Dear ones, Thanks for picking up HOT ROT [vol. I] ! This is the first iteration of a serialized zine that takes up all that is â&#x20AC;&#x153;rottenâ&#x20AC;? as a devotional and a debt; binding us to ourselves and each other in its subterranean simmer. We came to this investigation of rot and its thematic (and physical) byproducts through happenstance encounters with the intimately strange (strangely intimate) material productions of the compost pile and abandoned lot. Our initial predilection sprawled out in a collective call; how may we consider decay + resurgence, and the slow, cyclical and innately aggregate process therein? This is the print form of a three-fold investigation and process, sistered by a live performance & virtual commons page of fascinations/ obsessions/ fetishes/ collisions. (coming soon! www. hotrotcommons.com) The assemblage of works in this volume is in response to four thematic starting points: overgrowth, revelation, reclaimed landscape + (re)commoning. What we found through this investigation is what languishes, also moves, drips over its container, burns, hives & renews. That the pile is an undercommons network; one that loosens its grasp on containment and moves into the heat. Amidst mass gentrification, forced displacement and a rise to global fascism, HOT ROT is an errant archive of all that ferments under these tidal violences. It is a love letter to the sensual emergence that interstitial de/composition incites. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s with great pleasure that we welcome you to this collection. We are deeply indebted to all who shared their work in the following pages. In shit and joy. Your editors, S+E
CONTENTS i. raw HANA NEWFELD from Grocery Dance by Lilianna Kane GLENN POTTER-TAKATA Kitchen Sink Fried Rice HANA NEWFELD from Grocery Dance by Lilianna Kane Text from RULES&TIPS4COOKING&LIVING by Lauren Reinhard ii. active LILIANNA KANE
LEONIE BELL Sommertexte von vorgestern 9 PEGGY GOULD
iii. fast + hot EULALIA ZIGMAN
S. YARBERRY Necassarius
SKYE VOLMAR Make Them Kiss
S. YARBERRY Friendly’s Bar & Grill
iv. recuperation BOBBY MARCUS From Portrait of after by Cat Eng JONATHAN GONZÁLEZ Juan, João, Jan, John, Johnny, and Jonathan
LEO KAY Fermenting change & resisting the monetization of moments
TAM NGUYEN Shitting
v. curing SEAN CACKOSKI TAM NGUYEN Homecoming
MATHEW CARTER Getting Into Humanure
JULIA CHIAPELLA Looking Ahead after W.S. Merwin
i. raw (adj): of food, of a part of the body, of weather, of the edge of a piece of cloth, of language
GLENN POTTER-TAKATA Kitchen Sink Fried Rice This recipe wasn’t handed down to me from my grandmother and isn’t exactly traditional. A few years back an old colleague of mine went on a trip to Japan. He told me a story of how he came across a small Buddhist shrine in Nagoya and fell in love with this tuckedaway enclave in the middle of the city. At some point during his visit he realized that the shrine was only about twelve years old, instead of the centuries-old narrative he had told himself when he discovered the place. Still appreciating the beauty and atmosphere of the shrine, he told me how he somehow felt cheated or lied to about the spiritual enclave. Feel free to omit pretty much any of the ingredients or add anything you happen to have in your fridge that might be a good addition. It’s called “Kitchen Sink Fried Rice” for a reason. いただきます! Ingredients (serves 2): 1 cup uncooked rice (I prefer Japanese-style short-grain rice, but anything will work. You can cook it fresh or day-old rice is good too.) ¼ large onion, diced ½ bell pepper, diced ½ small yellow squash, chopped 4 cloves of garlic, minced 2 white mushrooms, chopped ¼ cup of frozen peas One scallion, chopped 1 tsp of ginger, minced 1 egg (beaten) A handful of meat, chopped. Chicken, pork, or beef is all good. (optional) Olive oil Butter Soy sauce 1-3 tsp Japanese red pepper flake and/or crushed red pepper (to taste) Ajinomoto (MSG) (optional) Salt and pepper Hot sauce (for serving) Instructions (prep + cooking takes about an hour): 1. Start by cooking the rice (unless using day-old rice). If using a rice cooker, use 1¼ cup of water for the 1 cup uncooked rice. 2. Chop veggies and meat.
