by Patty Gone
“…Danielle, do you think of your gender as a cage? A cage half visible and half imagined? Half the author’s fault and half my own? Do you hang curtains in the cage or try to get the fuck out? My entry point to queerness, especially trans identity (I don’t want to speak for anyone else’s) wasn’t about attraction to men or feeling I was born in the ‘wrong’ body, though I’ve tried on both those narratives since they’re so culturally ingrained, but about accessing beauty within me, a glamour like yours, Danielle, no matter what capitalist and cliché forms it takes, rather than having to fictionalize or co-opt other people to get it. When I was posing in dresses in department store mirrors, I think I was looking for the same thing Stan and Porphyria’s Lover are looking for: a little glimpse of my own beauty. And since I wasn’t ‘allowed’ to contain beauty, I had to obtain it. I would put female characters into songs or poems or stories, but I wouldn’t give them much to do, they weren’t particularly active or central, kind of like Porphyria, present without agency, each little art excursion a mediocre, problematic attempt at accessing a full self. Danielle, I’ve always loved art more than religion, philosophy, science, politics, business, even other people (oftentimes to my own detriment), and to love art that much without any way to think of myself as beautiful felt, at times, like being strangled by my own hair. Reading you gives me the vicarious experience of being a rich, basic woman exiting Louis Vuitton, clutching my Hermes Birkin as I cross Fifth Ave., en route to browsing black shifts at Chanel. I can live my little imaginary life and as fucked up as that is, as bound up as that fiction is with the capitalist patriarchy, for a few chapters, I love it.
Read the whole excerpt over at Blush Lit
This chapbook is a part of Patty Gone’s Space Residency project at Mount Analogue, March 2019.
Design by Colleen Louise Barry
Risograph covers printed by Paper Press Punch
Interior printed by Saigon Printing
Foil stamping by Seattle Bindery
Binding by Phil’s Custom Bindery
All in Seattle, WA, USA
Edition of 150