Category Archives: Body

My book, mapped

Wordle just changed my world. This is the map of my book.

All the beginnings: a queer autobiography of the body
Becoming ink

Wordle: Becoming ink (a corporeal survey)

Writing this body, writing

Wordle: Writing this body, writing

Looking from the inside

Wordle: Looking from the inside

The body that moves…

Wordle: The body that moves the hand that writes

Writing the worst

Wordle: Writing the worst

A proliferation…

Wordle: A proliferation of metaphor

There are holes…

Wordle: There are holes, and I leak

Birthing, again

Wordle: Birthing, again

Losing something…

Wordle: Losing something you cannot see

The lost mother

Wordle: The lost mother

Meeting Cixous

Wordle: Meeting Cixous

Bibliography

Wordle: Bibliography

Saying thank you

Karina smilingTwo days ago I couldn’t resist having a coffee at 6pm because I have this thing called an aeropress and it makes the best coffee I’ve ever had and then I couldn’t sleep and then I sat up and wrote a post about Amanda Palmer and Philip Seymour Hoffman and how it feels to ask for help. It was also a post where I got vulnerable. I told you a very small portion of my past. I talked about begging on the street, and how that felt. And then I went on to ask for your support to get me to Portugal so that I can read my work at a conference there in May.

And now I am crying.

I am crying because within 24 hours of writing that post, and Amanda Palmer retweeting it, I had hit my target. And yesterday I exceeded it.

I am crying because now I have enough for travel insurance and if the pledges keep coming in the funds will cover transfers and meals as well, and pozible have featured my project, so that will probably happen.

I am crying because sixteen years ago I was a twenty something on a street corner asking for money so that I could disappear just a little bit more, and this year I will be forty, and I’m doing way more than surviving: I’m living the biggest, bravest, most amazing life I can.

So. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Laughing off the word silence (surgery as field trip)

Scalpel study

On Monday I’ll be going in for surgery. I am tempted to be vague about the type of surgery. This is the kind of surgery that requires a pause before disclosure. But here’s the thing: I write about bodies. Specifically, my body, which is also a woman’s body (except when I’m wondering what that really is–we could wander off into a huge discussion around gender here but let’s not).

I am committed to speaking where others do not. What is not spoken? Labour and birth, surgeries, bleeding, leakages, ruptures and splits. My thesis is the act of speaking the abject and unspeakable, is the attempt to create a language that will unhide, that will make a space for all of us to tell stories of flesh, organs, fluid, bone.

I write my body because “we have turned away from our bodies. Shamefully we have been taught to be unaware of them, to lash them with stupid modesty; we’ve been tricked into a fool’s bargain: each one is to love the other sex. I’ll give you your body and you will give me mine. But which men give women the body that they blindly hand over to him? Why so few texts? Because there are still so few women winning back their bodies. Woman must write her body, must make up the unimpeded tongue that bursts partitions, classes and rhetorics, orders and codes, must inundate, run through, go beyond the discourse with its last reserves, including the one of laughing off the word “silence” that has to be said, the one that, aiming for the impossible, stops dead before the word ‘impossible’ and writes it as ‘end’.”

Cixous, H., & Clément, C. (1986). The newly born woman (B. Wing, Trans.). United Kingdom: Manchester University Press.

So on Monday I’ll be going in for surgery. I have a fibroid that has tripled its size in the last 12 months. It has veins. It keeps growing. They could try to remove it but the chances are good that I’d grow another one. The safer surgery is a hysterectomy; less bleeding, more successful.

I’ll be convalescing for four to six weeks. Yesterday I went to uni, filled out my sick leave application, returned my library books, met with my supervisor, and rinsed out my mug. As I left my supervisor’s office she wished me luck and told me to rest. Rest. That’s when I realised I’m not thinking of the next month and a half as a recovery period: it’s a field trip. What else could it be? The title of my thesis is ‘this body, written’. I’m about to be put to sleep and opened up. My entire reproductive system will be taken. I will wake with blurry eyes and an empty middle. It’s a field trip. I will take notes. Poetry is found here.