MOONFRUIT: ten years of moonroot

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january 2022


a few notes about content: this zine contains words and images that are powerful and brave, some of which might be triggering or upsetting to you. we’ve noted a few below, but there may be some that we didn’t anticipate. please take care as you read & don’t worry if you’re not feeling it today. content notes for specific pages: blood, needles (10–12) worms and images of worms (13–14) death (15–23, 47–48) physical violence (31) bugs, death, illness, hospitals, institutionalization, physical abuse, stalking, harassment, pain, mental health, parental abuse (37–40) a note about language: our theme for this zine is growth, including looking back and looking forward, changes, and transformations. we’ve always considered moonroot as an evolving experiment, and in the spirit of transparency, want to share how our understanding of ourselves, as well as some significant words we use, have changed in the last five years. we also want to offer an apology for the unintended harm we may have caused. our original zines used the word “womyn” prominently. this word has transphobic origins, and we’re not using it anymore. we’re reflecting on trans-misogyny and how it shapes our language, and refocusing on our love for our communities, particularly the trans and non-binary folks among our members and contributors. our call for submissions was to folks of Asian (West Asian, Central Asian, Southeast Asian, South Asian, East Asian) and Pacific Islander descent. however, we want to acknowledge that our outreach didn’t reach all these communities for this issue, and that our collective members don’t represent all of them either. we don’t wanna contribute to erasure while we move forward our intention to build loving, radical community with and among these communities of folks. love, the moonboos


Recipe for a Long Quarantine Night by Ching-in Chen....... 5 Han-Toum by Joy Messinger.................................................. 7 popoa at my age by Alizarin Menninga-Fong......................... 8 Ode to Sweet Potato Greens by Phuong Vuong..................... 9 like dry soil and water by rai............................................... 10 worm culture by narinda heng............................................. 13 Lessons Learned from Stacey Park Milbern by Hoi-Fei Mok 15 What My Garden Wishes to Happen by Eve Beisinger........ 24 guanyin in the shower by Audrey Kuo................................. 25 Maintain by Claudia Leung.................................................. 29 Inverted by Eva Song Margolis............................................. 31 Intermission.......................................................................... 32 Giant by Trinidad Escobar.................................................... 33 Decennial Download by Yan Kaixin.................................... 37 Inheritance by TiDo............................................................. 41 Coconut Braids by Nupur Behera........................................ 45 After Reunion (Dream, March 2019) by Hei Kyong Kim... 47 laughing ancestory by coda hu............................................ 49 T4T by T.............................................................................. 52 Joy is building capacity with others by Kubo...................... 53

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Han-toum Han (한): an indescribable longing, a collective grief, a scenic river, my last name at birth for my birth mother, who made a more difficult decision on the day i was born than all the decisions i’ve cumulatively made since “President Rhee’s ideology of “one nation, one race” (ilguk, ilminju) and a particular form of postcolonial Korean ethnonationalism (tanil minjok chŏngsin) made the situation of mixed-race children an urgent concern for the government.” — from “The Origins of Korean Adoption: Cold War Geopolitics and Intimate Diplomacy” by Eleana Kim, Ph.D.

We will never have this moment again, meeting for a second time. No memory of first: birth then separation, writhing, wrested. You: Scared. Brave. Eomoni. Ddal. Unnamed secret kept. Meeting for a second time, no memory. Who am I but our face, this heart, my tears, you? Scared, brave eomoni. Ddal unnamed. Secret kept. Our first home, each other, no? Shame, no. Shame. Who am I but our face, this heart? My tears, my forgiveness flow forth freely. Our first home, each other. No shame, no shame, resentment reserved for the racist rhetoric of removal. My forgiveness flows forth freely. A false choice, a future forced. Resentment reserved for the racist rhetoric of removal. Still, though, I exist as proof of infinite love, I know. A false choice, a future forced, of first birth then separation. Writhing, wrested, still. Though I exist as proof of infinite love, I know we will never have this moment again.

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INVERTED At my friend’s kitchen table, I eat a bowl of kapoon she’s prepared/ Her act of compassion reminds me there are other ways of being/ I add fish sauce and lime, and quietly listen/ she gently advises me to follow intuition/ the leftovers of violence still exist, but a little softer. And there will always be space for it, as there will be space for tenderness –a heavier weight that I can now bear/ I drive home in reverse/ my friend invites me over/ I hang up the phone/ alone, I feel hollow and full of regret/ my pulse slows/ he storms out of the house/ my eyes, two raging full moons, wane crescent/ his 10 fingers loosen; thumbs release pressure on my throat/ I take breathing for granted/ his hands eek away from my face as if performing an unfocused kata/ my feet graze the floor/ I shit talkin’ in reverse, the spit on his face springs back into my mouth/ I unpin from wall; he pulls me toward him/ my knuckles press away from his chest, my right-angled elbow dancing back to my side/ the lamp jumps from floor to end table/ our home orderly and full of laughter, and addictions/ all of my rage/ all of his grief/ all of our loss/ my childhood yearning; wandering and running, always/ he, no capacity to face his/ fourth grade me not responding to violence/ my first time being hit, how it unearthed a desire to fight; now always ready, too ready/ he, unable to discern whether it is he who is hitting or someone else hitting him- or heaven; he too, always ready/ us, a rushed affair, too ready/ we unravel into each other and despise what remains of our own bandages/ he likes to take pride in the stench. “Look! Here is how much I have been hurt,” he repeats/ sorrow flows back into their tear ducts/ my hardened stare becomes a soft gaze/ we know patience and kindness; we enact it upon each other, never ourselves/ I cannot hold my own hand without aching/ they use their hands only to receive/ I just want tenderness/ they do not understand that tenderness without compassion is just a hungry embrace/ I envision him as a child/ he wants me to hold him there in that time, like a mother, but will not ask/ I could do that, but I am no mother of theirs/ they just want someone with a sad walk, someone willing to hurt like them/ I walk away/ I dance the Kid’n Play in fourth grade, stuntin’; I fought back in ‘90; you can’t touch this/ I don’t respond to his advances; his words are no reflection of me, just his sadness pulled inside-out fishing for a mate/ I turn down the volume/ I crawl towards the tenderness I create for myself/ I listen to myself. I trust myself./ I do not deceive me.

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(( intermission )) take a break drink some water eat a snack (maybe some fruit) go outside breathe deeply

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notes


contact www.moonroot.info moonrootzine@gmail.com

edited, designed, printed, and assembled on unceded ohlone land, known as oakland, ca, and susquehannock, piscataway, and nanticoke land, known as baltimore, md.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercialShareAlike 4.0 International License.




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