Wednesday, December 30, 2009


so i've been at home for a week now. home as in uxbridge. the hometown. the parents. the brothers. 

i told everyone i'd get in and get out. can't stand this town, i'll be back in a few days, don't worry.

but i'm still here. and its curious, to me.

my hair is getting long. i'm wearing pigtails right now. for some reason i feel like they make me look older in this dykey way. i like it.

its been 2 years since i first met the last person to seriously break my heart. and i finally feel like stella gettin her groove back. which is exciting. like deep inhalations. but also scary. like mourning the loss of a loss. or the loss of a focal point. or something. 

i used her as a muse in a lot of my poetry and photography. she occupied this part of my mind that dipped into creativity, and sorta wrapped herself around major synapses in a way that made this amputation tedious and painstakingly slow. 

i wondered how i would know i was over her. like actually know. you tell your friends (the ones who are sick of you mentioning her name to the point that you actually take a breath, or a sip of something, or mumble before her name) that 'no guys. this time. it's done. i'm over it.' but sometimes, lying is just easier. 

but i know i'm there now. it's not spiteful. it's not premature. it's the imagining 'i'll never love anyone else like this' conclusion; when you reach a point where that doesn't bother you. that doesn't make you ache. doesn't conjure memories of touches, images of glances, remembrances of the smell of her clothes on you. her skin. her laugh. 

it's when none of those things adds up to a smirk. or a sigh. or a second thought. it is in the past. 

i have these two papers due for my advanced american lit class, which was phenomenal by the way. fuck, i'm going to miss it. it was a half year 4th yr credit, and it spanned work from auden, to Fraser, to West Side Story, Company, Manhattan, Patti Smith, blues songs, Cole Porter, Lost in Translation, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and Tennessee Williams- all looking at the representation of love. romantic love. 

the papers don't need to be more than 5-6 pages. but you know me. and love. i wanna say something that means something. and this semester, well thanks in part to this course, i've been reflecting about love and my place in it too much to actually get concrete ideas on paper. but in this last week, i feel more ready than i have in the last three months.

auden has this great fucking poem that reminds me of the hole i was stuck in (see above post-pinage). it's called the more loving one:

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well

That, for all they care, I can go to hell,

But on earth indifference is the least

We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn

With a passion for us we could not return?

If equal affection cannot be,

Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am

Of stars that do not give a damn,

I cannot, now I see them, say

I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,

I should learn to look at an empty sky

And feel its total dark sublime,

Though this might take me a little time.

but on earth indifference is the least i have to dread. that line. that fucking line. kills me. its that night in the alley when i was choking back tears as she ran after me, wrapping her arms around me and throwing her head back to laugh. silly jes. running away in the snow. finding a dead end. it's my petulance as a cheap ploy for attention as she is fawned over. its the poetry. its too much goddam poetry. 

this poem is comforting somehow to me. not only realizing that i woulda found good scotch-sipping company in auden's faggy ass (we are such kindred spirits. sigh), but that he knows, objectively, the torture inflicted on his heart. and that it will pass one day. but for now he's in the thick of it and not ready to see the sublime of an empty sky, so he writes a verse. he writes a verse. he writes a verse.

the poetry is never wasted, even when the heart is. 

oh my god, it's after 4am. i have been up late these days. i've missed being up this late, and not because i'm drunk somewhere. or just pouring myself into bed. or hooking up. 

but just, being awake because my mind is going. and feeling okay. and maybe creating.

like this painting i've been working on. gosh, i haven't done a painting since summer. i started it a couple days ago. it's a 20x24. good size. peachy abstract background. patches of red and pale blue. very visceral. i plan to paint the structural drawings of the USS Akron, a zepplin circa 1931. 

it feels good to be painting again.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

i hate christmas parties.

christmas. holiday biz. blurrr. burrr.

god, it got cold. 

there's something comforting about the music i used to surround myself with during the holidays. i'm conflicted. relient k, this band from my high school days, is the sort of nostalgia i want sometimes.

but i mean, the god stuff? i dunno how i feel about it all at this point in my life. 

its like hymns. that regina spektor song - human of the year - it crescendos like the hymns i grew up singing often did. and it makes me feel so emotional. same with rk songs like 'i celebrate the day' or the more secular, 'i hate christmas parties'.

but i feel like, there's still a space for enjoying this music. i feel like i'd be a hypocrite if i did it in secret. like the anti-porn people. i read somewhere the the red states in the US statistically consume the most porn. i mean, just own it.

but sometimes its not that simple i guess. we'd rather die for our supposed political convictions than admit folly. 

i don't really know what this post is about. i just miss writing. excavating secrets feels right. 

at this point in my life, things are going well. i love writing for arthur. i love this community. i love making things. i love writing poetry. and get this, i am in-like with school right now. all these things leave me feeling a generally satisfied.

but something in me chimes this sense of disquiet. like my heart is broken but i don't know why or how to go about mending it. or like i've forgotten something. or forgotten what i've forgotten. and my desire for intimacy flares in hot and cold. like i am this consistent dissonance. 

hmmm. i have more to say but haasleton's is closing.

