p Close to the Bone, Jessica Miller Home, Nadine Idle

Home, Nadine Idle
Hitler and Bob Ross, Jen
one small sentence, Doriane
the City
Uniform Realness, Marco Bernardi
In my most vulnerable place,
Nadine Idle
Close to the Bone, Jessica Miller
Bonfire Against Myself, Hannah
sustAinABLe Living
Untitled, Ghostfuck
Quitting, Alixandra Bam ford
Your Apology, Alex Looky
Pink Ink Zine
13 June 2013
Weight, Ferdinand Besik
Loss, Doriane
Forward, Alixandra Bam ford
Gift of fantasy, Alex Looky
Kid’s Corner
Alli the Alien, Jen
The Good Girl Gone Bad To-Do List,
Pandora Roxstar
Letter to the Editor
Love Lost, Amazon Lady
Veggie Chili A La Nish
These Girls are on Fire,
Crossword by Alixandra Bam ford
Art Design/Copy Editing • Alixandra Bam ford
[email protected]
Graphic Design • Alex Looky
[email protected]
Pink Ink Facilitator • Vivek Shraya
[email protected]
Creating new spaces within community.
13 June 2013
Pink Ink Zine
Nadine Idle
Observations of the constant
left right, Left right
misusing our freedom
to be misguided by judgments
on one track minds
running, unconscious
observations noting
the players
need the fans like the fans need the game
One hand holding another is instantly stronger yet,
not valued
cause after all it’s just a game
a person sitting on the sidelines of society
a human being deprived of the consensus
quality of....
life, as we know it?
I question why
we apply obligation
to our self centered paths
blindly drop coins in that same humans hand
once again
promote materialistic replacements
for what WE lack
WE respond without question
and in THAT
reject the requests for change
Isn’t that what his sign said?
The problem
you mean the sideline sitters we don’t see?
They’re the problem, not me!
on page
Pink Ink Zine
13 June 2013
but more so their motivation or lack thereof
Responding to that SAME society
In which they’re supposed to trust?
Deprivation of the basic
communication in the form of silence
no space left for validation
these are the thoughts I’ve come to
Happy little trees!
Or not so happy,
after seeing all that bloodshed,
and not being able to do anything
except stand and stare.
Er würde nicht hast hasst jeder eins,
Perhaps something can be said
for someone who cannot paint a face.
Those trees;
They are bodiless
and stuck in place,
but have sensed more
than most of us have ever known More than most of us would want to.
It’s possible
that the trees could tell;
but would they want to reveal
the rotting beneath our feet?
Hitler and
Bob Ross
13 June 2013
Pink Ink Zine
one small sentence
The other night, I heard someone say, “I
don’t like that, it’s too gay,” I feel like
I have to say something, to write something.
Of course I said something to this person, I came out to him and asked him
politely not to say anything homophobic
because I am gay and so I feel insulted
by those words. It wasn’t said in a mean
way; it’s just a saying for most people.
I’m glad that I was able to say something
though, to let him know who I am and
that I’m not going to shut up when someone says something against gay people
and therefore against me. Because I’m out
and confident enough, I was able to react.
But what about people who can’t, who
are afraid, who are ashamed of who they
are because of this kind of saying. What
about the person who’s struggling with
that? I wish those people would think
more about what it is to be gay and to
be out.
It’s really hard to come out, to accept
the idea of being different. You feel lonely in your choice, in your mind, in your
heart, in your life. When you get used
to the idea, you think that you’re done,
you’ve accepted yourself the way you are
and what could be more difficult than
that? But then you have to be accepted
by your family and friends. And god, this
is hard! You could lose everything by saying just one thing, one sentence, a few
words that changed your life before and
that might change your life again, all of
your relationships with people, all the
love that you take for granted might disappear. Those three words, “I am gay,”
will change everything again. And then,
when you do that, which was hard, long,
tiring, when finally you accept yourself,
you get over the fact that you lost some
friends and some family members, when
you think that coming out is done, you
realize that it’s a day to day fight because
the hardest part in coming out is having
to come out to perfect strangers all the
People think that homosexuals always
talk about the fact that they’re gay. Because, yes, at the first meeting we usually
let you know who we are. But if I don’t
say it, am I supposed to accept quietly
your insults? Not answer anything if you
ask if I have a boyfriend? Lie perhaps? Go
back into the closet not to hurt your feel-
Pink Ink Zine
13 June 2013
ings or make you uncom fortable?
Because at some point I was struggling
with being gay, because coming out was
one of the most difficult things that I did
in my life, I can’t listen to those kind of
sayings and answer with a smile on my face
and tears in my heart. I might share too
much of my life by letting you know that
I prefer girls. If you don’t want to know
that, acknowledge the fact that everyone
is not like you. Change your questions and
don’t ask me if I have a boyfriend but just
if I have someone, show some respect to
everyone when you don’t know to whom
you’re talking.
from TV or somewhere else. If we come
out to everyone and we fight just by saying, “I’m gay, try to know me better before saying anything,” we become real for
everyone and then I hope people will stop
being ignorant and start being respectful.
