Letter from the team It sounds insignificant to say that things change at a rapid pace. Dumb, hurtful things are withstanding. But it is in this lack of control, this inherent transience that we decide to make something good and essential in its own way. And so we move forward and take in the sights and maybe take a pottery class to feel capable of creation. But the point is to keep going, to get past, and to willfully make something better.
The good and the essential are seen so clearly in this collection. Work like Melissa Veerasammy’s photography as personal growth, like Liam McConnell’s “Bookended” as the cyclical nature of life, both qualify memories as the means of subsequent development. We have visual art, poetry, prose, and even a playlist that all speak to this idea of confusion and belonging in spaces, if only for a moment. We hope you enjoy.
Thank you to all who contributed to this amalgamation of
experience. We could-
n’t have done it without you. Love always,
The Continuist SUBMIT—email@example.com LIKE—facebook.com/thecontinuist
FOLLOW—twitter.com/thecontinuist Instagram.com/thecontinuist LISTEN—soundcloud.com/thecontinuist
Cover (me) by Daisy Barker
- Jordan Donovan
The Night Bus
-Reasons to not visit Montreal (especially at night) stretching across the couch
She stood and crept
toes strained against
in that oversized t-shirt
the far armrest,
back to her boyfriends bedroom.
I watched her silhouette
I lay there
tiptoe to the kitchen
with my feet stretched past that
for a glass of water
and stop when she noticed me
in a strange city, staring at the ceiling
taking a timid seat
and its unfamiliar shadows
beside me she leaned down placing the warmest hand in the crook of my neck where four fingers fit behind my ear and a thumb teased the lobe, She gathered me in slow arms like freshly dried laundry and held me in a world of June afternoons drinking wine on park benches, of 3 am walks through a sparkling city, and Sunday mornings without a hangover. with her arms she reminded me why I had come, with her arms she questioned why I had stayed
- Kristofer Hykel
- Sina Zand
Back one day
In their own worlds
Out for “fresh air”
The Relentless Poetry of Coming and Going—an Excerpt I was born with the desire to run and, along with it, feet that curved in, shins that bowed out, and hips the doctor described as “basically backwards.” The hips would fix themselves first, or I would need a metal brace that stiffened my legs and joined them at the knees, effectively turning my lower body into an uppercase A of some steampunk typeface. The shins were to sort themselves out next. My feet, however, warranted corrective shoes. They looked like any other little leather shoes, save for the toes, which bent outward instead
of inward. Sometimes people thought they were on backwards. I wore these 24-hours-a-day from the age of six months to one year. I grew out of three pairs in this time. My parents cut out the ends of each pair so that I could wear them for longer. They didn’t have insurance and the doctor said it was okay. At one-year-old, I was running around this doctor’s office when he told my mother I wasn’t supposed to be running in these shoes. She replied, “You tell him that.” This reshaping of my person and my movement continued for four more years, but I
didn’t have to wear the shoes while I slept anymore. When my hips, shins, and feet had all corrected at age five, my parents bought me a pair of high top Nikes that cost as much as the corrective shoes. This reformative portion of my first half-decade is mostly lost. I don’t remember any of it, I look normal, and I move about like everyone else. My father’s mostly forgotten but my mother remembers. She keeps the first pair of small leather shoes that moulded my gait on a shelf in her office (figure 1).