Friday, December 4, 2009


as i walk along aylmer toward macs


a pair of you 

interrupt my first decisive steps of the evening with questions

of where are you going

are coming to the burning hell

i dance and i

i mull about cover

i mull about mood

and then i leave you with a maybe to mull under the surveillence of flourescant lights

about eggnog


do i want two for $6?

why doesn't it come in a reasonably priced 2 litre jug?

why two separate cartons

wait, one is only $2.89

can i even drink one?

i certainly don't need $6 worth, even if i am saving

i don't even know how much i'd be saving 

okay i'll get one

and a pepsi

in case i don't feel like the taste of eggnog when i get home


i pay the cashier with exact change plus one cent

which i tell her to keep

because i actually hate pennies

full on loathing

they wage wars on my tiny pockets until i cannot bear the fury

any longer

and i grab them in fistfuls and fling them at the sidewalk

the sidewalk who thankfully hasn't pressed charges



but i keep this to myself

and give the woman nothing but grins and salutations

that are over-compensating but she doesn't know me well enough

to know the difference

and i think maybe i've made her night

but maybe thats the kind of ego that she

writes angry 'i work at macs poems' about

and fuck,

i wouldn't blame her

and i'd probably hate me too


i bound down toward the intersection and i can already see my house

living 'right downtown' instills less the feeling of community

and more the feeling that the villa auto wash is my neighbour who

i should courtesiously have tea with rather than

begrudgingly walk by


the streets are damp and it reminds me of my favourite weather

i could say that it is my favourite weather

but with the city nudging us with holiday cheer

by blaring yule tide from the clocktower

-yes, today i found out where that bloody shit is coming from-

i find that i feel less nosthalgic and more

creeped out

even though i cave after 5 minutes in earshot

and hark the herald with the best of them


the signs are there

people have their twinkle lights up

we've simulated carolers

and my calender on my macbook desktop

says its almost december

but it feels

like spring

and i know its neither

i'd blame the impending apocalypse if i thought i could actually

handle one more friggin

2012-mayan-calendar mention

but i can't

its just

mild out


i get close to my door

and pause before the stairs

i don't even remember if i like eggnog

but for some reason

what i am sure is


it won't be last time i stagger toward my door

cradling a carton of it under my arm


i go to the kitchen and grab a glass

a plain glass that my mom says is cheap and the kind that breaks really easily

but i like it because it comes in jes sized narrowness that i can get my hand

around easily and still feel classic about

ain't no sippy cup

it's a glass

i bring the materials to my room even though my apartment is vacant

set things down on my vanity

and proceed to pour


and i bring the nog to my lips

staring back at me with each sip

we did this

its pretty good

might taste great with whisky in it

i text emily

hey. bought eggnog. it might taste great with whisky in it


she texts back

i agreeeeeee. i love rum and nog. big D smiley face.


it's rum that you use with eggnog




i go back to watching

the best part of watching is my ring

my big ring

all the powerful people had to have worn big rings

king arthur

ghengis kahn


every thought and movement is punctuated by

the big ring

'yeah i'm going to that party'

puts hand on wall and glances over at big ring

'well when i was young'

cups goblet with big ring hand

'well thats an interesting thought, frances'

leans back and clasps hands

staring casually at big ring


i think i've come to rely on it these days

my interchangeable two big rings

this one

and the one that ruby said looked like the mayan...


i used to wear this jade one but it broke at a show

i got it when i was 11

me and my brothers all the got the same one

i was the only one who still had it

anyway it broke and its sad but we all hang on to things

and the big rings let me decide on my gender

in my mirror

when i can


after a bit of lauryn hill

i decide i only need one glass of nog

and go into the living 


my roommate, now home 

asks if i was drinking a carton of milk in my room


its eggnog

Thursday, October 1, 2009

i would sue the city if i wasn't so tired.

there was a lobster boy

with very lobster hands

should you look his way

you'd see the fabric of a man

he lived in any town

like all the rest

and smiled with his feelers

and laughed with the jest

but every night

before he went to sleep

in a boiling pot

of water, he would creep

to the edge

screaming out and

into the night

because lo--

this human world was not

is not

made for lobster boys

there were things we could've done

to welcome lobster hands

but we did not

do not-

despite our demands, and so

all of our wishes

of love for this boy,

our watching him

squirm about with joy--meant nothing

when night fell

(and it always fell)

because the screams

would go unreconciled

and his little lobster heart

which we told him to conceal

would shrivel like a prune

in spite of all his zeal

as he wrote his story

onto the air (of the night

not to inspire

or aide in the fight

but) to terrify

future lobster boys

as they lay awake

cascaded in noise-

the harpooned gasps

of a dying thing,

and a city looking

for another king.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


i had a really interesting bar-hopping slew of conversations yesterday with a close friend. about sex. about things we craved, and things we were scared to want. and how - as much as we may deny it at times - you really can't fight chemistry.

and i mean, chemistry chemistry. lab coats and brains and stuff. like the energy of attraction being less about abercrombie and more about electrons.

cuteboy, as i will henceforth refer to him, was at the spoon today. startled me a little because he was the first person i saw as i came bounding up the stairs, and as soon as i saw him my heart skipped and i remembered dancing last saturday. and trying to explain to the close friend what i wanted, nay, craved these days: boys.

boy energy. loose around the gender part, but just this zing of sensation i feel around intimacy with individuals more masculine than myself. and yet, not all masculinity, because i have not yet been able to enjoy/desire (or even really pursue) sex with nontrans men.

speaking with this close friend...who needs a cool name too...ummm....teddy. talking with teddy, i learned that she too has a dilemmna involving maleness. teddy has feelings for a nontrans man. has never experienced such a situation. but her identity is very centred around being more or less a 'butch dyke'. what does that mean? she is afraid of entirely letting go with said person because what if she really connects? its scary, this gender thing. this identity thing.

i feel the implications of feeling attracted to trans men and not nontrans men. its not about crushing as soon as i know they are trans. but something in me senses some sort of gender awareness. it is perceivable in demeanor. in energy. it is for the same reason i am oh so attracted to genderqueers and gender variant people that embody that masculine energy that is different than my own.

and then. there's this girl. we shall call her, woolf. woolf is dating a queer nontrans boy. and is really into said person. but seems conflicted as to what that speaks of her queer relatively lesbian seeming identity.

and so. of three of us 'queers' there is this conflict around masculinity. and fair enough. masculinity is given power.

for me, it is not that i see remnents of female identity in trans men. hardly. i very see and feel a masculinity about them. one that i am often attracted to. but perhaps on a chemical level, i am not wired to desire nontrans masculinity, though i often entertain the idea of it and will likely attempt to pursue it again.

i respect woolf and teddy. and their desires. but understand how difficult these waters are to navigate. teddy running away with her beau could be interpretted by the queer community as a loss. and to the hetero world as a gain. and as only natural. and place her past queer history in a box of 'just a phase'. and so it is easy to understand why she would be scared of 'seeing what happens' with this boy.

woolf talking constantly about her queerness is understandable in the same vein. her parents are excitably asking questions about the 'boyfriend'. this can feel like a devaluing of one's queer identity, especially if greater excitement is displayed over a, generally speaking, hetero relationship.

