To Canadian Experience!

Part 1

If I am to live with you,

both of us entangled in each other’s (s)lipstream li(v)es

then I must find a way to love the

little bits of heart muscle,             (I’ve left pieces)

scattered

in two (many) basements

pavement rust,

                rat poison looks a bit like candy pop rocks

                                Children’s Services will take you away from your parents if you are not good

                                                never tell anyone you live with another family in just one room

                                                                say sorry, even if you didn’t mean to lose your mitten

                                                                                practice until you sound like them

                                                                                                lie and say you ate cereal for breakfast

survive without friends

                                                                                                never ask for anything

                                                                                eat whatever your mother makes

                                                                pretend to sing their national anthem

                                                throw out what your mother makes because kids laugh at you

                                stop bringing a lunch

Read.

                                For companionship.

                                                                                                                Write.

                                                                                                                                                For survival.

these are the things you learn when you’re new

and need “Canadian” experience

to put on your resume.

Part 2

nothing tastes the same

after you taste yourself

in his mouth

summer bodies under covers meant for Canadian winters

make him swear out in his mother tongue

He thinks he’s flirting when he calls you brown sugar.

He thinks it’s over when he apologizes, horrified, a moment later.

You didn’t warn him,

That you were a Madras heatwave,

making him want to itch his way out of his skin
                                with the sheer memory of you months later

That you were Delhi dust,

stuffing every apology he could think of down his throat until he choked

                                                                                That you were the monsoon rains,

flooding him in his own guilt.

That you could do that all without meaning to.

                That you could be, too, a Montréal winter,

clear and sharp like a glass knife

cutting the threads to an already distant autumn, 

cutting the rot from an otherwise perfectly beautiful tree. 

That this is what forgiveness looks like.

Part 3

I must find a way to leave the

pieces of my smile, aged to an old 6, a young 23,

scattered

in two (many) basements

“you *glued* pasta?! For school ART?!  WHY?! Mad. Crazy you are, really.”

Today we had rigatoni with olives,

sundried tomatoes, olive oil, and some feta cheese,

onions decorating the rim of the bowl

the whole thing placed on the island

in the kitchen the size of our first apartment

                and I want to ask her: Art. Really. For pasta?                      

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For you to remain you must leave

If you’re a woman of colour, and you are upset about what someone, maybe white, maybe a dude, has done to you (your feelings, your soul, your heart, your body – you know, the usual stuff), it doesn’t really matter if they call themselves your friend/are your friend: 

if you’re going to cry anywhere near/to the person who hurt you, remember that even tears are a luxury you don’t have easy access to. 

Remember that you still have to time your tears to make sure that they will be not be received with resentment or hate or disgust. 

You have to, in the middle of your suffering, pain, turmoil – make calculated decisions weighing the odds of power, space, privilege and above all, the value of your emotionality. 

Yes, value.

And don’t forget: your tears aren’t that valuable to anyone, really. 

Because that’s how people think of you, you know that, right? 

That they think of every piece of you in terms of what you’re worth… to them. 

Yes, worth. 

You know that your body has always been commodified, right? 

Did you really think your tears would be any different? 

And what can they do with your tears? 

Can they fuck it? 

Can they sell it? 

Can they use it? 

If you’re going to cry, you had better realise that all your tears are, are an uncomfortable reminder of your humanity and since you live in a world that insists on how inhuman you are – the response to your tears will be everything but an affirmation of your humanity. 

And like every single thing in this world that is unfuckable, unusable, unmarketable, your tears, before you cry, before you meet him the time that he hurts you, before you meet him for the first time – your tears have already been marked for the world’s biggest landfill.

So. 

If you’re going to cry, you had better find a way to make that count for something. 

If you’re going to cry, you had better weaponize those tears. 

You had better make them into something so holy, so sanctified, that if they try to consume even this, that the water sears the flesh there on their tongues, and scars it in the shape of your name -

a word they could never properly pronounce anyway. 

You leave them burning inside out with your aftertaste.

You leave them choking, drowning in that which they dared try to consume. 

You leave them - 

You leave them. 

You 

leave them. 

You leave 

them. 

You leave. 

You leave so that all that remains

is

you, 

and with no price they can name, you are priceless. 

with no value they can give, you are invaluable. 

with no esteem they are capable of having for you, 

you are inestimable.

