my pastel greaser

as we are launched into
the reaches of space
of an endless island
with no salt and no sand
in this place
novas and motorbikes
encapsulated by a shielding glow
the dashed pattern of white
sliding around a pastel globe
the black leather sleeves
and flaps over the chest
romance me – a double
to mirror the stare
and glow like the plethoras of glass
reflecting the light brought
by balls of gas
synthesisers seduce acoustic strings
smoke steals our senses and our lips
loosen from it to press together
as if they were broken
magnetised paper clips
lost from bland purpose and
found by themselves,

Eiri J Brown 

goma 10th anniversary

thick brush of acidic fur
over a dying chameleon
against the floor of a galley 
below tangible void
adjacent to the brandished
scarecrow horses
there is no gallop but
you can see the crawl
of tongues here
is exquisite
the mind overlaps the art
so does a man’s buds
to a mere young child

Eiri J Brown

MELT: Queer Arts and Culture (2017)

As I sat at a desk in my class close to a month ago, typing like a passionate sailor who sets sail on words, I felt bogged down mentally. It was not the assignment, for I had chosen a subject matter that I enjoyed very much. Neither was it about mental health issues, though they did have some role to play in a state of angst and stress that was plaguing me profusely. The problem more-so was that the criteria asked me to write strictly a persuasive article with a word limit and deadlines. I know it’s a given for academic pieces to be restrictive, but I want to put nothing but whatever comes out of my heart into this so I can happily say I documented something authentic to me that didn’t need to result in a grade or a particular marking.

As I now sit at my own computer desk under a light which seems to pierce the corner of my cornea whenever it chooses, I want to reflect on something that I want to describe more enthusiastically and romantically. I want to talk about the New Farm MELT Queer Arts Exhibition, for it was not only the pinnacle of the potential of Brisbane artisan collaboration, it was a figure of great inspiration to me as a young queer artist who hopes to make it into freelance.

As I arrived in Fortitude Valley, taking the bus to New Farm and dropping myself off, with a garden in between me and the Brisbane Powerhouse, I felt inspired to put on my earphones and play Shuffle by Bombay Bicycle Club as I let the feelings of curiousity and interest protrude my senses as I took in a new environment. As the wind blew past my cheeks, I could feel as my heart bulged with anticipation to see new artwork in new places.
I walked into the doors of the exhibit, lost as to where a convention there never existed was and I happened to gaze upon the archive of work by artists, writers and activists I knew as acquaintances, friends and familiar names. It was the comic collection curated by my friend Phoebe Ayscough, who is also a Griffith University Animation alumni.

I took out a notebook granted by my mother, full of feminist phrases and quotes and began to write ecstatically of details of work, about how some lines were pixeled and how Eastern culture influenced the meanings. Granted, I was partially motivated by that looming English assignment but for a significant part of me I wanted to bask in pictures and media that drew me to the heart and idea of community.

I wrote notes about The Disappearance of Melody Dean by Alexis Sugden:

The pieces shown in the MELT Queer Comics Exhibit demonstrate the explicit process of queer euphoria by having the main femme couple explore cultures and events through history which empower and have allowed minorities to be as represented in society as they are today. This is exemplified in the second comic, with the inclusion of Aboriginal tribes (pre-Stolen Generation living), the Gay Liberation Marches (1970s) and the Chinese artefacts placed in the room of the main character.

There is also the concept of turning ancient moments of heteronormativity into a flourished moment of queer relevance.

I also wrote of Marianna Learmonth’s work:

Learmonth’s Collections works divulge into the sensations that helped towards her realisation to being a queer woman. These include smelling incenses sitting in her grandmother’s room and reflections of queerness as a holistic experience.

I got to see the work of another Gold Coast artist like me, who has his work shown — Tim Delaney! His work normally focusses to the sky, to symbolise his hopes for the future for society and himself. He has a brilliant comic called Sunsets and Sodas, which you can get here! I want to be his friend but apparently he’s a very shy person so I’m too scared to interrupt him. His hair is cool, his art is cool, his characters are cool, his qualifications are cool — he’s just a super cool guy.

As I went off outside the comics exhibition, my friend Wolfram Young (who has helped with the Brisbane Writers’ Festival and creates the zine series Queer Content) came up to me from absolutely nowhere! It was a delight to see them again – and as we talked about the works, a man came along who just so happened to be someone who manages the Queer Reading clubs Wolfram attends. I want(ed) to go to them but I had (and have) no real memory of where the New Farm Library was as someone who is more familiar with South Bank, South Brisbane and Central Brisbane.

