All in Poetry & Prose

New Definitions • Part 1: un/settlement

New Definitions is an ongoing series of op-eds feeling through the journey of finding home in a neocolonial homeland as el 李 spends six months in Hong Kong visiting community organizations and reconnecting with family. Traversing geography, politics, and subcultures, these articles consider the specificity of the history of Hong Kong as former British Colony and now ‘Special Economic Region,’ as well as how diasporic queer experiences are transnationally impacted.

Notes from an Invasive Species

IT IS JUNE 2018, and I am spending nearly a month at an artist residency on the Mendocino coast, a four hour drive north of my apartment in San Francisco. The title and ethos here is this will take time, and this line sits heavy and resonant with me for this nebulous stretch that often feels immeasurable.

Swum

If you were to ask me my two most reliable pleasures, I would be able to bark back a certain answer — the way that little children do, when you ask them what they want to eat, or what they dreamt last night. I would tell you that they are reading and swimming, mostly because they have the same rhythm, all disembodied and steady.

Spain

“Those cruises are crazy, I was on one actually. There was an alarm and we all had to get into boats. It was crazy, man.”

Kristen and I are having a hostel roof special in Seville. Paella and alcoholic punch up here for seven euros. What the fuck.

Doll, Divine

Late at night, while my partner is watching basketball in the other room, I excuse myself to play video games. This is a half-truth. Instead of playing one of the many games I’ve purchased and queued up, I open my computer and go to a familiar bookmarked page: dolldivine.com.

The Stain

You stand at the sink again, scrubbing again, the basin filled three-quarters with warm soapy water, your panties bobbing in the suds, your white knuckles squeeze whiter, twist the crotch, pumice stone across the folds back and forth a washboard rhythm...