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MANIFEST… Because i am grey. The different parts of me crash into and complicate each other constantly. And i know i'm not the only one trying to figure it all out. Because we all have something to say. Because one important way to break down all that oppresses is to speak our truths without reservation or apology, and find solidarity and inspiration in each other’s honesty. Because sometimes i get angry. Because sometimes i get happy. And oftentimes i want to share. Because if you don’t feel like you have a place to go, you need a place to go. Because i am a Young-Girl. The jumble of fragments that follow in no way comprises an offering of any definitive theory on the Young-Girl. They are materials accumulated from encounters with, observations of, and most importantly, personal experiences of Young-Girls. Minds looking for moral comfort or for vice to condemn will find in these scattered pages but roads that will lead them nowhere. In fact we're not so much trying to convert Young-Girls as we are trying to trace out all the corners of a fractured battlefront of Young-Girlization. And to supply the weapons for a hand to hand, blow by blow fight, wherever you may find yourself. This text is a pact. This text is a labor of love. This text is a gift to you. -To all those who relate and create, connect yourself and keep creating. (inspired by TIQQUN)


‘Vetala: An Indian Vampire in London’ — An Excerpt From Sabina England’s ‘Urdustan’

Urdustan is Sabina England’s first book, a collection of seven stories which was selfpublished in 2012 and recently re-released and available for purchase. Sabina England is a Deaf Indian Muslim filmmaker, playwright and performance artist whose films have screened at film festivals in Europe, India, and all over the United States and Canada. She currently lives and works in St. Louis, Missouri. Urdustan reveals multiple personalities of the South Asian diaspora that are often ignored. The stories are interwoven with different characters from many walks of life — Hasidic Jews, African Americans, punks, deaf teens, gay males, and even supernatural creatures such as vampires and angels. _________

She was born to be a punk. Allah had planned for her to become one. Her mother often liked to tell people that she and her husband conceived their daughter while a Sex Pistols’ song played on the radio, followed by a night of British punk. They weren’t punks and had

never even heard of punk rock. The freshly married couple had just emigrated to Great Britain from India so everything in London was strange and new for them. When they first heard the Sex Pistols song on the radio, the mother was shocked, greatly disturbed by how profane and angry the lyrics were. But it turned her on, she admitted. They had intercourse and he impregnated her. That was back in the 1980s, when punk was huge. They named her Khoobsurat and she was born and raised in London. Being an only child, she had no other family in Britain besides her parents. Her father died in a car crash a long time ago when she was a child, and her mother had recently passed away from a rare disease. All of her other relatives lived in West Bengal, India. She was now in her mid to late-twenties — she never liked to reveal her exact age — and she worked as a professional bone-cutter in a slaughterhouse. She fronted vocals and played electric guitar in an East End punk band called the Thuggees. Her full name was Khoobsurat Khan. Khoobsurat meant beautiful in Hindi.Only her mother called her that. Everyone else called her Killer. Killer Khan. Taxi Driver was her favourite movie, and Travis Bickle, the lead character played by Robert DeNiro, was nicknamed Killer. Ever since she saw the movie in high school, she demanded everyone call her that. Besides, Killer Khan was a cool name. She thought it was punk as fuck. She had a shaved jet-black Mohawk and was often seen in her trademark black leather bodysuit and muddy, vintage Chuck Taylor All-Stars shoes. Whenever she wasn’t working, she would slip into her black leather bodysuit and head out for another show or party. She didn’t care that she didn’t own too many clothes. All she needed was black leather and she was content. Killer got annoyed if anyone called her a goth-punk or horror-punk or death-punk just because she was interested in horror mythology, paranormal sciences, and morbid folk tales. She insisted she was a punk — and that was it. No labels, no offshoots, she told everyone in the scene. They were all punks, and that was it. No street punks or dread punks or goth punks or Oi punks or skin punks or greaser punks or cyber punks or metal punks or skater punks or rockabilly punks or any of that bullshit. Punk, and that was it. One late evening, she worked overtime in the slaughterhouse to earn extra money. She needed more money so she could move out of her dingy flat in the East End and move somewhere bigger where she could turn one room into a rehearsal space and recording studio for her band. She had been cutting animal bones all evening and she deposited them into a large metal basin, later to be pulverized into bone powder. Exhausted, she sat down at the cutting table to work on lyrics for her next song, but she wasn’t sure what to put down. She suffered from a severe case of writer’s block for a few days and it bothered her. As she sat there and thought hard, she heard a noise. It sounded as if someone had fallen over or crashed into some tables. She turned around, and a person stood a few feet away. She became concerned because she was the only person working in the slaughterhouse tonight, aside from a security guard. She had spoken to him earlier and he would be at his post all night, so it couldn’t have been him. “Hey!” she shouted. “Who’s that? I can’t see your face.”

