Vasectomy: An Incision in Parts is a narrative poem that fearlessly presents the stark demands that society places on the... Read More
Vasectomy: An Incision in Parts is a narrative poem that fearlessly presents the stark demands that society places on the female body, both in terms of reproduction & birth control. Agency for women is intrinsically tied to our ability to secure our reproduction, which can come at great physical cost.
My writing explores how biology delimits our cultural rites. I approach the intersection of society & animality from a distinctly female perspective, seeking to rip the veil off of romanticized pregnancy & motherhood—particularly notions that package female sacrifice as a virtue. My poems' speakers find their voice by navigating the intellectual & the everyday, daring to name what's left unsaid in that all-important space of home.
I am heavily influenced by the works of poets such as T.S. Eliot, Louise Glück, Lucille Clifton & Sharon Olds—authors with unmistakable poetic voices. Beyond the form & diction of a poem, whether it be page-based or digital, the soul of the poet must be palpable in order for the poem to extend beyond the confines of language. I seek to drench my verse with my soul. To this effect, and believing that few things are as intimate as the sound of our voice, my digital poems include a spoken-word component, combining poetic & physical voice to create a deeply immersive experience.
My spoken-word video poems fit within a long trajectory of text-based art, much of which, like my digital work, could be considered performative, as the use of language implies an active rather than passive exchange with the work’s audience. From Ed Ruscha’s word paintings, to John Baldessari’s “Tips for Artists Who Want to Sell,” to Tracey Emin’s starkly straightforward neon signs, text in art overtly presents words as vessels of meaning. In doing so, such works touch upon the instability of language itself as a mechanism of storing & transmitting meaning. Words mean different things to each of us; meaning can evolve over time.
Yet, it is precisely this vulnerability that draws me to words. To borrow Derridean sentence structure, within the limitation lies the limitless. I believe words & their intended/unintended evocations remain the best tools we have to speak our soul, to voice our private worlds.
I also believe the act of reading is one of the closest forms of communion between two minds—that of author & reader. When individuals converse, there is mediation, interpretation, negotiation. Even a mind before a sculpture, a canvas, a digital image engages in an inner dialogue of interrogation, comprehension, valuation. Music gains narrative when lyrics are added. Films start with a script.
A mind deeply engaged with a text allows the language of the text to become its own. Thus, poetry’s power can extend beyond that of the aesthetic because verse enters our mind to become indistinguishable from our thoughts, revealing emotions, ideas, beliefs we didn’t even know we shared.