Cover art: Aathira Chennat
What is spooky femme?
Spooky femme is a term that originated from Aathira Chennat and myself when we were roommates in the spring of our junior year after returning from abroad. Inspired by the film “A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night,” we coined the term “spooky femme” to describe the aesthetic that the main character embodied.
Spooky femme is more than an aesthetic: it is a mindset and a way of life. Spooky femme prioritizes women and femmes of color in all of our weirdness and magic. As I set out to compile work for this zine, I wanted to keep the spooky femme aesthetic in mind, even though not all of the contributors identify as such. Still, I believe that we all have the spooky femme spirit inside of us, and that shines through in all of the amazing pieces included in this zine. -Ally Ang
Contents Margin Notes Anju Madhok
Space Cadet Marisa Adame
Demi Marisa Adame
Texts From My Dad Ally & Wim Ang
On Yelling “Fire” In A Burning Building Anonymous
3 Paintings Frantz Lexy
Church Ally Ang
Are We Not Still Lynched? Justice Namaste
Mammoth, I Am Ben Ostrowski
3 Poems Ashleigh Bridges
2 Drawings Dan Berle
Anju Madhok is a Psychology and Women’s & Gender Studies major at Wellesley College who will one day change the world through music, radical selflove, and anticolonial education. When she is not writing and performing music, you can find her making sandwiches or astral projecting. Scan the QR code to listen to Anju’s third album, Margin Notes .
space cadet marisa adame they call me space cadet and i find myself floating as if Gravity forgot to take me under her wing. i walk with my chin tilted toward Sky, praying to find inspiration in the drizzle of rain that escapes the sun beating down on an April afternoon. my body catapults itself into space as the people around me attempt to break my inner walls. my body forgets that i need to stay connected to the ground in order to complete my degree and suddenly anxiety acts as anchor gripping me back into reality; a plague of a thousand books all open at once too many ideas, not enough time; forever getting lost in the forest of my mind with no roadmap yet of a consistent way out of depression save for sunlight and harmonies which act as Ariadne’s labyrinth string guiding me out of my Haunted. see sparkle. hear laughter. remember that the world will not end today. but if it does, i have found sanctuary in between the stars the chaotic cosmos of my mind creating space for me to rest. when you see me and the light behind my eyes is not here, know that i am simply visiting home.
demi marisa adame my body remembers but my heart doesn’t. as my legs wrap instinctively around the next, my mind climbs into the galaxy above, searching for the meaning of this moment. i move the molecules of stars, transcendently trying to remember what it means to love as the animal inside me carries out its thrusts almost like responsibility. my thoughts float on waves of light dripping from the vodka bottle on my desk as my body fools around, simply fulfilling its job. my body remembers but my heart doesn't: what it means to be filled with a love that forces you outside of yourself so that even a year later you cannot utter the accusation rapist ; at least my body has forgotten how to cry. has become fortress walling up my emotions when i must act in line with expectations and i give myself to social scripts while my mind wanders, constructing staircases to celestial beings while my body is consumed, my inner self moving among twilight galaxies in time with the movement of the guest in my bedroom. my hands remember how to be grateful run fingers through hair as if it holds water in a drought. 5
my palms recall the skin of my Hercules lover: demigod smoothness granting me power to finally finish a thought. my heart feels a shadow of the day his pinky forgot his promise. since then, i peruse bookshelves of constellations, walk through the walls of my bedroom midcoitus to search for the answers to life, try to reach the inevitable destruction of the sun through letting others use my body. my lips remember kissing space on the rim of an empty champagne bottle, realizing i had been emptied for someone else. my body remembers how to betray me, and that's all it's ever done since i forgot how to love. Marisa Adame is an international actress and spoken word poet from Dallas, Texas currently working out of Cleveland, Ohio. She is a cofounding member of Ra Poetry Collective which hopes to compete in this year's College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. Her work has previously been published in St. Sucia zine. These and other selected poems can be found at her website: http://www.marisaadame.com/ . Check out her Facebook if you like; she sends you all the loveliest of vibes.
texts from my dad
ally & wim ang 7
on yelling “fire” in a burning building anonymous content warning: abuse
I am writing a love poem to the fireplace Which is another way of saying: When my house burned down I blamed the wood And the bookshelves, and the handmade potholders. I apologized on their behalf for this inadvertent arson, Together we asked forgiveness of the fire But the flames and the furniture had no words in common. What I wanted to say was: I’m sorry For being so flammable, so small and frightened For finding monsters in the shadows on the wall I’m sorry for yelling “fire”, and for all the commotion I caused. I’m sorry for how ugly I made the fire feel by screaming.
mañana frantz lexy
red eyes frantz lexy 10
queen frantz lexy 11
church ally ang I feel most godlike when my head aches from hunger when I’ve drunk too much tequila when a stranger takes me home. I go to parties just to watch people dance all hot & sweaty, making out with boys whose names they’ve forgotten under pulsing fluorescent lights. I am prettiest when I am burning. I can tell by the way you watch me glowing crimson; a forest fire embers floating into the night. I don’t like how men look at me but I play along mouth wet, body soft ripe and ready to burst between my thighs. a body splits so easily. it takes hardly any pressure at all. if nothing else, I am clean. Ally Ang is a selfproclaimed spooky femme who is in love with the moon.