Some things that came up were the use of the venue for MELT, and how different areas would have made things more intriguing. Also, Wolfram said how they and Phoebe were wanting to bring me along to the exhibiton so I could display my work next to Carlo Angelo (professional retail auntie) and Anna Pan. However, my age factored in to me not having the opportunity to apply, as you have to be eighteen or above to do so. It was quite unfortunate, but Wolfram suggested some other exhibitions I could produce art for, which I was (an am) perfectly down with!

16442908_10155003644379810_12801227_oAfter some time both the man and Wolfram had to part ways with me. One image of me dabbing with a garbage bin later, they vanished.

After thirty minutes, I realised I forgot to give Wolfram the sketchbook copies which I was going to give them before they left for Melbourne. Yikes, buddy.

The hours that I spent at MELT were really enjoyable, and if I were to exclude the awkward moments with the man at the information desk because I wanted to buy any of the works (which were not available for purchase), it was an absolute pleasure to see works that reflected the kind of work and genius that I wish to add to my works as I get older. Taking everything added a sense of leisureness to me that I am not alone as a creator who is a person of colour and is gender nonconforming. It helped me feel grounded and I’m glad that we are seeing a rise of chances for LGBTQ people to show they exist through visual and creative mediums.

Also, below is an edit Wolfram sent me the day after we met at MELT. I’d like this carved into my gravestone, I love you and thank you very much.

16426740_10155003644579810_992103596_n

Ayello – it’s been Eiri Brown!

Haddaway Quote

I don’t think I was born to love anyone except myself,
and even that some days I’m not sure is true.

Loving Like an Existentialist – Savannah Brown

Looking at myself in the mirror in the morning, whether it be on a school day, for a day with friends or for a day alone, it’s hard to describe my emotions. When therapists ask me how I rate my happiness out of ten, I only can explain I don’t feel anything. Much like how I look into the mirror, I don’t see anything to be of use.

Indifference has it’s own reasons for being prominent due to personal happenstance. Otherwise, all I can say is that at any given moment, I don’t know what I’m supposed to say, or what to think, about what I’m feeling. That is not to say I can kill at will without remorse (maybe), but it affects how I perceive what I take of what’s around and in me.

Alas, there is one thing where I can know I experience something other than numbness – in my deepest desires for love elicits confusion. I’ve been made aware that as a teenager, romance and sex has an exaggerated sense of importance due to a still-developing emotional maturity. However, I’m not saying that I value romance over anything else; I’m just perplexed by the role non-platonic partnerships have in my illusion of life.

In the rare case someone else fancies my flaws, I am enlightened but then like a slanted lightbulb on a ceiling, I am confronted by my own reactions. Do I love them back?  Do I reject them? When it all blows over, can we still be friends? Will this even matter?

Inside of me though, I know I am completely loyal to this idea of me and this other person hugging each other under a tree, mocking and yet obeying romantic cliches.

But do they feel like that’s what we’d have? Do they think of me in wild abandon or in considerable tastes? What do they see in this glass vase that is my fantastical design?

Nevertheless, let’s see the sparks fly. Will the wall around me (if it exists) break down or will I have allowed myself to singe my pinkie finger (if it exists)?

Thin Layers

A small girl and her mother walked into a small bland room with three jet blue chairs, shaped like boulders and a single window high on a wall. Peculiarly, although it was such an uninteresting and uninspiring room in general, there were a few thin markings around the room which stood out to the young child.

With some seconds examining these scratches, they seemed to glow with a myriad of sparks flying out of them. The miniature lights flew out away back to the wall after they jumped, as if the girl had blew a never-ending gust at a dandelion.

In a blink she found her mother gently pushing her back in the direction of one of the rocks considered a ‘chair’. The girl motivated and forced herself to pull the gaze away from the strange lines, to her mother and then to the source of a small grunt. It belonged to a stout man with eyebrows like obese caterpillars and an astoundingly scrawny nose.

Character Observation

Earlier today, I saw Samuel Hobbes’ narrowly rimmed glasses fogged next to the steam that arose from the newly poured milk in the mug. Plopping the cup down onto the counter, he quickly cleaned his third and fourth eyes with his flannel shirt, then going back to finishing the macchiato. Samuel’s toned arms, with a myriad of vague minimalistic tattoos, worked with utmost speed and precision as a line of customers waited near the café entry.

He was deeply focused on making coffee, on occasions greeting recipients he was familiar with, such as the women who worked in marketing, often seeming tense and on the edge of collapse despite it only being the morning. They would often tell interesting but in-cohesive plans about how they would structure events and pamphlets of different sizes. Often times Samuel would seem to oppose some of their directions (despite not getting them completely), with small grimaces but nevertheless he kept a grin like any employee should if they wanted to receive a good tip.

On this night, with his olive eyes focused on my own, I would give half my life’s earnings so I could encourage him to grin towards me every single day.