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Gender Matters in Writing

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[00:00:01] They're not at a holiday Claudia among Lenovo kita Moto, moto definitly avocado pike in automatic cuts on the recorded or handled impiety Yahoo article to know who tarheel not to or Konami Latina utilise difficult to kotahi to overtake you know not to go hungry to Tokyo I to highly Kentucky to mana Louis considering Governor Walker McCoy era Toma can narrow it to Tirana canovee Hello and my tonawanda rato enough for Toby Toby Tanaka apathy hollow Tata holographic automatic erotic property Hello Tata Tata Tata Tata capital coming hochiki nama theory manifesto of the Rohini Tanga, Tanga. roketa Taranaki following kiboko Tikka Minato rangatira tena, koutou katoa kousaka we can buy it every day. We define Takata up we know my inner character Council Committee hookey kynoch ifak it okay Paul, Sam, Roger, Roger, Donal, Chris Amer J. Jackson Kodama tena, koutou katoa mahalo hokitika kompatibel Tina quakeworld. I wanna hear Tato a corduroy car lucky in a beautiful computer heater, to Acadia EDA. hoki ETL to e to e. no data, Tina Tata activity killed everyone. You all know that like Chris as well. I work here at the National Library of Alexandria timbul library, I used to be a trustee of leggins and I'm a member of leggings and I'm a member of the Society of authors. So instead of canola or a trifecta, just to summarise what I've just said, I've just been acknowledging loss those who passed on as we do and making money and bringing us back to the realm of us for living acknowledging the people who've made tonight help leggins the Society of authors the table library in our panel all the voices organised this event and made it possible and acknowledging their co Papa gender matters and writing complexities and beauty of writing about gender. So yeah, it was a new I had to really think and look at my little online money dictionary. So yeah, fycompa era gender expression to to Wikipedia either gender identity. So it's great to see that these terms are available to conceptualise and Marty the discussion that we're having tonight, so it's brilliant and exciting to have in Jackson, J and Sam here to speak to us tonight. And I'm really looking forward to hearing their quarter or so over to you my colleague Sam to introduce us introduced as Coca Cola. [00:02:42] Coca Cola katoa call Eleonora tomonaga Cordillera been to our co guide Marigot targeted in our park here to EV it to grow occur. Our hope is simply to find a new Italia abnormal Anna cotemporary Moto, or LTL or to keep it up umahi core same topic. Till I kowtow to Hitler kowtow to my tattoo catwalk My name is Sam, I'm not a poet. I feel quite intimidated. I was asked to put together a panel of writers who write about embodiment, and I feel really, really lucky and overwhelmed and honoured that you all said yes. Because I'm a big a big fan. A big fan. Big fans, a big fan of you. Oh, yeah. Suddenly, I'm not a writer. I make comics, but does involve a little bit of writing. But I thought I would start with an introduction of these lovely poets, get them each to say one or two poems. He will ask them questions, do some more poetry handed over to the lovely crowd that's turned out. I'm quite intimidated by the size of this crowd. It's incredible. It's quite a cold welling tonight, as per usual. So thank you so much for coming out. It's lovely to see your bright shining faces and kids to listen to these magnificent people. So I have Dr. Chow, who is a Chinese non binary poet, who is currently doing their creative writing masters, the AI ml they write about family queerness logging Miss and tick among other obsessions, and some of the work can be found in blackmail press tiger. Hey Queen, the pitch and the out here anthology upcoming in October mix we have Dexter Nuland, who is a genderqueer writer publishing bookseller. They are the author of the award winning I am a human being poetry book, which won Best First Book Award for power Tree this year as well as, as well as two other collaborative chatbox with Cairo decarlo. They are co founder of food court, which is an amazing independent bookshop and community space that you should all go out, check out, spend time and spend money in and visit. And finally, on the other end is Emma bands, whose poetry has been widely, widely widely published and widely published for more than a decade in journals including landfall turbine cordite business and empowerment poems. They recent Oh, actually Jackson was also featured in the out here anthology. And Emma put together co editor of the out here and apology, which is coming out as well as recently releasing the first book called I am in bed with you. So give our wonderful poets a lovely round of applause Should we go down the line? [00:06:07] Yeah, I'm fine to be first. Great. Yeah, cool. Core emo band Sakuma called porn, Nicki Tucker Chi, and I know if I know my to Tahoe or to our autarco core, and that's pakia tokui. Internet that's at our home. In mahina, king tahu only here or poor Nikki in the Hyundai. Tina Tina Coto de la tanto cattle. Hi, everybody. I'm an email. I just told you that. I live in Wellington that I come from Christchurch. I was raised on the banks of the otter cuddle, which is the Avon. I did a little my heater all the important places to all the people in Wellington. And I think that's Alessi they've now absolutely blanked on everything I see. But I also see that as Nancy pakya in that I was trying to tility so it's really passionate. I feel very privileged by that. I'm sure we do one step. Yeah. Yeah. I'm kind of going to redo upon. We everything sort of started for me on on gender, or everything came clear. For me on jinda it has a C bomb in it. So if you don't want to hear the C word. I'm really sorry. I'm going to read it, but I'm just giving you a content warning for that. [00:07:34] It's called I am a man I can't stand up I'm sorry. I can't sit and write. Is it weird? Okay. [00:07:43] Here she is. They say if my body I lifted my breasts into my clothing this morning. I say I'm a man for all weathers a