Elana Lev Friedland


after Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons

Something like crying but your eyes are a lock. Lazy buttons. But whether green is dirtier than choke. Or a green green dress with no sashes to whisper all a thing of raise and clock and supple and pardon warring to escape or give. If stomach impressing a band of stretch or hips to denim. A belt is a line of finely. And surely the implications of leather. How the stiff stiff yellow plus blue when out of. What of yield and yearning and boy stored comfort. 

Pressure in a body and the sense of the senses sensing. Or a thing without textile without tactile or closing or latching if always open like a gap in the wall.

Waiting to reap in patchless denim. The time is now and the red scarf hanged in the doorframe. Death in bacon and a blue eyed mister mister. The one way out is a blue eyed boy silent and silencing. What a walk in. Troubles the time and the people feeding a feel of green. Suggesting something is a him by walking dangle. How doubt greens into. A surface sure found finding her. Oh what a wardrobe pleasure. Oh the boy is a seether. If pleasure then baked into cocksure. What is the belt like? It is not anything like pig it is not hanging from a hook it is not a green thing not a blue thing it is more hurt and has a little hoop. 

What a stench in the sleeves and the trenches of trenchcoat opening to the absence of an absence. This is most reasonable. The way a leg letting. If curves with no cure then the answer is simple. Like addressing shirk into dirty and sweatstains and silence and pursed and track marks. Deodorant. Spritz outside the uniron. It is harder. This is a mess. 

Suppose there is an I. Suppose the I is more places that are not shelves. If there is nicely it is a full closet. And sometimes an untorn. Nicely shirt nicely closet. Blouse blouse blouse blouse blouse blouse blouse. Lousy loose low shoes without loafers. If there are boots they are wide and trying. Objection to an ease without splendor.

How red the impression of an absence.

All slackly an attractive. A fluorescent a floral enmeshed and a chance to be hidden. How made in lace or handsome. How pretty. At any rate this room shows the whole of using. It is very likely roomy.

Elana Lev Friedland is a writer and performance artist. Their work has appeared in Cartridge Lit, Cosmonauts Avenue, Salt Hill, The Rumpus, Black Warrior Review, and elsewhere. Find them online at www.elanalevfriedland.com.




T’kya Taylor and Joe Andrews

Remember When You Asked Me

Remember when you asked me 
in the narrow throat 
of a smoking area 
whether i identified as queer

and i looked at you both 
as questions 

as if to ask you
the answer
to myself


Nik Wallenda crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope
tracing each careful foot
after the next
like tired butterflies treading the air
over wet leaves

on arrival Wallenda was greeted by Canadian officials
asking to present his passport 


Everyday i wake up 
to a feeling of 
[ ]
and a hard cock 

There is a God of Distractions and a God of Cruel Intentions and i don’t know which of them
      shakes me awake every morning 


Recently i have found my new safety
and myself

gemstones painted on my hand 

              My students still see me
                Mr Andrews

                   but what is my queerness
              but tracing a careful foot
               after the next 
                    into the world
              and begging strangers to ask me
              what i have to present 


This collaboration came about through personal conversations on queerness between the two artists and the different intersections they have to exist in as individuals. T’kya Taylor, a black queer man and fashion designer lives an experience of trying to find his place and expression in a complicated Venn-diagram of blackness, queerness and class. Joe Andrews, a white, AMAB, non-binary person has to draw their own daily lines between safety and gender expression, while working in the binary-gendered dynamic of contemporary education. 

Masc-in-tape is a reactionary piece: As a black queer man I often find myself hiding parts of my identity to fit more securely into queer culture and its inherent expectations of me. It presents me with a system that both fetishises certain features of my blackness while also rejecting the parts of me that do not fit nicely into the constructed systems of white queerness. The mask itself is a hyperexpression of tradionally fetishised aesthetics, while hiding my ‘less desired’ features and obstructing my vision, and hence my agency as a publicly black queer man. 

Jamaican Margiela is after the notorious SS ‘91 collection of Belgium designer Martin Margiela. Margiela’s opulent, jeweled masks were designed practically, with the intention of hiding the models faces as he couldn’t afford to pay them. This luxurious anonymity felt like a glamorized reflection of my own experience, growing up in a poor, working class household and having to DIY all of my own clothing – whether that was spray painting chains or painting repurposed jeans with acrylic paint. This reimaging takes the original, material opulence of ‘91 and inverts it, replacing the threaded, white diamonds with PVA-glued cardboard gems in the colours of Jamaica’s flag. Contrary to Masc-in-tape’s self-blinding aesthetic, there is a sense of self-love in adorning Jamaican Margiela, a mask that doesn’t completely hide my features and allows them to peak out in a form of celebration. 

What resonated most through our conversations of queerness and fashion, was the lack of a true separation of the two. Being queer and presenting ourself everyday gives us little choice within the structures of fashion. Living as queer and performing fashion, makes any of our actions inherently queer.

T’kya Taylor is a 19 year old Afro-Caribbean and English artist, fashion student, and the textbook Leo of the 1525 collective at the Nottingham Contemporary. His work is a reflection of his own personal experiences and issues in today’s climate. You may find his art on Instagram @fromtkya, where he uses the platform to share his own art, but also celebrates under-represented people, such as young designers and photographers, on his story.

Joe Andrews (They/Them) is a Nottingham based poet, maths teacher, and absolute snack. Their work mainly explores their relationship with gender and family, and has been featured in Homology Lit, Aesthetic Apostle, and in Bad Betty’s Alter Egos Anthology. You may find them on twitter @BigOofAndrews




Jade Wallace

the ephemeral girls

We are the cheap girls, holding
corner store slushies, wearing 
second-hand miniskirts and 
last night’s eyeliner. We make
a raccoon-eyed reconnaissance of 
environmental apocalypse, take
a scavenger’s view of devastation. 
Nothing is precious. Even our
hearts are made of cinnamon and 
we trade them away for dimes.
Infatuation is a kind of survival. 
A new crush every week,
a new hair colour for every crush.
Greedy, slutty, psycho, skittish, 
indecisive, sociopathic, uncommitted—
we’ve heard all the adjectives
but they are not our names. 
We will take the world for a kiss if 
we can get it, but we do not ask for,
and we do not expect, the luxury
of time. We are the dayfly girls, 
our genders suspended in intervals
of incomplete maturation. We slip, 
thick and fast, between girl and 
boy and void. Never woman,
even when someone wants a wife.
We do not pine for diamonds,
do not try to make our flings 
into either heroes or men the way 
some of their exes did. We are the 
unmending femmes, forms unfixed as 
moving flame. We are the easy girls,  
the ephemeral girls—and we vanish 
just as quickly as we came.

Jade Wallace is currently pursuing an M.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Windsor. Their poetry, fiction, and essays have been published, or forthcoming, internationally, in journals including Studies in Social Justice, Room Magazine, and The Stockholm Review. Their most recent solo chapbook is Rituals of Parsing (Anstruther Press, 2018) and their most recent collaborative chapbook is Test Centre (ZED Press, 2019). They are an organizing member of Draft Reading series and one half of the collaborative writing partnership MA|DE. Find their website at jadewallace.ca.