Queer Art and Work and Words

Reading – skipping lines, dropping words, mutating forms, skimming – as a kind of poetry

y

some rules of alliance born of sound display

Today I went from opening a regular email to clicking to a list of 50 Best LGBTQ books on Oprah Magazine, to a review of Jean Cocteau: A Life, to more work by the reviewer, to a piece on Instagram and looks.

In a separate distraction, a search auto-populated with some past page I must have opened of an i-D article on side-hustles that I’m now fully reading. Looking at quotes like “inactivity as a goal”

floating notes: aspiring artists used to make porn in the 70s.
giving the audience exactly what they want describes porn

New Crush

I just had a great cry, shedding tears over gay teen issues and the burden of secrets. ____ is the new subject of my intense emotional whirlwinds, and he might prove to be the most obstinate yet, never have I cried over a boy so early on in a crush. He seems to be equally parts mentally and socially gifted, it’s extraordinary! Watching him interact with gossipy girls makes me feel like Norma Bates watching Norman talk with that rebellious girl. I’m not sure when he entered so prominently into my consciousness, but thanks to it, the last boy has been pushed to the sidelines. This was also partly due to my identification of a flaw in the previous crush. ____ is seemingly inviolable right now in his life decisions, skills, and looks. His shoes have become a sort of symbol for me. The way he buttons up his polos all the way up. His aquiline nose, angled face, and bright eyes. Although his physical appearance is nice, his mental features are definitely the most alluring attribute of him. He has a great standard of morality that includes toleration and open-mindedness. When his multitude of friends become too excessive or prejudice in certain things, he displays an admirable amount of toleration and even corrects them in a completely amicable way. He seems to be able to interact with anyone and everyone, marked by his surroundings which are constantly filled with talkative friends. Even though he is very sociable, he is also reserved and pensive when he needs to be. Watching him take a test is….actually very creepy, I don’t do that. Anyways, I don’t know, but at the same time I do. ___ ____ is an incredible person, I’m just unlucky enough to be the gay creeper to fall in love with him. 

Doubt

when I feel lost I fall in love as a coping mechanism. The consistency of my crushes keeps me out of doubt. 

how do I turn away from the past? 

The pastor at my church used to tell me that I could be like him. Maybe I’m blessed. He used to say things like “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” and “you’re tall!” My uncle was also a pastor at that church. The pastor I guess. He could speak to many types of people. Old Vietnamese people were his specialty. He’d say to them, “Since five, Vinh* has been loving the word of God.”

*Vinh is my Vietnamese name, given to me by my grandmother. She’s now passed and the last thing she said to was to go to church every Sunday.

My dad goes to church now. Some Sunday nights growing up my parents would bring my sister and I to parties where the men would sit in the garage gambling and drinking beer while the kids and women meandered through the kitchen and living rooms playing games, watching movies or just gossiping. 

Once during a New Year’s Eve gathering some drunk uncle tipped a firework and the piece launched downwards. Sparks from the street reached the porch, but nothing caught on fire. Anyways, I texted my family today and my dad told me to pray to God everyday and that’ll lead me to success. 

Time, models of thought

Tonight I talked to Bryan, a friend I met on SQUAD (Subtle Queer Asian Dating). Across empty bowls of dan dan noodles Bryan made, they’re a food vendor @ The Mighty Manatee, I talked about time and some other stuff. The earliest memory I have of time comes in the form of fireworks at Disneyland, where my parents took me and my sister when I was a toddler. In it I remember seeing my first fireworks, eruptions of light that then fizzled downwards. In the byproduct of their explosions, fireworks leave drifting sparks that float and disappear with gravity. Against wind resistance, it looks as if time has interrupted the motion of these explosive detritus. This, I think, was my first experience with slow-motion.

second week beginnings

I’m back into the groove of things. Each semester that means something different, but inevitably, by the second week, I’ve either fallen into a rhythm or seen the end at the very beginning.

