including man, woman, and child, brings about a certain transformation in the participants as a result of this participation" (Guy-Sheftall, 154). I feel that my inner revolution that has manifested itself as healing from child abuse is inherently linked to larger global struggles against oppression.

-billie rain - the healing journey as a site of resistance

Monday, June 4, 2007

if your friends parent died

Things that helped me after my mom died.

There was the crisis time, the time when she was dieing, and then dead. That part I will talk about later. What I want to talk about here is the later time. People forget that it is not a quick recovery. What I am talking about here is 6 months later, a year later, two years later, now.

One of the saddest suckiest things was that no one wanted to talk about it. I don't know what it is that makes people so afraid. Actually, I do kind of know because one of my friends had a parent die recently, and I feel some of the things other people must have felt around me. Like I'll say the wrong thing, or maybe it is not a good time to talk about it, I don't want to pry, I don't want to make her think about it if she doesn't want to.

but the thing I remember is I was always thinking about it. I was afraid to talk about it would be burdening people. I didn't know what to say, where to begin, what was important, what was too much for someone else to hear. I didn't want to talk if someone didn't want to know and I felt like no one really wanted to know.

If you are the friend of someone whos parent has died, try and think of how you can get yourself to a place inside your self where you want to know. try and figure out how to hear about it without it being a burden. Your parents will die someday too. It is part of our existance that is pushed away but so real. It needs space to be seen. It need space to be heard and experienced not just in our isolation.

If it is mothers day or fathers day, aknowledge it. If it is the anniversary of the parents death, remember and say something. If you are hanging out with your friend with a bunch of people and everyone's talking about parents and your friend is quiet, talk with her, later or then. at least tell her that you felt it too, the loss, the uncomfortableness, the empty space, the bitterness.

Make time to ask questions. For me, the first year was so uncomprehendable, and after the year came the time when I was really ready to talk, when I really needed to talk and the truth was, no one remembered. For everyone else, they were glad the crisis was over and they could finally get a break. It was over for them. For me, I needed to start peeling back the sadness and anger. I needed to remember the good things and say them outloud. I needed witness to our history. I needed friends.

Once a roommate out of the blue made breakfest, cleaned the house, got everyone else outside and quiet. He said "I was thinking about your mom when I woke up and I wanted to do something for you."

Once someone said, "I was too afraid to ask you about your mom when you were having such a hard time, and I'm sorry. But I do have so many things I wonder about your relationship with her. I realized I don't know anything about it really. but I'm afraid to ask you questions because I'm afraid it'll be prying." I said it wasn't prying. I said, "what do you want to know?"

There is relief that comes from talking. There is relief that comes from finding out that what may seem like the hugest burden in the world doesn't turn in to a burden for someone else if I say it outloud. Like the details of my moms disintegration. When I got back from the hospital, I tried to tell my one friend, and he said shhh. He was not able to hear. But later, I told someone else and they heard it fine. They let me cry. They were not crushed by it at all.

Around anniversary time, I like it when someone else figures out something for me to do. Not anything too elaborate. It's just that left to myself, I will get angry or disassociated and I will "forget" and try and push it away, and then I'll remember and get sad and angry at myself. I like to be taken to the woods, may be just for an hour or two. Swimming maybe, or where there is something special and beautiful. I like it when someone cooks for me. comes into my room if I am not leaving it. leaves a little note saying something - I am here for you. I will be here all day if you need me. I will be back at 7, I will be in the garden. I am baking you cake, I am thinking about you, I am sad for you I am angry for you I am wishing and thinking and amazed at your survival. I wish I had known her, I wish I had been able to be there to help you. I wish you didn't have to do so much of all of that and all of this alone. I want to figure out how to be a better friend to you, and I am going to figure it out. I am loving you.
Leave me a note if it's ok if I come in.
Circle what you think you might need

for me to come and hold you
for me to stay outside your door but play you some music
for me to play music to you inside your room
for me to ask you questions
for me to just be near and silent
for me to hold your hand while you call your other family
to talk about the rest of the family
to go outside and scream
to go outside and talk about anything but this death
to get away from here
go to a movie
some kind of ceremony
to get the rest of the roommates out of the house
to get the rest of the roommates to stop giving you uncomfortable looks
to get people to stop trying to cheer you up
to tell everyone else that this is the anniversary day
to tell you that all the mixed things you feel are ok
to tell you the things I love about you
to tell you that this is the worst thing you'll ever know
to tell you that I want to know everything. it is not a burden.

