Clean and Elegant

Clean and Elegant

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

What does it mean to be a woman, part Two

What does it mean
to be a woman,
part Two.

In grade five
my science fair project
considered
which kind of music
made bean plants
grow best.

The categories were
Classical - both live and recorded,
Broadway musicals - Les Mis, The Secret Garden, Beauty and the Beast,
The Vacuum Cleaner,
Easy Listening
Pop Music,
And Billie Holiday.

For most of their lives,
the bean plants grew
on the bathroom windowsill
each of them privy
to my sister's singing
and the sound
of the hairdryer.

Back then
I was quite the scientist.

To gain further insight
for my research,
I watched a biographical film
about Billie Holiday
whose name was once
Eleanora Fagan.

This is when I learned that many women
have to change their names
if they want
to be famous.

Judy Garland too.
Judy and the Wizard
of Oz
were my favourites.
I even named
my stuffed orangutang
after Judy
and from a young age,
I drew rainbows compulsively. 

"Them that's got shall get."
"Them that's not shall lose."

Growing up I was lucky
to own more than one
stuffed primate.

All I remember
from the Billie Holiday movie
was the song, "God Bless the Child,"
and Billie slash
Eleanora
shooting heroine on the toilet
and singing in a bar
where she caught five-dollar bills with her vagina.

"Mama may have.
Papa may have."

At nine or ten years old,
this was the first
I'd seen of such things.

"The strong gets more while the weak ones fade."

The bean plant
that listened to
"pop"
was the winner.

Curated by my sister,
the "Pop" cassette
opened with
"The Leader of the Pack."

Bean plants
it seemed,
responded quite well
to whining
and pining
about dudes.

It's my party
You don't own me
Birds all sing
as if they know.

Billie's bean plant
grew an average height.
Now I might remember
Billie dying her skin white.
Or Eleanora.
Or was that someone else.

My last Fat Day
failed to apologize.
My last Married Man
never climbed up
through my window.
I invited him so many times.

As for me,
when I grew up
I did not become a scientist,
or a singer,
or even a gardener.
Or,
anyone's mother.

It was never clear to me
if Billie got to keep
the five-dollar bills
she retrieved with her
vagina.
Or if that would have made
any difference.

The End.

Good morning
heartache.


Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
I Let Go

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What does it mean to be a woman, Part One
Not That Kind of Girl
First no boundaries on the Internet. Then Psychotic break.





Monday, 20 March 2017

What does it mean to be a woman


This is just me
menstruating
on some obscure corner
of the Internet
on Mother's Day.
 
I meant for it to be
more groundbreaking
and edgy
than it actually
turned out.
 
Slides of the in-
side of the vagina
don’t look much different
from slides of the larynx.
 
Both appear pinkish
and alive.
 
This is what I learned
from the only speech pathologist
I know.
And I trust her.
 
Once I had a speech pathology.
When I said,
“Menstruation,”
I pronounced it like
a three-year-old would.
 
“Men-
Stuation.”
Very cute.
And edgy.
 
What does it mean
to be a woman?
 
You might have
three to seven
fat days per year.
 
I tried to cancel these
the day I turned thirty,
and had mixed results.
 
The last time I had a fat day
Vincent was on vacation.
Vincent is my therapist.
We sometimes disagree
about food
or weight.
 
“But Vincent,”
I argued.
“I menstruate.”
(Now I pronounce
the word perfectly.)
 
Though unconvinced,
Vincent did acknowledge,
“You’re a woman.”
 
Oh Vincent,
for this,
I will have
to forgive you,
but it won’t be all that hard
since as a woman,
I’ve become
quite well-versed
in forgiveness.
 
Phrases that begin with
“As a”
truly help a person
to feel smug.
 
But making a whole list
of such phrases
is annoying
and seems pretentious.

This is just me
wondering if
my eternal tits
have finally grown
and if anyone will notice
and if that makes me more
of a woman. 
As a woman,
I am better off
avoiding coming off
as pretentious.
 
This is just me,
once again hoping
some dude will enjoy
my performance.
 
The first play
I ever wrote
in my life
was called
Back
When I
Used To
Have a Prostate.
 
You don’t need a prostate
to have a urethra.
You don’t need an s,
to have two urethra
at least not today.
 
The Dépanneur Café
no longer serves jujubes
at least not today.
 
This is just me
hoping the dude
will find me delightful,
charming,
witty,
sincere,
possibly good-looking.
Cute.
Edgy.
 
This is just me
Feeling hungry,
But pretending I’m not
Hungry
Or dissatisfied
In any which way
Whatsoever.
 
