Thursday, November 23, 2006


I haven't been having my period for a while, but I've been reading a lot about the advantages and disadvantages of various kinds of menstrual paraphernalia...When I start bleeding again (assuming it does happen someday), I don't think I'll be using tampons anymore. I've known for a long time about the dangers of dioxins (the chemicals that are a byproduct of the bleaching process used on most tampons...what the hell is the point, by the way, of bleaching something that's just going to be put up someone's vagina and saturated with blood anyway? Oh, yeah, I almost forgot--dioxins are uber-carcinogenic, too) and the stupidity of giving 6 or 7 dollars a month to an industry run by men who don't give two craps about me and my body. That's 91 dollars a year; all the women in my house, together, spend over a thousand dollars a year on tampons. This crap needs to stop. So...I suggest:

1. Reusable menstrual cups, like the Diva Cup ( or the Keeper ( Both are made by women, for women--hooray--pay for their slightly higher costs in just a few months, are reusable, and don't have the potential to cause toxic shock syndrome or, y'know, cancer of your lady parts.
2. Using reusable menstrual pads. Y'know how you say someone's "on the rag?" Guess where that came from? You got it--back in the day women used to bleed onto cloths, which they'd then wash and reuse the next day or the next month. You can buy them from LunaPads ( or you can make your own! Use pretty fabric to make you feel good when you're bleeding and bloated. Here are some patterns:
3. Last, but not least, you can use sea sponges. I hear what you're saying, but it's really not as skooshy as you'd think...the only thing you have to keep in mind is that you need to keep these extra super clean. When they're full, take them out, ring them out, and wash them using soap and water. At the end and beginning of your cycle, boil 'em. They'll be good for a few months.

Happy bleeding!

Monday, November 20, 2006

A smattering of images and poetry, all of my own making. Enjoy.

The suicide note, as a genre, has been going downhill since Seneca
No one teaches your to write
your own death.
That is something learned alone,
through years of grappling
with words bare-handed,
until the calluses and callowness
finally wear away, leaving only
the bones,
the milky white truth
of your hands laid bare.
No one tells you how
to recognize your own death–
but you will see it from time to time,
in a mountain juniper
or an electric transformer
silhouetted against
the autumn sky.
And you will know it
as you once knew
your mother’s shape moving
towards you in the dark;
that is to say,
without knowing at all.
-AG, 2006

Iphigenia at Aulis
I step into sacrifice
like a bone-white robe,
absolved both of sentiment and sense.
I climb into the cavern
of sins not mine,
by wrongs and judgements
past and passed,
an answer
to God’s clamoring
for blood.
A thousand ships set forth
for Troy,
driven not by beauty
but by death,
launched over my body
prostrate, as the sea:
known not for what it is
but for what it holds,
not what I am,
but what through me
comes to be.
-AG, 2006

Little Indiscretions
The endless cresting waves
of sodden days
are made bearable by
these little indiscretions:
a kiss on the forehead
of a love not yet a lover,
while she sleeps in the next bed;
a dozen cigarettes ground out
in a circle of bare earth widening
outside the front door;
flowers secreted
from the garden of a neighbor
who won’t miss them
(for the audacious blooms
of her heirloom
and god knows, this
last sin–
having dared
at all.
–AG, 2006

Saturday, November 18, 2006

So... I was received into the Worldwide Anglican Communion on Sunday (that's the Episcopalian Church, for those playing along at home). My mother came up to visit, and we--by which I mean my mother--bought this dress and this sweater. Normally I'm not a dressy kind of girl, but I wanted this to be special. I may wear jeans and corduroys 99.9% of the time, but for momentous occasions you can't beat a skirt.

The service was beautiful, with a bishop and a deacon and songs by the choir much singing and music and laughter that I had to choke back tears several times. Especially at the Eucharist, that most emotion-laden of events; the whole reason we say Sunday Mass in the first place. I love everyone at my church so, so much (Durkheim was right, it seems). During communion we sang this song, to the accompaniment of the shruti box (a droning Indian instrument that I associate with the musical nuns who come and visit our church every so often, and whose convent I have been lucky enough to visit twice. They offer music as a form of prayer; it's intensely powerful). I swear, the doors between heaven and earth were thrown wide open then and there, sunbeams through the clouds and all. Here are the lyrics (of course) to part of the song, which is sung to an old French church melody that is at once spare and elegant. Adore devote is the Latin name for it, I believe. What moved us centuries ago has the power to move us still. Human beings across time and space, even vast stretches of it, aren't so very different. (Cliche'd, I know, but also true).

Humbly I adore thee, Verity unseen,
who thy glory hidest 'neath these shadows mean;
low, to thee surrendered, my whole heart is bowed,
tranced as it beholds thee, shrined within the cloud.

Taste and touch and vision to discern thee fail;
faith, that comes by hearing, pierces through the veil.
I believe whate're the Son of God hath told;
what the Truth hath spoken, that for truth I hold.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Quiz! That I made up! Whee!

Are you a dyke or a lesbian? Because believe me, girls, there's a difference. Full disclosure: I am emphatically a lesbian.

1. Your hair is...
a. hennaed and moisturized with organic conditioner
b. the lowest setting on the Wahl beard trimmer

2. Your shoes are
a. Birkenstocks some days, Manolos on others
b. Merrell hikers, with Vibram soles.

3. Your pets are:
a. Two cats, Dar and Prozac
b. a pitbull named Max

4. Your first crush was--
a. your high-school art teacher
b. Joan Jett

5. Your jewelry is:
a. dangly Indian earrings, chunky rings and bangles
b. an eyebrow ring, a leather bracelet, and some...ah...personal jewelry

6. Your first concert was
a. Dar Williams (or Janis Ian)
b. Bikini Kill (or Joan Jett)

7. Sex isn't worth it without
a. love
b. a harness and a few other toys.

Mostly A: You're a lesbian. Not necessarily 'femme,' but leaning that way; a little less raucous than a dyke. You know it if you are it. You like neck scarves and folk music, but you're also definitely up for a groping, earth-shattering girl-on-girl tryst in the ladies' room at the coffeehouse.

Mostly B: You're a dyke, from your hiking boots to your nose ring and tattoo. You've made love to the strains of Le Tigre more than once, and you never quite got over the crush you had on your high school gym teacher (her biceps were so...well defined). Mazel tov.