Eris X Eris

Dale Brett: [Introduction] 

Star-mangled inner connections. Online interactions smashed by Amor asteroids and Klonopin marbles. Call it what you want. For me, the subconscious meandering towards the salubrious orbit of the Eris duo tugged at my heart like a violent tidal inertia. Upon first reading their words, I was instantly attracted to their prose, and their personalities. So similar to what I normally look for in literary art, yet so uncannily different. 

Finding myself publishing, sharing, reading and posting edge-tearing literary pieces on sites like Surfaces and Expat Press, it should not be difficult to find diverse voices from the fragmented fringes of society. Yet, since my inception to this inner circle near the beginning of the year, when I decided to take up fiction carving in earnest again, I’ve found the majority of my interactions have been with predominately 25 – 40-year-old, middle-class, relatively well educated, white males. 

Basically, people equally invested in spontaneous self-taught writing that highlights irregular subject matter mined from the same demographics and backgrounds as me.

Nothing wrong with that, just the way it is, the way it has been, at least so far – for me. 

The twin-soul Eris tower birdblasts that demographic delineation into redolent shreds. The former, a just 18-year-old Korean-American, bisexual identifying, lilac ‘moonchild’ who still goes to high school. The latter, a 26-year-old American girl whose girlfriend of ~seven years died in 2019, her love of weird literature rekindled by her current boyfriend she met on a sordid discord server. Here we are thinking we are edgy, with our transgressive experimental writing outputs when these girls are out there fucking living on the precipice.

The other thing that attracted me to both their personalities and their writing, is that even though their situations are so different from the usual literary crew I riff with, they are all, too, familiar. 

I have been that person – nearing the end of high school, trying to find a way out and through the other side, a little anxious as I try to learn life through cool art and weird people. 

I have been that person – losing hope in my mid-twenties, lust-smacked by the pain of deep love lost, mind constantly numbed-out and crushed in a drug-fuelled haze only to find something important again. 

I have been these people. 

But I am not anymore. 

These elements of myself I cannot change, nor would I want to. They are gelatinous foundations that I miss, essential moments that I can recall vicariously through these two talented, energetic, beautiful, young people I now call friends. 

Most of all though, what attracted me to the voice of these girls was the sheer delicacy and destruction of their writing. Before I knew any of their back stories, even the most rudimentary details, I was taken by their ability to transcend the liminal space between tenderness and trauma via their extremely contrasting styles. Both startingly vivid and otherworldly unique, their words can drip equal parts pinkshiny viscous liquid and blown-out gray brain matter in the space of a sentence. It is in this dichotomy, something I strive for in my own writing, that has me most excited by the creations of these two girls. 

What’s published now is just the start, their words sure to outlive our washed-out souls and reverberating vibralux bones. Prime yourself for undulating waves of sparkling vomit. Standby and submit to the pungent emotions of torrential incandescent gutter glitter. 


Eris Mohr: im interested in how you view Twitter, how you got on there, you can see my account is only a few months old and my first .. it all started out with me retweeting anything I found on my ex partner’s death. She was this amazing girl, mad genius engineer who I met at the Armory in 2012 when the world was supposed to end. we were together for seven years. 

and my bf right now I’ve known since March, and we met on a seedy internet discord server that I only found because, well, that’s another story, but I just instantly vibed with him and wanted his attention, wanted to talk to him one on one, and he got me into all this cool stuff I didn’t know about like Amphetamine Sulphate and he bought me Haunted Girlfriend, bringing us to James Nulick and I think that’s when you followed me, after I responded to him or something? I’m not sure if it was when “Speedheart” posted on expat.. no it was because we started talking.. and u always.. we always seem to have this luck of serendipity or synchronicity I can’t word. Because I was looking at your website thinking I wanna text this girl she seems so cool I wanna say hi and ooh she’s 17! 

