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The Queer Issue Volume V

June 2014

This June we present the fifth installment of our annual queer issue. We’ve gathered a group from all corners of the world to celebrate this milestone with us. From Colombia, Alberto Salcedo Ramos gets in league with the queens of soccer, while Taiwan’s Qiu Miaojin pens fiery, lyrical dispatches from Montmartre. Belgium’s Stéphane Lambert paints a nostalgic portrait of a teenage friendship, and Iranian writer Ghazal Mosadeq’s beleaguered asylum seeker finds himself at a crossroads in France. From Israel (via Brooklyn), graphic artist Miki Golod blends memories of army service with a snowbound New York, while Spain’s Elvira Tobío frames a carnal appetite in haiku form. Nao-Cola Yamazaki’s protagonist dwells on a foundering relationship from the dentist’s chair, while Algerian Rachid Boudjedra’s Olympian falls in love with a student. From Mexico, Javier Malpica reads us entries from a coming-of-age diary, while Russia’s Olga Pogodina-Kuzmina dwells on the allure of youth.  

Elsewhere in the issue we showcase new writing from Equatorial Guinea. Graphic novelist Jamón y Queso lampoons the man in charge, while Melibea Obono Ntutumu’s protagonist takes a cab ride from hell and Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel remembers his island home. 

The Queer Issue V: Impressions from a Passing Train
By Rohan Kamicheril
I am writing this introduction from a speeding train. The Hudson, brown and wide, is skimming by my window as I hurtle upstate. The countryside is finally green again, the river swollen, and the analogies…
Queens Football
By Alberto Salcedo Ramos
Mauricio Álvarez, better known as La Madison, takes a small mirror from his bag. As he combs his wispy bleached blonde hair, he says he realized he was gay at the age of seven, while reading a…
Translated from Spanish by Rosalind Harvey
from “Last Words from Montmartre”
By Qiu Miaojin
Letter TenMay 11Dearest Yong,My sister sent me the two CDs that I wanted. She sent them on May 7. The courier rang the doorbell and handed them to me this morning, and I immediately rushed over to my…
Translated from Chinese by Ari Larissa Heinrich
from “My Body Laid Bare”
By Stéphane Lambert
Thankfully, the advent of my friends’ sexuality took me out of the lonely guilt I felt after being molested. The first year of middle school is the occasion for young studs to swagger onto the scene.…
Translated from French by Paul Curtis Daw
Ney Boulevard
By Ghazal Mosadeq
“Your problem is that you say you are gay but have never seen a gay guy in your entire life.”
Translated from Farsi by Lida Nosrati
from “Carnia Haikai”
By Elvira Riveiro Tobío
The hour of the dawnWhen the bedsheets conspireTo wage anarchy.*A glutton for you:When my mealtime is overI lick my finger . . .*Ill-mannered, ill-bred:I am ever inclined toEat with my fingers.Spit mixed…
Translated from Galician by Adrian Nathan West
Cavities and Kindness
By Nao-Cola Yamazaki
It was almost Christmas, I had a cavity, and I was in the process of getting dumped.
Translated from Japanese by Kalau Almony
from “Spring”
By Rachid Boudjedra
TRANSLATOR'S NOTE: Spring (Printemps), which was published by Grasset in April 2014, is set in Algiers between early 2011 and 2013. Teldj, a former 400m hurdles Olympic medalist, is gay, in her thirties,…
Translated from French by André Naffis-Sahely
from “Adam’s Apple”
By Olga Pogodina-Kuzmina
Georgii Izmailov, a successful St. Petersburg businessman, attends the glitzy, high-profile presentation of his own latest project, the largest business center in the city, together with his business…
Translated from Russian by Andrew Bromfield
For Nina
By Javier Malpica
August 18, 1995Dear Nina:Today I went to buy this notebookwith money I borrowed from Frida . . . your daughter.I also bought myself a large ice cream,vanilla-flavored.It wasn't very good.I came home.Frida…
Translated from Spanish by Lawrence Schimel
Government Property
By Trifonia Melibea Obono
“A bitch like that would make any man proud. Look at those tits, bursting forth in need of a man’s touch. They’re calling to me, baby.”It was nine o’clock in the morning, half an hour after I was supposed…
Translated from Spanish by Jethro Soutar & Ruth Clarke
New Writing from Equatorial Guinea: An Introduction
By Jethro Soutar
Having recently translated By Night The Mountain Burns, by Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel, I am acutely aware of what a forgotten place Equatorial Guinea is. Whenever I talk about what I’ve been working on,…
Translated from Spanish