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F A L L

c o v e r

b y

j

a v e r y

2 0 1 6

t h e o d o r e

d a i s e y


e s t u a r

e s # 1:

reconciling the queer south estuaries

seeks to explore/ unpack/name:

what it means to be queer in the South the qualities & experiences of queerness which are unique to the South the conditions of the South which enable queerness & queer community the South as it embodies queerness

estuaries from all

calls for submissions y'all southern queers:

queers currently livin' in the south! southern-reared queer-bas! queers who have left//come [back] to the south!

crucially: this zine seeks to hold the voices of the most marginalized southern queer-bos at its center ( including but not limited to : qpoc, women, nonwesterners, trans*folk, undocumented folk, poor folk, formerly/currently incarcerated folk, folk engaged in transactional sex work)

therefore, estuaries always ask:

will

how do experiences of southern queerness touch & bump against / intersect & develop relationally with / move along: race, class, immigration status,

generation, region, ability, gender, faith?

asked my mama what the south is to her without skippin' a beat she says to me :

'it's the smell of an estuary.'

estuary : partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water ; where the river meets the sea ; where fresh & saltwater mix

'what you have to do is put your feet in the stream from an estuary. it's the softest stuff at the bottom. completely decomposed so it's like silk. '


c o n t r i b u t o r s AMANDA ‘ARKANSASSY’ HARRIS BRIANNA PERRY BRITTANY COMINOS C DUFFEY CE BRUCE CAL VON SCHILL CASSIE HARNER CHARLI BRISSEY CODY LANDRUM DEVIN HARCLERODE ENYA VON SCHILL J AVERY THEODORE DAISEY JAQ EVANS JOANI INGLETT JRW KOTONE DEGUCHI LIZ CLAYTON SCOFIELD MATTHEW BATTY MAXWELL ELLIS RUNKO MORGAN NILES NIALL DONEGAN RACHEL DE CUBA RUSTY WALTON S RODRIGUEZ SALLY BURNETTE SARA BALABANLILAR SHAWN REILLY VASILLIOS ‘SILLY’ PAPAPITSIOS WILSON ST JAMES ZAZA WILLIS ZOE BRZEZINSKI


NIALL DONEGAN


NIALL DONEGAN


NIALL DONEGAN


how tough is this crust?

J

AVERY THEODORE DAISEY

I learned to make my biscuits in the deep south cuttin' cold butter in with knives, up at 4 am, and I always struggled to choose whether to go fishin' or make biscuits with Nana. and at this moment that didn't make me a dyke or queer. at this moment i hadn't quite learned the southern art of keepin ' secrets. at this moment i hadn't been trained on the brand of logic that condemns particular spaces to uninhabitable islands. at this moment I hadn't yet tasted the sweet-salty cunt of a southerner at this moment i didn 't apologize in mouthfuls yet

salt is in m~ blood. In a way, it was so easy to hide in Carolina, no one ever questioned the difference between a corn-fed Ravenel 'girl' or a 'girl' who stuffed fingers and tongues in slits. We all have the same crust. Ones that can't be shaken off no matter how tough the soap or long the shower. Ours is made from that salt in our blood that excretes from our pores, merging with that sweat-wet southern air. Even in our humid humilitY.,. we were never apple pie, but a salty soured-sweet morsel stuffed with swollen peaches and bloody strawberries. and we never needed extra sugar. a concoction of darlin' charm, pickin' our own switches, switch hittin' on our softball teams, teamin' with the same barriers bred into the walls we were always gnawin' and clawin' on never interested in the collapse, more leavin some mark, markin' our bodies, punished for having a slit splittin' us in half shoutin' no, but there was always a stutter in the hearin' it couldn't happen to 'a girl like you' Mama always said "don't you be the fool who swings second." And we know because we bruise just like peaches and have never minded the blood that trickles down our scarred legs because we are also scab-pickers, puddle-jumpers, and tadpolewatchers . we never stood for that talk of being made of sugar and spice and everything nice, mimickin' our southern aunts, standin' hard, toes feeling the mud, hip-popped to one side with an arm around the waste and the other nestled in our hip bone. "aint yer mama purty" we were never the kind for crisp consonants. That d r a w that makes us take longer to say what we mean and when we mean it we stand even harder with hard points hard stares with hard crusts that can only be broken by the same butter that cut them. flesh-born, our knees might be wobbly, but those legs are hard to break that secret southern ferocity, ample as the supple breast we suck,


J

AVERY THEODORE DAISEY

tryin’ to decipher which hystories to define as his-story and not mine. and mama knew I was queer before I did. those things livin’ in that back wood, backward back when? and i wonder of backward lookin’ there for answers as if that is where the past(passed) lives. i wonder of the disconnect in such grounding. The dissatisfaction in such labeling. The suffocation in such a tunneled agenda. do we knead(need) the backdrop of that backwood in the backward? is it an accident that we still got mud stuck between our toes? backward reachin’ in and snatchin’ out those things that make us swell up like a peach


J

AVERY THEODORE DAISEY

imishapin' don’t wanna be the meerly survivin’ even un-maliable survivin’ is somethin’ we learned the sewin’ shut of our mouths and learnin’ each vein on i hope this is how i ended up sobycrooked the back of daddies hand i know that southern air chewed me right up like a stick of big red that 100 percent humidity suffocatin’ theflavor most fluent of words swallowed me whole after that spicy ran dry mishapin’ even the un-maliable largely indigestible at its base iso hope this is how i ended uppit so of crooked I've been stickin' to the the belly of this place ever since isweatin' know that southern air chewed as my legs turn up me right up like a stick of big red swallowed me whole after that spicy flavor ran dry red state bred in a red state as blood red as my cheeks after runnin' home largely indigestible at its base red as the blood we wanted so badly to fill our panties after that strawberry moon so I’ve been stickin’ to the pit of the belly of this place ever since red as the stain on daddies floor sweatin’ as my legs turn up and i never knew if it was mamas blood or the kool-aid i puked

glancin' inas this musky when red state bred inbackward a red state blood redair as my cheeks after runnin’ home ired hope there is strength in our irreverence as the blood we wanted so badly to fill our panties after that strawberry moon red as the stain calm in thisfloor pasture on daddies pluffi in that knew mud if it was mamas blood or the kool-aid i puked and never floatin' in those mosquito infested waters lettin' them eatcha right up when glancin’ backward in this musky lookin' for air somethin' to scratch because we were always i hope there is strength in our irreverence calm in this pasture its funny what we are willing to pay for. pluff in that mud floatin’ in those mosquito infested waters lettin’ them eatcha right up because we were always lookin’ for somethin’ to scratch and we dig into the bounds which leap as a breath, teetering on the edge of that totter. not a rock, not solid, not gaseous, not quite liquid, but ooze of an unknown concoction, that drips, seeps, becomes self and other not a mold of bundt but a pie in a land of cake.


C

DUFFEY

‘N A T U R E NURTURE N E G O T I A T I O N’

hover over image to w a t c h v i d e o


BRITTANY

COMINOS

begins, and begins, and begins In the peach dawn glow find me half destroyed by the way you placed your hand on the wheel; smooth and familiar, how I hoped to be.

On the front porch, you laid out like a map. I imagined you were full of promise, knowing that my favorite places wo uld al ways remember you better. Haunted by your soft spot for spines and s t o r m s . All those languid l a n d s c a p e s , all those dried flowers on your mantle, rosecolored memories spoil in your palm.

formative years Tell me again about the all-girl summer camp you went to when you were fifteen.


BRITTANY

COMINOS

g a t h e r “Yet why not say what happened? Pray for the grace of accuracy Vermeer gave to the sun’s illumination stealing like the tide across a map to his girl solid with yearning.” -Robert Lowell, “Epilogue”

Honey, you are like peaches in July— maybe softer and sweeter but bruising just as easy. Sweating in the soft morning we murmur like bumblebees. Exhale violets and daffodils, and make out overgrown tomato plants through sunshine and mason jars on your windowsill. Your thighs are gentle like gardenias and looking at you must be what it’s like to discover an entire patch of four leaf clovers. Unlike me, you stick around, clinging like kudzu to the waists of a shadow stretched across the back porch or the chimney of your childhood home.