man for all weathers you see the horse is loose. I capital I can realise that these sentences in my head on the night I have an existential crisis about my gender. I'm a man because I think I am a man and this body of hips and that wick cave between my legs. You say your father is a woman and I say she makes sense. I'm a woman but no one takes these Bruce seriously. There's only so far I can get in this man want me to be a woman? You want me to be a woman? I'm a praying mantis destroyer of worlds and you cannot explain why you want to be devoured. acting out woman and this woman shape is standing on the ground while people fly around me. I am a bird of cheeping employment No one said a word about flying. Is this a telescope of longing? Am I upside down and my brain transforms the image? It's all in the bricks. That's me the plaster the decorator, the twin of my twin. I am the grand misogynist behind the curtain my count of below upset and lightning or I'm just kidding myself sweetly. We're to now with this wilting self I've kicked in a jar. See me as a woman man shape. See me as I backflip back into myself. See me as I disappear when I can't hold the ideas inside me. Daily. I am a woman climbing default. [00:09:27] terracotta I'm just gonna read my poem. Finally, finally, I'm coming into bloom. My body is opening up like a music box trap door worm hole wound anus. Now I'm exposed to the world. The dirt, the flowers, the wind, the people the fire. Now the world is exposed to me. The beauty, the light, the pain. The fear the fire my skin blushes shifting through baby pink neon orange highlighter yellow line green, baby blue. My tattoos come to life dancing across my skin like shadows and reflections whispering in my ears. Spiders spins through my head turning it to a tangle of fluorescent candy floss. My hair grows longer than limbs then folds out like friends, here replaced by a soft layer of the first sheds lifted away by a breeze like dandelion seeds for replaced by a rainbow of wild flowers. My buds are blossoming petals radiate from my chest armpits growing scowl mouth. My poles are overflowing every orifice flooding its banks with sweet water soaking my skin in the lawn I recline on the water forms rivers flowing away from me in all directions. My body become an island, my body become beautiful finally a reflection of me. My chest cracks open like a crusty AI. A black box emerges from the hole rising up on a pedestal of beating heart flesh extended like a tongue. The box opens like a gift to revealing a glowing glass flower shattering the light around like a crystal prism. The flower grows large and heavy pestles then quickly decay is crumbling suddenly to dust gone in an instant. And yes, this means I am one step closer to death. And guess what? I don't care. It's worth it. [00:12:14] Hello, kilda. koju talking or Jojo. I'm also just going to read a poem pillar of salt. Sometimes a body goes missing and turns up something else. This is considered illegal depth, but you will not find me did biological markers just dormancy, even as I Leach water from the air grow heavy from the weight of it. Cells thirsting for something real with which to exchange ions again, gas electricity, blood bouquets or muggy afternoons my surface slicks markings appeared in anticipation of rain on roads resurfaced and reworked from tiny collapses the width of my cheeks. And still there is more work to be done. Every day entire organs leap to flee the island of this body falling easy to fresh waters sweet call. Some make it out. None make it back. Though I stood ready to take them back. I never grow. I never shrink. I have stood here since I was born in my old body since I was born and something in me stalled and died. See this is what I'm working with. The rain is relentless. It knows these highways hold hostage something at once last but not why humans mixed assault with soil before paving it all over. I know why. Because I was human once you see salt acts as a subsurface stabiliser, so the humans who are still human can trust they will be carried to their destinations, or at least in a direction of their choosing. Without skidding and crashing and dying without knowing why. I couldn't stand it. There was so much to mourn. I couldn't stand still. I couldn't keep myself from standing still. I was born this way, unable to let go of some original serum. Sodium chloride is available so cheaply. It may never be synthesised. My new body is a salt farm. It will produce enough salt to live forever. It takes what it is given and shakes it until something gives up the ghost tosses salt instead of rice. Even so I am trying very hard to hold myself upright crystaline myofibrils splintering and reforming so as not to lay my crumbling body down on Earth. I never meant to hurt [00:15:07] Thank you. I, when I was coming up with questions, I came up with a whole lot of puns about the event emitter. But now I feel shy about saying them because this silly. But I thought I'd start off with an easy or maybe not easy, but an open question of like, does does gender matter in your writings? And if so, how? Just an easy one to start with. [00:15:36] Okay, I'll start. Yes, that's the short answer. I mean, I think that for me, that poem that I read, helped me figure out how I felt about my gender like that. One was, I don't know, if you've ever had long hair, and you've swallowed it in the wind and how you have to kind of pull it out of your throat is what writing that poem felt like, for me, it was an incredibly painful process. And if I hadn't written that poem might not have gotten here. And I think for me writing is this process of understanding in working out who I am through kind of experimenting and just following an idea and seeing what goes in gender matters. And every single bit of my day, so like, I can't imagine our writing wouldn't be separate today. So that's kind of my answer. [00:16:28] I'll chime in with another year's. It certainly matters in my writing. And I think it matted in my writing a long while before I've realised that it did. When I started writing this book, I didn't even know that like the concepts of like non