We have talked about the work of Jadedisland
before here at R.R.Memorandum
. Jade runs a blog and Instagram account, where she documents her experiences as a person of colour within the J-fasion/kawaii community and in general. For some time now, Jade’s emotive world and ability to tell her story has held me captive. Her story is of refusing to try to reconcile her vibrant pink energy with those who disapprove around her, and that really stuck with us at R.R.Memorandum. The work she does on her blog is incredible and something we look up to, and as such we wanted to celebrate her recently published poetry books on our blog through review.
Belladonna In My Grief
As ethereal a being as Jade presents herself visually within the pages of this volume, her heart beats incredibly vitally and humanly within her words. This antithesis strikes a chord with readers who, like herself, wear vibrant clothes yet have a sense of mourning in her heart for the things in life she knows she desire and deserve, and yet are not necessarily afforded. Dealing with themes of rejection, heartbreak, forgiveness, toxicity, sexuality and white fragility through her own eyes, Jade’s intimate lens in all these spaces of being holds the reader captive. It puts us in Jade’s shoes as she speaks of walking the world as an independent AFAB person of colour as she contemplates, celebrates and concerns herself with life within and outside of her forcefield of pink energy. The photographs Jade includes in this volume really help to invoke all we feel as a reader joining her on her poetry journey – they more easily allow us to relate to what Jade is going through. Even if we have not necessarily had the same experiences ourselves, necessarily, we have our own intersectional struggles – and so we can be transported to her emotional world easily through the mediums of written and visual communication. There were moments where I did not know if the grief was Jade’s or my own: these were moments where her emotions were visceral and raw.
My Deity Named Pride
We encounter more sides to Jade within this second, companion volume of poetry and photographs. Jade is much more introspective in Deity, in the earliest instance compellingly explaining her relationship to the concept of Pride, and how that relationship has changed over time and through various life experiences. In ‘A Collage of Myself’, there are themes of corroboration and consolidation of the self, broken through the trials and tribulations of her personal experiences. This, as well as ‘Potential’, speaks to me on a personal level. While Belladonna speaks of trauma in a way that is often very raw and present, Deity feels incredibly reflective: yet sometimes we are thrust into something very tactile and jarringly present: ‘Breathe’ for example, gives us a taste of how flashbacks of the past can bring up all kinds of feelings of fear and anger now. Toughness is coupled closely with striving to face difficult truths as well as doubts, and uncertainty in how Jade and others respond to her being in the world at any given moment. ‘When Perfection Crumbles’ is a powerful commentary on the vulnerability of a life lived on social media: something that Jade is very intimately familiar with, and is a reminder of the struggle for balance we often face in the kawaii fashion community. The accompanying fashion photography in Deity is even more ethereal and other-worldly: perhaps speaking more to the complexity of the pink energy that lives inside of Jade that she exudes through her storytelling in one form or another. As a reader, I found it difficult to put this volume down. Though each individual poem stands alone, there was a sense of urgency for me to read it as a narrative – as a journey through Jade’s emotional world.
These books are compellingly honest, incredibly heartbreaking and, above all, highly inspiring and reflective. Jade’s writing is a breath of fresh air, its presentation alongside the art that is her fashion capturing the sparkle of the words with so much more added poignancy. It was an honour to be given the opportunity to review these incredible piece of literature here on our blog at R.R.Memorandum. I highly recommend picking up a copy of both volumes – whether you are a kawaii fashion wearer or not. They are more than worth a read!