Saturday, December 26, 2009

Irrational as Pi

Miki's video PSA from the fall workshop - check it out!

Grrls Literary Activism / Miki's PSA from Jamie A. Lee on Vimeo.

Marigold's video PSA

Marigold' video PSA from the fall workshop - check it out!

Grrls Literary Activism / Marigold's PSA from Jamie A. Lee on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Map Poem by Robin

I was driving head first
Splashing in Villa Rica
When you caught me in your arms
Traveling up through Vester and Point Peter
Through the Appalachians to my Walnut Grove
You traveled along the 83
And landed somewhere between Roswell and Forest Park
You set up camp in Youth
Lingering on route 85
Sliding softly through the russet folds of Bethlehem
You clung tightly to Atlanta
The Only star in the sky
Your fingertips screaming as you dug through Washington
Yoking together two halves of one rocky mountain
You would spend the winter months
Swimming along the tips of Lincoln
Blue blue as the soft Braswell falls.
Your eyes still stinging
Drops of saltwater
A river, an ocean
The last traces of Madres

Come with me, sir, and we can camp
Hide along the coast
Find our palms in Atlanta
With summer’s sweet Zinnia’s behind Billarn

-Robin S.

Haiku by Robin

A summer apple
Round and full dripping sweet juice
Snap, fall, tumble. Rest.

River in a river
Lilypad meanders
Whooshing sweetly by

Swirl, swirl, stop
Lazy circles as it falls
Crunch underneath

Sunday afternoon
Cherry trees and lemonade
Sour, tart, stolen kiss

Eye lashes and lips
Shaved pits and period pants
A woman’s burden

I can’t hear you
Mr. Little Red Dot
I told you to stop stalking me

Pain as a color
Goddess Pose and tampax pearl
Jam out to Bob Dylan

-Robin S.

Poem split by Isabella S.

Left side:

Linda Blair is being
Interviewd on television.
The movie scene….
And after start in a
Pornography double take.
It was a boy mystery:
I watch her eagerly,
She’s on the bed,
The mother walks in appalled.
Little creep is on the crucifix
Over her head…
In between her and Linda agaon.
I didn’t know
And I think at that age,
I was just around
For the douche and the blow job.
What is it, right?
She was eleven years
Old in panic,
Up to find you coated in blood
I don’t know…
I just remember eight years later…
I watch her face stunned.
You know who does it?
Me in my sleep.
I wait shifting,
Two women rubbing together,
The car in the Safehouse parking lot
Moving up and down.

The Right Side:

I finally understand, Watch the Exorcist.
I flip the channels
I catch the lines:
“most controversial”
that proposals and I give.
Those old Hardies
Would read to me in Linda Blair’s pants.
And the scene cuts,
The hideous bed
Wielding before plunging in legs.
The scene cuts
And Blair speaks at what masturbation was.
Niether did I know
A word that floated days….
Words like: “masturbion”
And enquires, “you know right?”
It’s just a word to me
Linda Blair was eleven when
She filmed that scene.
When I went up
One morning, very unexpected,
My hand and fingers…

I just woke up where it came from.
Your expression mom,
You can see it again on
The interview, the mother in horror.

Do Linda Blair on television.

And the woman on the third floor
In her stockings at the YMCA.
And the girls in the parking lot
In the back seat.
Oh the horror.

-Isabella S.

Map Poem by Isabella S.

I hated Tucson.
It never curled right.
I might as well just cut I 10 to I 19
I don’t care if Tombstone, Bisbee or Douglas
Ever grew back, and I don’t know why
My family made such a bitch about the suggested.
The Gulf of California was always
well behaved. It teased right and
didn’tfriz. It would be a shame to cut off those flirtarious Gulfs
I just have to cut them too.

Sierra San Pedro Martir
Was determined when I
Walked into the tattoo shop.
I kept the Sonora Valley
As blank as possible,
Hoping the Sonoytas
And Punta Prietas wouldn’t
Turn on me and show my nerves
As I confronted the tattoo artist.
He eyed me from Sonora to Tamaulipas
And asked me to take a seat on the bench.
I lay down and lifted my skirt,
Zacatecas and Monterrey were
Trying not to twitch
As we warmed up the machine, needle buzzing.
At the first touch of the needle
On Juan Aldoma the Gulf of Mexico
Clenched and curled,
Trying to keep the rest of Mexico still

~Isabella S.

