Some thoughts on my manuscript A Hemmed Remnant
Once you’ve read my artist statement, it won’t come as a surprise that I have spent two years in Regis’s MFA creative writing program crafting poems that explore the other, power relations, and identity through the body’s race and gender. Or that I would slowly move towards a more experimental approach in crafting those poems. My thesis A Hemmed Remnant could be said to explore the sub-person that resides within each of us and the formation of that sub-self as a result of being subjected to another person’s language, culture, and borders. I find that in my writing I cannot escape these elements. I find that my worth has always been measured through the color of my skin, my gender, and in the way in which I used and misused language depending on the country I was living in at a given time. The manuscript thus looks at the spaces in which person and place are conflated and restricted by borders-- which engenders displacement and inevitable revolt. Throughout the manuscript I use the motif of fragment, the remnant, to represent the marginalized hidden self; to represent the person discarded from a whole seeking to belong; yet, by the fracturing of itself from the whole cannot ever achieve identity. I often find myself exploring this paradox: that the discovery of the self one that is only achieved at the end of the bite into the very self, cannot be consumed towards realizing identity for (with the bite) only death of the other is the outcome. My hope is that my work compels a bite into the forbidden (which is the other that is within the self). While in the reading/biting there is destruction of the other, in that destruction, there is an awakening to the horror that the other is always a part of the self and it is the self that seeks an identity. Identity is said to be constructed from language, but since the languages that construct my identity are not my language, I find myself compelled to subvert language and its rules. And it is in the subversion of language in A Hemmed Remnant that I come closer to forming a self that reflects the authentic experience.