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Tag Archives: respect

Rise Up Review

In all the distractions of the day, I failed to notice that one of my found poems was published in the election-day issue of Rise Up Review. Thanks, belatedly, to the RUR team.

found poem: To reassemble

found poem: power

found poem: to manipulate

found poem: the result

found poem: in the traumatic

found poem: identify

to be…

trying to write…

Sitting Room 1993 by DAKI struggle along the boundary between truth and respect, truth and disclosure, story and withholding. I want to understand the stories, tell the stories, but I don’t want to besmirch or mock or even pity…myself or her. I want to show — simply, without exclamation points.

Do I respect her? Maybe not. I think she was a tragic figure who struggled to find her way out of a trap she couldn’t see, but her efforts only tightened the trap. I respect her optimism, which prevailed right up to the end and which she couldn’t help. I respect her art-making, though it’s part of her tragedy that she never really found or accepted her own vision or voice. Through her art, she kept trying on new costumes, not recognizing her reflection, discarding them and trying again, over and over for decades. I respect her aesthetic, her taste, her cooking. Her smile. Her pleasure in laughter, even if it was at her own expense.

But I fault her, I know, for her bad decisions, her coyness, her cluelessness disguised as self-awareness, her narcissistic mothering.

So the challenge of respect is to show her, to show us, without flattening her into caricature, without inspiring or conveying derision, without smearing her with blame and yet without neutralizing the acuteness of the experience. There are those who loved her and I don’t want to change anyone’s mind.

I have only my own story to tell, though she appears, as she might have hoped, on almost every page.
Sitting Room by DAK from Moments, A Retrospective Exhibition, 1993, SITE, Los Angeles, California. Lamp shade, chair, table, shoes.

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