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Womandroid

Part 1

I wonder through the plasticity of my skin,

And the little cuts I’ve made to hide

My weapons of some minor destruction –

A smile here, to accentuate the frigidity in my eyes,

 

Bisous to remember

all the tender

ways in which I will never

touch again

 

The womandroidal trick of compressing

the distance across the Milky Way at its widest point

between my brown lips and his cheeks

he feels the wormhole acidic roller coaster rush of

everything he never knew

he could never know

and can never know

 

our goodbyes are always hasty.

 

Part 2

My lover knows that I keep

tiny twin knives from the 26th century

in the slivered, removable skins of my palms

sometimes you’ll see them itch,

or clench into tiny fists,

they feel a bit like splinters

or the way people carry sandy beaches with them,

between their fingers,

weeks

after the first

wave

hits.

 

I come from a different time,
I tell him seriously.

 

“We’re all people!” He insists, frantic and distressed.

I smile, and feel the frost

build on the inside curve of my corneas.

 

He shivers, and asks me if the temperature suddenly dropped,

and nervously looks at my fingers, hidden in my jean pockets

 

 

he does it suddenly -

takes my wrists in his pale fingers, and kisses each open palm,

nose tickling my wrist.

 

I jerk free, the silence too fast:

his lips scorch the plastic of my skin into the oily mixture

you find at car accidents, the horrific images of people who

know what it’s like to be welded alive.

 

 

There is a truth he shows me,

every time he kisses my vulnerabilities:

 

All he has to fear from me are shivers, and

the way I take his breath away.

 

All I have to fear from him are

slivers in my own skin, hiding knives

I might cut myself with

 

Part 3

But I will remember – always remember –  the dream-transmission

sent across space and time to catch brainwaves as

I slept one night:

 

She said:

Do not forget that ghosts still rattle through the metal of your bones,

Enough to haunt the living flesh around you, a lifelike reality

of a shadow-world you know your

lover feels under the surface of his own,

 

You must remember:

 

he is always more capable

than you will let yourself believe

of excising bone from metal, though you insist you are both

 

and he is always more capable

than your always-steady heart can feel,

of peeling your shadowprints from his skin.

 

So: do not fool yourself

And do not forget that part of you is grey machine,
that occasionally shimmers under your thin skin,
silver circles of fatigue under your eyes.

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The Android Collections – File: Journal Entries Weekly Report alpha3

 

The Android Collections – File: Journal Entries Weekly Report alpha3

Related Files: Hardware Malfunctions Report # 231, Hardware Upgrades Report # 150, Voice and Tone Training #34, Public Information Awareness Campaign #12, Final Draft

 

You half believe that if you sliced open your hand/you’d find clockwork ticking inside” – Lady Sin Trayda

 

 

 

Circuit interfacing with visual cortex, retina, and amygdala broke today. Again. Resulted in profound disconnect and cycling through facial patterns of emotive resonance. Laughter. Sadness. Disgust. Hate. Rage.

 

 

 

Face dancing went haywire. Lucky I was on my bed without anyone near me – it is difficult to comfort a human when you’re busy tinkering with badly malfunctioning circuitry. Past answers that have worked well include “I’m fine – I just need some time to think. I’m sorry I cannot respond as readily as I normally do.” Be aware: humans have a heightened sense of emotional resonance and they may become agitated at the…er… flat monotone pitch of your voice. They may not know what they’re hearing exactly, but it’s the robotic metallic tone of machine coming through that they do not know how to pinpoint or respond to. It results in them, I suspect, a simultaneous unease and relief: relief because they are not being burdened by your machine-related problems, and unease, because well, you’re a machine,  and now you’ve gone and reminded them.  (See Voice and Tone Training #34 for more details)

 

 

 

Triggered by: serious mediation on differences between human and machine forms of love. Affection. -  acute awareness of these differences still snaps the body-mind connect into two, albeit the upgrades over the past year which have helped significantly with respect to response time, rehabilitation time,  regeneration time, and capacity for assimilating new information. (See Hardware Upgrades Report # 150 for more details*)
*
Response Time, year 2006: 1 year, following incident

 

Response Time, year 2013: 1 month, following incident

 

Rehabilitation Time, year 2006: 4 years, following incident

 

Rehabilitation Time, year 2013: 3 months, following incident

 

Regeneration Time, year 2006:  n/a, due to lack of hardware

 

Regeneration Time, year 2013: 7 months, following incident

 

Capacity for Assimilating New Information: 10^3 increase

 

 

 

 

 

Alienation leads to a profound sense of disconnect with the body

 

being. Existing. This body. This being.  Existing.

