je suis diaphane

‘brought into being by nothing other than the look’*
using poetry to stitch the seams, painting them with vitreous enamel
burnishing golden orbs of beauty, enhancing the visual field
to make the world seem habitable
inherently empathetic to human existence
when does the illusion, this disembodied utterance,
enter firmly into the realm of futility?

jamais vu à travers

philosophical argument merely hints at a promise of liberty
floating upon the surface of psychological experience
a convincing conundrum that won’t unlock
inner barriers to designing boundaries of self-definition
societal viewing provides ample opportunities
to manifest cognitive dissonance, reinforcing the brute
that omniscient spectator-god within the man

emmuré dans ce paradoxe

feminine artistry is required to remain comfortably incarcerated
chaos churns with near indomitable force
why fight when you are forever outnumbered?
control may simply be a part of the disease
disempowering internalization of the oppressor’s abuse
replaying his semiotic position as the maker of meaning
whom I know is never she, never me

une illusion, un fantasme masculin

called into existence through the male gaze, the internalized observer,
objectified and exploited by possession and protection
filming my every move in art house cinematic style
encircled in an ouroboros of scopophilia
blinded to feminist themes, it traps what’s possible
entangling these hands, bloodied with struggle
incapable now of creating and preserving identity

une créature spécieuse, chose éphémère

scraping molded forms to sharpen focus
no spiritual value arising from inherent worth
only sculpting my usefulness in a deterministic role
voyeur’s fantasy allays the weight of moral consequences
fixing upon the screen the sanctioned story
i am a dissociated, breathing pleasure toy, imaginary signifier,
an unintentional participant living in a heightened state of unreality

Notes: *Christian Metz, French film theorist

Scopophilia or scoptophilia, from Greek “love of looking”, is deriving pleasure from looking. As an expression of sexuality, it refers to sexual pleasure derived from looking at erotic objects: erotic photographs, pornography, naked bodies, etc. It can also be described as intermittent desire of gazing at. Alternatively, this term was used by cinema psychoanalysts of the 1970s to describe pleasures (often considered pathological) and other unconscious processes occurring in spectators when they watch films. The term was borrowed from psychoanalytic theories of Jacques Lacan and Otto Fenichel. Critical race theorists, such as Bell Hooks, David Marriott, and Shannon Winnubst, have also taken up scoptophilia and the scopic drive as a mechanism to describe racial othering.

French translation: I am diaphanous/forever seen through/immured in this paradox/an illusion, a male fantasy/a specious creature, ephemeral thing

Reposted with notes and additional material for Karin’s French Poetics Prompt at dVerse Poets Pub