- Quintin Teszeri
SIGHT & VISION In depth of sound echoes of the eternal return remain beyond joy beyond terror beyond the meaning
of weighted though and memory; Oedipus rips at baited light streaked across empty shadows binding blind conception of the dying sun; it remains, festers, engulfs unlived life persists. in the silhouette of time
they walk together
- M.K. Watts
HEARTS & MINDS Permutation and parody texture of preserved reality; globular, melting, reflective chaos of the collective mind. The inane story of the eye; unconscious minds stained with objects of feigned desire footsteps trail beneath that broken mirror of the mind; forgotten within a body unlived. staggering blindly into a future clouded by the vulnerability of a time before these streets drowned in this madness; the minds & hearts of this world this longing for place, identity being, definition is dying while it lays hidden between our ears
& behind our eyes
Homeward Bound City Light Once upon a time someone told me keep myself intact, because home is where the heart is and, “mine is with you.” I said sure, and I kept myself intact because I was lucky, and if you’re lucky, someone thinks of you as home. I guess they couldn't have given me their heart because if home is where the heart is then they should have come back because everyone goes home. Maybe everyone just goes home because they have to, or maybe some people never make it home and something on the way distracts them. Maybe they never found me again, lost me in the city lights, the twinkle of somewhere else. As for me, I guess I always make it back somewhere or the other. No home, for me. I’m still looking for a place that has some tall trees, some pretty birds, the right kind of conversation, the right kind of coffee. That’s where I’ll find a home. Right now, I move too much to have just one. Wherever home is, I have too many. So maybe home isn’t a place. Maybe home is everything all at once. I think, home is a bird’s nest. When you’ve been flying around, when you’ve been seeing places, you start making a nest of everything you know. I’ve been plucking things that I want to keep, sifting through everything you put in front of me and choosing just a few things. I want to keep quite a few things, but there are many things I don’t want to remember when I wake up tomorrow. I lost my sentiment during the war to get here, and I’m fighting every day of the week. I’m a city girl with more gasoline in my lungs than air, polluted thoroughly with loud sounds and crowded streets. Don’t make your assumptions, I’ve lived in cities and chosen my paths through midnight roads that lead forever and forever, blinded by skyscrapers and streetlamps fighting to decide who kisses heaven first. If you want to know what my home is, close your eyes: I stand against the Bride of the Red Sea, her blood red dress flows against the tail of my black dress, as we spin, spin, spin, her sandy shores in my shoes, the smell of her salt so fresh in my nostrils. I grew up beside the Red Sea, a seawave of never-asked questions. I don’t ask how she got her name, not if the red is blood. She has her stories, and I have mine. I am afraid of knowing, of questions and of answers. This is where I grew up, so you can ask me questions about this place. I have so many answers to these questions: this is where to find the best food, this is where to buy your dresses, this is where to find your friends, this is where the only payment is a smile in the waiter’s direction. Here is where no one else will ask questions. I will keep you safe. Oh, I danced with the Red Sea’s Bride until I twirled away. I’m in the Six now, I’m in the Six now, I’m in the Six now. Why is it called the Six?
I’m not sure, but I can tell you: I feel six. I’m too small for my body and my body is too big to hold me tight. I’m sinking inside this city and I don’t have any answers to your questions. I’m only here because it was my dream and someone said I should run after my dreams. That’s a lie. I’m only here because there are so many memories to run away from, so many people to leave behind, this is the furthest I could run. This is how far I’ve come.
Toronto is my city of dreams. Jeddah is my city of wreckage. I’m tainting these places, maybe don’t ask me questions yet. All I can tell you is the wind here is so harsh it makes my eyes water, but there are worse ways to cry. I’m sitting outside and breathing in this frigid air, and I don’t know why they call it the Six, because I’ve only understood Toronto through falling colours and autumn walks and early mornings with coffee in blue cups. I couldn’t answer your questions but I could tell you that Monday morning westbound subway rides help me think. I could tell you that if you closed your eyes all cities were the same and downtown always helps me think. I grew up in cities and sometimes, I visited Karachi. I couldn’t tell you anything about it, I couldn’t tell one street from one another because I never saw it. I sat in a car with a driver who had instructions and directions, and I asked no questions and he was not allowed to ask me questions. I sat in a car with people who spoke of intersections and roads I would never experience, just drive by quietly, eyes twinkling in summer twilight. I love cities, tall ones and glittering ones, and I love Karachi with a love so fierce and angry, sometimes it burns me on the inside. I love Karachi but I will never experience it firsthand, it is a dangerous city and my parents love me, fierce and fiery, and will not let me touch it. They do not want the blood of a dying city to taint my hands. I sat in a car and asked no questions, savoring those three seconds of city streets on my feet as I walk from the car to the front door, before an aunt rushes out, take me into her house and says, “sit, sit, sit, let’s drink tea, tell me your stories, child, tell me your stories.” I am a city girl, bursting to the brim with stories, and I tell them as I drink my tea. My father’s sisters look at me as if my stories matter, look at each other with eyes that are full of love and they say, “look at this child now, this child, almost a woman now, can you hear her stories?”. I am almost a woman now, filled with stories from cities I have touched and been in and dreamed about. My city of mistakes, my city of dreams, my city of stories. How different home would be if I wasn’t so mobile, but here is the truth: home is where the heart is and my heart is in so many places. It is a beating birds nest of Saudi sand and Canadian leaves and Pakistani apricot seeds. I am growing from seeds and sands and flowers, coffee beans and tea leaves, ideas and thoughts. My home is a bird’s nest and I carry it in my chest, a locked door with a bad alarm system. Let me grow, tall like a sycamore. - Mariam Vakani
These photos were taken at a time of change in my life. Scattered between Toronto, Los Angeles and Montreal I have left pieces of myself, gained and taken beautiful photos throughout a season of learning. These moments were transient, quick and seemingly meaningless but to me they meant belonging in places I didnâ€™t know where I fit. The photos included were all shot on 35mm film, and taken over the past 5 months when I left my home in Toronto to travel throughout California to find a new sense of home in Montreal.