When the time comes you can find me every Sunday morning praying for the grace of accuracy as I gather words to drape over the monument we built to age seventeen. When we let honeysuckle and lemonade go straight to our heads, clumsy hands Crusoeing in tall grass.


BRITTANY

i n

between

COMINOS

days

I. Like the poor maniac I linger here

III. Still seek for flowers where only thorns appear

You were still asleep when I got home, the air dense, but soft around you. The radiator buzzed and hummed with the thrash of cars barreling through rain like I was in some poem where the narrator was speaking lovingly, slow to his prick all along.

These when I I am my into the or your Pulling of your from the of my is true brutality.

II. Still haunt the scene where al l my treasure lies I didn’t mean to, but I spoke in a whisper, making an instrument out of your collarbone. The smell of your sweat mixed with the coffee on my shirt, afternoon light swallowed the room it in a gentle foggy grey. The curl of your eyelashes against your cheeks almost made up for the mess.

days, dream, digging fingernails dirt skin. strands hair weave sweater


DEVIN

HARCLERODE

‘ S W E A T Y MOTHER SLOW G R O O V E ’

hover over image to w a t c h v i d e o


s w e a t y

m o t h e r

the following text is an excerpt from a thesis paper written to accompany the video Sweaty Mother Slow Groove. the full text is available as a pdf at devinharclerode.com

THE

SWAMP

IS

a place where juices simmer, where detritus and newness coexist in coactivity. A sinking site that lacks traditional stability and human trace; with traditional stability acting as a synthesized ecology of living: pouring in the foundation and setting binaries in stone, a politics of domination. A swamp is cloaked in humidity, aka, water vapor stuck in the air, being dually experienced as an atmospheric physicality. Upon entrance into the thick, your hair frizzes, sweat pools up, and dampness becomes a state of mind. In this heat, binaries are rejected through a celestial exercise in positive ambivalence. A swamp’s waters are inbetween salt and fresh, river and lake. The water is dangerous in stagnancy and gracious in fertility, being consistently involved in a tannic panic that permeates several realms (the gators, mosquitos and amoebas are lurking as the powers that be dream of draining). The tannins in the water reject the serenity of blue and instead reflect a righteous orange. The grounds are made mostly of muck, a gooey dark mass beneath built-up through layers of wetness and detritus that stir up an enigmatic depth. One step is four inches deep, the second step is a foot. It is a sweaty mother, denying the binary of

s l o w

g r o o v e

decomposition and reproduction, with the slowness of the space mushing it into a complex mass. The cycle of life becoming less determinable as stagnant water becomes a breeding ground for bloodsucking. What is most compelling is that the swamp appears to be an exercise in fluidity that we can invoke to transcend the rigidity that is mirrored in human architecture, drainage, and comfort. Rigidity is aligned with a civilized world that valorizes the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, and it is due time to be rethought. Swamp power instills a slow grooving fight back. Recalling the phallic order that tried to tame it. Mexico City was built on a swamp and it is sinking, a process known as subsidence. Packed with heavy buildings as the water underground is pumped out, the Sidewalks are stretches of cracked, uneven slabs – infringing on your paced walk, and making room for diligence. You must notice your footsteps as the civilized structure does not go unchecked. The cathedral downtown, built in 1521 as a towering symbol of Spanish conquest, has sunk faster than the rest of the city, on top of the Aztec ruins. The lands of the city are breaking up with phallocentric colonialism, fighting down rather than up a drowning. In coastal Virginia, the Great Dismal


DEVIN

HARCLERODE

Swamp is flanked by cotton fields and confederate flags. Driving toward it, the lushness is tinged with white-male hunters who are ignorant to its history. The swamp is known for the “Washington Ditch” – which was a colonial effort to drain the 40,000 acres in the hope of cementing a zone of trade and farm-land. Despite the domination attempt, the project was eventually abandoned, and the swamp became a refuge for the oppressed: runaway slaves, Native Americans, and the shunned. An environ too risky for the white men of the western world to search and conquer, but welcome enough for the other - the abject. The largeness that is the Everglades in south Florida has seen years of manly strife. A guardian of the swamp, the mosquito bears itself in abundance in the everglades – a bloodsucker and a small annoyance that packs a punch. A step into a swamp in the summer requires a constant flow of movement. To stand your body as static as a column means certain attack, the mosquitos cover every inch of warm-blooded stillness. With the promise of god behind them, the early English settlers in Florida successfully drove out the fellow colonizing Spaniards – and thus pushed the Seminoles toward the Everglades. The second Seminole war erupted through the vibrating radicality of Osecola. The “civilized” soldiers where racked with swampy hardship, a diary entry from General Alexander Webb from Michael Grunwalds The Swamp in regards

to his miasmic position reads: “April 13: No peace from mosquitos. … Stayed up all night. … Mosquitos awful. 1,000,000,000 of them. April 18: Mosquitos worse than ever. They make life a burden. April 19: I am perfectly exhausted by the heat and eaten up by the mosquito… they are perfectly intolerable. Thus the richness of the swamp is swarming. The fighting men were met with conditions meant to slow them, where the Seminoles thrived. The anecdote is a testament to the preference of the swamp, those who work with rather than against. As the reputation for miasma pulls away (or rather the miasma is recalibrated in the positive), the swamp can be understood through a poignant relationship to the womb, to a woman, to reproduction, to fluidity, to heat, to wetness. The swamp could be the vaginal, in basic terms it is an instigator of reproduction (the mother + child) and a place for decomposition (the shedding of the uterine wall). It is no secret that the history and breadth of the patriarchy has generalized women with nature, and men with mind. The fact that a woman’s body reproduces through childbirth and (as a consequence of capitalism) laborpower, is used to delegitimize her humanity and emphasize her relationship to nature, to the semiotic, to the beast. In the language of the paternal: a woman moves with the tides, is a witch, aligned with serpent, and heated up. She speaks in fevers without pragmatism, and simmers instead with natural chaos. Resolutely, she is an object (born from


DEVIN the rib) of a man. However, as we unravel the essentialist framework, we can re-route the biological dis course and shi ft re ifi cation fro m femininity to swamp-logic. A displacement of “womanhood” that circumvents the social implications of the phenomena of genitals through the adoption and metabolization of the swamp. The swamp becomes the ungendered and non-essential womb. A space lifted out of human fertility. The womb is the origin, an alternative to the sun’s reign in this patriarchy, but it does not have to be essential or machine. Reproduction is “in theory”. It is repetition, transferred meaning, the collective, support, and disbursement. The swamp model gives birth away from the body, it is heaving Zika in the physical and heaving slowness in the psyche.

The swamp model is a metaphorical premonition of an alternative way of living. A displacement that holds the possibility of a mushy danger zone that enacts the magic principle of harnessing the fluidity of an unwanted space, thus an attempt at transgressing and transcending the binary. This becomes a call to embrace the oozing heat of a displaced womb and align with the body via telepresence. It is suggesting to extend the swamp’s biopolitical importance into the realm of gender in order to challenge kyarchies with the full frontal. For our body no longer needs to be relegated to landscape, it is a process of

HARCLERODE

evolution that is beyond Darwin. Using the swamp in virtual language is more than a reified cyborg, it is about rioting with the suggestive and committing oneself to a constant wave. An intersectional battleground that will see a future where the powers that be are overthrown. We are transforming into fluidity, we are unearthing our mating call of reproductive power, which is the power of origin, the power of transgression, the power of slowness, the power of swamp.


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KOTONE

DEGUCHI

MY

just-for-this-month housemate asks me where I’m from and I give the usual answer of “uhh haha, not really anywhere. My parents live in South Carolina, before that we were in Buffalo, before that Wyoming, and I was born in Japan.” she asks me, oh, how long was I in Buffalo, she’s from Long Island. I say just kindergarten to second grade and she says, so you’re mostly from South Carolina then.