The person emerged from the darkness. Killer’s eyes widened and she jumped off her seat. “Jesus fuckin’ Christ,” she cried, “are you alright?” In front of her stood a young South Asian woman dressed in a traditional light blue shalwar kameez. The shalwar was so long it covered her legs and feet. It was drenched with dark red blood all over. Her hair was messy and her hands were covered in blood. Her face was blank. Killer hurried over to her and gently put one of her hands on the girl’s shoulders. The girl hissed, her eyes glinting with great terror. Startled, Killer took a step back and raised her arms. “Whoa,” Killer said, “I’m not trying to hurt you. What’s wrong? Why do you have blood all over your shalwar?” The girl in the bloodied dress remained silent and continued to stare at Killer, which made her feel uneasy. She could have sworn the mysterious girl hated her with gusto even though they met barely a second ago. Killer wondered who she was and why she was in the slaughterhouse in the middle of night. It was unusual. Most people couldn’t bear to be inside this place because of the strong smell of animal carcasses. Still, Killer felt sorry for the poor young woman. “Did someone try to rape you? I’ll kill the pig and cut off his dick. Just tell me who did this to you.” The mysterious girl gave no response. She stood still, her face expressionless. “Did you escape from your parents? Did you come from an abusive home? Or did you have an abusive boyfriend? Did he beat you?” No response. Killer then realized maybe the girl didn’t know English. So she spoke Hindi and repeated the same question—did she come from an abusive home, did she have an abusive boyfriend, did someone try to rape her? Yet the girl remained silent. “Ok, maybe you’re not a Hindi speaker,” Killer murmured. “Let’s try this in Bengali.” She repeated the questions in scant Bengali. Even though she was Bengali, she knew Hindi better, having learned Hindi from Bollywood films while growing up. Hoping for a response, Killer groaned when the girl stood still and stayed quiet. She hadn’t even moved an inch. “I don’t know Punjabi or Urdu or Tamil or Kannada or Malayalam or Sinhalese or Nepali or Marathi or Telugu or Oriya or any other languages besides Hindi and Bengali,” Killer moaned. “How the hell am I supposed to help you if you won’t speak?” Then it dawned on her. Maybe the girl was deaf and that was why she didn’t speak or make any signs of response. Killer knew a bit of British Sign Language, having learned it in school, so she signed the same questions to the girl.

Still no response. Killer sighed. This was ridiculous. She turned around and out of frustration, she kicked one of the table legs hard. The table clattered violently. The mysterious girl suddenly growled and snarled. Killer jumped back, stunned. “Wow,” Killer said with awe in her voice, “that was powerful. You sound like a wild animal. You must be really upset.” She studied the blood on the girl’s shalwar kameez and decided maybe the young woman had an accident and wandered into the slaughterhouse and maybe she had fallen through animal carcasses somewhere in a chamber. Maybe that was why there was blood on her dress, and maybe she suffered from amnesia. “Mmm.” She then noticed a trail of blood on the floor behind the girl and moved around to examine it. The trail was long, leading out of the bone-cutting lab. “Where did this blood come from?” she asked the girl and then she rolled her eyes and muttered, “never mind. You don’t speak.” Since there was nothing else to do at the moment, she figured she would follow the trail and maybe it’d give her clues where the mysterious girl came from. She followed the trail, and it took her out of her bone-cutting lab. “Where are we going?” she murmured to herself. The girl behind her quietly pursued her, barely making a noise. The trail was unexpectedly long, and it took Killer and the mysterious girl on a long walk through the slaughterhouse, passing by many different air-conditioned chambers where animal carcasses hung. There were cows, pigs, goats, turkeys, sheep, deer, and even a special chamber for exotic animals such as ostriches and llamas and camels who were slaughtered for wealthy customers to purchase and consume. All of the chambers were padlocked, but the doors had large round windows in which all of the carcasses were visible. Despite the thick steel doors shutting off the chambers from normal room temperature, the smell of raw, bloody meat was still very strong. Killer heard sniffing noises behind her, sounds of deep inhalation and then a soft growl. She turned and saw the mysterious girl wetting her lips, lustfully staring at the chamber window where exotic animal carcasses hung. The girl looked hungry, as if she wanted to break into the chamber and gobble it all up. “You like raw meat?” Killer asked her. The girl made no response. She continued to wet her lips, looking through the chamber window. Killer shook her head. Weirdo, she thought to herself and continued pursuing the trail of blood. The trail took both women to the front entrance of the slaughterhouse and stopped there. There was a shabby reception desk and a sign-in sheet. Killer went around to inspect a large pool of blood behind the desk. She was not prepared for what she saw. The security guard’s body lay on the floor in a puddle of blood. His face had been ripped apart, his features were barely recognizable. His skin was so mauled to the point that the