3. Season meat (if using). I like to sprinkle the meat on each side with salt, pepper, and ajinomoto. 4. Heat oil and butter in a large non-stick pan on medium-low. Add enough so the bottom of the pan is heavily coated. 5. Add pepper flakes to pan and cook until fragrant (15 seconds). 6. Add onions, bell pepper, and squash to pan and cook until tender (3-4 minutes). 7. Add garlic, mushrooms, scallions, ginger, and frozen peas to pan and cook for another couple of minutes. 8. Push veggies to one side of pan and scramble the egg on the empty side of pan. Mix in scrambled egg with vegetables. Lightly season with salt, pepper, and ajinomoto. 9. Set aside vegetable/egg mix. 10. Add meat to pan (if using), cooking through. 11. Remove meat from pan. 12. By this time the rice should be cooked. Add cooked rice (or day-old rice) to pan and cook for a few minutes, turning occasionally. You want some of the liquid of the rice to evaporate, so when it starts to get a little stiff you should be good (a few minutes). Less time needed for day-old rice. 13. Add set aside vegetables, egg, and meat into pan, mixing in with rice. 14. Drizzle with soy sauce, mixing into rice. Add just enough for the rice to turn a light brown. 15. Let rice cook, turning occasionally. I like it to start to brown on the bottom of the pan before turning, which adds a crispy texture. 16. Time to serve. You can either serve in bowls or, if you like, you can put some of the fried rice into a bowl, then flip it onto a plate, making a nice mound. Serve with hot sauce.
HANA NEWFELD (photos) From Grocery Dance by Lilianna Kane Text from RULES&TIPS4COOKING&LIVING by Lauren Reinhard
ii. active (adj): effective, pursuing, producing movement, visiting in the set (moving down the line)
LEONIE BELL Sommertexte von vorgestern i. If the hollyhock came in by the end of August, Winnie knew it would be okay. She would go back to nursing school in the Fall, Mother would stop worrying about her being single for the third summer in a row, and the Insurance company would pay for her post-trashtruck-ramming-incident-side-mirror-repair. Winnie knew it, she believed it. Not only had the freckles on her left shoulder shown up in an entirely new floral pattern this year, but this month's summer storms had fallen and brewed and thrown themselves around in the form of thick, glossy drops, weaving in and out of Wimbley's cracked tar roads and down the street to the copper gutter from 1952 as if making a long-desired pilgrimage to the Mecca of rain. Thunder had occurred prophetically and purple over the red and increasingly mossy roofs of Winnie and her fellow Wimbleans landmarked Levitownean rectangular houses. Fred Gaiman on the local Weather channel had been correct in his never-changing greencheckered tie and brown-blonde toupée'd prediction that August would start laboriously hot and unbearable and end in a welcome mass exodus of heat at the hand of God. Fred Gaiman was an avid bible-o-phile and Christian and never missed an opportunity to metaphorize or analogize his weather forecasts. Winnie was neither Christian nor very interested in men, much to the dismay of her mother who had finally given up trying to set her up with Fred Gaiman and other middle-aged members of her Bible Discussion group. Winnie's interests lay in Medical Journals (as of late the Medical Discoverer was her favorite subscription), gardening (hollyhocks and delphinium and lavender and the odd phlox), and sitting on her porch at dusk right after a a luscious, full-throttle summer storm, accurately foreseen by Fred Gaiman as ever. She didn't mind the wet seats, and if the hollyhock came in, she didn't mind the thought of Fall so much either. ii. She wanted to feel weightless. Unessential, soft and glowing, like a 1920s talkie without the talking. What were those called? She couldn’t recall, but these days she didn’t even bother to recall her own name. She just wanted to float. Appear, disappear, reappear, like a faint flutter in the corner of ones eyes, ones dreams. A shadow bouncing off a summersun-lit wall. But then again maybe this sweet nothing of a glimpse might’ve been a firefly that was actually a fairy. One never knew these days. Fairies, mmh. A sweetness from past times, a faint remembrance of wispy strands of dark hair curling around the sun and the sun curling around you; and darker eyes that smiled like your average six-year-old smiled at the sight of a fairy garden. The fairy gardens, hidden from adult sight, popped up where there was innocence and childish bliss. Fairies loved the carefree. How tiresome, she thought, that the lost had to toil so hard to find them. And then what? If you could find a fairy garden, were you saved? Page 9
She drifted on, hoping a giant wave would gather her up and take her to one of those gardens. Even just a little one. A vegetable patch would do. iii. The rest of the summer was spent with the arduous task of picking up the broken pieces and attempting, night after night, to reassemble them on the back veranda (vino verde from Motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stash in one hand, whatever was left of her dignity in the other). Humor resided in the back bedroom, and throughout balmy June, sticky July, and unbearable August, instigated a series of drunken four AM parades around the estate, before mournfully returning to Hangover City in September. September was an amalgamation of fresh hopes and breezes and no lessons learned.
