The Momus Questionnaire — Minor Literature[s] Editors

The Momus Questionnaire was created by musician Nick Currie, and is designed to identify the aspects of the subject’s personality which give them a positive self-image, or ‘subcultural capital’. This year, writers including Juliet Jacques, Irenosen Okojie, Darran Anderson and Michelle Tea have completed the questionnaire; now, to give you an insight into the inner workings of this webjournal, members of the Minor Lit[s] editorial coven have given their answers. Don’t be nervous. Remember, they’re more scared of you than you are of them.

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Have you rebelled against someone else’s dreary expectations of your life, and become something more unexpected?

Fernando Sdrigotti: I don’t think anyone ever had much expectations of me and I don’t mean this in a sore way. Although I come from a very middle-class background I don’t think my family ever put any pressure on me to be anything, because my parents were already something, meaning they had gone to university and had become professionals. My grandma, who was the matriarch of the house, was only adamant that I get a degree of some kind, so that I “don’t starve to death”. So I went and got a shitty degree from a music conservatory and she was happy with the piece of paper and I got to mess around with a classical guitar for six years. In hindsight I wish I had had some expectations of my own. But I guess it’s too late now.

Eli Lee: I was Saturday staff at WH Smith (£3.33/hr) during my A-Levels and many customers used to tell me how much they hoped I’d go full-time there one day. But I saw a better destiny for myself, and look at me now: chief receptacle for middle America’s violently fictionalised nightmares at Minor Fucking Literature[s].

Thom Cuell: Not a specific person; but I think a more general rebellion against the dreariness of my schooldays. The town I grew up in is best summed up by the statue outside the train station, the base of which reads ‘a man cannot fly’. My school was provincial, mediocre and grey, designed to churn out self-satisfied middle managers. So I think everything since, from touring with a dandy-punk band, to a stint as a drag-act DJ in Manchester’s gay village, to setting up a spiky independent publishing company to working with the Minor Literature[s] crew, has been a reaction against that.

Tomoé Hill: Thankfully my parents never placed any heavy expectations on me—a result, I think, of their being well-travelled—but I come from a Midwestern city that assumes in a lot of ways that people will stay. What I mean by that is it’s a bit like Joan Didion writing about Lakewood in Where I Was From: a place that still defines itself by high school sports and its social cliques, where everyone is ‘nice’ but often views the world outside of the US as if it were another planet. I tried to conform to it but was always so dissatisfied that I eventually left. I still can’t define what I’ve ‘become’ because I haven’t reached it, but then I don’t know if I ever want to.

Daniela Cascella: Dreary or not, nobody ever expected anything.

Lara Alonso Corona: “Rebel” is too strong as a verb, too presumptuous as a noun in this case, for the usual story of my relative middle-class parents who have spent their lives in the same small town in Spain, a family with stable, sensible jobs, science studies, a few people in my family are liberal, some extremely conservative but nobody expected someone like me, or they wouldn’t, if they actually knew me. I was supposed to be taking over the family business (a pharmacy). My mother acts supportive 99 out of 100 times, but sometimes sighs the word “bohemian” when talking about my life choices.

Yanina Spizzirri: Yes, yes I have. My natural tendency is to move against the grain. I don’t appreciate handed down scripts that tell you how you should navigate each stage of your life, I’ve managed to reject every single one of them so far. I’m currently having a blast spurning the mid-life crisis script, what a joke. Ha ha.

What in your life can you point to and say, like Frankie, ‘I Did It My Way’?

FS: A couple of months ago I wanted to cook a barbecue and defrost a lot of meat and then it started to rain. But I did the barbecue with an umbrella. The umbrella still smells like rump steak. But the barbecue was great and the whole thing was heroic. Life is made of little victories and defeats.

ELFor many years I would reset the computer if I lost a cup final on Championship Manager ’93 and start it again until I won. I know it’s unorthodox but I won the European Cup for Middlesborough five years in a row, so fuck you.

TC: Oh, launching Dodo Ink. It’s a collaborative effort, obviously; but while there are many independent publishers I admire, for many reasons, and some which share a similar ethos, I think the anarchic and irreverent spirit of the Dodo was something new, and exciting.

TH: ‘My way’ has only ever really been pushing back against or questioning someone/something, being painfully stubborn. But at least you find out a lot about who you are when you put yourself in that position, and you appreciate the beauty and difficulty of other people going their own way.