'oh so you broke up with kristen. so are you back to men now?'

'i hear you're dating ben! does that mean you're done with girls?'

blah de blah.

i roll my eyes at myself, because i have written another blog post about sex. but i think its interesting - just like dissecting our human functions on a microbiotic level - that we want what we want. but we deny what we want too. for the sake of the movement. and our identities. and ourselves.

lately i have been dreaming about blowjobs. giving. but i have also desired receiving. i am thankful that i am more excited and less ambivalent about my fluidity.

Monday, September 28, 2009

even cows get the blues.

i hate the employment centre lady. she incessantly harps on me for using the internet for anything other than job searching. what freakin ever. no one else is heeeere. it happpens to be thundering outsiiide. takkkee yourrr mandate and shoooove it.


hate is a strong word. i have not been feeling quite so strong lately so using it feels good. artsweek is now over and i must go take my exhibit down and stash 8 large scale super hero self portraits of myself SOMEWHERE in my apartment. seeing as my roommate has decided to move back home with the parentals, leaving me high and dry, so i'm sure having my face all over the living room will aid me greatly in the new tennant shopping department.


snarky is coming easy today. why? well...i'd been having reoccurring fantasies about sleeping with a close friend. and simultaneously i have been on-and-off reading this book about open relationships. it talks at great length about intimacy - explaining the topic in one of the most astute ways i have yet to read. and it gets to the topic of friends, and picks apart the notion of "dude. we can't sleep together. we're friends" in a rather smart fashion.

and really. okay. order to sleep with someone, if i can't have no-strings sex with a friend i must:

a) court someone new until we reach date #three/five/nineteen (whatever your holding period is) and we're allowed to bone

b) pick up a random

c) pimp myself

d) pay for sex

c is of no use, as i am living in peterborough and wary of the sex worker scene. d, well, i'm broke. i already tried a this summer. and the romance and stuff was lovely, but immediately after the sex, i was told that they couldn't do the open/poly/thing and were more into someone else.

and so i'm left with b. again. and pick ups have their fun. and sexy. but sometimes, i crave a little more than that. a little more intimacy. like wendy points out in her book, intimacy can be a really connecting conversation. and sometimes sex can, well, be like a handshake. or doing laundry. or eating a sandwich.

anyway. now said friend is all upset at me for putting them in the place of having to reject me. and also thinks i value our friendship less for proposing sex. ugh.

it's fine. no really, its fiiiiiiiine.

in other news, i am off to guelph soon soon soon to give an anti ableism workshop. you can even register online (a fact that i discovered when googling my name. vain. yes.)


i am excited but also nervous. i have given many a workshop at this point. but i mostly stick to sex (as a reoccurring theme). so i will undoubtedly bring up sex, and hope that is okay.

speaking of, my good friend iris (who now lives in guelph...which is happy/sad...i miss her...and if she is reading this, so does elliot, and we gushed about you at a bonfire party quite drunkenly...straight gin = direct transit to sloppy town....but happy also because it means i have fun people to visit when i come to do my workshop!) is doing a paper and needed a topic.

one of those, pick your own adventure kind. so she wants to discuss accessbility in a philosophy way (since that is her major) and i brought up blindness and porn.

sites like porn for the blind are indicative of what exists out there. mainstream hetero porn 'adapted' for the visually impaired. iris found the actual voiceover hilarious, but resultantly unsexy. and i talked to her about how its quite an accurate testiment to how we view 'dis-ability' in the first place.

i would like to keep going with this conversation, but the employment centre is closing soon, and bitch lady will probably tell me to leave because i am breaking the rules again. even though no one is in here. but me. as per usual.

next post. sound porn. and the question of whether or not i can get grant funding to create my empire. maybe if i file it under 'experimental art'. or'sexual health aid for the blind'

xoxo my darlings.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


a friend posted a photo on my facebook wall the other day, of a woman named Florence Pickner, dated 1912. no face, back to the camera- just a picture of her back. scoliosis about as pronounced as mine. 

and i don't know why but the picture made me uncomfortable. 

perhaps it bore too much resemblance to some of my own work. or maybe it was because, in trying to find the original source, i googled 'scoliosis' only to find dozens of images of the same vein. 

faceless. spines either intact with curve or wearing scars and correction with a sort of brazen-reversing pathos. 

the search led me to flickr pools of scoliosis spines, scars, befores and afters, and comment upon comment praising God, other sources of beauty, and perseverance. 

why am i angry?

i am hardly the only one here. maybe i'm sort of sick of humans sometimes. her scars but still rebellious spine in one picture. her 'unaffected' face in another. 