* * * * * * * * *

p a t t e r n i n g See it’s that I need to be compassionate. Understanding. It’s hard because they’re from a different time and a different place and different ideology. Than you are. Than I am, I mean. Wait an entire semester after I initially planned to, because if I don’t tell them first they’ll hear it through the grapevine and think I think they’re homophobic. Wait for the right time, not at a time when we’re in the same bed, or our roommates are not wearing pants, or our roommates are giving each other backrubs, or after we watch a movie while cuddling. Not giving up movies while cuddling, feeling deceitful, predatory, to know what I know that you don’t know, to let you agree to watch a movie with me while cuddling without knowing. And the time never comes and we’re all graduating and if we go to college before I tell then I’ll have to tell them all one by one instead of all all at once. I meant to tell them all at the end of the beach trip, not the first night. But Suzanna said something about her dad and not believing in gay marriage and I said “Oh actually” I tell people about the Silence and my disappearing trick I didn’t even know I did, didn’t mean to do, the long beat and then the levee break of everyone talking about Anything Other than what I just said. I tell people about the 6 hour conversation I had on the porch with my best friend after, after everyone had gone to bed, where she told me she loved me, and believed me, and thought that it was real, and that her god would not abide me. That if I were Christian she would tell me to abstain for the rest of my life. I tell people about the two long posts my first college friend wrote on his Facebook and Tumblr, on “the broken attribute,” the sin he hates within the sinners he loves. My friend who in our residential high school liked to play girlfriend with me, sitting next to me on a dock and blurting “I don’t care” before I had really finished my sentence. The binary of Physical Violence and Not, how grateful I should be for the Love in “I don’t care. (I still love you.)” “(Despite.)”


KOTONE

DEGUCHI

I tell people and they tell me that I need to cast out these friends, that they sound terrible. My mother tells me that she went to a Parents of Gays meeting, that she went to a gay wedding, and that it didn’t bother her at all, and that I should cast away all my friends because some day I’ll find people that will be a better community for me. Three years later I write a long email to my parents, outlining the difference between assigned sex and felt gender and so-called biology. I give them all the information I’ve found over the course of two years as succinctly and clearly as I can, offer to answer any questions they have. Only ask that they change their language slightly. Three months later I come home to see if they’ve been practicing. They are after all both musicians. New Music, trained to quickly think differently about tradition. They hadn’t. Told me I should correct them whenever I heard them slip, as if I’m not only around them for handfuls of days at a time, months apart. They never called me after Orlando, though I spent three days only crying and sleeping. I’m on the brink of making a major physiological decision. I don’t tell them much anymore. I feel defensive. I love my friends and I love my mother and I love the sinners despite their sin, despite the hurt they cause me and caused me and are trying to grow from. My best friend is driving. We’re halfway through college and we just dropped her little sister off and her little sister had just come out to us. My best friend is telling me that she felt really hurt when she saw on my Tumblr that I had made oblique reference to that first porch conversation. Said that she has changed so much since then and that while she’s not trying to tell me not to speak of it, it hurts her for me to speak of it. She reminds me of that one phone conversation, when she thought we were good and had said so, had said “I’m glad we can still have these kinds of conversations” and I had said “I’m not. What am I supposed to be getting from this.” Throughout our time away from each other in college my best friend had been calling me periodically, about having to learn the pronouns of the trans man in her class, about the girl in her class with facial hair, about how she’s realized that she can’t claim to love me around parts of myself. She’s driving and I’m in the passenger’s seat and her 16-year-old little sister just came out to us in the backseat and my best friend is telling me that she had painstakingly compared the harm of homosexuality versus the harm of other deadly sins and found that it did not line up, and that Thus She Came Upon Modern Views. That it made her have to choose between her god and her modern views, because picking and choosing the word of her god meant rejecting it as a whole.


KOTONE

DEGUCHI

She tells me this as if it isn’t still further confirmation of my unholiness. She then says this potentially opens up dating prospects for her. But that, she believes left to their own devices, people would still naturally pair up with their opposite. She keeps driving. Oh how grateful I should be for growth. How compassionate and patient. To absorb the hurt and harm and to coach those who Love me through their first reactions. So that I’m not alone. So that a 15 year old can become a 16 year old and come out to her older sister. To take what love I can.

* * * * * * * * *

queer in the old sense Notice first when you’ve gone too far. Notice first when you push too much, better to not push at all, better to not speak. We’re always seated in alphabetical order so Ashley Chase will always sit in front of you. She’s nice and will talk to you, but the air gets stiff if you join the conversation about what color her hair is and you insist too specifically that it’s strawberry blonde.

~ Ashley Chase tells you in a small crowd of people, people who are all mostly friends with each other and in this singular moment of ease and comradery are mostly friends with you too, tells you that you should be a model. That you should come to a softball game to see her pitch.

~ Another student’s birthday party, one of the decidedly popular kids, but one of the nicer ones. An individual invitation, not just from being in her class but handed to you personally and told not to tell people about it, since she hasn’t invited everyone. It’s a dance party because if you don’t have a lake, you get a hall. Classmates can become friends at birthday parties, and they can do goofy Lindsay Lohan Parent Trap dance moves like the one where you clasp hands with another and put both your arms behind your head and pull apart along the other’s shoulders. I know this is acceptable party behavior, as long as you laugh and smile and let it be slightly awkward. I ask for Ashley’s hands. She stops, it’s a break in rhythm, looks nervous and asks why and then refuses, glancing sideways. Moves away and I feel intrusive, forceful, controlling, graceless, limbs too long and hands too heavy.


KOTONE

DEGUCHI

Shock still, a frozen rabbit. Vibrations directly under your skin, the sudden realization that your skin is an organ, that there’s space between it and your body. Static in your brain, the buzzing under your skin short-circuits your mind. Absent-minded hands on your right arm, not your own, running along the soft flesh, the underside of your forearm. She doesn’t seem to notice she’s doing it, even while she looks at your arm and remarks how soft the skin and the flesh under it is. It’s longer than a few seconds, longer than what’s decent.

~ You invite her to your 16th birthday party. You invite the whole class, because you’re trying to move away from your nerd friends but can’t not invite them, but don’t want to invite them directly. And you don’t really have the right to invite anyone else directly. Laura asks Ashley in front of you if she’s going. Ashley looks nervous, glances to the side, shakes her head. Laura has white blue eyes and tiny pupils, is one of the classmates who would often feel ease and comradery enough to mostly be mostly friends with you. She was asking to decide if she wanted to go either.

~ I liked the ridge of pimples along Ashley’s temples, they kept her from being too flawless, more real. Ashley was the first to notice when I got my braces off, because I kept my mouth shut til I passed by her desk, then tooth-smiled at her. I don’t think that Ashley was that gay, maybe only kinda, only that she was nice and had long hair and that she would catch herself from being too friendly with the queer stormy kid in her class, when the air would shift and there would be a sudden intensity, her own classroom status and mine just on the edge of her mind. I never cried over her. She was just a girl in my class, i didn't recognize it as a crush and moved on to have crushes after that. The heartbreak and existential realization came 2 years later over an entirely different girl. With Ashley I only wanted to hang out. For more than a few seconds. For more than what was decent.

* * * * * * * * * What makes a person southern? I lived in South Carolina for 10 years, most of elementary, all of middle school, all of high school. Are those not my formative years? Do I not love walking along banks of lakes, feel comfort driving past long stretches interstate with only trees and fields for miles? Love to hike, have pride in building a better fire, cooking a better corn cob, being more fearless in climbing and exploration? I can build a narrative around my life and my interests but the southerness is based in the books I read hiding in the bathroom of whatever apartment we lived in at the time.


KOTONE

DEGUCHI

Real southerness I saw in my friends, in whiteness, in having all of your family close, more than just your mother and the white man she married, a Californian Floridian Appalachian New Music composer, but 1-2 sisters and a brother, aunts and uncles, all of multiple cousins, grandparents from both sides - coded with slightly indecipherable synonyms for “grandmother” and “grandfather”- a summer lake house with a boat with a tube that went to Goat Island, all living within 10 minutes of each other. Dialects my mother could never understand, a love American breakfast foods, feel good music and platitudes people believe in as wisdom. My friends were southern, a foil to me, wherever I was was not there. There was a queer Black kid in my art class that liked to house dance and the teachers liked to gather around and tell him to dance every day and I was friends with him but not too much because I knew what we had in common. Like don’t sit with too many Asians or you become the Asian Table, joining a group of 2 Asians makes 3 Asians makes an Asian Table, don’t think about how many Asians are in youth orchestra with you, how Asian youth orchestra makes you. I was only questioned once with what turned out to be true but that ability to avoid others’ questioning only came from avoiding myself, avoiding those like myself. Always I felt, new kid. Felt like I move every 2 years, even after we settled for 6 years in a house with a yard and woods and hangout boulders and a creek with crawfish and a stagnant pond and a crawlspace with fishing rods. It’s only now, now being FromSouth-Carolina, gathering my identities as I grow up and try to live deliberately, I’ve started even saying y’all, started fantasizing about the countryside. Are identities chosen? I feel more southern having left South Carolina. I romanticize biking along dry grass fields, walking creek beds and fishing. It becomes a mantra: nightcrawlers, pocket knives, fallen trees, boulders. How to narrate myself into a quiet lonely southern boy.


