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a message from the team. In our fall zine, themed “Decolonized Love,� we aim to examine how vehicles and byproducts of colonization have interrupted the ways in which we are able to practice love and care in our relationships. Some of these structures include capitalism, environmental degradation, culture and language erasure, white supremacy, colorism, disrupted histories, gender binary, and patriarchy. Through this zine, we archive narratives and skillshare on the process of restoring and indigenizing the ways in which we love. We also emphasize love as it comes in relationships of all forms, including but not limited to: relationships with land, gender, sexuality, home. With language, art, race, ethnicity. With body, ability, religion, spirituality. Relationships that are platonic, romantic, familial, sexual. It is critical to engage with the the theme of decolonized love for a few reasons: restoring and elevating the ways in which we love, feel and relate to ourselves and others are central to the pursuit of liberation; the effects of colonization have manifested in the way we love interpersonally, and structurally; and sustaining our movement requires an equitable distribution of emotional labor and care internally. We thank you for engaging with our team, our contributors, and the narratives of this zine, and invite you all to join us in our communal process of decolonizing our love.

In solidarity, STATIC Staff.

Contents 4-5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16-17 18-19 20 21 22-23 24 25 26-27

going too fast? on desire as decolonial speed

Eva Louise Grant

last snow Angeline Truong decolonized love Janet Chen kwÍtèli - all off of one kind; all together

Mia Ritter-Whittle

refugee Gopal Raman nobody actually wins if someone gets ahead

Momo Hoshi

livingston Syd Westley body poem #1 Anna Greene favor Talia Flores wrong, right, and left Bae the language Terence Zhao fossil, or many names for manila

Ethan Chua

tuesdays Adesuwa Agbonile poem in which azealia banks asks me to look into the mirror

Sojourner Ahebee

undone Sarah Vernallis circinate vernation: curled / circinate vernation: unfurling

Yeji Jung

if the body is not holy

Syd Westley

staff contributors survey responses

Going too fast?

On Desire as Decolonial Speed

It’s barely past 10pm on a Saturday night, and I’m in bed with Ianthe when I tell her I’m thinking of my brother. Gross, Eva, why would you even say that, she responds disinterestedly, slowing the drag of fingers across my skin. Get your head out of the gutter, I tell her. I didn’t mean it like that. Generations before me have already flayed the skin from their fingertips to their wrists on pages of Freud. Ianthe listen. What I mean is, when I going to tell him about you? She pauses,

sólo si tú quieres. I met Ianthe in Oakland at a fundraiser for Hasta Muerte Coffee and have become fast, albeit ill-defined friends. She is always asking me what I want. She is a Pisces, like my brother. Her left eye is black but her right eye is some in-between color that doesn’t quite fit. I like to tell her it makes her look like David Bowie so she’ll smile the way you do when someone tells you they love you. This might seem like a familiar scene: you and a dear friend, in the fleeting newness of your relationship, pour over the minutiae, the odd laughs, the collective sensibilities, the freckles, the intoxicating resonance of your beingtogether. They change the fabric of time and space, muting the sinister hummings of settler colonialism and all its pain and attrition to let you focus on the hummingbirds inside. Aren’t you two moving a little fast, ask friends who have never met her. And it is difficult to explain to them how much it means for someone to ask me what I want in their language, paying no head to the discursive, semi-ethical

Eva Louise (she/her) is a STATIC associate editor and a junior studying literature, history, and creative writing. An indigenous artist, activist and abolitionist, she credits the Xenofeminist manifesto as her “must-read of the month” towards the development of her nascent understanding of collective liberation.


blockages like “too fast,” or “too soon.” To make truth our immediate constant is an ideal intimacy that builds worlds between breaths. And we need all the breath we can get. This idea of “taking things slow” is, I suspect, a colonial and capitalist construct that assumes both the ongoingness existence of two people, and that an investment of capital into a relationship will make it more valuable. The truth is that settler state is waging a bloody war against us. It hunts, maims, and consigns us to a myriad different deaths, like it did to our grandparents, our parents, our siblings, our lover, and our friends. It’ll apologize to us for wrongs wronged, launching itself into a present putatively bereft of guilt or grievous harm, but the settler state has none the less marked us for death. So what better way to fight back then to love? To love fast, and messy, and above and beyond the constraints of capitalist relationality. To love decolonially is to love on the battlefield, to make weapons of these pockets of consensual reality, to ensure that we will live on, in some sense, in odd laughs, in freckles, in spaces where desire is located not in a trading post but in the space between two hummingbirds somehow staying in the air. There is no guarantee we will survive “The Future” - there was no place for us in it anyway - but to love in spite of it is to think in a a vernacular of the “what-will-have-happened,” a future perfect that confounds settler notions of time and space. When I tell her I love her five hours into knowing her, I can’t stop the spitshining revelation spilling from my lips anymore than Mother Earth can stop her bodies of water from spilling onto her shores. For her to say it back and mean it then, is earthly, is indigenous, and breathes life into a reality that can bear all of us.


