A Letter From The Editor
May 1, 2016
“So what are you gonna say at my funeral, now that you've killed me? Here lies the body of the love of my life, whose heart I broke without a gun to my head. Here lies the mother of my children, both living and dead. Rest in peace, my true love, who I took for granted. Most bomb pussy who, because of me, sleep evaded. Her shroud is loneliness. Her god was listening. Her heaven will be a love without betrayal. Ashes to ashes, dust to side chicks.” -- Warsan Shire, Beyoncé, Lemonade
“Only art can make the future love you, and that is what art is about… Art is a plea to love me when I’m gone.” -- Supervert, The Necrophila Variations
The child writes and draws and makes things with its hands, to keep and to give away. It hides things in its own body, in its mouth and the crevices between its legs. It keeps secrets like money and trades with itself for glances and whispers. It watches its parent put its creation up on the fridge or on the mantle or away in the drawer. It takes them out to look at them days later, months and then years after it is grown up.
It is a dead ass cliche to call the work we do as humans cave paintings on a wall, but there is something base and animalistic in us that is so terrified of dying that it vomits out of us in any way it can. To write our own eulogy, to have the truest form of ourselves remembered. Or at the very least, the form of ourselves we so sickeningly wished to be until it possessed us like a ghost in an old Victorian house.
Above, I have quoted the pairing of Somali poet Warsan Shire and Beyoncé in the film adaption of Shire’s poetry for the Knowles-Carter visual album released one week before this issue was published. I have also quoted one of my favorite books about the commonality of fetish, The Necrophilia Variations. Because of Supervert and their musings on one of the grossest subjects of all time, I also ended of reading Venus In Furs, a novel by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch about a man who sees his ultimate desire come true: to be completely taken apart and debased by a woman, effectively poisoning their love and attraction to each other in the process. Supervert wrote an amazing introduction to the edition I chose to read. I read the entire thing in one night.
In Furs, Sacher-Masoch writes: “Only the basest form of writer cares one whit about his readers.”
This might be the antithesis of the two thesis statements I quoted at the beginning of this letter, but I don’t think things have to make sense to be correct. Sorry to my high school AP English and Lit teacher, Mr. Ford.
Anyways, the combination of these thoughts is the most power, I think, a person can have. To give themselves entirely to the cause of being remembered, to abandon anonymity and delve into it so deeply that they do not become themselves but something larger and more godlike. Diety and piety, all at once.
When we write, when we create, we try to make something that is only ours and only the world’s at the same time. We want to be heard and we want to make the world quiet all at once, to listen to itself.
It is a kind of magic to read or see a work of someone else’s art and feel your skin prickle at the reliving of your own experience. It is also a kind of magic to read or see a work of art and think, “I have never felt that but another human has and it exists in the world. What a beautiful warning.”
Maybe we are possessing each other with our stories in a play that our deeply-entrenched habit of oral history will make us go mouth to mouth like a kissing disease, living in the back of a stranger's mind because of a well-thought-out-phrase until both us and them are dead.
Maybe we are all haunted by the ghosts of our own lives and the anxieties of the things that have yet to happen to us.
Maybe everything you’ve ever read is just a warning from the future of what’s to come for you.
I hope you enjoy the first issue of Heather. I am proud of her and what she has turned into. I can’t wait to see the many people she will inevitably become. Our experiences and personal magic are hard-won and we celebrate the seeds they have planted in our souls.