Writing From Below | mMyth is is - In Her Interior
Writing From Below

mMyth is is

In Her Interior

this is

mMythis

ismythis

ismy

this

this is my this is


myth


os


logos

OH!

thisisme failing, sis


his men     smyling


as they thus and therefore

                    “i am what i am,” sings Popeye, in a text of men and patriotism

this yawn in the flicker is an O of fear

sucking myself in

eating what i don’t want to look at too closely, alive

here in the present

and there, in the past, but not yet anywhere in the future


this is some tricky wording, wording myself through time

unwor(l)ding

writing a false text

(what is failure that is not even failure?)

thisis

thisismy


mMy after after-body


thi sis

thisismy


mMy before before-body

thisismy

hole body


thisismy


thismythisismy

unwhole body

my unholy body eats itself

looks like a yawn, but this is me turning myself inside out


my left leg

left leg

i don’t look anymore at my left leg

i don’t look anymore at my leg

i don’t look anymore at my face

at my lips

i look at my mother’s lips, sucking, snacking


she never complains and she smiles blind, smiles blind, staring dark but seeing – what does she see?


then i look at my lips reading


the text i already am

but i’m blind and cannot read braille.

cannot feel my signifiers

i’m deaf and can hear no song of the skins.


there’s a fingernail moon in her eye

there’s a sundog in her eye

there’s an abyss in the jelly of her eye


my page feels empty

today i forgot all the words

discarded before I can hold the invisible ink of experience to the flame

to sour it, sear it, into vision


all the words, all the words

they fly up and out

like small balloons they fly out of a small window up the top

a small window that swings open with a long string attached

a small window you can’t reach to close

it’s in a hall with high ceilings and it’s a swing window

and the words like unfurling smoke threads

strings the words like strings fly up and slip like fish

out the swing window in the hall with the high ceilings

painted particular shade of blue no green no blue.


i am already text

but spoken in a tongue foreign to me

i do not recognise myself in word and sounds unfamiliar

unplaceable

all the things i can’t say, all the words i have forgotten

unpronounceable

i think you know it too, hear me losing all the words

implacable

i am implacable!

unskinned body

unsung body


(i’m scared, she says)


my body of work is the work of my body

of a hand that holds a pen

in the moment before touching paper

or of two hands, two sticky fingers

stick figures typing quickly and clumsily

creating strings of errors coiled around little ideas.


from a back that arches forward from coccyx, to dissect the space,

the non-space,

separating body and machine.


every story that my mother wrote upon me and into me

i forgot, i forget i

every story that my father untold me, untooled me

i, my eye, i looking at i with my eye

every recrimination that my son slid my way as casually as passing the salt

every cruel word his father uttered

every embrace, shove, push, unseeing glance directed my way

by other written bodies,

every epithet hurled from a car window

co-write the text that i am


i stand in the hall always already dead, wearing the skin of my mother

the skin of my mother opens up easily, splits, shinyshiny

opens up to let out the malignancy that nestles like a pearl in the flesh

glistening and wet and pustular and with delicate tendrils


the spiderpearl nestles


i wonder if my mother wants to fuck? i don’t ask

instead i ask myself:

do you want to fuck, in your mother’s skin?


bodies running, yelling, roaring in broken rounds

mirror body


hands are the same as my mother’s hands, with the knob of bone

ghost body

a ganglion some would say

baby body

smash it with a bible

rape body

in the hotel room

love body

where my body no longer fits

child body

the indecent hotel room


it’s hard to sit still with the terror of thinking about another body close to mine

repulsion

the dead rabbit in the handbag, the baroque vertigo, doubled infinity

what does it mean to be inside this infinite body?


i will die. i am already dead


this all means nothing


i will never become more useful

i will become more useless

i will lose my friends

i will lose all the words

i will have no home


the text that i am will become

full of spaces, gaps, strange markings

the spellings will be of the crypt

of skin flakes in the air between us


did i know i was in a dream?