"hunny, you're still a pretty face" (blogger)


gahh. this girl...left a comment on her artsy self portrait. to the effect of:

Went to bed last night crying over everything scoliosis related. Being frustrated at the fact I can't lie flat on my back. Frustrated at the fact I still feel like a hunchback and my back feels heavy. It ached so bad, my spine felt like it was still twisting, despite being healed for just over 7 years now, and ripping out of my skin. 

where's the room to be a hunchback and like it? where's the room to not cry yourself to sleep because your body is resisting the surgery you desperately wanted to correct the curve?

i am not trying to sweep over anyone else's experience here. yeah, pain. yeah, hurting. but what about the ways its not those things? what about the spaces for great?

and of course all of this got me thinking about sex and gender. how i embrace my trans friends desire to transition. how that surgery should be free. but how there is this part of me that squeaks and squirms from somewhere deep inside. for those who want to say that sometimes their body isn't home, but because of other people. how i'd like to be in between. in between the tiles. 

and there's privilege there, granted. being okay with being perceived as girl because of my boobs, my height, my femininity.

i think about cultures that (before colonized with the white way of gender dichotomy) esteemed those who felt themselves to be two-spirited, pan-gendered, and differently gendered. 

i get called a lesbian. i get told how i'm supposed to behave accordingly. by queers. by allies. its easier at times to interact with the 'ignorant hetero world' for this reason. because its like drag for me. i use the body i have and the garments and i play a role. it is a believable act and no one questions my authenticity. it is assumed.

but female drag in a queer event? swooning over gay boys? no no. you like pussy. you like lumberjack attire. wait- you're wearing plaid and going to go practice salsa? where is your dress. tsk tsk. 

rambling again.

but back to backs. 

my back is my back. i don't know it any other way. it curves a fuckload. and it tires me out sometime. but its mine. sure, i could try and 'correct it' too. but surgery is painful. and expensive. and it would change me. maybe i'd be happier. maybe i'd pass under the radar a little more. i'm no 'pretty face' so perhaps i could use the pretty normal points. 

i've been asked when i'll move on from what i've been doing artistically. explore a different subject. and my response has always been 'when it feels finished' but i half worry that it never will in my lifetime. 

i like the world at my angle. 

its not inspirational. its not even that fascinating. but my back invites conversation, which sometimes inspires me and sometimes offends me. either way, my body is how i know the world, and how i've become able to assert the importance of my presence. 

blah blah. so my art is provocative. its only half provocative because i'm showing people shit they don't want to see. or so they say. but they love looking. and seeing someone who isn't sad at all. its weird. its quirky. i'm fucking with you, and i know you realize that on some level. 

can't a kid just being a hunchback? 

i guess its tied to my appreciation for artists like Lady Gaga. sure she's just as vapid and blonde as the rest of the A-list celebs. but she likes wearing things and saying things that people feel weird about. and i like that. 

today i am wearing red pants and a terracotta shirt. its yummy.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

busted knee

what a whirlwind.

thank god it's over. i love pride, but jeez - maybe its the small town in me, but the sea of thousands of faces gets exhausting. and courtesy of the woman who decided to plow her bike into my weak knee during the QUAIA contingent of the pride parade, i am still a little worse for wear.

good news found me when i returned, however. my proposal for artsweek was accepted!

here's the finalized summary for the guidebook:

The Justice League of Gawkamerica is an installation of several to-scale photographic foamcore superheros, assembled en masse throughout The Spill (414 George Street). The figures - each a self-representation of the artist - comprise a comic-style narrative about disabled imagery.

also, pride weekend wasn't without its highlights. including, but not limited to:
  • my lovely professor carla finding me sitting on wellesley at 1am smoking and drinking wine from a cup (classy broad).
  • marching in the FIRST fucking trans march. so many people. such awesomeness.
  • a fellow QUAIA marcher being punched in the face by a disgruntled man.
  • being kicked out of the washroom at woody's for being in a stall with someone else (teehee) only to have the staff member (upon seeing my, ahem, appearance) gratuitously apologize  to my companion, and tell my companion that i could use the accessible washroom upstairs, for which we would need a key from the bar. well i got the key. and took a few liberties. 
  • not spending more than $20!
  • wearing a mesh shirt, booty shorts, a leather vest, and a sailor's hat. together. in public.
  • dancing, dancing, and more dancing.
  • my brother's first pride! and having him march along the sidelines of the dyke march.
also other pride-ish related news...

i went to my first pride bathhouse, courtesy of the lovely Women & Trans Bathhouse Committee organizers. unfortunately for anyone reading, i can't quite kiss and tell (confidentiality), however i will say that it was an unforgettable experience.  a few steamy encounters, a few passionate conversations, a lot of tickling and tantalizing sights and sounds, and one little genderqueer raised in uxbridge left with a mindful of ideas and the anticipation of future exploration.

it wasn't entirely positive times for all, sadly. there was a fair bit of backlash from certain attendees regarding the transmale presence at the event. some bickering can be found on craigslist. read at your own discretion. transphobia and racism abound, these attitudes are troublesome, as a trans ally with a body nearly exclusively read as female, though i am far more gender variant.

the waging war over the sanctity of women-only spaces. ultimately, the event was advertised as trans-inclusive. ultimately, there are even FEWER spaces available to trans people to sport their sexiness than nontrans folk. and some of us came to the event PRECISELY because of its promise of being a gender cornucopia, so to speak.

everyone should have access to such a sexy space...and later run-ins...complete with a smile and a wink.

'yeahhhhh...we were hot in that stairwell, weren't we'


Thursday, June 11, 2009

strange disease

i just watched 40 days and 40 nights.

god, that movie is terrible. minus the terribly hot flower scene and the lovely sasha mossman.

mmmm. anywaaaay, josh harnett's acting aside, it did get me thinking about the things we (ab)use in order to avoid dealing with our shit. 

its been pretty tough lately, dealing with unemployment. its even stunting my creativity. though i was able to complete three paintings today. i definitely keep using alcohol to avoid over-thinking my life. but it doesn't quite work. and comes with the added bonus of never really being able to stop when i start. which leaves me hungover and lethargic the next day...and so it goes.

i'm sure i'd be using sex if i wasn't so in my head. or maybe if there were more a pool in this town. 


sometimes the hardest thing is to admit that you're still licking the wounds of your last heartbreak. nonetheless, i think today marks day one of my abstinence from alcohol. and if i get sad...i'll just....paint things?

in other news, i stopped by the CMHA building today and picked up some resources. turns out they have a help line for people with mood disorders where they will actually come and meet you in person if you need to. pretty cool, eh? and i nabbed a calendar of events. next tuesday there's a workshop on healthy relationships. bam!

