Cotton Xenomorph is a new literary journal produced with the mission to showcase new, and ecstatic art while reducing language of oppression in our community. We are dedicated to uplifting new and established voices while engaging in thoughtful conversation around social justice.

Bird species never seen or heard before

Blue Penguin.jpg

by Alex Vigue (art by KT Howard)

          after the drag artist Hungry and Björk’s Utopia

The whole world asks collectively, “Aren’t you hungry?” They ask this of a small bird that is mid metamorphosis. The bird is halfway to hair, out of favor with feathers.

A vagina erupts from between the hairy bird’s legs. The whole world asks collectively, “Is she hungry?” as if the image of a vulva is enough to address someone by a noun that they owe you. The bird’s shuddering feet fold up into its sweating, peach fuzz body.

When the bird looks to only be a ball of skin, hair, and a flag of lips the whole world collectively asks, “Is it hungry? Does it need to eat?” Three oblong eyes untangle themselves from the north side of the bird. They are not round eyes or almond eyes or square pupil goat eyes. They look like the number 9.

The ball bird grows in several directions. Limbs and petals protrude alongside bone and bark. Eventually the bird resembles an almost human save for the cock or heart. The bird bids its own creation but it is mankind that names and genders it. Man who calls it her and calls it hungry despite no evidence that it is either.

All men and the women who follow these men ask, “Is she hungry?” Although the bird is not hungry, it does have a caldera mouth and magma for digestion; it chews through all of the Donald Trump and Roy Moore voters and takes an antacid after.

Alex Vigue is a queer poet and storyteller from Washington State. He has a degree in creative writing from Western Washington University. Alex has been published in Vinyl Poetry, Maudlin House, and Lockjaw Magazine. His debut chapbook, The Myth of Man, is available from Floating Bridge Press.

(Artist) KT Howard studied creative writing at UW-Madison and is now learning journalism as an assistant editor at a trade magazine. She's studied abroad in London, took a working holiday in Wellington, and currently resides in Madison, WI. Her favorite library in the world is the Wellington Public Library Central Branch. In her spare time, she enjoys giant robot anime, cooking, and annoying the cat. You can occasionally find her online at her personal blog KT's Bookshelf or Instagram @Morike91

Artist's Statement, "Blue Penguin", digital photography

If you walk into a forest, you can only walk halfway before you start walking out. From my home state of Wisconsin, New Zealand is that halfway point on a global scale. Striking mountains, giant skies, and more green than you can digest are the defining characteristics of that beautiful country, but that is not the New Zealand I am showing you now.

These photos are snapshots of my adventures, taken from all the places I have been. Two are from Wellington, where I made my nest. I believe art can be found in the simple and mundane, which is why I carry my camera, to capture those moments. It is also why you won’t see a sweeping cloudscape in these photos. Unusual landscape? That I have (“Rainy Island”).

I hope at least one of these photos make you say “Wow” under your breath, just like I did when I snapped it. If one did, then I did my job as a photographer and artist.

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