P R E FA C E : ASHLEY MCLENON We speak of a longing, a fear of life’s passages through ungoverned commitments. Sometimes we call these traumas. Sometimes we call this unexplainable joy or truths. Today we stand. Maybe we’re speaking of a feeling or maybe of a time or a memory. There’s contemplation, perhaps from a consistently kept optimism. We are here on a journey into a new kind of maturity. Whispers around shoulders that say that this is the place where a reckoning may occur to the indecisive and to the hungry, not always a physical hunger but a spiritual hunger or an intellectual one that bangs the surface of many headaches or beneath the echoes of laughter. We’re gaining a new responsibility to each memory and you ask yourself, “How does this make you feel?” Tired and new. Like the shock of just being born. Never Satisfied features artists and writers who question and challenge queer desires as Anna Showers-Cruser displays through her layered collage the interaction and altercations faced between the naming of personal bodies through societal norms and formulated identifications. One particular question that may come to mind is "Why have they named me?" While exploring the photographs of Sarp Kerem Yavuz as he works towards the deconstruction of masculinity through his cathartic display of maleness, we're enabled to witness his own reconstruction of masculinity. Never Satisfied provides a voice that speaks to desires for more precise representations and desires of the body, the mind and the constant shifting inner self.
Longing in the Interstice bef ore death longing in the interstice before death and in a snowstorm and wading in the gloriousness of amber light “longing of prayers” the Kafka on the Shore longing and the longing of speechlessness gone the longing of last-moment memories that will never recur the longing of scurrying rats and ill-equipped bums shelter longing disbelief lodged in your heart the terrorism of these longings exploding into bigger longings the longing of one phone call and its permanent efficacy of sadness tears of longings drowning the tapestries of dreams up in your eyes the longing of paper the longing of ink abusing letters in words longings of that questioning Ulquiorra’s “human longing” longing mother why thou hast cast me out amongst the zombies of longings shadows blurring amber light with angels longing metaphor behind the sacrifices of His children the longing flail dogged or demon longing plead the longing of wandering supine here and thinking in the hospital the emperor longing in his final breaths
J ’ S U N H O WA R D
Ode to Antigonish Sometimes it sounds like a door slamming. Sometimes it sounds like the click of a phone. Sometimes it sounds like heels fading away or a siren getting cloudy as it passes. Sometimes it sounds like paperwork being filed and the monotonous tone of initial, sign, date initial, sign, date initial, sign, date, denied. Sometimes, but mostly it sounds like An empty room An empty stomach An emptying body A pain that has no specific location A song whose notes went flat An dry mouth An open mouth Sometimes, but mostly it sounds like a pill shaken out of the bottle The thermometer beeping Coughing, heavier and harder Turning and turning and turning in bed It sounds like “The results were different” It sounds like “We are worried about you” It sounds like “Is there anyone that you want us to call?” It sounds like “I’m sorry I’ve got to go” or “I’m sorry” or “I’ve got to go” or it is tomorrow and it sounds like there are many more days of wondering what it will sound like when they leave next.
J O S E P H R . VA R I S C O
We t C o u n t r y Like swamp grasses I shift, teeming with katydids and live baitâ€” an orange sun too bright to look at. And nourished as I am by the dirt and depth I offer you my deaths in the form of molt to sit on a crown of thumbs.
S A R P K E R E M YAV U Z
S A R P K E R E M YAV U Z
Dan Savage and the rest of the mainstream gay establishment have crammed down our throats the idea that coming out to our parents, our schools, our churches, and the rest of our world will somehow transfor m our lives into a magical fair ytale of gay unicor ns and rainbows. So why do I have trouble sleeping at night?
our heads and saying ‘My way or the highway.’”
Last week I was outed to my parents.