For us, silence can’t be the answer. To stop
oppression we have to let everyone know
that we’re oppressed and that it has to
stop. Because small sentences like “it’s too
gay” make kids want to die. Small sentences like that say that homosexuals are
different from straight people; they say
that it’s acceptable for us to be mocked,
insulted, assaulted, killed…
To people who think that I’m proud of
being gay and this is the reason why I say
it aloud, I’m telling you: You’re wrong!
I’m proud of me, yes. But not because I’m
gay, there is no pride in being gay, it’s just
who I am like having brown eyes. But I’m
proud to be able to take a stand against
discrimination, to raise my voice to shush
people who insult me.
To me, there is no questioning in being
out! We have to be out of the closet! Because if we let people know who we are,
if we show that we’re not different from
them, that we will not let anyone insult
us, homophobic people may stop acting
like that. They will think about us as the
human beings that we are and not “just
some gay people” that they just know
Doriane loves walking endlessly to
buy candy, playing outside on rainy
day, staying on a street when it is
sunny, and listening to music instead of watching TV.
The City
13 June 2013
Pink Ink Zine
Uniform Realness
Marco Bernardi
happened during my first semester
at York University. A month prior,
I had summoned up a lot of great
hopes for my future. I was going to be a
theatre major, which meant that I was on
the road not only towards personal enriching highs that included respect amongst
my peers, having a deep love for my craft,
and eventually meeting Bea Arthur, but
also lucrative success. I planned on making lifelong friends and having a series of
nostalgic snapshots I could always keep
reliving in my brain whenever I felt lonely.
All of this simmered when I was slumped
in the backseat my mother’s friend’s van.
We were going down the highway at appropriate speed but I wanted the car to go
faster. I needed the engine to soar. My
clothes, books, DVDs, and computer were
surrounding and suffocating me in this
tight, enclosed area I couldn’t really escape. But it was not in the negative sense.
I felt joyous that all my belongings were
cuddling me in a tight, warm squeeze.
Welland was but a distant memory and
I was excited to show everyone up. The
asswipes, the immaturity, the individuals
who didn’t give a rat’s ass about me. The
people who thought I wasn’t worthy. A
forgettable joke one might say. Running
away from the environment of Catholic
High School uniforms and ignorance never
felt so delicious. I was going to punch
everyone in the dick with my tenacity and
As the van pulled up to the curb of Vanier Residence, one major thought flashed
through my head: Where’s Toronto? I
had no idea that this city had outskirts.
I transformed into one of those kings in
a medieval Bugs Bunny cartoon who becomes shocked when certain awful revelations are presented.
“What’s this? What’s this? What is this
thing called North York? It is but a mere
flat, concrete jungle! I demand an explanation at once!”
The frosh team was stationed outside the
entrance and yelling a loud, welcoming
cheer to affirm that we have arrived at the
right destination. They exuded a false enthusiasm that frightened me. Their forced
smiles and raw, sophomoric nature made
my heart fall into my stomach, which then
made my stomach inch further down into
my intestinal insides. It felt like the beginning of an American Pie film. The future
of taking part in these endless drinking
contests while dudes dressed in sport at-
Pink Ink Zine
13 June 2013
tire laugh and shout obscenities in my ear
for no necessary reason had me feeling the
need to bathe in Clorox forever. I didn’t
want to play childish games and uncomfortably try to make forced-upon friends.
A panic attack was wafting in the air.
I unlocked the door of my room with
my passkey and entered to find that it’s
the size of a janitor’s closet. Two beds at
each end of the room with a single window on the adjacent wall. It was as if I
was Matilda and Miss Trunchbull had just
thrown me into the Chokey. The only
other menial features that stood out were
the pale tan brick walls and the faded pine
green carpet that lay beneath me.
My new roommate walked in as my
mother, her friend, and I were unpacking
my multiple suitcases. We had previously
talked on the phone and he sounded like
a very non-threatening human being. But
the resulting image had a very counterintuitive result. Tyler was a punk rock
metal head. His black jeans and t-shirt
draped his pudgy, baby-faced, bug eyed
body. Not to mention, his skyscraper-like
mohawk just about grazed the ceiling of
our dorm.
“Hey, I’m Tyler, you must be Marco’s
When he turned around after shaking
my mother’s hand, I could see that her
eyes had enlarged with concern and unsettlement. I guffawed from within my
The City
intestinal insides.
I ended up not succeeding in my program. The MLA format gave me a migraine and every teacher I encountered
was the epitome of pretension. The acting teacher I had in first semester was this
boney, fray-haired blonde woman named
Ingrid. She repeatedly singled me out
for not trying enough in my scene studies, which was code for having an inability
to show emotion or cry. Before class one
day, she pulled me aside and asked if this
course was too hard for me. Her narrowing eyes and tilted head made me feel as
if I should be committed. I remember
thinking that she shouldn’t be teaching.
