I Hate This Part of Texas #7/Keep Loving Keep Fighting #7
Though you may not know from reading it I Hate This Part of Texas #7/Keep Loving Keep Fighting #7 is a split zine. Composed of journal style entries recounting the grief of losing a city, the introduction page of the zine calls itself “more of a splicing of two zines about...the city we still love, New Orleans.” A layered and much needed marriage of accounts, this zine offers the kind of material and insight needed is we as a community are to make ourselves available to the psychic dealing and repair so lost to the Gulf Coast and its fighting residents.
Deeply honest, the zine unflinchingly details the fears and anxieties of upheaval, intermittent alcoholism, things to be grateful for, resentment, and displacement. “I can walk into the house and there's my old life, wracked and wrought and strewn about, moldy and collapsed...an eerie and terrible reminder of what might have been, had we been allowed to continue.”
Dedicated in large part to their friend, Helen Hill, a woman, wife, friend, and mother who, shortly after returning to New Orleans post-evacuation, was shot and killed in her home, this “zine-splice” is a heavy fifty or so pages of mourning, as well as remembrance. An entry from Mardi Gras 2007 acutely describes the wearing of such loss. “Don and I spoke of the fog as souls returning to the city, all the souls who have died here. Perhaps all the souls up and down the serpentine length of this vast river, this artery of dreams and desire and struggle and loss.”
The love and fervor written in the pages of this zine are a small miracle of words that do not die, but lay to rest - breathe. This work embodies the fullness of survival and dedication, an imperative read if the feeling that ought to end up lain in the dirt - isolation, despair, alienation - may seed and flower into hope and continuity.