February 24th, 2006


Slam Poetry

I'm always a proud older sister, but some times even more than others. Karen, my youngest sister was involved in a CD project for the Planned Parenthood up near her school, so I wanted to voice-post the piece she performed. The CD is titled, "I Am: Renaming the sexual revolution," and hers is the first track. She wasn't originally scheduled to be on the recording, but she wrote this piece in the 45 minutes or so while the other women were getting ready and they decided to include it.

For those of you who hate either slam poetry or homosexuality or feminism, it may not be for you, but if any of you have ever had a younger sibling you love that you're really proud of, humor me :)

It's a letter to a mother from her lesbian daughter. It's technically written to our mother, but it's directed at any mother in a similar situation. I'm going to try and voice post it now.
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Voice Post: I am renaming the sexual revolution

Slam Poetry.
A note to a mother from her gay daughter.
By Karen D'Apice

580K 2:47
“For those of you who don't know what this is, you can read the post I did just prior this.

Um, this is my younger sister Karen. It was recorded on a CD for Planned Parenthood. It's called "I am renaming the sexual revolution". And she did a little slam-poetry piece. And I'd say "a little" like it's so cute and adorable but I describe it in the post because I don't think you can have any text and voice posts. So, I'm gonna try and play it through my Walkman into the phone. So let's see what happens. (crackling)

(Karen now)
Mom, I am renaming the sexual revolution.
With "I am" statements and verbal unpollution
With the music of my mind,
and the new curve of my spine
And this gorgeous evolution from ape to a woman
From space to a womb, then grace to a tomb
And I'm growing up around the sounds of women
Pounding hard drinks to toast our criminal individualism
in a way that makes it...smooooth.

To say "Girl, when we dance I get high on your rhythm."
I am strong enough now to know my mother in distance
and not blame myself for that missed chance to enlist
in an army of daughters that publicly kiss lips
like society taught her

I know you love me.

I built a wall for you, Mom.

So you could feel understood, and could feel like the reason you hid me was good.

But I'm Jericho now, you're hysterical now, and I need you to tell me you care about how I feel...

...because I feel.

And when I cry when my first girlfriend broke what I thought was my heart,
but I realize now was just an idolized image of love,
and all I need is a hug and you hold me even though you're disgusted...


I am walking through life with a box cutter, Mom,
because some people like the convenience
of packing me up under styrofoam peanuts
and muttering labels to have me sent off to Venus,
where those people won't fear that the gays will disease us,
and maybe I'll find a nice boy with a penis,
and I know that you're smiling at the thought that you might see this...

But women are from Mars, Mom!

The bright, red planet of menstruation and mood swings, and love, Goddamnnit!

I'm not what I'm not, and I never will be, but don't think evolution forgot about me.

Because, sure, my spine isn't getting much straighter,
but I'm alive now with no concept of later.
Because hate crimes are happening,
I'm drowning in blasphemy writing this note
to my mother to sway her.

So I'll pray to her the way she taught me,
but make just one significant change.
Because children start their prayers like letters,
but never think to sign their names.

I am your expectations marauder.

Dear Mom,

Hold on to me.

Love, Karen, Your daughter.”

Transcribed by: crasch

Guns and Roses

We do a lot of research on toys in our company to see what toys are popular at any given time. We sent a woman from our division to the Hong Kong toy fair and she came back with numerous catalogs, one of which is the Dong De Xing Toy Co. LTD. They sell only two types of toys: Children's Cosmetics, and guns.

The magazine does a complete 180. You're flipping through page after page of pink and purple displays lined with cartoon feathers, containing tiny, 8 year-old prostitute eyeshadow and lipstick cases for your pre-pubescent ice skater, when suddenly you're confronted by objects that wouldn't look out of place in Big Buck Hunter, that charming hunting videogame that's directly next to the stage in the back room of the Alligator lounge. (There are few things more surreal that doing a comedy set next to a skinny man with glasses, firing a loud but imaginary weapon at pixxelated images of deer.)

I've never been comfortable around guns because I wasn't raised around them. My first encounter was at my boyfriends childhood home in southern Virginia where I noticed that there was a gun lying casually in every room of the house.
"Hey, you guys have a lot of guns here," I mentioned.
His father pulled a handgun out of the pocket of his bathrobe. "Yeah-- you wanna shoot one?" He handed the gun toward me and I politely declined.

"No thanks," I said. "I'm bad with guns. I'm much more comfortable with awkward silences.

Looking at all these realistic looking guns jarred me, but thinking back to it, I've never been comfortable around children's cosmetics either. My mother bought me a multi-shade eyeshadow set when I was 8 or 9 and I regarded it as warily as I might a musket or a sawed off shotgun. The thought, "Nothing good will come of my using this," seemed applicable to both situations.
And it's not to say that no girls should wear makeup as children or no boys should play with guns. My cousin mark wasn't allowed to have toy guns as a child and as a result he would bite his buttered toast into the shape of a handgun and would pretend to shoot his mother with it. Had my sister not been allowed to play with eyeshadow, I'm sure she would have been smearing Crystal Light powder over her cheeks and eyelids. It isn't the toy guns that bother me, it's the ease and the variety involved. These aren't for boys who want a toy gun, these are for boys who want a toy arsenal. There's too much. Do boys really need to choose between "the repeater," "the machine gun," "the panther, etc? Do they get excited over the print on the bottom of the page, exclaiming, "Makes Da...Da..." sound." Buy your son one multi-purpose weapon and be done with it.
Or, if he wants the eyeshadow, buy him the eyeshadow. What I mainly didn't understand was the selling of both of these in the same catalog. As if some young boy would pick up a bright pink leaflet, flipping through aimless pages of mascaras and nailpolishes going, "No, no, not my color, no, no, too gaudy, not enough glitter," until hitting the midpoint and going, "Perfect. Call in my order, mom. I'll take 3 pairs of fake eyelashes and a grenade."