I dealt with Tyler being a hog of a dorm
mate. He would leave his dirty clothes
everywhere, as well as leftover half eaten chicken wings that were meticulously
thrown into the mix. Almost like a broinfused hurricane had passed through. To
top it off, majoring in music as he did, he
would place his huge clunk of a bass right
in the middle of our room. I painstakingly
walked around it every time I entered the
Chokey. When I asked him if he could
possibly move his instrument to a corner of
the room, he said in flabbergasted fashion
that he’d tried, but no dice. I wanted to
tell him that he should’ve picked another
fucking instrument to play. The bass is
not much of a logical choice if one knows
ahead of time that they’ll be sharing a
broom closet with a neurotic, semi-passive
The City
13 June 2013
aggressive queen like me.
Out of that mess shone a beacon of hope.
I heard through a classmate that the LGBTQ group associated with the university
was going to be holding a queer social at a
nightclub located on campus. Nervous and
too anxious to go alone, I asked my friend
Emily to accompany me. She lived a floor
right above my room and was a theatre
major as well. She had a Sporty-Spice,
tomboy-ish aura to her but was very smart
and practical. The theme of the night was
uniforms. Naturally, we dolled ourselves
up to look like good Christian Catholic
schoolgirls with a twist.
Pink Ink Zine
as this edgy, slick, and lively man about
town with a lot of personality, but the
regret even more so. I wanted to dance
my heart out, not act as if I was doing a
clumsy strip tease hokey-pokey. I wanted
desperately to have a guy take me back to
his humble abode that night. I walked
home all by myself.
But I was ecstatic nonetheless. It was
my first time being in a room full of various queer souls. Deep down, I was full
of pride and giddy excitement. Within
the vague, massive dark nightclub, the tremendous thrill of seeing men dancing with
men and women sashaying with women
A few hours before the dance, we decid- cascaded over me like a majestic, vibrant
ed to get dressed together. She of course wave. Strolling back towards Vanier resilooked believable in a plaid kilt with a dence, the snapshots of the night became
sleek, bleached white button-down shirt a mixed bag of child-like wonder and
to match. I had on mascara that made my wistful remembrance.
eyes look surprisingly doe-y and sparkles
that were splashed across my five o’clock
shadow. I resembled a furry, glittery Britney Spears-type monster from Sesame
Street. To add to my white shirt and
plaid kilt ensemble, I thought it would be
fun to put on panty hose, you know, to
make me look more feminine. And also to
Marco Bernardi is an aspiring
cover up my hairy, unshaven legs, which
writer and occasional storyteller at
in the exposed light, resulted in a big fail.
On the dance floor, the caramel-coloured hose kept on slipping down to my
ankles. The frustration was palpable, in so
much that in my mind I envisioned myself
various venues across the city. His
favourite pastimes include ordering
take out from Fresh and watching
old reruns of Rhoda.
10 Pink Ink Zine
13 June 2013
In my most vulnerable place
Nadine Idle
I speak
help this little girl
understand the world
that’s what i would have said
if i knew she’d hear it
Her IGNORance was filled by a constant search
to feel it
Could she lend me some?
No, not without a skewed version
that’s what I learnt from
that’s what I soaked up, like a sponge
and its first drop of water.
a reckless path
thinking of me?
Why would she bother
her thoughts
consumed by an endless search
looking for ANYTHING
but her worth.
she’s what I’m made of
she made me
but I,
unlike them
and their in and outs
new face every month
Same space, filled
and emptied all at once
13 June 2013
living with me as dependent
steal my innocence
force me to grow up
make me an adult
that was my childhood
her child, the second, next to herself
at least that’s what I felt
what i saw?
a woman never allowed to grow
what i was?
a little one forced to know
too much
about the world,
as it was
in my youth now, in search of the cause
as i did not have a say in the matter I’ve exposed
in my most vulnerable place
i chose
still, to love her with no conditions
and she, me
with nothing left.
My name is Nadine Idle, I’ve been called many
things good and bad. I’ve always loved writing, but
never felt confident, nor have I felt empowered in
the things that I had exposed. Yesterday, I felt vulnerable, today, I can express it, tomorrow, remains
beyond my control and I’m embracing every second.
Pink Ink Zine 11
12 Pink Ink Zine
13 June 2013
Close to the Bone
Jessica Miller
Trig ger warnings: brief mention of rape,
bulimia, self-harm, alcohol abuse.
The cost: it was always precariously. Always cost me more than I expected. Cost
more of me than I expected. There’s so
little of me left; in the back of my mind,
I constantly try to understand what it
will cost me this time. What am I paying
with, and what am I paying for? Every
damn thing I wear is armour. Combat
boots, because heels will never feel as
safe as I wish they did. Heels, sharp as
flint, make me feel too utterly stripped
bare in the presence of men. Who needs
dog tags when you have tattoos, one for
every battle?
The sex wars are still killing people.
For me, this city is carnage and battle.
I am almost a casualty. PTSD, he says.