Poems by Sam

The map of my hand
You never needed to know.

The problem usually starts around Lake Manon
And spreads down I-95 to Florence and Sumbter
It even gets up to Columba

And the battle
Waged at the Union,
Left an ever lasting scar.

-Sam H.

Map Poem by Miki

One time you made the Noatak
Run down my Schwatha Mountains
Eyes of Ambler
When you told me Alberta was waiting for you
On the other side of the border
Was my crooked creek too crooked?
I felt like Juneau
With the disappointment, rage, and lack of surprise.
My Kuskokwim aching with the Red Devil
I Anviked you in the Rocky Mountains.
You could hire said something
Before your Iditarod hit my Continental Divide.


Poems by Chandler M.


Flowers slowly emerge
Open and close like clockwork
Their cycle begins.

Loose jeans and chocolate
Constant checks at your behind
Four more days to go.

~Chandler M.

Map Poems Summer Workshop

An ever endless amount of sympathy
Whether you be 15 or 50
You send your heart out
To your white brain, and black sisters
Knowing the cramps and exhaustion they’ll enudure
All you can offer is a hug or a kind hand
On their shoulder.

~Chandler M.

Period Haikus by Isabella S.

You should invest
in black underwear. Don’t get
up till everyone leaves.

Smile while you hurt
And be sure to let him know
You need new Lysol.

How self assured
With your wad of money
And wad of cotton.

Douche powder and small
Waists equal success.
Be sure to smile.

by Isabella S.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

2-Day Workshop


July 24-25

Fri 12:30-5pm, Sat 12:30-4pm

Totally FREE! No charge, Gratis...

Facilitated by poet Ann Dernier

located at the Volunteer Center of Southern Arizona
924 N Alvernon Way, just south of Speedway

Workshop: your prose and poetry! This is an excellent opportunity for creative writing and to work closely with an established poet.

Art Action: Time to rejuvenate the Grrls' refurbished tampon dispenser. Our tampon machine is a mobile and functioning art sculpture. It is filled with tampons and maxipads with poems attached to the individual lady products.

Contact Brooke: brooke (at) or call 327-2127 for more info, and to get a simple application form

Saturday, May 9, 2009



Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Someone sent a postcard after reading one of our tracts. How cool!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

dissemination: tracts spotted!

"Saw some of your awesome pamphlets at Brooklyn Pizza. I had forgotten they were out there, so it was an awesome surprise when I saw your little trademark down at the bottom.

Tell the [Grrls] AWESOME job, I loved the stuff!

Tucson, AZ

Rapunzel, Revised & Reappropriated

Rapunzel, Revised & Reappropriated

Rapunzel was sick of being locked away
at the top of a witch's stone tower.
She was tired of tripping over hair
when she dragged it across the dusty floor.
She didn't want to wait for some prince to come
and tug on her hair to carry her away to safety.
Her hair dangled and swayed, the ends falling down
to what she noticed was a loose floorboard.
And under that floorboard she found
a machete from the witch's safari days.
Rapunzel thought of trees and vines that encompassed her
and monkeys who never came to her rescue
As she sliced the machete through the top of her long, neat braid.
She felt relief as she climbed her hair down the side of the tower.
She thought of a carefree Tarzan swinging through the jungle on a vine.
Three hours later, the prince cantered by on a pearlescent steed.
He shouted to Rapunzel's window as he climbed up her hair,
making excuses about traffic and how he had a horrible day at work.
He climbed atop the windowsill and all he found
of Rapunzel was the long, silken braid tied to a bedpost.
The rest of her was trekking through
the forest with a machete in her teeth.

