Lifespan of a Blooming Chembarathi (Hibiscus)

to Chinnu (Anjana Harish) 
TW: Suicide  

Did your Amma tell you too
that the chembarathi was a sign of madness?
My Amma did. You know, because Pappu
the ‘madman comic’, wears it before Dr. Sunny
gently ‘fixes’ him with a knock to his head, 
after saving Ganga from Nagavalli’s Ghost
in Manichitrathazhu, cult
psychological horror where women are
both accused & victim.
Chembarathi became this Madness–
through repetition, internal rhymes 
of malayalam comedy,
dialogue our families love quoting with
umpteen rules about being the right Malayali 
penne, all straight, like the 
goddamn pasta. Did you like penne? Or did you
like Parotta, maida layers & oil, quintessential
Malayali food? I’m an idiyappam person though.
I–I mean–my hair is as straight 
as its steamed, squished noodles. You would
get this joke. I can’t translate 
the joke to Malayalam–no words
for us, not any I know. 
You might have; you studied Malayalam, but
your Amma didn’t understand 
it anyway. I can guess. Her first
question must have been are you 
mad? I know how Ammas are. To try help you,  
she took you to school, church, therapy, where 
they knocked you around to
put sense in you/get english nonsense out, 
like a stuck chala fish-bone
they can heimlich out & not 
our ribs, cracking into heart.
Curious me googled ‘chembarathi’ and result:
represents the feminine. trope twisted stigma.
Did you know the lifespan of a chembarathi 
at full bloom was one day?
That’s how long the news cared. I dug 
through the articles for weeks, found photos 
of you smiling with her, both in matching red
and that you went by Chinnu instead – a pet-name, 
from your chosen family? Or maybe pen-name? 
We are no Kamala Das & even she went 
by Madhavikutty. I get it. 
our day to be an open book is not 
here yet.


Glossary
chembarathi – Hibiscus
chala – A type of fish commonly eaten in Kerala
Penne – Girl in Malayalam (in latin letters)
Manichitrathazhu – a famous psychological thriller/horror in Malayalam Cinema.
Kamala Das – Malayali poet and writer, famous/controversial for her depictions of same-sex relations in her poetry/autobiography/fiction
idiyappam  – A steamed rice noodle cake common to Southern India, often eaten with curries
Parotta – A type of bread, with Beef Fry; it is the most well known food in Kerala.

Written by Rouha.
Photograph by Nydia Blas, “Untitled” from The Girls Who Spun Gold, 2016.

Quarantine Archive

Quarantine Archive is a new series showcasing quarantine art and creativity from around the world. These are the home movies, paintings, poems etc submitted from bedrooms. Send yours to postscriptmagazine1@gmail.com with the subject: Quarantine Archive

 

Poem-playlist by Jessie Bullard


“Nite Owl” by Chaimihai (taken with disposable film)


“Cluster” by Chaimihai (taken with disposable film)

Independent Film by Joana Amora

Crochet blanket by Katie Glasgow-Palmer

A Quarantine Production from Lubnah Ansari on Vimeo.

Found Poem (1).jpgFound poem by Jessie Bullard

 

Sketches of Us.jpgJournal entry by Jessie Bullard

 

Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 5.52.03 PM (2).pngJournal entry by Bernice delos Reyes

The Soft Place by Kellie Lehr

My work is an amalgamation of real and imagined images. I’m interested in creating sensations of movement and visual rhythm that feel caught in states of either becoming or dissolving.
My source material often comes from the natural landscape, and I use it as a jumping-off point. I combine this with an ongoing questioning of the impact of technology and underlying psychological states. Surprisingly, I’ve noticed my work has become brighter and more whimsical as the world has become darker and more dystopian.

Edges play an essential role – both soft and dissolving, as well as hard and abrupt; the place where one thing ends, and another begins; the soft place to fall and the wakeup call. Forms, as well as negative space, often become structures with patterns to be explored and questioned. The result of my process is an image that usually lies somewhere between reality and fantasy, digital and natural, and confusion and clarity.

Painting by Kellie Lehr

Unavoidable Mistakes by Kellie Lehr

The Split by Kellie Lehr

Painting by Kellie Lehr

Kellie Lehr is an artist living in Fayetteville, AR. Lehr holds a B.S. in International Economics and spent 2013–2018 studying in the Drawing and Painting program at the University of Arkansas. In 2019, she was selected for Art File by The Painting Center in New York and the 2019-2020 National Museum of Women in the Arts juried registry by it’s Arkansas committee. Recent exhibitions include 21C Museum Hotel in Bentonville, AR and the 59th Annual Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock, Tapped at Manifest Gallery in Cincinnatti and New Optics at The Painting Center in NYC. Her work is in private collections throughout Arkansas, California, Texas, Florida, Wisconsin, New Jersey and New York.
Lehr is the Gallery Director for 211 South (formerly The Gallery at Midtown), a contemporary art gallery located within Engel & Volkers NWA at 211 South Main St. in Bentonville, AR.

