We base our universal reality on constants we rarely question. Every scientist knows that proper measurement is integral to the usefulness of their findings. That without good metrics, their study is flawed, but still, we base our reality entirely on the assumptions that keep our mere mortal brains from exploding. The comforting biases and ordered reality that keep us from spinning out from chaos and allows us the piece of mind to evolve beyond just living.
I know that time is merely a construction that we have fabricated to try and make sense of our complex reality. In the moment when catastrophe strikes, time seemingly stands still, every milisecond spread out as a lifetime, each decision an agony of options that stretch out into infinty. There’s no time for action, no time to think, but yet limitedless thoughts sprint through our brains as if years had just passed by. Each instant remembered as vividly as the next, and though by our reality only seconds have passed, it would take weeks to explain each complex moment. The next months a blur that seemingly happened in an instant, unable to even recall a distinguished timeline of events.
Why is it that I sometimes remember the most mundane in all its glory, and the most traumatic not at all?
That moment of breath before a first kiss with someone you have been dreaming of, for what seems like an eternity. The lifetime before the ambulance arrives. The times when time slips by so quickly instinct takes over and it ceases to even exist for just that moment.
If each moment is a constant, on a linear track through the universe, then flashbacks are time travel and I am a magnificent Goddess able to manipulate this force with the sheer will of my traumatized brain, because in an instant, I’m there, flashing in and out of time, unable to keep a firm grip on any reality.
You see the sun doesn’t actually rise in the east, but our spinning motion and arbitrary selection of direction in this endless prism, trick our eyes into believing it. Time moves fastest on mountains and maybe that’s why it takes so long to climb, because the valleys are dragging us downwards and backwards through reality. But if we increase our climb to the speed of light, we can escape the summit and leave the concept behind entirely. At that moment, do we see our life flash before our eyes, or the universe as one tiny pinpoint that we can leap across? Or are we waiting waitless outside a black hole for infinty to crush us as time stands still?
The present is actually the past by the time our brain interprets it, yet we say to live for a moment we can’t ever understand until it’s gone. Tomorrow’s not for certain, and the reality of the past is never quite how we remember it. We say let’s meet at this set time, but each experience its passing differently, maybe that’s why I always think ppl are late.
The speed of light is as fast as our tiny brains can comprehend, yet none could interpret the passing as fast as it’s happening, so how could we even meaningfully measure it? Would that travel rip apart our skulls, or damage our sense of reality to the point that no constant is ever again steady? Is that the point we travel back to the beginning?
They say live for the future, but what if tomorrow is the day the clock stops ticking? What if the past is all we had and we are perpetually living it in never-ending cycles that we can’t see locked on this linear track. Tick tock. Tick tock. Don’t be scared for tomorrow. Time will bring us home, eventually.
New poem for slam.
*to the tune of O Canada.
Oh Canada. Our home on Native Lands. Pride built on lies, we were never taught to understand.
That this land was here before Europeans, that we thrived for thousands of years. That the white man’s cultural ignorance led to millions of deaths and tears.
Their primitive colonialism, destroyed so much good. We need to make ammends and fight for equity. We need to make ammends and fight for equity.
Oh Canada. I love you, and all the privileges you have afforded me, but my Native sisters and brothers are suffering. We are dying, disappearing, exposed to racism every day, turned away, denied, locked up, posioned by governments and corporations, and show every indicator of a people in serious crises. High numbers live in abject poverty, unemployment, we die younger, nearly half of the children in protective care are ours, our numbers in prisons outpace every other dramatically.
This is not because we are bad, incapable, unintelligent. It is not because we want to be victims or are too corrupt.
You see, after they broke the treaties, trust, and cooperation, purposefully exposed us to deadly diseases, slaughtered us in droves, quantified our blood to make us prove our status, and beat who was left onto tiny reserves without thought to our nomadic sustainability, they stole us from our families. Until the mid nineties they locked our children up in schools away from everything they knew and beat the culture and language out of them, along with their dignity and self-worth. A lasting legacy.
This continues to this day but in a new form. Capable parents with minor flaws find their babies stolen from their loving arms, placed in white foster homes, repeatedly moved and disrupted, away from their culture, languages, and traditions with little legal recourse.
We all share the history of the Two Row Wampum Treaty. Gushwenta. The belt consists of two rows of purple beads on a white background, where the purple respresent these two peoples, Natives in their canoes and non-Natives in their ships, side by side down the river of life together in peace. Supported with the strings of trust, but each taking our own path down the river, with our own laws and ways.
Our path is still being stolen as we are forced more and more each day to change our course to meet that of the ships. Instead of coexisting in peace, the river has been drained so that only one may pass, our canoes overturned by the waves of the ships, the waters polluted by toxins, and our path diverted by a dam we had no say in creating. Our people drown crying for a life-preserver to be thrown, while you stand lamenting our impending demise, but somehow remain unwilling to lift your arms to make the toss.