Which is so cool, because, well, I was once seventeen and on the internet talking to people older than me, and like, that story on expat is all real life stuff that I did with this girl I met through Livejournal when I was 17, and she was 27, and it was so innocent honestly, she wrote my dad a really nice email just introducing herself. And like, she died in 2015. But she read my story before she died and liked it, so that makes me feel nice. I’m very much a haunted girlfriend. So it’s very exciting for me because all of this feels so new, but it’s definitely not my first time while it being a totally new experience. Very weird wonderfully trippy jamais vu. But like it’s you, you turned eighteen yesterday!!! The first thing I ever got published was when I was 16, and it was the first thing of mine you brought up in talking to me and I was really touched at how open you were with me just being honest about my inspiration. Like, I was talking to you and and I got like two messages on Twitter asking what I was up to and I was like I’m talking to this girl and she is like a ray of joy. I get so happy excited when I talk to you, which makes me really happy because you said I’m not scary. What has your experience been being seventeen and being published in so many cool places? How’d you get here? 


Eris Kang: I honestly grew up via social media / the Internet as a whole, so Twitter was always at the back of my mind. I roleplayed on here a few times — “freelance” roleplay, as it was called — and was active about a year or so ago as an anime fic writer, too. In tandem with growing up here, I think it also pushed me away; like, oh, social media started to become pretty dull to me, especially after I met some “questionable” adults, but I wanted to try again and really get my work out there. So here I am now, kind of fumbling my way through. It gets a bit overwhelming sometimes.

