Keep Doing What You Love - It Might Make You Feel Better: My Post-Election Pep Talk

Polka Dot Heart - Keep Doing What You Love

Keep Doing What You Love - It Might Make You Feel Better: My Post-Election Pep Talk

Many of us are having a very difficult time these days. I'm one of them. It does seem like a terrible dream. However, I want to note that, for myself, I do feel better when I set about doing the things on my "To Do" list, especially the enjoyable things.

For me that is writing: whether on my lifestyle blog (, my journal, or my poems (; watching good TV programs and movies; spending quality time with loved ones; and, lately, food preparation--anything from making healthy smoothies or a plate of pretty snacks, to grocery shopping at night (when it's less crowded and you can take more time to make better choices), to making homemade tomato sauce.

So, if you're struggling, do the things you love doing. As you concentrate on that, you might feel better--less hopeless, more energized. It's not easy, but it's important to try, for your sake and because also, we can't let that vague "them" our there win, by ruining our day-to-day existence with anxiety over what's to come. That isn't to say we shouldn't pay attention. But we need empowering awareness, not fruitless anxiety.

This is a pep talk I'm giving to myself but making public for you, too, any other person other there who's feeling the same way. Keep doing the things you love. There's a good chance it will make you feel better.

Michelle Obama on Failure and Resilience

Michelle Obama on Failure, a quote from her talk at Howard University on Sep 1, 2016

One thing I want you all to remember is that failure is an important part of success.  Nobody up here went a straight line to success.  There are bumps and slip-ups and embarrassments that you think you will never overcome.  Everyone has had it, from the President on up or down, whichever way you look at it.   
The thing that you can’t do it hide from your failures and not seek help when you are struggling... it’s resilience that gets you through.  The people who are successful aren’t the people who succeed all the time, it’s the people who can recover when they fail... Remember that.  There are people here who love you, who are here, they want you to succeed...don’t think you have to do this alone.  Because nobody does anything hard or good or important alone. 
Full transcript of the talk with Michelle Obama, Nick Cannon and Seth Meyers is available here:

Post-Election: Coping, and Acting

NARAL meme in support of minority communities feeling threatened after the election results fo 2016
I stand with the the vulnerable

Post-Election: Coping, and Acting

Sigh. Hoo. It's rough out there. Like, rough. Yesterday I was definitely in the "anger" phase. I drove home with one hand on the wheel the other over my mouth, deep in thought and worry for the future.

Today, I feel more hopeful, as I see the people who are reaching out to others to stand up with the vulnerable and threatened communities. 

I was maybe going to go to a Love Rally and a poetry reading, but I realized that today need to be an at-home self-nurturing kind of day. 

I cooked, a lot. I made an amazing smoothie, baked oat bars (no raisins, though, but instead a raspberry swirl - hiya Tori) and made a homemade veggie tomato sauce. With the day off -- thanks, Veterans -- I had the time to take a long, hot shower. (As opposed to my 5-minute, hair not washed type daily showers). I listened to the podcast "Stuff Mom Never Told You." I started a new journal; I titled it "Grimoire for Dark Times." 

After an accidental nap from 5-8, I watched "Moone Boy" and made dinner. Now I'm reading Pantsuit Nation posts on Facebook -- my, do I cherish that Open Secret Group. The posts gave me the idea to make a donation to Planned Parenthood in Mike Pence's name, which is what I did, for $10. And I got the info for volunteering at the library for ESL adult tutoring. 

I've also decided to compartmentalize. My regular Facebook page, this blog and it's link-list sister blog at Tumblr and my Twitter feed will be where I post my political stuff. Instagram and will remain as tacitly political as they've usually been. (I think it is "political" act to promote sex positivity and body positivity they way I do in those forums, but I do not do with added political commentary. I just let it exist and complete its mission by its existence.) I look forward to having a space carved out for myself that isn't infused with the urgent worry I have for the present and future of this country and the world. 

So, anyone reading this who is like me and feeling worried, despairing, anxious and on the verge of hopeless, I hope my ideas for distraction and empowering have inspired you. And I'll end with this quote, that I got permission to share, from a Pansuit Nation post:

"There is an old saying: When change happens there are three steps: first, it is ridiculed. Secondly, it is violently opposed. Lastly, it is viewed as self evident. Election night showed us we are still in Stage 2 instead of 3. Frustrating, yes, but not the end. If anything, it shows that we are winning."

