Today I cradled my mother in my arms

Blubbering like a baby

She told me how much she loves her momma

And I thought of how it had been the other way around
Today I carefully spoonfed my gran, tucked her in and changed her diaper. Stroked her hair and tenderly wiped her tears away.

And she thought of how it had been the other way around
Strength shows in different ways – through restraint, submission, acceptance, silence. But also in unadulterated, openfaced emoting. Floodgates opened for a second, with abandon, moment of safety, before scuttling away into a swallowed, dry place.
I saw her truest self, most naked, when not occupied hiding in an automaton wife shell, conflated love and duty, flummoxed by stimulus and new rules constructed overnight when her guard was down.

In the still of dawn, on the precipice of two goodbyes, time closes like an accordion. Distance then opens, like an accordion, between her, and I, and gran. Time, distance, nature, decay, separates us eternally.

On the eve of her funeral we realize there are so many soons and one days, but only one definitive too late. I would have liked to make her laugh again, to feed her my cooking, for her to taste mint jelly again.

After midnight we flew over a lit city, looked down through a clear night sky and marvelled at its cold crisp lines, of the impeccable order of one light next to another and then another. I thought of their obliviousness, of their all-in-row-ness, as they struggle with each internal turmoil, of the utter chaos and storming that occurred in each neat little lit-up box, night after night. Of every tense silence, swirling emotion, oscillating dread and relief, read gesture, unspoken discord. Of intergenerational obfuscation and murky, muck-filled embrace, mired and obscured love, choked with guilt and questions. In moments snatched back, out of reach, and some certainly inaccessible, frozen with their undeniable passing. There we sit, brimming with anxiety, spilling with judgement, obsessed with aesthetic, neatly and quietly in adjacent lines, blinking on and off.



Listening hard through the night, hearing gravel crunch under tyres, tiny rubbing footsteps, the fluttering of sleeping hens, and the hum of suburbia. Tonight I am listless and searching. I am unsettled and grasping for fulfilment; spectacle, the abject, voyeurism, titillation, the empty space of sky.

If I strain, I might hear the whisper from my mum 5000 miles away, reassuring and omniscient. I might reach into the aether and bring back my grandmother who I snatched moments with mere months before her leaving, months after I finally arrived. Perhaps I could wrench into this dimension the time lost whilst waiting for a piece of paper to tell me where I could finally rest. Twenty-something years of distance, of normalizing disconnection, of building detachment for survival, of flitting from one coordinate to another to distract from this process of limbo, of expectation. Perhaps I could twist this vision of myself into a familiar, comforting and attached version capable of satisfaction, relishing in joy. I could smash the fucking limbo instead of swimming in it like oxygen, like the heavy cloak that forces my head and gaze to stare out the window looking for what is missing. I could move around the little paper pieces into an order that makes sense, a family of togetherness, touching, picturesque and at ease.
Unsettled, because settling was never a choice, after the first and third displacement. One foot ready to run, feelings wrapped in a box, packaged and shipped on. I am wrestling with peace and tension, grabbing at altercations and violence, waiting for something to be ripped away again.

Fix My Head #10

Latest and final issue is out, featuring Kiki Nicole, Julian Smuggles, Haley Elizabeth, Sashiko Yuen, Joyce S Lee, The Breathing Light, Mallrat, Sea Mason, Cuatl and Brat Collective.

It was an incredible five years of tours and interviews and very surreal rockstar treatment that I didn’t deserve. The folks who have contributed, who I have invited, and who I have connected with through this medium are brilliant and beautiful. I hope to continue building community through different means, like education. I will still be making my anti-nationalist comics about trauma, gender, race, etc: called The Swan The Vulture, and the more wordless/abstract Distortion. Many hugs X
#poc #zines #fixmyhead #pdx