things are lookin up.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

the coffee's on

i like days like today.

the sky is bluer than blue, the trees are tall and leafy, with foilage that seems to spread like fingers through hair, and i am up.

up early from bed, yes. surprising after spending an evening drinking scotch. but also up as in not down.

so i figured i would write myself a note on here for when this is not the case:

dear jes. chill the fuck out. let the world fall over you. love me.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

film project

my buddy kate and i are working on a film. it's going to be about 30-60mins and focus on disability, sex, queerness and smut through a narrative-docu lens. i'm super excited about the project but only now am i realizing how HUGE an undertaking these things are. 

so we were sitting down for brunch with her pal who was giving us advice on how to write a budget, etc, and she said 'you know, you'll probably get asked why sex? isn't sex oppressive/dirty?'

and it's funny how the most obvious questions can be the most difficult to answer. 

sex. its that thing that we all have in so many capacities. stolen. empowered. but it plays a role in defining us a people. personally it was the battleground on which i lost legitimacy in my humanness.

Can you even have sex? Can you even kiss? Did god make you to be celibate? 

i'm a survivor, so its not as though i don't realize sex isn't always pleasure - isn't always empowering. But isn't validity something we all chase?

if i meet you under the sheets instead of on the street, the rules change. we're naked and fucking and it's forgiving and about getting off, rather than pretending we're normal. i can see every freckle, mole, stretch mark you hate. and my business is loving your body - if only momentarily.

it changes things. its the proof i need to demonstrate what my tired words never suffice. telling you i'm 'normal' is bs. telling you i'm just like you is also bs. telling you i wanna fuck and it'll be hot, is not. 

sex is that place of infinite contradictions. you can fuck someone you hate. you can fuck to express love. you could fuck and rather be doing your laundry.

i'm sick of having to smile and play the part of some two dimensional helpless, white quasimodo girl just to get respect. respect doesn't get me laid, i'm sorry. and yeah, sex isn't everything. but goddamn it, i like a good fuck as much as the next guy. 

so i look at porn and think - well yeah, this isn't me. no hunch backs. no facial differences. no clubbed feet. i can't go around telling you i'm 'just like' these porn stars, cuz i'm not. my body maps different curves. and jesus. i don't want every crip to have to go through as much therapy as i did to unpackage the ableism they're swimming in, just to realize 'hey - i'm fucking sexy' ten years and several thousand dollars later.  disability should not be a scapegoat for self deprecation and masochism - an excuse to not let yourself be happy. 

and sure, not everyone's gonna listen to me. we're a breed hell bent on destruction. but some of you will. and if that gets a few more sexy crips laid, then i'll die a satisfied queer.

i mean really. who wants to waste any time wondering if the sex they do have is just a series of pity fucks? 

i'm worried too. i know that putting myself out there like this has risks. a lot of which are due to the fact that we are all on different pages when it comes to what acceptable behaviour when it comes to being naked for public viewing.

but when i stand in a doctor's office and let him touch and examine my body i do not feel ecstasy. nor when i stand in a naked in a gallery, on the walls. but one is expected of me. regularly. the other, rarely. 

you're allowed to look at me in text books at the library and its science but in a magazine behind the counter its filthy? what is oppression, anyway? 

it's control. 

when i get naked for my lens, its mine. when i am depicted as sexual, its mine. when i force you to deal with my sexuality, gender, privilege, scars, your fetishes, your fear - its mine.  

Saturday, May 30, 2009

for kninja

pick 5 words that describe you, that you hold dear to you. values you define yourself by. 5 of them. then write a stream of consciousness on each one. don't think. just write.

small. speak. soft. syllables. sara.

small seems a funny thing to pick as a self descriptor. too obvious? perhaps. but i like that. a woman at the gallery said to me last night that she sees me as very tall. because of my work? i don't know. its funny how people will try to compliment you by telling you you are things that you are not, as some sort of metaphor. i like being small. small as humble. small and crawly. some of my favourite photographs that i've taken have required my height. its point of view. its average in Lima. its little person territory in canada. like when my buddies and i were referred to as androgynous midgets. in that 'gasp! a plague!' sort of way. but man. small means small and climbing. tall means bending. my first girlfriend was very tall. and she would bend and i would climb and sometimes it was awkward but most of the time it was fun. no metaphor. just fun. have you ever climbed someone? mmmm.

speak was easy because i am such a chatterbox. but also, it makes me think of this fabulous poet named shane that i love and he has this one line where he says 'shut up and say something' and the notion isn't lost on me. we challenge ourselves to speak up and out and with purpose but rarely do we try to speak differently. just louder and louder. and i don't know how good i am at this yet but i like to try. speaking with silences. speaking by listening. speaking by answering questions with answers other than what was requested of me. not cuz i'm tryin to get all lezzy and rebel but because i think we sell ourselves short too often. i want to say whats on my mind with feelings or smells. i like modern poetry, gee can you tell? haha. this is me being a nutter.

soft is harder. because i try to hide the soft sometimes. or convince myself that soft is weak, when in fact i think it is opposite. i grew up mortering a wall around my heart to solidify the organ containing my passion. clearly i'm a softy. clearly i puss and puss. but i'm also really frickin relentless. depression is interesting because i can be so deprecating and sad and people worry but i am way too committed to those things and to living to ever actually leave. soft is what i work on. soft is being honest about my tender bits. soft is remembering to tell people how i love them. 

