from “XEMS”

Months later, during the summer, when I had been out of xems house for quite a while, not yet having been able to write about my experiences with xems in any critical way, having lost my contract with my editor but not having lost my mind, I caught a flight to a city at the verge of the sea. My intent while at the beach was to do some sort of honoring ritual for xems, as a way to thank xems for all that was revealed to me while in xems house.

Before leaving, and after reading the opera of grief and all of its glued in back pages, after holding (in a tight enough way for my holding to offer them darkness to rest in, but in a loose enough way that I did not kill them) a few of the writhing worms that were eating those back pages, I went back out into the partially decaying plot.

I buried the book exactly where I found it, which I had marked with the remnants from each day’s red tea that I drank. But this time I buried the book face down. Face down felt to me like it was one of the prominent themes in regard to xems. That they were not engaging from the front, but from the side or from behind.


j/j hastain is the author of several cross-genre books including the trans-genre book libertine monk (Scrambler Press), anti-memoir a vigorous (Black Coffee Press/ Eight Ball Press) and The Xyr Trilogy: a Metaphysical Romance. j/j’s writing has most recently appeared in Caketrain, Trickhouse, The Collagist, Housefire, Bombay Gin and Aufgabe. j/j has been a guest lecturer at Naropa University and University of Colorado.