Meditations in the Room

By Kate Gough

Ikenaga Yasunari

I am in a room
in a bed.
I am here often,
but rarely is it talked about on the news.

The abled are watching,
tweeting like birds
and fighting like racoons
over spare bread and soft paper.
They do not think about their bodies often.
Automaton whirring until a fly creeps in,
that is when the machine stops.
It rarely stops.
These are the days they stop
to think about flesh and bone.
These are the days they call their mothers
over the phone.

I am in a room
in a bed.
I am here often,
but rarely is it talked about on the news.

These days, there is more to lose.
***
A quiet quarantine
in a self-isolated submarine,
deeper and deeper, in between
anxiety and apathy,
they say I’m being selfish
for madness in a time of need.

Panic, they say it’s the worst time.
All the panic before was just practice,
obsessive compulsive sadness.
I am spiralling,
but it’s a bad time.
So I swallow,
I am fine
until I am hollow.

A quiet quarantine
in a self-isolated submarine.
The world doesn’t need more sickness.
The world doesn’t need…

 

Artwork by Ikenaga Yasunari

This Is Not A Dream by Harshini Karunaratne

Harshini Karunaratne is a Sri Lankan-Peruvian photographer and visual designer. These works are a reflection of our current crisis as we face a new reality: “In the first image, I reflect on the romanticization of face masks. In the second, I combine shapes and colours in a dream-like way but to alert the viewer that what they’re witnessing, and experiencing, is not a dream.”

 

E_Steampunk gas mask profile (1).jpg

00 This is not a dream_crop-04 (1).jpg

THE AMARITUDO OF THE PORT-ROYAL HERMITS

By Colin James

degas.rehearsal

Everything echos in here.
Vespers incant, thank phlox.
My cell brotherless.
The view through the stone slit
is a bit sparse.
Just make out some white cloth,
linen fluttering.
I gravitate to the winery where
we are storing more than ever
since our daily allotment was reduced
due to some off key dirgers.
The Abbot is a stickler
tense as a varicose conundrum.
South is the confessional of the moment
the sun here a conformist’s grey.
That’s my Mercedes in the arbor.
I’m off for Cannes via Elderado.

 

Artwork by Edgar Degas

Tracing Identities by Tóia Azevedo

“No models were harmed in the making of this collage”, mixed media collage

Tóia Azevedo’s main artistic research is on the concept of identity. She uses her own body to make this search: in self portraits, mixed media collages, embroidery, performance. Additionally, she likes to look at the faces of the strangers she sees in magazines, and imagine what stories lie behind them. Who are these people? What can their features tell us about them? And about us? And about Azevedo herself?

In the following works, Azevedo has burned some faces to show what lies behind a perfect pair of model’s eyes: some could say that it’s an act of uprising against our society’s ruthless beauty standards, a kind of revenge against the perfection persisting in the spotlight. By burning, Azevedo takes away their identity or showcases things that we don’t usually see in them. She has used embroidery to draw facial features from people she doesn’t know under a thin layer of tracing paper: the result is some confused lines that we identify as human faces. It is a projection of the real humans under the paper as if they are immersed in dim waters.

Finally, Azevedo has covered herself in pink organza fabric in an attempt to hide her body as a sacred unseen goddess – but it isn’t enough. She is forced to trace the lines which both shape and imprison her at the same time. It’s all about lines, really. It’s all about finding maps, locations and therefore, identities in the body’s features. What all these works have in common is the necessity of finding unknown places, hidden identities, that one would not be able to see if there wasn’t any kind of burning or hiding or covering of the lines.

“No models were harmed in the making of this collage”, mixed media collage
“No models were harmed in the making of this collage”, mixed media collage

 

“Tracing Identities”, mixed media collage
“Tracing Identities”, mixed media collage

 

The High Priestess, self-portrait mixed with embroidery

 

Tóia Azevedo lives in São Paulo, Brazil, where she currently studies Visual Arts at São Paulo State University (UNESP). She works with portrayals of her own body in space, time and society. Tóia’s research involves goddesses and primordial feminine elements and how they manifest in our era. Some of her media includes photography, collage and embroidery, ceramics, performance, painting and poetry.