DC: Leaving a job, an established context for writing, and a country in my mid-thirties, with no plans, switching from Italian to English, with no prospects; and everything that followed, including finding my way to write in English despite the times when such writing was rejected, unpublished, ignored, not deemed right. This said, I am doubtful about a notion of ‘My Way’ as if I was self-contained, self-assured, with the ability (practical, and emotional) to carve out paths for myself exclusively on my own terms. So often projects fail. Things don’t go as hoped. It’s easy to say I did it My Way, in hindsight—I’m more drawn to doing, and how it might be possible to be doing something our way, in the plural, and in the continuous present, not in capital letters, not in the fortress of ‘self’, but in conversation with others, and in the awareness that my way exists in a specific context, in conditions that have a history, layers, complexity, incidents, detours, intrusions. I can’t imagine any such thing as ‘my way’ without many other ways, and conversations, with the living and the dead, and with those who choose to read me and publish me and listen to me and think of me, and those I read and publish and listen to and think with, never only and simply mine.

LAC: At no point! I’m very eager to please. I’ll do it your way.

YS: Ok, here is a sort of parable about my life.

Mt Baldy, California, early 1990s. Winter. First time skiing.

I’m eager and ready to go, but I am told I should take skiing lessons. Pfffft, moi? I immediately reject this preposterous idea. Who needs skiing lessons? Not I, not this athlete who’s kinetically attuned and very capable on her own at all times, under any circumstances. I don’t need to waste my money on a silly instructor, in my mind I already know all I need to know. I am pumped, I’m flushed, I’m full of myself.

I’m at the top of the slope looking down. Oh boy. ”What comes up, must come down”, I tell myself as I point my skis down and push forward. Oh snap. Oh shit. Oh no! I can’t control my skis and in less than 10 seconds I manage to turn myself around a full 180 degrees, so now I’m skiing backwards down the slope at great speed. It takes talent, you see. I’m doing what everybody is doing, but backwards. Not only that, I’m also felling people left and right, tree-like and silent they keep hitting the snow, thud, swish, swish, thud-thud-thud, but I’m keeping my balance as I run them over. I am a skiing miracle.

The slope levels off and ends right before a steep cliff, there’s a bright orange safety net stretched in front of the drop-off, and to the right (my left, since I’m going backwards) there’s the huge deck of the outdoor bar, filled to capacity. I know that one way or another my journey is about to come to an end. All eyes are on me. In a split-second I realize my very last move is about to be as dramatic as the whole backward excursion down the slope. Here it is, the last obstacle, the final thud!, in the form of a man crouching down trying to take his skis off. I’ll never forget the look on this poor man’s eyes as I hit him full force and do a backward flip over him. I am airborne. Look ma, I’m a snow swan! I land on my head, skis pointing skywards, looking like a mangled mess, like a wrecked helicopter. Nothing bruised though, other than my damn ego.

But guess who got a standing ovation?

What creative achievements are you most proud of?

FS: God, I have been failing creatively since 1992, at least… I’m not generally motivated by results but by getting the things out of the way, which means out of my head, so that I can then obsess about something else. So, although I do like some of the things I’ve done I don’t think I’d ever be able to feel proud by any of these things, just because they feel like personal — individualistic — quests to get some headspace. I’m proud, on the other hand, of starting Minor Literature[s], because from the beginning it was about more than me — it was about creating a community, a milieu, as someone wanting to sound clever would perhaps say. And I’m proud of having had the energy and the resources and the right people with me to keep it running for almost 5 years. I’m proud of what we do, of the people we have platformed, and the family-like aura of the whole project.

EL: I’ve just finished my fourth novel. I might actually send this one out, rather than do my time-honoured ritual of putting it in an ‘archive’ folder and then sobbing when loved ones ask me why I insist on keeping my light from the world.

TC: I don’t consider myself to be a creative person; I’d much rather have a song or book written about me than write it myself. When I do look at my own work, I tend to pick holes, and never be satisfied. There’s an essay I published for The Weeklings, about wrestling and masculinity, which I like a lot. And a song, ‘The Ballad of Billy Ruffian’, which blends a scallydelica guitar part with lyrical references to Dante, The Song of Solomon, ‘Louie Louie’ and so on. The guitar solo constantly sounds on the verge of going wrong, without ever quite hitting a wrong note, which is fitting.