MATTHEW BATTY


RUSTY

WALTON

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;THESE

& WILSON

SAINT JAMES

photos are a collaboration between photographer, Rusty Walton, & mixed media artist, Wilson Saint James. These artifacts are intended to closely mimic the feel of anthropological documentation. At first they appear strange alternative reality, but upon closer inspection this bizarre culture shares more similarities than differences, allowing the viewer to reconsider our preconceived notions. Especially in the south there is so much unnecessary hate passed down from generation to generation.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;


RUSTY

WALTON

& WILSON

SAINT JAMES


RUSTY

WALTON

& WILSON

SAINT JAMES


RACHEL

rosary de floridiana I

BELIEVE

in Floridiana, the Mother Almighty, Creator of milk and honey; and in Citrus, Her only daughter, our Queen; Who was conceived by the Timucua, born of the Swannee, suffered under Rick Scott, was dredged, died, and was sunk. She descended into the sea; the third day she arose again from the depths. She ascended into the canopy, and sits at the right hand of Floridiana, the Mother Almighty; from thence She shall come to judge the locals and the visitors. I believe in the Timucua, the Sunshine State, the communion of chieftons, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the exploration and craft everlasting. Amen. Our Mother, who art in the sea, hallowed be Thy name; Thy habitat come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in the sea. Give us this day our daily catch; and forgive us our development as we forgive those who develop against us; and lead us not into consumption; but deliver us from corruption. Amen. Hail Swannee, full of grace, the Queen is within thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Citrus. Holy Swannee, Mother of Floridiana, pray for us, now and at the surface of our depths. Amen.

Glory be to the Mother, and to the Daughter, and to the Timucua. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, an ocean without end. Amen.

DE CUBA


RACHEL

DE CUBA


SARA

BALABANLILAR

BEACHED

â&#x20AC;&#x153; I N T H I S S E R I E S , I'm thinking about what it means to feel both separate from and included in a space-- most particularly Houston, my work / play / family space. As a radical queer person, it is easy to feel and be made to feel non-human in such a large southern city. I'm so interested in histories of non-humanity in relation to queerness/female-bodied-ness: histories and perceived bodies such as witches, mermaids, and m o r e r e c e n t l y , c y b o r g s . As much as I'm interested in that sense of unease, I'm interested in the necessary reconnection and fulfillment I've had to find in this city. Though the lil fish is a representation of a flawed creature unable to cope with their surroundings, I connect deeply. I grew up half here, half in the Middle East, dually surrounded by beaches and narratives of my own strangeness as a queer woman. By including a part of my body in the series, I want to ground the image of myself in the surrounding physical space. I don't want to show a space that's hopeless, but I don't want it to be idyllic either.â&#x20AC;?


ZAZA

WILLIS

what does it mean to be black + southern + queer? ((tw: antiblack slurs, racism))

“THE

SOUTH”

means more to me and my blackness and queerness than just being southern. “the south” is less of an area to me and more of a concept. the south exists as a place of resistance - a history of resistance - for me and every black person who came before me. black people are the south because we created it. every essence of my culture is embedded in this area. the south represents the strength of queer black people through the constant pain and suffering we face everyday. Being queer and black and southern is inherently resistant to white supremacy.

whiteness has not been, and never will be southern to me.

the south is blackness - the south is black eyed peas, fried porkchops, segregation, black lives matter, nappy hair, dark skin, and wide noses. the south is your mom putting the hot comb on the stove before easter, hands pulling our hair tightly into braids, hard church benches, and reading tar beach. the south is being c all ed a porc h monk ey , a tar baby , a ni gger, whil e simultaneously being fetshized. the south is white queers telling you they’d never date you, there’s something different about you, they’re not racist though. the south is seeing the same thin lipped white girls in wlw relationships as queer representation. the south having every safe space to be black and queer gentrified out by whites. the south is being black and white people assuming you cannot be queer.


ZAZA

the south is a black experience. the south is every experience iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve ever gone through. the south is my pain as a queer black person navigating in a space that is constantly taken away from me. black queer folks in the south have resisted white supremacy in forms of physical restraint, mental restraint, social restraint. we also have resisted gender norms and values white supremacy has forced onto our bodies. we are in a constant struggle to maintain our blackness and southern-ness and queerness. our experiences of resistance have shaped the south to be what it is today. the south exists as a place where black people have taken agency over their own identities in the face of white supremacy. we are existing in an area that whiteness has not, does not, and will not ever accommodate for us.

the south to me is much, much more than anything a white person could ever imagine.

WILLIS


JAQ

EVANS

to

the

first

girl

i

loved

Y O U m a y r e m e m b e r t h e f a c e of a woman older by some decades, her hair the chopped grey of stormclouds in July (the kind with purple at their edges and rage around the core) we met over candles at a vigil for ghosts Virginiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s secret lovers, gone unloved and this woman-tor looked at me at my hand the quiet lacework of your fingers in mine and said you are what we fought for. years later her pride is clear as water, clear as doubt: its weight, once known, impossible to shed and though our fingers are for others now our mouths bright with kisses not nearly so hard-won for her we are always two girls in a park at night caught up in history, in love I hold this version of ourselves quite close a summer secret, hushed and humid, that darkness full of fireflies


repositories

//

resevoirs

ENYA

VON SCHILL

I. a memory: fixin’ you -

cornbread & collards butter grits & biscuits & duck eggs cucumber sandwiches & pork gristle fried green tomatoes & okra catfish & venison on a stick wineberry pie & the sweetest tea & deep fried gravy smothered secrets you suck clean off my finger another: fucking you like a taciturn hunter ‘til you are honeymilk; sweet & thick liquid on my back is somnolent }

{ this gun

another: the sunburn round where yer hand had been rippin’ deer ticks out my crotch after you fisted me at blue hole II.

rtes 250, 81, 29: i contend that even southern land is queer on back roads of back roads of back roads the route from point a to point b is sensual, impossible there exists no orientation; these mountains & valleys & tumbling hills feel just the same as the first one ever touched between yer thighs this is ‘queer geography; sexuality itself becomes a confrontation with the land’ (romanow, 2006)


ENYA

VON SCHILL

what yer daddy don’t know could overwhelm a continent III.

my kind are m y t h o l o g i e s we are the bee charmers & boys who cry & those who swing in the rubyfruit jungle we are those from the holler & the mountains & the grange leather skin & salty tongues & lifelong bruises from switches broke off peach trees we are those who stroke the wooly mammoth between her thighs like soothing the hog as the knife goes in we are kudzu monsters & vampires & ghosts of unnamed remnants

what is a mirror if the lights are out in the room? we are apocalypse cicadas in congregation molting our hides & singing litanies for survival IV. these women who move mountains (my many, many mothers) who bury bones under magnolia seeds & know ghosts are the lucky ones who perform their own baptisms in the rivanna river

hollerin’ hollerin’ hollerin’ at at at

at

{like screaming at a glass of cool water} bubba in the dirtpatch settin fire to the bird’s nest sissy in the men’s bathroom at the gas station on the tennessee border in nothin’ but her dirty panties & minnie mouse t-shirt askin’ the truck driver the urinal if she can hitch a ride to heaven cause there ain’t nothin for her here the men they lay with after all these years {only generous with bruises big as grapefruits}

and still, he will stand naked and sobbing at the mouth of a perfect river when she swears to jesus, mary & joseph she’d peel off her skin to give to you, she means it because when it comes to a southern woman,

‘they all believe that suffering is what they are supposed to do’ (hollibaugh & allison, 1992)


ENYA

VON SCHILL

V.

perhaps there is something in the way sun tea is made that resembles the way that we were made there isn’t even a making, really it gets to where it is all on its own damn long time to make sun tea, to be sure medieval maybe to let the sun do what the sun does heat with that ugly heat all it sees and mostly you don’t know how long it’s been happening it is 104 degrees and i will fuck you til i faint they say, why would you wait around so long

when all it would take is fire under a pot? i t g e t s b e t t e r ™ when you set home ablaze

but i say now, there is something in the way sun tea becomes what it is them dried up leaves start steeping from the very beginning parched pouches filled with gasping once-was’ waitin’ desperate for quenching hovering rudderless in that water fillin up yer mama’s mama’s jug til hours later or maybe days you remember what you forgot you left in the backyard next to the jasmine & sweet potato vine like u s infusing rootless & ruthless in the eerie static of a culture

mama’s

got left behind not for dead no, not for dead Hollibaugh, Amber, and Dorothy Allison. "Telling a Mean Story." The Women's Review of Books 9.10/11 (1992): 16. Romanow, Rebecca Fine. The Postcolonial Body in Queer Space and Time. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2006.


