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Roots & Branches Series
Song of Songs of Solomon is a beautiful book. I am swept away by the astonishing use of color, of close-up photography, of the lyrical movement from page to page, image to image, passage to passage of text. There is a synthesis here that is beautiful and moving. The narrative itself is heightened by the intensity of longing the images convey: again, this arising out of the intensities of color and composition and perspective.
The narrative seems to operate simultaneously as a spiritual and physical pilgrimage. The soul moving between the King’s castle and the Mother’s house, seeking love, union, transcendence of the binaries, King and Mother. The lover making the same crossing, from castle to house, toward, with, seeking the beloved. Soul and lover, each its own veneration, celebration, each capable only of a partial realization of love/redemption/delight. A process of toward. In the journey across or between, fraught with terror, fulfillment becomes possible. The journey of the spirit into awareness, the journey of the lover toward the beloved. Each prong of the journeying essential to the other, each affording the other. The embrace of the self and the lover are one. The losses, confusions, separations, isolations stages in knowing, becoming, loving, self and other.
j/j hastain lives in Colorado, USA with xir beloved. j/j is the author of numerous cross-genre works previously published and forthcoming (a few of which are): prurient anarchic omnibus (Spuyten Duyvil), long past the presence of common (Say it with Stones), a womb-shaped wormhole (BlazeVox), treOOA (with Eileen Tabios/ Marsh Hawk Press). j/j’s writing has appeared in numerous journals including Trickhouse, Vlak, Big Bridge, The Offending Adam, Dear Sir, Eccolinguistics, Housfire, EOAGH, Aufgabe, Queerocracy Art, Masculine Femininities, Caketrain, Plath Profiles, Bombay Gin. j/j is currently in the process of curating an Anthology of Queer Nudes (Knives Spoons and Forks Press, 2013) and has helped curate (and participated in) two major Trans anthologies. j/j is an Elective Affinities participant, a member of Dusie kollektiv, writes for Lit Pub and is a regular contributor to Sous Les Paves. j/j currently writes creative reviews for Big Other, Jacket2, Horse Less Press, PANK and Emprise Review. j/j’s work appeared in a Queer-focused show at the Leslie-Lohman Annex in New York. j/j’s books have been finalists in the Kelsey Street, Grey Book Press, Grace Notes Books, Switchback, Omnidawn, DIAGRAM and Ahsahta book and essay competitions. j/j’s work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Publishers Triangle. j/j’s manuscript extant shamanisms won the Pavement Saw poetry award. j/j’s manuscript dear secondary umbilical, won second place in the Mad Hatter’s Wild and Wyrd Poetry Contest. In 2011 j/j’s book we in my Trans was nominated for the Stonewall Book Award and j/j’s book prurient anarchic omnibus was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award.