Wasn’t going to this year. Last year I got about 2 1/2 weeks in and sawn on top of burnout / chronic fatigue / wtf ijdgaf syndrome left me shattered and pretty upset. I broke fast with my lifelong comfort food of peanut butter on thick bread.
Wasn’t going to this year. Even the thought of it got me stressy anxious sad.
Wasn’t going to this year. Told Vass that, they know what’s been going on.
Wasn’t going to this year. Day before convo with Vass:
“don’t reckon i’m fasting this year. kinda sad about that.”
“Yeah makes total sense”
“feels stink not to tho“
“I know 😒”
“still gonna try and fast the first day tho. do it for my granny”
“Ι knew you would 🥰”
“me, transparent as a window”
Got me the best Medjool dates in Berlin and a bag of Za’atar. First day was a bit hairy but found a way. Second day felt better. Third day. Still doing it for my granny. No pressure, can bail at any time, doing it lovingly and with care.
Not a German Whip. Klein made the coolest, wildest, most expensive mountain bikes back in the ’90s, eye-bleed paint jobs on oversize aluminium tubing. Utterly desirable and mad collectable today. Total shock to see one turned into a pub banger with front rack and riser bars. Other than that it looks in fairly good condition, thrashed but loved. I almost wanted to stick a note on it offering to buy it.
I’ve lived in Berlin how long and never walked the old elevated train line from Görlitzer Park almost all the way to Treptower Park? Over the Görlitzer bridge on Treptower Kanal and it’s just all trees and unpaved paths. It’s an absolute gem and once again Berlin pulling up her skirts to show a bit of ankle it’s Berlin, upper thigh. Even in winter.
Fuck the Berlin and German political parties (allll of them) for ramming a massively expensive and useless dildo of Autobahn all the way through the east end. What this stretch should be is a connection over the Ringbahn line and into Treptower Park and Plänterwald, through to Königsheide and south through Wasserwerk Johannisthal and out of the city along Teltow Kanal, or east through the old rail yards of Johannesthal and out of the city along the Spree. That would be excellent. And would also end up with wild boars and foxes hanging out in Görlitzer Park.
I was talking with a comic artist the other day and old ’90s language became a convo — shemale, tranny, chicks with dicks, heshes — and some of that connecting to transsexual sex workers in King’s Cross, Sydney back in the ’70s, where my elders tricked on the street, stripped in clubs, and worked in brothels. Which reminded me of a comic I think I got hold of in Sydney sometime in the late-90s, She-male Trouble. I think I saw an ad for it in Horny Biker Slut, where the degen sisters first appeared. Created by John Howard, published by Last Gasp, it’s pervy, exploitative comic porn, reminds me of Oglaf!, and is the direct but largely unknown ancestor of young trans femme tumblr artists from a decade ago. Would it get mercilessly shredded on the internet today? Yup. Was it actually one of the few representations of transsexuals (period more or less correct language there) which wasn’t vaguely TERFy and exoticising academic blaahs? Also yup, along with Grooby, Shemale Yum, Bob’s Tgirls, and that original world of equal opportunity internet trans porn.
Talking about me in yusra magazine the other day, and guess what turned up in my mailbox? The Special Edition came out in June last year and first attempt at sending a copy to me didn’t work out but second attempt did. Tight as fuck cover and it’s never not a thrill to see my writing in a language I cannot read. And to whoever chose the artwork for the facing page, thank you for honouring perfect boobs. When I said, “I mean, mostly I want boobs I feel their bounce of when I walk.” I meant exactly those. (And tentacles are also welcome but that’s for another life.)
It was last year already, late-January, when Vass asked me to write something for yusra Magazine. I vommed a bunch of words about utopia, was well thrilled to get published in Greek, and immediately forgot to blorg the actual words. And cos I have not done anything on here this month, and for some reason (also immediately forgotten) I was re-reading it the other day, here we go. Me, slightly less than two years distant, would rewrite, reframe some of this. Doing needlework on tapestry is always specific.
For the last half of my life, no matter when it cuts out, I don’t want to be the most radical person in the room. I’m not even that radical. I want my unremarkable radicality to grow around the people I aspire to be more like. I want radicality I can feel in my junk. I want radicality that screams like a redlining 767. Car, not jet. Terrifying. Not idling in a garage blipping the engine thinking this is the journey.
I want the fuck like they rule mediocre dreary pain out of our lives. I want us to have space and time without their conditions and smallness and noise.
I want fucking joy.
I want the possibilities for a liveable flourishing life which split and separated so long ago and run in distant parallels along the flanks of hills I can see but can’t cross over to, I want these to run together again, and all those possibilities no longer requiring I give up something in return for a life. Part of a life.
I mean, mostly I want boobs I feel their bounce of when I walk.
Being very clear on what utopia requires now.
World War on Eternal Terror I and II.