C.E.

BRUCE

hover to l i s t e n (4:16)

P O D C A S T W R I T T E N & RECORDED BY C.E. BRUCE.


MAXWELL

from

ELLIS RUNKO

‘ENTRODUCING’


MAXWELL

from

ELLIS RUNKO

‘ENTRODUCING’


MAXWELL

ELLIS RUNKO

from

‘ENTRODUCING’


LIZ

CLAYTON SCOFIELD

I ’ V E

B E E N

trying to sit down and write this for a while. It’s now 2:30 p.m. on the day of the deadline. Clocks ticking so it’s either tie myself to the table and go ahead and get through it, or let it pass by, thrown into the pile of “Things I didn’t get to before the deadline but it’s okay. Next time. There will be more time next time.” What’s my excuse this time? Missing a chance to get in on the conversation that I desire so deeply to be a part of? It’s not too hard to convince myself to miss another deadline because I need to do the work that pays. Soon I’ll get a handle on my debt, so I can get back to what I really should be putting time into. It’s looking less and less like it will be back on track anytime soon. And maybe that whole track is what I need to be thinking and writing about anyway. So instead, I’ll write this with hours til the deadline, tears in eyes. At least what’ll come out will be honest and real, and whether or not there’s any larger truth in it won’t matter to me. I’m not really feeling in the mood to write about being a Southern queer and what that means to me or my little quirks that stem from that, but maybe when everything is all falling apart is the time to refocus on that queer possibility, to reimagine my life now from a broken plan that was embedded in a broken system to begin with. Maybe in my panic

and hurt and anger and shock, I found the perfect little storm to soak myself in just for a minute before I pull myself back together and get on with it. Maybe that’s what being a Southern queer means, to me at least. To burn everything down and dance in the rubble, at the prospect of a beautiful new something, that at the same time holds its history dear. Resilience. Maybe that’s the queerness in me, the spirit that’ll just keep going til I get somewhere. The ability to adapt and survive and make the most out of nothing or, if not nothing, whatever pile o f r u b b l e y o u g o t . I’ve never been quite to the point when I write things down. I dance around, never quite concrete, generally emotionally volatile. In an effort to define my art practice on my own terms and understanding, and also to develop as a human, I’ve been working on being vulnerable and transparent, staring my anxiety down—doing the things that make me vomit butterflies . One of these things is taking up space. I’m the kind of queer that wants to say, “Fuck you,” but then quickly apologizes, oragonizes over words that may have been aggressive or too large, even when justified. I’m the kind fighting against .


LIZ my learned nature to make myself smaller, to speak softer as to make others more comfortable. I’m this way, and I’m not this way, and I’m working on it. I’m working on a lot of things. So what does this queerness in me mean now? The queerness that shaped me and the world that’s shifted around me. I grew up always dreaming of leaving. My Southern roots built in me a sense of waiting and always waiting and always missing out. Living for somewhere else, but at what stake? Did I learn to just miss life in the process? And then I drank too much to try to get somewhere else, to live as explosively as possible, to give me that pass to get past my incredible shrinking power. Drunk, I could get larger. I could fill rooms! I could give no fucks like the other tornadoes. I learned to drink whiskey straight and smoke full flavor American Spirits, and as much as I shoved into me, why was I just feeling emptier? I’m nine months sober, and I’m longing for a community that I’m as much a part of as isolated from. I’m writing while I feel my life falling apart, in the face of a year of everything becoming clearer. To be waiting and become something new and different, to stand on new ground as myself with new clarity, just as that ground starts to crumble.

CLAYTON SCOFIELD

The rubble, my dear, maybe that’s where I need to be, to get dirty. And maybe that Southern queerness is just the continuing process of showing up as me, as authentically and wholly or wholly broken as I can and can be, flaws out but ready to live as fully as I can. I write from a particularly vulnerable place. I do not know if I will regret these words tomorrow, but in the true and deepest desire to speak and live and feel openly, transparently, and fully, as a beautiful failure, a continuously evolving work-in-progress, a public crier, and an amoeba of a person, I give them to you, because what Southern queerness is, after all, is a multitude. And I’m practicing speaking u p .


CAL

VON SCHILL

religion I

and

W A S

the T E N

years old when I first prayed to God. I asked him to put me in a relationship with a female wrestler from the WWF, (now WWE). Her stage name was Trish Stratus, she seemed to me to be the ideal woman. Blonde, large lips, large breasts, large thighs, everything I could have asked for as a horny ten year old. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was praying to my testosterone, not God. As I got older into my teenage years I released the idea of the existence of God and replaced it with pure spite towards any possible higher power. This “God” didn’t give me what I wanted, so why would I believe in him? I listened to Slipknot, and many other edgy metal-ish bands that put the idea into my head that I don’t need God, and God does not need me. During this same time I was secretly exploring my sexuality. “What if I entered into a relationship with this boy online?” I would ask myself, while typing yes to the offer of a relationship from this supposed fourteen year old boy that I met off Myspace.

call

for

love

I had an online relationship with this boy for two weeks until I told my parents. They told me to break it off and to break off the idea that I might possibly be bisexual. My blossoming queer sexuality died after that incident. I was homophobic, hated gay people and would use the word faggot any chance I got. It took a lot of education from my lovely queer sister to break my horrible ways of hating anything queer. I didn’t accept my bisexuality until I was twenty years old and was at a music show where the lead singer was a man. He was beautiful, his voice stunning, his music abilities were far above par. Every part of me was giddy with excitement because I finally accepted something I pushed so far down the rabbit hole that it felt like a dream, or it was too good to be true what was happening. I was sexually and romantically interested in another man! It was freeing, emotionally I had never felt so open about something I kept secret for the longest time. Then it dawned on me: I live in the South.


CAL To me, the South stood for everything I hated, people who hid behind Confederate flags and big smiles. Evangelical Christian pastors who hated gays and wished nothing b u t h e l l f o r t h e m . The South was not my ideal setting for a place where I could be exactly who I am. As I aged, I thought my acceptance of my sexuality would fill the gaping hole in my heart and in my life, and it didn’t. I researched and perused every ideology and religion out there to see if it fit me, and nothing seemed to. I thought if I accepted and believed in God, everything would get instantly better, it didn’t. The process of finding God, (and eventually Jesus) was long and arduous. I eventually came to the reasoning in my beliefs that God is real, and Jesus is real and I accepted him as my Lord and Saviour. The idea in my head that I can be a Christian, as well as a bisexual genderqueer person was, and still is a very hard pill to swallow. My teenage self would hate me and not understand me at all, yet who understands themselves when they are a teenager? I have become the enemy of all queers because of my new belief, but the gaping void in my

VON SCHILL

heart was filled with God and Jesus’s love. I believe in God, and in Jesus Christ and I want to follow their teachings to the letter, but my heart yearns for the romantic and sexual love of a man. Something that is considered sinful and an abomination in the eyes of God. The thought that I could desecrate the sacred act of sex in front of God’s eyes is terrifying to me. Yet all I want is to fall in love with a man and experience a type of bond that I’ve only dreamed about. How many other Christian queers are out here in the South that are in the same dilemma that I am in? How can we respect God but also accept the parts of us that are so crucial to our identity, our true selves, when it leads us away from God’s love? I will struggle with this for longer than I know, but you know what? I’m okay with that because whatever happens, I’ll still b e q u e e r a s f u c k w h e n I d i e .


