Thursday, March 22, 2007

Deconstruction Followup - Conference and Workshop

Now that you have received permission to use deconstruction, that tool of the infidels, we can play with it a little. My little essay was written on a blog with a mock-humble name. What does the media choice and title tell us about who I believe is privileged to speak on the issue of deconstruction?

No, sorry, I forgot. Deconstruction is supposed to be directed at others, never oneself.

The speaker rises to (ad)dress the conference party(ci)pants
Over at Fair Trade Certified, aspiring poetess bsking offers 7 haiku. Because she is short, and writes from an emergent medical environment, we might think she has chosen this form out of envy and repect for Asian placidity and self-control, strongly identifying with those cultures, however stereotypically perceived as Oriental Other. A deeper look reveals many darker impulses. The use of Latin titles of medieval categories of “sin,” suggests that only Christians of the Western Tradition are privileged to speak about art and morality. The use of the the more westernised 5-7-5 syllabic format rather than the more traditionally eastern 2-3-2 syllabic, or 5-7-5 consonantal haiku confirms this hegemonic silencing of the nonwhite subaltern voice. The ancient East Asian tradition is not only suppressed, but actively decapitated by the usurpation of naming-rights in what is quite literally a “high-coup.”

The choice of pseudonym “bsking” is also highly revealing. Is this a zero-grade form of “basking,” or “busking,” suggesting a personal privileging that (super)imposes itself on all other authorities? Or is the lower-case “b,” “s,” “king” meant to playfully suggest that the poetess’s own insecurity with her female Voice is a mere mask to conceal her status in a patriarchal society as “liar,” and “pile of dung?” It is neither. She has avoided the title “queen” for its sexual ambiguity, further reinforcing her rigid Christianist, heteronormative paradigm. S(he) – if her adoption of the feminine role is based on traditional bio-logical notions of vaginal “possess”-ion – is ambivalent about all archaic titles of royalty because she is ambivalent about Power itself. The conflict remains unresoved, as (s)he settles on identifying with the more powerful patriarchal form, but with a lower-case “k.”

Once she has identified with the oppressor in this way, however reluctantly, her claims to having received these poems in a dream or dreamlike state must be interpreted in that light. She is denying agency, distancing herself from the more logic-bound, rationalist state of the oppressor, attempting to retain her Voice by giving it to another, for which see serves the hypertraditional female role of hand-maiden, scribing for an invasive and irresistable male oppressor-poet. She has avoided giving attribution to a female Muse, and has scrupulously avoided the Names of Days for her week of poems, as some of these are powerful female goddesses whose presence she must not acknowledge.

The poetess’s claims that the form was chosen for its convenience, after an actual dream-state, and that her pseudonym is based on her given name are abviously false, and a further attempt to deny the impossible contradictions of be-ing and creat-ing in her own Voice.

Note to audience: We’re having an informal gathering of the conference speakers and selected attractive graduate students when this is over, and you’re not invited.


Anonymous said...

Linked in Brief Politico-Therapies

Good post AVI,

dicentra63 said...

I left grad school ten years ago, and finally, finally, all of the nightmares, all of the pay-tree-ark-all voices in my head, all of the facial tics had taken a powder.

Or so I thought. They're back now, after reading that post.

Thank you so very bloody much.

bs king said...

Wow, I must say I didn't catch this the first time I saw it on your blog. I'll admit, sometimes at work I skim and read the short ones. Anyway, wow, I thought that was some crap I made up to pass a class. I'm ashamed to realize how much I revealed about myself there. Some self flagellation and maybe forcing myself to take another poetry course should cure me.