TH: I’m not really creative—I’m an art school failure and on the fence about my writing—if anything, being given a chance at ML showed me that I’m probably just good at discovering other people’s creativity! But that’s more than fine: going back to ‘my way’, having the freedom to follow instinct for creativity has resulted in being made aware of so many talented people, and the pleasure of seeing them grow.

DC: I’m probably more creative in organising my collection of cacti than in any literary work.

LAC: It feels like any answer I give will make me sound like a twat, given my absence of accomplishments, fame, friends, etc. I spent much of last year writing a novel no one has wanted to touch so far (too conventional for the indies, too full of marginalized people for the mainstream, or maybe that’s an excuse and it’s just not very good) but it forced me to learn about researching, and it pushed me to live in the headspace of a city I’ve never visited in my life, do something with a little bit more of discipline than my usual writing, and I’m proud of that.

YS: My daughter, she’s a rare and exquisite creature.

If there was one event in your life which really shaped you, made you the person you are today, what would it be?

FS: I’ll cheat here: I’ll name an event thinking of the series of things that this event unleashed. That event is leaving my country. I left in 2002, after at least two years of being unemployed (what do you expect of someone with a degree in “classical guitar”?), in the middle of a terrible economic crisis. Although I left without a clue of what would happen to me, and ended up first in Ireland, then in France, and latter in the UK, it proved good in the end. Leaving what I knew behind, doing the shit jobs I did for years, existing in a bit of a limbo for the past 15 years, has made me a better person. And it is here that I found my voice as a writer, my literary family (Minor Literature[s]), and my actual family: my daughter and wife.

ELI remember having a tantrum because I wasn’t allowed to go round the corner to the newsagent and get a Twirl. I lay on the floor and screamed at the injustice of this for many hours. My doggedness and persistence were clearly forged in this horrific and traumatising incident, which happened when I was 32.

TC: I think listening to ‘Pretty Vacant’ for the first time, around my eleventh birthday. I still remember the excitement of it. That, indirectly, led me to discover the UK punk scene, such as it was in 1996, and bands like Raggity Anne and The Apocalypse Babies, and Smoking Troll records. The DIY ethos of that scene has influenced everything I’ve done since, from organising gigs and club nights, to recording on a tiny indie record label, to running a blog and starting an independent publishing company. And on a wider level, it started me off on exploring subcultures, and radical politics.

TH: Lifting up my dad’s eyelids as he napped when I was about 2 and asking are you in there? It kicked off a lifetime of useless philosophical rumination.

DC: I’d rather talk about encounters than events. Encounters that revealed myself to myself, rather than events that shaped me. Such as: my very good friend Cristiano in high school, recording for me tapes and tapes and tapes of music I’d never heard or heard of before. My great-grandmother, near Naples, in her deathbed, singing an incantation performing a spell against the evil eye on myself as a child. The discovery, early on in my life, of books as sites of possibilities, that allowed mobility in my thinking in the bleak environment of a provincial town in Italy, where nothing else moved. Visits to the small cemetery in my father’s village when I first truly sensed silence.

LAC: Realizing I would never be a professional football player? I guess Leaving Madrid with capital L, and moving to London and deciding to start writing in English and give up on the career I thought I wanted (cinema), losing most of my friends (all but one). It felt like running away at the time, from professional and academic failure, that in retrospect I will romanticize as disappointment rather than failure. When I left I realized how much I had started resenting my country: its anti-intellectualism, its homophobia, its refusal to admit to a horrific colonial past. I did not feel part of the artistic tradition there. I was frustrated. It has changed me leaving, coming here, the whole of of it, from the terrible loneliness of the first year where there were times I’d lose my voice from not using it, to dealing with my gender/sexuality stuff, to finding a community in the last couple of years. I’m not sure if it has made me better or worse but it’s made me a different person than then one I was in Spain.

YS: It’s hard to pick a single event, since I feel I’ve had many formative checkpoints through my life. But I’ll go with a relatively early one, at my grandmother’s wake, when teenage me had an important realization: the family I belonged to was actually a bunch of imps with a wicked sense of humor. I remember how deliciously proud I felt of my kin that day.

We spent most of the wake, deep into the night and early morning, laughing uncontrollably. We sat in a circle, as my poor dead dear grandma laid in her coffin. We shit-talked, shared stories and memories, and had massive fits of convulsive laughter. We were giddy, in the face of death and loss. That day I learned about the alchemical power of laughter, not as an escape route but as true embodied engagement, as a shared sacrament of sorts.