Throw us a life-preserver and help us back into our own canoes so that we can continue on our own path in peace. Perhaps one day we can meet at the middle of the river and dock our vessels together in the full flowing water without upsetting the balance. But we can never get there unless all of us make the effort to row in that direction together.
*We need to make ammends and fight for equity.
In my younger days, I traveled a lot, and did some work in some extremely dangerous places, and was very careless of my body in the process. As a result, I encountered and contracted several different parasites over the years. This poem is about those parasites and is in honour of Futurama. Sweet zombie Jesus, do I miss it. It’s called My Parasites.
How I wish my parasites were builders. That they would make my body strong instead of weak. That they could enjoy the gift I have given them within my flesh and repay it with kindness.
That within my milky white layers they would lay ideas. Strength. And courage. Instead of larvae.
That the leader of my liver would loot toxins instead of life. That the mayor of my colon could colonize regularity.
How I wish my parasites were builders. That they would make my body strong instead of weak. That we could be friends with “benefits” or at least besties.
But my besties, who know my breath and brain and bowels better than any beings, have betrayed me.
They say your body is a temple. Mine certainly feels like a shrine. These parasites are plundering my pieces, pulled to my parts as holy protozoaen pilgrimage.
Over the years, I’ve had more than my fair share of these unwanted spawn of satan use my body as a breeding ground. Feasting off my cells as their source of life, draining it from my own. These unwanted party guests who arrived early, got way too drunk, broke my fine china, clogged the bathroom toilet, and then refused to leave.
How I wish my parasites were builders. Securing their home instead of destroying, consuming every last resource to extinction before jumping ship. But I guess they were made in our image, much like us, resembling their God.
I remember the first ones.
Boil-like larvae nourishing themselves on the meat of my legs. Human botfly is not “fly”. Let me tell you. Then giardia. Ugh.
Then sand fleas below the knees. Unable to take quinine, I got malaria. Then giardia. Then malaria again. Six more fucking times. The last so severe as to leave me comatose for days. My doctor dismissing my distress as “women’s troubles”, my diagnosis delayed through biogtry.
Then cyst making tapeworms, organizing my organs as a smorgasbord. Laying in wait …. for weakness.
How I wish my parasites were builders. We could live in harmony.
But alas fickle friends. Get the fuck out of my house. It’s time to go.
Today was a good day. Overall.
I did my tasks to completion. Check. Check. Check. I’m up to 10 to do’s today. And two involve leaving the house– so that’s big.
Yoga to start the day. A sweet sun salutation, stretching in almost sinfully sweet solitude, ended with mindful meditation on the day. Visit with lovely friend who I haven’t laid eyes on in ages. Spontaneous breakfast delight cooked in my kitchen over boisterous conversation.
Practice my guitar.
Visit the res.
Practice my poetry.
Go to a poetry slam. Come in second. Get a potential feature. Wot wot.
Do my High Intensity Interval Training for 15 minutes until my glutes and abs are burning. Feel exhausted, but good. Good to be moving again.
Write on my daily blog. I’m doing that now.
Then write in my journal, a daily event since childhood. 30 years of banality and insanity and creativity that no one will ever see. Some days, I don’t even know why I write. Or why I write here… but I continue. To spout out my shit like I’ve got nothing else, because, it’s overcrowding my head and I just can’t take it inside of me anymore.
Then another salute to the sun, with my downward dog, I say goodnight.
Dear People of Colour,
I’m sorry. I’m sorry and ashamed that these things still need to even be said, but I keep hearing your calls to us so frequently, “dear white people”, that we so frequently ignore.
The passionate pleas and incredible restraint of violent anger at the fact that you are still being judged, harassed, maimed, beaten, killed…. Every . Single. Day. For the colour of your skin. That everyday you face the gauntlet of trials from people who look just like me, with hate in their hearts and spread that hate like a never-ending virus that infects every facet of our society, even if in some places it’s too subtle for our eyes. I understand that you may fear me, or hate me, even if we’ve never spoken. Experience and history has conditioned you to fear and hate. How could it not?
I don’t know and I can never fully understand the struggle you face on the day-to-day. My skin has kept me sheltered, wrapped in a blanket of ignorance, colour-blind until I realized that this act erased the very pain you’ve experienced. That my attempt to empathize diminished the entire purpose of that empathy with one foul swoop.
That I should be opening my ears instead, listening and actually hearing your voices, instead of always adding my own two cents.
All I want to say is. I’m sorry. I’m truly sorry. I’m sorry for every time I reduced racism to an anomaly. I’m sorry for every time I laughed, uncomfortably, unsure what to say at words uttered in my presence. The times I didn’t stop and say “no”, so you didn’t have to. Again. For the millionth time. Like, seriously people. There’s this thing called “Google”.
And I’m sorry for every time I asked in my curiosity of culture or experiences, where you are from. I didn’t know. I didn’t know. But I should have. I’m sorry for all the indiscretions I’m not even aware of, that make you cringe, but you don’t have the voice to say anything because you shouldn’t have to, and you’re tired of having these same conversations, and of being labelled as “angry”, “unappreciative”, or “reverse racists”. As if that’s even a thing. And I’m sorry that for a long time, I didn’t get that. I didn’t understand that there isn’t a need for the White Entertainment Network, because “fairness and equality, y’all”, like every other channel isn’t already that.