- Melissa Veerasammy
Bookended I spent the day in a crate again, being taken somewhere or other. I don't like the feeling of movement when I can't tell where I'm moving to, or by whom I'm being moved. It feels unnatural. I'm lying down too, I hate lying down. I want to stand. I want to stand up against the wall and feel what I think must be the sun gleaming on me, where I can be silent and tall and feel the days go by. The times when I'm actually allowed to stand and be still and do my job are more and more frequently bookended by periods like the one in which I currently find myself: trapped in a crate or the back of some covered truck, lying down, holding nothing, thinking my thoughts. I stave off intrusive feelings of uselessness by occupying myself with memories, and here they are.
Memory number one: my birth. I started life in circumstances not unlike my present, and was content to think that that was all there was: just movement and mystery and a tight space. It was when the box that I took to be the extent of reality was opened that I understood even a tiny fraction of what life could be, but that fraction was an infinity compared to the inner confines of cardboard. Memory number two: my childhood. I was clean, new, and set against the wall, then spirited across space and pushed against another. The owners of two voicesâ€”one high, one lowâ€”were doing the moving, and they were excited about me. They flew about feverishly, and their voices echoed through what seemed like a cavernous space, especially in comparison to this crate or my womb-box. They spoke of the smell of wet paint and palatial views. More than once, the deeper-voiced of the two ran past me, yelling all the while. His voice diminuendoed but remained audible, so I imagined myself placed in a long hallway. The first thing I ever felt was the warm notion that I was a part of something important. The second was the peculiar feeling of a cold screw, sinking down into me. Memories three and four: what I, at the time, believed to be my death. I was moved from the wall and loaded into what I deemed a casket. The screw's removal was more unpleasant than the installation. I heard bitter sobbing and comforting coos from the voices which, depending on the time, seemed to alternate. I had resigned myself to death until I emerged again. I was not at ease until I again heard the two voices I'd grown so much to care for, sounding less echoed than before. A common phrase I heard uttered during this time was see? it's not so bad. Memories number five and six are essentially identical to four and five apart from the fact that, when I died and was reborn for the second time, the discomforted crying was more severe, and the voices ever flatter and less resolute. They seemed louder and more present, like all of their interactions were taking place within my vicinity. When I died again, they commented on what must have been my physical status. My head was full of holes, and my body scratched and gouged with frequent transience. That leads me to now. I regret the lack of a memory more extensive, that I might distract myself with it even a few moments longer without repetition...