Angeline Truong (she/her/hers) is a freshman at Stanford pursuing a major in Biology and a minor in English. Her interests include cardiovascular surgery, existentialist plays, poetry, and playing with her dog.


Decolonized Love

2017, wheel thrown and altered raku clay, raku fired with copper luster, turquoise blue, and clear crackle glaze

Decolonized love, to me, means elevating the love that has sustained my people through literal and figurative diaspora. My exhibit is dedicated to the love of those who came before me, especially to that of my mother and grandmother. It asks of a few questions: How has colonization disrupted the ways we love? How has it commodified and extracted our care? How has our relationship with land, with self, with home, with mother, with daughter and with femininity been sculpted and resculpted? My pieces answer with an illustration of heartbreak across generations and across borders. It shows healing as a non-linear, non-time bound process. It is for hearts that break for others and break for self, for hearts that keep breaking while healing. For hearts that are fractured and charred, soft and vulnerable, tough and vibrant. For hearts that are not always in bloom, but give without bound, for there is promise embedded in holding seeds, holding roots, and holding earth.

Janet Chen (she/her) is a third year undergrad. She loves all kinds of art and is passionate about creative storytelling as a force for resistance and for healing.


kwÍtèli - all off of one kind; all together

this piece is inspired by many things - by intertribal love and resilience, in a large part. it focuses on a love that my best friend, an acoma pueblo woman, and i, a hasinai and lenape woman & two-spirit person have, and the beauty we walk in together. it also focuses on the combination of solidarity efforts between tribes in general, drawing connections from the hasinai people to the people of standing rock in their movement to protect the water. it connects to my roots and the practices of my people, and the ways in which they interact to reflect a multidimensional, indigenous world.

Mia Nataneh (she/her or they/them) is Hasinai, Lenape, and white. She is the oldest of four siblings. Her mother is Terra Snyder, her father is Joe Whittle, and her step-father is Jason Snyder. She was raised in Nimi’ipuu homeland, at the base of the beautiful Wallowa Mountains and in Hells Canyon, but her peoples are originally from the land on the east coast / parts of what is now known as Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana / Ireland. 8

he said that he was from where the river flows, that he took tea


with salt and sand, that he mixed water and oil in his veins. he thought that the shadows were slower on this side of the coast, that the rain fell thicker in here, that the ground forgot herself. he smelled of dust and honey, like a bee stripped of stripes and spike, just formless fuzz and two open eyes. his wings were clipped, memories of an easier home lost to beige wind. he seemed a sandbox of all things foreign, a stone skipped across star-duned seas. an older moon closed his eyes, a hotter kiln hardened his skin, a wetter sun forged his steel. i didn’t know him, no— i saw his face among the crowd, on sidewalks and the streets. our fingers never touched— i never felt the whorl of his warmth, of himself. but then i saw: he had a sister— and what else could he need to prove his humanity to me?

A freshman at Stanford University, Gopal Raman (he/him/his) was chosen for the 2016 Class of National Student Poets, the nation’s highest award for youth poets, by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities and select other jurors. He plans to study computer science, philosophy, and poetry in college in addition to playing tennis and tutoring. He has held readings and spoken at the White House, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Dodge Poetry Festival, Aspen Ideas Festival, and TEDxPlano.


Momo Hoshi (they/she/them/her) is a 5th year undergraduate double majoring in Music and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. She spends most of her energy on things that are either related to music or community health & wellbeing. Most mediums of art are incredibly grounding to her, including playing instruments, singing jazz, drawing with watercolors, engaging in movement work, and loudly singing (shouting?) along to her favorite Japanese rock songs while driving too fast (but still safely) on the freeway at night when there are hardly any other cars around.


livingston i kiss each palm + hold them to the sky and this is nearly love right here with you and the clouds and us somewhere beneath. you: leave your body in the space of our trailing breath. leave your body in the space that we leave behind, i am waiting in the grass with my eyes closed / i am waiting in the grass with my heart open, it is so reckless. it is so full. it is so wanting. the first thing to break my heart was the sun. it was simply a tendency towards something more real. i tell you, leave your body in the space that we leave behind / what we have done has become too much for that which holds us. I have just received word / from my what we want is something it cannot brother / who said / the clouds have a contain.

lot / to teach us about love. Livingston Miller

come with me to the shore to get nearest to the sky. it is endless. it is real. it is a love like no one and everything i want us to learn.

