Install Theme

At the beginning of last month I presented a 6,000 word piece on the politics of gay sex. There was a pretty significant phenomenon I left out because I felt I lacked the capacity to adequately articulate what I was trying to say. I mentioned it briefly, by stating that every man I’ve ever wanted to sleep with has been a better version of myself, but I didn’t dwell.

I start like ice, my finger to my ear, my ear
to my heart, that proud cur at the garbage can

in the rain. It’s wonderful to admire oneself
with complete candor, tallying up the merits of each

of the latrines. 14th Street is drunken and credulous,
53 rd tries to tremble but is too at rest. The good

love a park and the inept a railway station,
and there are the divine ones who drag themselves up

and down the lengthening shadow of an Abyssinian head
in the dust, trailing their long elegant heels of hot air

crying to confuse the brave “It’s a summer day,
and I want to be wanted more than anything else in the world.”

Frank O’Hara, ‘Homosexuality’

Frank doesn’t tend to dwell either.

This simultaneous desire, wanting, wanting to be wanted, wanting to be what one wants, remained at the back of my mind after my hand in and subsequent recovery (catatonia punctuated by fits of sobbing and cake). Sometimes it was at the front. I read Wayne Koestembaum’s My 1980s and he named it for me. In an essay titled ‘Fag Limbo’ Koestembaum discusses ‘Proust’s mimetic desire (I want that other man, I want to be that other man, I want what that other man has)' in reference to Frantz Fanon's Black Skin, White Masks. I haven’t read Proust, nor Fanon, but it hit the spot.

I wrote a thing in a couple of hours, and I committed to it because I was more concerned with the scarcity of my output than its quality, and I called it Nerves. I worried about my fundamental misreading of Fanon. I still do.

I met a man on the bus on my way to Zinefest two weeks ago. He was curious, and I attempted to explain what a zine was, but I was worried about boring him, not being able to adequately articulate what I was trying to say. He asked me if I was an artist and spluttered something about not really knowing. He said he had studied under some artists whose names I probably heard once elsewhere and promptly forgot. He plucked Nerves from the shoebox of zines that was on my lap. He flipped through it and asked for something more heterosexual. I apologised for not having anything available. He said he wasn’t offended.

You can be not offended, too. I’ll send a few copies of Nerves to Matchbox Studios on Cuba St sometime early next week.

Things We’re Not Going to Talk About is finished.
It has been for a year, I just didn’t bother announcing it.

I’m making this a place for ideas and rushed thoughts and notes. I’m working on something new.

I just finished a thing for Wellington Zinefest. Maybe I’ll tell you more about it.

Finished work lives here now.

Hi.
Long time no see.
Sorry.
Come say hi!
(I might have a new thing. I might not.)

Hi.

Long time no see.

Sorry.

Come say hi!

(I might have a new thing. I might not.)

I
"But have you seen the new digs?" C asked,talking about the National Library,on a bench, in the sun, in Autumn.I hadn’t at the time but I havesince then. She told me she sat thereall morning hoping to see him.She could only afford one coffee,so she drew it out across three years.
 
"Three years," H said,"I’ve spoken to him once or twiceabout her. He said he’s fine now.”C would ask me now and again if Iever saw him here or there.I never did not once,which is odd for a city builton faces I’ve seen somewhere before.
"R called it an exhibition ofugly furniture.” I told her."Is that reason enough to stayaway?” She asked."Is that reason enough to stay?"
 
II
"The city", P told me, on Nairn Street,in Summer, “is transient”. Trans-i-ent.From Latin. Across. To go. It doesn’tebb or flow so much as shakeits furled brow, tense its curled lip,and blow its burnt toast smell(roasting coffee I’ve been told)in your eyes. “It gets under yourskin if you let it” P said she was in a rut.
"But I wasn’t waiting for him," C said,"It’s nice in there, I swear."Three years nice.Long enough to let your coffee go cold.
C quit smoking to save some money.
 
III
"Variations on the same theme,"B would say if he were here.H would call it insufficientif she were here.
I picked up a book from Nairn Street,in Autumn, wasn’t invited in for tea,boxes blocked my view of the hallway.P said she was in a rush.
R talked about the Maori ladywho guarded the Old Digs.Now she sits on that green couchin the lobby, as much a fixtureas the McCahon on the wall.
I felt the bench through my jeans,stood up and said I was thirsty.C said she knew a place.
 

This Place is Eeek! is now available online or from Matchbox Studios, downstairs at 166 Cuba St.

I

"But have you seen the new digs?" C asked,
talking about the National Library,
on a bench, in the sun, in Autumn.
I hadn’t at the time but I have
since then. She told me she sat there
all morning hoping to see him.
She could only afford one coffee,
so she drew it out across three years.

 

"Three years," H said,
"I’ve spoken to him once or twice
about her. He said he’s fine now.”
C would ask me now and again if I
ever saw him here or there.
I never did not once,
which is odd for a city built
on faces I’ve seen somewhere before.

"R called it an exhibition of
ugly furniture.” I told her.
"Is that reason enough to stay
away?” She asked.
"Is that reason enough to stay?"

