Against Men

Against Men

After Miguel James’ “Against the Police”

My entire Oeuvre is against men.
If I write a Love poem it is against men.
And if I sing the nakedness of bodies I sing against men.
And if I make this Earth a metaphor I make a metaphor against men.
If I speak wildly in my poems I speak against men.
And if I manage to create a poem it’s against men.
I haven’t written a single world, a verse, a stanza that isn’t against men.
All my prose is against men.
My entire Oeuvre
Including this poem
My whole Oeuvre
Is against men.


What I’ve Read: The Week of March 25th 2018

Author – Title – Publication Details, Date
Form / genres which I see fit
[excerpts where available. coloured in red, for when I am especially affected!]

1.Janine Benyus – Biomimicry – 1999
Book / Ecology, biology, environmental studies – VERY new ways of knowing for me!!

[ “In these pages, you’ll meet men and women who are exploring nature’s masterpieces—photosynthesis, self-assembly, natural selection, self-sustaining ecosystems, eyes and ears and skin and shells, talking neurons, natural medicines, and more—and then copying these designs and manufacturing processes to solve our own problems. I call their quest biomimicry—the conscious emulation of life’s genius.”

“Even the wheel, which we always took to be a uniquely human creation, has been found in the tiny rotary motor that propels the flagellum of the world’s most ancient bacteria.”

In ensemble, living things maintain a dynamic stability, like dancers in an arabesque, continually juggling resources without waste.”

“Within these lines, life unfurls her colors with virtuosity, using limits as a source of power, a focusing mechanism” ]

2. Sharon Mattern – “The City is Not a Computer” – Places Journal, 2017
Essay / Urban studies

[ “Modernity is good at renewing metaphors, from the city as machine, to the city as organism or ecology, to the city as cyborgian merger of the technological and the organic. Our current paradigm, the city as computer, appeals because it frames the messiness of urban life as programmable and subject to rational order.”

“… city is an assemblage of media forms (vaults, archives, monuments, physical and electronic records, oral histories, lived cultural heritage); agents (architectures, institutions, media technologies, people); and functions (storage, processing, transmission, reproduction, contextualization, operationalization). It is a large, complex, and varied epistemological and bureaucratic apparatus. It is an information processor, to be sure, but it is also more than that.”

City-making is always, simultaneously, an enactment of city-knowing.” ]

3. Henri LefebvreTowards An Architecture of Enjoyment – 1973
Book / Urban studies, Frankfurt School

4. Charles Altieri – “The Significance of Frank O’Hara”  The Iowa Review, Winter 4.1 – 1973
Essay / Literary criticism. history, urban studies (Happy birthday Frank O’ Hara!)

[ “For the city is a continual source of interesting and engaging details. Moreover, the city is a perfect metaphor for O’Hara’s sense of the value in these details. Presence in the city is antithetical to presence in nature. City details after all have neither meaning, hierarchy nor purpose not created absolutely by man. And more important, the city is committed to perpetual change; there are no enduring seasonal motifs or patterns of duration underlying and sustaining the multiplicity of city phenomena. They exist completely in the moment. And they exist superficially. In the city, as in O’Hara’s ontology, interesting and engaging details are continually becoming present. Yet not only do these momentary apparitions promise no underlying significance or meanings to be interpreted, they actually resist any attempt on our part to know them better. City life offers a series of phenomena to notice, perhaps to play with in one’s own psyche, but very rarely do these phenomena inspire or welcome any attempt to participate in their lives.” ]

5. Samantha Rose Hill – “Critical Love: Night of Philosophy Love Symposium” Public Seminar – 2018
Essay / Philosophy, love

[ “Rousseau – Love’s Secret Wish

Can you imagine walking in circles, day after day, experiencing life in abandonment? And then, one afternoon, finding a secret note folded between the pages of a book? A note that contained your most longed-for wish? What would it take to unfold that paper?

Knowledge and love interwoven, the propensities that follow us throughout our lives are born in the youth of our awakening. Each love can only become what came before, so we never stop looking for it in the future. Hours spent staring at kitchen tables and night-stands, wooden arches of doorframes, too weak to walk through. Fear impinges and fuels desire. I long for you to see me as I think I am, as she did. Can there ever be recognition of such hidden longingTo be loved by everyone who knew me was my most ardent wish. Yes, this would-be evidence of love. The fulfilment of secret desires.”

“Marcuse – Eros is by its very nature polymorphously perverse, freed from the demands of productive society.”

“Arendt – How to Love the World

We must be committed to, as Benjamin says, returning in a round-a-about way to love as an object of contemplation. Love, much like thinking, belongs in the private realm of human affairs. At best, I hope that at the end of the day, when I go home I might find some joy in my solitude. I might find a way to be with the world that has followed me inside and engage in the 2-in-1 dialogue. There in the private realm is where we come face-to-face with the question of love.

There, I read Auden, Rilke, Homer. Yes, there, they bring me closer to loving the world. Closer to the opening that unfolds beyond the horizon of human deeds, nearer the path of Being. Nearer to beginning again. Alone with myself, love reborn in every thought.” ]

6. Donna Haraway – Staying With The Trouble – 2016
Book / Feminist science studies, biology, new ways of thinking!

[ She thinks in attunement with those she thinks with—recursively, inventively, relentlessly—with joy and verve. She studies how beings render each other capable in actual encounters, and she theorizes—makes cogently available—that kind of theory and method. Despret is not interested in thinking by discovering the stupidities of others, or by reducing the field of attention to prove a point. Her kind of thinking enlarges, even invents, the competencies of all the players, including herself, such that the domain of ways of being and knowing dilates, expands, adds both ontological and epistemological possibilities, proposes and enacts what was not there before. That is her worlding practice. She is a philosopher and a scientist who is allergic to denunciation and hungry for discovery, needy for what must be known and built together, with and for earthly beings, living, dead, and yet to come. ]

7. Judika Illes – The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft – 2005
Book / Witchcraft, feminism

[sympathetic magic.]

