Vers Aloe by Deming Huang
Vers Aloe heralds the poetic debut of artist Deming Huang, emerging from the depths of his artistic exploration. Chronicling personal queer biography, this collection spans continents, capturing his expedition as a ‘ghostly hunter for queer legacies.’ It traverses his odyssey from birth on China’s southernmost island, through his teen years in Australia, to his present abode in the UK. In a haunting and nuanced ensemble of self-dialogue and poetic introspection, Huang deftly navigates the intricacies of the Asian queer diasporas and the discourse of biopolitics.
Vers Aloe extends a heartfelt invitation to readers, beckoning them from a mythical mise-en-scène into a tactile literary mise-en-page. This volume orchestrates a dynamic interplay of visual and textual elements, and the dust jacket itself unfurls into a poster displayed with one of his paintings, inviting readers to immerse themselves in the hunting season of Huang’s voyage as he cruises and climbs the enigmatic terrain of queer poetics within the black forest of his own existence.
‘This playful, intimate and magical collection of queer histories and confessions leads us through the horror of the urban into the uncertain and politicised world of the erotic. In ‘Sauna Sonnets’, we encounter government ministers discussing porn habits, a satire of domestic heteronormativity whilst cruising, a love poem as a couple texting where ‘Capitalism/appears to lack our feelings’, all rendered with guile, precision and tenderness. Seamlessly merging the contemporary with Greek myth, ecology and identity and registering literary inheritance as the presence of allies and conspirators in O’Hara, Genet, Rimbaud, Foucault and Ashberry, we witness the emergence of a selfhood of empowered wounds. In a language of poetic porousness and borders, Huang courageously explores the agency and permeability of predator and prey in the jungle of queer desire.’—