I didn’t know how to feel after Bubble T on Saturday….it was their Lunar new year’s Party and I’ve…never been in a room of so many QTPOC all at once. I felt overwhelmed in a good way. I was dead, I was alive, it felt like I had found home.

I saw the wonderful Michelle Zhu on stage dancing with a dragon head on! It was incredible. I’m excited to reply to her Write / To Heal newsletter. Hopefully there’s a zine too.

And then Untitled Queen lip synced to Your Best American Girl and I ceased to exist. I don’t know anything anymore. How I’ve been feeling about classes – feels sort of like the gif I posted. It’s all natural now. Floating along basically. I’m definitely still exerting myself though. It’s serene busy-work basically – the exciting (and sometimes boring) thing is that I’m definitely learning, although I have gripes with the process as always.

I feel like sometimes my classes go too slow and like I’m hearing the same thing over and over again – not that it’s not needed. The practice is kind of what’s the most beneficial. For example, I’m only writing a “consistent” blog now because I have to actually read and write on a consistent basis for my 21 credits..! Really wild how things have happened so quickly and so smoothly.

I’m excited to see how I’ll progress with my various classes, skills, projects and internship / job this semester.

For my Data JRNL class – since we’re all co-creating what the class will become going forward – I’m still figuring out what I want to do for my final project. Today we learned how to look through our tweets – a process that took my professor 2 months to learn!

Advanced Social Media should provide me with some tools to implement in my career going forward. I don’t really know where it might go….but the fact that we’re trying to develop and ascertain what our brands are is interesting already.

My Design and Visual Strategies class is learning Illustrator – which should be great. Unfortunately I learned nothing new today! But hopefully next time I find something cool to implement in my own projects. This is my most amazing class because my professor used to be an illustrator! He went to art college and is now a published programming professor. Also my only As/Am professor!

For the Chronicle, the school newspaper, we’re doing a lot of new things! I’m excited to see how social media develops this semester and maybe learn how to integrate newsletters and automatic sign ups. QR codes for the newspaper newsletter will be in print next week hopefully.

Outside of college I have my internship where I’m contacting a zinemaker from San Francisco who makes zines on the internet. I’ll be helping consign her work in the magstore and making my own zine, about zines, that’ll also be held in the store. This is gonna require a lot of research, subtraction, more research, and more subtraction!

For Molasses Magazine, a POC music mag that I’m really excited about, there’s gonna be a lot of new things to be done…we’re getting a good amount of pitches that I’m really excited about. The social media, newsletter and other aspects of the mag is going to be a great way to learn and explore with people that I find really essential. I find myself exhausted around a lot of my white peers – especially when a 360 glance of my surroundings fails to find a single POC, queer, or anything but white, person around me. It’s alienating in an inexplicable way! I think for the most part it feels like I’ve been taken out of my home, Fort Bend County, that is so diverse, and put in a place where diversity as a concern is so present because of its literal absence…!

I’ve been having a terrible foreboding feeling of non-being consistently these past two weeks. Whenever I’m present I feel absent, whenever I’m alone I feel present. It’s not new, but the amount of people around me as the semester starts again strains this feeling more and more, and I don’t know what to do. I know the feeling is valid – all feelings are valid!

Finally, my own personal projects – that I’ve personally spearheaded – include a continuation of my attempt to make two zines a week. This week I’m trying to really crank out an accordion zine (4.5 x 3) of a Lunar New Year’s cultural knowledge type that can be tucked into red paper envelopes. I bought the li xi today at my Viet mart and also got 1000 dollar “Hell Bank” notes from the mart that’ll be fun to include and share with my friends.

Kinda relevant is my participation in HAPIA – the Hofstra Asian Pacific Islander Alliance! We’re figuring out what this semester will hold – a colorism event and LNY event. It’s mostly the E-Board right now, which has been great. Finding and building community has been an on-going difficulty.

My extremely short-term project that I’m most pumped about is the Queer Love Zine I’ve received lots of interest about….it’s my first truly independently curated project….I don’t want to talk too much about it here! Just keep a look out 🙂 And lmk if, whoever’s reading this, wants to contribute on the theme of queer love.