AMANDA ‘ARKANSASSY’

HARRIS

EXODUS

!

‘VAGINA

JENKINS’

“EXODUS envisions a mass queer migration to the U.S. South to create new ways of knowing and relating to our communities, land, and ourselves. This project was born out of the simultaneous love and whole-body heartache I hold straddling multiple geographies and communities. EXODUS represents my longing for queers to call the South our home.”


AMANDA ‘ARKANSASSY’

‘KENTUCKY

FRIED

WOMAN’

‘ O S C A R ’

HARRIS


‘ W A T U F A N I ’

N O M Y


CASSIE

HARNER


CASSIE

HARNER


CASSIE

HARNER

“T H I S song is called ‘S k a t e b o a r d ’ and it's about the cat that I delivered to a new home the day that I moved to Nashville and officially became a southerner.”

h o v e r t o l i s t e n

recorded & performed by the MISSFITS MUSIC & ART COLLECTIVE


CHARLI

i

BRISSEY

m a d e I

WOKE

a

m o n s t e r

up one morning and I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t

find my body I asked three people and they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know either. Have you seen my body? Have you seen my body? Have you seen my body? I drifted into the woods and fell into a pile of sticks and I made my spine out of them A small bird carried me up a tree and it made a nest with my stick spine. The birds brought me worms to eat and I grew flesh blood fascia saliva bacteria archaea They brought me stones and we built a sternum a rib cage philanges. With my knew bones I walked through the forest and I found clay, real clay, red clay, and I made


CHARLI a liver a spleen a heart. I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t find my body, but I made my own. And when I asked the swamp: Have you seen my body? And I asked the herons: Have you seen my body? And I asked the ants: Have you seen my body? They all said YES. Loudly. Happily. Yes. transverse abdominis. vastus lateralis. sternocleidomastoid. Made of moss and dirt and bark and all of the worms. I made a monster, and my little monster falls in love with so many things. So many times. Every day. Again. Again. Again. And my little monster, My queer, audacious, ludicrous, debaucherous, ridiculous, hilarious little monster will always be invincible. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s go, little monster.

There is nothing to be afraid of.

BRISSEY


JOANI

INGLETT

P R E P A R E

F O R

a crash… The car found the garage door Sally was asked to watch for. We had our own room. The beds were made by someone from the Cromwell branch. It may have been a Blocker but four posts seem worthy of a Cromwell. The best part was the night stand.

The bottom of the draw combination to the safe.

had

the

When we managed the right amount of turns and directional shifts it let us in. the change had a film that stuck to our hands and smelled of over use and exhaust. The special ones were in old yellow envelopes. They were bent. Very bent. A relative had fallen on the tracks while saying goodbye. He didn’t make it. The pennies did. Joani watch for the bus. Secret stash a draw full of candy available to us at any time of the night. they could hear us creek through the house and know that they had passed the best parts of their childhood on to us. Sneaking cigarettes in the banyan tree Kiss me baby with your red ruby lips In the summer, we wear white on Sundays. Sometimes we light candles. Sometimes the candles get boats. A couple hundred white clad children sang praise to tiny floating pyres. Find the golden peanut. All of their close companions were homosexuals.

Not out but not overtly closeted. Most of them had children leftover from the 50s. None of them had spouses. I only ever saw the painted portraits of the offspring. Clayton was my favorite. Liver spotted, curmudgeonly, debutante. Clayton was robbed. Bob’s toenails were thick and yellow. He fancied himself a movie critic. Isn’t that illegal? Not for me Mammy liked to drink a scotch on the way down the mountain. Sometimes, she let me drive. I could only ever have a sip. There was a prodigy fiancé with ungodly sums of money Family money Old money He shot himself after losing a petty sum in poker. At the table. He tried to take the other guy with him. He lost that bet, too. Shes fine she died. The pocket watch passed through generations of women, not possessed, just held for a suitable heir. A son. Three generations of three daughters. Three beautiful girls…we always had a safety deposit box with diamonds…for when we were ready. Baubles. Mammy took over Grammy tried to fit the mold Cissy hid And they threw the best parties. And they never showed their hand.


JOANI Why did you call that boy a dingleberry? He was almost that interesting. swimming lessons will make you graceful drawing lessons will give you interest. Have a duck. oh you could do that? So do it. Ill sell it next to this one. Devilled eggs. Devilled eggs. Devilled. Eggs. Mammy never let you win. Which is why it was so satisfying whenever you managed to get her quarters. whos driving back? Susie. Duh. She never drinks. Bessie Lee. So many high heels you lost your pinky toes. Dedication. Hedonists whiskey Sardines, bacon, eggs, grits. So much grits. Pa made the best hash ive ever tasted in my life. I snuck bites when I was a self proclaimed vegetarian. . Pa didn’t want Pappa. Pappa didn’t want Daddy. They both needed them in the end. Fine ground pepper, pre canned. Mccormicks. Don’t get out of my sight with him…hes harmless but doesn’t know any better…slow. He had a big head and overalls. The only blonde for years. He really was harmless, very excited about the carp. And the algae balls. He was a giant crusty toddler. He was my favorite member at the family reunion. It must have been torture for my father to see

INGLETT

on our saleable youth. Don’t walk alone at night Check your backseat. Stay visible. Figs…they squashed in your mouth and in your toes…they popped on the vine…their smell rode in through the screen on hot soupy air… Fire ants, pine cones, rope swings, public pools forts Thank you for nothing…you never wanted to leave Kissing cousins Oak trees Monkey grass Overgrown graveyards with anonymous tombstones That crazy push mower with the twisting blades…analog…no engine 1$ for the back yard you made it two feet before you had rusty blisters fucking crab grass turn it loose she told him she was ready he wasn’t someone should make sure pappa doesn’t drive no on ever does who puts a dollar theater next to a discount candy store? Lines for days. Yellow station wagons…I call the reverse seat, I like to watch the road run away.


JRW

v i g i l a n c e I. I N T H E very dry years, there was no way to listen to music, except the music we made ourselves. After the speakers went out in the van, there was no more radio, no tapedeck, no worldly music. On the way back from church, my stepdad who made me call him my regular dad, told us it was for the best. Now there was no way for the devil to get in through his songs. The sermon this morning was about vigilance: When Jesus sweated blood that night in Gethsemane,

praying for that awful cup to pass from him, he asked his disciples of one simple task—to stay awake and pray with him. They failed him even in this—instead reclining with their heads close together, savoring a dreamless, guiltless sleep. Riding home in the van, the dark brown seats make me drowsy in the heat. I play a sleeping game with myself, where if I nod off, I am a traitor too. II.

One slip-up and he was gone, no time for apologies, and no amount of bloodshed, of slicing ears from bearded men, would bring him back. Mom’s biggest fantasy was for all of us to become one huge, holy, family band. As the first part of this vision, I sang at church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night while my stepdad played rhythm guitar. But one summer, I came back from Indiana with a three-dollar Walkman my real dad got at a yard sale. He gave me cassette tapes and it was our biggest secret, a weapon against my stepdad’s regime and my mother’s relentless dreams. I would go in the woods by the cemetery, put on headphones missing the protective foam, and become black-leathered Billy Joel baby dyke, riding my motorcycle in the rain.


JRW

III. Mom’s friend Raynell was a stripper who came home from work and ate four peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in a row. “I guess your body just tells you what you need,” she would say with a meek laugh. Mom and I were a Christ-carrying tag team, and I was to witness to Raynell’s youngest daughter, Shawn. You must always be vigilant, or before you know it, you’ll hear that cock crow three times. While mom was working with Raynell at our house, I was smoking my first cigarette with Shawn at her house, lighting them on the stove because we couldn’t get the lighter to work in our small hands, shaving the air from our hairless legs, stealing kisses and rummaging through her mother’s dirty laundry, peering in awe at her flashy undergarments. IV. I’m amazed at the snippets of music my mother carried inside her, still hummed and mumbled when she thought no one was listening. I soaked up every morsel from her radio childhood, clinging to songs that addressed “baby,” not “lord,” and “darlin’” not “jesus.” Even the smallest of worldly delights

could leave you vulnerable to him. He’s waiting everywhere for you to become weak, to let down your guard. Years later, I’m startled to hear her songs filtering through supermarket speakers, but lose the singers, instead imagining my mother’s husky, lilting, sleepy voice, and then her stillness when caught singing.


