Friday, November 21, 2008

Still Life with Stem Cells/Pidgin DNA




WE ARE FAMILY

an organism which presses
against the planet

an organism which has hair
(sad, believable hair)
that refuses to believe

which has sensations
sick moves
and an interesting history

an organism which holds up its fingers
how many fingers
if fingers are what they are?

an organism that has other organisms on it
and upon which it rains

an organism which sleeps
soft as a cloth

a baby in a bed full of babies
and the earth full of babies


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The image is from a remarkable sculpture installation by Patricia Piccinini entitled We Are Family which showed a handful of years ago at the Venice Biennale.

Piccinini explores the borders between human and non-human, between organic and non-organic. Some recent work makes stag-like creatures out of Vespas.

*

I'm thinking about how stem cells and Patricia Piccinini's work relates to the notion of the lyric subject, the construction of identity in contemporary poetry. The new sentence. How do these stem cell lumps of flesh/bodies relate to new ways of constructing 'identity' or non-identity in writing? There is no I, or eye, just other. But in some way, this other is us, or some part of us, some undifferentiated us potential.

There is the grammar of DNA. What is a DNA dialect? A pidgin DNA?

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