Send My Love to Anyone #2

with Chelene Knight and Kirby

Hello friends,

Welcome to Issue #2 of Send My Love to Anyone, a monthly newsletter on all things writing.

Each month you’ll receive a reflection on writing or the writing process with me, a guest post or micro interview, responses to questions from readers, event listings, and recommendations.

This month Chelene Knight discusses her writing process, I reflect on my performance anxiety, and Kirby shares an excerpt from their forthcoming collection of essays which is coming out in Fall 2021 with Palimpsest Press.

You’re in for a treat!

Recommendations are now sent in a separate email. If you missed it you can catch up here: Send My Love to Anyone February Recommendations!

I’d love to hear from you. Send me your writing process questions or tips to admin@kathrynmockler.com and they may appear in a future issue.

Kathryn


Micro Interview

CHELENE KNIGHT

Kathryn Mockler: How has your writing been impacted by the pandemic?

Chelene Knight: I find it hard to admit that my writing has been directly impacted by the pandemic because I wrote in the same short, burst-y way I always have. And since I have been working for myself (and from home) for the last three years, I am seasoned to meeting and teaching online. But that doesn't mean there have not been challenges. When I realized that the pandemic was more serious than initially reported, I found that I needed to pivot, make space, and support other writers and professionals in the community who were not used to working virtually. Some of my writing time had to be given up in order to make sure I could mindfully and intentionally support the writers who have given so much of themselves to me and my team at Learn Writing Essentials. My team and I wanted to brainstorm ways to support writers who had lost their day jobs, lost interest in creation, or were bombarded with the new task of having to homeschool their children virtually. I think we did pretty darn well! We launched our “Essentials” membership community during the pandemic too.

But when I turn the lens back on me, the writer, I can say I made good use of the tiny pocket of time that I had left for creation. I made sure to focus on quality time vs being irked that I couldn't dedicate a whole day to writing (not that I ever could nor would I ever want to be left alone with my words for that long LOL).

I am a lover of the short writing burst session. I often only have 20 minutes here, 15 minutes there and I needed to remind myself that it was ok to get my ideas out in visual ways instead of just hitting some arbitrary word count goal. I started to use mind maps as a catalyst for my bigger stories because I could quickly map out an entire idea in mere minutes. I built vision boards. My characters had real faces, homes, pets, and jobs. I broke out the colourful pens, Post It notes, and old notebooks. I called in my community. I hopped on Zoom and shared my ideas with students, friends, and other writer pals. Pandemic or not, we as writers will always find reasons not to write, so the more we get used to this notion of pivoting, the better. I like to think outside of the traditional and see what pivoting can take me and my business.

Chelene Knight is the author of the award-winning memoir, Dear Current Occupant. She is the founder of Breathing Space Creative Literary Studio, teaches poetry at the University of Toronto online, and is an associate literary agent at Transatlantic Agency. Chelene is working on a novel due out in the fall of 2021. Follow her on Twitter @LWEstudio. IG: @learningwritingessentials and @BSC_literary_studio 

Learn Writing Essentials: Write Polish Publish, a self-paced online writing course. This self-paced five-week course is for new writers who want to start sending work out for publication. Whether you want to write micro fiction, prose poems, or verse, this course will tighten your work and even inspire you to write new stuff—with confidence and authenticity. You’ll learn how to establish routine, and to write daily with discipline while being mindful of self-care. There will be a heavy emphasis on hybrid forms. *end of course bonus* Unlike other courses you will receive personal feedback on up to ten pages of pre-existing writing, and a one on one manuscript consult with me to discuss your work, and of course ... publishing opportunities. Something else this course teaches you that no other course does: how to navigate the Canadian Literary scene. We talk about author care—something that has been missing from the publishing landscape for much too long.  The course itself is a mix of videos, audio, and text.

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Reflection

KATHRYN MOCKLER

On Performance Anxiety

“My fingers go numb before I do readings.” —Jason Christie
“I wasn't able to sing in public for years, possibly from flashbacks to a cruel music teacher in grade school. Not even silly karaoke. Fought through it, was the singer in a band for over a decade” —Cynthia Gould
“I did solo performances at music festivals growing up. Anxiety was a constant companion. In grade twelve, while giving my festival performance on flute, the anxiety was so bad that my arms were shaking, my mouth dried up, and this anxiety fed back on itself to the point where I briefly dissociated from my body.” —Julian Day

Like many other writers and artists, performance anxiety has plagued me my whole life.