S

RODRIGUEZ

YOU

ARE not like the others

and you are not like the others from both sides, every damn time. because you are queer, and pale, but tienes sangre de Mexico¡¡¡ and baby everyone can taste it when they bite into your tongue, when they draw the blood of the homeland through your lips in the middle of the night in the middle of suburbia in the middle of your body where the prime meridian lies and where you are forced to straddle the center every day of your life. but now you’re older, and now you know better because your disguise is a blessing and a curse. now you’re older, and you know that you will never have a home in latitudes and longitudes so you build a house in language, you build a house in spanish slip ups, in the awkward way you say “inglish”, in the fight to find a better word for queer in español, in the way you mark your gender with an X. in the way that X marks the spot, you bury your treasure in plain sight. you scar it into your skin for the world to see. _______


S

it’s the middle of the summer, and you swim in the parasite ridden galveston bay. hoping to be eaten alive from the inside, hoping to rot, to necrotize, hoping your blood turns as black as the ocean’s depths, as black as the oil tainted water you inhabit. hoping death is easier to catch than fish. I t’s the middle of the summer,[[ and you’re from texas baby, ]]and you can feel the sweltering heat of the school yard pavement under the too sensitive skin of your feet. you can feel the sweltering heat of the pavement on your hands, your cheek, the asphalt scratching your nose as children push you to the ground and call you tomboy. tiny cuts cover your knees when you get up, your legs a sticky red, pebble ridden mess. you wonder if this is what it means to be made of stone. _______

RODRIGUEZ


SHAWN

REILLY

to be trans and in the bible belt I SIT IN THE b u c k l e o f the bible belt Fighting to merely exist As white men in stiff suits With smiles that never reach their eyes Sit in a room in DC Dressing up prejudice and calling it politics

I feel like a shadow filling a frame In a world that doesn’t value what we’ve feminized My body demands everything but respect And it doesn’t matter what I say Or what the scars on my arm scream Because although my body has become a battleground War is still the only language men seem to understand How is it that Jesus pilgrimaged to DC When my identity is my faith? And if we insist on politics, Can I please have supports my identity?

seems to have

not dictated by playing identity a politik that

How do we not see transitioning as a holy act? Honoring each trans resurrection

After a societal persecution And their own three days of hellfire? God said, no weapon formed against you shall prosper Then why must I fight an army of ignorance Each time I leave my front door? But I continue to fight I fight for those who aren’t famous but faceless For Marsha’s body, lying at the bottom of the Hudson Happy Birthday, Marsha I fight, because like my country, My body has been colonized To combat it I practice my responsibly-packaged Granola sponsored mindfulness And wonder if I can ever make the world understand When we learn to acclimate over assimilate When we pull the colonialism out of the gay agenda When we no longer rely on the anesthetics of sleep and drink When we embrace wholeness that extends beyond ourselves We will be free


VASILLIOS “SILLY”

‘ V I R A L

PAPAPITSIOS

I L L U M I N A T I O N ’

hover over image to w a t c h v i d e o


VASILLIOS “SILLY”

PAPAPITSIOS

q u e e r

a s

i n

WALKING, breathing, loving, trees of life. We are sharing seeds. Ideas and semen. Love and blood. My body has been colonized. Open embodiment. Wild. Inknowing. reSelfing reWilding this is my give back. Take back. Reach around love planting Pleasure is power Sensually activated Kundalini rise, chakra align, cosmic reboot Butt fucking Relearn sex as sacred Protect the faggot magic Sex workers, magic makers, sex magic, sex liberators Flaunt my sex in all directions. Call the corners A gentle anarchy The New World Dysorder Viral underclass Sexual camaraderie. Be loud and graceful. Transmuting our fear Throw off shame. Love my ass. I am erotic space. Light hearted.

d i s a b l e d Shared experience, lived. Faggots like me Reveal ancient memories The water will wash away all that is outdated and not serving Our future heart Wet and willing I am Encouraged by the flooding of my soul and bloodstream With this cosmic energy Just remember and be earnest. Love action. Fluid flowing fun finally! Time for transparency Technician of the sacred I refuse to accept your fear. Banish shame, stigma, ignorance Binding spell. Love is not judgment The bottom of the pyramid must become the top Poz for pleasure, taking back the sacred masculine IT’S A VIRUS, IT DOESN’T DISCRIMINATE The truth of a body I love AIDS It is in sharing defiance that hope resides I cum as rain against the


VASILLIOS “SILLY”

destructive fire of our enmity: extinguish our hostility to self and other. Squishy love. The Human Illumination Virus What orgasms aspire to be Any place can be prison if you allow it. My body was mine. It started out as a biological weapon now it’s a source of illumination The migration of fluid of words (spoken and unspoken), and actions between bodies. Beautiful and fearless. I am living. Seed your soul You are hiv positive. Restore your sexual sovereignty I refuse to succumb to this interdimensional virus of fear. Traversing the terrain of transparency, I am acting out with every beat of my heart. The fact that I am still alive is a protest and a celebration..

PAPAPITSIOS


VASILLIOS “SILLY”

h u m a n M

Y

PAPAPITSIOS

i l l u m i n a t i o n H

U

M

A

N

I l l u m i n a t i o n Virus has finally taken me mind, body and soul. I found myself floating somewhere inbetween. Brace yourself for a cosmic orgasm. My H.I.V. didn’t kill me. I am not dead. Was I alive before? I resist the easily forgotten and invisible nature of past lives. Landed me in this body. I broke through, peeled off the worn out layers of systemic oppression coating this form. I woke up to a life I didn’t ask for but now am more than willing to defend. I am not alone. I choose a radical orientation to my H.I.V. I will not be silenced. A spiritual activation, indigo trailblazer. My heart beats still. Three letters don’t define me. Stigma cannot blind me. I am made more real. I am here. They expect me to lose the war they started in my body. I am triumph. They expect me to be in fear. I choose to love. I am aware. Instead of polluted tunnels pumping red I see magical pipes

v i r u s

of light connecting me inside. A virus like this has power if I let it but I choose to transcend it. Love is still a work in progress, to myself and to give to others.

Organic and elastic. I am malleable and transformative. Not dense and destructible. Thriving with disability


f r o m

“ I N T I M A C Y

I S S U E S ”


“In%macy!Issues”!

u


VI

R .-,.L

UNOtRC.LASS

,,.

V


SALLY BURNETTE

sunshower

en

route

to

florida


SALLY BURNETTE


SALLY BURNETTE

1

in

4


SALLY BURNETTE


SALLY BURNETTE

c u n i c u l t u r e


ZOE BRZEZINSKI


SALLY BURNETTE


SALLY BURNETTE


SALLY BURNETTE


SALLY BURNETTE of a hatchling on a busy sidewalk  now she floats in a glass canoe  pulled along the shore by roseate spoonbills  past a golden trailer park atop a roaring waterfall  past a mailbox shaped like a manatee  past a woman holding a giant cake cone  strawberry soft serve bleeding sticking fingers &  behind her the sunset a swirl of molten tongues  roiling clouds & wet sand  licking bathers deeper into the sea  ❊ joke:  what do you call it  when bunnies hop backwards?   i don’t know, what?  a receding hare­line!  get it?  ❊ If, ... no proof of the young woman's virginity can be found,   she shall be brought to the door of her father's house  and there the men of her town shall stone her to death.  She has done an outrageous thing...  You must purge  the evil from among you.  Deuteronomy, 22:20­21 

❊ regina stands in line  takes two pills 


SALLY BURNETTE one green  one grey    sits before a coloring book  in the common area    a black tide swallows  her periphery    liquid straightjacket    throat overflowing  with coarse salt & blood    & a single screwdriver  falls from her mouth    onto the calm white tile floor  underwater echo    over & over the quotidian sound     of the click of the lock   on chuck’s office door         


CODY

LANDRUM

‘QUITE

NICE’


BRIANA

PERRY

emotionally distant Other seeking attentive Whole - w4w:

my most hfrlden fantasy consists of constant peeling first my stomach then all the ji·uit in the kitchen i held" tllpe recorder to your mouth while you slept taking note of the litany of noises you create without experiencing them, wondering how many things do we lellve behind thllt we can never possess engaged in our daily plots for rebirth if every lover got to bathe in sacred waters, i imagine they would consist of blood and saliva

‘ P A N G ’

in the light, there was affection .

