Self and reality. Symbol and language. Myth and image. Memory and consciousness.
Dream and unreality: locus communis.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Persona as Witness, Rather than Participant

Re-thinking a project once again. Toying with an old idea—but it behaves as a wild horse, not wanting to be calmed. Controlled.

The same horse-idea from months past: Innocence to Experience. The concept of self-portrait as a tragic female figure (as a male using female mask).

Odd putting the problem in these terms, but the trouble still lies with the want to use the passive-self as a voice; what results, my personal, past experience does not mirror Persephone’s mythical experiences. Of course, the wording of “self-portrait” carries the problem. I’ve said this before. I do not want to make a masculine example out of Persephone. Likewise, I do not want to try and claim the circumstances of her story as my own. However, I want to borrow the trauma of her story in order to show another level or another side of the tragedy.

In “Leda and the Swan,” W. B. Yeats successfully retells the ugly scene of Leda being attacked by Zeus-as-a-Swan, with the reader's sympathy remaining with the young girl, the mortal caught in the throes of an amoral deity.

Or perhaps follow Larry Levis’ elegies, longish titles explaining the elements embedded in the poem:
“Elegy with a Chimneysweep Falling Inside It”
“Elegy with a Thimbleful of Water in the Cage”

so, in this sense, following this logic what could result is:
“A Self-Portrait Including the Tragedy of Persephone”
“A Self-Portrait Approaching the Tragedy of Persephone”
“A Self-Portrait Acknowledging the Tragedy of Persephone”
“A Self-Portrait Carrying the Tragedy of Persephone” –or–
The persona as witness, rather than as participant:
         “A Self-Portrait as Persephone’s Cup Bearer”
[…] (The) awkward uncle leaning too close
his lips brushing a small ammonite ear,
his voice a drunken fly thrumming
brusque riddles
his finger along the curve of her thigh
As it is, slowly, the theme seems to be remapping itself. The initial lines I want to utilize still are possible—I just need to work my way carefully around the various probable areas of insensitivity. Take the notion very carefully, a day at a time.

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