Rape. It sounds clinical and cold to call
it traumatic. It strips away rivers of pain
and shrapnel in skin. Better to speak of
it truthfully and say, “You think your
life is over, you hope it’s over, but it’s
not, and when it’s not over, you wish it
were and no one tells you what to do
with that.” My heart sinks, eyes prick
with tears. Hands tremble, stomach roils.
Years. It’s been years since both battles
and I am still digging the shrapnel out
from under my skin.
No one told me what to do when it
was over. Mostly because it’s never really
over. Suddenly, I had different eyes, feral
and opaque. They saw danger in strangers. But strangers have never been my
source of danger. I struggled constantly
to dream a life for myself not buttressed
by fear and shame. I mourned and wondered, “How can it ever be like it was?”
I came back to where I had been so many
times before. Fingers down my throat,
bloody wrists and vodka. I got my answer, sure enough. It can’t ever be like
it was. I had to sort through the rubble,
pick up everything that could be saved,
and dream.
Was I always going to end up exactly here? I don’t know. But every day
I fight. I choose to believe I am worth
fighting for. Impossible to kill, I regenerate. There is always at least one new self
buried at the bottom of my purse, ready
13 June 2013
for whatever awaits. Not so long ago, as
I stood in a Wen-Do beginners course,
the instructor said something that had
never occurred to me: “If you’re being
attacked, don’t focus on the part of you
that’s trapped. Focus on the part of you
that’s free.”
The cost: it’s not nearly so high now.
One night, I realized there was no need
to keep paying. They took enough. I refuse to pay for the rest of my life. Now,
whatever it costs me, I try to be myself.
I look in the mirror and see a goddess. Hike up my skirt, sway my hips
and dance. I try to find joy every place
light shines. I still fail sometimes. Drink
too much. Sleep with someone wholly
unworthy of me. Hate my body for days.
But light shines almost everywhere. I try
to love and be myself. And it brings me
Jessica Miller is a queer biracial
Jewish high femme writer librarian
Pink Ink Zine 13
14 Pink Ink Zine
13 June 2013
Bonfire Against Myself
Hannah Dees
A deep pit labours like a toothache,
Sorrow turns out to be an entrance,
To a small deep closet of the brain,
I wanted you to open the lid.
A hungry bear wrestled as you fought for yourself,
What I wanted was for flapping bald wings to grow,
Bolder and louder by the hour,
You are screeching and gaping for what you still are.
A dancing house wants to fly to the moon,
I belch strange music,
Ungainly factory flames.
A locomotive has learned to play with rusty smoke,
Though I try with hope and fear to burn with joy,
A bonfire signs to hide it on a mountain.
Tomorrow should make me shudder,
I wear the next day equally,
Against a woman powdering my black eye.
Hannah Dees loves writing, performing, Nutella, and her corgi, Dunkin. She is really
thankful to be surrounded by such beautiful,
loving, talented people who believe in her stories.
Sustainable Living
13 June 2013
Pink Ink Zine 15
No one understands the crotchety old
Illegitimate, they say.
But you are only 22.
Two figures are visible in front of a fire,
an old lady and an infant.
The haggard old witch screeches at the
squealing infant.
The regal harpy has her hair up in a bun,
holding the baby in a knot more torqued
and twisted than her soul.
Her wrinkled features pull back in a hideous snarl as she breathes her acrid alcohol-marijuana –cocaine-stenched breath.
The fumes hit the baby’s nostrils like a
The old hag grimaces at the baby, belches, breathing on the baby once more, and
under her acrid chemical, germ-piss alcohol smell, even over the smell of baking
soda and cheap cocaine, she smelt something more sinister.
She. For she was a girl child. I think.
“Why are you squealing, you selfish
little pig?!”(in comes the overwhelming
stench of formaldehyde and decay), the
witch demanded, dangling the baby by
it’s ankles.
The squeals immediately change to a
shrill scream, “HELP!”, screams the baby.
“Superman’s not coming. Superman’s
“No I AM superman!”, insists the baby.
“I demand to be wrought loose.”
“Oh, really”, inquired the old lady, gingerly turning the baby over. Skeptically,
her eyes study the baby with an odd expression.
“How? You’ve been living on your own
for how many years now?...”, and then
after looking at the baby sideways for
a while, she pulled back, as if proximity to the baby would scorch or engrave
more wrinkles into her ancient face. She
carefully backed away, then slowly asks,
“How haven’t you partnered, yet?”
*The term “bitch-slap” a reference to a personal experience that is not intended in any
way to denegrate women or anyone else.
16 Pink Ink Zine
13 June 2013
Sustainable Living
Alixandra Bamford
A second tea bag
partners the first
as if craving demands
double the prescription.
By willful adoption,
a vice — perhaps vain,
but at least willful —
and they, too, bleed,
yet never quite sink.
A necessary choice negates
its making; leeches its maker
of voice, agency — a choice
made —
it leaves the sorry option
of a second tea bag.
Of sleep, or another episode.
To forgive now, or resent on.
To choose between careers.
Choose between lovers.
Choose between words.
though by it you feel halved.