a dream of a snake that crawled upwards between two walls

near its head it had two sting-ray shaped flattened triangles

and perhaps at times i was eating the lower parts of its brown body


this body opens up like a fig full of fruit fly

this body is intoxicating in the way that rotten fruit is


i was already text

in a book that only i could write


nobody will ever read me again


i am already text.

my name replaced by that strong singular pronoun “i”

it’s a person with its feet solidly on the ground

a head pushing up into the sky

i [a drawing here]

or it’s that younger version of itself, rake-like body

its thinking head separated from the part that walks through space

a newt, a neophyte, part cocoon

a small sun on a stick

a bat and ball

a game waiting to be played

play with me, the i entreats.

i [a drawing here]

wait! it looks like a person

a person looking backwards

i [a drawing here]

and now, with a slight inclination

a person looking, leaning,

forwards

into a future not yet written


in the future i am blind already, and the words go away

in the future i am prone to aphasia.

i am prone to death and dying.

writing is impossible, writing is as impossible as this unsound, unbecoming body

andyet seek-soo declares, again, i am already text

i burn

words blister and carbonise

dribble from my mouth, inky

a self-eaten self

ERA Research Statement

Research background

This text is the result of an experiment in co-creation, mobilised by a workshop writing exercise set by Dr. Quinn Eades at the Articulating Violence conference in Adelaide, 2017. The text moves concentrically, eccentrically in and out around two core quotes given by Eades as writing prompts—“I am already text. i am already text.” (Cixous in Eades 2017) and “a drop-by-drop nomenclature of bodies, a list of their entries, a recitation itself enunciated out of nowhere, and … announced, recorded repeated…” (Jean-Luc Nancy in Eades 2017). The resulting text was re/written, and subsequently performed, through the eventspace of collaboration, and was the outcome of a current passing through the assemblage of Virginia Barratt and Francesca da Rimini (Deleuze 1995, 141). Barratt and da Rimini are long-term collaborators.

Research contribution

Following Jean-Jacques Lecercle’s idea of the linguistic “remainder,” the work utilises devices such as repetition, circular statements, syntactical chaos and nonsense words to create an affective register at the level of the body, a text which operates as parole parlante always “at the stage of coming into being” (Merleau-Ponty 1995, 197).

Repetition of the “I” is excessive to the point of abjection, an “I” which highlights the (im)possibility of writing the body, while deeply situated in the body, specifically an écriture féminine. In this text, bodies move in and out of focus, in and out of each other: becoming-text, becoming-i, unbecoming-i, becoming-mother, becoming-other. A univocity of troubling bodies.

“mMyth is is” is performative and performed, troubling for the tongue when spoken out loud, as if resisting intelligibility, resisting sedimentation. In this way it remains always in flow.

Research significance

“mMyth is is” is an experimental collaborative poetic work. The work adds to the corpus of Australian feminist experimental writing in the traditions of écriture féminine or writing from, with and through the body.

The work instantiates collaborative writing practices, and critiques notions of individual authorship proceeding from Barthes’ seminal work on the death of the author. As a text for performance, “mMyth is is” an example of polyphony in univocity, enfolding the voices of the unnamed.

Works Cited

Deleuze, G. (1995). Negotiations 1972-1990 (trans. Martin Joughin). New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

Eades, Q. (2017). “Articulating the Body” workshop with Dr Quinn Eades. SA Gender, Sex and Sexualities Studies Postgraduate Conference 2017. City West Campus, University of South Australia.

Merleau-Ponty, M. (1995). Phenomenology of Perception (trans. Colin Smith). New York, NY and London, UK: Routledge.



 

Facebook: Follow us on FacebookTwitter: @WritingBelow

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License.

ISSN: 2202-2546

© Copyright 2015 La Trobe University. All rights reserved.

CRICOS Provider Code: VIC 00115M, NSW 02218K