Tag Archives: j/j hastain

“The Moon Made Out of Bloated Cheese” – Poetry by Juliet Cook & j/j hastain

The Voice – Agnes Lawrence Pelton, 1930

“The Moon Made Out of Bloated Cheese” is one of two fantastically freaky poems by Juliet Cook & j/j hastain in our Fall 2018 issue.

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THE MOON WILL ALWAYS BE PRETTY WHEN IT’S OLD,
at least until it breaks the earth into pieces.
Flings more grappling hooks into each of our eyes.

It all ages quickly. Tomorrow is the day the leaped will
invade my larynx and contribute
to my paranoia. How are we supposed to know
what constitutes a healthy or unhealthy
size or shape of our own voice box?
How do we know if it’s even our own?

Sometimes I wonder where my voice comes from
and where it will go next.
My stomach keeps gurgling like it wants to be my voice.

I don’t think my stomach can handle American Cheese anymore.
It feels loaded with toxic chemicals.
When she asked me if she could change my voice for me,
I was not suspect I was grateful I am tired of this thud.
She got out a large carving knife.
What was she going to cut out

and what would it be replaced with?
Maybe she would somehow ascend
the tired parts of me to the moon

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Continue reading “The Moon Made Out of Bloated Cheese” – Poetry by Juliet Cook & j/j hastain

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“Never Be Stuck” – Poetry by j/j hastain & Juliet Cook

Rapunzel – Arthur Rackham, 1909

Individually, j/j hastain and Juliet Cook have contributed many flappy lits to our weird little zine over the years…but it wasn’t until our Spring 2017 issue that we finally published a collaboration between these uniquely gifted writers. Please enjoy their magically bizarre poem “Never Be Stuck” from FLAPPERHOUSE #13.

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NOT PART OF A PRIZE
fighting game.
Not part of a dog
fighting blood bath
that ends in death. But essentially
part of what it is that keeps
the world apart from itself. Take
a bath, throw in copper pennies
to see where they flow towards.

I know you’re afraid one of them might try
to attach itself to your eye,
but that doesn’t mean you’re dead
already. It means it is trying to make you
sing opera or howl
at the drain. Watch the lacerated
hair fly into symbiosis. Watch the hair
coming from her lovely wart
begin performing tattoos on
unsuspecting passersby.

The tattoos might grow
into tuberoses, rampions exploding
out the hair of a new Rapunzel
who will never be stuck in a tower.
The trapdoor shower shows us all
a discernible way home,
strand by strand, flying up
to the new hybrid magpie nest.
Even if you’re missing an eye,
all of the empty holes can be named
and with each name,
some unexpected
reverence renewed.

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Continue reading “Never Be Stuck” – Poetry by j/j hastain & Juliet Cook

excerpts from Priest/ess 4 – lyric essay by j/j hastain

Eternal-trans-temporal - photo by j/j hastain
Eternal-trans-temporal – photo by j/j hastain

Priest/ess is an ongoing work on gender by j/j hastain, and as usual with j/j’s writing, it’s magical & illuminating & mystifying (in the best possible way). Three excerpts from Priest/ess have previously been published at aglimpseof.net as part of their Narrative in Progress titled “A Thing Like You and Me,” and we were honored to include a 4th excerpt of this one-of-a-kind work in our Spring 2016 issue.

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IT IS POSSIBLE TO BE POSSESSED BY THE ENTITY to which you have devoted your life.

That possession is not necessarily like they show it in horror movies; sometimes possessions are sacred offerings of synonymous identity, felt due to synonymous embodiment. The cave often calls through me, comes to me, begging for attending. I consider attending the cave a form of self-love.

As I was walking up the hill, after spinning and drowning in what I could only describe as the cave’s primal grief regarding any time it has ever been overlooked by the women that it serves, I began losing it. I was not yet up the hill in such a way that I could lean on Quan Yin (her statue was still hundreds of feet ahead of me) but I was also hundreds of feet away from the cave-proper. Would I remain alone in this moment: the practical and ephemeral moirologist for a complex, cosmic grief which, even in its need to express its depressions, its sadness at being overlooked by the populations in which it serves, it is also desperately in love with every woman who might or might not overlook it?

The cave’s love of and for women is both physical and mythic.