My first experience with performance anxiety occurred when I was eight years old. I was a funny-looking kid with a droopy eye, and my mother signed me up for a week-long drama day camp which she thought would be good for my self-confidence. It was a disaster.

All the kids knew each other because they went to the same school where the camp was held and knew the teacher. From the get-go, I was completely isolated. At lunch I sat by myself in the school playground and attempted to eat my bologna and mustard sandwich while I watched the other kids play. No one talked to me except one kid who came over to ask what was wrong with my eye. When I didn’t answer, he ran back to his friends laughing. It was the first time in my life I understood that people would not like me because of the way I looked. I didn’t necessarily want to be friends with these kids, but having absolutely no one to talk to was more than I could bear. My face burned in shame sitting on that little wooden bench where I soon discovered I could cry undetected behind my sunglasses if I didn’t move or make a sound.

While lunch time was pure hell, nothing was worse than the actual drama camp where we had to work in groups and perform a variety of acting exercises. Each time I was called on I froze. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t speak. No amount of coaxing could pull me out of this state. The kids stared at me and snickered while the drama teacher waited for me to do something, anything. This happened a couple of times until he stopped calling on me all together. If we were doing an exercise in a circle where everyone had to participate, he would avert his eyes and just skip over me like I wasn’t there. And while it provided me with some relief from public humiliation, it felt worse to be ignored.

Needless to say, I never went back to drama camp, but the lifelong fear of public speaking had firmly settled in.

There weren’t a ton of opportunities for public speaking in my elementary or high school. In Grade 8, I had to read a speech on teen suicide which I remember being nervous about, but because I was delivering an “important” message to my peers, I didn’t freeze up.

The old drama camp performance anxiety didn’t rear its ugly head until I took my first creative writing workshop in poetry in my second year at Concordia University. The first day of the class the professor gave us a writing prompt. Everyone started scribbling madly, and I just stared down at my page like I was back at drama camp. I kept trying to write something, but all I could manage was to put a black dot in the middle of the page. Unlike the drama teacher, this professor called on everyone and no one refused to read their work. When it was my turn, I looked down at my journal and said: “There is a black dot in the middle of my page.”

The professor thew his head back and laughed and said, “Oh, I see, we have a minimalist in the class. Excellent.” And then he went on to the next student.

I liked the idea of being called a minimalist. That comment gave me the confidence to show up to the next class, but I made sure to stack my journal with pre-written poems that I could read in a pinch.

Throughout the rest of my undergrad and grad school, there were only a couple of opportunities where I had to perform my work publicly. It was excruciating, but usually brief. Writing workshops also caused a great deal of anxiety, but the writer was not allowed to speak, so I could hide comfortably within plain sight.

After grad school, I began teaching creative writing workshops. Although I was nervous about it, it didn’t fill me with the same fear that reading my own work did. As long as I was in service of others, I could get through it.

It wasn’t until I was accepted to the Canadian Film Centre’s screenwriting lab where my performance anxiety reached an all time high. I had been teaching grammar, business writing, and composition at a community college for a couple of years, and I absolutely hated it. Teaching in subject areas that I was unenthusiastic about to a group of students who were bored and more often than not outright hostile was brutal. As a sessional, I never knew from term to term whether I would be getting any courses to teach. The teaching environment was exploitative and demoralizing. Once a student asked me how I knew I wanted to be an English teacher. I looked at him in absolute horror and said, “I’m not an English teacher.” He walked away utterly confused. On weekends, I would say to anyone who would listen, “The English teacher wants to kill herself,” and I meant it. The job was killing me, and I needed to get out.

I thought the Canadian Film Centre was going to change my life and save me from this job. I had put so much pressure on myself to do well that my performance anxiety kicked in big time. Whenever I got anxious or had to pitch something, I felt so dizzy I was afraid I would pass out.

So much of the program involved pitching and performance that I had to confront it. I was in a desperate state. My older sister offered to pay for a few sessions with a psychologist who specialized in performance anxiety for athletes. The first thing the psychologist did was have me lay on the ground so she could see how I was breathing. The reason I was feeling dizzy, she said was that I wasn’t breathing from my diaphragm and I was hyperventilating. She taught me box breathing and the triangle breathing method, and she gave me some cognitive behavourial therapy exercises that were somewhat helpful, but as I was gearing up for a big pitch event that would determine whether or not I would get a film made, it just wasn’t enough.