syllables. its not really its own sentence but it is too. my life centers around saying things. i went to speech therapy when i was young. we got to play all these fun board games. i say we but it was just me and the lady who would make me say p and b and v and f before i got to roll the dice during mouse trap. and then i pretended to be a speech therapist with my bestfriend who would have only been 5 or 6. and her mom caught us and chuckled at me.  i feel as though that story is perhaps irrelevant but so are a lot of things that reside persistently in our memory. i was scared of talking because of that. talking the way i did and not how i learned. it wasn't like bike riding. it never got easier to find p and b and v and f. it just made me hesitate before each one. and move my jaw around them in this awkward maneuver that you could liken to the way i approached the concept of hurtles in gym class. i wish there was a word with all four of those letters in it. i would say it over and over the way my mouth wants to say it. there probably is such a word. i should find it. 

sara - okay, not a word. but a name i have liked ever since sara plain and tall. i don't think i ever read the book but i remember the cover. and the expression my teacher had when she read from it. and i like thinking about people who have impressioned me unknowingly. awkward people who are so much your opposite you become fascinated with their innerworkings. a person of few words who you mistakenly assume doesn't see you, hear you, care at all. but she does. they do. and they're warm inside their coldness and their cackle reminds you of how kissing chemistry can make you thirstier than gallons of desert. and you just want more and more until you're not sure what is what and how far up is up. and you, lover of memory, wish that you could forget so badly, and slowly you do. almost entirely. but you don't. and the other her is her who is more scared than you. a different she, who you'd almost swear was your reflection. with differences. but the same scared mapped out on another kitchen floor. and it makes you sad to see broken like you're broken. because it happens anyway. no matter what. you chose vitamins, she chose zanex. or zoloft. or zzzz. and doesn't know quite how to let go of this vision she's got of herself. and i'm probably the same. but i have faith. in time. in knowing that i'll laugh at me and me and it will echo heartily in my chest - rattling with age and smoking occasionally. i wonder what i'll look like then. after the years. if i'll be able to name my wrinkles. deprecation. anxiety. masochism. alcohol. worry. love. lover. i like the way skin feels. when it is old. it gets leathery and then it relaxes and billows. so badass.

joni mitchell

okay so i owe you more than just a flouzy three liner. i guess i've been putting this off because SO much has happened that i don't even know where to start.

so. art shows! three openings in a week! i clearly over-commit myself. but all were splendid. well sort of. there was a bit of a negative response to the work up at CAYA. but i met with cory silverberg and we came up a neat way to address the 'questions'. and of course, i got my sass on.

As soon as jes sachse’s show Alleviate went up as part of the 2009 Contact Festival we started getting comments, questions, and reviews from visitors and customers in the store. Some of the questions (asked below and answered by the artist) may seem rude or uncomfortable.  In some cases they are both.  But one thing that we noticed was that in most cases they weren’t asked rudely or with malice, but rather out of a genuine curiousity.  For this reason, both jes and Come As You Are felt they were important to address because an honest question (which most of these were) deserves a direct answer.


1. Why would you take naked pictures of yourself?

I will respond here to this question assuming it is referring to both the act of me taking the photos and then subsequently showing the work publicly. Initially, my infatuation with nude self portraits derived itself from a pressing desire to interrogate the gaze - by which I mean, the lens I am placed under by the outside world. What aspects of my identity are visible in a still image? There is definitely a noticeable progression in this work, as you see early shots with an obvious invitation of looking (self exhibitionism as an attempt to reclaim this position of the disabled subject being unautonomously gazed at) to more current work in which I am staring back at the viewer. 

The nudity aspect is merely a removal of construction on my part. Without clothes, the viewer is forced to examine the subject without the cues of material. In this way, I am inviting a closer look at my gender, sex and race and the body as the site in which these things interact. Nakedness itself, depending on context, can be an invasion of the private space, or a resistance in the public space. Ultimately, my work is about littering images, particularly given that the of ways in which we are told to see physical disability in the maintstream sense is limited. 

This has birthed in many ways, my inspiration for incorporating the medical with the sexual. Peeing standing up in sterile bathroom. A prescription bottle phallicly between my breasts. bandages binding my face, hands and chests as I orally fixate on a dice, or a set of matches. A patient-doctor seduction. A construction mask over my face and a pylon over my genitals. These are all medical and gendered signifiers placed in an erotic context - sometimes playfully, sometimes jarringly.  

But getting back to the original question...why? Why this medium? Because I see it as an entirely effective means for achieving my goal, which is to have you, the viewer, approach the image from your own reality, and react accordingly. It has little to do with me at all, in fact. My body merely serves as catalyst, to provoke the very questions being asked.

2.That doesn’t look real. Is this work photoshoped? I don't actually own much design software. Little enhancing has been done on my work. Save for cropping and playing with hues/saturation in some cases. It wouldn't be that congruent with my style, actually. I like the very candid feel. If this question refers specifically to parts of my body...such as my face or're getting the real deal here, folks.

3. Wow, she’s so brave!

Well, I suppose you could see it that way. In doing work that is provocative, one opens themselves up to a lot - critcism, hate, anger - and if the work is self-representative it means often that one personally takes the hit. I have accepted a lot of the risks, as an artist working in this medium, and hope to use the unsafe spaces I'm creating to meet people at their level. Not stooping, but probing. We tend to fear that more than retaliation. None of this is really about bravery and 'the movement' and saying something, but rahter it's about images - how they confine us, and how we confine others.  

4. Why would anyone want to see that?

Hmm. You know? I'm really not sure. A naked person...mime fallacing a lego man...lathered in whipped cream...drenched with water...

When will the visual pollution end?! 

5. A lot of customers ask questions wanting to know about your disability. I find this an interesting response on their part and wonder what you think of it?

I don't find this reaction to be a surprising response. I am presenting my body in a exhibit-like medium - an avenue which people are very familiar with approaching different bodies through. 

I don't want to talk like an expert here. Or a torch bearer for the disability movement. So I will speak as an artist. I have provided all the information I intended for the viewer to have within the framing of each image. A need to further 'diagnose' on the part of the observer is not something to be ashamed of, but rather a reaction indicative of the way we approach 'disability' - and here I am referring specifically to a discernible physical difference. What IS a diagnosis other than a story?

