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SUSIE Issue 2 • B U I L D


SUSIE


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Mikayla Whitmore


letter from the team There is an exhaustion that comes with building from the ground up. It comes with a death, a scare, with denial and an unwillingness. Building something from nothing always looks shiny and glossy in the beginning. But it is usually the middle that gives us a run for our money and a test to our character like no other. It rarely ends in tandem with our beginning vision. When Susie first announced the Issue 2 theme, we were all still very much high off of round one and the community that came with it. We wanted more high-power punch and more strong voices. However, as submissions began rolling in, we noticed that themes of bodies, fear, hopefulness, rebirth -- all ran thick. We noticed the courage of uncertainty and of weakness. We saw folks as young as 13 turn anguish into gut-wrenching prose. We saw artists sprawl raw images to be devoured. And suddenly building Issue 2 became a much heavier, personal task than Issue 1. This year has been a not so gentle reminder that we are all so very delicate. And that at any given moment things are bound to crash and burn while we are tasked with simultaneously creating a new system, a new path to healing for ourselves. This issue we ask you to keep in mind your trials and tribulations as you flip these pages. May it be a carry-on in your journey to rediscovery. May it be tableside during your rebirth. May it give you confidence that anything can be built in a day or a year or a lifetime. And all it takes is a little crumble to build it bigger and better the next time around. With Love, Susie Team

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development olivia jane huffman

art direction / design melanie roven

social media ellie lee

events annaLiisa benston

copy editing angelica florio

copy editing maimoona rahim

layout lizzi chen

social media jaime geter

Susie team

managing editor kristen chiucarello

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“There are opportunities even in the most difficult moments.� -Wangari Maathai

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Karin Quindo Miller


“I hid behind a camera during a period of my life when I felt like I had no control. My work tends to revolve around vulnerability. I’m attracted to this subject because I’m mildly obsessed with the idea of attaining a perfect self. When I was younger, I used to read a lot of self-help books. I would get down on myself for not being a perfect person. Sometimes I’m still this way: If I have an awkward conversation with someone where they insult me, I will stand there laughing nervously or avoiding eye contact. Or when someone makes a mean joke of someone I care about, sometimes I say nothing in their defense. When this happens, I think about it for hours afterwards and imagine the possibilities where I’ve said something witty or acted better in that moment. All these nuances of interaction slowly shape who we are. All those vulnerable moments made me grow. When you learn your weaknesses, you learn yourself and you build yourself from your weaknesses. Something like that.”

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“There is strength, honesty, and vulnerability frozen in this image. Depending on your feelings on today’s current events, your perception of this work will change. Today, I am feeling strong, black and nurturing, and that is exactly what I see. From the smooth ridge made of muscle, her soft charcoal skin, to her stretch-marked tit; everything I see is our kind of beautiful. Or, on a day where Jeronimo Yanez is acquitted for the murder of Philando Castile, I see grief, frustration, and anger. From the slumped heavy head, her BLACK skin, to the flex of her bicep; all I see is our kind of pain. I will celebrate the former and grieve the latter. Our perspectives are what connects us to build.”

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Eva Woolridge

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Curation #2

Aleigha K. Spinks

. I’ve lost 14 pounds since December. I finally dropped all of the bullshit you dumped in my arms when you left. I can only fall asleep to crime documentaries. This death doesn’t seem so bad in comparison. I gave birth to happiness January is for postpartum. Only men pay attention to me I MUST look like I want it, right? I only care for coffee and water now Don’t worry, I don’t recognize me either. I often wonder if you enjoyed the top 40 hits of 2016. I did not. I braided the pink into my hair Do you still brag about having gay friends like me? It’s been incredibly sunny this winter Sunnier without you around. I’m a MUCH better actress and a MUCH shittier human. Goals. A fancy school is considering me and I crave that education. I want to learn more than being left I want to learn leaving. I’ve achieved all the short term goals I set All but one. . I don’t think I ever want to visit Europe anymore. That relapse has my name chiseled into it. . I talk so much shit, but honest to the highest power, if given the chance I’d probably let you walk all over me again. Spike heels look like fingers when you need your back scratched. . What nerve you have to suddenly make yourself known without reaching in to grab me. Can’t you see I’m fully submerged? Soon I’ll be ass-down, sitting at the bottom. Soon I will have forgotten how to float all together. Because I. am. interested. I am fully and completely interested. Fully and completely. . Never have I felt so watched, so worshipped, so at home swimming inside of someone. I’ll always be entirely attracted to your kind. And you for mine? Why even entertain a question I already know the answer to: Yes. Yes. Yes. . I’m desperately clinging to the idea that I am in the perfect place. I only realize where I’ve ended up once: in the morning, when I turn the lights on.

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. I find when someone mentions me in conversation, they automatcally mention you too. As if the syllables of our names melt together or as if it’s impossible to mention one without the other. We are not separates, but the same beast in parts.

Word vomit.