I have lost count of all the wars. I recite their names like poison in Shahadah. I bear witness there is no War but War.
I go back through time, unravelling colonialism, back through those wars and wars a whole century of small empires on the tip of Asia’s north-west peninsulas churning their own lands and peoples like they plough the globe. Back past the Berlin Conference, the Race for Africa, the Great Game, the Companies and royalty and politicians drawing straight lines across us, compacting us into the land with their pencil lead and rulers. Back past Marx and give him the finger, back past Kant and his civilised philosophy of racism, fucking debating us, turn around to look forward from there as the Middle Passage streams by making a triangle of the Atlantic, see the Age of Enlightenment watering graves in all the lands I’ve lived on.
Back until it’s the Renaissance. Whose renaissance? Why? Was it perspective or Constantinople or Reconquista? Back until the patron saint of Holy Roman Emperors was a Black man in the armour of nobility named Saint Mauritius.
That’s a thousand years.
I should know this all better. I have this unfathomable itch which says, if I could just make sense of this, I’d know why. Why all of this leads us to now to our graves and how we can unstitch this tapestry woven with so many bodies they are pulled like silk into threads covering walls in those castles, vast like fields and plains.
There will be no utopia as long as stolen land and water remains occupied.
There will be no utopia as long as there are borders. As long as there is money. As long as reparations remain unmade.
This is what it looks like from the other side: a thousand years forward. What was done to one planet has been done to this solar system.
There will be no utopia.
Utopia will be used against us. Utopia will find a way to remove us because we diminish its perfection. Remove. Erase. More than kill. Prevent our existence in the first place. Genocide is a historical process moving backwards and forwards in time as it resurfaces the geography upon which it takes place.
See this happening now.
See the round hole of the mouths of people saying, “Oh. I didn’t know.”
I’m trying hard to imagine utopia. I’m trying to imagine good shit. I know all about bad shit. I wake and sleep and eat with it, see it in my eyes, know it back and forward through history and add to it each day. Choose my colours for the threads I knot into that tapestry which I read right to left and left to right, all coming together and focussing on that absent, unseeable, unspeakable centre. Follow the story, follow the warp and weft in any direction and it ends with us in a ditch in a grave.
Which us? Who us? All of us. When it is done with us being trans, it comes for us being Muslim. Done with that, for crossing borders, speaking language wrong, walking wrong, learning wrong, eyes wrong colour, skin wrong colour, bones wrong shape, history and ancestors wrong. Comes for us for our desire. Comes for us when we get angry get pissed get stroppy fucking front for being told we’re wrong.
We are never right. There is no utopia on this tapestry in which we are not stitched out of existence.
I’ll try again. I’m trying to imagine utopia.
In a utopia, a real utopia, one where we all make it, I’d still want to hoon the fuck out of cars. I’m simple like that.
Okay but that’s kinda small, eh? Like, what else? Big moment here, be fucking epic or summing.
I need Lucifer to look me in my eyes and say, “So tell me, what is it you desire?” And besides being wrecked by you, Satan … shit bro, you’re asking a lot there.
Can I even imagine a utopia when I’m busy surviving? Do I even want an idea imagined by the patron saint of statesmen and politicians? I’m more patron saint of unmarried girls, spinsters, and knife sharpeners kinda chick.
I don’t want human rights. I am drowning choking on human rights. I want consequences for meanness and cruelty and hate. Not in the next life or on Yawm ad-Din. Now. Immediate. Terrible consequences. Consequences which topple cities and empires in earthquakes and floods. Ah, but those consequences rain down on us first.
I want my sisters and aunties and old ones and especially especially the young ones to have lives undiminished by that meanness and cruelty and hate. I want to see them whole. To know they will thrive long into the future. To not worry they live one eye always over their shoulder, just in case.
Back in time again. Long time back. We walked with Goddesses. We fucked for them. We warred for them. Made justice and beauty for them. Remember that.
Forget that. There is no going back. There is no utopia arriving to save us. There are no new ideas in Europe.
Indigenous Native Blak Māori Pasifika First Peoples have been fighting to survive since before Thomas More took ouτόπiā and eὐτοπία and wrote Utopia.
Lucky last from the Berlinische Galerie, which I’ve only been to once before shortly after I arrived in Berlin and remembering not liking but felt like I ought to cos it was getting hyped, but here I am a lifetime on and nah still don’t like it. Abstract Expressionism though, I do have a soft spot for my eyes and brain getting fucked on these visuals.
Still at the Berlinische Galerie. Obviously I liked this one. Totalled Deutsch hoonage? Easier fix than changing the timing chain. Sometimes I wonder if I’m emotionally swayed by art which is actually superficial at best and kind of white neoliberal corporate in its heart. I dunno. Would I watch 10 minutes of this Benz doing a Nürburgring lap? Duh! Simple pleasures.