To make matters worse, I was pitching a ridiculous film idea called “The Shitter” about a man who is accosted by a housemate because his shit stinks. I went to my family doctor, and he gave me some beta blockers, a medication often given for high blood pressure that can also be prescribed for performance anxiety. I used the beta blockers for the event and even though the pitch was hell, it went okay. Miraculously my silly concept got picked. I never ended up using beta blockers again for performance anxiety because I didn’t like the way they made me feel. Although they can stop some of the symptoms of anxiety, they made me feel dead from the neck down which is not ideal if you want to connect with an audience.

My search for a cure for my performance anxiety went on over the years. I read tons of books on it. Most of them involved meditation or offered advice on changing your thoughts or calming yourself. I believed if I could be calm then I would perform better. I thought if I could try and hide how I was feeling, no one would notice and I could get through it. I even tried a method which involved suppressing my anxiety to such an extent I felt as numb as if I had taken a beta blocker. And while that worked in the moment, it gave me a full-blown anxiety attack the day after the event.

My next bout of severe performance anxiety occurred around the publishing of my poetry books. Getting a book published means that not only will you read at your launch but you may be invited to read at events or festivals if you are lucky. But I didn’t feel lucky. Every time I got a reading invitation, I felt trapped and tortured. Many of these events involved me reading with a shaky voice. Sometimes I would be so nervous I would faint a little or have to grasp onto a nearby wall because I was so dizzy. The boxed breathing didn’t help. The CBT didn’t help. Often, I would embarrass myself feeling once again like that little kid in the drama class.

For my second book of poetry, I decided to work with two acting coaches where I focused less on my nervousness and learned how to stop avoiding the performance and how to practise properly. I hadn’t really thought about practising before. Whenever I had a reading, I just dreaded it for weeks until it was over. But working with these two actors, I realized the simple truth—the more you practise, the better you will perform. They taught me how to read my own work and be in the moment—to make eye contact and use intonation and pauses for dramatic effect. It would have been fun, if performing still wasn’t HELL ON EARTH.

Around the same time, I discovered a YouTube Interview with Josh Pais, an actor and performance coach who talks about four access points for being present in any situation. I tried his process, and it really helped. It wasn’t a cure, but I quickly discovered that it is way better to accept, acknowledge and use the anxiety as energy for your performance than it is to suppress it or try to push it away. I strongly recommend his online program Committed Impulse.

With the help of the Josh Pais process and my two acting coaches, my performances went from being terrible to actually being kinda good which resulted in MORE reading invitations. Although I was no longer terrible, I was still suffering. Being good at something didn’t make me enjoy it any more.

Despite having a regular process for preparing for a reading or speaking engagement, the stress of performing was catching up with me. It started causing serious health problems. Every time I had to do a poetry reading, my back would go out. Sometimes I would be laid up for days or weeks—even months. This lasted for years until I finally decided I had to stop performing all together and give my body a break.

Between 2016 and 2018, I did not accept any readings or speaking invitations. For the first time in my life, I learned the art of saying no. It was so freeing. I finally felt in control of my life, and my back started getting better. In saying no, I learned that I didn’t have to say yes to every opportunity. The world didn’t fall apart if I didn’t participate. Going forward I decided I would only say yes to things I really wanted to do.

And the first thing I really wanted to do was a reading at knife | fork | book after repeatedly being invited and declining the invitations. The warm environment that Kirby provides as a host made reading feel possible again. It was the first reading I participated in that I actually enjoyed.

I still get nervous before events. Performance anxiety doesn’t go away in a snap, and there’s no magic pill. But the key for me getting through it was not only developing a series of tools I could use (breathing properly, practising, and being present) but also taking some control over what I will commit to.

Do you have a performance anxiety story that you’d like to share? Leave a comment below.

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Sneak Peek

Kirby shares “It’s Queer to Have a Body,” an excerpt from their forthcoming essay collection POETRY IS QUEER (Palimpsest Press, 2021).

KIRBY

It’s Queer to Have a Body

I wouldn’t be the person I am, I wouldn’t understand what I understand, were it not for certain books. I’m thinking of the great question of nineteenth-century Russian literature: how should one live? A novel worth reading is an education of the heart. It enlarges your sense of human possibility, of what human nature is, of what happens in the world. It’s a creator of inwardness. —Susan Sontag

It started with a single line

Pictured, a single line drawing suggests a male torso etched in every fantasy I’ve had since puberty.  [Kirby, This Is Where I Get Off, p20]

Why this line, this angle, and not a curve?

