jj hastain

from Letters to the Divergents

Fish can’t live in water hotter than 85 degrees. By the dozens, fish floating atop of the water in mountain lakes due to increased water temperature (with global warming thought to be the culprit). In each wave that towered over xems, innumerable dead trout gathered. Xems could not recall how long they had been sitting there, amidst a wave so vast that it seemed it would never break.

Woke up this morning and tried to masturbate by the frozen river at the edge of the city park. It was early, and not many people were around. No matter what I did, I could not cum. I found that after taking a lot of time in grind, I screamed out, wept. On my back, the warm sun above me, I was overwhelmed by the glare. Then in the matter of an instant my attention shifted to the truncated, rumbling sound near me. I realized that the water was there with me, still pounding hard beneath the surface of a frozen form. I wished to be covered, fully covered. Thought if I had to choose, I would choose being covered, over the acute sensation of an orgasm.

“Cover me, cover me in a caul made of your valor, your virility.”

Dear Chondrichthyes and Osteichthyes (Hagfish),

When you are captured and held by your tail you excrete intense quantities of mucus. After excretion, you tie yourself in a complex protuberance as a way to scrape off the slime. You have evolved to be able to emancipate yourself. Free yourself from the jaws of predatory fish. Sweet nomadic knots, you inspire me. I see you as a semilunar-shaped reoccurring dream literally leaking secretion.

Cover me in a caul made of your abyss. Cover me in your venom. Cover me in something to hold me. Visual sound.

Rather than either or, I would rather be a totem and a muse.

Dear Rhea (Titanis Mother of the Gods),
How many cores are needed in order to ensure that no parts of a myriad whole ever be in states of stasis? Your name means “ease” and “flow”. You mingle the milky middles or you demonstrate the milking of middles. Mural circlet on your shaved head. A breastplate -replacement of traditional breasts. The demand you place on your non-gendered priests, that they play the tympanon and clash their bronze armors. That they prompt brash ecstasies as your context.

The Corybantes (orgiastic priests) and the Galli (castrated priests): did you prefer one over the other? Whose song was most compelling to you? Did either of their sounds cause the edges of your abdominal walls to lift a bit? To waft? What does a divergent’s preference look like in the quotidian day to day? Did you walk amongst them, your devoted, as you walked amongst lions and unkeeled, flightless birds (like that shockingly frigid day on the mountain, when xe was visited by the virile male deer with animal blood on its antlers? Beguine there with it. Equidistant from the stag)? Perhaps there is something to release by concealing oneself within the vigilances of animals, foreign friends.

Corybantes is to cryptids like Galli is to Galilee? Shroud of Turin (a relic of Christ), as another site to pursue. To visit is to vitalize. Visualize cutting open the bodies of enormous, long extinct faunae in order to extract and harvest human organs (from them) by increment. Bewildering organs as centers of the love.
A crowned meridian can be a crowded dwelling. So, as any good somnambulist, rip the tones up by their roots. Rip as a form of hallowed rendering. Walk the word “beloved” into a mountainside covered in stiff snow. Notice the slivered, yellowish petals that appear in the slits that your footprints leave.

Substitute an infant for a stone. Cronus, eat outsized, stout pieces of boulder when they are fed to you. Or, sense a stone baby within Rhea. Endearing lithopedian remaining in the abdomen of the mother for over 60 years. What of flow when your lithopedions remain within you? Xe was xyr concupiscent lithopedion. Both lineage and dependent. Is a lithopedion meant to be taken from where it lived out its term in the abdominal walls of the host body? Xems are syncretic monologue. Mythoi by merger. Home made entirely from the countless dis and re of the mutual, pooling body.

A sanctuary like this need not be trimmed, but can’t be whole unless it is in many parts in many places at once.

Dear Akshat Saxena (had Thirty Four Toes and Fingers at Birth),
Although doctors later forced you into amputation, what did it feel like for you when you had all of your digits? Did you wish that someone would have come to your aid, to ensure that you did not have to lose these parts of you? In the context of a myriad whole, aren’t all parts essential parts? Xe often went to xems aid in such a way. I think of it like the sounds a train makes when it is idling. All boxcars there, together and distinct, reverberating. The unearthing of any once abandoned sounds, by way of compression being applied to things not thought to need it. I bring this up to you, I ask this of you, because I often struggle trying to explain my genitalia (and my genders in the context of my genitalia). A diversity of loamy layers. A sopping system of levers. Gessoes, epic penetralia.

It feels important to mention the morning when xe woke with band aids all over xyr body, band aids that were over no wounds. How taking them off felt like a cumulative removal of silky morsels, performed by moment. Does this feel like it applies to you? To the complexities of your body? Is any part of us that is taken away from us by something outside of us, a wound? Physical? Psychic? Intuitive?

Intuitive wounds do hurt and have led me through phenomenon as phenomenon.

In order to write I have to close my eyes. It is necessary to be feeling things in one place, and in another. Dearest xems, I want. I wanted you to continually relate to you as something that could eat the mirror, that could out due mirror entirely.