Alixandra Bamford is a writer and
artist. She has created two graphic
novels, Nearest the Mouth and Thin
13 June 2013
Pink Ink Zine 17
Your Apology
Alex Looky
I want you to apologize
I know, I gave you pain,
stole a lot from you,
felt like I made you,
I wanted you to depend on me,
But apologize
You made me invisible,
put every other man above me,
cherished every other dream but mine,
What I did bad, you did worse
So apologize
Apologize because you never do,
Apologize and for once, I will come into existence
my feelings will matter
and I will finally forgive myself
But you keep standing there,
With that blank expression on your face,
You see yourself and everyone else around you
(and) Apologies are for others
Alex Looky is a queer bundle
of joy, born in Togo, living in
Toronto. She immerses herself in writting, photography,
graphic design, litterature,
music, translation, shopping
for electronics and can’t never talk enough about sexual
health and cool viruses.
18 Pink Ink Zine
13 June 2013
Ferdinand Besik
We lie in bed together, the ivory sheets a thin
veil for our naked skin –keeping us in, keeping us from floating into darkness. Despite
the dark shroud I can see the solemn burden
beneath your charcoal eyes. I can feel your pain.
Climbing onto your chest, I lean in close to your
face, and ask the question I’ll never forget.
When I saw him stride through the
door, a grey bag slung casually over his
shoulder, I let out an audible gasp.
“You okay?” Jamie asked, bracing the
shoulder press above me with his hands,
tensing to feel for weakness. I held the
weights above my head, arms shaking,
fearful of the metal crashing down onto
my skull. My eyes darted away from the
man who was now unpacking at a locker,
and I focused my energy on finishing the
set. I closed my eyes and brought the bar
below my chin, feeling the tension crackle
down my neck and into my shoulders, before pushing it upwards towards the ceiling once more.
“Yeah, sorry,” I said through gritted
teeth, “it’s just my left arm again.”
My trainer nodded and released the bar,
letting me finish the set on my own. As
I pumped iron to the steady beat of my
pulse, feeling the sharp tang of pain course
through my arms and into my shoulders
with every push, my mind wandered to
the familiar stranger with the grey duffel
bag. The pain of the metal bearing down
on my slender frame was replaced with a
subtler anguish: a humming anger which
shot through my veins with each upward
“If you lived in an ideal world, one where
you could be who you wanted to be, without fear
of your family, or of God, or of all the people
around us –
An echo resounded through the gym as I
clumsily fit the weighted bar into the metal
frame above me. Hunching over I released
a trapped breath, spilling the tightness in
my chest onto the bench. Beads of sweat
fell from my forehead and left dark circles
between my legs. I couldn’t believe that
he was here, going to the same gym as
me, after all this time. Brushing my forehead with the back of my hand, I looked
over to the lockers on my right and saw
him with my trainer. Talking. Laughing.
13 June 2013
— who do you see yourself spending your life
with? What would be your ideal family?”
“You two know each other?” Jamie asked
as I headed towards them. “What the hell
Drew? How is it that you know all my
buds?” He laughed and threw me a bottle
of water.
“Yeah.” I took a gulp, embracing the
cold, shutting my eyes momentarily. “We
met at University.”
Such a liar.
I turned my gaze to the man beside
Jamie, his dark eyes meeting mine, a familiar weight surfacing beneath sable irises. He smiled and offered me his hand.
“Hey Drew.”
Such a long way to have come—the intimacy of touch between two palms stifled by cheap nylon. He must have felt as
uncom fortable as I did, because he pulled
away as soon as he could. His eyes were
cast down to our shoes. I was surprised he
didn’t wipe his glove on his shorts.
“Hey, Raj.” I smiled apologetically,
hoping its utter falsity wasn’t as visible
as it felt. The whirl of the fans above us
punctuated our silence. Was it possible for
a second to last an hour? For a moment
to stretch into unbearable fibres, fraying
Pink Ink Zine 19
and tearing like cheap, ivory bed sheets?
The rotation of each blade marked our
You place your hand against my neck and
gently tug me towards your lips. Their touch
is soft and warm, but silent. You haven’t answered the question. I force myself to leave
your embrace, to fall within the covers and find
solace in their lifeless touch. I place a hand on
your chest; feel the beat of your heart beneath
skin and dark chest hair.
We returned to our workouts, Jamie and
I finishing up with the bench press, Raj
grabbing some dumbbells beside us. After a couple lifts, Jamie suggested that we
try heavier weights—push a little harder,
feel a little more pain. He went to grab
the heavier plates from the high intensity
room, leaving Raj and I alone. Curiosity
got the better of me. Lying on the bench,
I nonchalantly cocked my head to the side
to steal him a glance.
He was looking right at me.
It was strange to see him now, after all
this time. It had been a good year or two
since we had last spoken, let alone seen
one another. He hadn’t changed a bit. His
dark hair sported the same faux-hawk.