But when I think of myself, I often think of you in tandem. As if any me that existed before meeting you was a life lived well before. That me was an almost complete me, just waiting to latch onto the very piece that would make it whole. A beast waiting to breed. Brain vomit. . People affect me. I let them bury themselves; I let them crawl around under my skin. I’m still allowing one person to rule me. I’m exhausted. I’m sick of feeling everything for the both of us. . She always said she was “a little less full than everyone else;” an interminable hollow needing tending to. I guess now I know what that means. . I’m starting to realize that I can’t manipulate a situation to best serve someone else’s potential. Because who is going to manipulate for me? . I wanna piss you off. I want to pull every strand of your hair out, one by one. I want to shackle you to one place on earth and not allow you to move. I want to run circles around you. I want to cut you off. Want to steal your voice and replace it with a stranger’s. I want to watch you drown and chain smoke your nerve. I want to strip you down. I want to gather our mates and talk about you, in front of you, until you can’t help but feel everything and nothing all at once. I want to drag you out and away from every homelike noun you’ve ever known. I want to watch you loving me and expel you from my presence for an undisclosed amount of time. I want you to starve for a year.

I want to dangle the fruit in front of you. I want you to tear yourself apart. Because I am in pieces, too. And we are the same beast, remember?

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Lior Allay

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Olivia Tinnin 16

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playlist The intention of this playlist is to build your mood and help you re-energize. Turn this on when you feel drained, wake up to grey skies, or need to reset.

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Alyssa Hardy

Solange Mad feat. Lil Wayne Alabama Shakes Sound & Color Shovels & Rope Tickin’ Bomb Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings How Long Do I Have To Wait For You? SZA Go Gina Lykke Li I’m Good, I’m Gone Ibeyi River Nina Simone Feeling Good Lorde Million Dollar Bills M.I.A. Sunshowers Sylvan Esso Dress Chairlift Bruises Shakira La Tortura feat. Alejandro Sanz Missy Elliott Get Ur Freak On Janelle Monáe Dance Apocalyptic Janet Jackson Rhythm Nation Miley Cyrus #GETITRIGHT Kesha Woman feat. The Dap-Kings Horns

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Krystal Ramirez

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Daughter’s Divination I. Some mothers are naked all the time. They scoop their daughters into soft bosoms small pruny feet dangling as both bodies drip-dry with towelled hair. They sneak past the roped off section of lakes during the off season drop off their cover-up and wade into the frigid water to show their daughters what it looks like when a nipple squeals and looks to the heavens. II. In the summer they kick up hot sand with callused feet hold their daughters under their armpits to get to the cool water’s edge. Many mothers are naked all the time. I’ve never seen my mother naked that I can remember. III. I can picture her body. Purple veins like doilies on her thighs a wide spread fan of curly hair pointing like an arrow to her earth breasts cozy like a life vest. I’ve never seen my mother naked but I think I was born with the image of her body screen printed using the lining of her uterus onto the backs of my eyelids.

Maddie Ticknor

IV. Some mothers don’t need breasts some don’t need the delicate crest of a V between their thighs daughters will rest their heads on their mother’s shoulder without double checking. V. I’ve always wondered if all daughters know their mother’s bodies like monarch butterflies know to fly south.

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Nico Mazza

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Nico Mazza 22

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Lauren Chapman 24

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Lauren Chapman 26

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“All of you are, were, or will be whores, whether by intention or action.” Originally written in the Roman de la Rose, one of the most popular works in the medieval period, this idea has traveled through time. It’s been passed down and used to gain power over and define the female as a deceitful creature instead of an equal human being. You can find this use of patriarchy in religion, marriage, law, education, class, and HIStory. Religion controls her sexuality. Marriage erases her name. Law deems her unworthy of justice, her body not her own. Education repeats the story of man. Women appear in different stories… Witches, spiders, whores, snakes for hair, Pandora’s box, Eve: how many “nasty women” tales have you heard of ? Is there anything worse than the dirty words created solely for women? B*tch, Sl*t, C*nt, Sk*nk, etc. You know these words. You may not use these words; these words may wholeheartedly offend you, yet you tell your daughter to cover up. The truth is girls are taught at a very young age to be ashamed. It’s as if we are simple beings and we have only two choices: be ladylike or be a whore. The virgin Mary, or Eve. I choose a different story. I’m a difficult woman. You see, I come from a state ranked worst in the nation for women killed by men. I live in a nation whose president has bragged about sexually assaulting women. I’m angry and I’m going to make beauty out of it. I dream of revenge. Justice. A matriarchy. In colors. Vibrant and real, real loud. You can’t hide sound. I can still hear my mother’s scream. My work is female language. Interpret her feelings through brush strokes. Females create human beings — don’t forget your Grandmother’s maiden name. I see waves crashing. I hope the sea never stops fighting.” susie/ build

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Erika Kapin susie/ build

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“Build- I Built a box around my body. I was fat, unattractive, and those that wanted to sleep with me only did so because I had a niche for seducing. I should not be proud of my body. Clearly I can’t control myself and I eat my pain. Build- I reflected on my body. I asked why I hated myself. I was molested. I hated that the first person to touch my body was my fucked up cousin. I hated myself because I felt tainted. Build- I worked on myself. I wrote and wrote and wrote. I looked and looked and looked. I photoed and photoed and photoed. Buildsand.

I Built my love for a body. I released myself from my

I float in old self.”

