Monday, March 8, 2010

Funny Business

Funny Business

submitted by Mike Barthman

you Kill me,

literally murder with kindness.

clothes come off but nothing

goes on—no Funny Business.

bed stays made. the whole

Negotiation is so silly

serious, is So much better

with carnal levity. men

are Supposed to look

funny Naked We look

Funny Naked,

We droop—we DO.

We are Space INvaders,

Turkey basters, put buns

in ovens like bakers

early morning.


could armpit hair

have grown into this? Should we

really have split up in Sex-Ed?

you woman, you Women:

everything beautiful

all over you,

falling in scraps

when you laugh

or you sneeze,

within you Heard

through the friction

of your fingers

    when you itch

    at an itch.

i beg my pardon for not coming

up with a come on. So, asking

if women are feminists won’t

get me Ass around here?

Didn’t want ass.

the Best part has always

been laughing. Really,

it’s So silly serious,

we look So Funny naked

we wear jokes instead

of undies to cover

our birth marks.

Can’t we be “Someone Smart

and Funny”?—we are “’someone’

‘smart’ and ‘funny’.”

This drooping is only

getting worse. i’ve seen

the other side, i’ve been

to the Y locker room.

Yet i’ve seen

The Art in your Limbs,

composition of

abdomen. You

women, Are

something else



so Keep you warm?

you are literally already

killing me. but Know I’m not much

for calorimetry; Any chemist

would call me junk.

Junk, maybe. better

or worse—i’ll be

a droopy Someone

    funny treasure.

but about the Funny Business,

when the clothes come off,

when something goes on,

After Laughing.

it’s quiet as if trying.

loudest sound

is an out of line gasp

stepped on

by the next

almost Booms


the lone

barrier the

whole entire

world leans

in to hear

her eyes








is funny

—the world

needs comedy.

so not funny

but the world

is obliged

by her smile



turns back

to it’s Tax returns

and Parking tickets.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Prompt

Hi Everyone,

I'm starting to work on a design campaign for positive body image identity this quarter and I want to test out the survey questions I am considering for the project. If you have a moment, please reply to either one or both of the following questions so I can see which one is working better?

a) What is your favorite of your own body parts and why?
b) What is a positive memory or story you associate with a certain part of your body?

I'm going to have another level to this project where I set up a Flickr for people to post photos relevant to their stories/favorite body parts. Then (with contributor's permission) some of those photos/stories will be used in campaign materials.

Also please feel free to forward this to anyone you know who might be interested in contributing.

Thanks again!
Christine Batta can be reached, for responses and questions about this project, at .

Sunday, January 31, 2010

(My) Body

★★★★Submitted by Sarah Welch★★★★
(who can be reached at either The Body Collective address, or at

I am awake at 4 in the morning, again, something I haven't been in quite this way for a long time. This way being alert, lucid, and feeling nowhere remotely close to sleep. I think it is because I am working on a creative piece about my year of heavy-duty high school insomnia and in the process have found the place where it still lives in me. If there is anything I've learned, it's that everything that you experience still lives in you, no matter how long it's been out of the forefront. I think I am awake also because after a spurt of long days with no engagements, mostly spent in bed, tomorrow I am working, and it is my instinct to wear myself down ahead of time. This itself a bastardization of the finals-time instinct to build as much pressure as possible to achieve maximum productivity.

I have a friend for whom momentous and often tragic things happen on the 14th of certain months, or anyway, used to. He writes about this with elegance and grace and a tad bitterness. For me, it is not 14ths in all corners of my life, a big numerological answer, but it is certainly cycles and anniversaries, uncanny in their returns. Is it a coincidence that although I am not in school now, was not last year, my body and brain are attempting to relive and recreate what it is to be trapped under piles of work in the darkening Minnesota December? It's as if the past year inserted itself without my body's knowledge or consent.

When I was an insomniac was the first time I felt the heft and joy of my own mortality. It's hard not to when you are so thin and worn, thoughts and heartbeats equally palpable. Mortality is a funny word. It implies death, but it also, to me, implies life manifested. The weight of one's self, the knowledge of one's physical presence in space. It's a feeling alternately scary and reassuring.
I have always been somehow outside of my body, disconnected. In sports, this makes me lousy; in small incidental injuries, cuts and scrapes; needlessly panicky. Just ask Mike, who once drove me around St. Paul trying to soothe me out of the (deep, but minor) battle wound I got from a number 10 can in the deli where we worked. Every time something little happens to me, I think I'm dying.