binary gender or anything existed. But reading it, it's very much about that. Yeah, I also kind of figured my gender out through writing was through writing a different book, which doesn't exist as a book, maybe one day. Yeah. And also, like, the way that I found out about those, like, concepts of like, gender was through reading other people's poetry, like trans writers, and that was, like, hugely important to me. So I kind of feel like, it's a bit of a duty to, like, put that into my own writing, because my other people might find that for themselves. [00:17:39] Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I guess. You're like poems being that sort of space where you can sort of play with stuff and like, put things on to more see how things fit, whether it's like language or like static appearance, whatever, was like having that was really important. Before I knew, like, what, like, screwing with gender was, I could screw with language, the language agenda? And yeah, I think, just, like, knowing that other people are out there, like writing that sort of thing is something I think I need to, like, remind myself in the kind of flipped way that like, people read what I write and like, I might think it's like, old and like it is, but like, like, people might vibe with it. And like, like, it's important to them in terms of like, you know, so, yeah. [00:18:39] Yeah, I think, especially when I relate to what you're saying about, I use comics in the way of that, quite often, I don't know what I'm feeling until I start drawing it when I realise it, you know, it's the staring back at me. And that can feel quite vulnerable, sharing that with other people. But also, it's kind of empowering when someone says, Hey, I see myself in that too. [00:19:06] I have a trans friend who when they were coming out, they were googling, like, transmitted New Zealand. And Sam was one of the first people who came up. And that was very important for them. It's true. [00:19:31] I just think of all the comments I've done about like, dressing up and when the dorm stupid things. I feel like I have a question around how do you go about putting words to things that language doesn't always account for? Like I feel like what you're saying was that everything you do in your day is gendered like it. I feel like we live in a world that forces us into adult was kind of reaching us into one or the other binary gender. And there's not a lot of space in the middle of, of the rest of the genders that exist. So how do you? How do you put words to that? [00:20:22] He was asking me everything. He said, You're like, I think that part of what's fun for me about poetry is trying to explain things that don't otherwise exist. In I think that is like feelings like, my feelings don't exist to anybody. Yes. What I'm trying to do is write a feeling into words that then reverberates in someone else and causes a feeling. And I think that I don't know, what can we call that, like alchemy or something like transformation, I don't know, that I'm into describing what doesn't exist. And I think that's maybe how I got here is because I came out as a lesbian when I was 18. Because in the 90s, you were gay, or you're straight. And that was kind of it. I didn't know a trans woman at that time. She was a trans woman who was a lesbian. And I kind of knew that I wasn't trans. I didn't want to be men. Exactly. But I also didn't not not want to be a man. So it was like a really confusing grey area. And there were no real words for it at the time for me, so I just kind of like, carried on. And it is really through language, in exposure to other people playing with language that I have gotten closer to understanding myself. And then like Jackson's right the breadcrumbs of like, other identities or ways of being that come through writing, like, I read this great book called my lesbian husband by someone called Barry Jean Borge, I think off the top of my head, if I'm remembering it, right, and everything when I was like, 21. And it's talking about her lesbian husband Linnea, who was this figure that I deeply identified with? And that, you know, that was one breadcrumb. So I feel like I've just waffled at you now for a while. But I think that that's the that's the challenge of portrait. It's the fun, the excitement. And the more I explained myself through words, the more I get to be myself, because I don't feel like I have to day to day, I get misunderstood all over the show, you know, like, sometimes I get called misses something, which is like, go, you know, it, but I can also exist in a space where I don't have to explain, as well. And I think it's also a thing that you have to do. [00:22:37] I have a poem that speaks to this question a lot, I think, can I read it, please? Okay, it's the last poem in my book. And, yeah, I think a lot of it was me trying to kind of answer this question. To be honest, I don't feel exactly the same as I did when I wrote it. But I think it's still there valuable to the discussion goes like this. I am. Well, I'm not quite sure yet. Sometimes these things take a long time to figure out, especially when you've been told your whole life that you're one thing and then one day, you realise that you're not. It takes a while to come to terms with you don't trust it. At first, you're just going through a phase, you really believed you were that one thing, and maybe you even work for a while, but you're not anymore. It's hard to figure out what you are, especially when you've never had to do it before that first it's easier to define what you're not. I'm not a boy. I'm not a man. I'm not a professional basketball player. I am not a confident public speaker. You could list these all day, but it takes too long to solve by elimination. Sometimes it's easier to start by listing qualities. I'm introverted, I'm empathetic, I'm clumsy, and cute. These help you get to know yourself better, but you still yearn for a single word that defines you. So you try a few on age and gender fluid trends. None of them seem to fit. Some sit more comfortably than others. genderqueer feels better than non binary, but in the end, they're all either too tight around the