circle what you think you might need. or write more. I want to be here for you. I want to be your friend.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


"I came to theory because I was hurting-the pain within me was so intense that I could not go on living. I came to theory desperate, wanting to comprehend-to grasp what was happening around and within me. Most importantly, I wanted to make the hurt go away. I saw in theory then a location for healing. "

(hooks, 1994, 59).
-bell hooks, teaching to transgress

Wednesday, May 16, 2007



My friend Courtney was telling me about how her and Lauren took a trip down to South Georgia. Slept in the car, swam: the kind of adventure I like best. And someone said to them, "that's not much of an adventure".

I used to watch the movie Paris Texas when I was 16, over and over and over. It is a very slow movie. Very very slow. And may be partially that is what I liked about it. When my life was so fast and so much information and so much I didn't understand and so much out of control. This movie was like breath. But the part, really, that I waited for, was at the end, and the person telling the story of how their lives had been. He says, "Everything was an adventure. Even just an ordinary trip to the grocery store was such an adventure".

This is what I wanted in life, and what I still want, and what I have. To not grown complacent. To not stop seeing the beauty and wonder in all the small things. To not stop being curious. To never fall out of love. Like when my dog was still alive and I used to take her for 5 mile walks, in the cold winter where the wind bit my skin and she was so happy and we were in love with this, the world, the air, the snow. We would walk to the one pond in the city an lay on the ice and look at the stars. "What do you do for fun", one of my friends asked me. And I told her that story, and she said, "That doesn't sound like much fun".

I want adventure in everything. In the way we let eachother in to our lives, in the daily living in this world. I want adventure that's not self-destructive. That's not always an exciting story. That's not adrenaline filled. I want sleeping in cars and swimming and talking to strangers and looking and feeling and freedom and quiet and someplace new and someplace familiar. Even the ordinary, adventure.

Monday, May 14, 2007

remember your dreams

healing, dreams, becoming human, writing

try and remember your dreams.

If you can't remember your dreams, keep a little notebook under your pillow or by your bed and a little mini flashlight, and write down anything, fragments or feelings, don't try to make sense of anything, just write faster than your brain can go.

Why? there are things inside that are strength giving things, healing things, love yourself things, and sometimes they are working in your sleep. they are creating messages and ways of fixing, and I know for me sometimes all I can remember is the bad dreams, but past that is the good ones. Sometimes even the good is hidden in the bad.

The best part of the dreams for me is when the truelove visits me. Once upon a time I thought the true love was something outside myself. something I could find out in the real world, and maybe there is. but this is a different love, it is part split off from the wholeness of me, and i think a lot of us have that. To survive in this world we have hidden away parts. we are full of self-hate and self-blame and guilt, and there are resources inside ourselves waiting to be recognized, waiting to be let back in.

At night, when I remember, I say, "come visit me dearone." and sometime it does. It takes a little to recognize. It is when I wake up and feel happy and a feeling of wholeness, and I feel back through the images to where that happiness comes from. The truelove comes in different forms. It has come as a highschool boy, troubled. It has come as a part human part cougar. it has come as baby twins. It has come as billiejoe from green day. it has come as a shadow, as a revolutionary fighter. Whatever form it visits in, I try and recognize it. thank it. lay there in the morning re-remembering that feeling of happiness, wholeness, peace.

And rememebering these feelings. letting them in. and in the day when things are rough I try and call them back to me. I give the images names. I call them back to me.

harmony between the sexes, pt 1

This was from my punk planet blog.