Shelbi Schroeder

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Melissa Gaudet 32

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Steakhouse Bend me over like the cow that I am Fatten my calves til I cannot stand Feed me thick milks and sugar sponge breads Til I’m bursting from my skimpy threads It’s all in the skull it’s all in the skull Everything you want is all in the skull Tell me I’m different because surely I am Brand me with brandy and a hot heavy hand That sow of mine is one of a kind Lead me to slaughter as I trot behind You shock me, you shock me, right in the skull Everything you need is all in the skull

Kerri Simmons

So I’m scattered about in various markets My sun-ripe meat turns startling profits My flesh is charred but I’m not dead It’s all in the skull, it’s all in the head

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Riley Gallagher & Joyce Gayo

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Manisha Van Ecka


On the patriarchy A dick in need Is a dick indeed But no one thinks On the dick’s done deed Only the britches Of the virgin misses Is urged so much To squelch those itches

Kerri Simmons

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Mikayla Whitmore


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July, 1982

Hannah Taggart

Almost half of your life has been Lived you are twenty Your body is heavy With fruit with The sun in your hair you Paddle a black wooden boat you Are laughing and the gulls Are laughing and these city Streets rising up to The doors and then over the doors This city, swallows itself And you bring olives And figs to the dogs All those teeth stained With wax it collects in the Gullets of the Children picking snails from The rocks and the Streets are still Rising and you are heavy With fruit you are ripe with The water and The ringing of blood

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Carey Mac Arthur

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Nicole Espina

“Union stickers cover the hard hat of a protester at the NYC Women’s March on January 21, 2017. This protestor stands at the intersection of workers’ rights, women’s rights, and the struggles that wome face in male-dominated fields. In a 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, women represented only 9.1% of the 10.3 million Americans working in construction.”

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. en

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Brooke Herr 44

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Build Build /bild/ verb: 1. To form by ordering and uniting materials by gradual means into a composite whole; construct. 2. To cause to be constructed. 3. To develop according to a systemic plan, by a definite process, or on a particular base. 4. Increase, enlarge; i.e. build support for their candidate, building friendships. As I ruminated on this issue’s theme, I thought at length about what it means to build something, specifically, what it means to be a builder—someone whose creative strengths manifest into realized visions, necessities that people depend on and use everyday; objects that help make our lives better and more efficient. I don’t consider myself a creative type, nor am I one who builds things. It has long been lost on me how architects and engineers construct the infrastructures that make our daily lives run more smoothly: bridges and highways, homes and skyscrapers, computers and motherboards. Machines. Refrigerators. Lamps.

In the wake of Donald Trump’s America, pain, fear, uncertainty, and anger have ripped through this nation — through our homes, our friend circles, our families — and there is no mistaking that our communities of color and our queer communities have felt this the hardest. They have always felt it the hardest.

The world feels bleak, but a strong and defiant heartbeat runs through our communities, propelling us forward. It is something I have seen and felt with my own eyes and skin, and I feel it compelling us now more than ever to keep that melody, that slow-burning hum, alive. As we look to the horizon, one thing is clear: this is not the future we want for ourselves, our families and our friends. It can feel overwhelming to think about the future as the present spirals into disarray. We are seeing the cumulative effects of centuries of colonialism, capitalism and slavery, the erasure of brown and black bodies from history and popular culture, the denial of white supremacy, racism and misogyny. As we strive to pick up the pieces, it is imperative to collectively envision the future we want for our communities, to ask ourselves what kind of future we want to build. Recently, Amy, a QTPOC who works in organized labor, sent flowers to my work for my birthday. I slid my finger through the thin piece of tape keeping the card closed and opened it, still unsure who the bouquet was from. “END WHITE SUPREMACY,” it read. Immediately, I smiled, knowing who sent them. In these trying times, these small acts of love, kindness and, of course, defiance, can make us feel a little less lost and a lot more whole. susie/ build

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Leslie Ventura

Speaking of lamps, my friend, confidant, and roommate Karin Miller— featured on pages 8, 9, and 73 of this magazine—is a builder. Our home is filled with the lighting fixtures she’s wired and welded with sweat, passion and an unyielding perfectionism. Her hands are constantly nicked with cuts and scrapes, a timeline of her work. She is an artist. A creator. A strong feminist and queer and woman of color working to make the world a better place. We need more Karins in this world.

While the president continues to embolden white supremacists and misogynists, our most marginalized people continue to struggle in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, of Charlottesville, of Ferguson. Our nation, still reeling from the devastating and disgusting acts of white nationalism, police brutality and bigotry. It feels more divided than I ever thought it ever possibly could.


Leslie Ventura

I first learned of Mathis last year when I saw her work on radical softness and I’ve been drawn to her work ever since. This poem, in particular, embodied what I had been feeling when first asked to write this article. How do we build a better future for people of color, for women of color?

But it needs encouragement and energy to root in soil as arid as the country’s we currently inhabit.

