11 May 2011

KISS OFF 12 [by Chris Kiss]

In, I believe, the final issue of Kiss Off, Chris writes in a nostalgic mood, contemplating locations, people and music as they are and as they were.  This double lens of his life creates a more mature voice, portrays an older self suddenly capable of recognizing the affects of time on places and relationships.

Poverty also makes an interesting appearance in this issue that pushes Chris into a new awareness.  He quotes Elizabeth Gurley Flynn as writing, "poverty was like a dismal country that only those who have been to can speak of with authority," and he laments, "I seemed to have an extended visa."  I remember that when I first read this issue, I was also struggling as an underemployed, freelance worker and his writing about hunger and poverty were helpful to me, were the notes of a kindred soul.  My favourite quotation in the zine comes from his grandmother and was meaningful to me at the time.  Speaking about Poland's social climate under communism and democracy, she notes, "In either case there's the same problem: young people could not find work.  And if young people cannot work they are not really free."

A feature of this issue that I especially like is the quotations that open every article.  They are profound, meaningful and speak to the following article very well. 

I don't plan on keeping many of my zines after I complete this blog of reviews.  However, Kiss Off 12 is one I plan on setting aside as one of the dozen that I preserve to read again when I'm an old man or when my kids find them in an old box and help me rediscover them. 

For your own copy of this insightful and tender zine, go to Microcosm.