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lucian freud

In Paris, a man raises his fingers and sweeps them between my thighs. We are on the Metro. I am wearing a skirt. I am I am I am, softened by this rare day of sunlight, a warm spot pulsing between stretches of rain, violet nights, coat-weather. In Paris I must be capable of recognizing beauty, yes? In Paris I must be capable of something. In his fingers between my legs beauty dissolves. In his fingers between my legs I am not anywhere, and it doesn’t matter what continent I am on, whether anyone knows me here or not, in his fingers between my legs I go nameless. I go, body. …


*I originally published this on Entropy.

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photo by sofia sears

We are eating apricot scones. We are watching the crumbs gather around each other’s lips, spill over, pepper pink skin with white. We are engaging in Eros. We are downing splinter-hot tea with our throats ready to sting hard. We are violating every easy code of friendship when we watch each other eat like this. We are blameless, right, we are fucking without even touching each other, without even saying the word fuck, we are sitting in a cafe with our legs not-quite-touching-but-not-quite-not-touching, slippery, slippery engagement. We are teasing out a long spit-thread of desire, like a hair caught in the throat, like a strand of lace stuck in an earring. …


Heartmouth is:

A project in radical intimacy, in disrupting and remaking the confines and expanses of literature in the style of Shelley Jackson’s Patchwork Girl or Chris Kraus’ I Love Dick. A work of ongoingness, a work that doesn’t prioritize or even believe in endings. A heartwork, engaging with the monstrous in its endless variations, reclaiming and reinventing it. A queer femme archive of longing. An experiment in digital creative nonfiction, in the serial and unfinished form.

I’m a twenty-year-old Latinx femme womxn from Los Angeles, living and managing and panicking and creating during this pandemic. I am trying to keep myself buoyed by articulation. Heartmouth is an ongoing, ever-incomplete sort of digital memoir-in-essays; a project in accepting and even engaging with unfinishedness. I entitled this platform “Heartmouth” after this line from Clarice Lispector’s A Breath of Life, as she is one of my literary beloveds: “I don’t have anything to nourish me: I eat myself.” …


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The shower scene from Hitchock’s film Psycho

1.

The bottled-up pleasures, the ones we associate with shame. The enjoyments that don’t make sense. How we indulge, collectively, in terror as entertainment. The unpalatable, what we seem entranced by like pigeons swarming a piece of moldy toast, what we cannot quite admit to liking.

Mine: an obsession with true crime. Serial killers. Netflix grinding out content to feed this embarrassed monster, a genre swallowing us all: men (almost exclusively white) fucking shit up. Doing awful things. Committing the ‘unspeakable.’ Or what I like to call ‘brutality-gazing.’ Instead of eyeing our own selves we watch Ted Bundy wrangle excuses, watch him convince himself of his own innocence and brilliance. We watch Penn Badgley play the part of murderous stalker in You; we watch families and neighbors say, but how could he! about a ‘normal’ neighbor’s pedophilia in Abducted in Plain Sight. We fixate and groan and shudder and sometimes laugh with disbelief. …


What we want to know about our plants is what we want to know about our lives

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Photo: Wiebke Cravaack/EyeEm/Getty Images

Questions from The American Orchid Society’s FAQ page:

Where do I cut the spike?

Begin at the neck of the thing. Thick and green like a decomposing thumb; feel out the skin. Let yourself touch, gently, make a slow gesture back and forth. This limb under your fingertips may feel unnecessary. But the body is the spike. You can’t cut it, you can’t remove an element from the periodic table because you feel like it. This would be a declawing. …


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my photo, at the tate modern, guerrilla girls of course!!