The same small scar above his nose lingered like a ghost from his childhood, a
mark from when he and his brother took
play fighting too far. His body was com-
20 Pink Ink Zine
13 June 2013
pact, but powerful—he had been keeping
up with his gym regimen, and I could tell
he had started to swim regularly again.
We never had the chance when we were
together. What would people say if they
saw two guys swimming together? That
was always his response to the idea. His
fixation on what other people thought infected all of his responses.
“So, this is an odd turn of events, eh?”
Raj dropped the dumbbells. He looked
around the gym to check that Jamie was
gone before walking over to me. I didn’t
move, but instead turned my head away
and stared at the ceiling until his figure came into view. “Just so you know, I
didn’t follow you here.”
“I never said you did,” I replied curtly,
rage building within me once more.
“Okay.” He shrugged and turned to
walk back to his dumbbells, but stopped
halfway, lingering. His face was a contorted mask of emotions, breaking apart
to reveal the paranoid and scared boy beneath the muscles and tank top. What did
he want to tell me?
I tell you my dreams; I tell you my future
hopes, built for a world of idealism. A world
for us: Friend and Lover, Man and Man. You
smile and push me on my back. My hand falls
from your chest and is clasped in your palm–
on the pillow, against the headrest. There is a
space between our fingers that is sacred.
The weight of you on top of me, inside of me,
pushing. I shudder with your final thrust, and
look up to a face telling me that I am loved.
“Raj…” I began, but he raised his hand.
I lay there, the black plastic of the bench
cooling the sweat on my back. Despite the
muscles chiselled in his frame, the quick
fluttering of his chest and the clenching
of his hand betrayed his strength. The
spaces between his fingers disappeared as
they curled into a heavy fist.
“I want you to know that the question you asked me years ago,” he started
heading towards the dumbbells, his hands
shaking, “has haunted me.” He pulled
out an iPod from his pocket, placed the
headphones over his ears, and lifted the
weights. He turned his back to me. I could
still hear his choked breath.
You finally tell me your dream family, for a
world without limitations. A place in which
you can be who you want to be, without losing
the respect of your loved ones, without feeling
debilitating shame. You tell me of a house in
the country, filled with the life of four adopted
children, and a beautiful, blonde, wife.
Jamie walked back into the gym, carrying two large plates in his hands.
I wanted to grab those plates and smash
13 June 2013
Pink Ink Zine 21
them into Raj’s face. To break his nose and
blacken his eyes. To shatter the visage he
wore each day, to peel back each layer of
his fabricated identity until he was the
person I knew. To make him hurt as much
as he hurt me.
Instead, I placed them on the bar and
readied myself to push harder than I ever
had. Jamie spotted for me and nodded,
signalling that he was ready to catch it if
the unthinkable happened. Beside me, Raj
grabbed a pair of heavier weights and began to lift, grunting with every movement
of his arms. A bead of sweat dribbled
from his forehead to the corner of his eye.
It lingered there for a second, glistening,
before slowly rolling down his cheek.
“Give it some time Drew,” Jamie remarked, having noticed I was watching
Raj. “You’ll be able to get to those weights
in time, don’t worry about it.”
I closed my eyes, Raj’s words echoing
in my mind. A sentiment shared between
us. I pushed, knowing his burden was a
weight I could never carry.
Ferdinand Besik is a graduate
student at York University, currently doing his MA in English
Literature. He’’s also a big geek
who loves video games, anime, and
22 Pink Ink Zine
13 June 2013
In the silence of the night, I hear your
voice which resounds, calling me, to
chase away the monsters hidden in
shadows. Your smile is forever frozen
in my soul, your laugh as an echo that
makes my tears pour. The greatest
happiness isn’t a glimmer of hope in
the darkness of my heart and I’d like
to hold you in my arms just one more
But life can’t be an exchange and no
one answers me when I beg for a trade.
So I stay there, numb, watching life,
staring at time that goes by, that takes
me away from what we were and gets
me closer to what we will be, that reminds me that we aren’t an idea from
the present but a memory, a haunting
And if my voice comes to you and
sometimes you hear me laugh, don’t be
mistaken–—happiness doesn’t come to
me anymore. It’s only my body which
mechanically makes a shout to shush
the sobs that you create in me.
Alixandra Bamford
The snow vanished
like a shout on the air —
a moan in the ear, the sensation
of touch once
hands withdraw.
But it was here.
your breath rising,
a candle
out at 2AM,
the world motionless
under that cold burden.
Before that, fifty shades of decay:
gold, like green, can’t stay;
two full hours gathering in what fell —
yet summer had already
prepared buds for a coming spring,
with enviable confidence.
You spoke to me like a word —
one of the universe’s accidents
from which both vitally and falsely
the brain must derive meaning.
