May 23, 2014

Zine: No Better Than Apples #10
Kate Larson's writing is better than apples and oranges. 

Kate Larson has been writing her perzine No Better Than Apples since 2005, with collaborative and one-off zines in between. She writes and draws about the happenings in her life with graceful and vivid imagery, and her most recent issue is no different. No Better Than Apples #10 is about her remission from multiple sclerosis. In the previous issue Kate tells her story of diagnosis, and this most current issue is about living a year to the fullest while she feels well enough to do so.

the storm and the calm. the year before last was a crushing wave, this year was much kinder to me, this year was the best one yet. entertaining hack theories that this will just always be the way it rolls out: switching off, take what you can get. a year of hell and a year of euphoria. without the latter i'd be weeds. without the latter i'd be dead. there is always a calm and there are places to go to find it so i'm always always looking.

Kate explores all the places she found the stillness we all crave in our snarled lives. It exists in lovers and nature, in small towns and supportive friends, in a job as a chocolatier and in travel. It doesn't always appear to exist, but it's there, even in the moments when a customer at the chocolate shop she works at tells her that her last zine wasn't true, or when her health insurance ends, or in conversation with a friend about their abuser. It's there because it has to be.

take a pill/play a show/work twelve hours/sleep four. and in the betweens i just dance around my room to a song about grief that my friend sings, i drove to brooklyn in a snowstorm last week just to see him for a few hours. walking very softly, in the streets trying to get out of my own skull, making poor jokes, making no effort at extraneous socialization, driving back over the bridges late thinking about all the bad decisions. on paper i'm a real vision and in person i'm even worse. what i need is deep sleep, our foreheads bowed together at a point. what i need is a piece of you and silence. live in the gaps or fill them right in. 

She takes us through days of campfires in upstate New York and bike rides down empty dark streets, sobriety and life as a female-identified musician, walking around town on Halloween dressed as Spiderman, visiting a dear friend in Canada, and navigating through a life that could spiral again at any moment. Kate's writing is rhythmic and poised, and it resonates. It is like reading the most disclosed and tenacious journal that we are lucky to hold.

Buy your own copy of No Better Than Apples #10 here, and see more work by the artist here.

Written by Cynthia Schemmer