My sisters must have heard my cry just like I hear the cry of the cave.

In a manner of moments they had run over to me, were surrounding me, touching me on all sides. “Present and essential, your roots, your worms, your cave-holding that surges underneath all of these workings with light in the above…” Their touch, their words as touch, begin to bring me back to life.

“Yes, essential but not always celebrated as such.”

I am choking on the feeling. Cave synonym needs cave union.

Whenever I am not appreciated or acknowledged as cave I can feel the result is my slowly dissipating from behind my human woman eyes. This sensation is like slipping; it terrifies me. It is as if any moment in which I am not being touched, I am being overlooked. Kept out of the light. In these I can’t feel Sophia so obviously anymore.

“I feel so isolated from the circle when those who are in the circle are looking only into the circle and not into me (the Below).”

My sisters understand me. They are humming, rocking me, putting pressure on my body. I am crooning with the dark crown as it moves from the cave, below ground, up and through the blood in my veins in its manner of making its way to the top of my head.

The more pressure they physically put on me, the more they puja me as the cave, the more I am able to slowly return to the seat behind my eyes. They don’t let go of me until they know for sure that I am all the way back inside of myself.

Continue reading excerpts from Priest/ess 4 – lyric essay by j/j hastain

Digital (PDF) Copies of FLAPPERHOUSE #9 Now Available for Pre-Order

Monstrous immortality, reincarnation, eternal recurrence, never-ending gender, virtual sex, multiple organisms, reclusive regiments: FLAPPERHOUSE #9.

coming
MARCH 20, 2016

Pre-order a DIGITAL (PDF) copy for $3US and watch it fly into your emailbox
by the Vernal Equinox!
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#9
#9

starring – J. BradleyLeona GodinRob Hartzellj/j hastainStephen Langlois,
William LessardSarah LiliusEmily LinstromCatfish McDarisLauren Milici,
Sarah Frances MoranAhimaaz RajeshChristina M. RauNickalus Rupert,
Joseph Tomaras, and Innas Tsuroiya

“Plight” – Lyric Essay by j/j hastain

A robustus at en.wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
Turtle Hatchlings – A robustus at en.wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Aren’t we all just turtle hatchlings, trying to survive in this brutal and deceptive world long enough to find the place where we belong– just like the ones in “Plight,” one of four mini lyric essays by j/j hastain in our Spring 2015 issue?

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THE OBTRUSIVE AND MISDIRECTED LIGHT that causes photopollution is affecting the sea turtle hatchlings on the Florida coast. They are misinterpreting light cues (on which they depend to find their way to the sea in the dark).  Attempting to move away from the dark dunes from which they hatch, they follow an inverted force within them, they move with the compass of their small bodies open. How vulnerable! If fluorescent lights interfere too severely, they can confuse them so much so that they never find their watery nest. 6.2 million hatchlings die in Florida every year and many of them die on their way.

When I first read about how photopollution causes decrease in sexual function in humans (due to circadian disruption) I unplugged the only light and moved the whole light outside. I slept for days, dipped my diary pages in red ink to simulate the unseen blood loss of skeletal turtles on the beaches. It’s scary when animals die and you can’t see any of their blood in the process. Right away you are aware that, in addition to things having gone terribly wrong, something is missing. As I ponder, I notice that the wooden fan that I am using to fan myself seems to be leaking. Emissions are a kindness; they wisely help us integrate loss.

On a blood-soaked, driftwood beach I can see that the sea turtle skeletons are partially sunken on the brinks. They look like little bois, purifying forms of perversity. The tide keeps rushing in and out as I belittle the skyglow (with my head and fist raised to the place in the atmosphere where that light gets caught). Running along the shore I am trying desperately to caress all of the decaying bodies, attempting to touch each one. “Your neck bone is so beautiful!” or “I want to lay you gently in a tub full of corn,” sacred phrases particular to each. I want to offer them a light like candlelight reflection, a light that is unconditionally relevant, a light in which they can follow their inclinations all the way to their liquid hearth. I know no other way to offer infinitely relevant light than by a certain quality of touch coming from my own body on this cold beach on the periphery of the city.

It is beginning to rain a good ole’ fashioned Florida rain now. The droplets are penetrating the sand, making drum whacks on the softening shells of the turtles. The swamps will flood tonight; the sea level will rise to cover over their sweet, bloodless forms.