It's finally finished. When my casket opened and I was allowed to stand was comparative bliss. I was stuck against a wall immediately; I can feel the cool and dusty surface on my back. Curiously missing, though, is the warmth of the sun. They're allowing me to do my job again but, the silly people, they've forgotten the cold screw that makes me complete. I'm almost positive I need that for something; they've never left it out before. Anyway, it feels good to bear the weight again. It feels good to be utilized. There's a thick, heavy hardcover. Is that Dubliners? No, it's too heavy; it must be Bleak House. Aha, a small paperback, light and easily borne. That's A Room of One's Own. The lighter-voiced of the two prefers to keep her non-fiction on the higher shelves. These and all of their siblings are most welcome home. I do hope they fill out my lower sections soon, I'm feeling a little top-heavyâ€Ś
The earlier spaces of my youth had their ever-multiplying problems, but they all shared a feature which I've taken for granted. They had the sun. I've no way to gauge time, but I know I've been here for ages. I've never felt so overworked. My shelves are loaded with things I'm not used to carrying and can't define. They feel foreign and invasive and more than unwelcome. My load grows every day and all I ever hear is shouting. The comfort they used to offer one another is a thing of our pastsâ€Ś It's happened. I've failed. I'm prostrate once again but not in a casket, and the corpses of my children are crushed beneath me. I've collapsed and have been abandoned. I hear only the deeper of the two voices, whimpering somewhere nearby. I've crumpled and failed and no one will help me. - Liam McConnell
Here and there, all in one your knees looked like little mountains your Eyes looked like Cornall Lake in September your mouth was a tipped canoe your body was Half Dome and the froth of your coffee formed little maps of off white on your two front teeth but your rough arms felt like chin stubble and your chin stubble felt like shingle caps
then i realized you are my red string my red push pin
scott and zelda at home sipping Henny on the balcony with red roosters howling at the night sky as if September would never come hanging from the edge by three fingertips oh come on darling/ we can dress in yellow and i can wear my hat and well all look so modern and fun/ red velvet on the refrigerator handle stacked up against the printing press smashed ceilings of plywood better yet whisk me away my darling/ my dear/ take me to the luxembourg gardens/ bring me a bottle of ice we can toast to/how this looks so much finer than west egg/ sipping Henny on the ballad with red roses howling at the nightclub skylark as if September would never come hangout from the edict by three finks
stretch your heartstrings to miss steins house steps/ my sweetheart tap tap tap three times on the door/ iâ€™ve got lavender whisky and a flask of rye/ journals abound with magic of the night sky/ red velvet on the refugee handler stacked up against the prior press-up smashed celebrations of plywood fix your tie my love lets go now tighter/ the light is erased with the coming of the mourning/ the evening sky is everywhere my sweetheart/ sipping Henny on the ballot with red roots howling at the nightgown skyline as if September would never come hangover from the edifice by three firs scott this is fucking ridiculous/finish the poem/ red velvet on the refusal handmaiden stacked up against the priory pretense smashed cellists of plywood oh now before the evening comes and paris will all be gone/ now darling please now/ sweet love of mine/ are you lost again - Hannah Polinski
Down the Road Again ARYZ in Buenos Aires
They were all taken during my travels around the world...
- William Butcher
- William Butcher
- William Butcher
Shortly Before Waking Day now, the trees comb indecencies from the breaking light (from the night) â€“ that sea air that courses through those trees, their flowered gardens alike â€“ there are no weeds here. They do not grow in salt-stung wind. - Kristina Pantalone
Uprooted When I was seventeen, I packed my life into boxes and bags, and flew across the Pacific with my family. Like other immigrant parents, mine sought out greener pastures. They chose to leave the comfortable lives they built in a developing country in exchange for better opportunities in North America. All part of a formula for migration success: uproot, settle, thrive. It isn’t the American Dream, or the Canadian dream—it’s an Immigrant Dream. It sounds simple enough. Everyone before us has done it, and so will others after. They encourage us: “it gets better every year.” But they never told us about the struggle in settling old roots in new ground. I see it in many immigrant parents. Those who work two jobs to send their kids to university. Those who clock in over time to make that extra cash cover the bills. Those who were doctors, lawyers, and engineers in their native country, but work temp jobs or entry-level positions because they lacked Canadian experience. This isn’t the better life they envisioned before the plane landed years ago. They don’t talk about it; they maintain a strong facade, until they can’t any more. So they opt for a bottle of Bud, or three, while a few others settled with a kitchen knife. And those unaware will ask: “Why didn’t they quit and find a better job?” It’s the same ones who demand that homeless people should buy a house to get off the streets. It’s not that easy. The moment they uprooted their lives from a small Third-World town to the largest city in Canada, 1 they invested everything they had. There was no going back. But what if we didn’t leave? I wrestle with the thought of what live could have been, and the life I’m living. I feel stuck in limbo—that of the past and the present. I sense the struggle my parents face, especially when the bills come. I know they deserve better, when they are settling for average. For all that they have done—no, for all that they are doing, they should be entitled to a life of comfort. Then I realize, isn’t that what they also want for me? Isn’t that what urged them to sacrifice their past, for the sake of my future? Thing is, they took on the struggle to belong, so that we won’t have to. Their efforts inspire and fuel my desire to push harder, to reach higher. Not simply because that’s what they want for me, but because I want to make their lives better. They remind me that they do it for the sake of my future, but they forget: they are part of that future too.