Syd Westley (she/her/hers) is a bundle of contradictions.


Anna Greene (she/her/hers) is a freshman sorta kinda from Alabama. She is ~potentially~ majoring in sociology and is interested in micro and macro conflict creation and resolution. Talk to her about slacklining, hitchhiking, politics, and the nuances of the Deep South.


Talia Flores (she/her or they/them) is an undeclared sophomore. She is a graduate of Stanford’s Structured Liberal Education (SLE) program and would love to talk to you about it, or not. On campus, she is a fellow at the Institute for Diversity in the Arts. Off-campus, she is the Managing Editor for The Blueshift Journal.


outside the door behind which my mother hides where she has hidden for months it forces its way past my tongue like bile “I’m sorry” this time not for breaking a cup or for forgetting a birthday but for me

wrong, right, and left

contradiction: me namja animyun yeoja boys or girls only two choices and I didn’t make the right one or even choose to make a choice but my mother has been hiding for far too long and a choice with only two decisions (umma? or noona?) tightens its glass grip around our youngest I don’t want him to have only two “choices” like I do like it seems we all do be queer or be korean i guess or that’s what she told me accept me or reject me only two choices for her and she didn’t make the one I wanted or even choose to make a choice now when she tells me to call her and tell her I love her I tell her I love her It feels like an apology

Bae (she/her) (they/them) is a work in progress. Also, her birthday falls on National Coming Out Day and she thinks that’s quite a laugh.


The Language

When I have a kid

How will you do childcare if you have a full-time job? They are going to learn the language You will not just be able to stay home with them We will speak it at home and nothing else You will have to send them to daycare So it’s going to be their first language Where they will speak English They can pick up English when they start school And then they will feel the pressure And stop speaking the language with you By then, they will have a good foundation of the language And a healthy appreciation of their roots Because that is just how it is Kids feel inferior for speaking the language And they can pick up English when they start grade school Kids learn it quickly. It took me less than a year to learn And then they will just forget the language It is bound to happen, if they do not use it That way, they can be like me and bridge two worlds And not speak the language with an American accent Maybe you could have them learn in weekend classes They will only learn bits and pieces, but it is better than nothing Being an American does not Mean forgetting the old country Just because we wanted a better future Doesn’t mean we should forget our past Doesn’t mean we should forget our ancestors And our grandparents’ stories that we grew up hearing And the fragrances that always smell like home

Honestly, this country is All about assimilation

I think it is just for us to accept that No matter what we do These kids will replace the language and the culture With something they know to be better Who are we to say any different?

Terence Zhao ‘19 (he/his) was born and raised in Beijing before immigrating to the US when he was nine years old. Since then, he had lived in an Asian American suburb of LA. In his spare time, he likes to explore cities and contemplate the end of imperialism.


Ethan Chua (he/him) is a Chinese-Filipino spoken word poet and fiction writer. His work has been published in the Philippines Graphic magazine, DIALOGIST, Strange Horizons and The Blueshift Journal, and his graphic novel, Doorkeeper Anthology, will be published in November 2017 by Summit Books. He sings while biking, narrowly avoids accidents, and has a lot of feelings. He is happily part of the Stanford Spoken Word Collective.



Tuesdays Buorire came into this world on a green Tuesday speckled with white light. Her mother thought this to be a bad omen, as it was well known that babies born on Tuesdays never amounted to anything. For eighteen years she cared for Buorire as one is likely to care for a cursed child—minimal eye contact and backhanded prayers said in her harsh hometown language. The night Buorire graduated from high school—a Tuesday—she packed all of her belongings into an airplane carryon and bought a one-way plane ticket to London, leaving her mother behind with a polite smile and a warm, but brief, handshake. Three days later, she found herself work as a paralegal. Buorire showed up to the office every morning at eight A.M., spoke only to those who spoke to her, kept her sentences short to conceal her thick native accent, and worked her hardest until exactly five P.M. Then, she went home, slept at eight, and woke up the next morning to do the exact same things the exact same way. Every Tuesday, between the hours of 6:00 PM and 6:07 PM, Buorire called her mother to let her know that she was still alive. Their conversations were predictable variations of the same theme: hello, how are you, goodbye. Buorire always responded to her mother’s Yoruba in terse English, decorated with a Londoner’s accent. When her mother complained about this, Buorire would pretend not to hear. If you asked her why she did this, she would have told you it was to prove a point, although she did not know what she was proving, or who she was proving it to.

Adesuwa Agbonile (she/her/hers) is a freshman of Nigerian background. She loves talking about how policy can address matters of systemic inequality (especially within black and brown communities) how creative writing can be used as a vehicle for positive change, and avocado toast.


