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Pure As the Driven Slush (Personal Journal)

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To Jane and Sarah, On Their 30th Birthday - 01.22.03

In 1993, I had a surgical abortion. I have never had even a day of regret about that decision, and have had many, many thankful, grateful days about that decision, and about my ability to make that decision.

Enough about you, let's talk about me (and JC) - 01.08.03 - 11.11.03

Upon discovering that when I returned home from a hospital stay for my hands as a child that our janitor had thrown out my handmade car. It was crafted from a refridgerator box, toilet paper tubes, paint and an involved mosaic exterior made of magazines and junk mail. I began wailing loudly and rending my hair with my hands. If i'd have read Oedipus by that time, I'd likely have tried to put out my own eyes. My mother suggested I simply make another. At which point I launched into a tirade at higher decibels about her not understanding the creative process and the vain and careless undoing of my life's work. Ah, the artistic temper tantrum temperament.

So good, so good for you! - 01.02.03
You heard me right. This is my credo for 2003. Not "Sex can be okay if it's safe," or "Sex can be good, but so can abstaining," and certainly not, "Sex is deadly." Nope. Sex is good for you.

To Sirs, With (G)love - 12.27.02
I came of sexual age when HIV and AIDS did, dear sirs, and watched infants die in my mother's ward at the children's hospital from AIDS; babies whose parents had no information on how to protect themselves from the HIV virus because we did not know what it was, and we did not know how to prevent its transmission. We don't see that as much here, thank goodness, because now we do know -- especially here in the United States, where we also have the power and the ability to share that knowledge, and the grave responsibility to disseminate it. Anyone who did not do so would be systematically and intentionally putting all of our lives and health at risk, which certainly is not the aim of the CDC or the United States Government.

The Way Home - 12.24.02
I walk a few blocks with a mantra circling in my head, repeating to myself not "He is gone from me," but "He is no longer with me as once he was, but remains as he is now. I accept what is now, and honor and cherish what once was in memory." I don't want to erase. I just want to make new drawings, and file the old somewhere where it's okay for me to look at them, touch them, and remember, whether they make me smile or cry; likely both.

To an Amazon, from an Amazon - 11.07.02
Perhaps you were trying to do me a public service? Trying to inform me that in our current culture and administration, even doctors who appear to be fairly well educated cannot for the life of them simply state the actual facts and allow the rest of us to make what judgments we will, but instead feel compelled to take the facts and twist and turn them to meet ideologies to which we SURELY must subscribe, despite what we know about human history, the daily realities of the population being discussed and biology?

Why Onkel Toms Hütte is Less Funny Than It Sounds - 08.12.02
This is the part where I bend your ear about copyright and artists rights. Which is a shame, really. I'd had my heart set on sitting and writing some poetry about a lovely evening spent catching droplet's of B's sweat in my mouth, but my head is too wrapped around these other issues to let that happen at the moment. So, it's storytime for the viewers at home today.

Dangerous Curves
- 04.22.02

It's hard, hard work. And it's work that involves being really honest with yourself and taking some chances. It's work that means being willing to recognize that wanting to escape out of your body into a celebrities body is less about wanting their body than it is about wanting their lives; wanting an escape from your life, or your feelings about yourself. It's work that involves self-acceptance, which on many levels, is all of our own life's work. It's work that means choosing to take the harder way out: it's a million times easier to focus on your hatred or dissatisfaction with your body than it is to do so about your life -- and if you think becoming thin is going to change most of your life, I assure you, you're really mistaken. If I had a dime for every woman who wasted years of her life dieting only to find out that she had the same set of damn problems no matter her size, I'd literally be a millionaire.

La Violenza, La Mia Vita - 01.30.02
I was born to two parents whose lives were controlled by fear: whose patriarchs controlled with belts and broken limbs; with shouts or worse, silent stares; with stares that foreshadowed pain that would come momentarily if their wishes were not granted, a promise neither ever doubted. My father's brother once learned those stares had meaning when he was thrown from a second-story window to the ground below for doubting. He felt its meaning forever in a limb that would always ache when the weather changed.

Jesus and the Mini-Mart - 01.17.2002
The mini-mart is a house of Middle-American cultural worship: a temple whose bricks are forged from our atrociously bad habits. The mini-mart celebrates cigarettes; commemorates coffee so rank you have to be an addict to want to drink it, and pay for that privilege.

Magic at 4 AM - 11.13.01

4 AM is when the stars are often still barely out, but the edges of sky are blushing softly like a girl at 13, or a stranger you've managed to embarrass. It isn't as quiet as say, 2:30 AM: cars are beginning to rattle and hum on the streets, morning news turned on by the rare few who are beginning their day then. A phantom alarm clock whines softly somewhere, feebly contesting a lazy hand pounding it on the head to silence it again and again.

