Letter #4

It was recently lesbian visibility week, it was recently 
the anniversary of Chernobyl. Occupation and genocide are 
raging and raging, breaking everything inside and between us. 

This relationship between technologies of war and 
technologies of intimacy, our inner worlds, is what is at stake 
in issue 4, which is glowing, virulent. 

If we do focus on the intimate, on familial and sex lives, 
there’s always a danger isn’t there of reaffirming/reifying
a domestic scale that has not exactly been chosen, is rather 
assigned, and may have been taken up in the name of safety. 

Being in the street, protest, though, reminds us that this 
‘small scale’ is a straw man. 

The question of scale has always been important for the queer 
and trans*feminist internet - as it doesn’t matter that your 
server cannot rival google’s only that you made it, know how it 
works, maintain it with your people. Issue #2 poet and coder
Mara Karagianni writes about this in their essay on 
Feminist Infrastructures. In this issue, estragon,of SysterServer, 
uses some epic literary and sound techniques to tell the story, 
detail the work, of hooking them, all magazine up to SysterServer. 

The other thinkers and poets in the issue also use epic 
directions to trouble the anxieties of scale.

Xyana’s poem Radioactive Soup dilutes the big history of 
nuclear energy and Chernobyl crisis in their family and friend's
experiences on the border of Belarus, letting the tale drip out
too in the Glasgow rain.

Pratibha Parmar’s poem Revolutionary Consumerism, originally 
published in 1984, reminds us that a revolutionary gaze bound 
some feminists to Irish resistance movements in ways that were
not revolutionary at all. This exoticising, racialising gaze 
still structures feminist solidarity today: it’s a mirror that
still needs smashing.

The poems of Melissa Lee-Houghton, Madeleine Stack and 
Shia Conlon lead us in and out of bedrooms, darkrooms, cities, 
villages, the pub and dank corners, and back on the street. 
Their characters are striking, on strike, struck and stricken.

In other words, it is not our relationships that are toxic, 
not our toxic sexualities, but capital’s toxic production, 
the toxic output of colonialism.

Glowing & virulent. Thanks to the writers.                                                                                      

Rebecca Close,
Barcelona, 3rd May 2024.