A little while after Buorire’s fifth promotion, the man that sat across from her at work took her out to an expensive restaurant and bought her expensive food. Under dim lights, his hair and teeth glowed shocking white. Buorire had to squint to make out what he was saying. She appreciated the gesture of the dinner, and the good food, but she disregarded the unspoken contract that both of these things entailed. A couple weeks later, the same man—hair and teeth just as glistening white—asked Buorire if she had ever loved anyone. Buorire replied no, and she didn’t really think she would like to. On one particular Tuesday—shortly after Buorire’s promotion to CEO— during one of the seven minute phone calls, Buorire’s mother said, “Ọmọ mi. Mo n kú. I am dying.” And so Buorire traveled reluctantly back to her country to witness the deterioration of the being that had breathed life into her. When Buorire arrived, her mother took her hand and whispered, “Ọmọ mi. Did I do a good job?” “Sure,” Buorire said. Her mother’s eyebrows furrowed with lack of understanding. Buorire sighed. “Bẹẹni, Mama,” she said, then removed her mother’s hand from her own. Her mother died on a Tuesday. Buorire thought nothing of it.



After Ice Princess

On television they want black women disappeared. Viola Davis shines an extra layer of Vaseline on her arm so we can see her better. The black boy who shined blue on the school bus back in 5th grade called you dark, dirty -- most days you carry him in your mouth like water. When you try to kiss a black man he becomes wet & angry. I don’t care what anyone says, most men despise dark skinned women. Azealia wipes the water from the corner of my mouth & becomes ice, so cold she dripping icicles. In House of Cards a black waitress hands Remy a glass of water. The white woman across from him laughs -- a lake forming in her eyes -- and says I thought you would pick her. Remy opens his wet mouth to respond: you’re way prettier. Somewhere an avalanche collapses . I dress in black to honor something dead inside of me & Azealia shakes her head & places a long white fur around my shoulders from behind . She gets closer & whispers in my ear -- something about a white fox. We stare so long at ourselves the mirror freezes over like a lake in winter: opulence looking back at opulence. We colder than December so the season folds into us, submits. If you don’t want us then you don’t want the world.

Sojourner (she/her/hers) writes poems about African diaspora identities and the eternal question of home and belonging. Her work has been published in The Atlantic, Winter Tangerine Review, and featured by The Academy of American Poets. In 2013, she served the United States as a National Student Poet. This summer (2017), she released her debut poetry chapbook -- Reporting from the Belly of the Night, -- a collection of poems that explores black femininity. You can find the chapbook at sojournerahebee.com


Sarah Vernallis (she/her/hers) is a junior studying Philosophy. She received the Chappell-Lougee grant to produce a body of ceramic work concerned with rape, gender, and the body. This ceramics project offered Sarah a means of becoming intimate with her body again, in a creative space in which she had agency to reclaim her experience and make something of her own.


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yeji jung (she/they) is majoring in the closest thing to ethnic studies that stanford offers. they are currently working on a creative thesis centered on their and their grandparents’ narratives and relationships to Korean diaspora. they would love for folks interested and invested in the intersections of art, justice, and liberation to check out the 23 institute for diversity in the arts (IDA). 23

if the body is not holy say what it is / say bruising say / bruised / say the way it happens so / quietly / with our eyes / closed / say music or perhaps better / instrument / say something to be held / or to be substantive or / simply / to forget the ways we / disappear / if the body is not holy / say why / say perhaps not dedicated to / God / i mean say / perhaps not dedicated to / Him / i wonder / why this makes a body / sacrilegious / i wonder / how a body can be / sacrilegious / say yesterday i held the hand / of another girl perhaps my / sister / say most girls are as good as / sisters / since they know the ways we / disappear / the ways we are / bruised / the ways we want to be / held / say yesterday i held the hand / of another girl / say yesterday i looked into / a mirror and saw / a face / and not handprints / say a body might be somewhere / say a body / might be soon to / follow / say perhaps i have / a body / that is not holy / but bruised / gentle / in spite / of a God / that does not / want me.

Syd Westley (she/her/hers) is a bundle of contradictions.


staff contributors zine editors janet chen hee joo ko community liaisons tony hackett ysabel ojoylan reagan walker pio thompson cheng-hau kee

zine design leads chanel kim margaux giles webmaster heidi chen core staff ethan chua eva louise

community liaison interns sefa santos-powell becky liang

website editors tinuola dada ali zilversmit staff writers syd westley ely jay nez sunho paik design intern karissa dong




Profile for Stanford STATIC

STATIC Zine Volume 2 Issue 1  

Decolonized Love

STATIC Zine Volume 2 Issue 1  

Decolonized Love