Image: Matt Lipps, Matt Lipps, Untitled (Reach), 2010, C-print, 40 x 53 inches, edition of 5 +2AP. Courtesy the artist and Marc Selwyn Fine Art
This month we present our third issue of queer literature from around the world. The writers we've selected stake new claims on familiar themes, and unearth insight in unaccustomed places, illuminating the global LGBT experience through their work. Uruguay's Cristina Peri Rossi lets us in on a psychologist's thoughts on love and fading youth, while Alonso Sanchez Baute's narrator is sideswiped by the news of Gianni Versace's death. Cuban writer Mabel Cuesta combines memories of early love and new traditions, while Dominican poet Frank Baez follows the Marilyn Monroe of Santo Domingo to New York City. Bangladesh's Shaheen Akhtar provides a charm against dreams of snakes. South Korea's Kim Bi shows us a young girl struggling with the world's response to her father. Israel's Ilana Zeffren confides in a household friend about her partner, Algerian poet Jean Sénac explores the intersection of love and country, and Salvador Novo gives us a glimpse into the untold lives of gay writers and artists in post-Revolutionary Mexico.
Elsewhere, we feature poetry from Myanmar from poets Lyn Swe Aye, Tin Moe, and Myo Myint Swe, and also offer up the haunting conclusion of our serial publication of Sakumi Tayama's “The Hole in the Garden.”
The Marilyn Monroe of Santo Domingo
I go to the four cardinal points looking for myself in a procession with all the women I’ve been
Ne Me Quitte Pas
Seventeen years old: a terrible age for studying. A terrible age for anything other than fornicating.
If a queen cries an entire sea, she has to cry the Mediterranean or, at least, the Aegean
This is How it is When You’re Involved with Sensitive Girls
I choose to keep away from shrinks and still end up on their sofa.
from “Edgard’s Lessons”
If singing my love is loving my country, I am a soldier
Tree of Lips
She wished she were blind so she couldn’t see the man mincing around, mimicking her father in a skirt.
Snakes, Husbands, Ashalota, and Us
The rest of the night we refold our spread-open bodies dreaming snake-dreams.
The Christmas Tree
We’re in a strange land and Christmas is nearing.
From “Pillar of Salt”
In that room I met practically the entire fauna of the epoch.
I Think, in These Hours, of You, My Love
I feel the promises impressed by your lips. I repeat the ringing syllables of your name
Reviewed by Megan Berkobien
Reviewed by Emma Garman
Reviewed by Andrew Seguin