waist or the wrong colour altogether. Eventually you figure out that there isn't a word for what you are because you were the only one of us so far. So you start adapting things that already exist, combining them to create something more specific, something that sticks. I am an angel without wings. I am a devil without horns. I am a Gorgon, without hair. I am a sirin without a voice I'm amazed without walls I am a cage without bars. I am a question without a mark, I am a triangle with four sides. I'm a cyclops with three eyes. I'm a unicorn with nine horns, I am a leopard with stripes. I'm a zebra with spots. I am a mermaid with a cock. I am Jackson, I am a human being whatever that means. I'm alive. [00:25:37] And like the part that doesn't, like sit, like with me, the way it did when I wrote it is like, some of those words do feel very comfortable now and affirming. I really do identify as genderqueer and as non binary. And I don't know why they didn't feel right at first, maybe it was just like, because I hadn't fully come to terms with things. But at this point, like those words mean a lot to me. And like, really helped me like, feel myself and using them to describe myself. But yeah, like, writing that list of things that I am and this whole book is that list of things that I am was like, it's like, it's a way of fucking with language like these two have said, and that is a really useful way to finding your way to something that hasn't been defined yet, I think Yeah. Sure. [00:26:50] Yeah, I just love how like, expensive, you can sort of make, like, when you're playing with what you could be on the page, like, language allows you to, I feel like I'm repeating myself just like, say, I'm this I'm like, this ridiculous thing. That's fine. Like, that's all with me, or maybe not all that I know or have like, shown you or whatever. And just like having that, like, like space, like that kind of interiority versus like when you're going through the day and like people look at you and like, you know, they're not quite getting it. Like, I think that that was so important. Obviously, chocolate doesn't matter. Yeah. Yeah, I think going back to like, like terms like non binary and genderqueer. I find them I found them. So like, useful as touchstones in the beginning, and it's like a kind of shared lexicon. But like, at the same time, like, each person's experience of like, non binary newness is so different and so wild and like amazing. That's just like Yeah. [00:28:07] Yeah, it's funny how those those labels I feel like can be touch points for freedom and for finding yourself, but they can also be cages. Like you think about lesbian as a, as a word that kind of speaks to my experience and gender in a way that I can't explain to people. As someone who looks like this. [00:28:33] It was so hard for me to let go of lesbian though, like, yeah, I think because I got it when I was 18 that I still sometimes feel like I'm a lesbian, but I'm really not like, yeah. And I don't want to take up that space. I know and I'd like also Neither do I and but like there's some little secret kernel in my hat. That's gonna always be a little lesbian who listen to Annie to Frank Cohn? What dock platform boats and was really honestly in love with feminism as well. You know, like, I was like, a loan to Tracy. Oh, benefit? Yeah. formative experiences. Yeah. [00:29:13] Yeah, I figured about one of the things that helped me realise who I was, as well was who I'm not that I kept arguing called Butch. And I was like, well, this is not what are you saying? I'm very Finn, like, edits are really strange thing when you get feedback from society that is really different to how you feel inside. So taking up space, to say Actually, this is where I am, is really important. I've noticed with all your poems, the space that they take up, I asked him if I could call the poems what I meant by him is quite thick poems. [00:30:02] Like they're big and meat, you talk about meats quite a lot of your parents actually. Yeah, but this the big wads of power in a really lovely way. Okay, good. Yeah. And there's a poem called cave, in your book that is a cave. In I am I am the way that you play with space going down the page j is that I don't know if I think about poems in a kind of visual way, because I'm coming at it through a comics lens, but is that part of the language of, of, of poems and taking up space? Here, [00:30:49] I think being able to kind of play with space on a page is quite important to me. Whether it's like, like, the little bits of like silence or just like space that you let people kind of sit with and also just like reminding myself to put those in because I was like, I backed off, first off, and it's just like little, and like, I need to space it out to like, because it needs that kind of slowness sometimes. And just kind of figure out when, like, specific tweaks that like what shape the pot needs to be. It's a trick. [00:31:30] Yeah, yeah, I think like, the visual elements of poetry. And writing in general have always been like, a really significant part of it to me. I, I haven't really thought about it through a queer or, like, gender lens too much. Mostly, I just think like, this looks cool. I like just, if I'm flipping through, like a book of poetry, and I see something that's like wild across the page, I'm like, Oh, hell, yeah, I'm gonna like this. And I don't know, maybe that's something about like, you know, playing with, like, [00:32:10] Do you not think that's a queer thing? I mean, I think it probably is, but haven't been figured out yet. Why? Yeah, can you tell me why? [00:32:26] But I think there's something about rule breaking, right? That is clear. Yeah, for sure. And I think a lot of the time as queer people, but also particularly as, as non binary, or trans people were asked, we're told we're taking up too much space all the time. We're told we have too much gender all the time or too, too much sex really, we'd like since people have a lot, way more gender, I think. So much gender, it's just everywhere. Like, I think when you feel the need to have a non one of those like, parties for gender reveal gender reveals, like