“Horns” – Lyric Essay by j/j hastain

The Bacchante - Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1853
The Bacchante – Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1853

“Horns” is just one of four short yet provocative lyric essays by j/j hastain included in our Winter 2015 issue.

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For Samuel Ace

TURNING THE AWARENESS OF ANOMALIES into a community of anomalies proves that anomalies are not something far off. They are each one of us and if it is one it is always more than one.

She has been wrestling with them her whole life. There is only conjecture as to their cause.  She has two while others have one protruding from the middle of their forehead. She is called devil as a child. In high school she tries to cut them off with her own razor. She fixates. She saws and saws with her eyes wide open until there is blood in her hair. She worries about them showing. When she is cutting them off she does not even remember to shave her legs.

She learns much later on in life that her horns could have come up through skin vulnerabilities, scarring from the burns of fires. She has never experienced being physically burned by a fire, though she often dreams of girls screaming and nodding their heads wildly, emitting flames in a voluptuous yes, as they run toward and project themselves into damp vats of salt and hair: hot englut, temperature as a way to clot wetness.

In her thirties she meets him. She feels lucky to have. He is a Trans man, knows what it is like to have a body with which one cannot identify without things being done to that body. When he fucks her he often places his hand between her horns, but only after she invites him in: his dick between her legs. He applies pressure on the top of her head. He can see gold penetrate her skull, past the skin that keeps her brain and thoughts and insecurities inside her.

Though she won’t let him stroke them during sex, sometimes when they are together in the room at night, in the dark, she will bring his hand ever so slowly toward the top of her head. Once it reaches them, she moves him over her by way of affectionate hands. That makes the most sense to her: just like she moves her hands over his dick when the time is right.

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Bio Next2j/j hastain is a collaborator, writer and maker of things. j/j performs ceremonial gore. Chasing and courting the animate and potentially enlivening decay that exists between seer and singer, j/j simply hopes to make the god/dess of stone moan and nod deeply through the waxing and waning seasons of the moon.

j/j hastain is the inventor of The Mystical Sentence Projects and is author of several cross-genre books including the trans-genre book libertine monk (Scrambler Press), The Non-Novels (forthcoming, Spuyten Duyvil) and The Xyr Trilogy: a Metaphysical Romance of Experimental Realisms. j/j’s writing has most recently appeared in CaketrainTrickhouse, The Collagist, Housefire, Bombay GinAufgabe, and Tarpaulin Sky.

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