Octavio Paz writes in The Labyrinth of Solitude that “the North American’s irritation results from his seeing the pachuco as a mythological figure and therefore, in effect, a danger” (19). If the pachuco (defined here as the distinctly Mexican American, working-class, urban counterculture figure of the early 20th Century) approaches mythological status “as a pariah, a man who belongs nowhere,” then it is his situatio
In the twentieth and twenty-first century, Euro-American theory has made a habit of subsuming subaltern struggles into their narratives and theorizations of modernization and post-modernization. Following Arshin Adbib-Moghaddam’s assertion against Hardt’s and Negri’s Multitude that “the idea that contemporary Islamic movements are postmodern [are…] denies them an existence of their own” (138), I argue that Euro-Ameri
Depicting The young woman on the large vinyl print hanging from a C-stand in the first room of The Queen’s English by Martine Syms is looking directly into the camera, which is to say, into the eyes of the photographer or the viewer. The blown-up image is crisscrossed by the kind of folds that occur when a piece of paper or a photograph is carried around in a pocket over a long period of time. She wears street clothi
“I am I,” Gertrude Stein wrote, “because my little dog knows me” (149). Yet there is also an “I” in exclusion and so much of our identity formation, as we well know, is dictated on the grounds of difference: I am I because I am not what you are, a fact or feature of identity made explicit in any discussion of belonging, but particularly a viewpoint fashioned through the gaze. “To exist is to be called into being,” Ho
“Action! We must have action!” they said once again on their megaphone. As I clumsily made my way through the crowd on a cold Ivy league campus to hear what the action entails, I noticed the overwhelming number of graduate students who showed up to the rally. It might be said that such a sight, if it serves no other purpose than a boost of morale, ought to show us how something so simple as presence could be marked a
Je suis une pensée jugulée dans une boîte à vents Mon corps poinçonné de sévices regorge de bouches feutrées de silences Tu ne me reconnais pas J’avais sur la joue gauche le pli du coquin Dans la gorge tordue le rire voluptueux de l’impie Ma pupille transportait la sclérose divine Je ne craignais le vide ronflant de la caverne bouche bée * La chevelure rousse est une relapse qui scande dévotement une priè
Je n’oublierai jamais comment tu disloquais les ornements des proues des Buick avec la grâce d’un voleur de roses, fin spécialiste de la science de la décapitation en douceur. Tu raffolais de chaque nouvel ajout à ta collection — anges anonymes, cygnes art déco, formes aérodynamiques, chevreuils au profil sensuel s’élançant droit devant vers des phares avant — emballé sous vide dans des sacs ziploc et enterré
I’ll never forget how you snapped hood ornaments off the prows of parked Buicks with the hand of a rose thief, well versed in the science of tender decapitation. You relished each new addition to your collection—faceless angels, art deco swans, aerodynamic abstractions, seductively streamlined stags leaping head-on into headlights—packed airtight in zip-lock bags & buried behind a paddle cactus so overgrow
Trigger warnings: Rape, sexual assault, violence step one I’ll take your penis whether it’s hard (why is it called that even hard it is still pliant and break- able) or flaccid (a satisfying word) (it sounds like a cut a cat chomp) preferably somewhere in between rolls of skin stretching still hunkered against your balls for shelter will it be a sharp knife or dull will it glint or be tarnished you will
We the foolish pupils too big for her budget-cutting britches it’s not calligraphy for school children woven rug pulled from beneath our collective feet so more room to dance, whee and the Prez rides away echo of post-9/11 disbelief grief on her missile magic carpet ride we attendants clutch vacuums, carpet sweepers valedictorian outrage from below and she’s back in a puff of smoke preens intractable sn
Do not laugh, child, do not laugh, For you will be crying In five minutes time. And your tears Shall salt this garden, And no plants shall grow. Will I kill what I touch… Do not embrace, child, do not embrace, For when you grasp, You will crush the life And suck it out with a kiss, Like a leech, Consuming all that you love. Do not snatch my meal away… Do not eat, child, do not eat, For either it wil
I grow a pine garden, And watery-eyed poets scoff, “Where are your roses? Your garden is pitiful. No vibrant fire-color, no flowers To impress and daze.” The rose is beautiful. But the pine is humble. It adapts to frozen crystal nights, While the rose resists with flame and blood. The needles of the pine are honest, And it bears neither flower nor fruit. The rose dons a red façade Concealing its thorns.
caught in my throat like gravel like rust gritted teeth like iron in my gums something bloomed in my cheek something plucked like a poppy a thing puddling in chunks in my hands as if torn from a book or scratched like a name from a tree faggot traced itself out traced the curve of an f in the slick of the green of the glass of a bottle on a straw in a drink in a fist of a man in a bar cut through by a scratch
Oh! All of these people. You’re crowding me in. And I’m getting dirty. Go back on land. Dry off. Lie in the sun for a while. I’ll work. I know I remind you of the womb. But, please, ask for my permission before you enter. Don’t just dive in. That upsets my equilibrium. Pay more attention to me. I’m deep. Respect me. I have a lot of work to do. I take in those rivers, the ice from up north and way down south. I have t
Transverse is a peer-reviewed journal with an interdisciplinary focus organized by graduate students at the Centre for Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto.
Our mission is to provide a space to showcase critical works, creative writing, and visual art that do not easily fit into more traditional publications.