Phases of the Moon #5: Broken Bicycle & A Ruined Love Life
(May 2014, 120 pages, half-sized, $10 ppd)
description: Two or five or maybe seven years in the making, this zine is about being in an abusive relationship with an alcoholic and subsequently escaping. It is about trauma and memory and addiction and "recovery" (and may be triggering).
excerpt: "I was drinking when I first met him; it seemed like everyone was drinking. In the first months of our relationship, I took him to the bar to play drunkbingo and fall off chairs, we went to houseshows and sneaked pulls from bottles of rotgut hidden in bathrooms. We went to a party where I wanted to show him off; I wanted all my girlfriends to approve. We sat on the rooftop and took swigs of cheap whiskey and listened to Outkast and lit bottlerockets. I tried to match him shot for shot -- I tried to keep up. If I could drink that much and hold myself together, then maybe he's not that bad off after all. I ended up puking in the bathtub all night. He held my hair back and washed my face, helped my girlfriends drag me to a couch, and then he slept outside in the dirt and when I woke up he was gone."
"It's really beautiful. It's disturbing, smart, and good. The writing is fantastic.
"It's memoir with interspersed quotes from other texts. I preferred Stacey-Marie's words to the quotes, but I did value some quotes that explained abuse bonding. They were insightful.
"I grew up as a child of an alcoholic--I am familiar with alcoholism from a child's perspective. I never thought about my mom's perspective very deeply--I didn't dare.
"So this zine was triggering for me. Just when I thought the story couldn't get any more disturbing, it did. Around page 50, I felt sick. Around page 80, I told Ming, 'This zine is killing me.'
"(We were walking down the street, walking through sunlight, away from the cafe where I'd been reading. I felt stuck in a nightmare, disoriented, and unwell. But good writing can do that to me...)
"And the ending is worth it. And I could relate to the speaker a lot. These are two quotes I loved from toward the end, ideas I've thought about over and over, through the years.
"'Was that my true self? What does a "true self" even mean if we can so easily change based on our surrounding environment?'
"'I felt like if I accepted the disease model of alcoholism, then I would have to accept that all the fucked-up behaviors resulting from addiction were merely symptoms of a impersonal disease.'
"I noticed some repetition in the storytelling, but it seemed okay there--the repetition worked--that's how we think.
"It's text-heavy but there's some visual art that definitely adds to the experience.
"Overall I loved this zine and recommend it to anyone who's strong enough to read about abuse. And I wish Stacey-Marie lots of readers and success."
- Laura-Marie's Zine Reviews
"Most of the zine I read with a tight chest. I've been there. Abusive relationship. Alcoholic. But it's the way Stacey writes. She just jumps in and she tells you and she is seriously a very good writer. This is zines. A few pages get very... dreamy, in the way Hermann Hesse does in Steppenwolf. I love this shit right here. Yes. Then, towards the end, Stacey gets free! I love this part. It's hard times, but it's love from friends. The zine is not just a small book story - it's also a good resource, lots of thoughtfulness as well. This zine is deep - raising issues of being the partner of the alcoholic, which are also fairly novel to me while reading painfully true and familiar, as well as what happens when you embark in a certain kind of - heavy gravitational fields - punk love gone bad - but what do we know? It's our lives. Stacey writes about life. I would say she is a female writer groundbreaker in old school techniques while keeping it fresh." [edited for clarity]
- China Martens @ The Future Generation
Phases of the Moon #4: What Matters Most Is How Well You Walk Through the Fire
(Dec 2010, 8 pages, ~quarter-sized, $1.50 ppd)
description: 5 black&white photos & a short essay about supporting my Friend through a frightful alcohol detox. It's also about having some kind of faith and being defiantly hopeful in the face of utter madness. & as a brag-worthy anecdote, the essay was rejected from a more professional literary quarterly for being "too intense."
excerpt: "Once while he slept in a drunken haze I scrawled my prayers in pen on his sharp angelic shoulderblades, as if these things matter. There was a time when my Holy Signs spoke to me: the Moon, the Key, the Hand, the numbers Ten and Twenty-Three. I thought I could read the future in my coffeegrounds and chewed cuticles; I thought that these things mattered, like tubes and wires connecting everything to everything else,..."
phases of the moon #3: take yr bones apart & put them back together
(Feb 2008, 28 pages, half-legal-sized, $4 ppd)
description: twelve short stories & photographs, one for each month of 2007. the underlying theme is mainly that of space, as related to home, travelling, relationships, limits, love, friendship, comfort, security, support, and asserting one's self. there are stories about alcohol, lady-love, revisiting childhood landmarks, going on tour, living in a punkhouse, packratting, new orleans, and hesitant involvement with boys.
excerpt: "It took a few years, hopping from couch to cheap room, from city to city, wandering & backtracking until my feet felt even tentatively planted in the ground. Another six months to begin stretching vines & growing roots. Forcing myself to survive the winter although even minor emergencies sent me on walks to the bus station with only my wallet & a pack of cigarettes in my coat pocket. Finally, I no longer feel the urge to run for escape every time I get stressed out & anxious, but even still, I have an envelope of money & a change-of-address form hidden in my desk. Just in case. I feel I am approaching the asymptote of total comfort, but experience has taught me to keep the possibility tucked in the back of my mind that everything could fall apart at any moment, easily, without warning, without apology or consideration. It's more a sense of preparedness than worry; I don't expect things to fall apart, but I know that they can, and in my fuckedup cynical view, I know I can't depend on anyone but myself for a sense of safety & security."