- Eos Evite
Untitled I always wondered How kids from two different worlds felt Never really being here or there Too Western for their Eastern roots And too Eastern for their Western lifestyle Living in that continuous space of in between Not quite identifying with either side Maybe thatâ€™s why I felt weird at school And disconnected from relatives back home Because I myself am neither here nor there And I guess thatâ€™s what happens When you grow up in one country
But were born in another You never truly know Where you belong - Zuha Ziaee
Displacement Trembling fingers grasp a cardboard box, Sharpie fumes hang in the air, and suffocate. Change is inevitable, Adaptation scientific, Survival necessary. A species thrown into a new environment must persevere, even though the birdsong was more beautiful, back home. The caterpillar must become a butterfly The boy a man, The floating pollen a flower. My perseverance is an anchor, It secures me to stay put. Until a strong enough current comes along and pushes me down, And I become displaced once more. And yet, The world moves too fast for me to maintain balance. Itâ€™s a treadmill moving at full speed, And I can never guess when the settings will change. My marker slams against the wall, Leaving a dark smudge. I do my best to ignore the squeak of duct tape, A signal of the end. Sitting in my now empty room, I feel my limbs melt into the scratched floorboards, This is home. - Karolina Fedorcio
- Daniel Maluka
Resurgence Life before you; how should I say it,
And then there was you;
Honestly, I try not to remember it.
This, I will never forget.
But before you, I could not find my place
I found my safe haven
Everywhere I went, I was never constant
I found my new home wherever you were
With every progression, there was always re- I always move forward, never looking back gression To somewhere that was constant The only consistency was a cycle of desperation,
Somewhere with sameness,
But also consistently spontaneous
Your arms never rejected me,
Your heart never hurt mine,
If nothing else,
We may argue and fight,
There was always emptiness,
But even in fighting I realized
But that emptiness was never comforting,
I belonged with you
Because it was never in the same place, at the same time
The pain I felt with you was your pain too
Darkness came and went, in various instances I wished so badly it would swallow me whole, So that I could belong with it. But even darkness rejected me
- Sabrina Sgandurra
With mutually desired connection
Nothing else before you mattered You took me in, beaten and battered
As I was, you took me in And yet, you say, it was I that saved you.
Counter Clockwise we merge paths and intertwine timelines manipulating the delicacy of time just so we can experience THE MOMENT and live in the now. rightly so; we all believe: what we have yesterday we wonâ€™t tomorrow, and what we have today wonâ€™t be found in the crevices of an alternate reality. - k. rashidi
Fortune Cookie Before I met you, There were nights when I couldn’t fall asleep Because the sound of the phone ringing was too loud. I thought about how I never saw my mother cry, But I could have. And she doesn’t kiss me goodnight anymore because she’s too busy worrying About the pile of dirty dishes, Under my brother’s bed. And she can hear me at night, Sees the suitcases under my eyes Like baggage I’m trying to hide. I’m not ready to come home yet, I’m right where I need to be The sound of metal on metal wasn’t as loud as I thought And sometimes I shake, but not because I’m cold Because my body is trying to forget a lot of things Like arms that love too hard And the reason why I like corners. He hated the smell of milk And how I spilled it on all my clothes There are things I want my body to remember Like your handwriting, and your hands And the cuts on your knuckles. When a girl is crying at a subway station, It’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes beautiful boys say beautiful things And it catches us off guard And maybe you’re the fortune cookie that told me “the bad is finally over All the good stuff is waiting for you” - Erin Wilson
You Donâ€™t Even Notice It Anymore Being a millennial growing up with technology we don't realize how much the idea of conversation has changed and how quickly we move through life. I created and named this piece to represent how we get tied up with trying to impress people we don't know through technology. We have become so disconnected with reality and barely notice it anymore.