Inclusivity and connectivity will help this movement grow. This includes ensuring that marginalized people have a platform and space where they are seen and heard; paying For queers and immigrants and artists attention to those whose lived and women and children? experiences are different from We start with each our own; listening other. We start to outside “Kiss your friends’ faces more. small. We start perspectives; with friendships. Destroy the belief that intimacy building a more We start with confident building intimacy must be reserved for monogamous environment and building for trans and relationships. Be more loving. bonds. It goes non-binary Embrace platonic intimacy. without saying people, that this doesn’t and for Embrace vulnerability. Use replace organizing, folks of color activism and emotionality as a radical tatic and for women. direct action. These frameworks against a society which teaches A future with are not mutually less self-doubt, you that emotions are a sign of exclusive, but a future that weakness. Tell more people you care rather, recognizes and complementary. others about them. Hold their hands. empowers Through building and their ideas, these important a future with a Tell others you are proud of connections, we balance of them. Offer support readily. Take simultaneously self-care and build the accountability, care of the people around you.” foundations for where we better organizing. celebrate the For safer multitude of -Lora Mathis communities. identities in this For stronger activists. big, beautiful yet terrifying world — There is no doubt that the relationships that is the future in my life centered around femmeness, we need to create. queerness and brownness have been some of the most rewarding and fruitful As we continue to engage and I’ve ever experienced. Discussing this challenge the status quo, as we issue’s theme with Karin over coffee, continue to learn and organize; it is these virtues became increasingly this connectivity that will push us evident. What are the pillars of the forward to shape the world we want healthy and whole society we demand? to see. Strong communities are infinitely harder to break than This queer, feminist, brown utopia porous ones, and that solid, already exists. We’ve seen it in our friend impermeable foundation is only circles, on the internet, in activist groups ours to build. and on social media. 46

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Elena Mudd

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Linzi Silverman


Untitled. In the time since you left I have smoked myself to a fine ash. I waited for her to leave, until the shuffling had stopped and my gate had closed. She is irritating and I would rather be alone with just you under my lids. I used to be able to remember my dreams. I have books full. But they’ve all stopped since I returned from the island and I want them back. I miss the detail. She touches me too much and stares too long, her wide eyes desperate to engulf me. The luxury of me writhing on a bed, however, belongs to you, your fingers inside me holding me exactly where you want me. I know she means well, but I am longing for my thoughts of you. Where it is just the two of us, me an attached version of myself I detest, you a version of yourself you warned me against, the two of us clinging to a romantic idea of what our lives could be had we not been raised by wolves.

This weekend when we drove upstate to the cabin I held this weight, often as I do when we are rounding the bend just after Phoenicia and the entire mountain range is at your disposal on the left. Most of the trees have turned by now and everything was exploding in color. The life we had built was thickly between us. I knew it was about to burst. The milk would sour. I knew the two of us would soon be back to our own, sorting through debris desperate to find a piece of the other. I looked at you driving, you gave that crooked smile and squeezed my hand. I still have that picture of content tucked in the far corner of my brain for me to take out at some other point when I have enough of myself back to start from the ground up again. Some other point when I will be in my bed and not dream of you. susie/ build

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Kristen Chiucarello

All my life is a long list of material possessions that I do not want. It is a life filled with things purchased for other people. I feel like I am still yours. I can still feel your grip around my neck, your spit in my mouth, the way your skin feels like silk, your warmth against my breast. I can hear the way your Ls lilt when you say you love me, the sigh you give when you smell my hair. I see the tiny space between your front teeth, and your golden hooked bracelet, and your shirt, haphazardly buttoned. It smells like you are still mine.


“I am interested in the process of making tents, recreating personal childhood memories, and generalizing the typical childhood experience. However, I pair happier moments with instances that can be viewed as melancholy, moments that reveal the harsh reality of the human condition. After the passing of my closest childhood friend, due to a opioid drug overdose, memories from my youth surfaced. Since his death I have been reflecting on our friendship as it developed from the innocent years of childhood to the complex and confused years in adulthood. Vivid memories of playing games, building forts, and exploring the cemetery across from our homes came to mind. As I wrestled with this new reality, I have made work as an attempt to preserve those memories, and through working on this body of work, I have willingly opened doors to the past. My work combines found and made objects that are personally mournful with materials that could universally be recognized as joyful, such as balloons, flowers, glitter, and cake. These pieces deal specifically with my childhood home, neighborhood, and the cemetery.�

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Jessica Bingham

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July

For my grandpa

Jeevika Verma

Without the bedpan our wound would remain stuck to this body. Material things remind us we could use some help. I visited my fifth hometown for the first time and fell sick like I always do. It was Father’s Day and my father gave me a Kleenex dipped in eucalyptus oil, told me to hold it to my nose, breathe deeply, it works. That same night the landlord’s dog ate the neighbor’s dog and went to dog jail. Nobody likes the landlords but the barking makes my father feel protected against unruly thieves. Later I woke up to bloody sheets, my nose left open all night like an expensive faucet. I was eight when this first happened and I swore then I would leave this Godforsaken country. But the heatwave is for cleansing and dignity is a game. Every morning my grandmother sits in her air-conditioned drawing room in New Delhi, by her floor-to-ceiling glass window, looking at the city-garden she built with her own hands. Sometimes she prays and sometimes she calls me on the phone. The birds don’t visit the feeder anymore, but with my eyes closed I keep returning.

