Set the Garden on Fire

Gouache on paper!

Chen asked for three things: purple, a cleaver, and a flower somewhere on the knife. We discussed a bunch of things, but ultimately settled on a handdrawn look & this is the result. The purple background is on watercolor paper—cleaver was painted on a more smooth, lighter stock. The magic of photoshop made the layout possible, of course. That blurb’s pretty darn accurate. If you want to check out this chapbook sample or learn more (you should—it’s fantastic), it’s out via Porkbelly Press & WickedLittleHeart. Seriously, ya’ll.

Handsewn & trimmed as usual.

This is the story of how a man is made up of everything from the cleaver his mother wields in the kitchen to the wonder pulled down from an evening a 13 year old spends draped in the arms of tree under the stars, running shoes laced for a proper leaving. It’s about identity and becoming, and the pain and the beauty in growing up a boy desiring other boys, the son caught between a father’s image and complicated, gorgeously messy reality, and the straddling of at least two cultures & citizenship. Even in the sharper moments, blade-edged and unflinching, this book remains somehow tender.


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