Kytzyl Spring 2008: Philadelphia Stories

Written by Noe, with some help

This was another pickup at the Philly Zine Fest 2009. Zoe uses this zine to mostly talk about some of the experiences she's had living in the City of Brotherly Love. She is an extremely literary writer, which makes this a bit different from a personal zine.

Put another way, these stories read more like fiction based on real life rather than a blow by blow accounting, and that's definitely a good thing.

Here's an example, as she discusses returning to Hawaii after moving to Philadelphia: "But Hawaii didn't fit me anymore. If I'd tried really hard I could have probably pulled them up over my hips, and maybe even buttoned the fly, but man, would they have been uncomfortable."

It's allusions like that which make Noe's writing so enjoyable, and she has examples like that all through the zine. I can easily see what she's seeing when she writes, "Summertime in Philadelphia is water ice. Days so humid you can see the moisture in the air. Pizza stolen out of your hand by seagulls on the NJ boardwalk. City kids screaming as they cannonball into the pool at 2nd & Federal. Fire hydrants spouting all over 8th street. People sitting on stoops, chillaxin."

I'll share one more, as Noe goes over the early part of a relationship, setting a scene that I'm sure we can all relate to. "Inside, you stood awkwardly in my room, not sure what to do with yourself. 'Sit there.' I pointed to the corner of my bed. I sat as far away as possible, which was a dumb idea because then I proceeded to spend the next hour devising a plan to get closer to you."

The last 2 pages feature an essay on why Philadelphia is a great place to live, despite its reputation, guest written by a friend of Noe's. Its placement with the rest of the zine is a bit odd, but also helps with giving a reader unfamiliar with Philly a bit of background on the city itself.

This issue of Kytzyl is a wonderful example of literary nonfiction, and I definitely recommend it. You can pick up a copy at a zine show, or find one at Click Clack Distro. It's definitely worth the read!