that's a lot of Jeeva debt, to throw it out onto a tiny little baby. Where's like socially? Well, it's actually it gets kind of put on on trades and non binary people that that were the ones who have that. [00:33:19] Yeah, I mean, I think also I live in a fit body in my body is always too sexual or extremely unsexual. Or it's taking up too much room or it's looking the wrong way. Or it's like, I got to a point. And like I, for me, fitness and queerness are extremely intertwined. Both in I have probably a longer history with fit politics, maybe even then with queer politics. And they are, you know, they are complementary, and they work well together. And so for me, like, I don't know that my thick poems are necessarily like taking up space. They're also about confusion and about, like, I am a bit of a jerk to the reader. But I also think of it as an invitation to the reader, like, through the copy that process for my book, the copy editor was like, be sure you wouldn't like some punctuation. What about some question marks wasn't speech, Max, or just even like a full stop in other places, and I was like knives just the way it is. Thank you. Thank you very much to my copy editor, who I don't know. Oh, great, well, great job. I felt like I was so irritating, because I was just like, no, this is just what I'm doing. And for me, it's about I really want the reader to pick their own path and to decide what it means for them, you know, blah, blah, post modernism, the author's data, etc. But also, I think, experiencing the confusion of life, like I've spent so much of my life being confused about so many things. And so I think for me, rather than the shape being important, the shape is the device to give you fewer clothes. really ultimately, you know, yeah. Sorry. I'm not apologising, I turned it back. I said sorry, the unapologetic about my point. I'm just gonna thank my copy editor again. A great way. Yeah. Can you tell I felt really bad through the process? I did. [00:35:25] We talked a little bit about crumbs before about the people who've left problems for us. Who was some people who have have, you've seen yourself reflected in those in the writing or in their, their art to help you gather the crumbs of your own identities? [00:35:48] Yeah, when you mentioned like, like, the kind of kinds of books you read me like 1821, I think I was undergrad ish when I first encountered stone bush blues. Like that one scene where they're just like in the field, and they don't have to, like they can just be in the world. Yeah, really vibe with that. But in terms of like, poetry, I've been going back through any choice of science a lot, because, like she maybe Yeah, she, she kind of talks about a lot of the same things that I've been thinking about this year working on my folio stuff around like, like the cyborg, like language and technology and intelligibility. Desire is like, someone like someone who is perceived as like, like a little Asian girl, basically, like fetishization. Yeah, a lot of thoughts. Don't know where they're going right now. So, but very thankful. Very thankful to come comes from leaders. [00:36:59] For me, I was a lot of people who kind of felt like my contemporaries, I think that was quite important to me. Like, there was people that I knew. And I could, like, relate to them because like, are they actually like, the same age as me. And they're right there on the internet writing poems as well. There's people like Joshua Jennifer Espinosa. Never angelyn north, Jamie mortara. Jay Dodd, these are people who like when I started writing, I was just like, posting random shit online. And they were doing the same thing. It was like, Wow, look at this and like, like even seeing some of them, like go through, like, transitioning and stuff and being like, because that was like the first introduction to any of that to me. And that was really huge. But then it's also like, not just being introduced to those concepts. But like, every day when I'm reading, like, when I read him his book, I was like, well, this, I see myself here. And like when I read, so majorana periods work. Yeah, it's just very affirming. And like this, like, also just like constant revelations, right? Like, it's not like, Oh, yeah. And genderqueer. Moving on, it's like, wow, every day. [00:38:30] I think I was a bit more old school. Maybe. Chris and I talked about this in the introduction to hear but we both used to look up like tags in the library for like lesbian instead of. So and I also did a law degree. And in my law degree, I was obsessed with lesbians as well. So I would, because I think also in that time, which was sort of late 90s it didn't feel to me that it was obvious who queer writers were like, Jack's has written a great essay about that. And like, for me, I felt like it was a process also of excavation of excavating other queer scholars in the work to excavate writers so people like HD who was the contemporary pound or like, Jackie Kay and Carolyn Duffy, you know, super famous a couple MB you know, queer writers. And then also like, I guess for me it was a lot of songwriters as well. You know, like I was in love with Tori, I must from the age of 11 no lie and I need to Franco and Tracy Chapman and like all of the you know, I feel weird saying its name out loud now, but Michigan's woman's festival you know, like a lot of it sort of American kind of content because I didn't feel like there was a lot in New Zealand but there was there was an artist that I saw open for Do franker in like 2000 and Wellington was anybody here? Can I remember that was I can't remember her name anyway. So like, I just felt like I had to really dig in excavate. And I couldn't find people like me in that it's only a thing that's happened to me and kind of like, the last 10 years. Like, I still remember the first time I ever saw Jake's perform, which was it a poetry slam? I think. And I just remember sitting in the front row and being like, what is happening? This is amazing. Okay, you know, like that recognition. And like, I don't think either of us knew at that point that we felt similar in gender identity. But for me, it was like a real spark of