I’ve laughed through some dark times in my life, always aware of laughter’s restorative powers.

If you had to make a song or rap boasting about your irresistible charm and sexiness, how would you describe yourself?

FS: I’m a Crocs-clad killer Papa / content pimp, hot muttafucka / may write it bad, may write it good / but I don’t want to be in your club / ain’t no time for #writingtips / ain’t got no time for Twitter pricks / I’m a Crocs-clad killer Papa / In Iberian Spanish potato is said “patata”

EL: I‘m always tired and i got curly hair / if you’re gonna send me your story you better be beware / if it’s bad i’ll tell my friends and make fun of your prose / cos that’s how i deal with your bullshit pseudo-Burroughs

TC: I’m six foot one and I’m tons of fun, and I dress to a ‘T’ / You see I got more books than Sdrigotti and I critique so viciously / I am The Workshy Fop and I’d like to say hello / To Minor Lits and 3am and my boy The Dodo

TH: Nothing I could write would convey it better than A Tribe Called Quest already did in ‘I Left My Wallet in El Segundo’: I ordered enchiladas and I ate ‘em. However, if you want to charm me, just quote this lyric from Leonard Cohen’s ‘Dance Me to the End of Love’: Show me slowly what I only know the limits of.

DC: I attempted to write a Pyramid Rap from the point of view of the Egyptian pharaoh who appears a few questions after this one. A choir of talking mummies was involved, with words borrowed from Leopardi to praise my wisdom, in the vast, deathly and empty silence of the crypt. Eventually I gave up, as I could find nothing good that rhymed with Anubis.

LAC: I’ve neither charm nor sexiness, and I’m very bad at being musical. But I’m very good at stealing from others, and relatively good at translating, and isn’t translation a kind of theft? So let me cheat on this question, let me steal/translate/adapt some verses from hip-hop artist Ana Tijoux: “I’m looking for mistakes as a way of finding answers/ A sure-fire collapse to disturb my head”

YS: “Big headed mama / smile as bright as the rising sun/ hazel eyes fizzin’ like champagne / juicy booty bouncing up & down…”

Oh, wow.

Have you ever made material sacrifices because of your integrity?

FS: I have quit from several things that could have made me some dosh because they were hurdles to my writing, the last one being a career in academia. But I’m not sure I have “made material sacrifices” by doing that because in the process of being unable to keep steady jobs in several sectors I learned I’m quite good at freelancing on various things, and making my own dosh without having someone tell me how to do it, or having to worry about how my writing might impact my “career”.

ELOver and over again, to the point of insanity. i was once offered a mind-bogglingly well-paid job at KPMG, but they said, “we don’t want you to take it if you’ll just leave after two years and go and sit on a beach and write a novel”. That was exactly what I’d been planning to do, but due to the rank capitalism and complete insincerity of the whole plan, I got a poorly paid soul-destroying job instead, and wrote my novel in a dark room. lol.

TC: It would be misleading to suggest that I’m besieged with people wanting to offer me material benefits in return for compromising my integrity. Which is a good job, as I’m extremely corruptible. I walked out of my first real job, because unemployment was preferable to the highly dubious business practices of the company involved. At Dodo Ink, the question of whether to take the artistic choice, or the commercially sensible one, comes up quite frequently in the editorial process, and we always take the artistic one, for better or worse.

TH: Hang on, this champagne cork won’t come out. Oh. OH. Sorry. Look, there’s way too much ‘stuff’ in the world and pressure to have it, but I also think if you’re the type that likes to crow about that kind of sacrifice, I question your motives. Most of us sacrifice in some form or other, because we live in an imbalanced society that forces us to. Work and live as honestly/well as you can, and don’t feel guilty about nice things when you can afford them. Trust that the shitheads who really make the money in the world aren’t sweating our well-being much, so have that cocktail and treat yourself to those extra books.

DC: Ongoing: leaving teaching jobs in which what the institution means by ‘teaching’ and by ‘writing’ is a farce. This also seems a great chance to quote from Orson Welles: ‘Don’t imagine that this raggle-taggle gypsy is claiming to be free. It’s just that some of the necessities to which I am a slave are different from yours. As a director, for instance, I pay myself out of my acting jobs. I use my own work to subsidize my work. In other words, I’m crazy.’

LAC: Tragically I haven’t been given the chance.

