Eaton Hamilton

the problem with being trans is cis people. The problem with being queer is straight people. The problem with being disabled is abled people. The problem with being Black is white people. In other words, prejudice.

Tag: rubber soul

Puritan Magazine publishes “rubber soul”

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Dear Friends, Editors, Writers, and Readers,

We are pleased to announce the launch of Issue 34: Issue 2016. This stellar edition features fiction and poetry chosen by our special guest summer editors for 2016: novelist and short-story writer Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer and poet Dr. Sonnet L’Abbé. As always, the issue boasts lit-centric non-fiction (essays, reviews, and interviews) that set the bar for long-form writing about books and book culture in Canada.

Guest fiction editor Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer brings us seven prose writers who are all, according to the editor, unafraid to be weird—and refreshingly, bravely so. Read Kuitenbrouwer’s introduction, “Weird!,” where she reveals all the “odd, hidden nooks and crannies” of her taste in short fiction. Both The Puritan and Kuitenbrouwer are pleased to present writers Heather Birrell, Ellen van Neerven, Trish Salah, Sarah Maria Medina, Nehal El-Hadi, M.W. Johnston, and Khalida Venus Hassan.

Our guest poetry editor Dr. Sonnet L’Abbé has selected a fine collection of poems from writers both established and still new to publishing. Start with her introduction—“A Space for the Aggro”—in which she commends the way these poets “are plumbing, in the personal way only poetry can, the angry and aggro energies that seem to dominate this global cultural moment.” Those poets are: George Murray, Stevie Howell, John Wall Barger, Barry Dempster, Tanis MacDonald, Jane Eaton Hamilton, Kyle Kinaschuk, Maria Matuscak, Nicole Chin, Steven Artelle, Jake Byrne, Lauren Marshall, Natalie Wee, Lorin Medley, and Jill Talbot.

The issue continues with non-fiction, starting with two essays. In “Punching Like a Girl,” Krista Foss writes a gripping, hair-raising reflection on violence, propriety, gender, and rage, and in “Comparative Zoology,” Sunny Chan brings us a funny, searching tour of infograpic history, animal encyclopedias, and libraries, seen through the distorting and sweetening lens of nostalgia.

Then we’re on to interviews. The first is a three-part, nineteen-inning investigation of Andrew Forbes’ *The Utility of Boredom* (Invisible Publishing, 2016)—and of baseball, its boring lows and knuckle-whitening highs altogether—by Myra Bloom, Ted Nolan, and Joseph Thomas. The next is Meghan Harrison’s double interview with Dave D D Miller (“The Derby Nerd”) and Monica “Monichrome” Mitchell-Taylor—two major personalites in the world of flat track roller derby in Canada—on derby’s evolution and its pointed parallels to literature and other forms of pop culture. Third, we bring you “An Elegiac Conversation” between the mysterious artists ‘Grant Stonehouse’ and ‘Len Carey,’ as curated by writer Michael Trussler: a fascinating exchange that, we can promise, is not what it seems.

We end this issue, as always, with smart and engaged reviews of recent literary titles. Explore “LOLing with Claws,” Brecken Hancock’s take on Liz Howard’s *Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent* (McClelland & Stewart Poetry, 2015), “War without a Name,” Amanda Sarasien’s review of Mercè Rodoreda’s *War, So Much War* (Open Letter Books, 2015), “Solo Protests Against Solitude,” Myra Bloom’s thoughts on Steven Heighton’s *The Waking Comes Late* (House of Anansi Press, 2016), and, last but not least, “Pragmatic Complications of Perfections,” Aaron Boothby’s look at Klara Du Plessis’s chapbook *Wax Lyrical* (Anstruther Press, 2015).

We’re still reading submissions to Issue 35: Fall 2016 of The Puritan, and to our writing contest, the Fifth Annual Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence, judged by Rawi Hage and Jan Zwicky. It’s the writing competition that awards publication, celebration at Black Friday, $1,000 cash, and approximately $1,700 worth of books, donated from 35 Canadian presses, to each of our two winners. There’s still a whole month to enter, so please don’t be shy about those submissions! Visit our submissions page for more details.

