And the Wood Doll Arose and Told, I'm a Real
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] "Sphinx Eyes Antiphon," one of the poems in my collection, And the Wood Doll Arose and Told, I'm a Real, refers to a blank or unreciprocal social gaze. Humans need some level of affirmation from the surrounding community. The eyes of ancient statues, due to weathering over time, appear as solid, blank convexitieswith no pupils or irises. The speaker of my poems understands that this is the "gaze" (in fact unseeing) that often meets her back. The poems deal with subjects who have a harder time rebuffing this blankness, due to their marginalized status and an unwillingness to conform. Many of my poems treat gendered experience as well as yoke personal history and subjectivity to political, or ethical, exhortation. My work is largely about the 'victim'; it's an effort at a vertical descent into the radically alienated experience of one caught to violence, from verbal violence or indifference to extreme physical cruelty. Animals figure into my poems often because of this focus. I attend to invisibility, to a subject overwritten. One of my strategies is physicalizing the psychic. This has to do with how the body's senses register social impingement or dominance (i.e. through the gaze or in language). The poems carry a 'feminine' sensibility (but they are for anyone), and they also attend to and dignify the body and the immanent, the inner life.