Dreamed As Medicine: Meditations on Gender and Spirit

by Alexis Penney

I think that I am non­binary. I’m not sure exactly what this could mean. If gender is the way one is read and received, I don’t know who I could be if I only had to read and receive myself. I think that I might be non­binary, because I only feel fully at ease around the queer, trans and gender non-conforming. When I’m being read and received by the mostly cis, I feel ill at ease, to say the least.

My Favourite Utopia

After yet another week of revelations reaffirming the exhausting injustices of life under patriarchy, I sank into another bath. I was listening to My Favorite Murder, waiting for Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark’s comforting tones to transport me from the grotesque world of men using their positions of power to abuse countless women (and the ensuing chorus of victim-blaming) to the relative calm of American true crime stories.

The Sex Column #1: Disgust

I won’t be replying to a series of individual questions in this column, rather writing about themes that I see recurring—the most common being straight men asking how to 'fuck good'. And I'm never going to deal with that. It has been dealt with. Please leave me alone.

In Which We May Honour Our Boats

I let Glissant’s words wash over me, underlining this phrase as if gasping for air. He will elide, repeat, interject his own streams, tracing the rhizomatic fibrils of his thought. It frustrates and enlivens.

London: It's Not You, It's Me

The most significant long-term affairs in my life have been with cities. Growing up, we are taught, through fairytales and romantic narratives, that life’s for sharing with someone else, but in 2017, society is in flux.

Grenfell Exposed London's Negligence Towards Its Immigrants

London is a struggle if you’re broke. London if you’re a broke immigrant, however, is unfathomably cruel. The Grenfell Tower fire is the most painful manifestation of this the capital has ever seen.

Voice-Activated Anxiety

A few months ago, I awoke in the middle of the night to discover that my right arm was numb. This happened on four consecutive nights, by which point I was panicking, pleading with my body—not tonight. It didn’t cooperate. Why was this happening?

Corbyn or Bust

For the first time in decades, the British public have a clearly defined choice to make, one which involves a Labour party that is putting forward unashamedly left-of-centre policies. If we lived in a well-functioning democracy this would already have been common knowledge.

Clusters of My Mind

I am falling deeper, becoming more remote. I sense more haze, more flowers, more bees and then visions of the accident surface. The stench of diesel and red wine penetrates my nostrils. I see broken glass everywhere, and a fractured window open to the sky.

The Night Lou Reed Died

I had never been involved in group sex. My curiosity was always overruled by the fear of entering into a twilight world, where bored swingers, back-rubs and Michael Fassbender’s character in Shame hung around twitching in a side-street sauna. But this felt different.