8. Susan Matasovska – What Lesbians Do In Bed – 1992
Poem / Feminism, queer women, love

9. June Jordan – Poem for Haruko – from Directed by Desire, 2005
Poem / Queer women, love

10. June Jordan – A Poem for Haruko 10/29 – from Directed by Desire, 2005
Poem / Queer women, love

[ Oh! If you would only walk
into this room
again and touch me anywhere
I swear
I would not long for heaven or
for earth
more than I’d wish to stay there
and touching you ]

11. Jean Pierre Vernant (historian, anthropologist, lover of Claude Levi Strauss) as quoted  in David Farrell KrellThe Tragic Absolute: German Idealism and the Languishing of God, 2005
Book / Philosophy, Dionysus, theology, greek mythology, my namesake

Like wine, Dionysus is double: most terrible yet infinitely sweet. His presence, which is a bewildering intrusion of otherness into the human world, may take two forms, be manifested in two different ways. On the one hand it may bring blessed union with the god, in the heart of nature, with every constraint lifted – an escape from the limitations of the everyday world and oneself. That is the experience extolled in the parodos: purity, holiness, joy, sweet felicity. On the other hand, it may precipitate one into chaos in the confusion of a bloodthirsty, murderous madness in which the ‘same’ and the ‘other’ merge and one mistakes one’s nearest and dearest, one’s own child, one’s second self for a wild beast that one tears apart with one’s bare hands: ghastly impurity, inexpiable crime, misfortune without end, without relief.”

One Way Street: Alberni St. (Burrard to Thurlow)

after Walter Benjamin, sui generis of the poetic city

Hermes (755 Burrard St)

Regarding the virtue of lightness, Calvino says, “At certain moments I felt that the entire world was turning into stone: a slow petrification.” The stare of the Medusa, seemingly inescapable, escapes Perseus, who wears winged sandals. “To cut off Medusa’s head without being turned to stone, Perseus supports himself on the very lightest of things, the winds and the clouds, and fixes his gaze upon what can be revealed only by indirect vision, an image caught in the mirror.” Victoria Beckham once boasted of owning the most number of the most expensive handbags in the world: the Birkin bag. It was named after Jane Birkin, who, in 1983, was seated next to Hermes chief executive Jean-Louis Dumas. “Birkin had placed her straw bag in the overhead compartment of her seat, but the contents fell to the floor.” Dumas made her a black satchel, the first Birkin, to help with the weight of her belongings. Here there are no traces of Hermes, his movement or his lightness. Kim Kardashian, patron saint of shameless consumption, once made headlines for using a $50,000 Hermes Birkin as a diaper bag. “My Birkin carries all of my essentials,” she says. So the Medusa comes alive again.


Tiffany & Co. (723 Burrard St)

I once read that the mere sight of the colour “Tiffany blue” was enough to invoke feelings of affection, endearment, and tenderness in women who saw it. It was from a magazine of pop psychology, which despite its normative assumptions, made sense to a ten year old at the time. Tiffany blue, also known as robin’s egg blue and forget-me-not blue, was shortly patented through the Pantone institute, with the number 1837, the same number as the year the company was founded. Now it’s praised as a landmark in marketing, branding, design. When I was 13, I bought three colours of acrylic paint to mix for my reproduction of Tiffany blue: sea foam green, cobalt blue, and white. I painted a ring-sized cardboard box, stuffed a Hershey’s kiss in it, and gave it to my big sister, who still wouldn’t stop crying.


Jaeger-LeCoultre (1012 Alberni St)

An ordinary part of horology is the expectation of complications. Complications take a technical connotation here – it not only pertains to the difficulty that confronts horologists, but rather the intricacies of timepieces that desire to show features beyond mere date and time. The second most complicated wristwatch movement in the world belongs to a watch designed by Jaeger LeCoultre. The Hybris Mechanica Grande Sonnerie with 182 movements, 27 complications, and over 1300 parts. My mother once stepped on a less complicated watch as a punishment. It was a light pink Baby G one, and it belonged to me. After that it was clear to me that she valued time above watches.


Michael’s (1022 Alberni St)

Any one who pays full price for anything is a fool. Those were wise words from my old nanny, who made her living out of loving me. She would dust off the coloured chalk from my hands after I drew hopscotch boxes on the pavement. I want to find her, and tell her that in this street, they sell bundles of Chalk Markers at half price. In the city, there would be no need to hose down the pavement because the rain would do it for us.


Kobe Japanese Steakhouse (1042 Alberni St)

Where was the California roll created? The historical dispute between Vancouver and Los Angeles still remains. What is more interesting to me is that Tokyo doesn’t care.


Coast (1054 Alberni St)

The imperial ruins of fresh oysters: Kusshi (stellar bay) $3.75, Royal Miyaki (baynes sounds) $2.75, Gems (read island) $2.75, Okeover (okeover inlet) $2.75, Malpeque (pei) $3.95, Joyce Point (sawmill bay) $2.75.