Issue 16 · 2012




from xems


by j/j hastain





Waking one morning on the daybed, with a huge, ragged leaf covering my hands, I shook my head hard.  Feeling like I was floating and that my hands were bound within, being bitten by the triptych leaf that covered them, I was not sure if I was dreaming. 


The pervasive sunlight that had been pouring through the lace strands hanging down over the window, during all of the other times I had been sitting on the daybed, was gone.  A strong gray in its place.  This gray did not feel like non-sun nor like any version of an opposite.  It felt like stunning-ly other.  An exposed gland.  Like viewing from inside of it, an excessively large Adam’s apple. 


Were xems expanding clits cosmic Adam’s apples?  Were xems glued-in pages a brink-based, masculine, limitless speaking that came from those expansions?  From synonym regarding or from a mélange between dick and clit?  I added this question to the list of notes I had been gathering in my journal. 


Below an oil-smear on the last page in my journal:


The image of xems crying into their book.  Crying with grief and crying with what they were able to turn grief into.  Their opera of grief and its back pages soaked in the particular and shared salts of their bodies. 


How that winter night before they found each other in form, xe walked up to the base of the mountain during the blizzard and poured the sopping red wax xe had been carrying in the form of a burning candle, into the gathering snow. 


There are new and necessary elegances.  Landscapes of ample lambs. 


Sweet phonograph attending to and demanding.  Their hope was that together they could play through, without need for any striking.  Oh, these reoccurringly vanishing and reappearing princes.  Making evermore tactile the anarchic act. 










j/j hastain is the author of several cross-genre books including the trans-genre book libertine monk (Scrambler Press), anti-memoir a vigorous (Black Coffee Press / Eight Ball Press) and The Xyr Trilogy: A Metaphysical Romance.  j/j’s writing has most recently appeared in Caketrain, Trickhouse, The Collagist, Housefire, Bombay Gin and Aufgabe.  j/j has been a guest lecturer at Naropa University and University of Colorado.