MARION DUMAINE From exhibit Du Spirituel dans lâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;arbre
iii. f a s t (adj); rapid, tight + h o t (adj): boiling, fiery, fierce
re gu Fi
fo h ig h on nd e l
t l r a
+ f il t o
m fro h
S. YARBERRY Necassarius There was a quiet brilliance in the way she treated me. She treated me like an empty pit. She put her hands there, put a whole slew of words— Shovel-fucku-comeover-baby. I loved each of them, even as they weighed me. I thought I could not break. I was land, cocky: I yearned for growth We watched the storm come in from the bar seats of a patio. One night, anyhow. Dark green, the chairs. Remember? Plastic. The hot swell in the air. The swelter of expectation. The drop in your stomach when you get what you want. I have always thought: I deserve beratement She’d say: This isn’t happening. She’d say: I don’t care. Why did I still I love her? If I get hurt. If I am walk-upon. If I am low-life-forget-me-not. If I am weak. If I am. Then, what? When she was tender, I was God
SKYE VOLMAR Make Them Kiss
S. YARBERRY Friendly’s Bar and Grill It’s winter. Salt piles. Snow. From the sliver of window a car is parked. Local camaraderie. You text: heyyyy. Elvis pinball machine. Untouched all night. Baby Baby Baby plays. Leather barstools. Lotto tickets. Orange floor. You text: help I’m hella horny. Strange intimacies. The overwhelming feeling of wanting to be wanted. Fake neon light strips flash: red / blue / green. On my way here I thought, which I haven’t thought in a long time: Those two girls in college coked out and fearless in the wet spring— roads slick and never-ending. How in love I was with both of them, the ease of their femininity— tight jeans, stark, their hands around my hips. Everyone thinks we’re fucking, one laughs. I would have gone anywhere that night. Pure adoration. Neither of them could do any wrong. Not to me. Let’s go home. The trees swelling. Or the carelessness of making it or not. That strange shutter of how reckless it is to feel alone. The walls have brown wood paneling on the bottom and sea-foam green on the top. Dancing Queen fades. Basketball. Baritone. Inner voices. Big buck hunter. Again, but NYC: You playing big buck hunter with that guy -- who's buying you drinks and flirting. Free drinks! You say. You kiss me. He’s watching. He makes a joke to his friends. Boom. Good shot. I’ve got a good shot he says. Dark bar. Clear out. Spring in the city. No homes here. Can’t leave. Frozen. Cash Only. Good, bad, happy, or sad— a bartender sings. You text: I wish I could suck on your fingers. The bartender hugs the man in the red shirt. Good luck, if I don’t see you. She says. She says: do you need more light? Starts me a tab. Nine TVs. Wheel of fortune. So you find me hard to handle. It’s been hours. The bar flickers. Classic. I’m so in love with you / anything you want to do / is alright with me. Voices happen. Prolonged goodbyes. Wish you were here. I text. Truth is, I don’t mean it. Enjoy your phone call, what does that mean? There’s nothing to win here. Perfectly intact. The whole night. Spread out. I say to myself: ice cold and up against the glass.
iv. recuperation (n.): resurgence; to get back; to bring back into use; to regain a former state (origin): late 15c. (Latin) a noun of action from past participle stem of recuperare “get back, regain, get again,” in Medieval Latin “revive, convalesce, recover.”
JONATHAN GONZÁLEZ Juan, João, Jan, John, Johnny, and Jonathan
Juan Rodriguez. A mural on the wall in a sleek yellow tank top and blue-green beaded necklace with a semi-picked Afro and bushy beard gesturing to a prideful, nappy depiction of Black PowerTM in the alleyway of a Washington Heights NYCHA house next to a quote: My soul has grown deep like the rivers . soul. An artifact coursing the Hudson River encircling the north edge of Manhattan’s river basin spilling into the Sound along the swampy marshes of Queens and Brooklyn before channeling across the banks of Staten Island southward the Mason-Dixon line flooding the Carribean past the Equator to disperse as concentric streams until the force of temperature thrust it Northward to be chilled and lapped away from the Arctic Pole with potential to voyage in all global directions and, maybe, even back to right here.
João Rodrigues may have been his father’s name for him. João of Portugese descent, on his father’s behalf, may have sang Balada da Despedida or another fado when collecting bait and tackle together looking out from the coastline of Punta Cana, out towards the fluid expanse, squinting at dawn for the arrival of bartering sailors. João’s father secretly searching for the hills of Coimbra in the horizon.
