A lot of zines could be described as “confessional,” but this one takes it pretty far. Licking Stars Off Ceilings reads like the diary of a very sexually aware young woman casually recounting various sex acts with a bunch of partners, with sexy names like “Stefan.” I actually felt somewhat wrong for reading this…and now you can too.
Clementine is a 20-year-old woman who seems to have experienced a hell of a lot in a fairly short time. Her entries describe her confusion in grappling with relationships, sex, broken hearts and dreams and deciphering this strange thing called love. Masturbating furiously to the thought of someone being nice to her; unironically howling Avril Lavigne lyrics to nobody in particular; wishing that her ex-lover’s shirt was still dirty so she could find its scent. There’s a lot of drama here.
Nevertheless, a little more narrative would’ve helped. A lot more, actually. Names and situations come out of nowhere and if you’re not familiar with the writer’s life, it’s hard to be moved by any of it. There are many isolated scenes — fucking, jerking off, deep-throating large, strange penii — but where’s the context?
It should come as little surprise that the writer is a Suicide Girls pin-up who maintains a Livejournal account. The zine definitely feels more literary than a garden-variety journal entry, as it’s handwritten, includes poetry and integrates cutup graphics of condom instructions and human papillomavirus pamphlets.
So she’s damaged goods. But she at least found hope in doing these zines and reaching others like her. And ain’t that what it’s all about?
“Life is gorgeous. I devour it. And somehow, I still find time to masturbate. Delicious.” Indeed. (Mike Drach)
zine, Clementine Cannibal, issue 2, $1/trade c/o E. Oreilly, RR2, Bradford, ON, L3Z 2A5, email@example.com