Deconstruction and Rambo

Voice Card  -  Volume 30  -  Stuart Card Number 12  -  Fri, Nov 26, 1993 5:41 AM

This is a response to VC 29 Suzanne 6 ("Encore")...

Thank you for you kind comments on THE BODY BESTIARY, Suzanne. I don't know if they'll be an encore of it (though in recent months, some of the characters, such as the Monkey Boy, have poked their voices into a poem or two). But there will be other poems. As the self appointed court poet jester of Archipelagoland, I feel that it's my duty to try to provide at least one an issue. This issue you have lots (all those pesky wordplay poems).

Here's another poem, but this one is of the "adult" variety. It's of the same prose poem style as "The Aliens," which appeared in Issue 28. Since Yumi expressed some interest in perhaps using the latter in the junior high lit. classes, and since she asked me if I had any more of these sorts of pieces that she could use, I'm going to risk seeming even more indulgent than I have been already in this issue and present the following:

Giant Story

A black night curves up into the clouds. The giant husband sleeps seated at his giant table, his giant, wispy-haired head cradled on his cupped hand. The giant mouse who lives behind the stove sleeps, too, not far from the giant wife, who stirs a black, cast iron pot of porridge with a wooden spoon. This is what Jack sees, as he enters through a crack in the heavy, oaken door, as he stands on the stone floor in a corner next to the broom, its bristles as thick as tree trunks.

Even the minutes are giant here; A crumb like a giant ball of bread. Jack has to nibble quickly, before the ants, big as freight trains, draw inside along the same path as his. And there are flies like silent, deadly helicopters, and fleas, kangaroos with jaws as big as houses. He must watch out for the birds, too. In the sparrow's maw, Jack would look like a slowly moving speck of dust on the Sahara Desert that is the caught worm's flesh.

So Jack takes his fallen crumb ball, and he rolls it out into the shade of the garden under the brambly branches, the topmost viny roots of the blackberry bushes. This place seems a cathedral to him, but it's too dense for the others, too low and thorny. Here, Jack takes off baseball size gobs and lays down on his back and chews contentedly. "It is not so bad being tiny," he thinks, "being that my sadness
     is tiny, too, my tears
        like the little
           of little pins. . ."


By the way, on deconstruction, I'm not expert on it either, but let me amend a bit what you said to Roger in your voice card 5 about this subject.

You wrote that deconstruction "attempts to prove that there is no meaning in literature." I think that a deconstructionist would amend that to say that there is no one meaning to a text, or no dominant meaning, even if an author intends one. If Roger is really interested, there is a good easy-to-read little book by Terry Eagleton called LITERARY THEORY that can shed some light on the subject.

But I can say this with some assurance: Having been around more than a few English Lit. grad students in my time, I can say that the final sentence of your voice card is right on: "Although I can't vouch for the accuracy of this statement, I know depression when I see it."