Tongue Dispatch 4.3, Vizzo's "The very last gigantic"

Read the wonderful Editor's Reflection prefacing this issue – 

R.A. Villanueva
Editor's Reflection: A Rendering

Here is a man’s chest inked with water and charcoal tapped into the skin with thorns. Here, look: a small frieze of X’s, another of arrowheads near the meeting of his ribs. And there: tessellations become snakes’ scales, then a wreath of shadows; there, archivolts running from the nipples up and around the armpits mark the fringe of biceps.

See how the muscles of his neck flex, raise the chin forward, bearing, it seems, the weight of a breastplate decorated with medals and amulets.

This is the image of a self drawn by hand upon a body sun-struck and proud—one portrait from Richard Atrero de Guzman's small folio from Buscalan, deep in the Philippine Cordilleras.

Staring again at his work, I think to Maria Fang-od, her hands and all the lives she has been asked to translate to pattern, the valor and beauty she has memorialized in fractals and arabesques, all the drops of strangers' blood she has quietly wiped away. And see: there she is—fourth portrait in—the last remaining mambabatok tattoo artist facing us, beatific, a calamansi branch held between her fingers.

As with Emily Vizzo’s and Victoria Kennefick’s poems and the extraordinary interview with Kaitlin Rees and Nhã Thuyên at the heart of 4.3, de Guzman’s photographs of the Butbut tribe invite us into “grief’s / Dozen surnames," into the gaps and asymmetries of memory and language and love. These are transfigurations of intimacy and consequence, wild, pulsing reminders. They render visible the holiness of who we are, how we survive each other and our many “enigmatic, wondrous, feral, budding” selves. 

YesYes Books Selects "GIANTESS" for Publication, 2018

 

Announcement from YesYes Books:

We are giddy, thankful, and full of joy to be announcing the results of our 2017 Vinyl 45 Contest! The submission pool was the largest and strongest we've ever had. 440 submissions in all. We are grateful for the confidence in Vinyl and YesYes Books that this number demonstrates. Congratulations and thanks to our winner and finalists who have been offered publication with YYB, to our semifinalists who brought forward powerful and engaging books, and thank you for the immense strength and art found in the remaining submissions. You are incredible!

Winner
One Above One Below, Positions & Lamentations by Gala Mukomolova

Finalists:
Exit Pastoral by Aidan Forster
Giantess by Emily Vizzo
Recuerdo by Alfredo Aguilar
Unmonstrous by John Allen Taylor

Semifinalists:
Bullets & Other Misplaced Affections by Zachary Kluckman
Godsend by Caleb Kaiser
Hazard Prayer by Grey Vild
Horcrux Btwn Ur Thighs by Jae Nichelle
no new war by Jim Whiteside
Phases of Bone by Anna Davidson
Until It Bleeds by Nikki Zielinski