title hanging

title hanging

Άννα Αποστολίδου

Το κείμενο είναι ένα κριτικό υπερκειμενικό ποίημα που προέκυψε από την ανάγνωση του πρώτου τόμου του ηλεκτρονικού περιοδικού φεμινιστιqά. Χρησιμοποιεί αυτο-εθνογραφική γραφή για να προβληματοποιήσει την έμφυλη υποκειμενικότητα σε μια περίοδο κρίσης και διακινδύνευσης. Η κειμενική και η οπτική αναπαράσταση των εξωτερικών πηγών λειτουργούν συμπληρωματικά με το κυρίως κείμενο για να περιγράψουν αυτό που η γράφουσα βιώνει ως ένα προσωπικό και πειθαρχικό σημείο καμπής. Βιβλία, ποιήματα, σκίτσα και ψηφιακά κολάζ συνθέτουν ένα ακαδημαϊκό φεμινιστικό αφήγημα για την επιτέλεση του εαυτού, της μητρότητας, του στοχασμού – και τα όριά της.

title hanging
by Anna Apostolidou

This text is a critical poem that sprung from the reading of volume 1 of the electronic journal feministiqá. It employs auto-ethnographic reflection in order to problematize gendered subjectivity at a time of crisis and jeopardy. Textual and visual representation work complimentarily in order to describe what the writer sees as a personal and disciplinary turning point. Books, poems, sketches, and digital collages make up a theoretical/poetic feminist narrative about the performance of gendered selfhood, motherhood and thought – and its limitations.

* you may choose
to press (gently)

on green words
I. morning
up at seven
it’s been twelve years and the brain –unconsulted by the rest of her- still weeps most mornings
this is the time i naturally go to bed
the feet take her straight to their room
no matter how horrific last night’s dreams
she always feels better by the softness of their curves mocking the covers
rise and shine
she’s hungry already -is it hormonal?
or, has the total collapse of her normal
-up-in-the-afternoon-coffee-smoke-read-alcohol-out-sex-scream-write-
lifestyle led her to saturated fat?
it’s nine fifteen and she’s finished three days’ household load
tea & inbox break
the eye catches a playful dictation:


φεμινιστιqά
a sudden rush of adrenaline for no apparent reason
file downloaded
utter silence
it’s twelve fifteen and she’s finished volume 1
crashed, envious, touched, enraged
this scholarship has always played first with the gut, then with her intellect (cartesian, yes!)
lost in this volume, can’t find herself entirely in any of the works
an acute desire to become one thing in its entirety
radical, rather than the other way round
waters are fighting inside her
they are pouring down and dripping out of her
ancient waters
of joy and affliction and decay
feminism has become mostly about sm lesbian anti-all q-trans subjectivation
she longs to be it
examines the crises inscribed on her body
traded her passions for some work, unnoticed shifts that turned her estranged
from her very own -isms
an odd cell, alienated, queered by her kind
she hoards a thousand swallows in her pockets
they have nowhere to go

work work work
trifling miscellaneous tasks
not me not me not me
possessed by the zestless of thoughts
dis/possessed
wires and veins blossom out of her chest in equal proportions
once in a blue moon a wild flower

II. midday
her sister wakes at two, loyal to the family disdain to daily routines
comes down in the kitchen for a ginger-carrot smoothie
her sister has MS
she didn’t even know nightingales could get MS
the injections right next to the butter
she didn’t even
it’s three fifteen, they are back from school
her stomach still a mess
the feminist inside her -tired of footnotes, scared of half-read piles of
other feminists- she bursts
i too belong in there
non-binary is my middle name
a middle aged straight mum
who would have thought? a sour surge of feeling
all her alarm clocks buzz at once
i need to stroke the birds that hold my hammock
her therapist these days is a man
so is her lover
years and years she still feels out of sorts
happiness hard to bear
pay the bills, make them safe, tidy up, play it safe
keep it up vs. fuck it up (nanosecond dilemmas)
math test tomorrow, volley practice, shower, quick dinner
favourite tv series on
(how is this different from plastic soccer moms? does sheer reflection make it any better?)
help me recognize cozy from hypnotic
she feels her gender becoming somewhat dull
she has surrendered all its glossy, sharper traits to these two
-unsuspecting yet- fleshful citations
the questioning, the anger, the desire 
hey, still a woman?  

four luminous young nipples have begun flourishing in the umbrella of her
arms, under her goodnight kisses
rustles of bones and lips and toes cracking up graciously to welcome all the
bleeding
how do i bear the beauty? the loss of full command?

III. writing
midnight fifteen
can’t sleep
i need to write this down
now                                                                                                                                  now!
or else
this too will slide down the red hatch of her unused delightful thoughts
the fever is milder again, the breathing easier
call it auto-ethnography? mid-laundry poetry?
is this what gendered writing feels like after all?
and does it matter to those outside oneself?
i need to get going, the light is up
their warm breastfed matter will be awake(ned) soon
just leave the title hanging? 
may i? I’m out of time
ok then
you decide
let’s leave it open to you

you, the other feminists

*for mother,
my crazy goat who broke her leg
-again

External sources

printscreens of word file “Dreamz” (dream diary 13/2/2012 – 13/5/2018); dreamt and arranged by Anna Apostolidou
collage of 1950s advertisements; arranged by Anna Apostolidou

Online journal feministiqa, volume 1, DOI

Williams, M. (1922). The Velveteen Rabbit. New York: George H. Doran Co, p.56. DOI

‘quotes bricolage’, quotes from Anzaldúa, Butler, Derrida, Foucault, Lorde & Yalom, embedded on painting by unknown artist; arranged by Anna Apostolidou

word compilation; created by Anna Apostolidou

‘birdy’; sketch by Frida Kayali (2018)

Butler, J. & Athanasiou, A. (2013). Dispossession: The Performative in the Political. Cambridge: Polity Press. DOI

Video clip ‘Lamma Bada’; performed by Despoina Apostolidou, DOI

Virginia Woolf [2015 (1929)]. Mrs Dalloway. Web edition, Project Gutenberg Australia. DOI
Collage of 1) Installation view of Betty Tompkins, WOMEN Words, Phrases, and Stories at The FLAG Art Foundation, 2016. Photography by Genevieve Hanson, ArtEcho LLC, DOI and 2) mobile phone selfie; by Anna Apostolidou

Video clip ‘I’m your man’, performed by Leonard Cohen, DOI

Audiovisual version of the poem ‘Because it’s’ by EE Cummings, DOI

Women word #7 by Betty Tomkins, DOI

Butler, J. (1997). Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative. New York: Routledge. DOI
Mead, M. (1920). Coming of Age in Samoa. New York: William Morrow and Company. DOI
Pin writing “Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity”, phrase attributed to psychiatrist who examined Alice Paul in 1917, after she was arrested and imprisoned for protesting in front of the White House for women’s rights. DOI

Βιογραφικό

Η Άννα Αποστολίδου είναι κοινωνική ανθρωπολόγος και μητέρα της Φρίντας και της Τερέζας. Σπούδασε στο Πάντειο, στο University College London και στο Ελληνικό Ανοιχτό Πανεπιστήμιο (Ε.Α.Π.). Είναι μεταδιδακτορική ερευνήτρια και διδάσκουσα στο Πάντειο Πανεπιστήμιο και καθηγήτρια-σύμβουλος στο Ε.Α.Π.

Bio

Anna Apostolidou is a social anthropologist and the mother of Frida and Tereza. She has studied at Panteion University, at University College London and at the Hellenic Open University (HOU). She is a postdoctoral researcher and adjunct lecturer at Panteion University, and a tutor at the HOU.