P A S S A G E S 6
three takes from the Poetry
symposium on "Identity &
My “read” of the symposium was from the position of an
outsider: I don’t know the politics of identity and invention as
I circle the scene. This selection is the work that struck a chord in us;
it is the work that I feel has a “larger social context” in which to circulate
and build commentary.
Eddie Bell appeared sagelike. Thoreauian. Minute
worlds of social gesture, folkic expressions, and the ecosystem. Miss Ola
Mea knew. Of Bill Clinton: “you don’t shit where you eat,” and to the ecology
of January’s ice storm Bell writes:
Bell seems to resist the academy of “writers.” He seems to
me to be a humanist seeking the essentials; he lives quitely in the country.
So perhaps Thoreau as a philosopher is to Bell as Abe Lincoln is to Lisa
Jarnot. Lisa appealed to my Third Wave Feminist sensibilities.
Her struggle positioned somewhere between a classic memoir and a Joyce
Carol Oates thriller. Lisa recognized the importance of “modeling” and
was engaged fully in a struggle that had consistently gendered reverence.
the ice glimmered to its death
and I smelled the odor of
beauty, saw its perfect smile.
Tim Davis is also a result of the Post(Post) Modernist
identity politics slippage Derrida otherness. Davis is the “single
white male” written upon, angst ridden, and filled to the brim with vidid
imagery of pop material culture, technophilia, and powerwise mantras. Davis
…that one’s identity existed as one’s invention, and
as a creative person, one’s identifications and
explanation of self might always be in flux, like
whole universe is in flux, existing as a place of
As for weaving a thematic thread of cohesive theory about
why these three, out of 23 speakers, well--that would be as reductive as
trying to isolate identity as an entity. But the three together do “move”
me to a deeper understanding of myself and the culture in which I am immersed.
single jewish when they come for the camps again hygienist
single poet with one lone tool: that’d be *69, think
about it, back-assed through studly duststorms of miscommunications that
can’t even stay missed,
they’ll speak to us
no matter what we see fit to slam shut.
PASSAGES is an irregularly produced periodical promoting dialog
between poetry, "technology", and other interests.
co-editors, PASSAGES 6: Christopher Funkhouser, Amy Hufnagel
Donald J. Byrd, Stephen Cope, Benjamin Friedlander, Belle Gironda
c/o C. Funkhouser NJIT Dept. of Humanities &
Social Sciences Newark, NJ 07102