The two poems yesterday on Peach by the indelible Fawn Parker are trolling themselves as an act of misdirection. They offer a portal, a mousehole, a rift, a way in, then immediately block the entrance with some kind of neon coy inflatable furniture. Fawn Parker’s clowning is all the starkness of “an overexposed woman in a sundress” and beneath it, a sunburnt aloe-smeared kind of rawness. Parker’s all: come for the flash and stay for the dark undermeat.
These poems recoil from and dress down all possible futures like anti-horoscopes. Parker writes, “I’ve been having dreams about babies/and it means nothing./I try to feed them my tits and they hiss at me.” Parker writes, “You are right/It’s all contrived,” and she’s getting the last word in the middle of the poem. Parker fakes left and moves next door to appear every morning at exactly the right time to make you forget you knew a world without her.
Femmescapes vol 2 (visual art & creative writing)
Femmescapes is a zine edited by Julieta Salgado and Charles Theonia that features work by queer and trans artists “who experience an affinity with femmeness.” This is their second issue, and its pages are startlingly beautiful. Its contributors have all been asked to respond in some way to this question: “How do we understand our femininity in this changing world, where fascism is escalating every day?” Femmescapes is an important project because it deals with femme identity but not in isolation—not even in relation to femininity or embodiment. Femme here is a perspective of resistance. Each artistic contribution exists in the liminal boundaries between our facile axes of gender, class, national identity, and so on. Femme is the conduit that not only connects Femmescapes artists, but targets our particular investment in wrecking the boundaries set by the state, the institutions, Poetry and the Artworld industrial complex.
Our ideas about gender are inextricable from race. Our ideas about race are inextricable from colonial pain and violence. Through offering the spectrum of femme, Femmescapes is performing these complex intricacies. The zine contributors are each still invested in femme formations as ones of care and vulnerability, but each is free of the trappings of normative femininity. The word femme can often be misdefined as this narrow cluster of associations: these little anchors attached to whiteness, motherhood, gentility, etc. Femmescapes is for the unanchored femme.
In the back of this issue, there is a one-page shoutout to the antifascist witchwork of the Yerbamala Collective, which we’ve touched on in another Peach Picks. Femmescapes, like the work of YMC, functions as radical artwork, community resource, and call to action.
“Peach Picks” is a column of literary news and recommendations written by the editors of Peach Mag, an online literary magazine based in Buffalo. For inquiries, contact the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.