I’ve been slowly reading through Mysterious Acts by My People, and just UGH omg. Amazing. And I’m putting the rest of this behind a cut because I’m suddenly feeling self-conscious about the amount of gushing I’m about to do (omg that suddenly sounded dirty jesus what is wrong with me)
I wouldn’t necessarily mind people not knowing I’m gay, but I don’t like being thought of as straight — in the same way that I don’t mind people not knowing I’m a writer, but it would be awkward if they assumed I was an extreme skateboarder, because that’s so far removed from the reality of my life. But there is no blank slate where orientation is concerned; we are straight until proven otherwise. And if you’ve never seen how dramatically a conversation can be derailed by a casual admission of homosexuality, let me tell you, it gets awkward.
Featuring cover art by Ashley Inguanta and a portfolio of work from established and emerging self-identified queer women poets. Included in this issue is a significant amount of work from Alysia Angel, Jessica Rae Bergamino, Tamiko Beyer, Sossity Chircuzio, Cheryl Clarke, Theresa Davis, Leah Horlick, Laura Passin, Anne Marie Rooney, and Arisa White. Issue 02 features cover art by Ashley Inguanta. Edited by Valerie Wetlaufer and proudly published by Sibling Rivalry Press.
Writing poems is a positive way of filling holes. It is grace. It is the alchemy of darkness and light—for me, anyway. I’ve been writing poems since I was eight, when I wrote my first poem and enjoyed writing the poem and received positive reinforcement for it. To receive positive reinforcement for something you truly enjoy doing is rare. So I kept doing it. Sometimes I still chase that reinforcement in terms of acclaim or attention or internet likes, and all that. Like, I can use that dopamine release of a favorite or a retweet or a positive review to fill the holes too. That’s my gummy peaches and white chocolate nonpareils and gummy coke bottles. It’s way shorter-lived and far less organically satisfying than the act of making the art, but I crave it. But then there is the being alone and just making the art—getting into the subconscious and the magick all that it entails—and just making some shit that did not exist before, and being like, whoa. That’s the organic figs and the full-fat, creamy cheese.
I am still every age that I have been. Because I was once a child, I am always a child. Because I was once a searching adolescent, given to moods and ecstasies, these are still part of me, and always will be… This does not mean that I ought to be trapped or enclosed in any of these ages…the delayed adolescent, the childish adult, but that they are in me to be drawn on; to forget is a form of suicide… Far too many people misunderstand what *putting away childish things* means, and think that forgetting what it is like to think and feel and touch and smell and taste and see and hear like a three-year-old or a thirteen-year-old or a twenty-three-year-old means being grownup. When I’m with these people I, like the kids, feel that if this is what it means to be a grown-up, then I don’t ever want to be one. Instead of which, if I can retain a child’s awareness and joy, and *be* fifty-one, then I will really learn what it means to be grownup.