- Betsy Olaussen
Moonlight What if he were here, and I got my birthday wish and where the daisies grow, are the memories I don’t miss? What if convocation, required one more ticket? What if I could celebrate, without missing every second minute? Trees grow over with decades, and cells are supposed to heal but every second decade, what if what ifs became is’? All lead two lives, one is, one if And if the ifs were is’ - what instead would I miss? Ink in skin and cuts in stone to mark an empty place A place not set for dinner, a forever younger face. What if danger sauntered over someone else’s grave? What if moonlight dances, didn’t mean tears and hard glances? What if moonlight masses, met with different coloured glasses? I grew without and within a circle clean and barren. Crisp corner’s cut a girl whose chief belief is conditional. Conditions create conflict between the ifs and the whens. The ifs are if he never died The whens are life as it stands. Moonlight highlights two lives The life led – the light wanted; one cannot lead life into moonlight without dreading that which one wants to crave a father’s hold – to cry into his arms, a hand upon each shoulder, a yearning lost and strong. A “what if ” so time changing, It crushes right and wrong. No time erases twanging turning; crisp corners of creativity grow longing – Grow lagging, graggin goop and Sideways loops I can’t think in lines. The world I coded in one’s and two’s In thudding ifs, whens, and abouts.
What if I could fly? What if I could twice die? What if saviours can’t count thrice? What if circles don’t round twice? What if falling fails? “this is not wonderland”; but a world of wonder does await. I wonder where I am going; I wonder where I would have wandered. I wander while I wonder, and I ponder all the ifs. The: if my father knew me; the: if I didn’t care. The careless carer I have always been, full of wonderment unseen, and unwanted. I wanted only love, and grand adventure, a life lived bright, I want tragedy in every bite; I wanted sweet and sour – life bright orange. But ones and twos catch up to you, and you wonder what he’d think. It’s not enough to be proud of you; how much do you drink? What if my father loved me? Given just one glance? What if my father lived beside me? What if moonlight danced? - Dayna Lang
Gender Multiplicity Trying to name the world has been a habit of mine. Rooted in a mix of curiosity, insecurity, and the desire for control. But what felt like security was just an old game of power, trying to hold what wasn’t mine out of a fear to face myself. I had to learn to let go of the need to know. For years, I was deeply troubled with questions about the ‘true’ nature of things; God, the self, gender, sexuality, love … I’ve learned a powerful lesson: I do not need to know the ‘truth’ of things. Not even myself. I found myself on a pendulum swing from ‘female-to-male’. Following the call of my heart and spirit, I knew I needed to transition – and I did so, legally, medically, and socially. New name, old soul, I woke up each morning to a body transforming underneath me. I was sure, one day, the process would slow down and I’d finally find ease with my being. After all the documents and needles and surgery, I began a new life; I could be just another baby-faced queer boy in the big city lights. I was driven to share my story, mostly online but also at local support groups. In my connections with other trans people, I soon began to discover that what had felt like a one-way trip became more like a spiral. Inspired and supported by those around me, I let my gender flourish, nurtured with curiosity, blooming, wilting, slumbering and sprouting again, my wardrobe grew more varied as I rejected all notions of the masculine and femininity. “I’m just me!” I exclaimed with pride, taking a selfie in my little black dress and studded leggings, laughing freely. Clothing has become my own expression, instead of a tool to control me. I learn to feel alive again. Still, while out in teal lipstick and a cop-top tee, someone on the street calls out “she”, and I feel that old pain. A pinprick in my side worse than an injection needle gone awry, I wince. I remember how strongly I pulled away from that name, ripping off a bandage over a festering wound, now those pronouns feel like picking a scab. Something in my gut still tells me I’m still not a girl, no matter how my gender flows. When one can see gender as social, I’m met with a new point of friction – the balance between the need to liberate from that old code while still feeling a sense of identity. In conversations with other trans people, I find myself bumping up against this particular duality, discovering tension between those who believe/feel that gender is an experience of absolute realness (carried within the body and sense of self), and those who considers gender’s true nature to be a fabrication entirely (built in the complex of society). The woman-man binary is the seeded in the root of all kinds of evils, like misogyny, cissexism, and colonial binaries. Used to divide and oppose concepts, and beings, pit Good against Bad, Male over Female, Colonizer owning the Colonized, Whiteness and the Other. They work together, these tools of power, in a system known as Dualism – the perspective that there are essentially only two opposite sides to everything, with one naturally more powerful than the other. Learning about gender binaries as part of a colonial history confirmed for me the oppressive nature of the male/female split, but it also cautioned against erasing gender off the map entirely. After all, many cultures and nations have their own gender systems, and their destruction on my account would only be a part of perpetuating white settler supremacy.