YS: I’ve never broken my vow of poverty, my integrity remains intact.

Describe a public personality who exemplifies everything you’d like to be yourself, then another public personality who incarnates everything you’d least like to be.

FS: I’m not interested in public personalities. But I can tell you I admire a lot people who manage to do what they want and don’t starve in the process. People I admire: Raúl Perrone, Martín Rejtman, Tom Waits, Hope Sandoval, Chris Marker, Agnes Varda, Scott Walker, Stina Nordenstam, Björk and some others. About who I would’t like to be: Peppa Pig — she’s a filthy, snotty, annoying and smug swine and I can’t wait to see here before me, dead, cooked, with an apple in her mouth. And I don’t even like pork.

EL: I would most like to be Ursula Le Guin. I would least like to be anyone who lacks compassion, famous or otherwise.

TC: I’m inspired by the creativity and independence of Ginger Wildheart – his use of crowdfunding to deepen his relationship with his fans, whilst also securing his creative control, was a big influence on the launch of Dodo Ink. The song ‘How I Survived The Punk Wars’ says a lot. I’m also a big fan of the Twitter bot Appropriate Tributes, and I try to carry a little of its spirit with me in everything I do. For everything I’d least like to be, I think the sheer unexamined privilege of middlebrow author M— H— would be the best example (I shan’t mention his full name, unless I accidentally summon him).

TH: I’ve never really wanted to be anyone else—I guess because there’s no one out there, no matter how talented or outwardly sublime, that isn’t flawed. So I’m content dealing with my own good and bad points. With the advent of social media what was I suppose distance aspirational ideation in terms of public figures is now scarily close up and seems falsely achievable. Now that I’ve said all that, being really shy sometimes I secretly wish I were as fabulous as the Marchesa Casati.

DC: 1. Orson Welles. Apart from everything else, imagine his answers here. 2. Anyone who applies convenient forgetfulness or silencing toward the work of others.

LAC: Can it be someone I’d like to have been in the past? Changing myself so I wouldn’t waste so many years. Such jealousy of some younger people these days, they’re so full of knowledge and awareness at 20, 25. I was such a self-centered fake at that age, ignorant or wilfully ignorant, and they are out there, trying to save the world while we demean their generation, constantly learning and becoming greater people, you see people like actress Chloe Bennet, standing up to assholes on social media while trying to enact real political change, getting involved in direct action, and then she goes to her day job and she’s the greatest superhero, in a tv show where Nazis get punched a lot. Yes, I think I’d like to be more like Chloe Bennet.

As for a personality I wouldn’t want to be, if i can get petty and regional for a moment, I’d say Arturo Pérez-Reverte.

YS: Ursula LeGuin and Agnès Varda, fearless explorers with restless spirits, wise old ladies still rocking it hard, still blessing us with their generous and ample visions.
On the opposite side, Marina Abramović, head firmly stuck up her ass. Or Lena fucking Dunham, same narrow ass-hole-vision. What horror, to be like them.

If you were an Egyptian pharaoh and had to be buried with a few key objects to take to the next world, what would they be?

FS: A bar (unlimited stock), Castelvetrano olives and bread (unlimited, both), black shorts and t-shirts and tracksuits (unlimited, all of them), a toilet (unblockable) and toilet paper (unlimited), and Kenzo for Men (unlimited too).

EL: A Twirl.

TC: My Venetian carnival mask, and the hipflask with ‘born to be adored’ engraved on it.

TH: I’d rather someone stick me on a pyre with my favourite books (say all of them), perfumes (Iris Poudre and Orris Noir), whiskies, and a few key lackeys (I’m looking at you, Cuell—and bring your Ulysses vinyl recording), then douse it all with Hakushu 12 year and flambé me into the afterlife.

DC: Eliane Radigue’s Trilogie de la mort, looped eternally.

LAC: My DVDs/Blurays, full of pretentious stuff, it took me years to build that library, a collection I started amassing when I was an aspiring Film School student and it’s become even better vintage now that I’m a retired Film School student. I want to stay pretentious until the end, let me be buried with my Robbe-Grillet boxset, my Criterion edition of Harlan County, U.S.A., Chantal Akerman and Chris Marker, Immoral Tales, Tsai Ming-Liang’s whole oeuvre, Pasolini’s Trilogy of Life, all the subtitle-less DVDs I brought back from Japan…

YS: Thelonious Monk & Alice Coltrane albums, a record player, a Gysin dream machine, a bottle of Macallan 64, coconuts, lots of coconuts, J.G. Ballard’s Complete Short Stories, Isabelle Eberhardt’s Diaries, a siberian flying squirrel, a wool poncho, a pair of chucks, a baguette, a wheel of parmesan cheese and a wheel of Humboldt Fog, index cards, a notebook, mate gourd + yerba mate, a set of Sakura Pigma Micron pens, and a Polaroid camera.

