Kiss Off #16 is “eerily relatable”

Kiss Off #16

fanzine, Chris Kiss, 1274 Dundas Street W., Apt 2, Toronto, ON, M6J 1X7, $4

Chris calls this a punk rock fanzine, but it’s really a perzine in which he documents his life after he broke up with a long-term lover and moved to Toronto. The term “eerily relatable” doesn’t do it justice. Reading the first page I thought, “this is something I would write.” But it didn’t stop there. Chris has chosen to live an art-obsessed, fully-accepting-of-others, life-analyzing, self-assessing life. It’s the same life I have chosen to live, or chose to live until I decided to get a real job.

We both love(d) The Weakerthans, obsess over consuming all the movies certain directors have made, and have gathered people around us that many people would not consider befriending. This feeling climaxed when the line in an obscure William Carlos Williams poem that I’ve been quoting for half a decade (“Danse Ruse”) shows up in the zine, quoted by Chris: “I am lonely, lonely, I was born lonely, I am best so.” When I saw that quote on the page I threw the zine across the room and yelled, “Fuck off!”

It never occurred to me that maybe, I’m not so unique. That, there are other people leading very similar lives, parallel to mine, common by content but never crossing paths. Maybe, that’s what zine culture is, the discovery that there are others who are genuinely like you; people that have chosen to love art and others unconditionally.

“Danse Ruse” is a poem about waking up, dancing naked in a mirror, and knowing that you are truly alone, a culture unto yourself. Others are not like you. But what this issue of Kiss Off made me realize was, though I may be dancing naked in the mirror, I never truly dance alone.


To see an excerpt of Kiss Off #16 click here!