UNDERWAY

WRITERS ANSWER:

What are you working on? What’s on your desk?

FELICIA LUNA LEMUS

Industrial aluminum tape—a variety of adhesive that doesn’t peel paint but that does administer brutal deep cuts to one’s hands—affixes scribbled-upon manuscript pages and related miscellanea to the largest of my tiny apartment’s walls. Edward Weston’s 1924 portrait of Nahui Olin, the under-documented genius rebel of the mid-twentieth-century Mexican avant-garde and a central character in my novel-in-progress, reigns queen of the taped-up hodgepodge. A little box of Choward’s Violet Scented Gum is taped next to Nahui’s portrait as an offering for sweet mercy. Also near Nahui’s portrait is a photograph of Gluck—the yum transgendered 1920s British artist (born Hannah Gluckstein)—dressed in a dapper suit. Although they never met, Nahui and Gluck would have most certainly made a ginger-peachy duo. And Frank, the modern-day grunge-dandy eco-terrorist protagonist of my novel, would kill for a girl like Nahui and a wardrobe like Gluck’s. Introduction to Botany (1914), a sweetheart of a research book for Frank’s eco-terrorist projects and my favorite means of procrastination, sits on my kitchen counter/desk. When I bore of tasty chapters such as “Mosses, Liverworts, and Ferns,” I unpeel and reorganize items on the wall. Eventually I write. Aluminum tape rocks.

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