page contents



“Bowling Alley” by Abi Skipp is licensed under CC BY 2.0

fiction | robert libbey | the big bambu

Wired, she won’t sit. The skit is tight but it’s hard to concentrate. Her restlessness is contagious; driven by the mother of necessity (the will to live) she’s become a force of nature. Our cells hum. The message: let’s rock n’ roll kids; let’s get our nightly fill.

wotm tai.JPG

Inching Forward | Five Things Big Girls Can’t Do | Start With Woman | We Are Us and Then There are Other People

A couple years ago I was lucky enough to participate in a lesbian reading series in West Hollywood. After a brief history on lesbian literary magazines and our readings, there was a Q&A. Audience members at WeHo’s City Hall asked questions about the writing process, about making more queer spaces, and about our lesbian heroes. Toward the end of the event, a woman raised her hand and asked the following – “Do you ever write anything that isn’t explicitly gay?” I leaned into my mic and said, possibly with a tad too much sarcasm, “Every day I wake up, I’m gay. I go to bed gay. I go to the bathroom gay. I walk gay. So, inherently, everything I write is explicitly gay writing. Even if I’m writing about laundering my socks, I’m a gay woman who’s doing the writing. So, the writing is gay.” Another writer continued, with more eloquence and kindness, acknowledging that the world we live in has made gayness one of our most defining characteristics. And thus, we have no way of doing writing that is anything other than gay. 

All this to say – I’m tired of people telling me to tone my gay down. Whether it’s in my writing or in my life or at my work, I don’t want to tone it down. Because how is that any better than putting myself back in the closet? So much of my life is queer in every way and to act otherwise would be to silence myself. I won’t. My writing is gay, even when it’s not, and I’m so wildly in love with the way that gayness sings on the page. We need more gayness so that all the futures gays can find joy in holding space. So that all the future gays know they have community, they aren’t alone. I’m here; we’re here. This is what writing is about. It’s about honoring every bit of yourself – lovely and weird and wild and horrifying. Every bit of myself is gay. I write to honor that. I write for all the beautiful gays.

poetry | prince bush | stranger

… I can’t recover much that
he wants for—his favorite watch,

estranged black and dead; his best shirt,
burgundy and buried; his house,

below the ground, underneath a
bar underneath apartments; him,

who he is besides this stranger
in my house …

MUSIC | Kent Macaskill | Everything Old is Regrooved Again: Vaporwave Aesthetics

One genre that has emerged post-2006 has been vaporwave. Focusing on this specific genre further illustrates the lack of novelty, of ‘newness’, in music. Vaporwave, for the unfamiliar, often samples wholesale from those soothing music genres popular in the 1980s and 1990s. These genres such as city pop, muzak, R&B, and lounge music seemed to define a comfortable capitalism that did not yet quite attain the self-awareness to realize it was neoliberalism. On the production side, these samples from the 80s and 90s are given a genre-defining treatment that includes manipulating the tracks by skewering the time signatures, equalizing out bass and treble, creating sudden stop/starts, saturating in reverb as well as other techniques to create a hazy, dreamlike and, to my ears, slightly sinister sound. Admittedly, I quite like the genre. To me, vaporwave sounded like it was a new but minor musical revolution when I first heard it. But, on closer examination, it defines our cultural position that we find ourselves in — stuck in time.

film | sean woodard | once upon a time in film scoring: top gun

If anything, the film and its soundtrack projects a male machismo attitude—from the hammy, yet endearing, breakout karaoke of The Righteous Brothers’s “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” as Maverick tries to pick up Charlie in a bar at the beginning of the film to the inclusion of Kenny Loggins’s “Playing with the Boys” during an extended beach volleyball scene between the shirtless and tanned naval aviators. Add in the guitar- and synth-driven “Top Gun Anthem” and “Danger Zone,” along with songs by Cheap Trick and other notable ‘80s artists, and you complete this picture of cocky, young flyboys with a white male exceptionalism complex while basking in their brotherly bond.

However, the film saves itself at points with its likable characters and its well-placed pathos …


© 2019 Marginalia Publishing | all original content © the contributing writer | Drunk Monkeys logo designed by Severin Piehl and Allan Ferguson | cover image designed by Allan Ferguson