prefaceALLIE SHYER The first 3rd language workshops brought together a group of queeridentified people of color in their late teens and early twenties for a six week intensive collaborative experience. Throughout our time together we explored various forms of print media and art making techniques while delving deeply into issues of queerness and intersectional identity. Through writing and engagement with a variety of texts from Audre Lorde to Original Plumbing, we explored intersections of queerness, geography, identity, race, culture and personal history. You will find a sampling of these written explorations in this zine. The act of making allows us to find our own definitions of self, identity and language, and acts as a tool to reclaim parts of ourselves that have been silenced. Like queerness itself, making gets to the parts of us that are irreconcilable: “I couldn’t place myself on one end because the rest of me said no, part of me could not be separated. If there were only a word that could explain this feeling. This desire my body has to love others and itself. A word. Queer. It knows that I’m everything and just one thing-me.”- Benjamin Serrano. Through queerness and through art, we are broadening the definition of what it means to be a whole self. A self in which a multiplicity of identities can co-exist and can be at odds. The word “queer” gives us space to explore what it means to be who we are, without excluding any of the more difficult or hard to rectify parts. The works that flourished from these workshops holds these tensions at their core, and explore what it truly means to exist as a multiplicity.
JEROME FITZGERALD KENDRICK JR
J.M. CONWAY 08
Wrong Number Your God has moved he no longer sits out of reach in golden skies SHE dwells just beneath the surface of the broken, dirty earth and is expecting yr call
I knew lotsa Young’s in high school some male some female and all white all straight (assumed) no queer, X and Y equal an equation, X and Y on the calculus board I clung to calculus I clung to order, the numbers, I could do it perfectly I could finish the problem I could get an A then A’s on the board sometimes even X’s and Y’s and A’s all on the board simultaneously! I graphed them and got curved lines! I ran them as all the other Alex’s and Young’s ran on the x axis and y axis but I was the only one who could run on both, they were just Alex’s just Young’s I was at the end of the alphabet the start of the mystery equation answer me but you’re still left without knowing Z The mysterious Z floating above my head as I dreamed about worlds where axes were curved and everyone ran in perfect parabolas each their own arc but still each a curve each a unique parabola different exponents and equations and I wake up and run to school ‘cause I’m late
ALEX PAUL YOUNG
I knew lotsa Alex’s in high school some were male some female all white all straight (at least that’s what I assumed) none queer except me. I was part of a mode-added up then divided down the line, averaged, graphed on a stem and leaf plot firmly hold onto the X (the most unique) firmly hold onto the Y of my last name Young
I Palmar Chico. How could you forgive me Hidden pueblo, hill town. I traced dirt roads as my sanctuary. Todos conocen a todos. pues como no, tan bonito Un barrio tan pequeno. Rios por ahi, aqua pura. Pienso en ti, campos más hermosos, para mi. Me conoce así, de memoria, como how it messes with your head, to lie on the hammock out back open no windows there but in the air fresh hand made tortillas. Home cooked nearly royal living ready
IV Siempre tio, tu amor eterno. Are students still learning to read and write of routine and ritual? You owned words, kept them hidden and crushed between the palms of your hands. Aqui sigo adorando Todavia, I keep your secret of that private magazine, covered, books towered. Maybe I was too young to know, but I knew what no one has to know. Not abuela, not your wife, your brothers or sisters, or your kids pretending. I just hope that happy means a kind of happy for you, tio.
II Five, seven, nine years maybe. Is the castle, that washed out teal, I love so much, abuela? All of it yours, how you knew the place for every crack, heavy lift worker above all. Not abuelos housewife, stay true to your track strap sandals, dark brown leather brand better served business. Y el puesto, every saturday early dawn up and ready for the hectic plaza. Boss: sleek short due, floral apron, muscular calves, no one dared to fuck with your post.
V Nunca, did I want to go to church sundays, mid morning and I still probably wouldn’t, not during mass at least. It’s after the release, it looks to me, uphill That church is regal, the tallest landmark in the tiny town. How I slumped arm on abuelas’ knee, hand pressed on my back, I bereave. Y juro, con mi alma que recordó el perfume de las paredes. The same faces, damp with sweat packed from every corner for the fathers word. Viviendo en una oración; por dios mio, cuidame a mi, pero mas a mi familia.