La Luna - 10.31.01
"... I'm full, twice this month, no less, and I'm not just saying that to flatter myself -- you might want a little reminder to pay a bit more attention to me in the coming year. You used to pay me lots of attention..."

"If you begin singing 'You Don't Bring Me Flowers,' I will utterly lose my mind."

Chronology of a Fixation - 10.14.01
Bring me the boys who are rough around the edges, but sweet as sugar inside, the boys who paint or play guitar or write with a powerful voice but speak low and softly. Hand over those luscious specimens who are almost what'd be called "pretty boys," if they shaved a little more often, or cut their hair now and then, or didn't know they were bloody perfect in all their gorgeous disorder. Bring me these boys first thing in the morning, when they wake, their eyes full of sleep and their hair a rat's nest. Bring them before they've showered, not after.

Crisis Is the Time for Truth - 09.11.01
If we lose perspective, in my mind -- if we try and arbitrarily assign more weight to any one act of violence over another -- we devalue the loss of those lives further because we do not accept the lessons their loss might teach us, and help us to stop this whole awful cycle in the future.

More Laps Than a Napkin - 08.28.01
My lovers ran the gamut of age, gender, race, appearance, social strata, you name in. I took the phrase "celebrate diversity" to heart. And like I said, it was all good, as far as the law of averages goes. It's so odd to even be saying "was," really.

Sexual Subjectivism - 06.24.01
If being subjectified means that myself or anyone else will be displayed to groups of people who not only look and perceive on their own, but attach values, personality traits, actions, dogma and all of their own bitter baggage to it, hurled at the subject or the artist (for having the nerve to be a subject or an artist), I would oh-so gladly rather be objectified any day.

My Grandmother's Glasses - 10.29.00
My grandmother and I had little to no history at all, and the history we did have was stormy, fraught with conflicting feelings; many of anger, some of sadness, a few of blank apathy. When she'd died, I agreed to come down and help with the funeral, write the eulogy, support my mother. I did so reluctantly, and I didn't expect to be very upset.

Fear Trumps Apathy - 07.01.00
Right now I see so much suffering around me, it's almost hard to breathe. At the Scarleteen boards there are kids posting who were raped or abused and who never told a soul, and have let it tear them up inside. People brag about not practicing safe sex elsewhere, flaunting the notion of endangering themselves and everyone else. Right now, a multitude of people are arguing about Andrea Dworkin's story on what she suspects was a rape she never reported a year ago, and I can't even say a word. I don't want to; there is nothing to say, neither I nor anyone else can validate or invalidate someone else's pain and trauma, and it isn't anyone's place to.

Dear Ed - 05.15.00
Ed, listen, I don't normally behave like this. For starters, I'm neither a groupie nor a stargazer. I've fucked my share of notables in my day, and didn't give a hoot who they were (and, I confess, sometimes didn't even remember the next morning). I don't thinkof film actors as royalty, nor do I squeal over them like a Beatlemaniac. I don't. Really. No, I'm serious.

Ruins and Old Greeks - 02.08.00
George's shop has two floors: the first is for most folks simply walking in off the street who don't know the lovely old Greek man. But if he likes you, or sees you haven't found what you wanted, he'll offer to move the little gate that reads "KEEP OUT" from the basement steps, and lead you down . In the basement (an easy 2000 square feet) are aisles and aisles of old tuxedos, dresses, boxes and boxes of hats, scarves and linens. Once you're truly in the fold, George may pay you the ultimate compliment, and invite you into his small parlor downstairs to sit, have coffee and talk. This is the real gift.

Can You Say "Masturbate" on Morning Radio? - 12.22.99
"Well, Bob, " I say, thinking his name might be Bob, not sure, but figuring in the realm of male names in Georgia, Bob has as good a chance of being his name as any. "Bob, " I say again for emphasis, "I don't teach anymore, because working two sixty hour a week jobs was a little much for me, and if you think when I was there I had time to talk about anything at all that involved me, let alone a sexuality journal, you clearly haven't been in an understaffed classroom full of 30 five-year-olds. So, I have no idea what anyone thought, but I know the kids usually dug my shoes."

First Entry - 05.17.99
I was not raised in that cultural sect which keeps secrets and then feels the need to purge them somewhere secretly. Instead, I was raised with the notion that a large part of being an artist is to bear witness: to record events through individual eyes for the purpose of marking personal history, and perhaps bringing the personal to history in a way that is unique and diverse.

 

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