zine review: cuckoo spit

july 12, 2022

i recently became a patreon supporter of the Wiggle Bird Mailing Club, which prints and sends out a zine written by a queer author each month. i finally decided to subscribe when i saw WBMC's creator/publisher, MEJ, preview june's zine: CUCKOO SPIT. i'm regretting not subscribing sooner after reading this one.

CUCKOO SPIT by Oscar Woodiwiss is a collection of art and poetry inspired by "pure trans indulgence"--and specifically t4t love (trans-for-trans for you cisgendereds). as a trans man who's married to another trans man, and who takes an aggressively hedonistic philosophy in matters of gender and sexuality, of course i needed to read it.

the zine opens with the author's manifesto, a sort-of celebration of the dysphoria and discomfort many trans people feel that then leads to euphoria when we curate our bodies as we desire. desire transitions to divinity throughout the pages, with saintly trans bodies and cherubs with top surgery scars hovering around poems and Transsexual Psalms. a lot of trans artists make use of holy or blessed iconography while creating trans art, and it makes sense--we are transcendental beings.

at the same time, CUCKOO SPIT is grounded in the natural and physical. its name comes from a forthy substance produced by spittlebugs, which is thought by some gardners to be harmful to their plants. the poem this zine is named after contains some of the most striking imagery in the collection. take this quote:

Deep below the gastric folds / Of my stomach's dark musosa where / A swarming mass of weaning larvae / Weep in eucharistic ecstasy.

i love that!

other poems include a sort of cannibalistic drama, collages about space and sex, and another favorite, GOING TO THE GAY BAR WITH LOU, patron saint of transfags. it's a good length for a zine, about 20 pages, and it's packed with heady, erotic, sticky, swirling stuff. like a cone of incense after a long day, reading this revitalized me in some deep, spiritual way. the manifesto sets the tone nicely and reawakened my trans pride in spite of all the bullshit happening in the world. give it a read--CUCKOO SPIT is worth the time and contemplation.

links of relevance:

Oscar Woodiwiss' website

Wiggle Bird Mailing Club on patreon

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