rejecting compulsory girlhood

Scan 52

I’m gathering up all the wisdom I can find and a few shiny things that could come in handy just in case.

Mostly, I don’t want you to think you are alone.

We are taught to recognize love by the pain it brings.

Love isn’t meant to hurt.

I will grieve every man I ever loved,

she said.

Except one.

Scan 53

To be a woman means rejecting compulsory eternal girlhood.

When beauty is defined as small, wide-eyed, red-lipped, high-voiced, and passive, that is compulsory girlhood.

To be a woman — full-grown and embodied — is powerful, transgressive and subversive.

If you want to change the world …

Be willing to risk Not Being Beautiful in exchange for becoming Whole.

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rejecting beauty

These two pages kinda go together, so the transcription for both is at the bottom.

Scan 50


Scan 51








We become powerful when we realize we have always been powerful.

It’s a hot night in a strange place I call home.


kitten feet

August skin

I’ve decided to give myself over to it.

I can’t edit here.

That isn’t how it works.

Just feel your way through.

Keep breathing.

Oh my god, keep breathing.

This poem is about sadness and fear and stuff, okay?

I don’t want

to deal with


Now + then, I glance in the mirror and see my mortality. I’m reminded that I am no longer a child playing at life. I feel a sense of urgency about being Alive Right Now. I’m alive “like it’s my job” because it is.

it’s not a typo       it’s live poetry

Commentary: Good luck with this one.


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when sadness enters a room

Scan 49

When sadness enters a room, it begs me to hold it.

Much of my anxiety comes from feelings I don’t know how to deal with. When I push them away, they just come back as fear. Fear of an unnamable feeling, which I push away and push away and push away. Poetry has always been my attempt to sublimate that fear into something beautiful.

Other people’s sadness is as heavy as yours.



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Scan 48


that strange cousin
an ancient family resemblance
asking when did you get so beautiful?

This word has been lying around for a while now.


Commentary: The word “crocodile” was literally laying around on my desk. I don’t recall why I wrote it down to begin with, but after looking at it for days or weeks or however long, it turned into a short poem. I guess you could say I have a meaningful relationship with alligators (it’s a Louisiana thing), but I don’t really trust crocodiles.

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I’m not interesting or important, and neither are you.

Scan 46


stop just-in-casing.

We fool ourselves if we think we are interesting.

Scan 47

Because I am human, I find my own life to be the most interesting and important thing in the world. Others’ lives are interesting to me to the degree that they affect me materially, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.

Understandably, most humans try to become interesting or important to others, generally by endearing ourselves to them or by otherwise proving valuable.

What we call service to others is often a desperate attempt to save our own souls. We don’t want to be party to a world full of suffering.

Commentary: This might sound like some borderline Ayn Rand shit, so lemme interject here. In the grand scheme of things, each one of us is pretty small and pretty unimportant, so first and foremost, I’m taking a shot at the absurd self-importance of humans (myself included). As for talking about service to others … Much of what we do to help others really is kindof disingenuous. We choose actions that make us personally feel better even if we haven’t particularly helped anyone else. That doesn’t mean I don’t think we should help others.


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