Truisms/Six words:

Grass is the umbilical cord connecting my bare feet to the Earth.
Buy yourself a better personality.
Throw me around like a ragdoll
Nothing for me today, huh sir?
Whale blubber makes you smell good.
Fish scales make your lips pretty.
Can't bring myself to leave it.
Lost my voice; found it again.
Arrogant men are like erections; they make a mess all over the place if you don't keep them under control.
Blueprint was beautiful but structurally unsound/a beautiful blueprint but structurally unsound.
Summer: short hair again, tank tops.
Good jeans. Warm soil, cool grass.
Yoga's the answer in many situations.
'Says I look determined when angry.
Not letting myself get distracted, anymore.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009


A tract is a short literary work in pamphlet form. The pamphlets are handed out or left in places where people might discover them. Traditionally, tracts are religious in nature, meant to preach or proselytize. The invention of the printing press helped religious groups circulate persuasive material much more efficiently.

We borrowed the idea of religious tracts to disseminate our poetry, stories rants, tips, and other "preach-worthy" words. Look for them around town.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

6-word autobiographies

I am the trombonist with boobs.

Just don't be an asshole, okay?

Haven't lost sight, just lost focus.

Grew up fast, got happy late.

Stopped being nice, started getting happy.

Stop pleasing others, focus on yourself.

After self reflection comes progressive action.

Don't kiss ass, just kick it.

Can't find my place, still looking.

Always the advisor, never the advisee.

Get your own! Want to share?

Check left, check right, then run.

I think I think too much.

What am I really running from?

Go away! No wait, come back.


If you deserve respect, I'll give it.
Not everyone deserves one's utmost attention.
Snorting pixie stix-high school.
Snorting lucas in middle school.
Boys evolved from lucas to pixie stix up their nose.


one word, no

The word was a stick in my mouth even as I thought to say it. After all, this was not the choice time to renege my consent (though I'd never given it explicitly). The better time would have been when she kissed me. Better yet, when she asked me out.
Who was I fooling anyway? Anyone? I wasn't even close to concealing the truth, and it made no sense to me.
Me, an out trans who couldn't accept his homosexuality. Ha, what a laugh.
But I couldn't admit that. Liking boys would somehow make me less of one.
So I agreed to go out with her. If I was with a girl, if I slept with her, somehow I thought all my problems would go away.
Yet as I laid on her bed, half-naked and having my pants quickly pealed off of me, I thought NO! I wanted to tell her that, scream it, get her to STOP TOUCHING ME because it didn't feel right.
But I saw how in love she was. Not in lust or anything but love and hope. So I sealed my mouth and the pitiful 'no' inside me. Conceded my defeat. Let that word, No, hang over my head, begging to be let loose so it could cry that I'd been wronged even when it was myself I was swimming against.


one word, no

Sometimes even no words can carry farther than the longest story. Sitting with the friend in her room, the parents come home. She asks "Is she..." The parents look up with reddened eyes, a slight shake of the head, a broken, mumbled "no," and more is said in that silence. She doesn't need or want an explanation--too many words. Turning to me. "Sorry" is cried over her shoulder, she flies up the stairs and I am left alone. I walk outside, call my ride, and leave.
"Is she... okay?" he asks.
"Do you want to--"
So much power concealed in a two letter word, so much communicated. A tragic story, only turned tragic with that head shake, with that word. No.


one word, mashuq

Mashuq. It means sweetheart in sanscrit. So soft, that sound, that meaning. I found it in a poem about love. To everyone, to everything. To every moment and every softness one invocation, one soft nurturing word. One emotion - sweetheart, sweetheart, sweetheart. To the trees outside my window~mashuq. To the rock on the ledge~mashuq. To your foot, my foot. Mashuq. To the pitcher full of water. To the last dying breath of a snail. Mashuq. You are all my loves. Sweet and free and pure. I love you. You are all perfect. Transcend duality, transcend hate, transcend right, transcend wrong, transcend perfection, objection, salvation. Mashuq. Sweetheart. To me this word was the representation of love, the manifestation of acceptance, tolerance, joy. It takes strength, it takes courage to open your heart so wide, to use your third eye and the nadi of truth. But that, to me, was what it was, it was mashuq, it was truth.


one word, stop

It was in 5th grade. I was on the porch eating lunch and Ryan was teasing me. Ignoring him was useless. By now his was the only voice I could hear. I ran in the bathroom with tears running down my face. Jeanette knocked and let herself in while Amber yelled at him Stop! I'm not really friends with them anymore but I will never forget that they stood up for me.