Tip 1-5: Harmony Between the Sexes

I know that these words, sex, gender, are not perfect words. And when I say man or boy I mean anyone who was ever a man or boy or who defines that way now (although sometime I might be talking about people with penis's, but I really can't stand saying people with penis's or people with cunts), and when I say girl or woman, I mean if you were or are. Also, just because you're a woman doesn't mean you have gotten rid of the patriarchy inside your head - and same with if you're a feminist boy. And this whole thing isn't to point fingers and judge, but is actually to try and help us all think about they ways we communicate and the things we do or don't do, and what we can do to be better friends to eachother.

1. Talk to girls about politics. I don't mean just blather on to them about your ideas and what great things you're doing, I mean, if you are a person who talks to guys about ideas and politics, and you have friends who are girls who are active in the world, then talk with them too. And if they don't like talking with you about ideas and politics, try and figure out what you're doing that shuts the conversation down. Know that there are other ways to talk other than debate. Also, guys talk to guys about emotions. (and look at what kinds of things you talk about with different people. Think about why, and whether you should change it.)

2. In groups of people, make sure you make eye contact with women and ask women for their ideas and input.

3. If there is a new girl in your scene, make her feel welcome and not sleezed on.

4. If you are friends with someone who feels silenced a lot (and even outspoken girls who seem like they wouldn't feel silenced still do feel that way. It is a lifetime of shittiness upon us) , make sure you acknowledge their ideas. A lot of times guys take things that were a woman's idea, and say it as if it was their own. I don't think it is usually in an intentionally shitty way, and a lot of time it might even be subconcious. (I actually do this a lot too, like I think she had a great insight or idea and she's not going to say it, and I want to get it out there in the world, so I say it like it was my idea, and some of my close woman friends have told me it makes them feel unappreciated, unheard, and made invisible. And like their ideas and contributions to the world will never be seen as their own - the credit will always go to someone with more social power.)

5. If you are a guy who sleeps with girls, use condoms! Never assume that she is on the pill or taking care of it in some other way. If you don't like condoms, work on getting use to using them. Try using lube. ( I mean, of course everyone should practice safe sex, but what I'm talking about here is taking responsibility for pregnancy)

anarchism, feminism, punk, part 2

This is from a blog I was doing for punk planet, and then decided not to do it there any more.

Punk, Anarchism, Feminism, pt.2

One of the things feminism taught me was that the patriarchy was deeply embedded inside my mind and inside my body. from the hollywood fairytales I'd been force fed, the prince in shining armor, the soul mate, the person who would complete me. It taught me about the feeling of incompleteness. It taught me to look at it critically instead of looking to fill it with promises that couldn't come true.
One of the thing Anarchism taught me is that the feeling of incompleteness is part of the neurosis of living in a world that robs us of our humanity by turning us into consumers and vacationers. work time and weekend time. Our feeling of incompleteness was partially due to the attempt to fill our needs with empty products, fill our loneliness with empty fun.
One of the things punk taught me was to scream.
I was a girl who hated girls. I was not one of the mean girls who was mean to girls outloud, but one of the quiet haters who just didn't hang out with girls much. I was one of the girls who got her self worth from men, and more than that, from my desirability.
I had learned from my abuse that if I let someone close to me, they would want that, sex. that my only worth was sexual, mostly. There were the logical parts of me that knew that wasn't true, but when you are sexually abused young, (or ever) the logical parts aren't the one attached to your soul.
I had learned from the media a whole array of woman hating things. Maybe you can look at one media image and laugh at it, but it is the endless repetition, the torture of it seeping in through the edges of your eyes when you're just walking down the sidewalk. The way brainwashing works, repeat, repeat, repeat, until you deny that you've been effected, but you have.
One of the things feminsim taught me was that change does not happen on it's own, and the feminists of the 60's weren't hairy leged, man hating complainers. The Conciousness Raising groups I'd heard about and seen depicted as just a bunch of women sitting around talking shit, were actually mostly groups that really seriously talked about and deconstructed the ways patriarchy (not individual men) had sunk into them, and what they could do to unlearn it and confront it and change the world so it wouldn't happen all over again. They read and talked and related ways patriarchy showed up in their daily lives. They started health groups and newspapers and worked to change the laws that made it legal for a man to rape his wife (like my dad raped his), and they worked to change the laws that made it legal for a man to rape a prostitute. (although both of these things are still a nightmare to fight in court.) The feminsits started rape crisis centers (like the one I went to for free counciling), and sanctuarys for women who were victims of domestic violence. They started publishing houses to publish books by women, and fought to bring women's studies departements to colleges. They worked to uncover forgotten and hidden history of women's acheivement and women's struggles. This is just a surface scratch of things they did.
Another thing I learned was how the ideal of womanhood is embodied.
I started paying attention to how I walked, how I took up space, who I made eyecontact with, who I looked to for approval. I started trying to unlearn. Not that I wanted to walk like a "man," or any of that, but that I wanted to be able to walk into a room and feel like I belonged there. I wanted to be able to walk down a sidewalk and not always be the one stepping out of the way, I wanted to sit on a bus and take up the amount of space I needed, and not always be crossing legs and making small while the guy next to me took up twice his space. It was the feeling of entitlement. I didn't want abusive power, but I did want to be entitled to live in this world fully.
pt. 3 coming soon.