The End.

This is just me
wearing the blazer
I am trading for Kombucha
Tomorrow
on the Trade Hole


Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
I Let Go

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What does it mean to be well
This is just me menstruating on so obscure corner of the Internet on Mother's Day
Hi my name is Erica. I'm having thoughts of death.


My Eternal Tits


Saturday, 18 March 2017

Finally and undoubtedly I feel grateful for my life.

March 18, 2011.

Me and my Cool Friend Fern
vowed that from this day forward
we’d refrain from puking
in our mouths
or in the toilet.


A day or two later
Fern called me
In desperation.
I was eating
an obscene amount of cantaloupe.


“Get over here,”
she said.
“I need you.”
 
So I went to her house
in Saint Henri

and hung out with Fern
and her emotionally fragile dogs
who drooled and farted
as Fern and I 

ate our favourite versions
of non-hazardous
green and brown foods.





I remember falling asleep
on the fresh clean white sheets
of her king's sized bed
with the television on,
the dogs snoring,
and Fern downstairs
sipping hot beverages
and perfecting
her next great advertising pitch.


By the time
it was morning
I think I had
a cold sore.


Day One,
Day Two,
Day Thirty-Three.


Day One Hundred and Seventeen.
One Year and Twenty-Nine Daysé
Four Years and Eighty-Six Days.
March 18, 2017.

Sometimes
I find myself
waiting for my prize.


I guess the prize
is no more vomit.


Though every now and then
I still vomit in my head
and instead of at the sun
upon the world,
my eyes keep looking at the wall.


Once I had a therapist
who thought I seemed to struggle
with life's less exciting moments
such as putting on
my pyjamas.


This
does not seem
to be true
anymore
even if
I'm still me
and still here.


Emotional Digestion
is not always Spectacular,
but I love
to put on my pyjamas.
And usually,
once or twice a week,
I have the pleasant thought
that finally
and undoubtedly
I feel grateful for my life.

The End.
I love
to put on
my pyjamas.




These pyjamas
are for sale.



Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
I Let Go

Bodhisattva Business Ventures:

Deep Cleans by Erica J. Schmidt (@deepcleanswitherica)
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Why I am like Oprah.
What does it mean to be well
Mythological Unconditional Love


This was my calling on the corner of Rue Boucher and Rue Drolet just around yesterday's sunset on Friday, March 17th.

This was my calling on the corner
of Rue Boucher and Rue Drolet
just around yesterday’s sunset
on Friday,
March 17th.


“Natasha,”
she yelled,
up to the window
of the fifth or sixth balcony
of a tall building.


“Natasha.”

Tall
for her old age,
the woman was wide,
wearing a long brown coat
and a dark green hat
and glasses.


“Nata-sha.”

Everybody watched,
but nobody did anything.

I looked at the building,
labelled
habitation
and something about
the golden age
of elderly people.

“Natasha.”

To me
it seemed unlikely
that the door
would be locked.

I crossed rue Boucher.

“Ça va?”
I asked the woman
who was looking for
Natasha.

“Pas clef,”
she said.
No key.

I walked her around
to the front of the building,
pulled on the door and it opened.

“C’est ouvert,”
it is open,
I remarked.                                                     

We walked in together.
“Merci,”
said the woman
who was looking for
Natasha.
“Très gentille.”

This was my calling
on the corner
of Rue Boucher and Rue Drolet
just around yesterday’s sunset
on Friday,
March 17th.

Every once in a while
the doors you seek to walk through
are already open.

The End.





This is Simon's building
in the summer.
Natasha does not live here.


Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
I Let Go

Bodhisattva Business Ventures:

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This is just me giving myself grace on the corner of Saint Laurent and Saint Viateur at 3 P.M. on a Tuesday

What does it mean to be well
They smile at the sidewalks even though it's cold as balls and they must remain on leashes.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

What does it mean to be well

What does it mean
to be well?

This is just me
playing cauliflower catch
with myself
under the overpass
on the corner of
Saint Laurent
and Arcade Street,
one of those obscure streets
no one ever lives on
or thinks about.

Silence and love
and the grace
of all your cells.

When does the silence
become like masturbation?
I like to consider
the space between
the deepest part
of my forehead flesh
and my skull.

Good thing
they’re well attached,
more or less.

It is fun to consider
other people’s foreheads
attached to their skulls
more or less,
as they catch the bus
choose their avocadoes
and navigate
the interwebs.

What does it mean
to be well.

Avocado theories
vary as much
as the foreheads.

I opted for a shower
Because I felt quite chilled.
I hope to see you on the bus
or sooner.
The End.


