a zine resurrected. making a new home for the ones i love. fighting hate with expression. attention given, looking like love. the work submitted for this particular volume has really inspired me. they are acts of giving, searching, loving, exploding, investment.
This particular volume has our first Featured Artist interview with the incredible, Nile Harris. I've known Nile since I was 18, and even little adolescent me could recognize what a force he is. Scroll to hear about his art in his own words.
In the true form of this zine, scroll and scroll, take what you love, leave what you don't. It's a loving free for all.
ARE WE THERE YET?
A poem thing by Hannah Myers
10:23 am, 7/26/19
Hopscotch chopsticks stuck in my hair
All I wanna know is
Do you really care?
Baby in the backseat
Honda in reverse
Windows down tell me
It’s time for some
Jesus, Take the Wheel
At least some
Road Rage Through the Pines.
Are you familiar with that
Move slow, move fast,
Yellow light nights
Was I in a car seat?
Sometimes the unfortunate equivalent to
Are We There Yets and
His kayak flipped.
Class 9 rapids.
No calls home.
Where Art Thou?
And when do you think
Give us a pulse to
Pencil it in.
Though I’m getting pretty tired of
Lighting a candle
And calling it a
O, God, Almighty Father,
Lord of the Most High
Take the Wheel.
You can have it.
I don’t want it.
Take this fucking wheel
And spread that
So the mosquitos won’t know what
They say your rising sign is the car you drive,
Like make and model,
Body and voice,
But your moon sign is the little guy with the hands
On the inside.
Who is driving my car?
Who is driving my car?
Who is she?
Way back when,
Sun used to be my girl,
But now the moon and I
We got somethin’ goin’ on,
His kayak flipped.
Class 9 rapids.
No calls home.
Maybe he couldn’t get to a
Head under a rock,
Body plastic prisoner,
4 minutes upside down
River rat or
All the same,
He heard a watery whisper.
Life is but a
Maybe if we all stuck our head
Under a faucet
We would hear God’s voice
We pulled up on the gravel, and the chihuahua barked as if to say, “you are not welcome here.” My mom got out of the car and unbuckled me. I could smell the sweat on her neck as the dangling Jerusalem cross brushed my eyelash with the click of the seatbelt. That yummy B.O. that leaks fear, not water-weight. Probably more to keep our cool than to keep us cool. Which is an important balance for a June mama. She grabbed the Irish Soda Bread from the backseat. Still in foil. Still warm. Still her best excuse to drive 3 hours to Chattooga, Georgia. Better to deliver hot bread in the summer than swing by to see if your son is alive or dead.
Just in the neighborhood.
Thought I’d stop by.
How would you describe your artwork?
NH:I make live performances, that are situated in the intersection of theatre, dance, and performance art. So in that way, I see my practice as very multidisciplinary. I am interested in the body, and how stories can, quite literally, live inside our bodies somatically and how I can use my body to push a question or narrative forward. Often times these questions are investigating themes of identity and biography. I’ve never studied dance--I say that to clarify that I am less interested in a rigid standard of excellence in the body, in regards to shape and form, that is historically valued in Eurocentric “concert dance”.
how would you describe your process?
NH:My process is ever shapeshifting depending on the project at hand. Intuition and imagination are key, or perhaps I could describe it as a longing. A longing to investigate something, often within myself. Something that I want to unpack. Due to the application-based model of productions and residencies for experimental live performance, my projects often begin with writing. Writing a proposal about the work, or body of research that I am hoping to get resources for. Though an administrative task, writing and re-writing proposals helps me clarify for myself the question, or series of questions that I am after and the form in which I think it will take. Sketching becomes a part of this process as I start to imagine the objects that might be a part of the performance, how many bodies I am imagining along with fragments of choreographic ideas. From there I begin to choreograph, for which structured improvisations prove to be the most fruitful in generating content. And then from there, it’s just theatre magic - refining how each gesture, phrase, sequence pushes the narrative forward and figuring out what the performers should wear, how to realize the set design, etc. And of course, music! Sound plays an integral role in my productions and up until this point I have done all the sound design myself. So a big part of my process is creating sound scores from sampled music and computer generated sounds.
What did your baby steps as an artist look like?
NH: I’ve been making theatre, in unconventional ways, since I was 15 years old. My baby steps looked like writing plays. For at the time, theatre was the only framework I had to understand my artistic desires. I was in a playwriting class in highschool, and I used to write these long winded plays that had no dialogue, just long sequences of stage directions. I knew I was interested in the body and abstraction but didn’t quite have the references to point to. I produced and directed my first “play” that same year.
Do you feel like you have an artistic tribe? Who r they n why?
NH:I do and I don’t feel like I have a tribe. New York is very peculiar. I’ve only been here for two years and I am still trying to figure it out. Sometimes I feel like New York is just one big collection of acquaintances and false promises of meeting up. But that is me being cynical! More so than an artistic tribe, I do feel like I have community of queer people and people of color around me, made up of wonderful artists, who have helped me come into myself and embrace my difference, which has changed my artistic life forever in the best ways.
Who’s work has inspired you n why?
NH: I see A LOT of live performance in my everyday life, so I often feel like when answering this question I just end up listing the things I’ve seen most recently. To that end, works that I have seen most recently that have blown my mind is Jackie-Sibblies Drury’s ‘Fairview’, Ligia Lewis’ ‘Minor Matter’ and ‘Water Will (In Melody)’, and Michael Jackson’s ‘Strange Loop’. There’s something abrew in the black creative conscious right now that is intoxicating and exciting to be a part of!