Monday, May 7, 2007

punk, anarchism, feminism part 1

punk, anarchism, feminism.

I have a sort of mythology about how I became a punk. It's not exactly the true story but it goes sort of like this - I didn't become a punk until after punk died -- when Green Day first signed to a major label, and I didn't even know who they were. In Berkeley, where I'd just moved to, there were people sitting on curbsides, taking up public space, making invisible places theirs. They said they weren't punks any more, that punk had betrayed them, that punk was not going to change the world. They were ex-punks I guess, but I don't know. They seemed like punks to me. What I loved about punk was the way we actually lived in the world, walking everywhere and exploring every abandoned building. I liked the hope behind the desperation, and I liked the desperation. I was tired of pretending. Although, honestly, that was something that was hard to unlearn.
What I liked about the music was the songs about real things. Songs about tearing down the capitalist system and building a new world in it's ashes. Songs about the real life of growing up girl in this fucked up society. Songs about killing rapists and songs about loving our friends. What I loved was the drama and the sticking together. The way it encompassed everything and made it possible to forget. I loved the shacks built in forgotten places, and figuring out how to live on almost no money at all, and how life became so much fuller when time was spent living instead of just going along. I still love these things, except not the forgetting.

There were things I was glad that I had before my punkness, like the strong poltical belief that we had to change the world and that there were a million ways that it needed to be done, that ridgid dogma and pure lifestyle weren't the answers. I wanted collectives and alternative schools and alternative health care, small farms and deep thinking, organizing work and cultural work and that if you thought you knew the 100% true answer, that meant it was time to really rethink your assumptions. I was glad I came in to punk with a love of intellectualism and the way theory could push my brain and help me think of things I hadn't had the framework for, and also a hate for the ways intellectualism made some people into pretentious, unliving robots, cut off from the realities of life.

I am glad I came into it with a strong background in feminism, because there was a lot of friends I made who were really reactionary against it, and who refused to see their complicity in perpetuating the values of patriarchy. There was a lot of "we are all just people" and a lot of blindness to the real things that silenced me and so many people I knew. There was a lot of fucked up sexual dynamics, same as with the rest of the world. A lot of unaknowledged sexism and a lot of the attitude that we had to laugh it off or tough it up.
What I loved was the punk girls who looked insane. Who wore blue eyeshadow around their eyes like a raccoon, and prom-dresses and whatever else. Who grew out their mustaches and screamed on stage and also cried in public and organized. Girls doing bike repair for girls classes, and self-defense, and teaching other girls how to play guitar.

This is a little mini introduction into what this stuff has meant to me. This is the kind of things I'll be writing about. Punk and feminism and anarchism, and also about healing and abuse.

If you want, you should check out my dorisdorisdoris.com. there's a speech I gave recently about these things that a lot of people have told me was useful to them and you can read it there. thanks.