Ten Years on, How Did I Do on My Long Term Writing Goals?

Ten Years on, How Did I Do on My Long Term Writing Goals? 

Notes from my writer's notebook

In August of 2006, on the cover of a notebook I titled "Commitment to Writing" I listed my long term goals. This notebook slipped out of its place on the shelf recently, which is why it caught my attention. I was floored when I read over my long term goals list and realized in the ten years since I wrote them, I have accomplished ALL of them. I have an MFA, a full time job in a field I love, an apartment in a Boston neighborhood, and have had a job copy editing, not to mention doing a lot of communication work in my current job. 

That's amazing, when I consider what else has occurred in the last ten years: the death of my father, a harrowing time in grad school, a national recession, an affordable housing crisis in my city. Through luck, will, and, I cannot deny, talent, I've accomplished all my goals without even realizing it. When everything is done in long, slow increments, it's hard to see the progress one makes. I'm glad I wrote them down, so I can give myself the credit I hardly ever grant myself. I'm pretty proud!

And my new goals? I'm going to go a little loftier this time:
  • Become America's first almost-40, body & sex positive-activist, plus-size, pin-up super model & style blogger/icon
  • Publish that book of poetry I had started just a few months before I made my last list in Aug 2006, and two or three other "almost finished" manuscripts 
  • Open a non-profit sex positive center for sex education 
  • Own a really cute "Tiny Home" (on the larger side, for the clothes and books), preferably painted purple
  • Greatly expand my teeny tiny press work to a small press 
  • Publish my at least one childrens' book

Bridget Eileen at the Zinc Bar - My Poetry Reading in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, NYC (NY, USA, Earth, Milky Way, etc)

Bridget Eileen at the Zinc Bar in the Village of Manhattan
Sorta Selfie - The Zinc Bar with me in the Reflection of the Window

Bridget Eileen Poetry Reading at the Zinc Bar in The Village 

First and foremost, I want to note: I LOVE DOING POETRY READINGS!!! Some people hate them, but I think I came to poetry by way of a performing arts background, it's one of my favorite things about being a poet. I certainly love it more than sending poems out to publish. That's a vulnerability that's not my favorite. But being in front of everyone to read is, for me, the best. If you're ever looking for readers for your series, I will happily do it. And, if I do say so myself, I put on a pretty good show, because I love it.

So I was really happy when I was invited to be a featured reader at the poetry reading series at the Zinc Bar in Greenwich Village back at the end of April. It was a more or less last minute invitation; it came at the beginning of April and I couldn't confirm I could go until the middle of April. But off I was able to go and it was a lot of fun, though a smaller affair on account of it being one of the most beautiful Spring Days probably in the history of the North East.

Have you been to New York City ever? It really is pretty damn magical. Just full of energy and vibrancy and life. (And dirt, grime and toughness, but that can be slightly appealing in its own gritty way, too.)

The reading took place just a few days after Prince had died. So with just a few days before the reading, I scrapped the last group of poems I'd picked out for my 20 minute set and did something special for the mournful occasion.

purple poems chapbook for poetry reading after prince died by bridget eileen

I have all my poems stored on Google drive, so I searched for the word "purple" and gathered all the poems with the -- OMG freaky! As I was typing this "I Wanna Be Your Lover" began playing on my old-school iPod with a playlist of 300+ songs! It's a message from the Purple One that he endorses his tribute! -- anyway, gathered all the poems with the word purple and created a small chapbook. I closed my reading by reading "The Purple Poems" in honor of Prince and handed out homemade copies to the cozy but enthusiastic crowd.

poetry reading at the Zinc Bar

poetry reading in Manhattan's Zinc Bar in Greenwich Village

a poetry reading in NYC at The Zinc Bar in the Village, Manhattan

Poets Bridget Eileen and Anthony Cappo read at Zinc Bar, April 25, 2016 in New York City

Link List Venue Change: Bridget Eileen's Commonplace Book on Tumblr

Bridget Eileen's Commonplace Book on Tumblr

Bridget Eileen's Commonplace Book on Tumblr - the venue for shared links

I have a Tumblr for the Commonplace Book blog, now. It's at So instead of posting a link list round up here, I'll just share links I like there. When I have more substantive things to write about, like a link whose topic I want to expand upon, I will post here.  