No mom, I'm not you
No mom, I'm not popular
No mom, I'm not skinny
No mom, I don't have straight A's
No mom, I don't like the same food as you
No mom, I'm not perfect... and neither are you

Yes mom, I'm a spaz
Yes mom, I'm the one in the t-bone section with boobs
Yes mom, I like drawing
Yes mom, I'm a slacker
Yes mom, I'm not as smart as you think
Yes mom, I'm overweight
Yes mom, you drive me nuts
Yes mom, I love you
Yes mom, I have your eyes
Yes mom, I have your hot-headed nature
Yes mom, I have your humor
Yes mom, I have a great personality... just like you


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Grrls' "Truisms," a la Jenny Holzer

Feb. 18, 2009, Casa Libre driveway


Thursday, February 19, 2009

sidewalk chalk

Art is never right or wrong

I wish I could see your eyes when you close them

I wish I could feel you without leaving a smudge

Love is love no matter what

You are your experiences

Hamstrings are the elevators of our daily lives

Duality is part of our daily lives

History has a funny way of repeating itself

Wishes are just ways to postpone physical action

-the GRRLS


A single breath contains all we need

reasts are either useful, erotic, or a nuisance

anada has no solution for the international drug trade

eath is a race to the finish

veryone is haphazard

ingers are utensils worth washing

iving-in can yield pleasant sensations

ate is a waste of energy

like touching myself

Jelly and jam are not the same

Kinesthetic travel expands ones range and reduces ones carbon footprint

Loke is a cool name

My body is a private piece of art

NASA has too much information and not enough people

Old people are not ugly

Pennies are the losers of the coin world

Quantum theory is my religion


Speaking your language should never be punishable

Time is our most precious resource

Uh is useless

Vile is just a rude word for something you dislike

What happens to yesterday?

Xanax is like trying to find a chair when the music's stopped

Yelling is better than silence

Zoos are animal prisons

-the GRRLS

words to the public

I would prefer most of my words to be public. Why would I write if I didn't want someone to read the words? I write what I feel, sure, and that can be a total mess but the words are meant to be analyzed. How can I grow otherwise? I write to inspire and anger, sometimes to prove a point that makes people hate me. I guess I have too much pride. Not concerning my writing, God knows I'll constantly need improvement, but in my ideas. I know what I want, how I want it, and screw anyone else. I suppose I'm a jerk in that sense.
I wish people around the world could read what I write. Not because I think stuff's amazing, but because I put myself into my words. It all boils down to what I want.
And I don't want to be behind a camera letting something else prove my point. I want to be on stage, any stage, saying it loud and proud.
I like it when people are quiet when I talk, I've noticed my English class is, but at the same time it makes me feel awkward.
'Do I sound stupid?' I wonder. 'Or is it something else I can't place because I'm so socially inept?' (Am I socially inept? That's a question for another day.)

Every living being is an extremist.

The body never matches the mind.

The whole spectrum is a rainbow of gray.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

hurricane wishes

There is surgery. Surgery is the extreme though. There are binders and hormones. Those deal with breasts too. But there's nothing like surgery to leave vicious scars across a newly flattened chest. Ah to have them gone and but a memory that I can erase as I toss my bras away.
Pitiful, they are. Bouncing lobs of fat and condensed hate that will be displaced soon, so soon, sooner if the mother would agree to let me take the right hormones. Oh let them inject me with testosterone and let me watch as the embodiments of everything wrong fade away.
The body's a cruel instrument that marks and mars its way through my life. Girl-girl-girl it yells to the world as I oppress it under a flurry of hurricane wishes that scream BOY-BOY-BOY. I long for the release of looking in a mirror and knowing THIS IS ME. No more this is she, an entity apart from myself. Oooh, I'll seize that catharsis like one snatches a lover. And lover I'll snatch once I shed this form for the male ideal (ideal I won't be, mismatched parts that don't fit a confused answer to rushed prayers in the morning).
The body that knows and the mind that lives. Frozen gifts from a God.



