The Latest

theparisreview:

Luisa Valenzuela, the Art of Fiction No. 170
Aug 20, 2014 / 82 notes

theparisreview:

Luisa Valenzuela, the Art of Fiction No. 170

theparisreview:

“The hardest thing in the world is simplicity.” —James Baldwin, born on this day in 1924.
Aug 3, 2014 / 496 notes

theparisreview:

“The hardest thing in the world is simplicity.” —James Baldwin, born on this day in 1924.

You are 12. You’re at the library looking for some generic young adult fiction novel about a girl who falls for her best friend. Your dad makes a disgusted face. “This is about lesbians,” he says. The word falls out of his mouth as though it pains him. You check out a different book and cry when you get home, but you aren’t sure why. You learn that this is not a story about you, and if it is, you are disgusting.

You are 15. Your relatives are fawning over your cousin’s new boyfriend. “When will you have a boyfriend?” they ask. You shrug. “Maybe she’s one of those lesbians,” your grandpa says. You don’t say anything. You learn that to find love and acceptance from your family, you need a boyfriend who thinks you are worthy of love and acceptance.

You are 18. Your first boyfriend demands to know why you never want to have sex with him. He tells you that sex is normal and healthy. You learn that something is wrong with you.

You are 13. You’re at a pool party with a relative’s friend’s daughter. “There’s this lesbian in my gym class. It’s so gross,” she says. “Ugh, that’s disgusting,” another girl adds. They ask you, “do you have any lesbians at your school?” You tell them no and they say you are lucky. You learn to stay away from other girls.

You are 20. You have coffee with a girl and you can’t stop thinking about her for days afterwards. You learn the difference between a new friendship and new feelings for a person.

You are 13. Your mom is watching a movie. You see two girls kiss on screen. You feel butterflies and this sense that you identify with the girls on the screen. Your mom gets up and covers the screen. You learn that if you are like those girls, no one wants to see it.

You are 20. You and your friends are drunk and your ex-boyfriend dares you to make out with your friend. You both agree. You touch her face. It feels soft and warm. Her lips are small and her hands feel soft on your back. You learn the difference between being attracted to someone and recognizing that someone you care about is attractive.

You are 16. You find lesbian porn online. Their eyes look dead and their bodies are positioned in a way that you had never imagined. You learn that liking girls is acceptable if straight men can decide the terms.

You are 20. You are lying next to a beautiful girl and talking about everything. You tell her things that you don’t usually tell anyone. You learn how it feels not to want to go to sleep because you don’t want to miss out on any time with someone.

You are 18. You are in intro to women’s and gender studies. “Not all feminists are lesbians- I love my husband! Most of the feminists on our leadership team are straight! It’s just a stereotype,” the professor exclaims. You learn that lesbianism is something to separate yourself from.

You are 15. Your parents are talking about a celebrity. Your dad has a grin on his face and says, “her girlfriend says that she’s having the best sex of her life with her!” You learn that being a lesbian is about the kind of sex you have and not how you love.

You are 21 and you are kissing a beautiful girl and she’s your girlfriend and you understand why people write songs and make movies and stupid facebook statuses about this and time around you just seems to stop and you could spend forever like this and you learn that there is nothing wrong with you and you are falling in love.

You are 21. And you are okay.

a thing I wrote after arguing with an insensitive dude on facebook all day or Things Other People Taught me about Liking Girls (via thesefirstfewdesperatehours)

(via lipstick-feminists)

Aug 3, 2014 / 118,263 notes
Jul 28, 2014

Metals

Metals break and melt into the landscape,

it’s dust floats across the distance,

where piercing particles dissolve onto tips of tounges,

stabbing ashmatic lungs with polluted layers

 of industrial substance

caking the earth

in her ruin.

She gasps

and she can not yet free her body 

from it’s own internal disintegration.

The earth, the property, the unpaid rent had different 

hands of fate.

She counts the time through scraps collected.

Feelings become unreliable narrators

of her invisible condition.

Collecting dust and memory with pressed roses between pages

where disintegration evades linearity. 

Her house is not a home

built of wood, concrete, and lead.

Jul 25, 2014 / 1 note

White people treat me differently when I’m out on a date with a white guy. I don’t get it and I’ll never get over it. It’s like, all of a sudden I exist.

Jul 16, 2014

Silent rouse

There’s a place for us rebels.

Restless and quiet, lying awake in the night.
The tortured loves of the unloved.
Loving with fault, to no avail, unable to teach through or penetrate through the silence that divided them. She never felt further a part, more of a sad image that floated further and further away, revealing nothing. She had nothing to gain from him, two years of tortuous suffering, almost times, unreturned affection. L was unable to look back, yet terrified and too depressed to look forward. The possibilities evaded her, plunging further into ideas of what is not even there.

Depression is choking immobility. Beautiful strong birds who have lost the will to fly.
Pain attacks are waking up to the world spinning, leaving you unable to retrieve who you were before and after. Gasping for air, compressed by the invisible giant of worry.

Jul 9, 2014 / 12,657 notes

abolitionista:

so-treu:

thephysicalisanillusion:

The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.