Follow me! And if you're there, let me know, I'd like to follow you.

30 Days of Poetry: Days 15-30 (waaaaaay overdue)

National Poetry Month Chalkboard Drawing

30 Days of Poetry: a Poet's Log Book of Daily Efforts in Poetry for National Poetry Month, Days 15-30

I know it's August. I am just realizing, as I go through my paper notebook, that I didn't update my online notebook of the last half of what I did every day in April to make a concerted effort to do something poetry-related during that month. So! I'm updating now. Better late than never, I suppose.

Day 15 & 16: To be honest? Nothing! A day of Respite from just about everything. It was a Saturday with no plans and life was so busy, so I did nothing but loaf, which is in itself quite productive, I find, on account of how much extra energy and brain power I have following such a day. Like Benjamin Franklin. 

Day 17: Read "The Diary of Anais Nin" -- this is helping me edit and revise a section of a manuscript I'm currently  working on

Day 18: Made a play list to go with a manuscript I'm working on; I like to have background music to get me in the mindset. I also did a ton of spring cleaning, which is also helpful to writing because it helps produce a clutter free environment to concentrate in.

Day 19: Choose possible poems to read for upcoming reading in NYC; edit and revise possible poems

Day 20: Pick out final poems to read. Make large print version and print out.

Day 21: Prince dies. Scrap last section of poems and choose new poems in honor of Prince. (All poems with the word "purple" in them, actually.)

Day 22: Pack, practice reading poems

Day 23: travel to NYC; read "Digressions on Some Poems by Frank O'Hara"

Day 24: practice poems, walk around Washington Sq Park and talk to poet-for-hire sitting at type writer, evening: perform for reading at Zinc Bar in Village

Day 25: Guggenheim Museum visit, read "Digressions" in Central Park

Day 26: update poems in manuscripts that I read for reading, based on edits made upon preparing for reading

Day 27: Go to JP Licks after work, stay till close (12 am) and continue revising current manuscript

Day 28: Sleep a lot after radical burst in creativity (see Day 15 and 16)

Day 29: read more Anais Nin

Day 30: long walk in the Arboretum (such an inspiring place for me!) and revising of manuscript

All 30 Days of Poetry entries are here.

Clitoris Clitoris Clitoris Clitoris - We Need to Say Clitoris

I have Devoted My Life to the Clitoris by Elizabeth Hall

We need to start saying “clitoris” more. As Peggy Orenstein’s research in her new book Girls and Sex illustrates, we don’t focus enough in American society on female pleasure. We talk about consent, but not what comes after consent: patience, creativity, communication, orgasms, reciprocity, etc. Cis male pleasure is still prioritized. 
Full interview with author Elizabeth Hall, writer of the book "I Have Devoted My Life to the Clitoris" at Weird Sister.

Links I Like - Georgia O'Keefe, Lammastide Crafts, Genius and Hillary

Lola Ridge: radical activist and poet, as featured at "The Critical Flame"

Here's a list of Link I Like: Georgia O'Keeffe, Lammastide Crafts, Genius and Hillary 

just stuff on the internet I've read or plan to read soon that looks enticing

How Georgia O'Keeffe left her cheating husband for a mountain: 'God told me if I painted it enough, I could have it'

Debunking the Myth of the 10,000-Hours Rule: What It Actually Takes to Reach Genius-Level Excellence

Why We Read: Polish Poet and Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska on What Books Do for the Human Spirit

Defining a Clit Lit Tradition: A Conversation with Elizabeth Hall

These Molten Flowers: on Lola Ridge, radical poet and activist

My Letter to Gov Baker to Sign #TransBillMA into Law

Trans Equality Flag

Governor Charlie Baker Could Sign Trans Bill MA (S2407) Into Law Immediately - Here Is My Letter Urging Him to Do So

It may seem silly for an ultra femme ciswoman to say she relates, albeit in a much smaller level, to transpeople. But I'm saying it anyway. It wasn't easy to seize my nature, as a girlie girl who loved girlie things, and still assert that I should be accepted and taken seriously. I wrote about that in my "Feminine Feminist Manifesto" on my fashion blog.