Somewhere I had read that’s what some researcher found, that the homosexual mind preferred angles over curves.

Could be true. I’ve always admired a good angle shot.

Mind you this bunch mostly set out to ‘cure’ the mo out of homo. The o so fine scholar Martin Duberman covers that terrain in but one of his excellent memoirs, Cures.

My saving grace, I never, never trusted the question to begin with. “Why do you think you’re homosexual?” “What made you homosexual?” “If you could be straight, would you?”

I never heard a single non-gay person ask that very same question about their straight selves.

“Ewww, what do you do in bed?”

‘O darlin’, I don’t do anything in bed but sleep.”

No, never trusted that question, not one bit. Wise body.

That’s what I learned to trust, my body. My innate, intimate wisdom.

The most barbarous of our maladies is to despise our being. —Montaigne

Trust isn’t something you think about. Not a faulty belief, not stinking thinking.

 It’s what you know to be true, a place of knowing, your “gut.”

Being able-bodied, when I go to sit, stand, or walk, I trust where my feet meet ground, my body is there to support me. It’s not something I think about. I know enough to trust this is so.

Knowing body.

Of course I can fuck it up, fall down, learn to get back up. Continue.

Somehow my body won out, I knew I wasn’t wrong for being gay.

But, like you, I certainly have suffered my share of being wronged. It was a seismic shift not to thumb the scale. Do that for them.

The real funny thing is, like most [white Christian] Americans in the midwest, of course they thought theirs was/is the only way to live, to see things.

I do not envy their glasses. I trust what I know, and it’s not pretty. Never has been.

Not that I’m ‘better’ but I’ve learned to be ruthless with my conditioners. Done my trench work.

To be homosexual [in America] is to have learned to resist one particularly powerful form of societal conditioning. Some of us take that lesson much further, questioning all manner of conditioned behaviour. Unfortunately, being gay or HIV+ guarantees nothing about one’s readiness to shed conditioned thoughts. Consider how many gay men continue to whine about the display of flesh at pride celebrations. Their letters of complaint appear in gay papers and in the mainstream media. Why must we show our dark side to the world, they ask. Maybe these people miss the point because it’s so simple: some of us have no respect for societal taboos about nudity and sexual expression. We feel that a society that cannot accept a naked human being walking down the street is rotten to the core. —Tom Ace, Diseased Pariah News, No. 8.

The only life I’m interested in begins and ends with my body.

If the concept of God has any validity or any use, it can only be to make us larger, freer, and more loving. If God cannot do this, then it is time we got rid of Him. —James Baldwin

The first third of my life, I was raised to be straight in a straight world, and there lies my deepest sorrow.

That I had more lived experience not being straight, than being gay, being non-binary, painful years of severe self-hatred and fear.

And, it’s not that it “gets better,” all by itself. Fuck that noise.

Oh, life is bitter / Ever since another god has harnessed us to his cross! —Arthur Rimbaud

Darlin’s, some things, I would say most things, aren’t meant for others to decide [and, believe me, given the chance, they will, State. Authority. Some god.] .

You’re not ‘reduced for a quick sale,’ nor are you ‘up for grabs.’

Some things, someone, must be claimed.

Who’s body?

“Mine.”

I don’t have to like everything about my body, or my story, and both are intimately, undeniably mine.

Is it that easy?

Not always easy, simple.

I find life exceedingly less pleasurable without my body.

And, this lifetime, my lifetime, I’m only going to experience life [that I know of] in this queer body of mine.

Grasp the good fortune that the ground on which you stand cannot be any bigger than the two feet planted on it. —Franz Kafka

Your body is yours, the ground where you stand, your ground. This includes your voice (also entirely physical). You have a say as long as you own what is yours, Your voice, your body.

You can always fuck it up, make a mess of it, be your brilliant self continuously refining what’s yours. You can always make another choice.

Always, always place yourself in a position of choice.

May not be your first, or even second, choice. But, make it yours.

There’s a quick and easy way to practice this (as I do to this day).

Whenever I find myself caught up/stewing in some stinking thinking (“darlin’ you’ve had a mind fart, open a window”) I ask myself two things:

“Darlin’ where are your feet?” and when seated,

“Darlin’ do you feel your ass in this chair?”

I know where my feet and ass are, I am.

And I’m more/other than any stinking thinking I can come up with.