13 June 2013
Gift of fantasy
Alex Looky
The gift of fantasy
Today, you could smile – and blush
tomorrow, your fingers would linger in my hair
on Wednesday, you’d let me taste your cherry lips
eventually evolving to inches of blood vessels
that thickens colorful definitions on your ivory skin
I am convinced
this is the closest, I can ever get to you
that my life begins there
The gift of fantasy
the murmur of my heart becomes a huge roar of life
as I am faced with the illusion of redemption and healing
the weight lifted, taking away
demons, no longer needed
I promise not to get hooked and fall in love
Just temporary enjoyment
crystallized for months to come
no more will be asked from you
but the gift of fantasy
that my reality has been craving
Pink Ink Zine 23
24 Pink Ink Zine
13 June 2013
Kid’s Corner
Alli the Alien
There was an alien named Alli
They came from far away
In a spaceship made of tin
From a planet named Bzeroqwim
Alli flew past Toronto
And seeing the tower in the sky
And all the different people
They decided to stay for a while
As Alli walked down the super gravity streets
Some people couldn’t believe what they had seen
One person thought they had a stroke from the heat
And a few were downright mean
Think of the nastiest word
And then think of some more
All these horrid words were said
And others you never heard before
Alli was shocked
And mad and scared
Wouldn’t you be too?
“All I wanted was to be your friend
And you treated me like poo!”
Alli got back in their spaceship
And how their story ends, I don’t know.
You don’t know other peoples histories
So be kind to others, wherever you go
Jen is a bizarre human
(?) who has no biography.
13 June 2013
Pink Ink Zine 25
The Good Girl Gone Bad
To-Do List
By Pandora Roxstar
1. wear your bra on top of your blouse
2. have sex on a stage, prior to a performance
3. play video games all day
4. jerk off all day, make a special date
for you and yourself, candles, lingerie,
music, your hands down your pants.
5. run around in a rainstorm, clothing
6. don’t shave
7. walk around barefoot
8. learn to be a womb master (if they
ever criminalize abortion, we will be
an army of women, able to perform
9. have sex outside
10.sleep in a park
11. make bonfires without permits
12. sing to yourself wherever you want,
(the shower/the subway/in public, in
your room etc)
13. make zines
14.reject boys for books
15. make out with girls
16.break out into dance everywhere
17.play an instrument
18. tell everyone how pretty you are, especially yourself
19. talk about your period
20.riot, don’t diet
Pandora Roxstar is a queer femme
girl on fire! She loves to make art,
and to riot. She also loves to make
new friends and go on adventures!
26 Pink Ink Zine
13 June 2013
to the editor
Love Lost
ur society ranks romantic relationships above all else. How often
have you heard “love conquers all”
thrown around like it’s a fact, or watched
a movie that ends when the couple overcomes adversity and can finally be together and live their happy ending. As if
that’s where the story ends.
Naively, I had sucked it all in, drinking
it in like water to quench the longing I
had for my own romantic tale.
I took a chance on love. When it failed
spectacularly, suddenly, I was a lone girl
in a strange city cut off from the only
Canadians I knew, and separated by an
ocean from everything I held dear.
Rebuilding a future and reclaiming joy
from the ashes of my life is a daily struggle. I strive to cherish the better moments,
relive fun interactions, new encounters
with strangers and moments of peace.
Then there are bad days, when homesickness envelops everything. The reality
of what I have lost paints the world so
black; there can be no bright side.
The struggle to move on is made all the
more painful when so much reminds me
of her. Even when I think I have finally
moved on, something new hits me like a
kick to the gut and each time, I am completely unprepared. Just last month, I was
at the airport, hell bent on a weekend
away with friends. Yet as I walk to customs and see the “Welcome to Canada”
signs, I am reminded of when I rushed
anxiously through Pearson and into your
waiting arms. I remember kissing you
goodbye when I had to return home. The
memories open old wounds, a broken heart
magnified by betrayal.
The nice man at customs asks me why
I would leave such a beautiful country
filled with sun and warmth, to come to
the dreary, icy misery that is a Canadian
winter. “For love,” I state simply, conveying so much to this stranger, who in
turn instantly understands. I am always
amazed at how this impresses others.
They commend me for doing so. Yet I
wonder if they would be so enthusiastic
if they knew how much it had cost me,
and how I have suffered for daring to take
such a risk, for love.
Our love was not worth the risk, nor
to the editor
13 June 2013
what it has cost me. I was vibrant and
happy the day we met. My laughter could
fill a stadium with infectious excitement. I
soared with unmatched optimism.
I left you a husk of a woman, drained
by continuous misfortune. At any moment
I can be reminded of what I left, the life I
had made for myself. How I longed to be
someone who made a difference, someone
who contributed to the legacy of humanity. My dreams were bigger and brighter
than sun.
Instead, I settled for something so
much less than my dreams. I settled for
Amazon Lady, Toronto, ON
Amazon Lady is a young queer
woman who loves to travel, exploring the new and old.