Mention of his mother is meak. An “African mother.” Perhaps she spoke to and of him in Igbo, or the polyglot Francophone tongues of Benin and Togo, or pre-colonial Syrian that made up enslaved peoples in the earliest voyages to the Southern Hemisphere. Here, to Santo Domingo, where Juan was born and boarded the ship headed muy lejos as a translator for the Captain, Thijs Volckenz Mossel, on the Jonge Tobias. Perhaps, when he went with the wake, she
would have hugged herself in his absence and called him her baby.
In Mannahatta, Juan would have liaised with Captains and tradesmen and Natives at the Wall street market post. He would have spoken the Lenape tongue or had been deemed useless and killed by his Captain. Walking through the embankment of ships, raw goods of tobacco, sugar, and barley native to these new lands, he must have felt the alarming peculiarity of such a sight -- collisions of purchase -- savage and civil communed in broken communication where Juan was indefinitely contracted to make due.
In this time, before our time, English Settlers would have been surprised by Juan’s skill for languages. Some, may have found it charming others may have thought him a comical neggar and wish to buy him -- neggar was commonly used to refer to enslaved Africans arriving to the Northern Colonies similar in definition but not to be confused with the Virginia Colonies –nigger, or the mountain man lexicon as documented in the literature of George Frederick Ruxton and Western settlements of the Fur Trade’s –niggur used endearingly for a traveler and friend, and at times, also a slave. All derivatives of the Latin – niger meaning black. Others would have found him uppity as a literate and employed mixed savage, and threatened his life.
When bringing good fortune to a trade, he would’ve been anointed under the King James Bible, John. His first baptism, held at the shallow edge of the Jonge Tobias, cradled in the hands of a man not his father’s, with green or blue or hazel eyes looking into him and John holding his eyes shut until the water flooded his perception with a
layer serene violet. Under the refractions of the current, only then, could he exhale a deep well he had not known he was carrying. Only then could he look back at the abstracted formations of this Minister’s glare, the orientation of his face now a billowing brow, and imagine care there, and believe he could truly be seen in return the way he once felt seen.
Into and out of the waters of the Hudson River, gasping for breath before each submergence, they may have requested His repentance as they read the Sinner’s Prayer , Ninth Stage, Chapter 18 written in the common liturgy, Pilgrim’s Progress:
God be merciful to me a sinner, and make me to know and believe in Jesus Christ; for I see, that if his righteousness had not been, or I have not faith in that righteousness, I am utterly cast away. Lord, I have heard that thou art a merciful God, and hast ordained that thy Son Jesus Christ should be the Savior of the world; and moreover, that thou art willing to bestow him upon such a poor sinner as I am—and I am a sinner indeed. Lord, take therefore this opportunity, and magnify thy grace in the salvation of my soul, through thy Son Jesus Christ. Amen.
He would have then been known as John, the facilitator of bountiful prospects as was St. John the Baptist who delivered Jesus Christ. He would have then been brought to his feet in the shoal and may have looked out to the shoreline for a familiar face to realize he was alone once again.
John, the name Fabiola Gonzalez referred to when naming her
son, my father, Johnny, which he carried still when he met Ayme at Kings Court Apartments in Jackson Heights, where I would be raised as Jonathan - not Johnny or John or Juan as she found all those to be too “casual” - after being born NOT at Elmhurst Hospital as it was too dangerous but instead at Booth Memorial in the Jewish Suburb on the vernal equinox of Spring at 11:59a -- a collision of two families - the Martinez and Gonzalez’s, fresh arrivals from the island previously known as Hispaniola, then and now demarcated as Dominican Republic, or D.R., or La Isla, or El Campo on the border of Haiti in the province of Monte Cristi or Mount Christ where Christopher Columbus landed aboard during his 1492 expedition.
John did not travel with the Spaniard Santa Maria or Pinta but by the voyage of the Jonge Tobias to the New World before escaping the return trip to the Netherlands with Captain Mossel’s crew. Fleeing into the wild, choosing the well of danger and abundance of seated lands, fleeing captivity with a family he had created with a Lenape “woman” who could have never lived by those terms. The Dutch lawyer, Adriaen Block, would charge John with unfulfilling his duties but the English settlers would be incapable to track him for an appearance at his trial.
Perhaps John traveled with his family much further North towards the settlements of the Mohican. There he would have fallen out of practice in the English tongue. There he could have traversed the grounds with instruction of the animistic considerations of the –hoking land. There he could have sung a fado by night from the Appalachian ridge into the violet sky expanse searching for the sand bars of Hispaniola. There, in this dwelling, in a precarious sustenance of wilderness in his body and the surrounding, he may have wondered about words like freedom.
