Zine review: Meet Me At the Corner of Nihilism and Hope

A zine by Crystal. $2, 20pgs.

2231 Ashby Ave. Berkeley, CA 94705


“The eternity in each discarded moment haunts me. / I understand why so many cling to faith. That is why I cannot.”

This is the latest contribution by Crystal (aka astrogirl of the Distress zine, and sometime Slingshot collective member). *Nihilism and Hope* is a combination of short form poetry, manifestos, tonic lists for managing mental health crises, existential reflections, a eulogy and a love letter. Since writing Distress # 2, Crystal, who is self described as “a student, a counselor, a friend, a dork, a radical, and a goddamned fool” has also become a mama and many of her pieces reflect how this changed reality has affected her. As the title suggests, the whole work is held together by the tension between defiant hope aroused in moments of connection and beauty and the despair that comes from facing a deeply wounded world. Themes of addiction and radical mental heath are present but part of a larger whole including communication, authenticity, motherhood and struggling toward presence. A powerful poem is “Put the Coffee on, The Killers are Here” which speaks to the disconnect between the atrocities of war and the mundane morning rituals of someone apart from, yet indelibly tied to them. Not for the light of heart; all of the pieces are touched by melancholy and at once resigned and defiant. Doris Delirium contributed beautiful screen printed art for the cover and several interior pages.