If you’re gonna stew, make certain it’s not only edible, but delicious.

Free bodies are free to be themselves. That’s liberation.

My body responds in kind. Enjoys the roominess.

I didn’t learn any of this being straight. And this is as queersplaining as I get.

We have reason to believe that man first walked upright to free his hands for masturbation. —Lily Tomlin

An interviewer once asked what made the biggest difference, the greatest learning/change in my life, which I heard as what makes Kirby, Kirby.

“I no longer go for my jugular.”

It’s never that serious—to cut myself off, to treat myself so harshly—and at that time mostly for others who don’t care to begin with.

“I increased my arsenal from just a machete or sharp variations, to include a feather-duster ...

Kirby, the feather duster is all that’s required here, not the machete, that can stay on the wall.”

“A pink feather-duster.”

Now, she owns a Dyson.

Our true birthplace is that in which we cast for the first time an intelligent eye on ourselves. My first homelands were my books. —Marguerite Yourcenar

Desire’s not a thought either.  That’s all body baby!

What informs that desire? Shapes? Arouses? Turns on/off?

There’s the play. The wonderment. The mystery. The delight.

Information. in/form. form = body 

How do our bodies inform us? Body of knowledge. Trust what I [physically] know.

So much splaining. Everyone trying to figure it out. Which usually ends up trying. Trying is its own activity. It feels like doing something, but it’s only trying. So much extraneous energies wasted. The place of indecision, hovering, trying to get it right.

Replace the word try with choose.

No, don’t try replacing the word, choose. Test it out. Take your gay self for a spin.

This is what I’m choosing sets things in motion. No longer trying.

Don’t take my word for it, I’m just a faggot poet.

Wait, how do you know you’re straight? You don’t try to be straight. Do you? Maybe you do. Have fun with that!

I never imagined sex with a vulva person until I went harness shopping [for a friend].

Nothing less than brilliant. Always more you, never less.

That would be like my butcher trying to take a few slices of bacon off the weighted scale, [NEV-VAH!!!] my reaction is to chop their hand off, my response,

“O no, darlin’, it can go over a little.”

Always more. You can always reshape, reconfigure once you know what more is.

That’s the truly great thing about having a body. Capacity.

My body informs me,  enough   plenty   full.   Floor  ceiling   ground.

It’s never unilateral.

How does your body get your attention?

Like most, pain. When something’s wrong.

You may choose to extend the menu.

My body loves being included in my choice-making.

“Wait, darlin’ are you sure we can do this? You’re already operating over capacity?”

Maybe something a lil more respectful, kin to my skin. Wise body. 

“Attention must be paid.” Listen, confer with yourself, your body.

Every breath is a resurrection. —Gregory Orr

It takes no breath to react.

It takes at least two breaths to respond.

It’s never unilateral.

The majority never make it past reactive mode.

It’s a queer thing to have/own a body. Against the norm.

I’m not talking about wellness, fuck those “O, I thought I might be good to myself,” niceties.

I’m inviting you to step into the power that is your body, your voice. Yours.

Her reasons are really quite selfish. She’s tired of puniness.

She’s tired of people residing in stagnant piss puddles as though they were fortresses to be defended.

As though that’s who they are.

My worry is not the absence of presence in writing but the presence of absence in presence. —Charles Bernstein

Darlin’s, you already cut a fine figure. It’s called your body.

I truly don’t care what kind of body, what kinda shape you’re in, I care about one thing and one thing only.

That you’re here.

From the head down [or neck up] you may think you don’t matter, that ‘it’ shouldn’t matter, that you don’t want to be here.

From the ground up, you entirely matter.

“It really doesn’t matter that you’re queer, does it?, I mean you’re other things as well, right?” People who don’t want to hear about your queer life all the time when we live in “their straight world” 100% of the time.

I’ve had to translate straight life for 60+ years now, even in gay bars, queer spaces. Now, given the choice, I don't bother to try.

I assume everyone is queer unless they inform me otherwise.

I can always hear no. It helps to make an informed choice.

Maybe it’s not about figuring things out, but a matter of figuring yourself in [the picture of your own life]. You’re already out just by being here. 

Throw on some Go-Gos. Deee-lite. Prince. Aretha. Go figure, go!

I didn’t learn any of this being straight. Mine is not a straight body. This body is Triple Grade-AAA queer.

Queer: a person who self-proclaims the authority of their own body in defiance of church and state.

