Sunday, November 20, 2005

yesterday i caught the tail end of a documentary about drag queens. there is something i find attractive in the acts of artifice there. how one creates a self out of his self already. the acts of creation are forever and ongoing. i've not read much poetry regarding drag queens, except for a couple of pieces by mark doty. which were okay, but more fruitful were the novels of jean genet who continuously generated his self(s).

i try take that example in writing. i wrote a little about australian poet alicia sometimes yesterday, partly because i was first attracted to her name. it is the constructed self, the constructions of writing, that we are after, mostly. tho a writer who follows the example of bukowski might argue that there is no artifice in that writing, i would say, yes there is. even the style of no-style is a choice, a construction.

'even in bed i pose' wrote thom gunn in his poem 'carnal knowledge.' the self are selves. the poet richard lopez is the husband, father, son, brother and so forth. all the same, and all so different. i am attracted to names, perhaps most writers are, because they are thrust upon us, and they are chosen. we all have our preferences to sound and cadence regarding particular names. yet they are at the top of our acts of artifice. it is the sound and look on the page about names that we choose, and what we don't choose, whether we choose to keep our birth names or decide on another name. thus the desire to reinvent, to delete, to start anew.

if in doubt of artifice, then think about the last time you chose a particular outfit, a dye to color yr hair, that piece of jewelry, or the lack of jewelry. so it is within writing. we present our self(s) which create reality. which one of us we choose to present lies within the moment of the presentation. if there is one truth to reality, perhaps it is an example of the varied multitudinous of our collective human being, exampled in writing, speech, dress and our name.


At 7:28 AM, Blogger Jess said...

Richard, I echo you on Bukowski, in fact I'd say he is the nth of artifice. His writing is self mythologizing, creating a persona. Anything outside the realm of that persona is portrayed as ungenuine. Solipsism.


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