Review: On Heaven + Holiness

On Heaven + Holiness
Zine, Despy Boutris, 18 pgs,, $9

This meditative dispatch on the intersection of longing and holiness carves a palindromic path from church, to heaven, to bodies, to desire, back to bodies, to holiness and back to church again. The suggestion is inescapable: these concepts are thoroughly entwined, at least for writer Despy Boutris.

The handwritten train-of-thought text and Picasso-esque sketches of faces that meander across this zine’s pages culminate in a calming read. It’s easy to see yourself existing at the author’s pace, with the rapture of devotion standing side-by-side with overwhelming human wants. “Even now,” Boutris writes, “it’s hard for me to tell the difference between desire and panic—all shaking hands, all machinegunning heart.”

On Heaven + Holiness ultimately defines itself as a love letter from Boutris to “[redacted]” that takes an admirable (i.e. won’t make you cringe) stab at expressing one person’s reasons for loving, and the path that led them there. You’ll get through this in two minutes, but it’s clear that some serious self-analysis went into its careful construction.