LEO KAY Fermenting change & resisting the monetization of moments I am developing a new art practice. It’s called The Bakery of Slow Ideas. It’s a temporary baking and fermentation space with an open-door policy facing out and welcoming in the surrounding communities; to bake, to dialogue, to engage in art & ritual practice and to consider fundamental sociopolitical and ecological themes. It focuses predominantly but not exclusively on the act of sourdough bread baking. It is a space to consider how we can move away from patterns of physical, psychological, and ecological damage and burn out, driven in part by a society wide trend towards hyper expression and hyper productivity. We’re riddled with pointless talk, insane quantities of words and images, stupidity is never blind or mute. So it’s not a problem of getting people to express themselves but of providing little gaps of solitude and silence in which they might eventually find something to say. Repressive forces don’t stop people expressing themselves but rather force them to express themselves; what a relief to have nothing to say, the right to say nothing, because only then is there a chance of framing the rare, and ever rarer, thing that might be worth saying Gilles Deleuze, Negotiations 1972-1990 (1997) The Bakery of Slow Ideas was born out of exhaustion, caught between wanting to have a voice as an artist and the growing awareness of my responsibilities to the unearned privileges synonymous with being a white, western, able-bodied, heterosexual, middleclass man. The creation of this practice moved me from a state of unprocessed experience, manifesting as inertia, towards an attempt at engaging a responsibility…an ability to respond: an understanding that I wanted to explore how my practice could contribute towards the creation of a more equitable future. This practice recognizes that we currently live in a world that suggests we haven’t got time. Time to be healthy, to stop and think, to communicate well, to talk, to listen, to process, to heal, to engage in the healing of others and our environment. This lack of time demands that we accept the collateral damage caused by our actions as a necessary element of the process of personal survival, emancipation and growth. The Bakery of Slow Ideas aims at working against this false reality. The Bakery of Slow Ideas works both practically and metaphorically with the somewhat magical transformation that occurs within the slow act of wild fermentation. Fermentation in sourdough bread baking takes between 3 and 8 times as long as industrialized bread baking and within this extended time scale important life-giving processes occur. The fermentation process breaks down phytates that occur naturally in all grains. Phytates are found in whole grains, nuts and seeds and are naturally occurring compounds sometimes referred to as ant- nutrients as they bind with certain minerals and nutrients making them unavailable to our system in our digestive process. Fermentation Page 24
therefore enriches the nutritional value of the produce and supports the microbiome of those who ingest the outcome. The microbiome is a term used to describe the collection of trillions of microbes living in and on the [human] body. Considering how microorganisms interact within the fermentation process points towards emergence. The necessity to respect and listen to all elements in the space. It suggests that we are reliant on our surrounding environment, that we cannot separate ourselves from nature. That nature is both within, surrounding and symbiotically related to us. That we are interconnected with many species on a biological level. In The Bakery of Slow Ideas we mirror the slow fermentation process that occurs in sourdough bread baking: we make dough, we dialogue, we make ritual, we rest and digest with the bread, we bake, we incant and break bread. The Bakery of Slow Ideas is about the urgent psychological and ecological need to slow down, to listen and give space and time for exchange and consideration. Making a Rye & Spelt Sour Dough loaf. I am not a professional baker and have learned through doing and being taught by friends. The below recipe is a mix of lessons learned in a bakery in London (UK) and Tromso (Northern Norway) Thank you Vitoria, Valentine and E5 Bakery! I won’t tell you how to make a ‘starter/mother’. I haven’t made one yet. I prefer trying to find one on its travels. They often have a history which feels like a nice part of spreading and continuing a family lineage. So... to begin... Note: These measurements are approximations. Feeding your Mother Mix 10 grms of your ‘mother’ with 50 grms of pure rye flour & 100 grms of water, cover and leave out for 4 hours then store sealed in a fridge. This is your activated ‘mother’ and will last for 7 days without needing feeding. Repeat this process each week using the excess ‘mother’ for bread. Making a loaf 1. Preparing the sponge Poor 20 grms of your ‘mother’ into a bowl. Add to this 100 grms of flour and 200 grms of tepid water. Mix. Leave covered by a towel for between 8 and 20 hours depending on how sour you like it. This is your sponge. 2. Making dough Take this sponge. Add approximately 100 grms of tepid water. Mix with hand. Slowly Add 400 grms of spelt flour and 50 grms of rye flour. Add the flour from the sides. The reason being that you don’t want to have unmixed flour in the middle of the dough... it can create fault lines through the bread when baking and the resulting loaf could fall apart when you cut in to it. I mix with one hand and turn the bowl with the other. This means you always have one hand clean to get utensils, run water etc. When the dough is still pretty floppy with some wetness on the inside, pour it out of the bowl with a little flour on the surface you pour onto. Scrape all of the flour and dough and quickly fold and turn the dough. Lift, stretch, fold and turn. Try and get a little rhythm going with your folding & turning, lifting to stretch a little before folding and turning again. The faster you do it and the
less you hold it the less it will stick. It gets sticky as it heats up. You are trying to stick the two edges of the fold together. You are not trying to push all the air out of the dough so work light and fast. The less flour on the top of the dough the better.
