gut feeling: poems about microbes is a little poetry zine that takes microbes seriously. Each poem looks at the relationship between gut flora and world, considering SIBO, alcoholism, symbiosis, trauma, mind, animal testing, and the abject. Also included are quotes by thinkers who write about microbes. This tiny zine delves deep into the world of 100 trillion tiny creatures living within the human gut.
Can Theory Be a Spell? is a rambling essay exploring my history of surviving childhood sexual abuse and the role that magic played in my survival, psychiatric incarceration, addiction and losing touch with magic, finding 12 steps and finding my way back to magic, and navigating the academy as witch when spiritual and magical ways of knowing are devalued in academic settings. It’s a zine about being a witch in grad school and trying to find a way to articulate my truths.
“I leave my magic at my altar where I sit each morning and write, where I sit each morning and ask for help, where I sit each night and say thank you, where I light my candles, lay down my tarot cards, listen to what comes to me. I leave my magic pressed between the pages of books, alive on city streets and in alleyways, in the lake, the river, the sky, in my pulse, my fingertips, in the synchronicity and connectedness I feel all around me and inside me, when I open myself to it. I leave my magic. I do not bring it into the university.”
seawitch #11 is about recovery from trauma, intergenerational trauma, moving slowly, making changes, social isolation, depression, reclaiming bisexuality as a nonbinary person, intersections of gender and madness, complicated feelings toward abusers, dissociation from embodiment and sexuality, and a mushroom patch.
“I am learning about herbs and making my own tinctures using apple cider vinegar. I am brewing strong tea. I am trying to be patient. It is difficult. I am tired of feeling sick.”
“I think of my mother, a child. I think of my father, a child. My parents are both survivors of abuse, including sexual abuse. My parents, like myself, are powerless over the effects of trauma. They didn’t know better, so they could not do better.”
“It wasn’t all terror. It wasn’t all damage. But it was enough of both to be deadly. I have repeated the truth. I could die. You could kill me if I let you. I have memorized the impact of my arm and the beam as I went through the wall.
But under the water, deep down in the dream, I remember your laugher, us riding bikes together, how happy I was. These memories come to me still. All these years later.”
A Little Bee Zine is about developing relationships with local ecosystems, learning about different species of bees, facts about bees that you probably don’t know (like the fact that most species live in the ground, not in hives), and tips on planting pollinator gardens to attract and support bees. It comes with full colour photos of bees and the plants they love. This zine is a love letter to bees in all their magnificent variety and an invitation to come into relationship with the ecosystems you are a part of.
“Not only did this experience open me up to a world of wonder in which I discovered how little I really knew about bees, it also put me in direct relationship with the plants I was caring for and the ecosystem which exists in my backyard. The daily practice of going outside, caring for the plants, noticing changes, watching the bees, and other creatures, really changed me. I began to experience this deep sense of awe and curiosity as I came face to face with how little I know. I was also filled with a deep sense of relationship and responsibility.”
seawitch #10 is about is about surviving child abuse and coming to witchcraft as an embodied practice of survival and resistance to child abuse and gendered violence. seawitch #10 is about my experience as an alcoholic, how I started drinking, what my drinking was like, how I tried desperately to become a social drinker, and how I eventually got sober. seawitch #10 is about being contacted by an estranged family member, nonbinary time traveling, wanting change, and queering condoms. seawitch #10 is about getting an ultrasound as a traumatized person, shaving my head, exploring my sexuality and discovering I’m into romance, and the temporalities of my trauma. seawitch #10 is about being in love and growing in love, being a survivor who believes in prison abolition, and being crazy in grad school. This is a zine about change, growth, healing, courage, and holding complexity.
“The ultrasound technician is tracing my veins. I had no idea these rivers existed within me, deep, and hidden. Tiny, invisible veins which are also a network of rivers, their own ecosystems.”
“Courts don’t own the truth. Cops don’t own the truth. I have been failed by police and courts every step of the way. They have inserted themselves into my life, said they would protect me, re-traumatized me, and failed me.”
“As a child I would leave the house of incest and go into the night and wrap my arms around the trunk of a tree. Nonhuman beings and I have always had a spiritual understanding, a strong solidarity. I know that I cannot protect the bat and the bat cannot protect me, but we see each other, we know each other, we are in this together.”
seawitch#10 was reviewed by Broken Pencil Magazine:
“Clementine Morrigan continues their deeply personal yet relatable diarist series Seawitch in this tenth installment with their typically graceful, honest, and candid prose. As in previous issues, the author takes up difficult and traumatic personal experiences, sharing their process of healing and recovery, survivorship and self-discovery.