They pled with me to stay. I wanted to leave. Who wouldn’t, when threatened with fire and brimstone? For four years, I have thought about A conversation with a queer sister: that day, that conversation. “You know, they really want I would dream about it: a dark, me to stay, but I don’t know if cloudy night, with acrid smoke in that’s letting them get away with my lungs, looking at the horizon not acknowledging their own and seeing a massive warehouse institutional homophobia.” full of memories, material “I totally understand that, but at the possessions, friends, family – seeing same time think of it this way: it’s an entire life burning to the ground. like prisoners reading books in the And yet feeling an irresistible pull prison library. Although they are towards the inferno. Like every using the prison’s resources and cell is made of iron filings and in might not be working to dismantle the basement of that building is the prison-industrial complex, they a magnet whose pull only grows are doing what they need to do in stronger as it heats up. order to survive as individuals. So, you’re in a place now where you And last week, I touched the can’t perform homestead, can’t magnet. I tread on Ground Zero. perform around this huge fact in your life – but use what you need I was outed on a Monday and told in order to survive. Stay there until we would talk on the Saturday you have enough to be able to following. strike out on your own.” The night before, I packed my possessions into four or five bags, ready to live on couches and slowly sell my possessions. I started reading a biography of David Wojnarowicz, gleaning clues for how to live a life on the streets. I dreamed of urban skylines, of a life most queer, of being able to really live now that the yoke of coming out was off my chest. Now, two weeks later, I’ve finished the biography and I’m out and I’m spiraling and that skyline seems even further out of reach. I knew from the start that the conversation would come down to a fundamental clash of worldviews, and I wasn’t disappointed. “This isn’t a conversation between me and you, this is a conversation between you and God.” “You need to stop talking about larger institutional power structures and start thinking about your own individual situation.” “You’re doing exactly what the Tea Party is doing…..holding a gun to SEAN ESTELLE
A conversation with a friend: “So she used the analogy of prisoners using the prison library to educate themselves….they’re using the prison’s resources, but they’re also doing what they need in order to survive.” “Wow, that’s a pretty telling analogy…comparing your homelife to a prison.” THE RULES: 1) No bringing anyone home 2) No using a car to go out to a gay bar 3) No participating fully in the church community, but come still because you may repent eventually given the good Word. Why is it that we can watch our systems crumble around us, and yet a large majority of the art and culture we consume continues to support and perpetuate those systems - instead of beginning to ask the questions that can’t be asked in a legislature, instead of inventing new languages of relating to each other, we go complacent like sheep to the slaughter?
I desire that which I can see in front of me, and that which I have left behind me….but then again I’ve never desired anything less. I desire something other than the present. Who doesn’t? Is that a queer desire? Or is queer desire about escaping from the alwayslookingtowardsthefuture? A Communist (or even a coherent) politics would say no, but is there any sort of articulatable queer politics to even speak of, now that the movement has been hijacked by a bunch of imperialists whose core wants, it would seem, would be the right to massacre civilians half a world away while they get to wear the uniform of the country that still oppresses them on an institutional level. But sometimes my desire is much more simple than all that grandiose bullshit…..sometimes its just the desire for the nibble on an ear, or a cock to stroke, or the warmth of a breast on my back as we lay in bed together. But those desires, it seems, will not come to me, except in the form of a vindictive, petty “Take this! I’ll have sex if I want to, and you can’t do anything about it!” The cry of a maladjusted white queer man in the 21st century. History keeps me awake at night. The future keeps me awake at night. The plight of those who make the clothes I wear on my back keep me awake at night. But the thought of one day being able to articulate my words into some sort of intelligible language, into a piece of art, into a conversation with a kindred spirit, is what finally allows me to sink into my pillow and drift away like smoke in the wind.
theory f. practice
Z A C H S AY E R S
Concepts from Desire, A dialogue between Hiba Ali & Alejandra Álvarez What is desire and how does one articulate their relationship to it? For, desire is a subjective emotion that professes itself through ones’ action. It is articulated through ones’ experiences, in that way, it is unable to be fully defined as it is constantly in flux. There is no real answer to the question of desire; it is an inquiry that keeps being asked. Alejandra and I didn’t come up with any answers. But we chanced upon questions of complexity and prompts for further interrogations. I recorded and engaged in a conversation with an interlocutor, Alejandra, about the mechanisms that one employs to express desire. One derives their relation to others by considering the concept of desire. The element of sound is one of integral importance as the goal of [subjective] desire is, initially, to express it; the articulation of desire through language is an act that occurs after one has expressed it psychologically. The emanation of the voice happens after one decides that they want to articulate their yearning for the attention of another. Before acting upon it, the initial expression of desire is through the gaze. Gaze is “integral to systems of power and ideas about knowledge.” 1 /1Desire-Gaze.mp3 “Hiba: Desire to me is inherently like unrequited like something that will not be granted necessarily and that’s one thing has really informed of--my implication in relationships and gender roles, how I can gain that, I think, when I look at people, I look for the gaze back, that’s when I think something is happening.” Staring at another is confined to ones’ inhabitation of space. One enters this [proposed] exchange when the gaze is returned; there is eminent tension and anxiety involved. The impetus of the gaze is for the desire to be reciprocated. In this interchange, one’s emotions can be communicated by the way and how long one looks. /2Desire-Gaze-Possession.mp3 “Hiba: So desire can be inherently unrequited right. When you look at someone and they don’t look back at you and your like you want them to
look back and desire always wants it to be returned but it is not necessarily so ---- and I catch her looking at me, right when I do it and when I look at her and she looks at me, I look away and she looks away – keep staring at her but there’s this exchange that happens that I think she wants to tell me something but then I think it’s a lot about the gaze, that return back.