phases of the Moon #2.5: living on a dead end street
(Mar 2007, 20 pages, quarter-sized,
$1.50 ppd OOP)
description: limited print run, vellum covers. pieced together from journal entries & letters & photographs made during mardi gras in new orleans, february 2007.
excerpt: "coffee in the morning, with vanilla soymilk to the brim & two heaping scoops of thick crystal cane sugar. i only just started drinking coffee this week, and despite years of lamenting the inherent uncoolness of my inability to consume such a bitter beverage, it feels perfectly natural & necessary now. rattling bones, scratchy voice, black mold & rats in the walls. lately, my fingers have been itching for a cigarette--purely an oral fixation, a way for my fingers to calm my twitching nerves; i've never smoked a cigarette in my life. yes, i could live in this city, now. with its cracked sidewalks and defiant post-katrina survival stories still spraypainted in secret codes on front doors."
phases of the Moon #2: i'm ready to grow young again
(Jan 2007, 36 pages, quarter-sized, $3 ppd)
description: reconciling my past with the present, resisting burnout, recapturing the fearlessness & wonderment of childhood, dealing with post-partum/adoption grief & depression, leaving chicago, new romance in georgia.
excerpt: "David & I are sitting on his front porch. It is January and it is sixty-five degrees outside and I am happy to be back in the dirty sweet south. We are listening to Gogol Bordello: in the old times, in the old times, in the old times it was not! a! crime! He's smoking; I'm reading Howard Zinn. 'We should build a time machine,' he says. I put my book down & look purposefully at the precarious stack of cardboard boxes in the corner. 'Absolutely!' This is a year of yesses, and I speak in absolutes."
phases of the moon #1: RESISTANCE IS FERTILE
(1st ed. Sept 2006, 92 pages, half-sized,
$4 ppd OOP)
(2nd ed. Oct 2007, 72 pages, half-sized,
$4 ppd OOP)
description: more than a year had passed since my last zine, and in that year much had changed. specifically, my then-partner zan & i gave birth to a baby girl and subsequently gave her up for adoption. this zine is a chronicle of that year, written from the perspectives of both zan and myself. aside from describing the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of pregnancy, childbirth, and adoption, we also touch on many other topics in this account, including: feminism, the medical (mis)management of birth, poverty, the history of adoption, radical parenting, birth control, making reproductive choices readily available to women, and cultivating supportive and strong communities. the revised second edition (October 2007) includes a Frequently Asked Questions section which clarifies & explains many important issues raised in the original writing, & contains a 1-Year-Later epilogue describing the post-adoption grieving/healing/growing process. also it's been retyped and laid out on a computer for easier readability.
excerpt: "One night, in December, we felt the baby move. It was small and strange, a nervous butterfly deep in my gut. Alex & I laid on the couch, our hands on my belly. I cried a little, quietly, because it was beautiful & terrifying. 'I have a baby in here,' I thought. 'This is real.'"
Ephemera #3: phases of the Moon
(Jul 2005, 16 pages, quarter-sized,
$1.50 ppd OOP)
description: this issue is about nostalgia, travelling, ghosts, & love. i wrote it in two days during my hitchhiking summer 2005.
excerpt: "We believe photographs are truth because no one wants to admit that the eye--even a mechanical eye--can betray the mind. No one likes to question what she clearly sees in front of herself. The brain, with its amazing capability to think about itself, fears incorrectly perceiving the truth. (The brain forgets, though, that Truth is not always static.) I ws afraid to try and photograph the ghost because my truth was that it wasn't made of a dead person, but of the undercurrent of tension we'd been transferring to one another. Instead I developed cemeteries and rock stars, lovers and lost cities, hanging photographs to dry at six o'clock in the morning when the birds sang and I felt so utterly drained."
Ephemera #2: the angels have been drinking
(Mar 2005, 24 pages, quarter-sized,
$1.50 ppd OOP)
description: this issue records my experience of mardi gras 2005 in new orleans.
excerpt: "Fred convinced me to cook a steak in my greatly intoxicated, easily-flammable state. There was only one frying pan...and it was full of congealed lard and day-old bacon. Needless to say I was quite nervous about the whole affair...but he explained that that's how southern cookin' is done, you just fry up whatever the hell's in the pan & it'll have to be delicious."
Ephemera #1: space-time continuum
(Feb 2005, 16 pages, quarter-sized,
$1.50 ppd OOP)
description: this is a loosely-connected collection of tales linking the cities of pittsburgh, chicago, and new orleans.
excerpt: "My favorite moments of love are those in which restraint was required. The most intense moments are when the barrier is broken only slightly--when our fingers slip through that irrational NOmaybeit's-not-right and the fingertips touch...my bitten bloody fingernails on his perfect skin. I am wanting. That desire is all-powerful. The longing is what I want; the hands, sidelong glances and secrets, each word charged with significance, real or imagined. Neat, precise handwriting due to sleep-deprivation and daydreaming. Give me this perpetual lack of consummation I WANT IT. Lines and hips and just one kiss."