Manifesto, or: Hysteria is a living, breathing cyborg of a chapbook and it will hold you in its mirrored reality. Through hybrid-genre fever dreams & memories of childhood longing, Chen creates a world of simultaneous loneliness and limitless possibility. It is here that we begin to create the self. Manifesto, or: Hysteria is an invocation, a story of queer awakening, kinship, and lineage both within the space of the book and beyond its pages. In writing against the authority of authorship, Chen reaches toward a cyborg subjectivity that is plural and diffuse.
So Lou enters the water. The fountain cannot contain both its water and her volume.
Too much, again.
I jump in a puddle while she splashes her feet
by the water’s edge. The buoyancy balancing the newly
introduced minerals, neurochemicals,
The shuffling escalates. That year we danced every night in a greenhouse that also housed unused car parts. The boiler room filled with exhaust. That year to a bassline I won’t recall I lost several of my friends. Beyond death is another exit. I love my friends even when it is not enough. Lou brings me backstage where girls primp and pose in front of embers. Embers being the key ingredient of sweatproof eyeliner. The girls want me to get ready with them but I feel ugly. I don’t deserve the feeling. Burdened by proximity my next best option, a clean and brightly lit fire. Blocks of red mixed into orange. The color of sunrise as it reflects off the clay dust you find on a Mississippi highway. I smear this concoction over the bridge of my nose to mimic the cyborgs who have by now moved on to their lashes. They are blending charcoal with ash and coconut oil to create a Too Faced mascara dupe.