is a novella I wrote around 2000-2002 and it was published by Lazyline in the fall of 2005. One of my favourite artists, Tiphanie Brooke from Antigirl.com
, designed the cover. For more information from the publisher and to purchase, please visit Lazyline Records
and i'll bury myself so deep inside you and i'll be your tragedy and you won't have to find it anywhere else, pay for it on movie screens and play it in your songs, i can be all the tragedy you need and i'll tell you all my stories and you'll look so serious and maybe you'll cry and you'll say you're so sorry you're so sorry and i'll write myself onto your palms onto your lips you'll swallow me hard you'll wonder if you're one of my stories too and one day the back of your hand will run into my cheekbone.
your hand will run into my cheekbone and i'll become sand.
the times you fell in love me with were: when i ran out of the store and you found me on the floor in the bathroom and i would not stop shaking. when i could not breathe on the bench. when i borrowed scissors from your mother to cut up my pills and did not brush my hair. i am running out of reasons for you to love me even before the piss yellow snow melts and you know it is up to you now. you love me best with a wet face and swollen lips and i don't mind much.
sometime in december i run out of the house with no shoes and it is the first time i have left for a week. i cross ashland and stare at the ground and there is no one to see me, past the laundromat where you buy me gum and rubber bouncy balls while we wait for the bleach to take away that week's accidents. the laundromat is owned by a very nice hispanic man and it is called soapy's. that's where we tell people to turn left to come visit us but no one comes anymore. it's so quiet at night here and then the freight train goes by and i regret not getting to the tracks sooner just to be close to the sound. you watch tv and imagine my body crushed by boxes carrying lumber, cars, and children's cold medicine.
"Helena Kvarnstrom is the nurse you both dread and long for when you're sick: she'll mop your brow with one sweet soft hand and drive the needle home with the other; she's the angel come to take you to hell and bring you back again. Let her. "Violence" is worth the trip, every delicious and poisonous breath of it. Open your heart, close your eyes, give yourself over: she'll break you in pieces and kiss you together again and you will love every burning minute." - Victoria Lancelotta, Here In the World
"Helena Kvarnstrom has the unsettling ability to infuse her art -- whether text or photograph -- with sexuality, ugliness and raw pain all at the same time. She picks at society's scabs, pokes at our bruises, and photographs the cum stains we try to keep hidden. Through her brutally honest but startlingly lovely portraits, Kvarnstrom achieves a level of honesty many of us can never reach. When she turns her lens on herself, her body speaks for the voiceless." - Emily Pohl-Weary, A Girl Like Sugar
"The words that pour out of Violence seep into your head and make you rethink what you thought violence was. The word violence means so much less than the actions that make it exist. Helena Kvarnstrom makes her words blend together so well that it's hard to tell what is real and what is not. Maybe it doesn't matter either way. Once they're off the page and into your mind, the reality of them becomes all too pulsing." - Melinda Smith, The Montclarion
"Violence cuts into that corner of your consciousness where desire is stripped raw and revealed for all its potential fierceness, wonder and danger. Like revisiting the first words and sounds to simultaneously electrify and terrify your heart -- a spooky-seductive fairy tale, your favorite record when you were 14 -- Helena's stories make you reach back and grasp onto your most unfettered and soul-stirring notions of the powers of love, sex, despair, beauty and obsession." - Elizabeth Barker, Venus Zine
ALTAR MAGAZINE REVIEW
I first stumbled upon Helena Kvarnstrom's photography a couple years ago through her art website myredself.org. I, along with other interweb visitors, was instantly hooked and fell curiously in love with her raw images, layed out in a simple yet strikingly quiet manner. It was years later, when I ran into Kvarnstrom’s work again, this time at an editor’s meeting where we quickly grabbed the books and albums with the best covers. Violence, somehow lost between the thick novels, piqued my interest with its vellum cover corner poking its head out, enticing me to choose it. Upon discovering it was indeed Kvarnstrom's first published self-made photography book, I was yet again hooked and drawn into her mysterious world. The cover alone was an indication that beyond its translucence hid a world which cut straight through you, reaching to the farthest depths of your heart and despair. Violence strikes you immediately: "And I'll bury myself so deep inside you and I'll be your tragedy and you won't have to find it anywhere else, pay for it on movie screens and play it in your songs, I can be all the tragedy you need and I'll tell you all my stories and you'll look so serious and maybe you'll cry and you'll say you’re so sorry you're so sorry and I'll write myself onto your palms onto your lips you'll swallow me hard you'll wonder if you're one of my stories too and one day the back of your hand will run into my cheekbone. Your hand will run into my cheekbone and I'll become sand." Breaking into your unconsciousness where love and desire are bare and vulnerable, Kvarnstrom's stories stir repressed emotions and challenge all that you tried so hard to forget. Complete with haunting imagery, her photography not only adds another dimension to her voice, but also tells another story in of itself, cutting across the pages, blending anger, obsession, hate, and love. Her art creeps into your life and stays with you forever, like the violence of a tortured love.