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Büşra Aydoğan

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Büşra Aydoğan 54

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Jess Vanessa 56

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Ellie Lee

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Karissa Breuer 60

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Alondra Ramirez

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Caroline Casey 62

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More Effective Than A Shot My psychiatrist said I must bear this for some more time. To limit myself a wild over pour, I prepare to worship the softness. A treatment that smells like something old. Sunshine from the days of sleeping in. Small of the back, absolutely painless. Silver glint in the afternoon eye. Carefully, I picked those pieces out of diagnosis. The one we ask for with our own mouths. The one we said would never be us. When we stayed up too late mapping lofts, wallets and a certain cocktail. Teeth full, lips moist, kissing each other on the cheek mind/less. Two girls stuffing the bullies in each other’s back pocket. Then someone made it a comment about a bra strap and a certain brightness to the lip. Teeth fixed by wire stronger than the steel under our backs, that started to give in. How we miss it so easily, and cry for those girls. So pretty mind/less. So accomplished mind/ less. I know.

Forgotten in my palm at that same hour is a very small thing. I swallow it.

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Jeevika Verma

I don’t even think about it. When people ask me what I do for fun I name more than ten things mind/less.


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Allie Kelley

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Zoey Hart 66

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This photograph series documents the artist slowly accumulating bits of tangled fishing net from the dump near an artist residency in northern Iceland. The installation became a small room for people to sit draw and meditate amidst a cloud of tangled knots. The inspiration draws from the artist’s chronic pain and illness along with widespread, ceaseless sociopolitical chaos and turmoil. The question is, if we can we develop a sense of peace from the inside out.

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Nailah Fuller 68

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Alyssa Hardy 70

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Tower recipe “My friend Holly and I spent years building what we came to affectionately call towers. Sometimes these were appetizers for dinner parties; other times they were the meal. The illustration includes old faithfuls and new favorites from both of us. Enjoy! Each tower uses a baguette slice as the base unless otherwise noted. I enjoy the baguette slices lightly toasted in the oven. Try the broiler for 2-3 minutes but keep an eye on them! They’ll burn easily, so be careful.” susie/ build

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Shine On You Crazy Diamond is 17 minutes an3 Favorite was a word that took me a long time to learn how to spell I remember the dining room table where my brother and I would do schoolwork being left there to practice, writing it over and over with a dull pencil in a book with pages that were too soft I remember the first time I couldn’t go outside to play because it was raining and trying to understand that feeling I let it come and go but it stayed with me the longest when we moved and left behind our house on the shore with the tree in the backyard I could climb I remember the tiles of the bathroom floor in the new house looking down at my bare feet standing on them with disdain because I was seven and I thought there would never be enough room in my heart for bathroom tiles that were not the ivy green ones I knew first *

Alexis Lanza

my dad once told me he thinks I had a happy childhood he said I was always singing I don’t remember singing but when I was sixteen he handed me a Pink Floyd CD and I know now he was saying to me, there is darkness in me and it might be in you, too and there are places I go back to again and again: the hallway where my mom sponge painted the walls mauve the wicker chest in my room with the blue and white striped fabric the green jeans I wore to the library repression is a mountain on my chest that is trying to keep me stable

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nd 32 seconds long

Karin Quindo Miller

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Emilee Graverson


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You Are Here And You Matter I’ve celebrated an anniversary every January since 2003. It’s the date I read on my hospital wristband when I woke up from my suicide attempt. It’s the day I opened my eyes to a bright light and my mother stroking the braids she put in my hair while I was unconscious. She mumbled softly to me, “You are here, baby”. It’s the day I was driven to a mental hospital and had my first therapy session; where I had to talk to someone about my gut wrenching sadness and insecurities. It wasn’t a happy day, but it is one that I am thankful I lived through. “Every day is a blessing” - Grandma BULLSHIT. EVERY DAY IS HARD. EVERY DAY YOU PUSH THROUGH. EVERY DAY YOU LAUGH. EVERY DAY YOU FEEL. I learned I was experiencing severe depression, panic attacks, and rapid mood swings. I learned that I should love myself. I try to remember to love myself. I learned that I care about others more than myself. I used to hate myself. I used to get really drunk and make a fool of myself and fuck. I used to abuse myself a lot because I’m the only one who is allowed to hurt me. I stopped carving into my body. I stopped taking medication after trying it for 6 years. I stopped pretending to be what others wanted me to be. “Be your best friend” - Mom I moved to New York to get into a healthier headspace and nurture my creativity. I moved to New York to heal my wounds from a past relationship that shredded my trust. I closed myself in after that betrayal and I just needed to get out, give myself space, get a new perspective. I drove cross-country with my gay BFF, my eyes were set on a job lead and a beautiful brick walled apartment. When I arrived in New York my excitement morphed into crippling anxiety. It held me captive in that beautiful brick apartment for one week. I had left my support system of friends and family, I cried randomly, held my cat, and told myself I can’t go back yet. I didn’t know where to go, or what to do in this massive city, so I decided on a destination; I went to a park on the Upper-West Side near where I was hoping to work.