Yes, I’m asking you to become a sex radical. It’s the best sort of radical to be. Because when you get more information about your own sexuality, the quality of your life improves immediately. When you free your body from the invisible control of church and state, you not only challenge some of the most evil authoritarian institutions in the world, you have more fun and better orgasms. —Pat [now Patrick] Califia, Forbidden Passages: Writings Banned in Canada

It’s taken me a lifetime to become this pretty, and I’m mining my queer riches. Still.

Do yourself a favour, read Betty Dodson, Liberating Masturbation, Sex for One, better still, view her jaw-dropping life-changing, video, Self-loving. I have never before witnessed, experienced bodies fully in their power. Thank me later.

“Such a brave and lovely act it is to let the body celebrate.” —Tom Spanbauer, In the City of Shy Hunters

My absolute favourite thing about being queer is a predilection I’ve cultivated towards pleasure.

With the greatest enthusiasm, I suggest we embrace the very threatening principle of joy. The poet Audre Lorde once said that sexuality stems from a deep wellspring of joy. Gay people are by definition, and in my experience, joyous people. We have found a way to turn everything into a celebration; in our lives dancing resembles a sacred act. We should not look at this as a sign of moral weakness, as our enemies and the more self-hating among us do; we should consider this gay impulse toward pleasure to be a central part of the gay and lesbian character. The disdain of some gay activists toward what Michael Bronski has termed “the pleasure impulse” reflects our adoption of straight morality’s condescending attitude toward pleasure, joy, and desire. But in gay life pleasure serves a very different role. We do not fear it; we embrace it, ritualize it, and are transformed by its power. —Urvashi Vaid,Virtual Equality

“You’re here for such a short time darlin’s” How many times have we heard this?! Usually from old farts (like my current self) we don’t want to hear from while we're just trying to get it all in this lifetime and carve something of a life for ourselves.

“What do they know?”

I can only tell you, I miss my gay elders, and I still seek them out. In their writings.

It’s largely why I’m so attracted to queer writers journals, diaries, memoirs, [and, at times, interviews/essays]. The question that has always pushed me onward is “How then shall we live?” And for queers, this has always seemed a matter of life and death, all too real to this day, but reading how others have lived creates/points to certain ways, maps, discoveries, directions, permissions, possibilities.

I’m not a stingy queen. If there’s some I know to ease your way, I’ll willingly share.

That oft-used Baldwin quote paraphrased here, “you think you’re the only one, until you read…”

I found it refreshing that virtually every poet/writer had the same concerns about money, the lack thereof, and how they managed.

That it didn’t keep them from living, writing. Travelling. Their dreams.

That living [openly] as queer artists was even possible.

Mostly how queers artists found themselves and each other. And it was usually quite messy and filled with dramas but lo and behold you found ways, even if you’re a young thang in butt-ugly vacant midwest.

Life need not be a story, but it does need to be an adventure. —Douglas Coupland

Usually, it involves a thumping bass, disco ball and lights, fog, fans, tambourines, boots, jeans, and sweat. A smashing outfit.

Darkened cinemas, backrooms, peeps, arcades, flashing marquees, smoke, mirrors, fags, dykes, trans, queers and the lot. Dinner parties in Calgary.

Sometimes, it’s a tent, tied to the rafters of an unfinished upper floor of a house, where this queer spent hours and hours and days reading everything they could about the glamorous life.

Such fortune, the privacy of a tent to discover the wonders.

Everything I ever needed to know about form I learned from Joe Dallesandro.

The simple line. Angle shot.

Why I’m a gayboy.

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KIRBY is the author of WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE CALLED? (Anstruther Press, 2020) THIS IS WHERE I GET OFF (Permanent Sleep Press, 2019) SHE’S HAVING A DORIS DAY (knife | fork | book, 2017). Forthcoming POETRY IS QUEER (Palimpsest, Fall 2021) and NOT YOUR BEST no 2 [Editor, KFB, Fall 2021]. They are the publisher, book fairy at knife | fork | book [Toronto]. jeffkirby.ca


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About Kathryn Mockler

Kathryn Mockler is the author of five books of poetry and several short films and experimental videos. She’s the publisher of Watch Your Head, an online journal devoted to climate justice and the climate crisis and Send My Love to Anyone, a newsletter on all things writing. She is the editor of the print anthology Watch Your Head: Writers & Artists Respond to the Climate Crisis (Coach House Books, 2020) and her debut story collection is forthcoming with Book*hug in 2023