‘MISSED

CONNECTION’


BRIANA

PERRY

strip me honey, strip me neat and clean ion~)' want to he made a beggar in this light every action of yours is pe1fumed wafting and waiting occurring simultaneously

demands: pour !,oney into all my crevices made sweet again,

all lovers are in motion , movement owed to reverie

and you watcl, me always on tl,e verge of l,arde11i11 g in tl,e sun

i dont trust anyone wl,o isn't constantly trembling

love is constructed from signs (please don't forget it) made ugly all over again, observing tl,e laceration of tl,e reneweal pro cess

taking swigs of loss, every so often

it is always reassuring to know wl,en you are dead

i look.for a useful skin to wear, and another to discard

to a glass,fallen broken

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;PASSIFLORAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;

once again, wanting to be the Woman that Survi ves


BRIANA

PERRY

to measure our distance apart 1nake use of our breath

(

in

Beauty

@ _/ i dream of the place where my hair goes after i cut it 'take care' becomes an omen misplace<!armor, indecisiveness i wish you would write me letters II i wish you would write letters to me

let that be sacred wherein '/' is never apart of the question and 'we'

is a I ways in the answer

‘FOR DEVON’

waiting so long for love to not be a demarcation ‘T

OWNS’


AMANDA ARKANSASSY HARRIS Crockett, CA Arkansassy is a queer high femme charmer from the Arkansas Delta whose recent work centers portraits of queer femme experience in Femme Space (www.femmespace.net). She is also the co-curator of Y'all Come Back: Stories of Queer Southern Migration (www.yallcomebackshow.com), a muiltidisciplinary arts show exploring queer Southern identity, migration and the meaning of Home.   BRIANNA PERRY Richmond, VA "Brianna Perry is an artist and writer currently interested in the worst version of herself and investigating her own badness. She finished growing last year.”   BRITTANY COMINOS From Charlottesville, Virginia, but currently resides in Greensboro, North Carolina.    C DUFFEY Richmond, VA cduff347@gmail.com   CAL VON SCHILL Charlottesville, VA   CASSANDRA HARNER Nashville, TN Finding a way to continue practicing recklessness in making passionate art. A way to make a living, navigating a world of confusion and queerness. I make videos, I draw pictures, I perform sexuality. I often wonder if I've experienced enough yet to have earned a climax in my story. charnerart.com @charnerart (instagram, twitter) allthestuff.tumblr.com // charnerart.tumblr.com youtube.com/user/kaydashcapitalt   CODY LANDRUM Richmond, VA   DEVIN HARCLERODE Richmond, VA Devin Harclerode is an interdisciplinary artist based out of RVA. Born and raised in south-west Florida, the swamp is the nexus of her labor and research. She works to perforate patriarchy via the humid beat of the swamp’s soft-monster logic. dharclerode@gmail.com devinharclerode.com sweatymotherslowgroove.com   ENYA VON SCHILL Richmond, VA Came up in the hollers of the Blue Ridge. Too big for their britches. enya.vs@gmail.com estuarieszine@gmail.com

J AVERY THEODORE DAISEY Richmond VA http://theodoredaisey.com/   JAQ EVANS Seattle, WA Jaq is a writer, tree climber, and lover of liminal things. Skeletons are cool, too. More work lives at www.jaqevans.com.   JOANI INGLETT Joani is currently pursuing an MFA in studio art from the University of Alabama.  Jminglett@crimson.ua.edu joaniinglett.com   JRW Bloomington, Indiana stoneleaftreedoor@gmail.com   KOTONE DEGUCHI Richmond VA Kotone Deguchi is a Japanese American artist. Growing up isolated from the ethnic heritage White America defined them by, they found queerness its own type of displacement. Its own type of divining truth and beauty. At 22, they seek to name, find, and question home, community, history, hurt, and healing. deguchik@mymail.vcu.edu   LIZ CLAYTON SCOFIELD they/them/their 70 percent water, 100 percent heart, and I wear it on my sleeve. Artist, public crier, queer. Three of the most influential people in my life are cats. lizclaytonscofield.com   MATTHEW BATTY Bloomington, Indiana by way of Louisiana and Florida, is a visual artist, proposer of questions,  and trouble maker. Currently on temporary migration in the Midwest to receive their MFA in studio art.   MAXWELL ELLIS RUNKO Los Angeles, California, maxwellrunko.com maxwell.runko@gmail.com   MORGAN NILES Richmond, VA NIALL DONEGAN Niall is a white trans-femme fag from rural central Virginia. She's currently working on a literary degree at Guilford College in Greensboro NC. She likes reading, playing magic the gathering, and occasionally forcing herself to make art. you can follow her on twitter @garden_boi


RACHEL DE CUBA Bloomington, Indiana Rachel de Cuba was born and raised in Sebastian Florida, while celebrating southern roots she lives and explores between Saint Augustine Florida and Bloomington Indiana. Creating work that seeks to connect her latin roots with southern history and their influences on her role as a female in our society today. artrdec.com

collective vibration about stigma, ignorance and fear associated with HIV/AIDS and misunderstandings of separation from all things. My creations are magic spells transcending and connected to my migration from the politically contentious, physically dangerous, ignorant South. I am a renegade member of the family of light, available for altering systems of consciousness within the free will universe living as a POZ Southern Greek cis faerie faggot. vasiliospapapitsios@gmail.com

S RODRIGUEZ Houston, TX S Rodriguez is a victim of urban sprawl, a technomancer, and an artist. Reach them at srodriguez.el@gmail.com. 

ZAZA WILLIS Richmond, va Bitter southern black queer. they/them/theirs @genderneutral (instagram) neutralgender.tumblr.com

SALLY BURNETTE Boston, MA Sally Burnette’s favorite beanie baby was that Princess Diana memorial bear, which is definitely not creepy. Recent work is out/forthcoming in theEEEL, Five 2 One Magazine’s #thesideshow, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, and decomP. Share yr tweet-length feelings @dunebuggy12

ZOE BRZEZINSKI Born Atlanta, GA currently in Richmond, VA  I'm a printmaker, bookbinder, painter, illustrator, zine maker, and Merch maker, all for DIY!  collapze.tumblr.com 

SARA BALABANLILAR Houston, Texas I'm an interdisciplinary artist and community organizer in Houston. Most recently, I ran a pop-up arts space with some friends called Barbee Manshun, and I'm excited to continue working with my community/ies to teach/learn/think about art. I've been here for nine years, before which I had stints in the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest, and Turkey. I drink a lot of coconut water. I like the internet a lot. I read and write a lot. I live with my partner, our two good friends, and our three fluffy cats. sara.balabanlilar@gmail.com SHAWN REILLY Nashville, TN Reilly is a student organizer and artist in Nashville, TN. They run a radical art collective, called Creative Resistance (artasresistance.com). They love their cat Camus, and the young people they get to work with.socialjusticeshawn@gmail.com VASILIOS “SILLY” PAPAPITSIOS Los Angeles, California. I seek to spread understanding and love through viral illumination. My work deals the process of alchemizing fear into love, and the intersection of defining “viral” with transmissions through psychic waves, WiFi, and bodies. I aspire to make art the blends genres and blurs the boundaries of documentary, conceptual and performance art, and experimental visual ethnography. I work with video, embroidery, sculpture, photography, installation, sound, and writing to engage in familiar ways while emphasizing the shared strangeness of human existence. I transmute through my own embodied experience to raise the


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E S T U A R I E S Z I N E

estuaries #1: reconciling the queer south  

Estuaries is a compilation zine about the queer south. The first issue, "Reconciling the Queer South" was released in the Fall of 2016. find...

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