Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ideological Contradictions in Washing a Dish

Ideological contradictions in washing a dish. Oh, no?
And I would also like to explain
why I make up my face and why I use perfume.
Why I want to sing the beauty of the male body.
I want to clarify to myself this racism that exists
between men and women.

To clarify to myself why when I wash a dish
or sew on a button
he does not have to be doing the same thing.
I paint my eyes
not out of imbecile automatism
but because it is the only moment of the day
that I return to ancient times and
my hand becomes Egyptian and
the shape of my eyes places me in History.
My eyeshadow embalms me eternally
as woman.
It is the ancestral rite of the clown:
red cheeks and colored mouth.
I paint myself thus to dignify myself as buffoon.
I am repeating/continuing a primitive act.
It is like painting buffaloes on the rocks.
And although there are no caves or buffaloes any more
I have a body to texturize to my taste.
I use perfume not because it is advertised
by Catherine Deneuve or Bardot uses it
but rather because I suffer the sickness
of the 20th century: the need to possess.
Believing that in a bottle there can repose
all the magic of cosmos,
that I am going to rid myself forthwith
of the smell of my heredity,
of the gravity of the capitalist crisis,
because I am above all/female.
They say that women are weak/men strong.
Yes and our races are so distinct.
Our sexes so variously complementary.
Yin & yang.
On the other hand is the mystery we will never uncover.
I shall never be able to know - and I should like to -
what it is like to be encased in a masculine body
and they will never know what it is to smell like a woman
to have cramps and headaches and
all that jewelry we are accustomed to wearing.
Two physical universes in constant dialectic
with the nostalgia for a durable union
where the fusion of two unknowns
reaches the depth of understanding.
There is a compulsive need
to give reasons for the schism
to sharpen racisms with smiles
And girlfriend                          and boyfriends
                      they will comprehend
They will understand the distance that separates you
from friend/lover/enemy/stranger.
      That reconciliation is a maximum effort.
The union, the sublimation
      of our innate mysteries.
That washing of a dish
means at times to affirm
the contradictions of class
      between man and woman.

~by Kyra Galván

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Response to Myung Mi Kim using the work of Zhou Xiaojung

A recent assignment I enjoyed doing.  A conflation of sorts. Using the essay Under Flag written by Zhou Xiaojung in response to the poet Myung Mi Kim's assortment of work, I have manipulated the former text, sheared it down, and re-wound it into a piece of poetry-prose which imitates the unique style belonging to Kim.

For reference, I have included two links which further describe this particular text and the authors that have influenced it.

Under Flag:

Myung Mi Kim

My gratitude to both authors for their inspiration.

Immigrants' identities in a land they claim no "natural" bond

Otherness contaminates

Dominant language                       disturbs U.S. nation-space

Homogeneity of the...                                              Refusing

Discourse, or reduced defined as the opposite of norm

Orientalist                                    the Same by assimilationist

Alterity of diaspora subjects                                                I

Kim's poems resists

Being transformed in the process of becoming

Can you read and write English? Yes______. No______.


A dog in the road. It is raining.

Do you renounce allegiance to any other country but this?

Disjunctive poetry

Disrupts binary relations

In terms of                              "speed, "duration," and "music"

Majority                                                        minority cultures.

Of English language inflected

                                                                    "foreign" accents.

In the opening                         displaced English enact Korean

Fragmentary memories of home                           of dislocation

Blank spaces

Create disruption


And exile.

Intertwined history                                      War, the invasion.


Is materialized in contaminated English.