Friday, October 9, 2009

5. "I have made a megaphone / MUTATO / NOMINE"

Do you remember in Alice Notley's essay The "Feminine" Epic when she asks "And what if I therefore owe an epic?"

and also when she writes:

"[We] were being used, mangled by the forces which produce epic, and we had no say in the matter, never had, and worse had no story ourselves.  We hadn't acted.  We hadn't gone to war.  We certainly hadn't been "at court" (in the regal sense), weren't involved in governmental power structures, didn't have voices which participated in public political discussions.  We got to suffer, but without a trajectory  We didn't even get to behave badly, or hurt anyone as a consequence."

and when she writes:

"I wanted . . . to avenge my sex for having 'greatness' stolen from it."


With the name changed the story is told of you.




Stacy Szymaszek's Hyperglossia from Litmus Press would be a feminine epic except that it is not feminine.  

That is, it is a book that avenges not our sex (woman's sex) but the condition of being sexed itself.

It is an epic not like descent, but  ascent. It is not of one soul moved to observe the world of many, but of a many-souled person who must make sense of the world which insists upon the oneness of each. 

The book begins when "She" wakes up with a "fake door where intercourse can occur" and "her speech-producing anatomy" irrepressible, but language does not work at first:

"ka ker flutt"

"simian figure tissue massager            ggenerosity"

The language moves, at first wrecked but reaching, wavering in and out of the territory of social/linguistic sense.  The "she" begins to become the "he" of the book, Eustace, and "I was once a private person before this / verbal hippopotamus / but it's hard to shutt up"

The boy Eustace "he wears his hair short" "his crop would grow" "his beard comes thick like the tongue of a water / bird"

but "released from a system of adhesives / a man can / be municipal."

But this is a narrative of a woman who is a boy who is a woman, always kept on the border between public and private, overlapped with identities, taxed and untaxed.,

There is this feeling of mistake here: "Eustace is dittographic a copyist error"

also of repression, that "mangling force" which will make our new epics:

"the forgetting preference of a civilization"

1 comment:

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