Issue 8: Bring to a boil, then simmer | Dr. Manhattan Considers Oppenheimer | the end
The soup is meant to be a reminder. You want to remind her—with spices and matchsticked scallions and cracked seeds and noodles and thick, hot broth—you are all her body needs.
Welcome to Khôra, a dynamic online arts space produced in collaboration with Lidia Yuknavitch’s Corporeal Writing. Visit our Archive to read previous issues.
In Issue 8, we’re thrilled to share Bring to a boil, then simmer, by our featured writer Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya. Kayla is a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Miami. She is currently a fiction editor at TriQuarterly and a writer for Autostraddle. Her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Catapult, The Offing, The Journal, and Joyland. She attended the 2020 Tin House Summer Workshop for short fiction and is an upcoming fellow for Lambda Literary's Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices. Bring to a boil, then simmer rides the edge between pleasure and pleasing; Kayla’s words are paired with the explosive artwork of painter Christina McPhee.
You’ll want to take your time with Christine Larsen’s graphic story, the end. Christine is a Harvey Award-nominated cartoonist and illustrator, who has created art for comics, book covers, stories, posters and websites; working with clients such as Dark Horse, Image, IDW, BOOM! Studios, Simon & Schuster, and Cartoon Network. In 2018, she created a 100-foot mural, titled Farewell to Night, at the Philadelphia International Airport. Larsen is an adjunct instructor at the University of the Arts and lives in North Philadelphia, where she “toils over an unforgiving drawing board, creating horrible wonders for the amusement of her demon cohort.”
This is the last issue from our current team of curated writers and artists. They’ve been a dream team in every way! If you love what you’re seeing, please share, tweet, retweet, comment, and post.
Khôra will be back with a new team of writers and artists in our next issue.
and the Corporeal/Khôra squad
“The soup is meant to be a reminder. You want to remind her—with spices and matchsticked scallions and cracked seeds and noodles and thick, hot broth—you are all her body needs.”
— from Bring to a boil, then simmer by Featured Writer Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya
Issue 8 Highlights
Bring to a boil, then simmer by Featured Writer Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya / Artwork by Christina McPhee
“Ginger and garlic and hot pepper and fennel butter-sputter in the bottom of a soup pot while you wrap your bloody finger with a damp paper towel. Your fingertip caught on the grater again. Distracted by the wound, you burned the butter. The smell reminded you of pancakes, but you chucked the brown gloop in the sink and began again. Butter, ginger, garlic, hot pepper, fennel—back in the pot. Turmeric and coriander seeds, too.
A grated finger is nothing.”
Dr. Manhattan Considers Oppenheimer by Nay Saysourinho / Artwork by Saskia Jordá
“What is heartbreak, Oppenheimer? A nuclear cloud over history, drones blooming like dandelion seeds, cluster bombs under the smooth feet of children.
A stranger you hurt.
Sometimes I think of you as much as you dream of me. I am a quantum being, drawn from the pages of a comic book in which old gods pantomime superheroes. Yet I exist, bending reality because I can. Bifurcating time and space because I will.”
Magnanimity by Kat Lewis / Artwork by Samira Abbassy
“A ghost slid into Zuri’s DMs. Dread sunk through her gut like a dropped weight when the phone buzzed in her pocket. She wasn’t sure how she knew this message came from someone it shouldn’t have. Maybe it was the time of day—ten in the morning in Seoul, too late for anyone in the US to message her and too early for the lazy grantees in her program to be awake. Or maybe she knew the way her busted ankle always knew a storm was near—something inside her, something long injured, something never properly healed ached.”
the end by Featured Artist Christine Larsen
Christine Larsen is a Harvey Award-nominated cartoonist and illustrator, who has created art for comics, book covers, stories, posters and websites; working with clients such as Dark Horse, Image, IDW, BOOM! Studios, Simon & Schuster, and Cartoon Network. In 2018, she created a 100-foot mural, titled Farewell to Night, at the Philadelphia International Airport. Larsen is an adjunct instructor at the University of the Arts and lives in North Philadelphia, where she toils over an unforgiving drawing board, creating horrible wonders for the amusement of her demon cohort.
Read the end.
Things I Can Do With My Mouth by Roe McDermott / Artwork by Shane Rowlands
“I can bite, maim, break skin, make bleed, spit.
I can speak, shout, scream, screech. I can become megaphone, alarm, crow, lioness, wolf, Banshee.
I can taste, devour, eat, chew, feed, swallow, regurgitate, vomit. I can bite my own cheeks, tongue, lips. I can make ulcers and blood bubbles, I can house decay, fungus, infection. I can grow teeth, damage teeth, lose teeth, use teeth.”
An Exercise in Counting by Eva Recinos / Artwork by Lynne Harlow
“Eight (8) different homes in (2) two cities.
One (1) undergraduate degree and one (1) graduate degree, the latter completed at a small art school in San Francisco.
Two (2) lost laptops. One, forgotten in my backpack at Safeway in San Francisco, when I put down my bag to consider what booze I wanted to buy for our going away party. My keys for the new apartment in Los Angeles were there, too. The other laptop was on top of my car, two or so years before that, lost when I forgot about it on top of my car and drove onto the 405.”
Read An Exercise in Counting.
Khôra will be back next month.
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