Originally published February 27, 2002.
Rael One-Cloud doesn’t want you to know how old she is — “Eek! Can’t I just be twentysomething?” — and she pleads the Fifth when the conversation shifts to money. But she rants and raves about nearly everything else in her long-running Burlington-based zine, Alphabitch Afterbirth.
After six years and 18 issues — a long lifespan in the world of zines and even magazines —Alphabitch remains raw, urgent and imperfect. One-Cloud is doggedly determined to present the universe as she sees it, typos and all, whether she’s writing about the sexual abuse she suffered as a child, publishing a how-to guide on writing porno novels or praising her favorite indie record label.
And like any good zinester, One-Cloud is unafraid of controversy. Even devoted readers will fi nd something offensive. I was shocked —shocked— to find an image of Christ crucified on a cross of erect penises.
But this sort of provocative gesture is exactly what makes Alphabitch worth reading. There’s simply nothing else like it in Vermont.