3. Spicing the Dough After a couple of minutes folding, put whatever herbs or spices you want in & 2 percent of overall weight in salt. Oil the bowl or pot that it was in before (including the sides) and lift the lovely dough back inside. 4. You and The Dough Are Resting Put a damp towel over and leave to rest for 3 hours. 5. Folding the Dough After 3 hrs…Again lightly sprinkle flour over the surface onto which you tip the dough back on to. Fold and turn the dough four times. Try and pinch together any holes or crevasses in the dough so it is nice and round with as much of a complete surface as possible. Flour the bowl or flour a Banneton (proving basket) and lift the dough back in and lay to rest again with a damp cloth over it for 1hr. 6. Baking the Loaf Preheat oven to 250 degrees and lightly oil and then flour a baking tray or bread tin. lay the dough on the tray/tin and put in the pre heated oven. Either throw three gulps of water on the floor of the oven (if it isn’t gas... cos you’ll extinguish the fire if its gas…) Or put a small cup of water in something metal in the bottom of the oven and quickly shut the door. This produces steam which helps to caramelize the sugars in the flour on the outside crust. After 35 minutes turn down to 200. After another 10 minutes turn the oven off. After a further 15 minutes take the bread out of the oven and immediately out of the tin or off the tray. Put it on a lifted grate or grill bars to allow the underside to air. If you don’t do this the steam coming off will make the underside soggy... E voila!
TAM NGUYEN Shitting 1. It is those moments you remember you are not ‘you’ but your body in all its excessive materiality. I think of, paper cuts, cancer, carpal tunnel, hunger, shitting –– shitting is a huge reminder you are mortal –– the antithesis to self-containment: you are the everwasteful. Here, you shift from automata to zombie. (Neither is more autonomous than the other but the automata is machine and therefore forgets its body; I imagine zombies are body-conscious –– the walking dead live in pain yes?) 2. There is not much to say when I argue: shitting is a shameful activity. To shit takes place in the position of shame, reading or staring into space but often or always looking down. In the moment of defecation, we are abject figures humiliated by our feces, which cannot help but be messy and smelly. In a cruel twist of fate, it is also an act of pleasure. 3. As a subject of shame we become I, the exile –– I identify myself with my shamefulness, yet I also realize that, thankfully, therein lies not just me. I then rejoins again with we. We create an identity out of our humiliation. Shame constitutes the process of identity; identity without it is sterile. Though possibly fatal, shame is also abundant with the possibility for new life. 4. As shitting both alienates us and asserts the universal function of all bodies, Shit is the stuff of Identity. 5. I always got bored sitting on the toilet, regardless of how long it might take. When I was younger, my bedroom was across the hall from the bathroom, and the television in my room was in view from the toilet if you kept both doors open. When I was particularly desperate to have my attentions occupied away from the toilet, I would make the extra effort to turn the television towards the bathroom. 6.Where the sinner first discloses himself as a sinner only to simultaneously then renounce himself. Breaking away from what was in order to metamorphose into anything else. Here I want to emphasize two aspects: it is an act of death; and it is vulnerable, ergo a practice of shame. 7. My mom spent a lot of time on the toilet when she would get home from work. She sat there on her phone, playing games, on calls, watching videos; on extreme nights she stays in there for almost an hour. Like mother, like child: I prepare for the hour if needed –– just in case I so wished or needed to take long.