That’s all for now. Enjoy the new issue, and share widely!

Rubber Soul

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Just because of my article on Rumpus on Saturday past about my harrowing descent into heart disease (Infarct, I Did) this flash fiction I wrote about a different encounter with cardiology. The truth is that in trying to find an image of rubber food, I plugged in “healthy rubber food” and found nothing. There is only rubber junk food, which should tell the dietician something, don’t you think?

rubber soul: the dietician

jane eaton hamilton

so what are your concerns she says and i say i want information for my ankylosing spondylitis and she says but let’s talk about lowering your triglycerides i say my triglycerides aren’t elevated she says the things i show you will get them back in range and i say but i am really interested in the list of foods i should avoid with ankylosing spondylitis and she says also we will also work on a plan to get your blood sugar more stable and i say my blood sugar is within range and she says let’s talk about how to even those numbers out because obviously your body is having trouble converting your sugars triglycerides and sugars are our concerns today and i say but what i’m consulting you for is ankylosing spondylitis and then she says what time to do go to bed what time do you get up why do you stay up so late have you heard about sleep hygiene do you watch tv in bed do you read in bed reading in bed is particularly bad because your eyes move back and forth and i almost laugh because reading in bed is what writers do and sometimes we write too with pens or even laptops so i say just consider it as me working the afternoon shift she says only sleep that you get before midnight counts and the window should be open you don’t want to add rotten sleep hygiene to your woes i say heaven forfend she says the only thing you can do in bed is sleep i say am i allowed to have sex because although it’s often unhygienic what we do we do do most of it in bed considering our older bodies i’m sure you can understand her lips collapse together and she pretends i didn’t say this she says only the sleep you get before 10 p.m. counts i say does sleep know what time it is what if i have sex at 2 does that orgasm not count it makes me sleepy she ignores me and says what time do you rise do you ingest food when you get up what do you eat and brings out plastic bowls red orange and blue so i can choose the amount of my yogurt and asks me to estimate the size of my apple which makes me giddy why am I giddy i say jiminy crickets doesn’t that depend on the size of the apple the store sells we move along through the day’s food when we get to dinner i say could we just discuss the hit list for the ankylosing spondylitis now and she bends to her bookcase and plunks a rubber mound of individuated white rice kernels a blob of sliced melded carrots a blop of cooked spinach and pasta with discrete strands along with a chunk of salmon on a plastic segmented plate more food than i would eat in three meals like portions in nashville she says you should eat more vegetables all of the stacked vegetables quiver like we are having a slight earthquake 4.4 say or the aftershock of a 5.7 i think of japan where there is rubber food in restaurant windows cultures are wiggle-rubbing like tectonic plates and i try hard i try really hard i try excessively hard sucking in my lips wiping emotion from my eyes not to react so as not to be labelled a bad patient but it is hard to answer questions with rubber food shaking not inches from your face i want to tell her that once my daughter had a boyfriend in japan who made prosthetic ears and i kept one by my canadian telephone and i was keen to collect more body parts i got rubber lips and one eyeball i ask her if she imagines that eventually i got a whole face (i didn’t because the kids broke up) but she says do you eat fish do you eat beef do you eat chicken do you eat fried foods salt breading do you drink alcohol pop coffee water what do you take in your coffee how much of it do you take she is going to find something wrong with my diet if she prys enough she is getting more insistent more charged up more i can see the roots of her hair bleaching in front of me she plunks down a glass of rubber milk which cannot slosh and a glass of rubber orange juice the food off-gasses in a way that makes me swoon with nausea i think you don’t put rubber food in front of a writer she says because we are gonna write about it i will give you a print out of your weight loss goals and the changes you need to make so that your triglycerides and blood sugars come down try it for a month then make an appointment to see me again and i say if i come back will you be able to prepare the list of foods that aggravate ankylosing spondylitis and then there is a silence and into it i say may i please have some rubber food to take home so i can compare portions but she just gives me a quarter of an elastic laugh i say is there a website i can order rubber food when she leaves the room for the print out i slip the rice just the rice into my gym bag



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