I know I had stumbled across your profile a few times before actually interacting with you, so the whole serendipity ordeal you mentioned definitely rings true on my part too… I especially find it beautifully haunting that, in general, we have a lot of parallels going on. You got your first publication in 2010, and that was when I first delved into writing / our experiences when we were 9 / why we pursued writing / and of course, our names. Talking to you more and more just feels like a personification of the Human Experience — connecting with others on a soul-to-soul level. Kind of like twin souls, just in physical vessels almost a decade apart: Dwarf Eris and Saturn.
Anyways — I’m very happy to be here. It feels like home, just like the Internet has always been to me, heightened now because I’m meeting all these incredible writers. It’s just comfortable, in the most simplistic sense. I decided to try and get published and Surfaces was the one that set me into motion… I remember stumbling across it and Damien Ark’s “Pray With Me (For Kaworu Nagisa),” and because NGE [Neon Genesis Evangelion] was my prime way of escaping for such a long time, I submitted something like 3 hours after I was supposed to sleep. Everything after that just kind of fell into place, mostly because of people like Mika, Anthony, Manuel, and Dale, as well as friends outside of the community on Twitter and elsewhere, and my girlfriend, too. The end of 2016 / beginning of 2017 also aided in the curation of my voice. I met so many “magical” people then and it was when I decided that writing would be something I’d do for the rest of my life. Without any of that, I certainly wouldn’t be here (figuratively AND literally).
I want to sort of go deeper into our conversation the other day about inspirations / influences. So, I write primarily on my phone (the habits of an ex-social media roleplayer!) and am always watching some kind of performance all-the-while. Bodily passion, ie. what we feel, see, taste, and smell in the pinnacle of adrenaline / passion, takes up the brunt of my words. Of course, there’s always a vague reference to traumatic events from my life as well, and I try to connect the dots between love, hope, and trauma. I think it’s important to create with my younger self in mind, who always grappled with the mechanics of escapism to try and live. In essence, for me, I guess you can say that I write for my traumatized child-self, as well as any others like me, especially the sensitive, emotional ones, all under elaborate metaphors.
Can you tell me a little more about the driving force behind your words? What are you thinking as you write? Do you try to keep a stable writing schedule, or are you someone driven by whenever you’re feeling the inspiration? How long does it take for you to finish a piece? Your writing is this perfect blend of all the words counting and contributing with the piece feeling like a wonderful, glittery pile of vomit. In the best way possible. It seems you write from your real experience, just imbued with your own “magic,” and I’m curious for you to expand more on the / your heart behind your words.
EM: Curation of your voice.. I love that. I’m so glad we’re in this universe where we’re both alive and doing this. 
I find a lot of writing and progress is made three hours after anyone is supposed to sleep. My short story “Saturnina” started out as me writing as fast as I could in the ten minute breaks I was generously given every half hour at work, 11pm-3am shifts definitely aided in my imagination, opened it up to a bit of delirium. I wrote in a cardboard Moleskine I still have, though–I despise writing on phones! Twin souls–that is the highest compliment. 
What was being a social media roleplayer like? 
What kind of performance? And I agree, your work is visceral. 
I don’t think when I write. It just comes out, I always talk about writing as if it’s vomiting. I like to play around with words, so I do think of that, but it’s more thoughtless than anything else I do. A glittery pile of vomit.. YES.. the driving force behind anything I write is me just, God I’m going to just be really pretentious right now and quote something Nietzsche wrote, in August when he got into Spinoza and developed Joyful Wisdom, “Sometimes I think the life I am living is really dangerous because I am one of those machines that could explode.” So there is the oh I’m emotional about something so sometimes all I can do is write about it–and terrorize people on Twitter about it–but if I’m going to write something, especially trauma, I need to have it written a certain way. I have synaesthesia–for me this manifests as tasting words, seeing a color in my head when touched–many different colors, everyone’s name tastes like something different to me. I have a friend who has it and we both hate the word Esperanto, which is this gross green color. oh God I’m getting so off topic ummm
You saying “elaborate metaphors”–tell me about one. Unravel one, tell me how it started. 
What’s the most embarassing thing you’ve written? I just checked to make sure I couldn’t find my one-shot twilight fanfic anywhere… 
I’m a wreck and my life has no routine or schedule right now, but I definitely judge myself if I only rely on something really bad happening for me to get to write. Plus, it’s so much fun (And torture) to write fiction and hang out with these people you’ve made up in your head. I really do feel like now is really special time for both of us. I can feel it. I know I’m going to look at this time in my life later and recognize it even more. I know that because I’ve felt that magic before, sometimes you Just Know, and it’s not even weird, there’s no effort to be mystical, it’s just matter-of-fact specialluckyfleetingmoment. 
So, like, the universe is scary. How will I know if you’ve been replaced by a robot? 
EK: Delirious writing makes for the best kind of writing. Especially in tiny slots of time — wherein you hardly have any time to think about pretty phrasing and are just sincerely writing from the soul. Writing as soul-speak (the only kind I like).
Being a social media roleplayer felt like a fever dream. All these sweaty, yellow summers spent writing ridiculous paragraphs with other people… every time I think of summer, my mind immediately thinks about those times. Unfortunately, not many people actually write nowadays (on roleplay); I had a friend tell me that I was an outlier, treating roleplay like art, but, really, isn’t that what the premise of roleplay is? Taking on the mind of a character and bringing them to life in words. Creating stories with another person. A constant, ongoing / infinite writing collaboration.