The woman-man binary is the seeded in the root of all kinds of evils, like misogyny, cissexism, and colonial binaries. Used to divide and oppose concepts, and beings, pit Good against Bad, Male over Female, Colonizer owning the Colonized, Whiteness and the Other. They work together, these tools of power, in a system known as Dualism – the perspective that there are essentially only two opposite sides to everything, with one naturally more powerful than the other. Learning about gender binaries as part of a colonial history confirmed for me the oppressive nature of the male/female split, but it also cautioned against erasing gender off the map entirely. After all, many cultures and nations have their own gender systems, and their destruction on my account would only be a part of perpetuating white settler supremacy. I turn to bell hooks, Janet Mock, Kate Bornstein, Darkmatter, Alec Butler, Laverne Cox, b. binohan, Shane Camastro, Clemintine Morrigan, Jasbina Justice, Carolina from I.M. Brown, Against Me!, Michiko Bown-Kai, jia qing wilson-yang, London Alex Lee … to name a few. In awe, inspired, encapsulated by these incredible artists, authors, academics and philosophers, I let go of the need for a single name or single story. What matters most is not the defining reality/unreality, but instead the support of those surviving, transforming, and resisting within these oppressive roles and power systems. I don’t need to know, or control, but to love and let myself untangle willingly. I accept multiplicity. To me, the multiplicity mindset does not seek to define broad truths, instead focusing on personal experience and community. Part of creating a world that affirms and loves trans people means recognizing and celebrating all genders as real and valid, working in solidarity to end the injustice which makes life so violent for those on the margins of our communities. There is nothing inherently wrong or bad about identifying as a man, woman, non-binary, or any other form of gender. What’s wrong is an oppressive system which erases whole identities, cultures, and communities, both figuratively and literally. I recognize both/and – multiple (personal/cultural/social) truths and thus no (singular/ ultimate) truth. I let go of my power, letting go of the ability to validate or devalidate another’s experience. In turn, let go of my own quest to validate/invalidate myself. I recognize sand honour my own infinite genders and endless manifestations of love. And, in doing so, I am transformed once again. Painting and prose - Markus/Star Harwood-Jones
do you mean everything - Hannah Polinski
A Viewing of Untitled (Figure(s)) O Francis! Mythical Wrestler with purpled shoulder, screaming your putrid painted red light bulb stringâ€” did you discover the mirror hung as you hang circular like a peacock & peeking through your window did you discover crumbling pigments, solid as where I wished to stand in your doorway and so I did, pleased and rosy with Marx beside your easel (where did this enter from, the chalky skylight anyway? & so what brush shot through yolky London polka dotting Kilmainham Gaol? closing and stood before white geometric, clear glass prisoned opaque I hang from the cell of your room: sifting organism of dust blanket newspapers, a pendulum waiting to discover the stillness of each other blasting behind the red - Cameron MacDonald
Elizabeth September was ambivalent, I was claustrophobic in a turtleneck. She said this parkway feels like closure, But I couldnâ€™t find any confessional on the tarmac. The weather kept preaching to an imaginary congregation and I tried to pray to October, But Sunday evenings arenâ€™t for changes. And I am not a good person. - Jordan Donovan
It sounds insignificant to say that things change at a rapid pace. Dumb, hurtful things are withstanding. But it is in this lack of control,...
Published on Nov 10, 2016
It sounds insignificant to say that things change at a rapid pace. Dumb, hurtful things are withstanding. But it is in this lack of control,...