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Olga Wolstenholme's picture

Krakow Melt: “Don’t Fall In Love With Fires, Start Them”

Krakow Melt
by Daniel Allen Cox
Arsenal Pulp Press
176 pp., $15.95


My mother reads books backwards and if what she reads intrigues her she’ll give the beginning a try. I read the first line, the last line and something picked at random from the middle, and if these decontextualized sentences tug at something inside me there’s a good chance I’ll pick up that particular book and add it to my “to read” list.

Yes, you heard me right, I’ll read the last line. There’s no need to gasp, you can close your jaw now. And no, it doesn’t ruin the story. Last lines very rarely give anything away concerning plot and without the context of a story to back them up, they’re not easy to remember. What they do hint at, though, is the aesthetic of a book, whether I’ll like the style or not. I knew I would like Krakow Melt from it’s very first line: “Krakow is crows. Big, floppy ones.” Actually the first paragraph is pretty golden as far as I’m concerned.

Krakow is crows. Big, floppy ones. I don’t live in the city center but in Nowa Huta, a suburb a few kilometers east. We can still hear them sqawking from far away, yammering on about the histories. I do a bit of that myself.

Alex Karydi's picture

Trans Lesbian for the Night!

All night, all I got from my two companions and supporters for the evening was “wow, you’re really not yourself. Are you okay?” After the hundredth time of saying that I am alright I tried to bounce out of my head but I had already become hyper vigilant to my environment and to the people who surrounded me.

Comfortable in my body, bound and changed through the use of duct tape and props but not with the person who was inhabiting it.  I can only imagine the experience being the opposite for an individual who is transgender, to know the person but not being able to fit in the body.

I have always had a great admiration for the transgender population, I have felt that they have been at the fore front of the attacks from the heterosexual community and for much of our time on this planet they have been misunderstood, ignored, abused, victimized, and treated unkindly. This has not only been from our straight counterparts but from the gay, lesbian, and bisexual community.

Alex Karydi's picture

Corrective Rape.

Freedom, Rape, Lesbian, Punishment… just words right? Just words lined up. However words have power, even in ancient Kabbalah text they shared that words are the recipe of what they depict and evoke.

So if I take these four words and put them together in a sentence, “Lesbians have no Freedom in some countries because they are Raped and Punished for who they are.”  Now that is a lot less innocent, and now my words, simple on their own have changed the page they first were sounded upon. 

Growing up in South Africa was not easy, not for anyone but least of all for women.  We are seen as property and in the African culture, as something to trade with another family for gifts and hopefully for grand children that will take care of you one day. 

I grew up as a middle class white foreigner in a country struggling for independence and freedom, mixed with hatred and anger; none was seen more then amongst the different South African tribes.  There was violence towards each others differences in political views, often the whole suffered for the few that had little tolerance. 

 I often tell people who ask me to explain to them the violence, especially after they come to know that my mother was murdered there, that when you have lived in utter poverty all your life and have seen your world through a pinhole that shows nightmares some of us will gratefully never know, you lose that sense of empathy. In desolation you lose your humanity.  When everything has been taken away, and what you are left with is little hope, anger is the emotional volcanic explosion that takes over your mind. 

It saddens me, as I was once in love with the country I grew up in, but it has ravaged my soul and today after I watched the video, E 60 Corrective Rape it has left me empty again.

Alex Karydi's picture

Hit it, Snort it, Chug it.... Don't call me an addict!

I will keep your secret, I will not tell… a soul
That you drink alone
I will not tell, I will not tell a soul
I will not tell anyone when you do that line of coke or take one more hit of smoke
I will not tell, I will not tell a soul
I will not tell that when you are high and drunk…
You like to hit me
I will not tell, I will not tell a soul
I will not tell anyone know why my thighs are bruised, my eye is black and my heart is broken
I will not tell, I will not tell a soul
Your secrets safe… I will not tell anyone
… That we are lost and alone.”

No you do not have a problem; it is the world that has a problem with you. No, you drink like everyone else, and the drugs, well that is just recreational and you are in control of that too! No not you because only street bums, whores, and low lives are addicts.

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