Poem I don't want to write

Poem I don’t want to write

by aabbchot aabbaadd aabbswallow

with an illustration by Jespa Jacob Smith

I’m trapped in my silence,
I don’t tell anyone about my alarm,
I know why I am in this situation,
thoughts constantly recur, remind me.
I’ve developed and actioned plans,
they worked briefly and now aren’t,
I’ve done what I know to do,
I have no more ideas, plans, actions,
I’m emotionally paralytic.
There’s a train wreck building,
its on its way to mangle me,
I know its coming,
I am powerless to stop it,
I am helpless, humiliated, abandoned.

I’m frozen out of substantial social life,
anticipating negativity gatekeepers,
I’m ready to counter attack,
my physical body is performing,
my optimism, openness exhausted.

I’m functioning physically,
exercising, swimming, bushwalking, photographing,
cooking, cleaning, gardening, housekeeping,
shopping, buying boots, shirts, food,
getting car serviced, parts replaced, re-registered.

I’m eating chocolate too often too much,
watching lunchtime mind numbing free to air T.V.,
don’t feel hungry skip meals,
see other people’s imperfections,
chase wild noisy birds in nearby trees,
have brief empty moment of sense of achievement.

There are always practical things to do,
I am physically busy,
busyness anaesthetises terror momentarily,
it’s an illusion, a mirage camouflaging chasm,
I’m about to cartwheel into.

It’s not about being Gay,
It’s not about being a man.

It’s about not being able to get paid work,
It’s about my savings evaporating,
It’s about the prospect of not being able,
to pay basic living costs,
It’s about the inevitability of being homeless.

I’ve made hundreds of job applications,
I’ve worked all my life,
for the first time in my working life,
I am about to have no dignity, no self regard,
no social status in my own country,

It’s about being a lost, defenceless vulnerable beggar.

Jespa Jacob Smith is a DIY-visual artist and poet. Their work focuses on transitional and surreal situations as well as language and the way we try to use it to bridge the space between each other as well as ourselves and our thoughts. Their art and poetry is informed but not limited to experiences of gender and trans oppression, marginalisation, privileges and depression. They have been featured in various DIY publications. They have shown their video art and performed poetry on a few occasions in the UK, Canada and Germany.

Aabbchot aabbaadd Aabbswallow is an Australian Queer man. Lived and worked all over. Flown around the globe. Recently moved 800 kms north to coastal border New South Wales / Queensland. Lives at the river 2 kms from ocean beaches. Getting to know local beaches, rivers, creeks, mountains, valleys, Artist and Artisans Markets and people. Would like to learn to sail. Likes most intelligent culture and social engagement. Writes short stories, poems, polemics when stimulated. Appreciates friendly articulate constructive critiques. Contact welcome.

Shifting Traditions

Call for Submissions

DEADLINE: 30.12.2019

You do not live in the same environment that you were born into. Your surroundings have changed, your body has changed, the way you are perceived, the way you are treated, the way you perceive and treat yourself is subject to constant change.

Whether you’ve stayed in the same place, but the political system, and family relations, or the climate changed around you, or whether you live with the memory of a place or situation you have left a long time ago or just yesterday – there are certain aspects of past and present within you or shared with the people around you that come together in harmony, struggle, or somehow don’t come together at all. They are traditions in transition.

Naa’hor Pa-at

Naa’hor Pa-at

by Chroma Chola // illustration by Marko Emigrantov_na Kvirenko /// A coffee cup lay on a stack of charts, its contents spiraling outwards. Computer screens nearby were beeping rapidly. One of the scientists picked up the coffee cup, emptied it in one gulp and wrote a report on his iPad.

an old tradition

an old tradition

by Julia Saragos // illustrations by Lena Dirscherl /// our last kiss
– fumbling and strange – in a spanish airport bathroom – she