Old Dog, New Trix | 20/20 Hindsight | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Published April 6, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.
Updated April 12, 2016 at 2:21 p.m.

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 find 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.

Rael-One Cloud died last month; a memorial gathering was held at Radio Bean on Saturday, April 2.