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notes on the tantra


Emilio is haloed orange in the candlelight, and Chelsea is splayed out, her four limbs and blonde hair spooling out onto the sheets in a star shape. Beyond the glass wall, cars on Lafayette roll slowly through canyon-like treadmarks in sleet. Orange headlights cut a pale grey mist of snow, and new flakes fall, slowly and without end. My reflection wavers in the glass panes, illumined in space.


Holding a cup of turmeric tea in the shower, I lean my head back into the stream and close my eyes as the water falls. A series of disparate images idly rise and dissipate again. 


We sit cross-legged and hold hands for tantric eye-gazing. Emilio and Chelsea’s eyes meet and I watch Chelsea’s left eye. I see her seeing. I see her existing across multiple time-spaces. I see the age of her and her agelessness, like a deck of cards unfolded. I see her passage through time and the ephemerality of her body as it is here with me now. We switch. I meet Emilio’s eyes and Chelsea watches mine. I feel Emilo’s character and find him to be very nice. We switch. Chelsea balances my hips between her legs and we hold each other. I think you’re a dolphin, I say. We smile. I think you’re a cat, she says. But you’re wavering between a feral cat and a domestic cat. Right now you’re a feral cat, and I don’t think you know yet which one you will be. I meet her eyes warmly. Emilio returns. Laurel has found my dolphin, says Chelsea.

Emilio asks if I have ever seen a face change. Yes, I say. I just saw that. I saw that with Chelsea. Why does that happen? He says, They think it's because you're seeing beyond someone's body, seeing into their soul. I nod. Ageless, I say. 


You never know what a couple is going to be like. This evening I was wearing thigh-high stockings and brought a gift, a small flask of Jack Daniel’s. It was a slight misread, because they were in athleisure and had wine, and 528 hz tantric music on their sound-system. They were not seedy, grunge, rock, or Playboy. They were more New York Times or Architectural Digest couple- holistic, elegant, mellow.


Emilio places his fingers over my 3rd eye and my root chakra. We do several variations on chakra transfers, moving energy between us. Chelsea says that when Emilio places his hand on her sacrum and my sacrum, she feels a transfer through him, like a conduit. As we change positions, my mind wanders toward diagrams of circuits. I like the aqua heart chakra, but my natural tendency is toward violet. I touch Chelsea and Emilio’s heart, hoping to bring them to that chakra as well.


Later we talk, about ourselves, our pasts, hopes, dreams. I say that by the time I was a teenager, I'd begun to think of the artist not just as a job or a trade, but as a sexual identity, a social class, an ethos. Introduction into an international sphere of exchange. We talk about the politics of love-language, and how to improve the language of love. New words.

A+HRRA award summer 2023

The Summer 2023 Arts + Human Rights Research Award will be open to submissions this summer (approx. 14:51 UTC June 21 2023 - 06:50 UTC September 23rd 2023). The topic of the Summer 2023 A+HRRA is AI, Computer Logic, and Human Rights. 


th_Eroses, an arts publication, is awarding $100 for a work of artistic / literary research that addresses or concerns human rights in conjunction with this season's topic, AI, Computer Logic, and Human Rights. The term 'research' here is intended to indicate the process of creation, exploration, and discovery, rather than the compiling of archival facts and/or materials, although the compiling of archival facts and/or materials may be a part of the process of exploration and discovery, or a part of the process of shaping the path or direction of discovery. This is intended to be an open-ended premise, to support the range of work that may occur in artists' and writers' unique processes. 


From the UN: 


"What Are Human Rights? Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status. Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more. Everyone is entitled to these rights, without discrimination."


Successful submissions may, but are not required to, focus on investigative, process-based exploration and material discovery. Successful submissions may couple rigorous (or subjective) analysis with documentation of investigative, process-based exploration and discovery. Submissions do not need to be factual; forms of literary fiction, subjective expression, abstraction, choreography, and/or non-narrative presentations will be considered as well. Submissions in all languages and media are welcomed. 


The goal of this award is to amplify artistic voices that inquisitively and critically approach the pressing issues of our time, to create a habitat where a unique form of creative journalism can thrive, and to provide th_Eroses readers with artistic / literary insights into key issues.


Please note: If your work is submitted and selected for the award, you consent to the publication of your submitted work by th_Eroses now and in the future. Not all submissions will win the award; there may be one submission chosen, or multiple submissions, or none of the submissions. Selected submissions will receive an email of acceptance and next steps. 


Please submit work to with "Entry: Arts + Human Rights Research Award" in the subject line.

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