-Morpheus

i think about this scene a lot when i’m talking about antiblackness and how it works and why it’s damn near impossible to combat

^^^^^

(via writedarkmatter)

Jul 9, 2014

Ideology of Love Letters

Preface: I’ve decided to write this piece, not only beucase my relationship with language and the subject of love is continuously evolving, bus also because the excercise of exploring desire, longing, passion, desperation, and sadness on a page is as old a practice as composing sonnets or verse. There is intimacy and performance in the form, and like receiving a love letter from a long-awaited crush, we hang onto every word. Who doesn’t know that heart-racing feverish feeling of checking the mailbox each day and tearing open envelopes in search of just a piece of someone’s thoughts, cares, love, and affections.  Who doesn’t want to read, or hear “My dear, I think of you everyday.” or “I’ve missed you desperately.” Even after the letters are written and discarded, they will have a special secret place in us, leading me to wonder, was it the words, sentiment, or the ideas that have stuck with me since? We all know that in love we give ourselves, but what self do we form and give in a letter? What self can we gain? Write one letter and you’re a poet, a romantic. And in the act of doing this, what is lost and what is gained? As if the universal sharing of feelings is supposed to be a democratically good idea. Are the love letters you write as important as the ones you never had the balls or care to send? What about the love letters we write in private?

The desperate thoughts and memories that creep into daily existence. The secret lives of desperate, heart-stopping love, where each day is haunted by what (was once? was never?) is not there. Your conscience dies and fades into the moment. We sink back into the form. Reading and writing are solitary activities. No text will ever be enough. The light of passion and ink bleeds internally. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTa5D8kzPvA

"Quite often I am asked to recommend, as a paractice, the habit of "reading." I like to do this, though I always feel a bit phony. To recommend something implies that its presence in your life is a positive choice, like playing tenis or avoiding gluten. For me, being a reader, in summer or any other time, isn’t a "lifestyle choice." Rather, I made the choice-if that’s what it was- so long ago, it has taken on an inescapable character in my mind. I think that if I were a very good swimmer, I would be proud to be so, but being proud of being a reader, in my case, is like being proud you have feet. I don’t feel much pride when, on the way to someone’s house for dinner, I stuff several books into my handbag for…well, for what? Can I really not manage a brief subway ride without textual support? Is that normal? Are there other people who, when watching a documentary set in prison, secretly think, as I have Wish I had all that time to read?

What I am describing is a condition that might be termed “pathological reader syndrome.” My acquisition and digestion of books is, to be frank, absurd. Just get a Kindle, everyone advised me a few years ago. Yet here I am, packing for a short flight between Londdon and Belfast, with my Kindle, certainly, but also with four or five hardback books jammed into my hand luggage, just in case. Just in case we happen to fly through a wrinkle in time through which an hour expands to acommodate infinity.”

“Confessions of a Pathological Reader” by Zadie Smith. 
Jun 14, 2014
Jun 13, 2014

Dead and discarded

I feel how leaves must feel, carelessly rotten on the ground. I feel like the rain left, how the dust feels as it rips through cloth and bleeds into the eyes. I feel like burrying myself in my room, in my books, into activism forever, living an “alternative lifestyle”, below the expected wages, just enough to get by. I feel like I forgtten what beauty and freedom must feel like. I go on Facebook and feel confronted by a hyperreal world of hyper alienation, stupidity, and complete benign apathy. If I stay much longer floating around I will probably go back to wanting to kill myself. There is no end or perceivable positive future where all identity and subjectivity is tied to inaction. That’s how we become what Marx describes as our own gravediggers. I will not write my own tombstone on some NSA data-mined site of disconnection. I feel totally negative and intolerable. I feel like hiding forever, retreating deeper and more reckessly into myself. I need to stop constantly testing myself with the question, "How much shit can I get away with?". It’s ultimately, how I lose sight of myself, the point of disconnect with all reality, where I begin to question why and how there is even a reality in the first place. 

Back to reality. It’s been a great week at the union. I got myself a pretty pay check with money to save. I look forward to a new and better life with more money in my bank and children to never feed. More books to read, more money to save, more rent to pay. Life becomes calculation; it’s all chess. 

I revisted the theme of castration, some outdated Chicana theory that was unable to grapple with American literary criticism or the new school.  I get what she says, but I don’t agree with all of it. How we are all colonized, a products of fucked up machismo, deconstructing Octavio Paz for blaming women for being fucked up malinche’s, traitors. Men have betrayed us women mod of all. No one can argue against the imbalance of power. I get fucked up into believing that there is nowhere left to regain power. It has all been sold off and co-opted. Behind me an African American male was weeping, sobbing loudly into his red bull. God fuck Amerikkka. 

verdugodiscos:

Old flyer for ASCO exhibit at UCSC in 1983.
Jun 2, 2014 / 13 notes

verdugodiscos:

Old flyer for ASCO exhibit at UCSC in 1983.

Jun 2, 2014 / 75,476 notes

theroguefeminist:

huffpostworld:

This ‘personal space’ dress could solve all your public transportation woes.

CREDIT THE INVENTOR: SHE IS AN ARTIST NAMED KATHLEEN MCDERMOTT WHO IS FINISHING HER MFA IN HONG KONG

Also she is developing this technology literally to help women assert their space in public AND MAKE A STATEMENT about how women are treated in patriarchal societies! She is developing other clothes too! You can support her project here: http://www.kthartic.com/index.php?/class/about-urban-armor/

More info:

The dress is the second in a series of projects called Urban Armor, which aim to help women own their space in public arenas that often attempt to deny this right. As McDermott explains in the project statement: “The series arose partly out of my concern over the persistence of ideologies asserted at women in public space through advertising, architecture and socially normative behavior. I began to look for ways women could take more ownership over their personal space in public.”

Basically this woman is a badass feminist artist. Please support her work and spread the word

(via lipstick-feminists)