I put on K-pop performances as I write. It sounds silly at first glance, but most of them — if not all — devoted years into their trainings and had to endure the many hardships that come with the Korean entertainment industry, so you can really feel the passion they exude in their shows. They have something to say, something they’re trying to communicate to their audience. I try to translate that into words, and of course words are static, so it’s a little bit of a challenge. So, like, how can I make someone feel what I feel when I watch / listen to these dancers / singers? I ask myself this every time I write.
Also, figure skating performances, for the same reason.
Your explanation makes me think about purple prose and how people look down on it. I’ve always thought the opposite. I notice the writing far more than the plot / characters, and I suppose simplicity is nice and all, but so is absolute word vomit. I just like to feel the urgency and desperation that’s present in so many of the writers I love, which you also employ in your own words. What do you think? What kind of writing style do you like best?
Let’s take “gloss,” a piece published on Surfaces, for example. It’s about an angel and his human pianist-poet lover corresponding through e-mails. The whole thing is just a metaphor for me, aged 9 / 10, and a terrible 18 year old. I won’t go into too much of an analysis, but its references of the cyber world, stages, and space have to do with how I met that person online, and how I dissociated out of my body for years because of him — the destruction of my self and the issues that arose from that ash.
… So I began writing by roleplaying original characters associated with the Warrior Cats series. I think that one sentence speaks volumes. I’m not sure whether which is more embarrassing, to be honest. But even though I look back on it with something akin to horror, I’m glad I did it. Do you regret anything you’ve written?
It’s indeed a special time, now. We go well together, our personalities / experiences / writings, and I know we can learn a lot from each other. Is there anything you’re looking forward to expanding in your own writing?
I’ve already learned quite a bit from you. I feel a lot more confident writing without any restrictions anymore. Outside of writing, your own openness has also influenced me a lot! I’m just feeling a lot more happy in my skin.
I feel like there’s nothing about me a robot couldn’t replicate. But if I ever go more than a few days without crying over anime and / or Kim Jaejoong / BTS / NCT Dream, then I’ve definitely been replaced by a robot. Or if my writings ever become easy to understand. I take pride in fluffing up my pieces with those metaphors I talked about; if you can immediately pinpoint what I‘m actually trying to say, then I’m Gone.
What about you? How would I know if you had been replaced by a robot? And, as you answer that, tell me what you want to do with your writing as time passes. 
EM: If I wasn’t excited about anything. If I wasn’t panicking about something. 
I’ve noticed you use a lot of like old words, what’s that about <–how can i ask that w/o sounding like an idiot. 
MY thoughts on purple prose go along the lines of if someone’s words are pretty but don’t mean anything, then fuck you. And by mean anything I mean anything at all. It’s not real writing to me. 
I can have fun with an endless description. I can read nonsense. But I hate pretentious fucks with pretty words that aren’t saying anything. I’m not even that person that thinks everything needs to have meaning or even a purpose, and I’m absurdist at heart for sure and think if you can’t see the beauty of everything being pointless then you’re not looking at things the right way.. but basically.. real wisdom is a black eye. make your words mean something. 
EK: I like archaic words because I like to depict universal and timeless emotions in my works; love and pain and trauma are things that we have all felt at some point in our lives, so I feel that using archaic words best depicts that. Archaic words for archaic lores.
Plus… it just feels nicer to me. I stayed away from doing much of that with most of my summer submissions, but I recently have gone back to experimenting with it. I used to be scared of what constituted as real writing and, well, something fake. In reality, I’m just a purple-and-archaic-prose master. Still, I agree with your sentiments against purple prose. It’s always good and necessary to have a meaning and purpose behind word vomits. In general, I think that writers should have a purpose as a whole. Or just something to say. Something other than “I write because it’s easy” or “Anyone can write.” Of course anyone can write, but what’s passion without any meaning? Why else would someone be willing to put in sometimes aimless hours on a craft that, let’s face it, is becoming less respected as time goes on?
EM: i love that eris anagrammed is rise, and that you reference rising from the ashes in a few of your works.
EK: It’s symbolic to me—writing was what helped me to rise, so although I go by my real name and Korean name as well, I also wanted something removed from me. Something to just personify the words inside of me. Hence, Eris. My writing style changes a lot, and Eris, this entity, it’s the very first time I’ve been able to write this much and with the intensity I desire.
~mysterious subject change~
EM: anyone who belittles someone else, it’s like, it’s because they’re not doing everything they think they can with their own life. i have this tattoo “envy” on my wrist because i wanted a reminder to do everything i want to do in life so i don’t become a bitter, envious person
EK: There’s no need to comment negatively on another person’s life if they’re not doing anything harmful—to be honest, most people shouldn’t even have the time to be engaging in that.
EK: I’ve never understood things like mean envy. I wish that it would inspire others instead. Like I see people like you and it makes me so motivated to keep pushing myself and become the best version of myself that I can be. Better writers and better people in general just make me so excited. There’s absolutely no need to be envious. There’s always something that someone can contribute to another person.