You also wouldn't think that a DIY amateur plus size pin up fashion blog would be a political thing to do, but in this body-shaming, slut-shaming, misogynistic girlie-denigrating world, it certainly is. Without being in-your-face, just by want of its existence, I do my best to promote body-positivity, sex-positivity and empowerment through embracing and venerating the often overlooked "feminine intelligence." -- Because I love girlie-ness of my own volition, of my own nature, not because it was forced on me. So, that is why I assert that I do feel an alliance with other humans who pursue their version of happiness regardless of what others claim their happiness should be. "An it harm none, do as ye will..." and all that good stuff.

You can send your support and encouragement for the TransBillMA by clicking the "Freedom Massachusetts" link below:

Here is my letter to Governor Baker:

Dear Gov Baker, 
Oh what a bright and shining moment signing this bill could bring to a week like this week, with its bleak onslaught of news. To make a law protecting the vulnerable--empowering those citizens who have historically been so very marginalized, marginalized to the point of having the highest suicide rate of any demographic, to know they are supported by their government, and law enforcement--would be the kind of thing that could give a despairing population much hope that progress is possible and equality and justice is achievable.  
By signing this bill you could save so many lives. To the trans community, you will say that no matter how the people in your lives may try to make you feel about being who you are, your democracy, your state, stands with you and your right to live free and pursue happiness. And regardless of where any of us are in the gender spectrum, we can all relate to the tyranny of others trying to make us feel less than just because of who we are and how we chose to manifest that. 
Please, sign this bill. Be a hero!

HuffPo: Octavia Butler Predicted Divisive Drumpf Candidacy and Slogan in one of her dystopian novels

[HuffPo] Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

Octavia Butler dystopian novel has dictator with same slogan as Drumpf
Make America etc etc was slogan of dictator
in Octavia Butler 1998 dystopian novel 

Octavia Butler Predicted Divisive Drumpf Candidacy and Slogan in One of Her Dystopian Novels

Sci-fi author Octavia Butler predicted a character with certain eerie similarities to Trump in her dystopian novel series, The Parable of the Talents and The Parable of the Sower. The leader of America is also the leader of a Christian sect, called Christian American. It is divisive, anti-religious freedom and dictatorial. It's also pretty darn scary how close life is imitating art in this case, including the slogan of the dictator being the slogan of Drumpf. Huffington Post and Bitch Media have stories on the eerie similarities.

Octavia Butler Parable of the Talents

Octavia Butler Parable of the Sower

The Annual Boston Poetry Marathon Takes Place from Friday, July 15 to Sunday, July 17

The Annual Boston Poetry Marathon Takes Place from Friday, July 15 to Sunday, July 17; I will read in the 5 PM block on Saturday

"Live Poetry Fresh Killed" Boston Poetry Marathon Placard by Jim Behrle

One of my favorite events of the summer is the Boston Poetry Marathon. It's been going on for decades now, with a few off years here and there. And I have been lucky enough to be a part of it for the past seven years. I'm in such auspicious company! And I will be a part of it again this year.

Full details here:

I am reading at the 5 o'clock block. Things run a bit behind, sometime though.

5:00 Andy Peterson 
5:08 Charlotte Seley 
5:16 Bridget Eileen 
5:24 Ruth Lepson 
5:32 Boyd Nielson  
5:40 Joel Sloman

Look at my reading block company though! So many of my favorite poet people! Love it!

Bridget Eileen poetry reading at the 2015 Boston Poetry Marathon
Bridget Eileen reading the at 2015 Boston Poetry Marathon at Outpost 186 in Inman Square, Cambridge, MA

From "Mass Poetry" 10+ Questions! With Andrew K Peterson

Andrew K Peterson reading poems
Hey hey! My friend, poet Andrew K Peterson, has an interview at MassPoetry.Org You should read it. Andrew and I are both poets from the South Shore of Massachusetts and we're both big fans of John Wieners. There's a handful of South Shore poets in the world, and there's plenty of John Wieners fans, but the Venn Diagram overlap of the two creates what I like to call The South Shore Cult of John Wieners. Wieners himself was from Milton, a town in the South Shore. Enjoy the interview with Andy; he's the best!