Luscious, wavy, never ending.
Curl after curl, strand after strand.
Cascading in a billowy manner
extending from my roots, my cultural roots, my political roots.
Flowing, falling, reaching
radiating poetry, words of beauty.
Not just brown.
Not just there.
Like a woven cloth, caramels, browns, interlaced golds
surrounding and framing the elements of my face.
Gently spilling out from behind my ear
where I tucked it away
but the wind has other thoughts.
Luscious, wavy, never ending.


where do you write

I write from memories, from current emotions. I write under the table and over my head. I hesitate because of what my sister said. I write from deep down to just beneath the surface of my skin. I write from happiness, from everything lodged inside. I write because of the way you judge and the remarks you make. I write to keep myself from saying all these things out loud. I write as a resource, a mechanism. A large pool of hope and promise lies beyond every page, yet when I reach it I've already been taken by sleep's gentle grasp. I write for freedom and for organization, for regimen and for control. I write to understand my appearance and why you can't. I write so that I no longer stain paper with salt water. I write so that red may lose its shine and so that I can be at peace again with lackluster flesh. I write when the tablets have lost their effect and when the sun has just begun to rise. I write when my ability not to has worn off, faded away.


never daring to show even the slightest bulge

Everyday I am screamed at by the mind--be right, match, fit the conformist standards set today by society. Roman reaches over and squeezes me, is he making fun? Teasing? Or just... squeezing? At the moment it was strange, and confusing, but now I don't feel it. The mind screams at me "WHY?" "What was your fault?" Everyday I am hidden, sucked in, contained inside of a loose fitting shirt, or if it's tight, a jacket is thrown on top. Never seeing the light, never daring to show even the slightest bulge in the shirt or jacket. Tight, in, hidden, never shown, never good enough. Only spoken of negatively, only thought of negatively... the thighs and arms agree. I contain vital organs, so would a little extra padding be a bad thing? Apparently so. To speak of anything that is in demand of correctness in a light of reason or positively would be taboo. Sorry to the rest of the body, for bringing you down, but mind, maybe you're pulling me down.


the boobgene

I hate having big boobs. One girl, in my 6th period class, has little A-cup breasts and I envy her for it. She claims she has to bra shop as much as me, but doesn't have to go with full coverage instead of demi and doesn't have to sacrifice color for support. As my sister put it, my mom's good at passing down the boobgene.
A lot of girls want big boobs, it seems really stupid to me. Thanks to the girls, I can't wear button up tops without a hole gaping and fighting to hold onto the fabric. Or V-necks, that plunge and get caught into my trombone.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Hi there-

Thanks for checkin' out our blog. We are the Grrls, art activists in Tucson AZ.

We are young women and female-identified individuals, age 14-18. We are participating in Kore Press' Grrls Literary Activism Project to write, find our writer's voice, read out loud, work with video, and creatively present the words and ideas to the public in an "art action."

This Spring 2009 we will be focusing on Media Literacy and how women are represented in all forms of the media. The directions and ideas and thoughts and projects in this realm are totally open to all ambitions and personal desires. We have this workshop as a resource to learn, to talk, to brainstorm, then to produce and take action. There are about 15 of us this Spring. We see our writing and art placed in the community as a form of social activism.

We (the grrls) will be utilizing this blog to post our writings, photos, video, and other art during our time in the Spring 2009 workshop. Most of the stuff we post will probably be somewhere along the revision process, or it might be just the way we like it. Whatever it is, we want the community to have a place to check up on our work in the coming weeks. Please feel free to comment with positive feedback, constructive criticism, and/or inspired reactions.

Film-maker Jamie Lee and author Kimi Eisele are the kick-ass ladies facilitating our workshop this Spring.
Jamie Lee is a producing member at Pan Left ( and runs visionaries filmworks. You can see her creative work at:
And you can check out Kimi Eisele's creative work here: and this:
Brooke is our workshop assistant and friend--she helps us get stuff together. She's graduating in May with a BA in Creative Writing and minors in Women's Studies and Spanish from the UA.

Kore Press is a non-profit in Tucson, AZ that has been publishing women writers for over 15 years, co-founded by publisher Lisa Bowden. Here's the grrls' spot on their website:

We hope you bookmarked our blog! Thanks for readin'!