by Kitya Mark

[CN: brief mention of Holocaust]


  • This is how I imagine the cashier’s perspective of my mother’s face. (bright colours/vibrant accent/blind in one eye/ a portrait of ExOtIC

Leaning against the counter whilst buying socks for her ceramics teacher my mother replies casually to the cashier that, yes, she is ‘South African’ (jokingly adding that this is in spite of the fact that she has lived in London for twenty five years). Later, over Rooibos tea without milk she and a friend who’s name is also a street-sign discuss Zadie Smith’s ‘On Beauty’ and whether women can be women before they are mothers. (m-o-m crossed out/ the searching o replaced with an undulating u)

Diaspora is a word I have grown up with and grown up under:

Google search etymology:

Greek diaspora “dispersion,” from diaspeirein “to scatter about, disperse,” from dia- “about, across” (see dia-) + speirein “to scatter” (see sprout).

I am a second-generation immigrant. My parents/grandparents/greatgrandparents are second generation immigrants. In Year Two we had to make a family tree and I wonder where I put mine because sometimes inside the rim of my eyelids the tracing through and back stops and I forget or misremember or I was never told where my story began.

“Does identity always have to come from conflict”? (an intellectual debate about politics – perhaps I should have done HSPS)

“well, personally (immediately begin. Because it’s always personal – I do not have the objectivity to do Law) because obviously I’m Jewish (it is the only obvious badge I can wear) my identity is so so so interlaced with conflict cause of the holocaust etc”

Ensure to end with ‘etc’ so it does not come across as too heavy// Step one in intellectual debates: never make them too heavy. Especially if you are just a fresher trying to seem interesting-enough-social-enough-funny-enough-fill-the-footfalls-of-their-friends-from-back-home.

Diaspora – “to scatter” (see sprout) but we were never given the chance to sprout and I suppose its too late to be angry about all that. That is so perfectly in the past. My eldest sister (who knows about such things) told me that ‘Of course we only feel Jewish, if we aren’t Jewish what are we?’

I say only to myself that I am also a

  • Woman
  • Queer (brave enough to put it on the list this time)
  • Sister
  • Daughter
  • Friend
    • I am lots of things and I am also Jewish but my question is different – where did we come from?

‘Yeah, I guess it’s just strange because we’ve grown up somewhere our parents don’t call home’.

I AM TRYING TO BUILD MYSELF BACK UP AGAIN (cornflower blue – reaching steadily towards the stitched weave of sky)


  1. the dispersion of the Jews beyond Israel.
    • Jews living outside Israel.
    • the dispersion or spread of any people from their original homeland.

But it’s not dispersion its displacement. Only the trouble is I cannot remember what we are overflowing from and when people say homeland all I can think of is that stupid television show that I never watched but everyone else always used to talk about on the bus.

(-find-search-‘I’-19 times – I suppose – 20-  it is okay if this is all rather self-indulgent)