From Jezebel: Journalist Who Went Undercover in North Korea Had Her Book Marketed As Eat, Pray, Love-Style Memoir

Suki Kim's Professional Journalistic Undercover Investigation of North Korea was marketed instead as a personal memoir-style story in the vein of Eat, Pray, Love

By casting my book as personal rather than professional—by marketing me as a woman on a journey of self-discovery, rather than a reporter on a groundbreaking assignment—I was effectively being stripped of my expertise on the subject I knew best
More on this sexist outrage at Jezebel:

Jesse Williams's BET Awards Speech

Jesse Williams at the BET Awards Night receiving the humanitarian award

The whole speech was amazing, but the part that gave tools with which to shut down any detractors of those who speak up was the most potent part for me:

If you have a critique for our resistance then you’d better have an established record of a critique of our oppression. 
If you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do: sit down.
Carbon Copy that to every ignorant blowhard who [tacitly racistly] counters "all lives matter," to any given valid expression of concern and outrage.

Full speech and transcript:  

This Hot Mess

Ken Chen has a juicy little article about Ben Lerner and his problems with poetry:

What’s The Matter With Poetry?
For Ben Lerner, poems are the perfect medium for failure. So how can they negotiate with the politics of real life?


Lerner writes that “to claim [Citizen] as lyric would baffle Keats,” simply because the book is written in prose. But the book’s engagement with the lyric is deeper and more political. Rankine’s speaker often daydreams of clouds—a floating image of transcendence straight out of Wordsworth—but this ruminating private self must also wake up and assume the role of the citizen, the exhausted black body whose social interactions are over-determined by the legacies of the American slave state. Lerner may refuse a poetry that speaks for all, but one of Rankine’s lessons is that no matter how much you want to introspect, you’re still stuck assuming your role as a “historical self,” a player in the rigged game of white supremacy. Lerner argues that Rankine feels “the unavailability of traditional lyric categories,” but I think Citizen’s doubts are less literary than political. There’s no one in Citizen singing, “We Shall Overcome.” As in Ta-Nehisi Coates, Rankine sees little salvation in the prospect of emancipation from racial inequity.

And a whole bunch of other blather. Whatevs. Ken's piece is good though. The content is just like...(where's that eye roll emoji...)

Picture Book Biographies about Great Artists, Scientists and other Historically Significant Figures, from Brain Pickings

Young e e cummings encouraged by his teacher Miss Maria Louise Baldwin of Cambridge, MA

Picture Book Biographies about Great Artists, Scientists and other Historically Significant Figures, from Brain Pickings

There is an excellent feature article about beautiful and informative biographical picture books about Pablo Neruda, ee cummings, Jane Goodall, Julia Childs and more historically significant figures at the website Brain Pickings. This is a fantastic post for teachers and a really good start for some educational adventures this summer, if you and the kids you know are in the mood. 

Creative Courage for Young Hearts: 15 Emboldening Picture Books Celebrating the Lives of Great Artists, Writers, and Scientists:

PS I was intrigued by this page from e e cummings biography. The teacher portrayed who encouraged his creativity is Miss Maria Baldwin, of Cambridge, MA. There is now a school named after this remarkable educator, who was the first African-American female principal in Massachusetts and in the Northeast. When I was in 4th grade, on the other side of the city of Boston, I had an African-American teacher, one of the very few in my mostly Irish suburb. Mrs. Ward was the best and most certainly encouraged my creativity, too. This page took me back so strongly to those memories. She loved my fashion choices. One week I dressed in a theme of pink, white and grey. She loved that. And she definitely encouraged all my artsy endeavors in writing and music. She called me "my Lovely Bridge-eee." She was lovely!

Poet Bill Berkson Has Died

Poets Frank O'Hara and Bill Berkson
Poets Frank O'Hara and Bill Berkson

Poet Bill Berkson Has Died, (August 30, 1939 - June 16, 2016)

I read from Facebook that the poet Bill Berkson died today. Very sad news. He was a great writer and a very genial person. I was able to meet him and chat with him a little bit at this event

Friday, October 16 [2009], 7 pm
Bill Berkson
with Ed Barrett, William Corbett, Michael Gizzi and Joseph Torra
Pierre Menard Gallery
10 Arrow Street
Cambridge, MA

I can say with certainty that he was genial, because what I chose to chat with him about was the book I was reading at the time. I wasn't finished with it yet. However, he had been referenced in the earlier sections, so I mentioned it. I said I like the book. It was had a tinge of gossip to it but it had more of the atmosphere of the exciting chatter about poetry that occurs after a reading while people are doing what we're doing. He was very nice to have agreed. Because the book was "Digressions on Some Poems By Frank O'Hara"
Digressions on Some Poems By Frank O'Hara book cover
and when I got to the Bill Berkson chapter, a chapter that kinda eviscerates him and sorts blames him for the end of the author, Joe LeSueur's friendship with the subject of the book, Frank O'Hara, I got really embarrassed for previous month's me. The fact that he was so nice about me bringing up the book, well, that speaks volumes about his solid character. And he was well-loved by the people who knew him well.

