In Which We May Honour Our Boats

by Ana Cecilia Alvarez

Édouard Glissant opens Poetics of Relation in the belly of the boat. In its horrors. ‘For the Africans who lived through the experience of deportation to the Americas,’ he begins, ‘confronting the unknown with neither preparation nor challenge was no doubt petrifying.’ Glissant asks us to imagine the enslaved, the deported, ruptured from their familiar winds and gods, chained in darkness, dying next to the dead.

The Kardashian Decade

What is odd about the Kardashian lifestyle is exactly, notwithstanding the money, how not odd it is. A lot of this show involves them fighting in restaurants; much is about whether mothers have actual favorite children — the difference being that here, the answer is: “yes, but for fiscal reasons.”

Soft Things

Ever since I found the group’s ASMR YouTube channel in 2013, I had felt I should be one of them. I wanted to know what they looked like. I wanted to have it confirmed that they were just like me, and normal.

Literary Quartet

We’re in a labyrinth of ladders, arcing and curling around one another, following others’ routes, occasionally being given a hand over treacherous rungs. Some ladders lead to dead ends, others to platforms from where we can shout down encouragement, or ignore all beneath.

Traum

In the video for her song Criminal, I watch Fiona Apple’s body and wait for it to tell me how I should feel about her, or towards her, and in this video, the messages are mixed.

An Incomplete Taxonomy of Sexually Desperate Women in Pop

The Oilfield Allegorist: Dorothy Ellis — Drill Daddy Drill (1952) Thirty-six years before Dallas brought us the oil-centric Ewing family, there was Drill Daddy Drill, an ode to oil extraction that’s really an ode to sex, and is also not to be confused with the (Republican, therefore deeply unsexy) slogan Drill Baby Drill!

Britney Spears, Pop's Final Girl

No piece of famous-girl gossip has ever surprised me less than learning that the night before her Vegas wedding to Jason Alexander, Britney Spears watched The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

I'll Start with a Line

I got my first tattoo the weekend before my 22nd birthday. I decided – while sitting on the floor of a bathroom stall that I should’ve been cleaning, at the job I worked full-time when I wasn’t in school – on the word “bluets”. Or the title of Maggie Nelson’s lyrical talisman of a book. It was only later that I found out about its cult-object status.

The Volcano Lover

Everybody does it. Watch from the bottom of the escalator at Naples’ Toledo metro station and you see heads stop turning from side to side like loose bottle caps and pivot upwards. They’re looking at a portal into another dimension, or more precisely, station architect Oscar Tusquets Blanca’s perfect cone-shaped tunnel cut deep into the ceiling ...

Hunting Hamburg's Counterculture

The train was to leave Berlin appallingly early. Having confused the German words for Saturday and Sunday in sleepy delirium, I missed the bus to the station. Sitting against a wall on the deserted street corner, my skin blooming with hives, I breathed deeply, clutching the fingers of my left hand in time with each round.