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I walked to the pier at Riverside Park and stared at the Hudson River in awe; astounded that my desert days were over and my island days were commencing. The day I chose to chase a dream and move to New York City, the dream wasn’t real. The day I chose to stand next to that river, surrounded by statues and by greenery, I recognized that my dream had become real. On my walk back to the train I repeated positive thoughts to the beat of my footsteps; You may not feel your best but you are here and you matter. A week later I had two part-time jobs and I made a new friend. “I am my best friend” -Me I’m trying to be open and honest about my emotions with myself and with others. I spent a lot of time not talking about my active depression, anxiety, or mania. I don’t let people push me around anymore; if there is an issue, I will address it calmly and immediately. I try to be as direct as possible, I’ve learned bottling up my frustrations is not beneficial for anyone. I still go in bouts of loving myself and feeling feverishly ashamed. There have been moments when the thought of suicide creeps in again. It does not happen often, but when it does I run through the reasons why I should stay alive. I spent a lot of time building a stable life around my identity as a nonbinary queer with Bipolar Disorder. I learned how to handle me is by keeping busy; I lead an artist collective, co-run *this magazine, manage a wine boutique, go to school part-time, make art work, and am in a 4 year relationship with someone who accepts my insecurities, and my strengths, and my growth, and everything that surrounds us. Making art and organizing community building events have given me purpose. All of these things remind me why I am here and I matter. *Originally published online in BUST Magazine for It’s Not Personal column.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 The Trevor Project Lifeline 1-866-488-7386

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Olivia Jane Huffman

You are here and you matter. If you experience suicidal thoughts, please utilize these resources:


When I Grow Up They say society forces us to grow up too early. I mean, Seven Years Old and we’re asked life defining questions They speak with casual ease and that peppy voice all new teachers speak with as if the answer to that question wouldn’t be the answer to our entire existence. My smile is big and my youth is lavishing when I finally hear the question ringing in my ears What do you wanna be when you grow up? When I grow up, I want to be a doctor But only 2% of physicians are Black women How am I supposed to feel empowered when people take my skin as fire and their words water waiting to put me out And when I do fight through I see the ashes of the ones who didn’t make it And how am I supposed to feel comfortable, intelligent, and unique, when people are looking at me like if I’m not supposed to be there. As if the color of my skin dictates my ability to do work. When I grow up, I want to be an engineer But how am i supposed to feel recognized in the workplace when my pay as a hispanic female is only 53 % of a man’s 63 % for a Black woman It’s as if being the daughter of a family of immigrants means I’m incapable of succeeding As if the change we make is nothing How can I feel comfortable in a workspace at all? When my job is the jungle and I am ALWAYS the prey my potential being chewed by the predators like a reward My soul being ripped to shreds by the words and actions of the predators And me, being left for the dead.

Kristen St. Louis & Anaya Akpalu

And I can guarantee you that members of the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, native americans, and muslims are affected more than you choose to believe

Because their great strength is shadowed by society’s great hatred and ignorance But you would never believe it because they look different or like different people or believe different And you’re afraid of that But the truth is, they want to change the world They want to use their potential to make everyone’s lives better Just like you do But they’re afraid because even when they do, society shuns them like they shouldn’t be trying to make this crazy, messed up place we call the USA even slightly better

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At the end of the day were all living, barely We all want a taste of success, eventually We all want feel safe, wholeheartedly We all want to be respected, equally When we grow up we want to be Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy

Caroline Casey

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team biographies AnnaLiisa Ariosa-Benston runs the feminist art project Famousonmars and has 5+ years experience curating and organizing in Brooklyn, N.Y. She has a healthy obsession with Steven Universe and finds activism sexy. Kristen Chiucarello has been to hell and back in the past six months, quit life, and is now taking time to travel to and with her loved ones. She is a double Leo and cherishes her record collection. Lizzi Chen currently works as a Visual Designer and Art Director for various brands. Currently she is working on her first typeface, which will be out at the end of the year. Angelica Florio is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer who currently works for Bustle and Hellogiggles. She loves to uplift individuals with the powerful buoy of words while navigating the choppy, patriarchal waters. When she’s not writing, Angelica is either doing improv, playing with makeup, and burning quinoa. Find her on Twitter at @AngelicaFlori0. Jaime Geter uses agency in weird ways and feels prettiest in her nightgown. She also enriches the lives of youth in her hometown. Olivia Jane Huffman is a visual and performance artist. They curate pop-ups for an artist collective they run and are always open for a studio visit, a wine down, and dancing to the B-52’s. Ellie Lee is a Korean-American aspiring artist who has quite the admiration for hands, an unhealthy obsession with rice and beans, and a strong love for some jazz music. Her favorite color is yellow and she loves funky pants. Maimoona Rahim is an artist and creator. Her passions include photography, installations, and zines. She spent the last two years curating pop up shows and producing zines in Seattle. She’s recently returned to New York for the next phase of her life. Melanie Roven used the hallpass to chit chat so often that Mr. Dusseldorf, her middle school choir teacher, made her a carry a toilet seat as her pass. Nowadays, she pretty much never listens to old men and still sings a lot. Catch her this summer roadtripping across the US and Canada in search of art history research programs- hopefully riding shotgun with her boo, whoever he or she may be.

