Scrapbook: The Disappearing Mucho-ority
“Lift up your face, my love, lift up your mouth
A kiss disappears in a video piece of what isn't there. In a brilliant use of blue screen technology, the participant is isolated from the action…pointing out how awkwardly we surrender to what completes us. The "aloneness in intimacy," as described by the video text. However, to me, alone-ness implies a sad resolve…I see more a natural completion, the balance of the thing made not beautiful. It's what we do when we kiss, the world watching our rapture.
Jen Benka's work comes to mind allowing completion its place to fall apart—indeed, poetry should do that to language, right? Remove the speech particulars that obstruct while elevating the dimensions that don't? I think of Benka's book, "A Box Of Longing With 50 Drawers," of which much has been written. A poetic deconstruction of America through one of its key documents—a disappearing act for an unspoken nation. When does text explode in the process of its discovery? Can we catch that experiment before it dissolves? Is that a viable comparison to a nation, a poem?
Caroline Bergvall's disappearing consonants….a language looking to renew, though it's clear that no intention is the driving force—the language doesn't set out for renewal but transmission. Transition between a happen and a not.
Bringing us back to the disappearing identity as "Identity." Ellison's "Invisible Man" still here, in the white house. Miguel Luciano's disappearing people—a transitioned culture of an exaggerated minority. An expanded disappearance exploding stereotype with its own bling of transformed transmissions. The non-identity of a reduced label, re-labeled as a disappearing act.
Here, a note to scrapbook gatherers and memoria seekers...where to thread? I have one running edge to consider: Identity—losing it, so as to get out of your way. The deepest, widest rift is in what you don't see. If poetry is a disappearing act, where does the poet emerge? The beast of the poem, remaining an unresolved outline.
A self-proclaimed “lingualisualist” rooted in the languages of sight and sound, Edwin Torres was born in the Bronx and is a longtime resident of New York City. He is a poet whose highly acclaimed performances and live shows combine vocal and physical improvisation and theater. He is the author of...