v. curing (v): relieve, preserve (origin): Middle English (as a noun): from Old French curer (verb), cure (noun), both from Latin curare ‘take care of’, from cura ‘care’. The original noun senses were ‘care, concern, responsibility’, in particular spiritual care
TAM NGUYEN Homecoming is it possible to separate mother from home. for home began in her womb, and here’s a fitting pattern: i could never stay at home for too long. i am in vietnam and i am realizing––this is the first time i will be: with family without her. as if such a thing is possible. genetics is almost abstract to me; all i know is… my mom is the only substance that adheres me and them. you leave the womb eventually. i left vietnam eventually. the amount of time i’ve spent in the womb and the amount of time i’ve spent in vietnam is nearly equal. and both times i left without much choice. life just seems to call. if i cannot ever re-enter the womb, this is as close as i get to a homecoming: i see a burning building i stay. i will go down with it if my mother was here... i am otherwise a blister peeling off. i love her as i love a place. i am in vietnam and i keep wanting to cry. i want to say sorry that you’re all forced to love me, i’m sorry if you can’t bring yourself to love me. an hour in, all the excitement of arrival has died down in this van ride home: my fear all along. this, like running away from my body, i can’t say goodbye to family. i have this fear. that one day someone can just wake up as a different person. there are children here, that will forget me as they get older, i will be buried deep in their memories. homecoming: i can never come home. i have, outgrown it. memory meets me at a strange crossroad. i can’t seem to recall yesterday let alone ten years ago. all i can vouch for is that memory impacts the body directly. memory is stored somewhere in pulses; neurons tell me i’ve been here before, otherwise i am a ghost––the only other option to exclaim “I WAS HERE” is to rearrange furniture. i can’t help but envy the forgetful, who have the option to stay put. they seem to do what i cannot myself. they need only to take shape as trees do; trees do not ask for anything else and because of that they are content. the dilemma of the forgetful seems to be instead: how do i keep everyone around me content as i am? the streets here are confusing. motorcycles weave in and out of the few cars on the road. in the spaces between sidewalks there is no mold of a middle to drive along. and so people drive dangerously. what do rules look like when they are simply poetry, ethics to live by. i want someone to pick me up and swallow me whole. whenever i was sick as a child my mom would offer to take the sickness for me. i wish she would have offered instead to
take my sorrows. and perhaps she has, for her child has been sick with sadness i wonder… is she sad? homecoming: i feel too full there is a rock in my throat the motor bike begins to pick up speed. this is a peculiar sensation, both unfamiliar and one that i know too well. the faster we go, the more I realize, that getting off is no longer an option. the motor bike begins to pick up speed and i want to scream and beg the driver to stop and turn around. as the wind gets louder so does my heart; my heart gets louder with the wind. i do not know what i am afraid of, if it is of collisions or leaving but i am afraid. maybe it is both, that leaving is a collision. i pinch my arm––if i can force myself to shut up i won’t ruin the trip. and so i sit there and submit to going. i wonder: if i were to live a life of always going will i be gone soon enough. my second question: is this what i want? before i know it things may be over and i can be swept away along the river. i doubt that karma would let me live my next life in luxury, but i hope that––whatever i do––i will not have to bear the burden of consciousness. it is a misfortune to be born human and not anything else: powerless but to know it too. mother is the glue that makes vietnam coherent and she is nowhere to be seen; she is the glue and i am falling apart. i do not want to admit it but my sadness is because i love my mom though she has betrayed me in giving birth to me. what i really want is for her to take me into her arms and not let me go. if she couldn’t kill me i wish she would eat me instead. devour me, devour me. i want her to listen as i tell her, everything. before truth settles, before it resembles anything, it is purely question––which is to say, before truth is, truth could be anything: truth is could be anything. moving around, truth has disappeared from my sight just outside of my grasp as what i had held before crumbles. being in another country i cannot say that what i knew before is any more true than what i know here. i can’t see through clouds until i’m in the midst of it. even then, the earth and heaven seems to resemble each other, too much. coming home: i promise to call but i know that i won’t. from this bike, i see roads unfolding before a single point in the horizon. just like that, they all the same disappear. i do not get a chance to remember them.
MATHEW CARTER Getting Into Humanure 1.
Go to your local bookstore and in an effort to flirt with the cute bookseller, special order a copy of The Humanure Handbook by Joseph C. Jenkins. The cute bookseller will then have to call you to come pick up your book, at which point you ask them out on a date. The date will not lead to romance but rather a lovely friendship, and you’re already turning shit into flowers.
Live in a borrowed tiny house for a summer which requires you to shit in a bucket and pee outside. Purchase a 5 gallon bucket and a $6 toilet seat from your local hardware store. Obtain free coffee chaff from your local coffee roaster to use in between BM’s. Chaff is the husk of the bean and a natural byproduct of roasting. It smells delicious and looks like fecal splatter when it gets on the toilet seat you’ve precariously balanced atop the bucket. Skip the step where you build a wooden box for your humanure set-up and focus instead on strengthening your legs while trying not to fall over. Talk about humanure ad nauseum to anyone you encounter and filter out all people who are not interested.