Jump back a hundred years or so. Barnum and Bailey's. The Hottentot Venus. The Wild Men from Borneo. The Bearded Lady. The Super Small Man: from the faraway land of everything miniature, raised by wild dogs, this creature spent years trekking through forests and deserts, surviving only on leaves and cactus syrup. 

More than the wow-factor of these circus pitches, you have a story. It doesn't matter if its factually accurate - as viewers we've been trained to request an explanation (and with evolution of technology, a very scientific one) for what we perceive as 'wild', 'odd', 'rare' or 'freakish'. Like the joined last names of two white coated dead guys. 

But performing is in my blood, and I'm not one to disappoint, so come one, come all:

See jes sachse! Born into the loving yet unsuspecting clutches of a white, heterosexual Baptist couple, this gender variant humpback beast was raised by the exotic fields of Uxbridge - a Southern Ontario town known for it's Quaker heritage and possessed cattle. Never one to back down from a challenge, young jes befriended the methane flatulating oxen (after which the town was named), only to learn of their true gentle nature. But the village people felt threatened by their power, so they were exiled to the far reaches of the sleepy town, where this quasimodo developed a love for capturing their own form with point-and-shoot lens. Speaking only the language of shutters and apertures, young jes is here for you today for one time only

so there's that. oh and some press. 

ALSO. my lovely friend meagh and i were chatting today at this cafe in peterborough where she works, which is pretty much my second home. and makes me realize how internet and coffee dependent i am... anyhoo. so we were talking about neurosis and 'dry spells' yadda yadda and then she says 'we should make a zine called neurotica'. which is probably the most tragically hilarious and scrumptious creative project i've heard of. but it's gonna happen. sex and anxiety like you never seen it before. 

also i totally need to get laid. 2 month itch. gahhhhHHhhhh.

i don't know if the aforementioned is internet appropriate. but whatever. i figure once you're a porn star, you can do whatever you want.

lately i've been feeling rather floaty. but what really makes me tickled is my new thing: making acrylic paintings in my room while listening to joni mitchell topless. you get paint all over your arms, and its just so quieting. i think i flux a lot. i haven't really written poetry in a while, which may just be indicative of needing less words and more abstraction. meh.

i also keep having very real and intense dreams. to the point where i wonder if i just need a new crush to get all neurotic over, instead of the fields of my past. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

breathe breathe


city of dreams. metropolis of many. epicentre of urban centres.

taker of finances. giver of exhaustion.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

silence the pianos and with muffled drum

today was too much not done. sometimes, these days find me.

at first i was punishing myself for being sad and not knowing why...or guessing why and being disappointed that i really hadn't moved as far forward as i like to think i have on a good day.

but i think, it was just sadness. 

Saturday, April 18, 2009

female bodied person


i'm moving soon. which is pretty awesome. to a quaint little 2 bedroom house with my beefy man friend, mason. we have some pretty exciting things planned. like monogrammed towels. and matching bed frames and duvet covers. and a walmart portrait.

this is what i count on mason for - someone i know who will get as excited about stupid little things as me. which is great if you're like me and have any sort of tendency to slip into periods of melancholy. ohhhh the tragedddy of human exxiissstence.


anyway, other fun things are coming up. like...oh! yes. i just got an email saying i was accepted to be in the york disability studies grad conference art show. its juried, so i guess that means my merit shall be judged. ha. i should pick some really obscure pieces. they'll probably mumble under their moustaches 'mmmhmmm. avant-garde somethingsomething'

oh art.

also. i had a ridiculous night. i feel like i say that a lot. but its true.

friday night. me. mascara. uxbridge. blues band. unnnh.

nuf said?

no. so i go out with my mom and her friends and they're ordering fancy red wines and i'm sampling (and by sampling i mean drinkin to save my life) and this band goes up. and ohhh man.. they were good. especially the dude on keys. who is wailing it. and throwing his foot on the upper octaves every five seconds - which was a multi-fold of hilarity since my mom was a foot (ha) away and was fearing for her life with each gusted limb toss and careening loafer.

but said musician was also grinnnnning at me. hardcore. seriously. i had to start texting to avoid his eyes. anyway. after their set he invites me out for a smoke. well actually no - says he WOULD invite me out but something about a girlfriend blah blah - at which point i cut him and his ego off saying 'it's alright, homie. i'm into chicks.'

which really didn't quell his enthusiasm. but anyway, we're smoking and he's going on about how he used to play back up for all the old queens back in the day. and keeps referring to me as a female bodied person. and telling me i've got stars on me? around me?

if i had to describe this man i would say he resembled kramer, from seinfeld. only less funny. but then funny because of that.

weird as he was, boy could he lay it down.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

falling farther than off the horse. and RANT.

hello my lovelies. aka wesley - my number one (and dare i say only?) fan.

so yeah, i knew this would happen. start a blog. forget to post. anyway. i'm sorry. a million times over. but with a few months gone by, i've got loads to tell ya!

first off , upcoming things!

Spring into Action: A Discussion of Disability, Art and Advocacy
April 14, 12:30-2:15pm
York University, Accolade West Building
Room ACW 103
Lindsay Fisher and Jes Sachse - Envisioning New Meanings of Disability and Difference
Nancy Viva Davis Halifax - Critical Disability Studies, York University
Esther Ignagni - School of Disability Studies, Ryerson University
Cheryl Zinyk and Janet Monroe - SOL Express of L'Arche Community


May 2nd - Junction BIA opening! 6pm Dundas West (more deets to come)
May 7th - Come As You Are opening! 7pm @ 701 Queen W


i've done loads of new shoots and still have more to upload. so keep checkin my site for new stuff. put under the folder aptly named 'new stuff!!'. i'm so clever sometimes.