i miss the way i used to write. i miss the flustered, unpolished unconcerned flutter of it, heart-burping, heart-vomiting, the vile wet unglued matter all pouring out without agonizing, without the cutting board, the post-production stage. i miss the teenage bedroom writing with my cadence, my sentences, so imperfect, so uncut, so overzealous and heaving with want beyond anything i could ever hope to articulate. i miss overwriting and just pushing it forward, clicking it into the world. i miss writing because my throat never caught up with my fingers, my headswirl, my neediness, it was not a purging but a plunging, a flush of myself. i didn’t care about going down smoothly. i didn’t care about being concise, being only the barest, whittled self-construer i could be. i didn’t care about the ugliness of my overfeeling, my overwording, overeverything always. i didn’t want to wait for a literary magazine, for a space i couldn’t self-produce, couldn’t bleed into. and maybe i was a narcissist here. maybe i wanted a diary and not a craft. maybe i couldn’t distinguish the two then. maybe i should know better, should say diaries are what we call womxn writing about themselves, about their lives, and journals are what we call men doing the same. maybe writing a space for myself without waiting to be permitted into one is not radical but self-absorbed, maybe it means i am not a real writer, i am not a writer who matters, anyway, who has the grit and the attentiveness and hardiness to just move upwards as everyone is supposed to. maybe i don’t want to wait. …


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a photo I took at a #stopthebans demonstration in los angeles

The red. Of the cotton we wear, of the blood smudging our thighs. Scarlet and stark and demanding. Caustic, even, because we have every right to be caustic. Red like the word autonomy; the red of the words my synesthesia imbues and blotches like bloodstains. Red of the robes of the women in the photos, through my screen and here, now, in front of me, marching along the sun-bleached street in a solemn line with their heads bowed, white bonnets like gauze around a wounded face. The red that seeps through anyways. Red, gnawing, a home for rage, the kind that doesn’t end. …


Originally published on Lithium Magazine

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Art Credit to Allison Watkins

You will need about four trashbags. The biggest you can find. The most durable. You will need to lug those bags into your room. One by one, splay them out on the floor.

This will take about an hour, maybe more, so play some music, something jovial and antsy, a song ripe with the bittersweetness of reinvention. Open the windows, let the light in. Open the closet. Peek in for a moment, tiptoe your fingers along the edges of sweaters and jeans, let yourself drink in the dust and settle into the loss you are about to commit. Decide which section to tackle first. The tee-shirts, let’s say. Pull your hair back. Open up the drawers. Take a trash bag between your hands. …


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Credit: Catapult

Northwood — Maryse Meijer

A book can read like a wound, can be a wound, blood-sticky and trembling and a dark lush red, something you can’t get out of or heal by wishing alone, only through climbing inside can you see anything clearly at all. Maryse Meijer’s novella Northwood is one of these books, an experience, really, one you cannot untaste, cannot unfeel. This is a gorgeous and ravenous fairytale composed of poetry-prose, an exploration of a turbulent, addictive affair with a violent man; but it is more so an opening of the self, a prying-open, and Meijer reveals womanhood and desire for the complicated tussles they really are, ugly and tender and beautiful in equal measure, never simple. …


At 19, wanting someone else is the same as wanting yourself

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Illustration: Thoka Maer

I once went to a party in a glass house. Round, overlooking the night-stretched Los Angeles hillsides like a fishbowl on a precipice. One shove too far and the whole thing would tumble, shatter, splashing its depths and creatures out into the unruly pitch-dark.

He was an awful kisser: He thought he was a dentist, tried to scrape the scruff from my gums, unrelenting, tongue all over teeth. Still, I wanted to be the kind of person that likes such roughness. This greasy Cheeto-y mouth that swarmed mine — I wanted, terribly, to enjoy it. So I sat still and sweetened the moment with pinprick thoughts of another person’s mouth. When he pulled away, how defiant and satiated he looked — like he’d kissed the indifference out of me. …

About

Sofia Sears

queer rage! existential dread! moody tea drinking! what I call teenage girl noir. Writing in Adolescent, LA Times, Rookie. Girlhood Podcast. www.sofsears.com

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