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contributor biographies Anaya Akpalu, 14 years old, is from New York City. She is a typical Gen-Z teen who loves to write and express her views and opinions. As an adolescent all she is trying to do is come into her own and figure out what she wants to do. As the band Simple Plan once said, “Welcome to my life.” Lior Allay is a 24 year old queer self-taught visual poet, advocate, and single mother from the Philadelphia area. Primarily a self-portrait artist, she operates from both sides of the lens to design and execute meaningful concepts about the intersection of identity, sexuality, intimacy, and vulnerability. Her technique is defined by the poignant combination of visceral body language and surrealism in everyday scenery that encourage the viewer to ask questions about the social, cultural, and political issues we face today. Jenn Beaty uses meticulous drawing and painting techniques to create images isolated in negative space. Her work often is inspired by obsessive behaviors and effeminate concepts. Jessica Bingham is a multidisciplinary artist and director/co-founder of Project 1612, an alternative exhibition space in Peoria, IL. Her work deals with the bitter-sweet nature of childhood, cemeteries, death, and play. She is an avid taphophile, and her love of cemeteries developed as a child when she lived across the street from a cemetery that also served as her playground. Karissa Breuer is a freelance visual artist and video editor in Los Angeles, CA. By day she works on editing animatics for animated web series and creates art in her free time. Most importantly, she doesn’t trust anyone who claims they ‘aren’t a dog person’. Büşra Aydoğan was born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1991. She studies art design and management, and is interested in photography, particularly analog and double exposure, which she uses to explore gender and identity issues. She is the recipient of an award for the photo series “Out of the Mirror” from the International Plastic Art Foundation. Caroline Casey is an illustrator/artist living in Brooklyn, NY, originally from Boulder, Colorado. She gets inspiration from mythology, sci fi, tarot, children’s books, botanical illustrations, and old sewing patterns. She believes images have the power to transport, elevate, and enlighten the viewer; to show a world not yet realized. Lauren Chapman is a proud feminist oil painter living in the South. Blessed be the fruit. Nicole Espina is a Filipina-American anchor baby who makes pictures, writes words, and battles depression in NYC. When not working on photography commissions, she continues conceptual and fine art projects in multiple formats and historical processes. nicoleespina.com.

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contributor biographies Melissa Gaudet was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. She finished her studies at School of Visual Arts in NYC with a Bachelor of Fine Art Degree in Photography. She has previously lived and studied in London at London College of Communications as an exchange student. She has acquired exhibitions in Las Vegas, New York, Spain, Italy, and London combined. Riley Gallagher is a typical Cowboy/Magician based out of Brooklyn. Likes plants. Nancy Good is a fine art photographer/mixed-media artist living and working in Southern Nevada/California area. Fearless experimentation has helped Nancy develop a confident approach to her art, liberating her to capture and create images of unexpected beauty from subjects that may, at first glance, appear quite mundane. A domestic/sexual abuse/rape trauma survivor, Nancy frequently uses art as a loving language for advocacy and healing. Emilee Graverson is a freelance illustrator, screenprinter, grad-student, and amateur tarot witch. Currently based in NYC, Emilee is originally from California. She enjoys drawing skulls, drinking coffee, and probably wants to pet your dog. Alyssa Hardy is an artist, teacher, maker, human being. She lives and works in upstate New York. Her favorite things include staying up late to read, collecting the perfect recipes for dinner parties, and making lists. Zoey Hart is a multimedia artist, educator, and collaborator living with chronic autoimmunity. She splits her time between her studio in Bushwick, Brooklyn and North Adams (Mass MoCA), MA. Combining traditional drawing techniques with alternative printmaking, meditation, and fiberbased collage, Hart’s work challenges perceptions of imperfection —environmental, social, and organic — through the collection and manipulation of images and found environmental materials. Allie Kelley is an artist and illustrator living in Brooklyn, NY. She spends her spare time drawing, organizing bake-offs, and dreaming up ways to dismantle the patriarchy. Erika Kapin is a photographer who loves to share the stories of people, their relationships with the world, and their relationships with each other. Born in Seattle, Washington, Erika moved to NYC in 2005. Erika is working on her current personal work, “The Open Photo Project,” as well as her professional projects in creative portraiture and event photography. Alexis Lanza is currently located in Central New York. She gets excited about birds, potatoes, and dogs who like seals. Although she obtained a Film and Photography degree, she always felt more empowered by words. Poetry and craft beer are her main focuses. She is still thinking about a mountain she climbed two years ago. 82