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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 Caketrain,Trickhouse, The Collagist, Housefire, Bombay GinAufgabe, and Tarpaulin Sky.

“Saving Earthworms in My Mountain Cave” – Lyric Essay by j/j hastain

Worm - Kiki Smith, 1992
Worm – Kiki Smith, 1992

Our Spring 2015 issue features four bite-sized lyric essays from j/j hastain‘s forthcoming memoir, including today’s featured piece, “Saving Earthworms in My Mountain Cave.” 

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EVERY MORNING AFTER IT RAINED I WOULD OPEN THE RED DOOR, squat (with nearly no clothes on, my body a fleshy thing against the green mountain scape) and pick up each earthworm one at a time. I would move earthworms from the pathway or the street into the lush patches of grass near the river of my property. As I picked up each soft, squirming body and the body positioned itself like the letter upsilon (shaped like a “u”) it reminded me of the lingual bone. It was because of that reminder that I began to hum to them, moving my mouth in different shapes while I was transporting them. I also tried not to make them experience too much shock at transition.

Ribbons are what I follow when I sing: verdant ribbons heading toward gentle brows, browns. For this reason these Lumbricus Terrestris were personal for me: totem animals, spirit animals.

When I was at the local independent movie theater (where, prior to the movie playing they show local short films in place of commercials) I was awed when, for nearly three entire minutes, I watched what seemed to be an enormous hybrid earthworm (part metal, part sepia-flesh) up close as it peristalted not in a straight line, but in a round and curving shape. There was music that accompanied the movement, but it felt, as an image, as a moment, to be the exact thing that I was feeling when I was transporting the worms.

To get to indigenous relief and natural identity, animal press is required. Animal press is what makes that pulp of the path appear.

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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 Gin ,Aufgabe, and Tarpaulin Sky.

“Weight of the World on My Shoulders, or Weight of the World in Her Shudder” – Lyric Essay by j/j hastain

Jack Rabbit - Frederick Sommer, 1939
Jack Rabbit – Frederick Sommer, 1939

Road-killed rabbit meets cassette-tape chewing in “Weight of the World on My Shoulders or Weight of the World in Her Shudder,” one of four mini lyric essays by j/j hastain in our Spring 2015 issue.

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WHEN WE MET IN THE BACK OF THAT WEIRD CHURCH on a winter morning just after a rainstorm, my friend was obviously troubled: “I knew you would know what to do with it. I have been driving around with it on the floor of the passenger seat of my car for a few days now.” She took me to where its small, ripped body was lying, both still connected to itself and also strewn: very not its hopping, spring-self. I appreciated that she had adorned its dead form with many different types of flowers because usually these types of scenes make me feel like I am chewing on cassette tapes (both the plastic and the dark matter-like strands) and in need of something lush or verdant in order to most accurately honor the contents of the scene. Sweet road-kill rabbits make the cyborg parts of me sweat.

Carrying the slumped rabbit in my hands, we moved to a place near the chairs that had metal wings built into their backs (these chairs were why we had chosen this church as our meeting place in the past). We emphasized the metal wing-chairs as moss-covered, living cyborgs: “Road kill animals need wings that can’t be clipped and metal wings can’t be clipped.”

Gently setting the rabbit beside me for a moment I used the heel of my boot to dig a deep hole in the ground: a new burrow for the dead to rest in. She cried as one might weep at the loss of a child; she winced. As she watched me dig the hole I felt her notice the strands of cassette hanging out of my mouth and over my lips like bloody flesh hangs out of a carnivore’s mouth: only partially consumed with more saved for later.

I was visualizing how, when pressed firmly into them over time, bullets or chains are swallowed into the tree that they had been forcefully shoved into or slung over. Though initially the tree leaks sap in response, wincing a little bit itself, eventually it accepts the added.

Was this the reason to bury the bunny? For the sake of inviting road kill back into the planet after a facet of the planet took it? Would I share this image of trees swallowing bullets with this grieving woman who was shuddering desperately beside me? Or is it possible that there are parts of grief so sweet that they might be blotted out if a lesson is suddenly shoved in?

Note: I will not let any form of possible peristalsis become paralysis under the knowing weight of my steel-toed, metallic-colored boot.

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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.