controlling desire and making sure that its’ returned to you? Cause then its’ no longer desire, its control, right? A controlled— Alejandra: Possession? Hiba: Yeah. Your desire to see them online, in kind of frozen, or you know frozen in that picture and then you see them in person and their like moving and that’s when desire just like comes at you full force cause your like oough, your right there! You know, right across, try to talk to you so then you use your words as a way to bring them in and take desire, use the mechanism of desire to get them to come to you, rightAlejandra: Mhhm Hiba:..there’s a weird magnetic force. Alejandra: It just happened, he just like pulled me in and kissed me, it was really like passionate, no I can’t do this, we can’t do this like..” When one employs desire they utilize it to attract its subject. In this mode, one utilizes their voice as a mechanism of control and a tool of allure.2 /4-chionQuote.mp3 “Hiba: If the subject of desire and the other are entwined in a dialectic movement then the voice is their non dialectic moment. The voice ties language to the body but the nature of this tie is paradoxical. The voice does not belong to either, it is not part of linguistics, it is not the part of the body either. Not only does it detach itself from the body and leave it behind, it does not the affect the body either, it cannot be situated in it.” Desire, for us, was defined through its expression- the exchange of the gaze, its compounded implication to the notion of possession and physically acting upon it by employing the voice. The voice, through the articulation of language, in the form of dialogue and its use in attempting to be noticed by the subject of desire, is not of the body. It is an expression that is dislocated, lodged in the liminal space, the anticipation of the gaze to be reciprocated.
Alejandra: His gaze was like intense like you could tell he wanted to posses me but of like passion I couldn’t like.. It would like scare me like oh my god, he’s looking at me with such intensity. Hiba: Yeah!.. Alejandra: I would like look away, y’know… Hiba: Yeah!.. Alejandra: Yeah… Hiba: …and that looking away too is really important too, because your like, you grant it for like maybe five ten maybe longer seconds or minutes and then you look away cause your like its such a hard thing to keep going on right ‘cause then you get tense like, staring, staring whose gonna move? And then like you falter your like I can’t keep looking at you so I am going to exit visually and look away. But then your body is still there and their still staring at you. And that’s what I find the most exciting and the most fascination and scary in that aspect but the idea of possession is way important because we look at something, someone you want to possess them you want to them like look back at you and have you…” Desire can be infiltrated by patriarchy and imperial modus operandi – these modes articulate practices of control – amongst others, the domination and oppression of an individual – this logic informs the notion of possession and how one sees another. /3Desire-Possess.mp3 “Alejandra: I always told him like from the beginning I’m like I see you as my partner like I don’t, if I cant like reciprocate or return – I’m like I don’t wanna own you. Your not for me to like have and I would always be like… Hiba: So possession is having _________________________________ something? 1 Sturken, Marita; Cartwright, Lisa. Practices of Alejandra: Yeah. Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture. Oxford Hiba: …and having under your own University Press,Inc., 2009. p. 94, 103. control? Or your own domain? 2 Dolar, Mladen. “The Linguistics of the Voice.” A Alejandra: Yeah. I never want to be Voice and Nothing More. Cambridge, MA: MIT, that kind of partner 2006. N. pag. Print. Hiba: But isn’t that a way of like.. cause look it, if were going with the idea that desire is like unrequited then having that person in your possession…won’t that be a way of HIBA ALI & ALE-ALE
Notas sobre la claridá Sueño con serpientes- Agarro las luces de sus agallas, lentamente. He venido a enfrentarme con sus lenguas babosas, a enrredarmen su contorno. He enterrado mis huellas digitales en el subsuelo, entre rocas, anidando en la oscuridad las cosas que nunca dije. Tengo un torbellino de sombras que me atraviesan las sienes. Es imprescindible seguir corriendo. Pero la prisa no entiende de reptiles. Es cautiva en su trajín. Tramo divulgarme en pasos corredizos. Pero no saben mis pasos que más adelante rompe el cráneo contra el cemento Rompe para inclinar rastros de lo que puede ser esta nueva verdad. Ya llevo mucho tiempo torciendo el pecho. Esperando que la luz transgreda mi mirada Y salga despejado mi cutis De la espera del reloj. La claridad tiene mucho más que ver con la calma. El estarse quieto en el perímetro de la piel. Respirar profundo un desatino Zambulléndose de frente En lo hostil.
W W W. 3 R D L A N G U A G E . C O M