Spanning a range of ideas, including the healing powers of animals and nature, a multifaceted and trauma-informed take on personal identity, and navigating grad school as a disabled assault survivor, this volume takes the reader on an intimate and jarring journey that is nevertheless hopeful. It tells a personal tale of struggle and, more importantly, survival.
One of the most memorable pieces in this zine is the story of Morrigan’s journey from an alcoholic teen-hood to a sober adulthood, paired with a complex and personal critique of intoxication culture and an insight into the mental health issues which intersect with heavy substance use. They are nonjudgmental, believing it is possible to have a full life in sobriety, and affirming that “if you are struggling you are not alone.” The piece encompasses the qualities that set Morrigan’s work apart: their complete baring of the soul, their trust in the reader to hold such difficult realities in their head and hands, and their refusal to claim anyone’s story but their own.
The work is an incredibly difficult but rewarding read. It provides you with an understanding of the writer’s experience, as well as the feeling of being understood.”
Content warning: psychiatric incarceration and violence.
significant distress is an art zine which emerges from a larger installation/performance piece but the zine also stands on its own. This small zine is a ritual object, a pocket-sized magic, which explores witchcraft as a site of resistance to psychiatric violence and as a space in which madness is honoured.
signifigant distress juxtaposes the archive of psychiatry with the repertoire of ritual from the perspective of a mad witch. The psychiatric archive, with its disinterested, impersonal tone, attempts to capture the psychiatrized person and reduce them to words on a page. This capture and reduction is a symbolic act which mirrors the actual capture and reduction which takes place in the context of psychiatric incarceration. The artist, a psychiatric survivor who also happens to be a witch, literally cuts up the psychiatric archive to free themself from it. The words are then resituated from the sterile pages of the psychiatrist’s note keeping, to the powerful, energetic setting of the witch’s craft. Scenes from the artist’s actual spiritual practice reveal magic to be a welcoming space for madness, a space which can hold madness in all its complexity and wisdom. The violence done to the mad body in the context of psychiatry is here witnessed and addressed in the context of witchcraft.
seawitch #9 issue is largely about three things: being queer, being femme and being a survivor. It’s about the way those three things interact, internalized queerphobia, internalized misogyny and trauma. It’s about street harassment and femme embodiment. It’s about what it was like growing up queer, coming out at fourteen and experiencing a ton of homophobia. It’s about shame and wanting to be sexual with women and femmes and finding that really hard. It’s about the legacy of queerphobic violence, misogynist violence, sexual violence and cissexist violence manifesting in the body. It’s about being a survivor of sexual violence at the hands of women. It’s about astrology and digging deep and facing hard stuff. It’s a really vulnerable, heartfelt little zine.
“And one day I want to be able to explore sexuality with women and other femmes. I want to be able to be present to my desires without feeling like a creep or a pervert, without shutting down and shutting off.”
“I went to an event today for queer and trans survivors of violence. It brought up some surprising stuff for me. I am a survivor of a lot of violence, including a lot of sexual violence. Something I don’t talk about a lot is that I have been sexually assaulted by women. ”
“I realized that the only thing I could write for evidence against my worthlessness is that everyone has inherent worth. Everyone. Myself included. Because if I attach my worth to any external thing, to anything, it is dangerous. ”
Three of Swords is a one-off zine which collects in one place my writing on polyamory. This is a collection of writing that came out of the experience of attempting poly, having a very hard time of it and closing the relationship with the intent of opening it again. The pieces in this zine document a personal journey but they also reflect on larger issues. The zine expresses the realization that mainstream poly lit is extremely over simplistic. Everyone is just expected to ‘own their jealousy’ but there is no political, intersectional analysis. This zine goes beyond that and considers the way that polyamory can be complicated by things like mental health issues, trauma and gender. It considers the impact of misogyny and ableism on polyamory. It also questions the narrative of abundant love through an analysis of trauma and survivorship. This zine holds out hope for polyamory, values and desires polyamory and seeks to create space for more complex narratives within poly community and literature.
seawitch #8 was made during a stay in Halifax, unceded Mi’kmaq territory. It’s about the stay in Halifax and spiritual shifting. It’s about gentrification and the violence of white guilt and an event on gentrification attended while in Halifax. It’s about jealousy, polyamory and femininity, writing about these things and designing a workshop on these things. It’s about the importance of friendships and valuing and grieving friendships. It’s about sex work. It’s about gender ambivalence, gender dysphoria and not feeling totally inside or outside the gender binary. And it’s about happiness and how stunning / staggering happiness can be as someone who has been in so much pain for so long.