As for his work? Exciting, boundary-pushing, aesthetically up my abstract alley. And not for everyone (like, say, Joe LeSueur) but I loved it.

He will be greatly missed.

More information on the poet Bill Berkson available at:

Ruth Lepson at @HuffingtonPost Arts & Culture on "The Rhythmical Creation of Beauty" #poetry #music #rhythm

Ruth Lepson at HuffPo Art & Culture on "The Rhythmical Creation of Beauty"

My friend, the poet Ruth Lepson, has a post up at Huffington Post, titled "The Rhythmical Creation of Beauty."

The history of the lyric and of the separation between poetry and music in the Western world is complex and long. The relationship between both art forms and society is an ongoing topic.

More at:

Links I Like featuring "Why Won't Men Leave Me Alone When I'm Trying To Read In Public?"

Reading Anais Nin and Journaling while at a bar
Journaling and Reading Anais Nin at Simpli Bar and Bites in Forest Hill, Boston

Link I Like, featuring a post about women reading alone at the bar, which I do often

"Why Won't Men Leave Me Alone When I'm Trying To Read In Public?"

Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own 
by Kate Bolick 

Dominatrixes Share the Most Annoying Thing Their Slaves Do


#Eeyore meme on Being Friends with People Who Cope with Having #Depression

This Eeyore Meme Teaches Us How to Be There for Our Friends Who Cope with Chronic Depression

One awesome thing about Eeyore is that even though he is basically clinically depressed, he still gets invited to participate in adventures and shenanigans with all of his friends  And they never expect him to pretend to feel happy, they just love him anyway, and they never leave him behind or ask him to change

"The Powerful Letter The Stanford Victim Read Aloud To Her Attacker" via Buzzfeed

You have to read the whole thing, but there are parts I wanted to excerpt.

The probation officer’s recommendation of a year or less in county jail is a soft time­out, a mockery of the seriousness of his assaults, an insult to me and all women. It gives the message that a stranger can be inside you without proper consent and he will receive less than what has been defined as the minimum sentence. 

It is deeply offensive that he would try and dilute rape with a suggestion of “promiscuity”. By definition rape is not the absence of promiscuity, rape is the absence of consent, and it perturbs me deeply that he can’t even see that distinction. a society, we cannot forgive everyone’s first sexual assault or digital rape. It doesn’t make sense. The seriousness of rape has to be communicated clearly, we should not create a culture that suggests we learn that rape is wrong through trial and error. The consequences of sexual assault needs to be severe enough that people feel enough fear to exercise good judgment even if they are drunk, severe enough to be preventative.

The fact that Brock [Allen Turner] was an athlete at a private university should not be seen as an entitlement to leniency, but as an opportunity to send a message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class.

This quote is what broke me, though I was on the verge the whole time

 I sleep with two bicycles that I drew taped above my bed to remind myself there are heroes in this story. That we are looking out for one another. 

(Two men on bicycles found the victim and chased down her convicted rapist perpetrator.)

And the conclusion, some of the most poignant words I've read.

And finally, to girls everywhere, I am with you. On nights when you feel alone, I am with you. When people doubt you or dismiss you, I am with you. I fought everyday for you. So never stop fighting, I believe you. As the author Anne Lamott once wrote, “Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.” Although I can’t save every boat, I hope that by speaking today, you absorbed a small amount of light, a small knowing that you can’t be silenced, a small satisfaction that justice was served, a small assurance that we are getting somewhere, and a big, big knowing that you are important, unquestionably, you are untouchable, you are beautiful, you are to be valued, respected, undeniably, every minute of every day, you are powerful and nobody can take that away from you. To girls everywhere, I am with you. Thank you.