III Behind the house shop, the castle I’m sure the land is plush, abuelo. I hear rumour losing sight, you’re going blind. I don’t trust that because Handle how you do, control Earth, grain and the giant tree far back, cavallo amarado al arbol. The first time you strapped me on that horse for el rancho, I wanted to shit myself, you secured nearby. I never talked to you much but cried when you pulled the chickens neck in the coop, horrid screech, you promised that way it died quick. No need to grieve, the large bird felt no pain. And I liked the taste of chicken.
VI Kati, de seguro has touched heaven. Legs give out, don’t they. I hear she can’t use those now properly. Still astounds me, how mine rarely forget. Every summer I arrived, a new batch of puppies were soon ready to greet me. Eleven, thirteen, fifteen in all maybe. Abuela: When you came as a baby, Kati met you. She knows it, mijo. She remembers, she always will. You are very special to her. The first time I ever came on my own, Kati, ran up, looking young, curled onto my lap welcome back to a home I didn’t remember. Spread between summers, it had to be more.
ALEX PAUL YOUNG
NO, IT’S NOT. PEOPLE’S PREFERENCES ARE INSCRUTABLE AND IT’S REALLY NOT YOUR PLACE TO JUDGE THOSE WHO KNOW WHAT THEY WANT. 459767 SAT JUNE 15TH 2013, 11:17 PM
RE: “IT’S RACIST AND DEHUMANIZING TO COMPARE YOUR FEELINGS ABOUT DIFFERENT RACES OF PEOPLE TO YOUR FEELINGS ABOUT DIFFERENT TYPES OF FOOD, YOU FUCKING IDIOT!”
Cold Night Walks With Comfort
That stop shop always looked like home to me. Parking lot spots, young breath layered around the black bars that wrap around kimball only runs until one am, sometimes people wait in hope that one more trip comes out to find them, waiting. Fluorescent lights beam down, all the pretty fags still look like stars running the lawrence bus. I can wait until four, the cycle begins again, waiting. My friendsâ€™ brothersâ€™ uncle told me he bought a saint, in a shop across the street. He told me it calms his nerves, when he waits long hours at home. I walk cold night walks with comfort. People constantly complain about the concrete in city lights in the city my bones, iron map the yellow lights streaming down the avenues. Neighborhood blocks go on for weeks at night.
We too, have trees in the city, except the large plush tree they murdered in front of my house maybe the city lights made it rot one night, while it waited No one on my block warned me. I know they all watched. Walking down long streets, kimball rests, eyes shut. irving left me light years ago. why should I wait The true love of my being has lived near kimball and irving for years now. They know time for love is not now. I can’t wait. I’m too green over the leaves that left me rays of sunlight never asked for, layers of shade soothe me. I wonder how many people are waiting, waking up right now about to wait at lawrence and kimball. addison is not mine, under the bridge on the other end Belmont never stopped running I wonder if the dead patch in front of my home knows I didn’t wait. how could I?
Blood streams twenty four seven with clocks ticking, constantly going—
Chance Nicole My middle name is so boring. My mother chose it. My brother refuses to call me by my first name, because my father chose it. A name he couldn’t even pronounce. Shance. My mother doesn’t know why, even though I ask her every few years. The ones who made me had no idea what they were doing.
Someone once told me I was a mistake. As in, I wasn’t supposed to have been conceived. As in, my mother wanted another child, but my father didn’t.
Chance has ants in her pants when she dances in France. Chance of Rain Chance of Recovery Chance of Knippa, Texas. Chance of Miscommunication. Fate, fortune, a gamble. I always use the word “opportunity” when I write, instead of putting myself into my work. I’m still so hesitant, so uncertain about my own existence. As if believing strongly in something was against my nature. As if believing strongly in myself would undermine the essence of my being. As if anybody’s name held that much power.
Learn to be selfish. Learn to give selflessly. Creating something is scary. Creating to share with others is mortifying. I’m still trying to figure out how to create for myself. The lowest points come when I can’t. There’s a constant need to give value to my words and I’m always afraid that the value is deprecated. If value can’t be found by the creator then how will others do the same? Self-Reflection The best words come randomly. They flow under pressure. They spill. And it hurts. I need a day to recover. But the recovery is needed. It’s the most important part. It soothes, so instead of trying to create 2 concepts. 2 avenues of thought, I learn to share. Learn to not be afraid. Learn to be selfish. Learn to [share] selflessly.