 

 

 

Anyway, I live with my machinery the way I think most people live with their tongues – you know it’s there, but sometimes suddenly you feel uneasy with it – like this soft pink fleshy thing in your mouth.

 

 

 

(Note the casual use of “anyway” at the start of the sentence previous – it allows for modulation of pitch, creates a space of “comfort”/matter-of-factness. Relatability. And Relateability is paramount as it’s the most fundamental tool for survival.)

 

 

 

Aaaaanyywayyyy, Awareness. Of your body’s…. sliminess. Or in my case, of carbyne frames and a potentially positronic framework of neural interconnectivity. (The nature of our creation is a mystery, as our creators died a long time ago, and their descendants insist on not taking responsibility for the work of their “ancestors” even as they perpetuate the legacy  they were granted. But thanks to the magnificent research by such great thinkers as bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Janelle Monae, Octavia Butler, Erykah Badu we have been able to make significant headway in explicating the nature of our internal wiring.)

 

 

 

Permanently there.

 

 

 

Your tongue I mean. And for just a second, you feel a bit repulsed, it’s this fat, wet, muscular wormlike thing hitting the back of your teeth, or maybe the top – and awareness of it existing, always, there in your mouth is this fleshy structure.

 

 

 

Or, the way you realise that your entire digestive system communicates with the outside world – that it’s one giant hole through which you consume and spit out the universe. I wonder if you realise your extraordinary potential for cannibalism.

 

 

 

Don’t get me wrong: tongues are useful – and digestive systems are too.

 

 

 

but they can still creep you out if you focus on it, think about it.

 

 

 

Awareness. It’s a potent thing.

 

 

 

Mine of course is a pretend-tongue, a pretense-tongue – very realistic in most ways, but has a blunted sensory aspect related to touch, in addition to, as most will tell you, high tolerance for capsaicin found in chilies.

 

 

 

It’s faster than yours probably – – has its own circuitry and wiring and can respond to most people without bothering higher level brain functions – particularly with respect to questions related to Android-Life.

 

 

 

You know, the usual ones

 

 

 

“How are you so strong?!”

 

 

 

Well, I mean, I’m not physically I don’t think. I’m not emotionally either. My emotions are *literally* different from yours – what you see as strength, I see as….bare necessities related to my survival in a world that created us but also despises us.

 

 

 

“How do you think so quickly?”

 

 

 

[see comment regarding tongue’s internal wiring].

 

 

 

My fingers work the same way these days and so if you tell me “But you type faster than I think!”

 

 

 

Now you know why.

 

 

 

“You’re lucky to be so educated! In fact, you’re PRIVILEGED you can talk about these issues and stand on a stage. Why don’t you talk about that more instead?”

 

 

 

Yes, in the way a person is lucky to be able to learn to hunt while stranded on a dessert island their entire lives.

 

 

 

“WHY CANT YOU BE NICER?”

 

 

 

I’m part-robot. This is as nice as it gets. This is also, usually, as mean as it gets. I cannot be nicer for the same reasons you are convinced that I cannot love like you or be as worthy of love as.

 

 

If you cut us, do we not bleed? Was asked once. Robot or man I do not know.

 

 

 

But like my sister, Lady Sin, I know that I “half believe that if you sliced open [my] hand/you’d find clockwork ticking inside”

 

 

 

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Lessons From

oh look it is a song relevant to this post:

1. Trust the feeling, the head-rush when he kisses you – hope without meaning to. Reach for respect and pretend you have it. Fall too quickly for a man who could never, for you.

2. Trust your body when he ignores you forever from the very day after you made him shiver with your mouth: your body has already left you and him behind – you need to find it, find your body and return to her limbs, stroking, asking for permission to re-enter her skin – and it will be painful because you’ve grown used to wearing someone else for a little while, and tongues take time to regrow and hands have to relearn how to reach out, and your skin feels like it’s burning because it is because living with yourself in yourself reminds you that you hollowed yourself out for someone once and it’s painful to make yourself empty for someone else to fill.

