Blackout poetry by Lily Iervasi.
Ultimately, vampires are paradoxes. They are both alive and dead, human and the Other, desirable and monstrous. And who in society understands paradox better than a teenager?
‘Angel of Death’ by Taylah Livanes: 2021, digital painting.
Alright, alright! Fine! I will answer your inane questions so long as you stop dropping stone tablets on my head! Do you people think I chose to keep living in a barrel because I like being bothered? Honestly, to think a shade cannot find a moment’s peace even in the afterlife.
Despite the stark difference between a soldier’s need for slaughter and the relentless research of the sage, they were one and the same in the end: naive wanderers—none of whom would ever know the sun’s warmth again. If one believed everything they heard, at least. Around me, these tales upon tales were all eagerly dismissed—but still… still, I wondered. Perhaps I am one of many. But I am no man.
“Just as T. S. Eliot described, ‘this is the dead land, this is the cactus land’, and I’d like to leave now please.”
The thing is, if I have sex with a guy and he doesn’t immediately fall in love with me, I’m annoyed. If I have sex with a guy and he does immediately fall in love with me, I’m annoyed. Tell me how I am meant to win here? I realised that this was because I craved the validation of guys telling me: “You’re the only one I can really open up to.” Until I registered the fact that I was only there to make them feel special and solve all their problems.
Processing mortality is a daunting task—but it is important that we learn to digest its impact and grow more comfortable with it as a natural part of life. As this is easier said than done, consuming different forms of media that focus on death and dying is arguably one way of beginning to acquaint ourselves with these eventualities.
One summer, your mama took us to the forest to collect Schnittlauch.
We came home and mixed the Schnittlauch with our pancake batter,
and I was happy, because these pancakes were not sour, or familiar like our Dosas.
“Queer: Stories from the NGV Collection” is at the NGV in Melbourne until 21 August 2022, free entry to all.