“It’s Mercury Retrograde right now. Mercury Retrograde doesn’t stress me out because I just slow right the fuck down. I’m grateful to be in Halifax at this time, working on projects, meeting cool people, walking around the city, hanging out with my love. In the mornings I’ve been doing my prayers and drawing daily tarot. There have been a ton of Major cards, suggesting intense things are brewing for me right now.”
make all good things fall apart #3 is a collaborative zine by geoff and I on the themes of addiction, sobriety and intoxication culture. This zines was made in Halifax, unceded Mi’kmaq territory, as part of the Anchor Archive zine residency program. Topics covered in this zine include: different cultural understanding of sobriety, sobriety as an energy, connecting 12 step principles with anti-oppressive values, sobriety and sex, the mysticism of 12 step fellowships, abstinence and harm reduction are not opposites, experiences of active addiction, addiction as a disability justice issue and 12 step witches. The zine also includes original illustrations by both geoff and myself.
make all good things fall apart #3 was reviewed by Bitch Media:
“Both Clementine and Geoff identify as sober addicts practicing a 12-step recovery, together they write about their experiences in Make All Good Things Fall Apart. In the third issue, Geoff breaks down some of the language commonly used to describe sobriety and addiction, like saying “sober” and “clean” and the connotations behind it. Clementine’s piece, “Sobriety is an Energy,” really spoke to me, in examining how sobriety is often framed as an absence of alcohol. But for Clementine, it is actually more than what it is not. “I feel that my sobriety grows, it builds and gains momentum, the longer I am sober,” Clementine writes. It’s that energy that is so inspiring about living sober and reminds me of why I quit drinking in the first place. Sobriety is “memory, is presence” and “long visible nights and clear warm mornings” and that’s what makes it so special.”
Complicating Veganism is a compilation zine edited by Nicole Davis and I. Eleven contributors complicate veganism by considering it in conjunction with disordered eating, mental health, trauma, sexual violence, autism, intersectionality, capitalism, colonialism, food justice, fat activism, sexual orientation and other topics. The goal of this zine is to undermine the single-issue oriented approach that much vegan activism takes, to call into question oppressive tactics that vegan activism uses and to open up the conversation about veganism in a way that is complex, intersectional and focused on justice. We are also seeking submissions for a second issue to continue the conversation.
“We need to address the fact that the figures at the frontline of the vegan movement are white, able-bodied, cisgender, thin and fit, wealthy settlers.” – Nicole Davis
“Veganism, which gave me a sense of safety and control, a sense of distance from violence, also was a way of coping.” – Clementine Morrigan
seawitch #7 is about going back to school in the fall, navigating identity as a demisexual, having a pregnancy scare and coming to realizations about a lack of support for parents, families and kids in communities/movements, the need for an expansion of the meaning of reproductive justice and pro-choice. It’s about the intersections of polyamory and madness, having c-ptsd and trying to navigate polyamory, taking a break from poly and the need for support/resources for mad folks in the poly community. It’s about intoxication culture and being a sober addict and not wanting to ‘fit in’ and justice and access and sober spaces. There’s some heavy stuff about trauma, being an incest survivor and a multiple rape/assault survivor, having c-ptsd and the impacts of this, especially with regards to intimacy, trust, friendship, touch, sexuality. There’s stuff on gender, sacred femininity, revaluing femininity, being genderfluid and being ashamed of masculinity that it is ‘too’ femme. And it’s about recovery, spirituality and spiritual maintenance. Very text heavy. Lots of words. Lots of content warnings.
“I long for resources and discussion on polyamory that include mental health issues. I want to talk about how polyamory intersects with trauma and madness.”
“People praise me for my ‘radical vulnerability’ in my writing but in person I can barely say hello or ask you how you’re doing.”
“I see my femmeness, my femininity, entangled with my witchcraft. My intuition, my heart, my ritual, the way I am with nature, with the sky, the water, with my body, the animal that I am.”
seawitch #7 was reviewed by Broken Pencil Magazine:
“Seawitch #7 is the latest issue of Clementine Morrigan’s diarist perzine. Much of the zine focuses on sexuality and gender. They discuss their demisexuality, a pregnancy scare, and the challenges of approaching polyamoury while dealing with mental health problems. Given the weight of the topics, Morrigan navigates with a surprisingly light touch. This zine didn’t bum me out—instead, I found myself grateful for Morrigan’s thoughtful musings. A passage about being sober in a drinking culture does not shame drinkers (or sober people who find ways to hide their sobriety), but rather borrows a question from critics of homonormativity: “Why is the world so intolerant of us as we are?” Morrigan is finding a path to be who they are, and gracefully sharing that journey with the rest of us.”
seawitch #6 is about self-naming and choosing to have three different names, it’s about gender, genderqueerness, multiplicity, femininity and masculinity (and femmephobia), it’s about being a survivor of child abuse, it’s about healing, recovery and spirituality, it’s about gendered violence, it’s about white supremacy and racism and some things white people can do to take responsibility for our position in these systems, it’s about learning to love again after surviving intimate partner violence, it’s about jealousy, it’s about learning a new tarot deck. It’s also an end of the year / birthday zine.