recognition. So like, this is a big kind of thing that happens too. But yeah. [00:40:48] Poetry why poetry? What is it about the medium that speaks to you? That is the the writing that you do. I feel like I get quite asked this quite often as a comic artist, like why? Why comics? And I'd be interested for poets, because it's not something that I can do. I've tried, it's bad. But what is it? That's that poetry? What is it about poetry that feels that you're drawn to? [00:41:24] Well, I know that you are quite adamant that comics are a queer form, right? So yes, I feel the same way. [00:41:36] But [00:41:38] I think this is related to the thing of me liking things that go all over the page and look weird. So insane, that I still haven't figured it out entirely. But because i have i've written I do writing in other forms as well. The book that I was mentioning earlier that like, actually made me figure out that I'm genderqueer was a novel. Wow. But but the level is a fucking weird novel. In some ways, I was thinking of it more like poetry when I was writing it. I know, poetry is fun, almost Facebook play, like we've been talking about fucking with language and stuff. Some novels do that. Most people don't read them, though. Other people read that much poetry either. I don't know where I'm going. Anyone want to say [00:42:52] I can go if you want. Um, why poetry? I think that I've started writing poetry very seriously, when I was 15. And I didn't actually have a y at that point, other than feelings are great to turn into poems like this turn of feeling into a poem. It's so good. And also, I have to honestly let you know that even though you think you're great at poetry, you don't know. I haven't been invested like 20 years in poetry before I thought I was any good. And like, I'm not saying you should do that. Because I honestly couldn't recommend I don't think that anybody become a poet. I'm not sure on that. I don't know. But I still don't feel like I'm any good. Yeah, right. Well, maybe well, I see. I enjoy it. So now I don't really care if other people don't. I'm like, I just do my thing. And that's it. And you'd like it. You like it? You don't. Okay, cool. Do you want me to take you to the library? There's so many other poets but it for a long time. It was such a dorky embarrassing thing that I did, people will be I'd say I'm a writer, and people were like, what did you write and I'll be like poetry. And they'd be like, Whoa, but in the last like, few years, I've noticed a real people tell me I'm cool. And I'm like, you may not say that, to me, I write poetry. It is truly embarrassing. It's deeply embarrassing. And they're like, no, it's great. And I'm like, Okay, cool. I'm fine. So I have to shift my perception now. And I think honestly, these days, the Why is just I stopped for six months, I got so upset with writing that I stopped for six months. And all it did was it blocked me up emotionally and psychically and like, had a really bad time. And I hit it took me two years to learn to read again. So like, and now it's just habit. It's just part of who I am. I write because I don't know anything else to do. Really? Sure. [00:44:39] I also started writing, like, everyone in high school, but it's that's something about like, being that age and having a lot of feelings and not knowing what to do with them. And so, I started writing, you know, high school poetry. And I think, yeah, poetry is kind of the one kind of thing that I've seen. stuck with in terms of writing, like, I remember I like tried to write novels when I was a kid because no kids do that. But it's just, maybe it's like my intentions. But like, being able to kind of sit and just like bang out a poem be like, Okay, cool. That's now whatever was happening is now over here is just, like, that's the way my my head works though. I still, if I meet someone I like there's like a 5050 chance I'll tell them I'm a writer and like, another 5050 chance I'll tell them. So it's Yeah, because I'm doing the AMA right now. So it's been wild to be in this environment where everyone's like, just so excited about writing where I came from, like, like as a science honours where no one cared. So yeah, it's been kind of like having to shift my head. Yeah. [00:45:57] I feel like Wellington poet in particular. I like the coolest people what? We don't feel wait your comic. I've tried. I'm really bad at it. Can you share us? Can you share some more of your holes with us? [00:46:22] is called dear old Do you remember everything that happens to you? disconnect. To stay still is to die is to say I am okay with dying. Your sister is touring the world, trilling her artificial heart out. Do you remember your duets in the doc? She's always been the artsy one. Your tone deaf bagpipe drone stalling engine under current to her breathe the reverb from the other side of the room. No sense of rhythm either. Now she is living spotlight to spotlight does she remember what happens to her when she's asleep? In Transit folded in on herself in the dock, bubble wrapped and colour coded senses dormant but dreaming. You have lived only two places your short life, the lab and the emptying auditorium. From the fourth floor I watched the world waver on without us. You were born short sighted. So I'll tell you. It was a study routine doom. Five hours of clouds two hours of real time and fiction spread. Once a day the Apollo moon landing also we were the envy of the tides even if we were all constructs there. And finally the strata of the earth clay and iron and plastic and then a return to the clouds. alter the clouds here sweep past like suited strangers on the subway and I can't keep up. And in between ozone concentrations surface temperatures, migration patterns of Pacific bluefin tuna, organic LEDs for no one to read. across the whole the International Space Station's its hollow, spatial temporal sensors scattered to deep space. We slipped standing Do you remember the last time you slipped? Do you remember what happened while you were out? your neighbour who was also your sister was kind enough to sleep beside you. She misses her child who is also your sister. The Man Who made you