Silence and love and the grace of all your cells came from Matthew Sanford's words in this
On Being Interview with Krista Tippet and Matthew Sanford.


One day I drew a cauliflower
and an avocado.
I am running
out of selfies.



Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
I Let Go

Bodhisattva Business Ventures:

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This is just me giving myself grace on the corner of Saint Laurent and Saint Viateur at 3 P.M. on a Tuesday
The Benefits of an Ashtanga Yoga Practice, Part Two
Performative Text Messages 




Sunday, 12 March 2017

What was great about yesterday.


What was great
about yesterday:
Montreal
Minus 18 degrees.
Minus even colder than fuck
With the wind chill.


I woke up,
Meditated with a book on my head,
Bended,
Twisted
And balanced my various spines
In ways that felt
Invigorating
Healing
And interesting.


Lay down and listened
To Krista Tippet
interview Matthew Sanford,
a yoga teacher
who became a paraplegic
when he was thirteen years old.

 All my life,
(And I don’t know why),
I've been terrified
of spinal cord injuries
while also incredibly fascinated
to hear the stories
of those who find themselves
with such an experience.

What I learned from Matthew
is that even when faced
with unimaginable
trauma
and loss,
Your body will never desert you.

In the meantime,
there is likely
not much use
to fretting over
the specific way
your cells may
or may not
deteriorate.

Krista Tippet’s voice
is soothing and compassionate,
filled with love
and exquisite curiosity.

Curiosity
seems to be
the next big thing.

As for this Saturday,
the morning’s
next big item
was mailing tie-dyed t. shirts
at the post office.

The post office provides
a tangible adult activity
that makes me feel smug
and brings deep satisfaction

Further smugness awaited
at the Renaissance
of Plaza St-Hubert.
where me
and Maxine,
the belov-ed,
foraged through aisles
of astonishing clothing
and emerged
with astonishing bargains.

Then


the Jean Talon market
generously
welcomed me
for apple and
root vegetable shopping;

The market is always
so happy to see me,
withholding judgment
even though I hate cooking.


The vegetables
would not need
cooking
that night
because my sweet Caroline
had invited me for dinner.

Over pasta we discussed
all our favourites:
Dead Inside Men,
Attachment Wounds,
Youtube Astrologers,
The Bachelor,
Preparing for the future,
Climate Change,
Plus all the virtues
Of culinary rebellion.

Throughout all the evening
the joy was unrestrained.

Sweet Caroline and I
both believe
in the radical act
of walking
through all weather.

From Rosemont to Mile End,
we entered the wind chill,
colder than fuck
or worse.

At Cagibi,
we recovered our strength
over peanut butter squares,
highly sophisticated,
and impressively surpassing
our geriatric bedtimes.

Thank you, World,
and March 11th
for this beautiful day.

“What was great about today,
And yesterday”
Was inspired by Guru Bram Levinson.

Last week I wrote to Bram
with bitter baggage
about how my family
longed for me to go
to what I had facetiously named
the three-day Oppressive
Happiness Seminar,
because I was not
fulfilling what could be
my Enormous Potential.

Bram was not
entirely convinced
that the (O).
H.S.
contained all the answers,

And from what I understood,
It seems
I could
forgo
The (O).
H.S.
And still remain
a relatively
reasonable person.


 Relieved, I asked,
“But, Guru Bram,
Do tell!
If not the (O).
H.S.
Then what
Is your secret to
Success?”

“Hehe,”
Said G.B.
“Authenticity, service.
Keep it positive
And never contribute
To the stream of negative
That seems to be
Everywhere.”

Clearly I will fail
at this most of the time.
But here is what was great
About yesterday.

And in the days that come
Whenever I fail,
I will try to fail with love
And fail funnier.

The End.

 
On Being with Krista Tippet and Matthew Sanford
Bram Levinson's Blog
Bram Levinson's Book, The Examined Life 


Here I am
wearing
the Vagina Dress
in February.


Not everyone understands
why I call it
the Vagina Dress.


In case it sparks joy
the dress is for sale.


It might also double
as a skirt
with a very forgiving waist.



Exuberant Bodhisattva on Facebook
Twitter: @mypelvicfloor
I Let Go

Bodhisattva Business Ventures:

Deep Cleans by Erica J. Schmidt (@deepcleanswitherica)
Montreal Hippie Threads (@mtlhippiethreads)
Instagram: montrealhippiethreads



A Broken Body is not a Broken Spirit
I do not know how to fulfill my enormous potential.
Erin Ball, My Favourite Acrobat




Three Easy Strategies
for Feeling Smug
and On Top of Life