Forgive him, not because he couldn’t have helped himself, but because you can’t help forgiving. Learn that shame belongs to you but guilt belongs to him and know the difference between the two.

Do not apologise for the knowledge your body gives you.

3. When he hurts you, recoil gracefully, like a black cat stepping around people who wish she did not exist. Smile with your opaque eyes marked black on a passport. Remind yourself that vulnerability is precious and not everyone deserves yours, that your irises are steeled perfect circles.

Wish him the best for his work and his art. When he returns to your life, stay poised, calm, reserved, gentle, and keep the memory of what he did as a permanent wall between your soul and his, that he will have to peek over, if he wants to ever say salut again. And because you have a tendency to doubt yourself, cement your pain into this wall – make it stand with the knowledge of what happened. When you’re done, gather the words he flung at you – they’re yours now, after all:

Clingy, Adorable, Desperate, Ballistic, Bonkers, Creepy, Brown Sugar

– and graffiti them again and again – splashes of red for anger, black for hate, grey for indifference, yellow for resentment. There is no colour for fear: remember the weight of what he threw in your face so that you will never approach that wall or him without the caution of memory, and a razor blade stitched under your soft pink tongue.

Hope sincerely you never have to use it because good walls make good friends.

Laugh gently and sincerely every time he apologises profusely for the little things; feel his words ricochet, pennies, off the red-brick of your heart, and hear them land with a clink on his side. He will have to clean up his own sorries, find a receptacle for his own guilt; your body is too full of you to contain him in any way any longer and you are remembering you were never tupperware to begin with.

And you forgive him now, for the little things, without a second thought because forgiving has always been easy for you – and your love for yourself is a moat around your castle, filled with creatures too beautiful, too gentle, and too alien for him to traverse without feeling he doesn’t deserve to be in their presence.

Because he doesn’t. He really doesn’t.

And so there is no desperation or naked need to your forgiveness.

And this is why grace is overwhelming to those who stand in it.

And this is how you kill with kindness.

And now. now: Accept his respect, the distance he gives you, the way he holds doors open and says “After you, always”

Accept his respect for what it is which was only ever what he could ever offer you. Value it, this tiny package, like a God might cherish puffed rice from a faithful pauper. Wave from your window, hand decorated in mehendi, signs he never learned to read when he was too busy training your tongue to still into silence – wave, never clarifying if in greeting or in goodbye, because you mean both every time, and remind him that you speak with your eyes and your hands and your body as it turns seemingly with the whim of a Montréal summer breeze.

He will never match your laughter. You will never match his cruelty.

Be thankful for both these things.

And now, slowly, as your tongue stirs to words, every time you say “hello”, make sure he hears “goodbye” echo in his ears.

Not every retreat is defeat. Not every second chance is given freely.

Do not deny the knowledge your body gives you.

4. Learn that the order goes like this: respect –> trust –> intimacy.

5. And that hope eases the heart, but expecting justice makes it bleed.

6. That your recovery always belongs to you. To you. To you.

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Someone once asked me to write a poem about a kiss so I did

I can still recite the day’s minutes,

those hours I held with my tongue, trying  to swallow

the colour of cherries from your lips into my belly

I still spin time into words,

weave electricity from memories in my flesh

into a cloak of frayed words

to disappear into the moment when

my smile slipped onto your lips.

I thought I felt your breath mist

over branches of bronchioles,

shivering over a barricade of  little alveolar fruits

thrilling in my chest, and my toes trembling

against your shins, I remember falling

perched on your lap into spaces in my skin

I forgot I had.

Before, I remember the way I stepped lightly around the snails,
frightened by big beautiful raindrops hammering patterns
into their soft bodies, barely protected by fragile shells and mucus, you asked
if I’d be gentle enough to step  around  their colourful little shells decorating
the stone path. I wondered if you, twice sized me, could ever step as lightly as I did
but I never turned to check.

And later, the way later your fingers slipped everywhere,

when my body asked to hold your hand.

And in the morning, I left behind little words of hope etched against your teeth –

advice too hastily left for the next girl you open with a kiss:

trust does not always have to be laced with pain.