I’m sorry for all the times I didn’t understand your anger and your rage. When I judged you in my mind as an angry black woman. And I’m sorry if I’ve ever reduced you to a stereotype, described you as your skin colour, instead of your heart, made you feel hate or judgement from my words or actions or mere presence. It shouldn’t be this way.
All I want to say is. I’m sorry. I’m truly sorry. I’m sorry that I’m sorry is so inadequate. That there are no words that can do justice to your experience and my contributions to that. I am flawed, but I promise I will try harder. I will try harder to be a good ally. I will try harder to listen. I will speak out against the oppressions that I know and I will educate myself on those I don’t. And most of all. I will try to stop making this about me. Please take the mic from my hands and tell me about your struggles. We’ve had enough time. My ears and heart are open.
So There’s this common misconception about sexual trauma or molestation that afterward the “correct” or “normal” response is for that person to shun sex forever or be afraid of it. Well. It’s not that way for everyone. This is a poem about my sex addiction born out of sexual trauma. It is now mostly under control but has got me into a lot of trouble in the past. It’s called alphabet soup.
Vulva is just
Wet so to
You see. Thats Z .E. E. With a capital Zee. It goes way beyond pansexuality. It’s the yearning to be sex-Zee with everyone I see in front of me.
You see. I’ve enjoyed my way through mind blowing mind sex with asexuals, and oh the allure of androgyny, basking in the beauty of bisexuality, or those not bound by binaries, caressing captivating cunts, copious cunnilingus, cumming consumed in carnivorous carnal care, digging deeper with the demisexuals, delving in our dearest desires and dreaming of delightul days, fawning over fantastic femmes, free fluidity, ah, you see, I like everything I see in front of me, from A to Zee and all between, and imagine Zees hips gyrating vigorously.
I’m sorry. But ya see. My Zeesexuality, is a part of me, born out of brutality, realized as a love for all the beauty that confirms my desire to be sex-Zee with all the sex-Zee people I see in front of me.
So if you think you ain’t sex-zee, I can guarantee, that my Zeesexual eyes have spotted your “fly” and they wholeheartedly agree. You sex-Zee… with a capital Zee.
I never identified as queer. Growing up in a small rural town, there weren’t many options.
My older sister, the paragon of femininity, me casting off her hand me downs for my cousins or grandpas clothes instead. Playing every sport imaginable, asking family and friends to call me “Joe”, which I could always laugh off as short for “Joesphine” should I ever face the challenge. Dad had wanted boys, and they tried four times before they retired. So it seemed Dad always felt drawn to my masculine spirit, let it roam free. Encouraged me in lacrosse and hockey. Let me wear my clothes, even to events where I would get stares. My parents always told me it didn’t matter who you loved, as long as you loved them because they were good people, though my mother’s gay-dar ever sharpened. Never in hate, but always good for a laugh. The reason I stay in this closet to them to this day, refusing to be the butt of some family joke.
I remember the shame growing deep inside as I lusted after my closest friend. Her and I ballroom dancing away our Thursday nights, trading off as lead. Getting stares from the coupled expanse. Dating boys in public and coming home to tell her, much to her chagrin. Spending our evenings cuddled watching shows, instantly separating upon interruption. Wishing we had a space to explore our bodies without shame.
Though I know she felt the same, the words were never uttered from our lips. Platonic overtudes shading our lust in public. Ensuring everyone we were just besties, and nothing more.
As I grew older I fucked women in silence, hiding away my “dyke-ed-ness” from everyone, including myself. But I never felt like a lesbian, never felt bisexual. These words did not describe me. They didn’t feel like truth. I just never saw gender as a prerequisite for attraction. I never cared what was between a person’s legs. I neither saw myself as a man nor woman, but something in between that didn’t have a description I could muster.
And as I grew more, so did my vocabulary, an ever-growing lexicon to describe to people what didn’t even feel like my truth. Pansexual. Polyamorous. Non-binary.
I never felt that I was in the wrong body. It always felt like mine. But yet I never drawn to one or the other, only the love of my growing breasts, and hips and curves soon changed my dress code away from androgyny, limited by the binary selections that didn’t suit my mood.
The lack of jealousy that drove my first boyfriend wild, instantly made sense in a world beyond this cesspool of bigotry, where I was free to have multiple loves and partners and not be tied to a monogamous hopes and dreams.
As I age, none of the labels yet feels like a fit. I struggle to find where I belong in a world determined into binaries. Neat ideals carved out to classify our world into neat little boxes, but my box has flattened, ceasing to be conformed into a shape to serve a purpose for another. I refuse to let my identity overpower my spirit. I have broken my box. Refuse to categorize myself and be used to store other people’s shit. I will stay stacked against the wall waiting for a better shape to fit my purpose.