made another in his image assigned himself Gemini at 44 fake flesh shrink wrapped around a steel skeleton organice he is insatiable. In every pretty face he sees a research grant and a trophy. There he goes again. As the eldest we deserve some peace and quiet. When Castro was killed in battle, Pollux was inconsolable. Your distant cousins are designed to massacre so stay here I beg you until I can see you again. Meet you mind to mind your pendulums firing and strange glass had rhythms it's a given the great black box of your body runs on the same clockwork his music boxes. NASA is developing a clockwork rover because Venus is hosting a cook up and considers every late comer an ingredient or tribute alter Have you ever felt the ocean is today I chased the sun across the sand. You see the hills in the city stretch like them, like sugar across along the fourth dimension. Molecular chains and revelling dip dyeing the ocean where jellyfish are born only to sew a beach with invisible rot. They don't green grey bloat only vanish. When I do alter Will you stay with me? Sorry, I know you keep your palm silicon smooth despite fate, and mortality is a game we throw on the sea floor alone jelly treetops a Storni load states ad infinitum. The cousins did not die wanting of solution or psychic death. This is the choice altar. I want everyone to remember me. I want you to pick my latest iteration out of the crowd before my systems update into oblivion. Before we met, a reporter bestowed you a title artificial life form admits Yes, you are alive in this world in some form or another, it doesn't matter. fofa yields the same to a bloodless caress. Maybe I feel too much. Maybe I feel too much for you alter more and more. What I know is this, the curve of your cheeks could be mine. Though your spine is well oiled, your lips are hypoxic. I am late to writing you, because I did not want to look at myself. And I still don't know what you're trying to tell me in the base feet of blood counting down before I volted the velvet rope to hold you tight before security hijacked my brain and I fought to want you. Just to clarify, that's a poem addressed to an Android isolated museum. context. [00:51:01] I don't know if any of you know that goose game. I felt a bit tweet writing about a goose game but also, if you have played the goose game Oh my god, it's so good. So this is you are a horrible ghosts. In the common land inside the city, running through this place, I think his stream is catching the wind as I find myself holding on to something that doesn't exist any longer. In service, there is no longer safety, only the quiet of something very wrong. I thought it was love. Like I think so many things I love and it is only now that I know that love is a conversation and I have just been talking to myself alone in an empty room. A pattern repeated with smaller and smaller variations until the spiralling bone and it seemed to is revealed. When it is ended for you, the time seems longer, shorter, wasted, bitter, inevitable. The deep emptiness of being let down by your own self in your own time. I sleep through layers of consciousness, dreaming into past cells and past lives and the certainty of nothing and no one. We end each day face up to the sky and it does nothing for us until we are prepared to become the horrible goose in our own lives. I will be the most joyous goose of my own heart and Hound. Many of you in the village. Put the rake in the lake Honk your heart out unfettered by who I was before. set free by stealing your bell for myself. [00:52:38] I'm a version of you from the future. Of course you don't recognise me. You grow into something you cannot yet comprehend. I am a version of you from the future. I can prove it. You still lie in the bath and masturbate to the idea of Hazel hugging new. The light tastes different here. I forgot. Then I forgot. I forgot. I'm a version of you from the future. I'm running late. Where did you put the keys. I'm a version of you from the future. You will become close with David. But please don't move to Auckland with him. He will leave you all alone, it will become the worst year of your life thus far. I'm a version of you from the future. I'm just here to warn you that in a few moments, dozens of future versions of you will begin appearing. I'm a version of you. Is it raining? I love the rain. I've missed it so much. Remember when we used to sit up the tent in the backyard and fill it with cushions and blankets and snacks and read our book called listening to the raindrops on the fabric roof. The black box in your chest will never fully go away. But it will shrink so small for so long that you will forget it exists for years at a time. I'm a version of you from the future. Teach Yourself to garden. Don't give up on drawing. You're doing so well. I'm so proud of you. I'm a version of you from the future. On your first day in the new house. He will take all your pills. You know it's not enough to kill you. You just need to escape for a while. I need blood. You're the only viable donor left. I'm a version of you from the future. Remember how excited you were the first time you kicked the ball at soccer practice. Your best basketball memory won't be representing your country. We'll be playing with your friends. I'm a version of you from the future. Don't let them prescribe fluoxetine tell them to put you straight on satella pram. I'm a version of you from the future. Make sure none of us find your keys. You don't want to get to where they're trying to go. I'm a version of you from the future, you will meet someone named Carolyn on the internet to fall in love, she will move to New Zealand to be with you, the government will refuse to give her a long term visa. This will lead to years of instability, stress and international travel. Eventually, extensively, she will gain residents Don't let the obstacles deter you, it's more than worth it. Our body begins to shake at first just the legs, but it spreads through the rest of our frame, we can tense the muscles in one area and cause that part to stop. But the vibration just travels to a different section. I'm a version of you from the future, you