If you or someone you know need help, RAINN is a good resource.

The Bathroom Is Safe - Let's Work on the Real Problem Instead!

My two favorite sections from this kick-ass opinion piece at HuffPo"
"Women are sexually harassed and sexually assaulted on school campuses, on the street, at their jobs, on the Internet, in their own homes, in ANY public place. And it has been excused or ignored for so long because of what you and I are taught from the first years of our interactions with each other: You, as a male, are not accountable for your own actions. It’s MY responsibility, as a female, to not “provoke” you." 
"Stop asking “How would you feel if that was your mother or sister?” It shouldn’t take the comparison to clue you in to what’s right or wrong." 

My only thing is I'm not keen on the criticism of Victoria's Secret. Nothing wrong with a woman wanting to dress sexy! Other than that, I love this piece so much. Really excellent points about the two-faced-ness of this bathroom outrage. Ugh.

A Liberal Decalogue from Bertrand Russel, at Brainpickings

Latest post at Brainpickings to catch my attention is this feature on Bertrand Russel whose birthday is today. His "liberal decalogue" is below.
Perhaps the essence of the Liberal outlook could be summed up in a new decalogue, not intended to replace the old one but only to supplement it. The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows:
  1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
  2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
  3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
  4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
  5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
  6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
  7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
  8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
  9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
  10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.

Link List for Henri Meschonnic

I first learned of this philosopher of poems (poems, and not poetry--the words, not the body as a whole) back in 2010 when I went to Columbia University's "Rethinking Poetics" conference. Lisa Robertson's presentation on Meschonnic was one of those tingly moments, when you brain comes alive with new possibilities. I think about the presentation and innovation of Meschonnic intermittently. It's difficult because much of his work has yet to be translated. Here's a current link list highlight:

What to Do about the Serious Lack of Non-Western Diversity in Philosophy Departments, from NYT

The "Bhagavad Gita" - major philosophical work from India

...we ask those who sincerely believe that it does make sense to organize our discipline entirely around European and American figures and texts to pursue this agenda with honesty and openness. We therefore suggest that any department that regularly offers courses only on Western philosophy should rename itself “Department of European and American Philosophy.” This simple change would make the domain and mission of these departments clear, and would signal their true intellectual commitments to students and colleagues. 
Full article at: 

On a side note, ready to be fully satisfied and impressed, I looked up the course offerings of my alma mater, UMaine. I was not disappointed. The first philosophy course in the catalog was "The Philosophy of Mahatma Ghandi" subsequent listing labeled Western philosophy as such or "Continental" and there was a diverse of diversity in philosophy. I remember one of my favorite courses PH105, Religious Philosophy with Doug Allen (a national treasure!). We covered everything from Martin Luther King, to issues on religious freedom for Naitve Americans to take peyote, to--what was for me an earth-shatteringly liberating essay--Margaret Maxey's "Beyond Eve and Mary." So I had high hopes. They were fulfilled. Good job, Philosophical Black Bears.

Carol Rossetti's "WOMEN" Posters are the best thing on the internet!

Rossetti is a Brazilian artist who has created a series of empowering posters for women, about all kinds of things we are confronted with in the realm of Womanhood. I love them so much and they calm me, since the world can be so very vitriolic. These affirm diversity and bust stereotypes. They are heaven-sent inspirations. The artist has posted English translations on her Facebook page. You can also Google "Carol Rossetti English" and see the Images. There's lots. Thankfully!

"Being A Girl: A Brief Personal History of Violence" post from "The Belle Jar

My jaw dropped as I read this, but there is also something not shocking about it at all, either. It is a good but difficult read. Please read it.

I love how honest this Buzzfeed UK "12 Sex Positions Everyone in a Long Term Relationship Should Try"

It's hilarious, honest and multicultural. White, black, Asian, gay, straight, unsure. The only thing not represented are the more-than-two partnerships. Some day! Anyway, read it. So cute!

Fantastic Interview with @tomandlorenzo & Terry Dresbach @OutlanderCostum, #Outlander Costume Designer

The thing I love the most is how much it's clear that Terry Dresbach LOVES the books and it shows in her passion for her costume design. It's really lovely.

I love when she talks about her inspiration for this costume. It's the kind of talk about creativity that translates and inspires all creativity, not just its specific topic. 