Pink Ink Zine 27
28 Pink Ink Zine
13 June 2013
Veggie Chili A La Nish
• 2 Cans Diced Tomatoes
• 1 Cans Kidney Beans, washed and
• 1 Can Black Beans, washed and
• 2-3 Zucchinis (Cut into half-moons)
• 1-2 Green Pepper/Red Pepper
• A Packet of mushrooms (Sliced)
• A sweet potato (boiled and cut up)
• A can of corn, washed and drained
• A red onion (thinly Sliced)
• A few cloves of garlic
• ClubHouse Original or Hot&Spicy
Chili spice/powder packet
Mix all tomatoes and beans into a large
pot, place on stove, medium heat add a
quarter spice packet, let it cook until contents are hot
Add zucchini, let it cook until its translucent/soft, then do the same with the
Add another quarter of the spice packet
On another pan, fry peppers in oil, and
add to the pot
Do the same with the onion and garlic,
and add to the pot
Add the corn, and another quarter spice
Add the sweet potato 10 minutes before
turning off the heat, with the rest of the
spice packet
Total cooking time 30-45 minutes
Remember Chili always tastes better the
next day, I guess so all the ingredients
Serve with garlic bread/pita/buns/regular
loaf of bread
This recipe makes enough for 8-10 servings! Enjoy!
Pink Ink Zine 29
13 June 2013
These Girls are on Fire
Crossword by Alixandra Bamford
30 Pink Ink Zine
13 June 2013
1. Not the only fruit (7)
3. Tegan Quin’s middle name (4)
4. Lyric poet of Ancient Greece (6)
5. First “out” provincial premiere (5)
6. Bifurious (4)
7. A dyke to watch out for (7)
8. Author of Nightwood (5, 6)
9. Canadian poet, penned Little Theatres
(4, 5)
10. Longstreet, Bain, Starling; actress to
kill for (5, 6)
11. Sweet moniker for love interests in
both eponymous British TV series and 17
across (5)
12. Melissa Etheridge’s coming out album
(3, 1, 2)
13. Wrote Desert of the Heart (4, 4)
14. Mexican surrealist known for unflattering selfies (5, 5)
17. Dear and heartsick co-ed in Across
the Universe (8)
18. Lover of redheaded TV witch Rosenburg (6)
19. The –––– of Loneliness, novel (4)
20. Alice Walker’s epistolary tale without
its definite article (5, 6)
21. Canadian TV series starring a succubus, –––– Girl (4)
22. Kitchen appliance incentive for initiating someone into the LGBTQ* lifestyle,
lore has it (7, 4)
23. –––– Sexy Money, TV series featured
Candis Cayne (5)
24. Jodie’s mum (6)
25. Rainbow hued element with 83 protons (7)
26. Ariya’s affectionate title, popularized
on 25 down, “Lesbian ––––” (5)
27. Virginia’s paramour (4)
28. Gender outlaw (13)
29. Greek island on the Aegean (6)
30. Loving ––––, film (9)
31. It was her kissing Jessica (5)
32. Once asked by her mother, “Why be
happy when you could be normal?” (9)
33. But I’m a ––––, film (11)
34. Goodnight ––––, Good Morning Juliet; play (9)
35. First “out” athlete to sign with Nike
(8, 6)
36. Emma Donoghue tome, subtitled Desire between Women in Literature (11)
1. Fried specialty of the Whistle Stop
Café (5, 8)
2. Nancy Garden’s contemplative novel (5,
2, 2, 4)
3. Doctor Thirteen’s first name (4)
4. Pink talk show host (8)
5. Am I ––––?, colourful short story collection edited by Bauer (4)
6. Dances with the National Ballet of
Canada; wants you to know that “there’s
a dyke who loves wearing a tutu” (5)
7. Author of Fall on Your Knees (9)
13 June 2013
9. In grand Grey’s Anatomy tradition,
kissed Callie in the elevator (5)
10. Rough Trade vocalist (6, 4)
11. German housewife, inspired Aimée
and Jaguar (5, 4)
12. Transformed silence into language (5,
13. Surname of Melissa Etheridge’s children with Julie Cypher (10)
14. Lesbian vampire tale that heavily influenced Bram Stoker (8)
15. Played Anne T. Lokensgard (4,1, 4)
16. First Canadian to share Grammy for
Best Country Vocal Collaboration (1, 1, 4)
17. Joke-y but official title of the “One
Where Ellen Morgan Finally Comes Out”
(5, 7)
18. Deliver Us from ––––, novel (4)
19. Once home to Mona’s 440 Club, abbrev. (3,4)
20. She requested money and a room of
her own (8, 5)
21. Ben’s second mother on Friends (5, 5)
22. Stein’s life partner (6)
23. Fame ––––, 2009 Gaga album (7)
24. Rather insincere Russian pop duo (4)
27. Tipping the ––––, 1998 novel (6)
28. Showtime series named for twice over
euphemism (3, 1, 4)
29. Which side are –––– ––––?, 2012 album (3, 2)
30. –––– Amazon Softball League, local
31. Dalloway’s best kiss (5)
32. Portrayed by M. Streep in W. Allen’s
Manhattan (1, 5)
Pink Ink Zine 31
33. The geeky scientist one on new SF
series, Orphan Black (6)
34. Author of memoir, Unbearable Lightness (2, 5)
35. Toronto’s third poet laureate (6)
on page