JEROME FITZGERALD KENDRICK JR
JEROME FITZGERALD KENDRICK JR
My Being Male Body I slowly walk down the blocks from where the bus stops and I’m in front of a familiar black iron fence. Mid-march and my bones still froze. My stomach feels sick when I open
ask me but I guess it all depends on content. There was a look of awe and confusion on his face.
the gate. I wait behind the glass screen door
“Uh, um, how you been”
for someone to let me in. I study the detail
“Fine, I’ve been good,” I say, come in
on the welcome mat. I hear the door swing
and move away from him. I didn’t want to
open, look up from my shoes and he, my
acknowledge him, deal with him.
father is standing there— behind the screen.
Five o’clock shadow, the same short hairdo and a striped polo. He looked tired, older.
Tio Pepe: “Ey boy, how you been,” mi tio Pepe puts his hand around my shoulder.
Sometimes I avoid time because I waste so
He seems a little nervous. My uncle is kind of
much of it. The last interaction I had with
an asshole in a likeable way, if that makes
him involved a nasty text message that
any sense. For once he appeared cautious.
slandered a part of my identity that he hasn’t
Like he was scared of chasing me away.
even met yet. It was sometime in my midhigh school world. To be honest, he’s just not ready to meet other parts of me. I’m not yet necessarily angry about his disapproval or lack of understanding, I guess I’m just tired too. The idea of having to explain or reveal parts of my identity repeatedly is so obnoxious, stressful and kind of bullshit. My father has a kind of love for me. Clouded at the moment from the fear of queer. We’ve all heard it before, “people are scared of what they don’t know or don’t fully understand,” which is a cheap excuse if you
It was my aunt’s birthday and I agreed to make an appearance for her. I was a lot less faggy than the last time I was in this type of space. Well, maybe just as faggy but not as visible. I kept it tame for the visit. Through my thick filled brows and scarf that that wrapped around my head exposing my full face maybe wasn’t that subtle. Tia Alma: “Cristian! Look at you, how are you, are you hungry?” My aunt Alma with a wide smile “Hi, I’m well. So good to see you”
are so excited. I told them you were coming” “I know, they’re all so big, there’s so many and so big” Tia Alma: “Like you! Wow, just look at you” Out of the corner, comes a little boy in a button up. Jeans and short hairdo like his
doing and my plans for more doing. She sticks around as the kids shower me with love and more questions. How’s school? Are you coming to my birthday? Did you know I can read a whole book?
dad. He has a large smile on his face. “Hi,
Did you miss me?
Giovanni,” I say to my baby brother.
Giovanni is possessive and sits on my lap the
Tia Alma: “He misses his big brother, you
whole time. He makes sure that everyone’s
know. Right, Gio, dile!”
aware that I am in fact his brother. They’re
fascinated by my presence after so much absence. They give me a break to get food.
He is so fucking excited to see me, and my
Watching them was a mere image of my
heart can’t take it. He takes my hand and
cousins and when we were the same age
pulls me to a room where a whole bunch
around the same supervision.
of our cousins are playing around. I lift him to my level and kiss him on the cheek. He looks well rested and has a strong smile. His complexion is closer to mine than our fathers. He speaks to me in Spanish and occasionally reminds me that his English is getting better.
I come back to build blocks with Giovanni. I give tips on how to build the blocks higher and keep them from falling over. He can hardly believe how high the blocks are able to tower. His mannerisms remind me a lot of myself and that makes me a little sick. He has
My aunt Olivia comes through the door, with
qualities that are considered feminine. And
heavy eyes. “Como estas mijo” the last time
I know what that could mean. I don’t want
she called me wasn’t long ago. I heard her
him to ever have to feel invalid in his own
voice crack. She had constantly taken care
body. He’s only five going on six, it’s really
of me when I was younger. She hugs me and
too early to tell what type of male he’ll be
asks me questions of how I’ve been, how I’m
allowed to be.