The "Dior Bar Suit" 19147
Give it a listen. It's fantastic for all the Outlander fanatics. Dresbach comes in at around 20 something minutes.

"A Rant for Women with Periods" This Guy Jared Matthew Weiss Rails against the idiots at MTA in NYC

There were protests at by the dudes who run the MTA against this poster. It was because men are afraid of vaginas. Jared Matthew Weiss made an awesome and hilarious protest of such shenanigans. Full articles at:

30 Days of Poetry: Days 8-14

30 Days of Poetry: a Poet's Log Book of Daily Efforts in Poetry for National Poetry Month

Day 8: get offer to read in NYC at the end of the month of April. Spend the rest of evening making arrangements to make that possible. Things to consider: transportation, place to stay, days of visit.

Day 9: revise the manuscript I'm working on. Today I just did a couple poems. What I'm doing with this current draft, to really polish the work, is making an "annotated" version. Are my annotations explaining too much or is the poem doing enough work without them? If the option is the former, I work on revising the poem to get it to stand alone better. It's painstaking, but really helpful. Thankfully, I feel there's more poems that "work" than do not.

Day 10-13: Sometimes you need to read other people's works in order to get a better focus on the direction that you want your own writing to go. On days 10-13 I read "The Diary of Anais Nin" and took notes. It's helped with the end of the mss and what I want to revise to, the voice I want to truly come through. I took my notebook and book and pen to the cafe down the street. They have good chocolate chip cookies (I'm a cookietarian, remember). I started off with cookie and earl grey and water. Then a got a couple beers, each $3 as the cafe was rotating out their winter stock.

Day 14: Looked through the "Call for Submissions" Facebook Group for journals that might seem like a good fit to submit to. I decided on two. I looked through the other manuscript of poems that I want to start publishing from (my graduate thesis) and pulled selections from those that I thought might appeal to the editors. I will let you know if there's good news in the future!

All 30 Days of Poetry entries are here.

Warsan Shire, the poet behind Beyonce's "Lemonade"

"Warsan Shire, the Woman Who Gave Poetry to BeyoncĂ©’s ‘Lemonade’"

“Lemonade,”... credits Ms. Shire with “film adaptation and poetry,” 
Full story of this remarkable poet's affect on current pop culture is at

This better be the punctuation mark to the assertion many of us have combated for a while: there is not way that poetry is dying. Nor will it ever. 

Ew. RHCP Are Total Creeps. That Sucks

 I talked enthusiastically about strategy, artist development and press campaigns, and I presented ideas on further establishing their image.  None of them involved wearing socks on their dicks. 
Afterwards,  I took two of the Chili Peppers to the storage room where we kept the box sets and CDs. As we looked in the cabinet, they pressed up against me and told me about all of the ways we could make a super sexy sandwich. 
At first  I thought they were joking. When I realized they weren’t, I ran from the storage room to my office, where I closed my door, sat down at my desk, and cried. I was humiliated and weirdly ashamed, and embarrassed that I was humiliated and weirdly ashamed.  There was far worse going on in the music industry at the time, and I thought I was a badass. Being a victim didn’t fit my self-perception. 
When the Chili Peppers’ then-manager knocked on my door a few minutes later, I stopped crying and let him in. He offered an apology that sounded memorized; it was one he’d obviously offered many times before. 

Full horrific story at: 

Washington Post Opinion: "Play the ‘woman card’ and reap these ‘rewards’!"

The Woman Card entitles you to constant scrutiny and judgment from all corners at all times, whether you asked for it or not. Try talking! Or rather, don’t.
 More on Hillary playing the Woman Card, and what treasures that entitles her to, at Washington Post: 

#MoreThanMean - "Women in Sports 'Face' Harassment

If you are a sensitive soul like me, make sure you have some tissues nearby while viewing this. The vulnerability, sympathy and hurt on display as these regular guys read aloud the tweets these female sports reporters have received from other "regular" anonymous guys on the internet is powerful. This is painful and potent.

The Love Spell Box by Gillian Kemp

“The Love Spell Box: a pack of 30 love cards and book of spells to enhance your love life” by Gillian Kemp

I bought this a while ago. I take it out and flip through just to explore what’s possible to concentrate on, not to necessarily follow the spells to a T. The cards are so beautifully illustrated, too.