Carte Blanche

Three tails of womanhood

Subbacultcha people are creatives, and we thought it was about time we started sharing some of their work. Every month we ask one of our members to create; a text, a photo shoot, a video, a poem, a story. We give them the freedom to make something of their liking, and we provide a canvas for sharing it, right here. First up is Weronika Zalewska, who, just two months ago, took over a room and SUBBA membership when she moved to Belgium.

Her poetic story Three tails of womanhood recounts that which we drag inside of ourselves; a story on gender and its status within the culture we were born into. It’s autobiographical, abstract, and connects us to the women of the Universe, the streets, the jungles, the rivers and their own moments of weight(lessness). Read on for a contemplation on the symbolic time of female confessions, allowing us to unfold in front of each other and providing us with a mirror to reflect upon experiences of femininity.

Part I
Growing up around them


I imitated their strange intonation of words
just to join the masquerade of merely vivid colours
all enough for the standard of place
in which coal’s smoke dirtied the billboards after one night’s cold.

Orange vests put over the lips to signalise aliveness from afar.
A hidden preparation around the stickers of cartoon heroes
that in childhood linked us to some made-up common land
and for years stayed unscratched from the walls
that still smell of our grandparents’ overworked bones
merely hidden inside the skin
always dry enough to catch a stripe of an easy wound in the cold,
on the edge of a thin leaf, on the edge of a knife that cut what it could,
while on our skin
a purple laser light
that catches white underwear with a wave
of primitive laugha light
blissful without the story of pain
though still somehow sharp on the carefully dressed arms,
afraid of being eye-raped by those with butcher’s skill to separate the flesh from the face
that first, always, ambitiously spy on the prettiest girls below 16 that get in with the cat blink
to a few hours later end up between faceless lips
half-conscious but still moving, with no one and everyone proof-watching
making a girl into a big joker’s face inside the next day’s stories.

In the smoky rooms where through techno and sweat one could say anything,
and no one never did,
some perhaps ashamed that what came out through the screaming throat would just be another line that didn’t give the expected kick.
The silver chains never took in the drips of sweat,
as if protecting the tensed-up necks from softening
while they’d take me away from the safety zone
of a giant homescreen as the brave fireman of masculinity
to teach me reality.

I went twice
got my body touched by men with gel in their hair
all convinced this was the world
with their boredom pimped at a local hairdressers and liquor stores.

There was no point proving another reality outside of their weekend discotheques
which too had its limits.

With my few borrowed beatnik sentences that were
a show-off
to differentiate like many.
Only pathetic when the nightdrives to Mcdonald’s
were the closest points to the secret
‘no sketch of a plan’-meaning.
All just to let these few years get by,
with internet and boys on quads
that didn’t like gays
always hiding
from the daylight
as vampires sucking on their own lives.

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