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contributor biographies Nico Mazza is an interdisciplinary artist based in Buenos Aires and Gainesville, FL. Carey MacArthur is a wedding and portrait photographer based in New York City. Photography is as undoubtably her vocation as it is her spiritual guide. Her camera is a tool by which she attempts to interpret the truths that light reveals to her. Karin Quindo Miller just turned 28. It feels ok. She lives in Las Vegas. She is a sensitive person so she creates to explore vulnerability. Elena Mudd, a Brooklyn based photographer, explores the relationship between individual and social identity from a feminist (or humanistic) perspective. The intimate portrait, conceived as collaborative process with her subject, is her specialty. Her subjects range from family members to strangers she meets on the street. She works with film media, both 35mm and medium format, and with digital. You can catch her talking to dogs she doesn’t know and eating ice cream in her spare time. Alondra Ramirez is 18 and not sure if she is a writer or a reader or a thinker or a believer or a photographer or just a human, but slowly she thinks she is becoming all seven. Krystal Ramirez is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in Las Vegas. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2009 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her practice alternates between drawing, installation, and photography. Influences for her work are drawn from semiotics, traditional craft making practices, and her Latina identity. She’s interested in exploring labeling theory, Queerness, and the female gaze. She likes eating cheesy tater tots, watching the Great British Bake Off, playing with her Sphynx cat, and sex. Kerri Simmons is a tall, oddly dressed recent college graduate about to make the move from South Carolina to Atlanta to start an acting career. She writes a lot of things but poetry is her main creative outlet at the moment. She likes to act and sing and write and that’s mostly what she does with her spare time. Linzi Silverman is a Brooklyn based visual artist and intuitive energy healer. She has been making art since a young age, focusing predominantly in collage and photography. Her work is inspired by nature and nostalgia, exploring ideas of mysticism, identity, feminism, and dreams. She loves the occult, camping, and riding her bike. For her, imagination is spirituality and creating is part of her personal mission. linzisilverman.com

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contributor biographies Aleigha K. Spinks is an actress and writer located in New York City. She loves to spread herself across the worlds of film, theatre, dance, and music. You can find her in Steamy Award nominated web series “Disposable Teens” (Linda), “The Edge” (Calypso), and in her screenwriting debut, “BROKE” (Ruby.) Her literary essays can be found published in FROTH Magazine and Strong Young Thing Magazine. She is thrilled to be a part of Susie Magazine’s journey (again!) Shelbi Schroeder is from the Midwest. Moves a lot. Loves bodies and patterns. Makes photographs, designs textiles - turns into clothing, art teacher. www.shelbischroeder.com Kristen St. Louis will be a freshman in high school this upcoming school year. She is, unfortunately, at that awkward teenage stage of growing. What she’s learned about herself thus far: she is a mixed raced female, a passionate intersectional feminist, and absolutely despises discrimination of any type. What better way to show the world what she’s learned, and who she is, than by writing it? Hannah Taggart was raised in the Susquehanna River Valley and now resides on the banks of Cayuga Lake. She is 21 years old and when she was young she wanted to sing. Now that she is not as young she would like to keep bees, and still sing. Maddie Ticknor -- Daughter, Lover, Friend, Poet, Fern -- works during the day as a children’s librarian and freelance copywriter, and at night as a poet. Based in Brooklyn NY, she loves reading poems that smell like incense and fog. Her current work strives to express a quiet reverence for the people and places in her life that feel like church. Send her book/reading suggestions @runnyknows on Instagram. Olivia Tinnin is a 22 year old Brooklyn based artist. She is a huge advocate for using drawing as a catalyst to begin conversations not only between different people but also within oneself. Besides drawing, she spends her time petting cats, eating noodles, and asking questions. Manisha Van Ecka is a daydreamer discovering her place in the world one day at a time. Check her out at manishavanecka.com. She is an aspiring designer and student at the University of Pittsburgh, graduating in 2018. Jess Vanessa was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. Much of her work focuses on representing the Chicano community she is familiar to, with ties to traditions, practices, and identity much revolving around the matriarchal and feminine figure. Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly with a penchant for independent music, social issues and the arts. In 2016, Leslie was awarded journalist of merit and best feature writing in an urban weekly by the Nevada Press Association. 84

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contributor biographies Jeevika Verma has always fought the odds to unapologetically tell the truth and ask a lot of questions. Her work aims to create conversations surrounding power, art, culture and identity. Originally from India, she recently graduated from the University of Washington and is now a poet hungry for the world. Mikayla Whitmore is an artist based in Las Vegas, Nevada. She currently balances her studio practice with work as a photographer, researching dinosaur species, and spending a large amount of time exploring in the desert. Eva Woolridge is a visual artist residing in Brooklyn, New York. Working primarily in photography and illustration, she explores the sexual, spiritual, and emotional nature of the female body. Her strong compositions and lighting contrast suggest symbolism of female strength, perseverance, vulnerability and vitality that transcends surface level labeling for women of color. She considers Amandla Stenberg the voice of our generation.

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Issue 2: BUILD Winter 2017 susiemagazine.tumblr.com instagram.com/susiemagazine facebook.com/susiemagazine twitter.com/susiemagz Cover Image: Nancy Good Inside Cover: Jenn Beaty Susie Magazine is a bi-annual creative print publication that presents cutting edge interdisciplinary work. We create an equal platform to highlight, empower, and amplify women, trans, and non-binary voices that are traditionally ignored in mainstream media. Interested in contributing to our next issue? Email us at susiemagz@gmail.com. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission. Printed in Brooklyn, New York by Rolling Press Inc.

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Susie Issue 2 • B U I L D  

Susie's second issue focuses on the theme "B U I L D," featuring about 40 unique contributions from around the world, in 80 color pages. Sus...

Susie Issue 2 • B U I L D  

Susie's second issue focuses on the theme "B U I L D," featuring about 40 unique contributions from around the world, in 80 color pages. Sus...