are we not still lynched? justice namaste content warning: antiblack racism, police brutality, slavery When I was a young girl in school, the only brown face in a sea of overwhelming whiteness (the way I spent most of my childhood), I remember sitting in a classroom while my teacher talked about slavery. I remember how all of the other students in the room turned to look at me whenever it came up. If I had not made the connection between myself and slavery before that day, it was made for me in that classroom. These are the same children who grew up into the teenagers who told me they were my friends, and told me I wasn’t really black, until I came home crying to my moms because there was so much hurt inside of my chest that I hadn’t figured out how to put into words. Are we not still lynched? I remember the day that the ruling for the Michael Brown case came down. I remember sitting in my dorm room, trying to do some sort of reading, but unable to even see the words because I was so anxious and my eyes were already filled with tears. I remember when Darren Wilson was cleared; I remember feeling paralyzed and unsurprised and terrified and deeply sorrowful. That was the first day I remember feeling like I was holding the pain of generations of ancestors somewhere inside my chest. My face looked older that day, like centuries of pain had etched worry creases into my forehead and blackened the dark circles under my eyes. Are we not still lynched? I open my computer and cannot escape from graphic images and videos showing the violent deaths of Black people, reigniting the horrors of generations of trauma that I do not have the words to articulate. This pain that suffocates me with its seemingly infinite depth and brings tears to my eyes, this trauma that that tastes like plantation dirt and metal bars, I ask: are we not still lynched? When corporations are profiting off of the piling up of Black bodies in the streets and in prisons, when the media allows these images to be so seared into our brains that they float on the inside of my eyelids when I close my eyes at night, when pain is so deeply etched into our history that you can hear it in the first cry of every Black baby, I ask: are we not still lynched? If you listen carefully you can hear the sound of Black people all over the country crying, their tears Black like the water our government forces down our throats as we collectively scream but 13
somehow go unheard... The state tries to pollute us like they pollute the water, to kill us by rotting us from the inside out. They know that how you destroy a community is by suffocating its light, by killing its babies, by breaking its spirit. But I do not only carry the trauma of my ancestors, I carry their strength. For while the first cry of every Black baby oozes pain, its first brilliant smile contains in it centuries of years of joy and compassion. You can see our love in the way we treat our fallen, in our gratitude, in our perseverance, in our art. There is a resilience in the spirit of our community that cannot be stifled, cannot be derailed. There is a beauty in the simple act of survival. For, like it has gone for centuries before, they will continue to try to lynch us, and we will continue to resist. Justice Namaste is a rising senior studying American Studies at Williams College. Her middle name is Audre, after Audre Lorde, and she gets her righteous womanist/intersectional feminist soul from her mothers. Favorite topics of conversation include: popular culture, podcasts, food, and Nicki Minaj.
why are people so afraid of narcissism, of a generation that celebrates its own confidence, self-love, and beauty? why is vanity so vilified?
mammoth, i am ben ostrowski “etchasketch iris, trampoline heart.” something quirky out there in the great blue is whispering, “mammoth, you are.” mammoth, I am. * this is the fourth summer so far and my bags are packed (the wingtip loafers are new; I need those to keep my height high above the grey). my affairs resist order, as they should. my fresh air blue through trumpets into my scarlet balloon, up behind me like capes and archangels. and my stretched hand spent an inky second in the mortar. look at me tattoo this planet.
Ben, who studies psychology at Brown University, is weird and deeply in love with words and their poetry.
my mother’s cheekbones hair on my upper lip sides shaved down i think i’ll cut the hair on top but i don’t want to broad shoulders permanent lacrosse tan i really like how my arms look soft short 19
fingers i can see my ribs they keep saying i don’t have an ass but whatever my thighs are my favorite i tried to get the dirt off my feet most of it’s gone Dom (they/them) is a short Southern queer nonbinary babe who loves sweet tea.
heritage ashleigh bridges content warning: racism, violence Off the deck of the Mayflower my ancestors stepped, and ever after, like Eve from the rib of Adam have sprung, out of unforgiving New England soil devout, fearful, and hardy, slaughtering natives in God’s name. My great grandmother bought people, dispersed them like furniture needing to be fed. My grandmother never dressed herself, suckled at the breast of a black woman whose name she cannot remember. Every heirloom is haunted, ghosts swing noosed from our family tree. There is a set of china, passed down through the women, as white as bone, glazed with dark blood.
dissociate ashleigh bridges The apathy is a place I can hide, its gauzy veil a quiet camouflage. A vast river of sheer, angry noise, the scream paralyzed always in my throat, they are subdued by this great equalizer, this absolute lack of stirring, this still and open ocean. I take two hours to get out of bed the mirror meets my eyes, a flat gaze surveys this body: it has been gutted, there is no blood, no viscera, just insides hollowed out vacant and smooth.
untitled ashleigh bridges The crisp skins of onions perfume the air, a single tear rests near her jawline: a false rivulet. I want to reach and wipe it away, to feel her on the pad of my thumb, I stop myself. Ashleigh Bridges likes animals, dense forests, and dead things. She is currently practicing mindfulness, holding her breath, and witchcraft. A Connecticut native. Find her at littleliebchen.tumblr.com.
metamorphosis dan berle 23
big head dan berle 24
summer 2k16: a playlist 25
Thank you for reading!
If you have questions, comments, or thoughts about anything in this zine, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org xx, Ally
A collaborative zine of writing, art, music, selfies, and more. Compiled by Ally Ang.