skeletal structure of his face were visible. His eyeballs were missing — his sockets were bloody and empty. His body had fresh wounds all over, his security uniform shredded like paper. Oh my god oh my fucking god— “Ethan!” she cried, “no!” Tears rushed down her face in a hot stream. She dropped to the floor and held onto the floor with her fists, clawing for dear life, as if she would slip into the cracks of the floor. She sobbed hard that she had to gasp for air. The sight of Ethan’s mutilated corpse so extremely disturbed her, she started gagging and then vomited all over the floor. It was too much for her to bear. She fought hard to pull herself up back, even though her body shuddered all over. “Who killed him?” Killer screamed out to no one in particular. She didn’t want to look again, but she knew she had to. It was important that she understood what happened to him. She kneeled down onto the floor and studied his corpse as she struggled not to faint or retch. She pressed one hand against her mouth so she wouldn’t gag. Looking down at his body, she noticed large bite marks on his torso and arms and legs, like an animal had set fangs into his body and killed him. As she squinted to study the bite marks in hope of recognizing the incisors and identify the animal that had killed him, a slight breeze brushed against her. She looked up. It was the mysterious girl. Killer’s eyes glanced down to the shalwar kameez and studied the blood on her dress. Under the long dress, Killer saw the girl’s feet but the feet looked strange — there were no toes. Killer craned her neck and searched the back of the dress. For the first time, she saw something weird about the girl — and Killer froze. The mysterious girl’s feet were backward. She wasn’t actually standing on the floor. Her feet floated just half an inch off the floor. Killer slowly retreated from Ethan’s ravaged corpse and put herself in a defensive position. She finally understood. “You’re a vetala,” Killer whispered. _________ Find out more about the author and Urdustan at Follow Sabina England on Twitter at @SabinaEngland. Originally published in 9/13/13


That was the year, my twenty-eighth, when I was discovering that not all of the promises would be kept, that some things are in fact irrevocable and that it had counted after all, every evasion and every procrastination, every mistake, every word, all of it. -Joan Didion

It's like there's music, plus whatever they put in it to evoke wonder. And E's favorite color green-leaves-with-sun-shining-through-them in flesh in fact the leaves reach make an arched roof over our heads.

Is she the sun? What are the leaves? What i am? (I am trying to stop addressing every poem to her

Think about some facts: It's not hard to see how the woods are the stuff of fairy tales, deep and enchanted and smelling like A year ago, a Danish forest. Walking here feels like walking with


Fiona Depuis Carey

(Here’s to meeting people who are so much like us, it’s scary — they make us in awe of who we want to be.) (At the time I felt that I was the recipient of extraordinary Gifts of patience, love, and this knack she had for totally loosening my fear.) (But I see that we are mirrors and the light was not coming “from” her but from a lot of places and people and less identifiable bodies, myself included.) (Never doubt that you have such effects on the folks around you. I feel like thanking, thanking thanking thanking thanking thanking thanking (In order to read this you must sing it in your head, or under your breath, or out loud, or at the top of your lungs, to a tune of your own invention.) If you have come to this place with sage in your pockets and love in your face you may just be my saving grace maybe, maybe I walked barefoot ‘cross the field after the fall of the dew-don’t know if I was looking for me or if I was looking for you (the moon the only witness to the breath I drew) maybe, maybe In you in many ways I see parts of who I want to become Because of you nowadays I spice my coffee with cardamom. FDC Naïma

“Women do not need to eradicate difference to feel solidarity. We do not need to share common oppression to fight equally to end oppression.” — bell hooks, Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center

Princesses in a Land of Machos MUXES - We are Princesses in a land of Machos (Oaxaca-Mexico) They drink beer, they are part of local governement and they are symbol of good luck for their family: they are Muxes, homosexuals of the “pueblo oaxacaqueno de Juchitan”, more than 3000 homosexuals who enjoy respect and admiration in all the country. Los Muxes (in zapotec language means homosexual) are considered as a blessing in Juchitan and you can count almost 3000 of them. According to a taxi-driver, there is a homosexual in every family and Muxes themselves assert to be “fallen from a broken pocket of San Vicente Ferrer” the patron saint of Juchitan, during his holy walk over the town (a local expression to say they are lucky, chosen people). It is a luck for a homosexual to be born in Juchitan, where in a population of 160.000 people, the most of them feel respect for Muxes, while they walk proudly in the streets, dressed as women with huipiles and enaguas, typical dress of the Tehuantepec Isthmus. The homosexuals of Juchitan have gained a place in economical and political activities, normally reserved to men. They are ownersof shops,they work in hospitals, they are successful stylists of the typical local dresses and owners of beauty salons. A resident in Juchitan says ”Thanks to God, we have one of them in every family... they are like women, they work as a man, but they wash, cook, clean the house and when the other sons will get married and leave, they will stay and look after their old parents”. “A lady living here, has accepted a son muxes... and then she has winned the lottery.. it is a real blessing. .everybody shoul accept them as they are.. in every place they are”. Carlos Lopez Toledo, municipal concellor, explains that when a family relizes that a child has a bent for homosexuality, they treat him as a lucky charme, because Muxes are good producers. “A lot of us are in this way, because our parents have converted us and treated as female “says Felina, a 36 years old Muxes, owner of an Estetica (beauty salon). ”I’m not a man.. I’m not a woman.. I’m a Muxes and there is place for everyboby in the Vineyard of Lord “. Mistica, 27 years old, makes traditional dresses “When I was a child, I used to play with my sisters,I dressed as a woman and Imade myself up... my mother was happy and used to say she would like a son muxes... My father didn’t accept immediately and decided to bring me to to the farm with my brothers... but once arrived... I run to pick up flowers...” -photographer Nicola Ókin Frioli see more at:

OCTOBER 2013  

theme: hope(s)/fear(s)//anything else

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