Tia Alma: “I’m so glad you came. The kids
I— I live in a male body that performs
knows he doesn’t know what he wants. The
more feminine than masculine. I’m sexually
only thing he’s sure about is which dick he’d
attracted to male bodies but sometimes the
like to put in his mouth next and that’s fine
idea of men makes me sick. I wonder if I’d
but don’t lead me on with possibly maybes
ever be able to explain that to him. How can
and one day it will happen.
I tell him that living in my body is a constant process of recovery. Giovanni hasn’t let me go since I walked
through that door. He deserves all of me
and I’ve given him so little. Yet still, he adores me unconditionally. Loves me as if I’ve always been there and like I’m never going anywhere. I think of all the boys I’ve wasted so much time on.
Self-love is so easily forgotten when you’re so wrapped up in temporary healing and the illusion of care. Procoro- coco- my dad, mi pa- our relationship has been a course of roughness but love- he needs time for the “gay talk,” or maybe I’m not quite ready or willing to discuss myself with him yet—my full self with him yet. I build blocks and play with toys on the
My relationships with male bodies is conflict.
ground with him- Giovanni for a couple more
The relation alters consistently.
hours. It’s getting late, so I begin to gather
The boys I’ve given my body to test and
my things to leave.
value. There’s Justin- who took sexual
“No te vayas,” says this beautiful boy
advantage of me and I took it every time
who’s never taken me for granted or taken
because he knew I wanted it, so maybe I
advantage of me in anyway. “Don’t go,
did? Eddie- said it would be fun until I nearly
stay.” Giovanni wanted to keep me as long
passed out on the sidewalk on that hot day
as possible before I left again. So I did.
and he had to peel my skin off the sidewalk and bring me back with his lungs. And then there’s the other Giovanni, Gio- who I’ve grown so attached to, who I love in many ways that shift and turn. But I know and he
I decided to stay the night for him because he deserves me. No other male body has shown the same amount of value and respect for my body.
Sometimes I have to step back and acknowledge my body and what it means in time and different spaces. How my body craves respect and validation for myself. I am fat, am bold, am brown, am fagqueen, am faggot, am glorious.
Self-care is care for my Giovanni.
my tongue wraps itself around my り, and scientifically り, a liquid, becomes Ree, a solid Under a blue gaze
You who dance in the sun, perhaps invited but certainly not wanted we say yes but only because you leave us no choice I want to scream in your face rip out your long, blond, hair dye your eyes ink black I want to speak softly gently show you how to respect my people close your lids so that you cannot look upon us And it makes me gag on sick This need to coddle, and thrash you Every which way I am choiceless and the blade pushes through my belly.
I do not know how to find the in-between of how to treat you your behavior your long, blond, hair or your blue light-lashed gaze
because i wish to hope for believe in
that i am throughly loved that i am beautiful that i am a sexy mutha fucka that i do have something to give that GOD is a WOMYN that perhaps... i am god that we all need and want each other that mess is OK that digging yields treasures that trying to BECOME is revolutionary that
a shimmer that lives inside my own heart
I AM ABLE
which i cant for the fucking life of me figure out how to name
i make for me and me alone. Hoping that you will see me and that we will become US
I make for me and me alone The Lost Ones abandoned ones the scared and and anxious ones the black, black, black ones the pussy having, breasts sagging ones the queer ones- forgotten and fighting the hood ones that made it out to find there is no place to go and no place to return to i make for me and me alone
i make for me and me alone because i need to remember
Many thanks to: 3rd Language Summer Workshops 2013 Participants Chance Ramirez, J.M. Conway, Cristian Gorostieta, Neomara Serges, Alex Paul Young, Midori Bowen, Benjamin Serrano, Jerome Kendrick and Jacky Brooks 3rd Language Summer Workshops 2013 Teaching Artists H. Melt, Joel Mercedes, Ashley McClenon, Anthony Romero, Oli Rodriguez, Emily Schulert, Molly Berkson and Kiam Marcelo Junio 3rd Language Summer Workshops 2013 Visiting Artist Rashayla Brown 3rd Language Summer Workshops 2013 Organizers Amina Ross, NIC Kay, Allie Shyer and Veronica Stein
www.3rd-language.com JEROME FITZGERALD KENDRICK JR