 

II

"The city", P told me, on Nairn Street,
in Summer, “is transient”. Trans-i-ent.
From Latin. Across. To go. It doesn’t
ebb or flow so much as shake
its furled brow, tense its curled lip,
and blow its burnt toast smell
(roasting coffee I’ve been told)
in your eyes. “It gets under your
skin if you let it” P said she was in a rut.

"But I wasn’t waiting for him," C said,
"It’s nice in there, I swear."
Three years nice.
Long enough to let your coffee go cold.

C quit smoking to save some money.

 

III


"Variations on the same theme,"
B would say if he were here.
H would call it insufficient
if she were here.

I picked up a book from Nairn Street,
in Autumn, wasn’t invited in for tea,
boxes blocked my view of the hallway.
P said she was in a rush.

R talked about the Maori lady
who guarded the Old Digs.
Now she sits on that green couch
in the lobby, as much a fixture
as the McCahon on the wall.

I felt the bench through my jeans,
stood up and said I was thirsty.
C said she knew a place.

 

This Place is Eeek! is now available online or from Matchbox Studios, downstairs at 166 Cuba St.

Anna was kind enough to sit with me at Auckland Zinefest, and Design Assembly were kind enough to photograph the event.

Here’s Anna, an entire month after the fact because I am useless and sorry.

Anna was kind enough to sit with me at Auckland Zinefest, and Design Assembly were kind enough to photograph the event.

Here’s Anna, an entire month after the fact because I am useless and sorry.

In Brooklyn, housewives pause in their dusting to watch the last oil tanker slinking up the harbour waterway. In Brooklyn, housewives look upon the harbour and talk about the price of petrol. In Brooklyn, housewives look upon the harbour and talk about waiting for an earthquake. In Aro Valley, Householders, take advantage of the great dearth of residences of any description, asking the most exorbitant rents for hovels, lean-tos, and shanties of every conceivable build and sort. In Aro Valley, damp is a rite of passage.


This Place is Eeek! is now available to purchase online or from Matchbox Studios, now downstairs at 166 Cuba St.

Hey kids,
It’s been ages.
A real long time indeed.
I made you something, though, with my friend Anna.
Consider it an apology for my unexplained absence.
It’s called This Place is Eeek.
It’s a short examination of a dying city. How we have talked about it, how we talk about it now, how we leave it, and why we stay.
You can get it at Auckland Zinefest on the 27th of July.
And there will be reprints of issues 1 - 4 of Things We’re Not Going to Talk About.

Hey kids,

It’s been ages.

A real long time indeed.

I made you something, though, with my friend Anna.

Consider it an apology for my unexplained absence.

It’s called This Place is Eeek.


It’s a short examination of a dying city. How we have talked about it, how we talk about it now, how we leave it, and why we stay.

You can get it at Auckland Zinefest on the 27th of July.

And there will be reprints of issues 1 - 4 of Things We’re Not Going to Talk About.

Shit’s happening.

Promise.

Shit’s happening.

Promise.

I am the friend who will ignore you for six months then open a conversation with a favour.
Hello.
How have you been?
I hope you’re well.
I’ve been okay, I just haven’t really been making anything recently. I’m trying to fix that.
Listen,
My friend Anna approached with an idea for a zine, but we need YOU to contribute.
It’ll be a collection of maps.
We’re asking each contributor to give a short list of addresses in Wellington or Auckland that have some kind of significance. As well as a one or two sentence explanation of why that address has personal importance i.e. “This is the place where that party was when Sean pissed his pants” or “This is where I met my dad for the first time” or “Student flat - we all got stoned and played playstation for 8 months.” Or whatever.All totally anon. We’ll only publish approximations of addresses for privacy.You wanna do it?
Either leave drop me a line in my ask box, or by email at simongennard@gmail.com
Given how unproductive I’ve been for the last half year, and given that I don’t see myself emerging from this rut any time soon, I’d rather not commit myself to a concrete release date, but we’re aiming to have it finished around July/August.

I am the friend who will ignore you for six months then open a conversation with a favour.

Hello.

How have you been?

I hope you’re well.

I’ve been okay, I just haven’t really been making anything recently. I’m trying to fix that.

Listen,

My friend Anna approached with an idea for a zine, but we need YOU to contribute.

It’ll be a collection of maps.

We’re asking each contributor to give a short list of addresses in Wellington or Auckland that have some kind of significance. As well as a one or two sentence explanation of why that address has personal importance i.e. “This is the place where that party was when Sean pissed his pants” or “This is where I met my dad for the first time” or “Student flat - we all got stoned and played playstation for 8 months.” Or whatever.

All totally anon. We’ll only publish approximations of addresses for privacy.

You wanna do it?

Either leave drop me a line in my ask box, or by email at simongennard@gmail.com

Given how unproductive I’ve been for the last half year, and given that I don’t see myself emerging from this rut any time soon, I’d rather not commit myself to a concrete release date, but we’re aiming to have it finished around July/August.

This the closest thing I have to a photo of myself/my stall at Zinefest.You can see my arm in the top corner.
It was a hoot. Still plenty of copies left at Matchbox (166 Cuba St) and online.
Photo credit: Ben K. C. Laksana

This the closest thing I have to a photo of myself/my stall at Zinefest.
You can see my arm in the top corner.

It was a hoot.
Still plenty of copies left at Matchbox (166 Cuba St) and online.

Photo credit: Ben K. C. Laksana