Fill said bucket to a dangerously high level before you figure out where to compost it. This will further strengthen your leg muscles as you try to hover over the bucket without its contents making contact with your undercarriage. Return to your local hardware store and purchase a lid and an additional bucket. Cap off the first bucket, place it outside in the shade and start shitting in the new bucket. Make plans for a compost pile, talk to your landlord about them, but never do it. Repeat this step until you have 7 full buckets, the summer is over and you are forced to move.
Get your shit together and load all 35 gallons into your car- drive so slowly that people honk at you. Place the buckets again in the shade and forget about them for the winter.
Build a compost pile with salvaged pallets in the Spring and fill it with coffee grounds and wood chips and grass clippings. Have a cute boy stop by on the day you’re preparing to open your buckets. Honor that he is willing to assist in the pile preparation but not in the handling of your shit. You are the only one who can deal with your shit.
Open the buckets, fearing for your life, and discover that they’re not really that bad because you only pooped in them. Add your aged feces into the compost pile while incorporating dry material to keep things aerobic. Wait 2 years before using said compost to build the food forest you intend to design. I’ll let you know how it goes.
JULIA CHIAPELLA Looking Ahead after W.S. Merwin On the last day of the world The children laugh. How can they know? They pick up stones, pock-marked, flat, dap them through rising waters, their voices littered with glee. On the last day of the world no one cries. The neighbor gets out her cello, plays Albinoniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Adagio in G minor from her rooftop until the dark pulls its covers over the strings. We look out the window. Count to ten. Forget what ten means. The month of May. How to read a clock. Wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t you want it like this? Oblivion nothing but sweetness on the tongue. The world just a suggestion.
In all these pictures I see a dystopian utopian poetical dimension. all these are scans of analog prints taken between 2000 and 2015, the trees are here in stolzenhagen at the oder at sunrise in october 2015.
Acknowledgements “The path to the wild beyond is paved with refusal.” Jack Halberstam, “The Wild Beyond” in The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study This mass is what it is because it has, needs to be and will always exist as something that is more than one. We are endlessly grateful for the critical intimacies and teachings of the handful of zines we have carried in our back pockets for years. Femmescapes, in particular, inspired the layout of this zine. Thank you to Kip McClement for hiving with great patience and tech knowledge. Thank you to Leslie Ross at The Cannery at South Penobscot for providing a generous residency to wrestle with this work. And finally an enormous thank you to all who submitted. This practice is a practice in mutually aided disintegration; the tape tangles and we pledge to leave it that way. Our illegibility becomes our thread. What sprouts, spills, then spills over again, bleeds off the page, sprouts anew. We are indebted to all those who developed the critical frameworks to make this investigation possible, some of whom are listed below. The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study by Fred Moten and Stefano Harney Discard Studies Compendium, a project by Max Liboiron, Michele Acuto and Robin Nagle Spill by Alexis Pauline Gumbs Let the Crops Rot in the Fields by The Free Alabama Movement The Mushroom at the End of the World by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing The Disintegration Tapes by William Basinski Time is The Thing the Body Moves Through by T Fleischmann “In the past few years there has been both a resurgence of approaches to studying waste and wasting as well as an interest in the potential of waste to build interdisciplinary bridges of relevance to pressing questions of our time.” Discard Studied Compendium
Composting (v): An ancient process that begins with a great big, smelly heap in a human-like state, at a temperature like human body temperature: where mesophiles proliferate (like the pathogens in + within the human body) & these mesophiles HEAT up, fevering to 824 degrees F. At which point itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s too hot, so they leave, as thermophiles arrive and SURGE temperature to HOT, real hot, HOT like 1,292 degrees F hot. And these thermophiles THRIVE and are ACTIVE -- they are prehistoric, the first of bacteria, & live in geothermally heated pockets of earth, like hot springs & deep sea hydrothermal vents & also backyard composts & their name comes from greek words for heat & love & they like it hot, real hot, real real hot; but eventually, the heap cools, back to something almost human, something almost body-like, & the thermophiles now leave & the mesophiles now return in their great migration back, & they come to make dark organic matter from the decayed matter, to turn rot to humus: spongy and soft and jelly-like and amorphous and undefined. Something parallel to soil surface & different from all that is above & beneath it. Something complex & not fully understood. Something gradual & eternal, decomposing over several years or MILLENIA. And so arrives the time for curing, aging, maturing; waiting. The time to wait for compost to be healed of all remaining pathogens (those tiny disease carrying microorganisms in + within the human body). Time to become healthy, balanced soil conditioner: resurgent & unearthed. Used for growing, for healing, for regeneration.