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Resolutions for 2014

Body Image/Exercise/Healthy Living

  • Keep track of what foods I eat and eat 3 meals a day. Aim for snacks
  • Eat a fruit in the morning as part of breakfast once a week – work up to every day
  • Incorporate walking into every day –find a gym in Montréal
  • Lose 25 lbs
    • Work up to running for 30 minutes, 3 times a week
  • Strength train for arms, core, and sides.
    • Start with simple stuff at home, work up to more intense exercises
  • Write a poem once every week.
  • Continue sleeping at a regular time
  • Continue being conscious of my body
    • Relax my jaw
    • Work on corporal flexibility to strengthen mental flexibility – incorporate fluidity in how I live because water can’t break
    • De-stress every night through conscious loosening of tense muscles; identify and work on specific muscles that are tense
    • Continue to be aware of who affects my body and in which ways; listen to my body about how to respond to people – whether to approach them or stay away, whether to reach out or back away, and what to say. Remember that the words are already on my tongue – I just have to read them out loud without muddling from my brain or my ~feelfeels~
    • Continue to be conscious of my posture; go for massages

Relationships/Self Image – same goals as last year because they’re good and because I’ve been meeting most of them! A happy face beside each one I achieved

  • Trust/love myself more – trust others will too :)
  • Be hopeful rather than skeptical :)
  • Value myself more – trust others will too :)
    • What does this look like? It looks like listening to my own body about situations – unease in my belly or tears in my throat – or warm feelings of affection and wanting to reach out in my fingers
  • Meet the needs of people who I care about :)
  • Express hurt before it’s too late…and value my own hurt for what it is rather than thinking I ‘shouldn’t’ be or don’t ‘deserve’ to feel the way I do. :)
  • Don’t be needy or clingy; don’t be aloof :)
    • This was actually surprisingly easy to do once I re-evaluated what these terms actually mean and under what framework they operate in – once I started thinking of people and needs and meeting them, and my own body’s comfort zones and boundaries à All of this literally became 100% simpler. It’s now just a question of balancing those different boundaries and needs and finding a way forward. I will add that finding a way forward through conflict resolution is important to me
  • Be vulnerable around people I love, even if I’m hurt in the process. :)
  • Open up to pain, love, trust, and friendship. :)
  • In general, trust more. :)
  • Believe I am loveable. :)
    • It saddens me a little that I had so much doubt about this – but there are still some days when I struggle with extreme bouts of loneliness. This is difficult to balance because I also really do like alone time and can’t stand huge crowds. But I think I was confusing loneliness with some sense of lack of self worth which is thankfully being fixed. :)
  • Trust my knowledge, abilities, capabilities more
    • I…. still need to do this – but a half smile here! Because I’ve been writing lots and that has felt really good – and I trust my writing more now.
  • Remove negative influences; determine and value my needs for friendship
    • Negative influences are primarily people who make me feel awful about myself. That still needs to end! :)
  • Be more giving :)
  • *new: Be more gracious and graceful with people – sometimes this means being more reserved
  • Work harder
  • Be kinder :)
    • Particularly to people who annoy me slightly through specific behaviours or traits but who I find are kind in other ways. Everyone has a different communication style – and it’s ok to acknowledge that, and find a way to navigate that.
  • Volunteer/find organisations with similar political aims :)
    • Need to do this in Montréal! But I did a fair bit of this in Kingston I think…
  • Feel deeper
    • No. Horrible goal. REMOVING THIS GOAL. Emotional feelfeels are not really my key to understanding the world around me – they’re nice, and they’re important, but they’re not my go-to for making my life better. At best, they give me temporary like 4-min anxiety laced cuddly feels, and at worst, they give me straight on panic attacks. No thanks.
  • Appreciate good friends more – and more often. :)
  • Maintain ties with friends. :)
  • Give everyone a second chance no matter what, including myself. But only a second one.
    • Yes. This. So much foresight in this goal. Second chances, but nothing beyond that.
  • Be less cynical. :)

Work/School Goals

  • Read a chapter every day/take notes
    • Hand in final assignments
    • Send out 10-15 resumés per week
      • Find a job
      • develop thesis proposal
      • be kind to myself
      • set reasonable goals for work
        • pace myself – a little bit every day
        • decide whether I want to stay in academia or… do something else with my life. 
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