Author: Somi Jun

November 8: Election Day

Words by Somi Jun, Hanna Hall, Amelia Anthony, & Alexandra Reinecke Somi Jun: When I was in first grade, I thought history was over. I was a child in 2003 and had burned through Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first book I really read to myself. I was decades removed from the destructive power of politics that had defined the 20th century. Those events called the World Wars and the Great Depression and the Cold War and even 9/11 had no place in my conscious memory. The Iraq War started, but I had no idea where Iraq was on a map. The midnight arguments between my parents sprung from the results of the Great Recession, but I had no way to make that connection for myself. I remember seeing gas prices rise. I remember my mother pulling me aside to tell me that her in-laws, my father’s side of the family, were money-hungry snakes. I remember making jokes with other children about George W. Bush, but not recognizing his face on magazine covers. I knew to …

Stevia sweet, sweater weather

Poetry and photos by Somi Jun Are we as outta here as those blue nights, when I looked down and saw my street, lit yellow in a haze. As the night I couldn’t sleep in your bed, woke at 4am and sobbed to the sound of amen. As the half hour I shaved and saw the V of my thighs in the mirror. As Friday night boogie right. As the fall of her toes from the trapeze. As his Christmas gift and I see now I am grown without a witness. As the last rite of Mercerism, that damned two-way street. As outta here as dead road, a one-way train through the suburb.     Eye One 15 hours under the weight of glass, my  feet curved into the side of a self-proclaimed anarchist. I fell asleep to speech of Burning pigs and bitching chicks and a baking planet’s Wrath, old as fenced animals. His throat warbles Through a plea to the nuclear family’s dog. They sing: Food before bombs. My last night in Los Angeles, …

Liminality

Featured image: Honey to Touch, by Mol Mir Two weeks ago, Jack Mejia invited the public into their home to recognize and celebrate the work of both LGBTQIA+ and POC artists. This show, dubbed “Liminality,” featured work from primarily teenage artists and served as a safe space for marginalized creatives. I had the chance to correspond with Jack and talk about disorienting + ambiguous identities, their own relationship to the idea of liminality, and ritual. Speaking with Jack Who was behind the show? Who put it together and helped make it happen? It was primarily my project but I had a ridiculous amount of help from my sister, Metzli, who helped develop the idea many months ago, and friends, like Ezra, who created the submission form, Ela, who created the flyers and Quinn, who hammered nails into my walls at 3am. So I Wikipedia’d “liminality” and found a somewhat basic definition: the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rituals, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not …

Genesis

Genesis (or, how to write a story) by Deryn Mierlak With small cuts the story comes into the world. Face. Hair. A kiss, hanging off a pink circle. You grab at images milk-soft, rolling in waters and lights, the skin of their words polished and shiny, splitting like an insect’s shell, as they near you. They fall through your skin, leave faint marks then cut through. Their edges make lines of pain across your body that form into blunt hieroglyphs, that natural history of ordered lines, then words. The story demands blood– with each drop you give it resembles something closer to simian, intelligent, alive. you tell it how it should live without gods, you let your dirty voice scratch its ceiling. a genesis is the creation of space sudden space, angles poured out into darkness. it is that which cannot be replicated, nor stolen: you do not know it but it is the story of your pain. notes/comments on this poem: writing a story is hard. Like giving birth, in a way. There is …

MOLT open mic

Tunnel hosted its second open mic event at SPACE Art Center, to hold space for one another’s experiences and explore the “molting” nature of transitions. Somi Speaks: This is the third and most likely the last open mic event I’ve helped organize for high school students. Thank you forever to SPACE for hosting the open mic, providing an outlet for young voices, soliciting free pizza for the event (!!!), funding the printing of the zine, and everything else that you do for the arts community. Thank you forever to every person who stood up and shared their work and let us take a peek into your personal space. It was such a special night for me and I always feel so privileged to bear secondhand witness to your experiences and words. Also, a brief apology for my nervous energy leading up to the event: I’m working on being a more relaxed host. The Zine The Crowd

Sticky STOPmotion

Adolescentz: a stop motion poem by Trinity Williams What’s the difference between a phase and just simply “being yourself” when the duration of a phase has an equivalence to the length of your average menstrual cycle? I’m myself at least five days a week, once every month. The other days I linger between reality and ghost world. Day 1: upset stomach, tender breast, abhorrence, and killer cramps. Day 2: surrealistic visionary, a girl’s room is her sanctuary. Day 3: two more left, and good friend, you will be missed. you are the emblem of a Sahara sunset, mercury, adolescence, oxygen, me… Day 4: question one in truth or dare: “Your first kiss?” you solemnly sweared. you shouldn’t tell, you couldn’t tell. then you answered, head high and well, “my first kiss was my menstrual cycle.” a look of disgust and terror filled. as the rest of the crowd scurried quick, you reapplied your red lipstick. Day 5: It’s day five of being myself and I have about two days left to enjoy me while I …