Kitsch, the Lion King, Poetry

by on Nov.18, 2010

I think more poetry should be like the “Circle of Life” scene in The Lion King.

Let’s dangle our bodies, or even better, the bodies of our children, over jutting rocks.

Through shamanic baboons (gay Earth mothers) and melodramatic light, let’s court self-dissolution.

Why can’t the “I” of the lion cub be so voluminous it explodes?

Your first ejaculation.

Corporal writing and its cheap thrills confuse species.  We threaten, if even just in flaccid poemland, the ideological expansion of private life when our poems fart like warthogs.

Fuck purely linguistic promiscuous play and the whitewashing neoliberal model of hybridity that props it up.  Turn, instead, to the circle of starving prey:  a “living moral referent,” as Ariana Reines puts it.

When I was at Naropa, Bhanu Kapil said something like “excuse me if I mix up an animal and an immigrant.”

When promiscuity intoxicates, disturbs, provokes.  What if piss, not mind/body dualism and the Enlightenment, provided our radiant stream.

“’You’re going to get sick.’  When you say this, you want to lift him up and carry him out to some clean river to soak, watch the rings of filth float from his body.  But you also want to piss on him.  You imagine his face sprinkled with your vitamin-bright urine.  You want to unload on his beautiful black beard what you give to the urinal’s mouth, a radiant stream splattering on his dim and tired lips.” –Ronaldo Wilson, “The Black Object’s Memory”

7 comments for this entry:
  1. Joyelle McSweeney

    There’s some occult connection to your model and Michael Jackson wearing a mask/veil and dangling his children out of the hotel window… and masking/veiling his children… And removing his own face…and wearing a different face… Michael Jackson and Mickey Mouse… and Cryogenically preserved Walt… and Ronald Reagan… and the silk-screened Ronald Reagan of the Act Up and related grps. posters and t-shirts… and HIV itself… bad copies… antibodies… generics…

  2. Sophie

    Your question about radiant piss brings to mind the hinge scene in Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s film Tropical Malady: Tong takes a piss by the side of the road after a night out at a karaoke bar, and Keng – a soldier who has been stationed in the countryside near Tong’s family house – smells/licks Tong’s fingers. Shortly after this intense, hazy, nightlit scene, Tong disappears, Keng goes to look for him, and the film splits, first telling a Buddhist folk tale about a tiger spirit through animation, and then an intense psychotropic vision of a soldier stalking/being stalked by a tiger spirit in the forest.

  3. Lucas

    Yes (x2)! Lovely responses.

    I might have added “unifies” or “nurtures” to the list of verbs attached to promiscuity (and bad copies, ubiquity, etc.). MJ as Simba/King of Pop as well as Earth mother (remember “Earth Song”?). Maybe he wore all faces.

    That piss scene sounds amazing. Will have to watch it. In a way the speaker in Wilson’s poem is claiming the guy he pisses on, who happens to be an older man with a bloody ass. Piss being a territorial marker for animals. I love this idea of blessing through body waste, it’s very gay Earth mother.

  4. Aaron Apps

    Meat for thought:

    The hyper-capitalistic Disney-appropriated WHITE lion:

    Let’s have an uprising of hyenas. They are seen eating meat. One suspects they actually shit and piss. We know that lion never becomes a hyena–he fulfills a sentimental narrative.

  5. Lucas

    One day I’ll get around to watching Kimba. I like hyenas, but I also like sentimental narratives.

  6. Aaron Apps

    “Everything is alright. I’m sad that the king died (who eats his subjects). Tears. But his good son will rule over us in the end. Let’s all go back to working at McDonalds. Hey, there is another Disney movie out this week. We should go see it. Ah, a plastic toy in my happy meal. I’m so happy. Tears of joy.”

  7. In which Peter Pan becomes the Alligator - Montevidayo

    […] started the conversation when he said more poetry should be like The Lion King (circle of life): At the &now festival, he became a […]