I once had a conversation with Pam about this disconnect and how it is maybe endemic to most of us, Welches that is. We live in our heads and our hearts more than we live in our bodies. We do not always connect with what our hands are doing, do not accept an innate flow between body and brain. When I was in therapy, I had to constantly be reminded to notice how things felt in my body, to pay attention to what was happening there.

This disconnect has also led me to really appreciate the moments when I sink wholly into my physical being, no matter the circumstance. I grew up playing a lot of dangerous games to see how run down, how physically aware I could make myself. When you reach a peak of exhaustion, after 36 or 48 hours awake, it's a real high. As I get older, those games lose both their appeal and their possibility - I need certain amounts of sleep to be a functional human being the next day, now. I need to eat a varied diet and I need to eat regularly throughout the day. I need to hydrate properly. I suppose I always needed those things, but I wasn't reminded in the daily course of events - forcing the feelings of hunger and exhaustion and maintaining my daily routine through them reminded me that I was alive, that I inhabited this flesh and blood machine, and that it needed me to do certain things to stay comfortable.

I am young, very young, but I feel so old in certain ways. Remembering everything that I remember makes me feel old. I am amazed at the ways that I can track and date, that I have grown into my skin, which I work hard every day to feel embodied in, and the ways that my physical consciousness has changed and strengthened over time. I feel like I live in this body, now. I want to do things to make it work the best it possibly can, for as long as it possibly can. I know that I'll be carrying the physical reminders of my many years of extreme stress for a long time to come, and I'm eager to be more present and aware, and to remedy any of the damage that I can.

When Lauren was here we sat among candles in my living room and talked about this. And I said to her, I go through these spells where my mortality is so evident to me, every near death miss a lightning shock to my system, but not a surprise. Walking or biking down a street, so many near misses with cars. We are simply hurtling past one another, blindly trusting in our infallibility. I say to her, thinking of how jangly and alien I feel in my body, how unfamiliar it still feels to me sometimes, I just don't think I'll grow old. And she says to me, You have always said that. Since you were 12, 15. You have never thought you would grow old.

I have always had a sense of this. Limits. Or maybe it's just that I have always had this nervousness in my physical self, feeling impermanent and accident-prone there.

I am thinking about these things for three reasons:

a) I'm awake, in the middle of the night! It feels like old times.

b) Emily and I had a conversation a while back, when we were making The Carnival, about how writing is a physical act. While she danced and spoke and I wrote and spoke, everything that we were doing was a cocktail of the physical, the emotional, the cerebral. Never separated. Since then, I try to be really conscious of what's happening in my body while I write or type. Right now I have been typing intensely for a while, so I am getting a little tight in my right palm.

c) This site has been neglected, and needs some love, food, water from us.

Originally posted at

Friday, December 11, 2009

Menstruation Paintings by Emmy Anderberg

Hi everyone, we haven't been receiving a lot of work lately but we are still very much active, and appreciate all submissions and comments!

Emmy Anderberg just sent us some of her beautiful menstruation paintings, along with the following statement:

I began having the desire to reconnect with my menstruation a couple years ago. Like many societies, mine is one where menstrual blood is taboo. I became tired of the representation of menstruation as dirty, shameful, and the necessity to keep it hidden. These ideas conflicted with how I view my own menstruation. I feel menstrual art is a necessary step towards breaking the negative stereotypes that surround women and menstruation.
These period paintings act as a journal for me, being able to put on paper the state of being which consumes me. Sometimes I feel great on my period, and the paintings allow me to express my power in a tangible form. Other times, I feel like shit while menstruating. When this is the case, I often feel that I need alone time; I need to pay attention to myself and nothing else, and the paintings give me a place to love myself and connect with my body. This is an act spiritual renewal for me.


Mouth of Rain

The artist can be contacted at

Monday, July 20, 2009

Every Body Is a Modified Body

"A well-known feminist saying states, 'Silence is violence.' For many transfolks that is not true. Our voices are the part of us that are not read the way we identify. For those of us who cannot afford or choose not to take hormones, we must fear being outed every time we speak.

That's the reason for this zine. It is a space for local transfolks to write about their experiences and share knowledge without this fear. We live in a world where 1 in 3 trannies will be killed so we must create new ways to survive. It is my hope that this zine is one of them."

This zine was compiled by The Pony Prince, and submissions for volume two should be sent to He says that he is looking for submissions not just from transfolk but from cisgendered folk as well, in order to make connections about how all bodies are modified. He also blogs at