i think thats it for now...unless i'm forgetting something huge. oh! somethings that have happened that were awesome to be a part of would have to be the Hair Project opening ( and also Eli Clare's visit to Toronto. sharing a stage with one's hero is a bit like drinking a chocolate milkshake in the buff while being nuzzled by baby kitties. mmmmm. oh yes! (check out his testimonials page. i'm am most def 'anonymous reader' (...4 comments down). yeah, we're pretty much bff.

i promised you a rant, and i actually have a few. 

the lovely people at contact ( decided that what i wrote about my CAYA exhibit needed some re-vamping: 

The gaze has long defined the depiction of physical disabilities, from Vaudeville to the medical text. Stereotypes exist as flattened notions molded by the viewer. Alleviate is a series of images— some playful, some provocative—that form an unapologetic narrative told from the viewpoint of the subject. Juxtaposing recognizable archetypes with self-representations, this series provides the observer with an invitation to take a fresh look.

a fresh look. reeeeeally. does it now? yes yes. disability like YOU'VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE. come one, come all. 

that. is not. what i wrote. here's the original: 

From the Vaudeville to the medical text to the telethon, the image of physical disability has long been defined by 'the gaze'. Race, sexuality, and gender expression all exist as flattened notions molded by the looker - interacting contradictorily with the truth that these ideas are never simple nor static. Alleviate is a series of images; some playful, some provocative; that form an unapologetic narrative told by the subjects. Through the juxtaposition of recognizable archetypes with self representations, this series pervades public and private spaces to provide the observer with an invitation: to look...

hmph. i know i went over the word limit, but come onnnnn now. oh toronto art scene, how i love thee. last year when i was interviewed by Eye Weekly, the bubbly reporter commented on how articulate i was. and how, and i quote, 'disability is so en vogue'. ummm. i WANTED to say: 'ohhh yeah. paralysis is totally the new black'. but i just stammered something about how it was nice to see disabled artists finally getting the attention they deserve...

bah. anyway, so my idea for contact is this: they want fresh? ima show them fresh... (new additions to what i already planned on showing are in the works. i encourage you to check out the show...)

other rant worthy things:

zenfolio has decided that some of my stuff has violated their terms of use. they stipulate as follows: 

I. Prohibited Content
All pornographic material of any kind is prohibited from being displayed on this Web site. Images that contain nudity are allowed only if they exhibit artistic or other social value and are not pornographic as defined by the laws of California and the United States. 'doctor, doctor' series, and all my self portraits are porn. and do not exhibit artistic or social value. clearly. check it out! CENSORED. 

which is a big thorn in my side. because my shows are coming up. and well feck, i've already paid for a year of hosting. and now what do i do? rub elbows with some porn honchos and find out where they get their hosting? perhaps. this sexual negativity shit is really getting annoying.


sigh. well i should end on a good note, i reckon. i, jes sachse, promise to keep on 'keepin it real'. its been a trying two weeks. lady drama (as always) and shoots and shows and good brew. thunderheist, weakerthans, mothermother, drag show, the vancouver poetry slam (!!), and just general merriment have made for a march (and now april) to remember. 

now off i go to stick it to the man. errr...artistic elite.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

conferences, cramps, and contact

ah yes. my habit of starting projects and forgetting about them is alive and well.

sorry dear blog of mine.


i just got back from CUQSC, where i gave a presentation on race&gender&ability and 'the gaze'. from old freakshow documentation, to medical texts, to modern art, to erotica and porn. about 50 people came out. which is probably at least double what i expected.

but considering it was the debut of that workshop (entitled '(freaks) getting freaky'...hehe) some great dialogue was had and overall i think it was a success. and one of my lovely participants bought me a tequila shot later in the evening. nothing i love more than great dialogue, new friends, and hard liquor.

a panel discussion took place following the time of my workshop, that thankfully i was able to catch. the topic was queer organizing and the curriculum. one of the panelists was a teacher. and she spoke about current organizing. and the decision to 'come out' in the teaching profession.

i couldn't help but sit back in my chair and think back to my own messy adolescence. not being accomodated in gym class. skipping queer sex...or sex as pleasureful...or disabled people being sexual altogether. queer wasn't even on the menu. let alone the idea that i could be full of agency. and have a hot sex life. fuck the pity here, it's just a waste really. how we teach the perpetuately pussing wound of humanity just to bleed.

beth gives me a bit of hope though. i was happy to bump into her at the loud bar we all gathered in afterwards. scotch in hand, we toasted to the closets of high school and the opportunity to break down just one more barrier at a time.

thankfully i arrived home in one piece. guelph was an excellent host. next year the torch goes to UVic. oh how lovely that would be! however, i already have some traveling comin up soon. on monday i am off to mcmaster to show some of my art (yes...some Contact sneak peaks), and peform in the evening, alongside the lovely Julie Devaney - who i had the pleasure of performing with in July 2007. anyone in the area should definitely come catch the show! there are undoubtedly activities happening all the throughout the day, focused on disability and diversity.

so, as i am typing i am remembering all sorts of dates and such...coming up so soon, so maybe i'll just whip out some bullets...

  • much better!
  • feb 2nd - diversity day, mcmaster (hamilton): art show and evening performance
  • feb 9th - self love week, trent university (peterborough): erotic photography workshop ;)
  • feb 19 - envisioning new meanings video launch (will give more details soon), toronto
  • feb 26 - peterborough poetry slam: hosting!
  • mar 5 - contact fundraiser? (i got a mysterious email about details yet...)
  • may 2nd - CONTACT: Junction BIA juried exhibit launch
  • may 7th - CONTACT: Come As You Are exhibit opening

man, lists make me realize how much i am actually doing. wowsa.

i will try to keep (at least) this list updated. but for now i think...i have covered everything. yes.

no! cramps. today marks the day i experienced the worst cramps of my life. we're talkin apocalyptic. i did not take pain killers, well because i was at work and had none and am not even menstruating so its not like i could really prepare anyway.

but talk about the war of 1812. in your crotch.

someone needs to declare a ceasefire STAT.