Do you have a favourite joke, quotation or proverb?

FS: Every time someone died my grandpa used to say “se está muriendo gente que antes no se moría,” which sort of translates into “there are people dying now who didn’t use to die before.” I don’t really know what he meant but I have made a life of living according to these words. Which sort of explains a lot.

EL: It’s well-known that if anyone quotes from Brass Eye or The Day Today to me, I will love them forever. You pretty much just need to say, “Hello, you!” and I’m your woman.

TC: Quentin Crisp’s commandment, ‘swim with the tide but faster’.

TH: I like to think I’m the embodiment of wit is the lowest form of humour.

DC: Some Neapolitan proverbs and sayings are as good as William Blake’s Proverbs From Hell in their revelatory pronouncements of being, at once solemn and wry. N.B. The translations that follow between brackets don’t pay any justice to the sayings. They are pale signifiers for a wealth of meanings carried when those words are uttered with specific inflections in the dialect, and they are best experienced when heard, beyond the written form:

Ogne tiempo vène.’ (The time for everything arrives)

Quann’ si ‘ncunia statte, quann’ si martiello vatte.’ (When you are anvil, stay still, when you are hammer, strike)

Ha da passà ‘a nuttata.’ (The night has to go by)

Going back to the Proverbs from Hell, ‘Expect poison from the standing water’ is something I’ve lived by in so many ways.

LAC: I’d normally would have used the usual Beckett quote, fail better, blah blah blah, that allows me to be lazy and mediocre without having to do anything about it, but this year I’ve become fascinated (I guess a better word than “obsessed”, a less creepy word, a less whatever word) with Isabel Waidner’s Gaudy Bauble and my new favorite joke is trying to get everybody to attempt a “butch putsch” with me, or if I’m feeling less optimistic, I suggest retirement to the “the Isle of Super-Dykes”.

YS: “As above, so below.”

What’s your favourite portrait (it can be a song, a painting, a film, anything)?

FS: I used to like ‘The Lady of Shalott’ by John William Waterhouse but then I moved to London and went to Tate Britain too many times and grew tired of it. I now prefer to look at Ecce Homo, as painted by Elías García Martínez and revised by Cecilia Giménez. It’s a masterpiece.

EL: The astonishingly shit painting of Charlotte Despard that hangs off the side of her eponymous boozer in Archway. It is idiotic, yet it persists. There’s a lesson in that.

TC: Dennis Hutchinson’s portrait of wrestler ‘Exotic’ Adrian Street in full regalia, posing with his father at the pithead of the local mine. Jeremy Deller called it ‘the most important photograph taken in Britain after the war’. I think I like it for different reasons, but I agree with the statement. It’s the story of a young man who failed to conform to the construct of masculinity which surrounded him, making a virtue of difference, and returning triumphantly.

TH: L’Origine du monde by Gustave Courbet.

DC: I have plenty, and listing all of them could take forever, so I’ll stop at the first few that come to mind, at once portraits and elusive states of mind: Daniel Orme by Herman Melville for the enigma; Federico Fellini’s Cabiria for the bitterness and the dream and that piercing flicker of a gaze at the end of the film looking right into your heart. All the women of Ingeborg Bachmann. Angela da Foligno with Venus, and all the apparitions in Fleur Jaeggy.

LAC: Portraits of bold, unapologetic queerness, or bold, unapologetic portraits of queerness, whether in literature or film (my two mediums). The art that helped me survive, love, hate, learn, grow, and grow to resent, breathe, change: Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts, Genet’s Un chant d’amour, Michelle Tea’s Valencia, David Wojnarowicz’s writings, Wong Kar-Wai’s Happy Together, Juliet Jacques’ Trans, Elaine Castillo’s story “Graphy, or the Girlhood of Achilles”, Sarah Kane’s plays, Todd Haynes’ Velvet Goldmine

YS:  Chantal Akerman’s Letters from Home. Adrian Piper’s The Mythic Being