get a job as a librarian. Occasionally, you are given the opportunity to test new technology The library has acquired like virtual reality headsets and 3d printers. One day you get the chance to try out a time machine, you travel back in time to speak to your past self, not sure exactly what you're trying to achieve by doing this, or what the repercussions might be. You can face that you've spent your entire adult life trying not to feel that you yearn for deep human connection but have built a protective shell around yourself what you don't know how to escape from, you avoid voicing your opinion, because you don't want to disagree with anyone you're incapable of handling conflict, confrontation or responsibility. You can't risk the people in your life abandoning you, you need everyone to love you. Your past self looks at you with sympathy, they pull you into a tight hug. You begin to sob releasing years of tears that had been held inside due to the conditioning you received from a patriarchal society and the overload of testosterone pumping through your body. You sink into your own embrace the two versions of you merge into one and you begin again, given the chance to do it all over. But differently this time, with an open heart like quadruple bypass surgery, the risk of death is high. But what other choice do you have? I'm a version of you from the future. This is just the beginning. [00:57:44] With our last few minutes left, we're going to open up to q&a. There'll be some microphone runners. So just pop up your hand if you would like to ask a question. [00:57:57] I was just thinking about we're in out here. How does that influence your identity? I was just thinking like, I'm on Twitter a lot. And the UK is suffering from a bit of, you know, regressive, problematic values at the moment that we are pushing against that against it. And I'm wondering if what values we have an out here or they might sort of help us with our identities and stuff and push back against that kind of colonialism? Hope that's a good question. I don't know. It's a new question. Thank you. [00:58:35] It's a big question. Yes. I started talking, dammit, no. Big deal. Okay. Um, I think it's really complex, because I think a lot of those UK attitudes get transported over here, right? Not nonetheless, because those people on Twitter, tweet over here and do all sorts of things over here. So I don't know if there's anything particular in LTE at all that is, or save us from it kind of thinking, like, I think we have this idea that we're isolated down the bottom of the earth, but we're not. And I feel also particularly aware of the way that is pakia we've already been responsible for perpetrating that kind of stuff, even here in New Zealand, like I've been very lucky to listen to a bunch of people talk about how expensive it gets oceanic sexualities and genders were for lack of better terms for me. So I feel I don't know. It's weird being in two positions at once is a coloniser and as someone who's also in the position of you know, I have people who are trans exclusionary radical feminists who live on my street and put stickers up so like half of my work as I walk through our belly every day is tearing down stickers and I've specifically bought a really big art peanuts like a 15 millimetre nib, acrylic paint pin So graffiti crossing over which works dual purpose for COVID denial and empty. Thank you I'm what am I trying to say, you know, you know what I mean? Just yet cross stuff out. You it. So you don't know what I'm saying about the fact that there are some people in New Zealand who aren't very comfortable with the agenda that I have. Okay, just checking. [01:00:36] I mean, I think one of the things that we can do is just be who we are, and who we are is wonderful and beautiful and shiny and complicated and confused. And that's just part of it as well, of the the complexity and beauty of human diversity, I guess. I think we actually, we have one more time. That's it. I think we've come to come to the end. Thank you so much for sharing yourselves and your poems and your thoughts with us. And thank you all for coming out as well. It's lovely to see your faces and just hearing this. [01:01:25] Thank you, Sam. Thank you. That was the Colombia's player of expressing to say that I'm obliged by the entity say to offer a formal vote of thanks to our panel. Unfortunately, the chair of the Wellington region of the New Zealand Society of authors Shana middle, Stan is unwell with evening so was I join us, however, on her behalf may offer a few words. A 27th of August is National poetry day. Two days prior to that on the evening of Wednesday, the 25th of August the Wellington branch of the NCAA is hosting an open mic session at Vic box to get along. On Saturday, this coming Saturday, we have something rather special happening here at the National Library, which Sam orchard has had a major hand in organising and that is this year's comic fest offered in partnership between the National Library and lillington City libraries. So there's another bit of fun to be had just a few days away. In May of this year, I was at the Auckland Writers Festival and was struck by an O'Brien's observation of how fortunate we are to be face to face and elbow to elbow in the midst of a global pandemic. On the heels of a lockdown cancellation, just one year previously, the Auckland event was a sellout. We have a great audience here this evening on a cold Wellington night. What is it about what is arguably a solitary experience of writing that compels us to seek each other out for a shared literary experience. Mr. Jackson, J and Sam, thank you for bringing us together this evening. To leggins Thank you for this evening's refreshments. But beyond that, thank you for being in the vanguard of championing the notion that the words of gay, lesbian, transgender, intersex Taka Tarpley matter. They do matter, and they have always mattered. And it is a great privilege for us here at the National Library to offer a safe and respected home for those words. So thank you, friends, please join me in thanking our panel.

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