What is something you dream of doing? Are you taking any steps to get there?
I dream of resources. I think right now, my dreams are rooted in having the material resources to execute my productions to the rigor in which I envision them and pay all my collaborators a competitive living wage. I also dream of working with certain artists, who fame currently makes inaccessible.
What keeps you creative/ why do you keep making work?
NH:Like I said earlier, it is a longing. A true, true longing. When I look at how expensive it is to make things, be it performances or art objects, I often ask myself why I do it and what is it for. And the only answer that I have is that it is a deep desire to know the truth intimately and a love for beauty.
how do you make work and make money??
NH: It is a balance. Currently, I work at an amazing arts organization ‘Queer|Art’, whose cornerstone program is a mentorship pairing emerging and established LGBTQ+ artists. I feel very blessed to have a job right now that is so in line with my vision and values in the world.
Advice you’d give to your 15 year old baby artist self.
I would encourage my 15 year old self to stay curious and urge them to continue to listen to the voice within themselves even when outside forces are telling them otherwise.
Your own current mantra?
NH: I deserve to be here.
LA GIRLS by SIOBHAN BRANDMAN with illustration by Luisa Solley and Troy Workman
all the girls in LA look exactly the same
the only way to tell them apart is by instagram name
"untitled 100101101"- Cassidy Wingate
Gathering up the heavens in the nerve fires of my body
To feel is to be a part
Church as a word of communion
The church of eye contact, the church of funny for no reason, the church of happy tears, the church of kissing you for the first time, the church of never seeing them again, the church of it’ll all be over soon, the church of letting someone touch your stomache, the church of I hope this never ends, the church of goodbye, the church of end of the night pizza
The church of my body, your breath, and knowing there is very little difference between the two
Sometimes I can’t hear it, echoing in me / around me. Sometimes is hurts to see others in the midst of it, as if I’ve been barred out. Sometimes I'm a hunk of a heap and joy is mythology.
Death is a word that rings silver and can be beautiful
Death is relief and death means antithesis and all things remarkable.
Do you think so?
How have you been?
How are the conversations you’ve had over the phone with your mother?
What’s your favorite well drink?
Do you like the place you live?
What was that song you wished you could dance to with friends?
When’s the last time you got the thing you wanted so badly for so long?
When’s the last time you’ve felt hopeless?
The last time someone spoke to you like you didn’t understand?
The last time you ached because you felt left behind?
The last time you forgot to eat?
The last time you wished you had more control?
The last time none of it made sense anymore and you felt lost?
The last time you knew it would be ok?
There are a million nerve fires a day, all of them a blessing in knowing or in learning.
Next time asked, how will you answer? All answers allowed, all things welcome.
Joe Spit- Death and Rebirth?
It Doesn't Matter - Athena Pepe
Matter can not be created nor destroyed.
Is it the same with love?
One does not create it
rather falls into it.
It was already there.
Love is never lost
It’s just a chemical reaction,
The dynamics of our love just shifted.
I was once drowning in a volatile sea,
Then, lying on a dry cracked seabed,
Where did the love go?
My love went
then into her
osmosis of love
through parted lips,
Title: An Apology- Anonymous
Tonight is the night that I absolve you from my blame.
I exchange my resentment for admiration and acceptance, and I am lighter. I slow down.
You are more than one choice. I won't define you for it. I forgive what never needed my forgiveness. I look up to your courage to tell me no so that you could find your path.
If only I hadn't put a bulletproof vest around my heart; you were only shooting acknowledgments and apologies.
If only I could have seen you instead of the blindness of crunching in and speeding up.
If only my written words tonight could reach your sweet ears: I am glad for you.
My impermanent feelings are not my permanent stances. And my pain is not your fault. You were only deliberate in honoring your heart. And kindly guiding me away.
And so tonight I absolve you from my blame. I wish it hadn't taken so long. Only when I surrender to the acceptance of my hurting do I see the truth.
You are a wonderful person. And I am better for finally knowing you again.
August 15, 2019
So so so uh
Last night I got my wife in bed
or if you don’t know Sue …
I hurt for you
For she is …
Its been a while
Cause she doesn’t move well
And I’m not the best either
Joints and stuff
My gut is rough
Don’t tell anyone that
I get my hands around her neck
It really gets me going
And it gets going well
She’s starting to moan
Hard hard hard
Reminding me of us
From then when we always worked
but then she stops
Kinda still and shaking
So so yeah I slow down
And then I stop
cause I scared her
Or made her sad
With my hands
Her heart was pounding
and I pretended it wasn’t cause of me
and asked if she was okay
instead of saying sorry.
The next morning she was in the tub by the time I got up to go to the dock. She spends all day there. I read her some ester perel later in the evening cause I know she likes that. I love her more and more everyday. I hope I make her heart beat out of happiness.
Next time, I will be better
A better man
At least try to be
Otherwise, this is how I kill good things
Your Foot In Between Mine by Tyler Hathaway
in between mine
on the subway
your head on
But that’s later
That’s in my mind
I have to find the footing,
calm, giving gaze
For you to fall into me
Like a trusted mattress at
the end of a long day