“healing is not linear. it is cyclical. we revisit the same trauma again and again with new insight each time. as long as we stay connected to our journey we are growing, even when it seems we have been plummeted to the bottom of another depression.”
“i think that, because of sexism and toxic masculinity, masculine people who are even slightly feminist or respectful to feminine people, are treated like special gems. even in queer spaces, we flock to masculine people, we hold them up, we long for their attention and praise.”
“i am a capricorn sun and a capricorn moon. capricorn is a seagoat. people often forget that and paint capricorn as simply a goat. this does not do justice to the entirety of capricorn’s nature. yes, capricorn is a goat: methodical, stubborn, single-minded when its sights are set on something, hardworking, slow to change. but caproicorn is not just a regular goat but a seagoat: deep diving, spiritual, intense, reflective, passionate, with an eye for the mystical and other-wordly.”
seawitch #5 is about being caught between the past and the future, reflecting, letting go, major changes and moving forward. It’s about hope, fear and courage. It’s about coming out as genderqueer, recognizing my demisexuality and making sense of my sexual history. It’s about trauma, sexual violence, being too drunk to consent and coming to terms with my past. It’s about trauma, recovery and supporting survivors in your life. It’s about spirituality and being a witch and seeking spiritual connection. It’s about university and navigating that world as an alcoholic and a survivor/victim of intimate partner violence. And it’s about tarot, specifically The World card.
“i realized that being a woman is a part of my gender but nowhere near all of it. i realized that my gender, which i stress about and which i love, which i revel in and am punished for, which i can’t describe and which i seek words to describe, is queer. it’s very, very queer.”
“right now i am describing my sexuality as queer, demisexual with femme4femme leanings. i am excited to give myself the space and the time to explore and develop my desires. i am grateful to be at a place where i can be honest about and let go of my past, making room for who i am today.”
“i write about this stuff because i know i’m not alone. i write about this because there are so many of us who carry the legacy and trauma of sexual violence. i write about this because this is my human experience, my truth, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. i write about this because i know my tears, though sometimes inconvenient, are ultimately utterly healing.”
Rupture was published with Demeter Press in 2012. It can be ordered here, and is also available at the Toronto Public Library. This book is a raw exploration of trauma and addiction. Through poetry, narrative, photography, and illustration Rupture tells of surviving childhood sexual abuse and intimate partner violence, living through alcoholism and addiction, getting sober, and beginning recovery.
“Rupture is an exploration of sexuality, violence, recovery and reclamation of self. Through images, poetry, and prose Clementine Morrigan examines the processes of destruction and creation which are fundamental to healing. She exposes the messy, contradictory, painful, pleasurable, powerful and vulnerable experience that is the journey through trauma. She asks us not to position survivors of sexual violence as either simply helpless victims nor simply empowered survivors. Instead she demands to be recognized as fully human and explores uncompromisingly the process of recovery.” —Demeter Press
“Rupture bravely captures the emotions of trauma, pleasure and recovery. This series of poems, divided into six parts, takes the reader through the author’s experiences of sexual violence, discovering her sense of self and relationships, and how she has started her journey toward healing. Although some of the poems are extremely difficult to read, Morrigan’s work serves as a way for others who are dealing with similar experiences to begin to articulate some of their own pain. In ‘divine responsibility’, Morrigan writes “self love is a divine responsibility / because the goddess Herself / makes no mistakes.” The juxtaposition of the empowerment expressed in some of the poems and the hurt in others underscores the nuanced struggle of living with a painful history.” —Shameless Magazine
“Rupture is a bold, honest, and thought-provoking collection of poems and short narrative writings on female embodiment, violence against women, sexuality, and feminism. Morrigan’s accessible language and intimate tone invite the reader to enter into her experiences, which range from harrowing to exhilarating. She encourages readers to appreciate the challenging journey of the woman in patriarchal culture who seeks to honour her feelings, desires, and powers and carve out a truly independent existence. Her book strikingly demonstrates that women’s right to self-determination continues to be a poorly protected one and is a work that would appeal to many women who similarly struggle to live outside of sexist conditioning and norms.” —Herizons Magazine
“Clementine has the guts to get gritty with her experiences of violence, misogyny, addiction, recovery and most importantly, healing.” —SheDoesTheCity
“Clementine has created a masterpiece. At times heartbreaking, her stories of sexuality, incest, alcohol and domestic violence are all too familiar. In the hands of young women, this book has the possibility of bringing about stronger friendships, louder voices and real change. Her words pierce right to the bone and to the soul. She has spoken for those who thought they had no voice.” —LaMesha Melton, writer and editor of cocoa/puss zine