My Weekly Frustration- Week 14 Affect Aliens & Directed Writing: It’s Okay, We’re All [Feminists] Here, Right?

Affective Pushback in the Land of the Free.

Affect Aliens don’t need the social pacifiers of happiness and success;

ideals construed within our disparate power relations then codified through


*     *     *

No, Affect Aliens don’t want to drink the poison

of complacency and ignorance,

which manifests as appropriation and good temperament.

*     *     *

Affect Aliens won’t turn away

from seeing the violability of the marginalized bodies

upon which our society flourishes;

incessantly casting light on the implicit nature of our

sociocognitive conditioning.

*     *     *

Affect Aliens live within the chaos

NEVER ceasing to forget.

*     *     *

Affect Aliens, ever-willing to be the fly paper

set to catch the gnats

of complicity and complacency,

in hopes that we will never

EVER forget:

*     *     *

The violence of our cultural beginnings,

*     *     *

The violence in our present culture,

*     *     *

and how any transcendence would be futile

lest we keep choosing to turn-away

in our own ways

from our reality,

from our history,

our melancholic toxicity

… Our Treacherous Relations With ‘Happiness & Success‘.

-Written by me on 4.21.14



This poem was inspired from the reading for this week, which was Sara Ahmed’s, “Feminist Killjoys (And Other Willful Subjects).” Although this reading did inspire my words, the question, ‘when was this written?’ was on repeat throughout my read. I don’t know why the question seemed so meaningful while I was reading, but something about this seemed dated. If not because it was (only slightly, 2010), because it seemed like something that ought to have been out _since_. I also am wondering about her use of ‘angry black woman’ in this piece. Outside of the obvious tumultuous history of the term within our culture, it seemed like she was instrumentalizing it to serve the purpose of fostering a connection to race. I might be misreading, but it also seemed that way in connection to sexuality as well. It was like, ‘because I am not like the straight couple, I don’t get served as quickly.’ OKAY, maybe not THAT obvious (but almost).


My issue is one concerning the use of language. Ahmed’s message was and is certainly important, but at the same time some of her connections seemed to digress from her overall point (before the manifesto, which attempted to bring it all together). How do we write in affirming ways that doesn’t instrumentalize, while maintaining desired impact and remaining concise? Is it simply a matter of editing that would do the fix in this case? Or can this be seen as an effect of one’s access to/relation with power that structures the piece initially? I don’t know, maybe it’s a little bit of both, or even more variables at work here than what I can think of. All I know is that notwithstanding the critical message, something isn’t sitting right with me.

Audre Lorde was on my mind big time today, especially while I was compiling my thoughts this week. I’ll leave you with this:



About thepsych1

I am a natural progression. As I learn and grow, so does this blog as a reflection of myself. Poetry Art Videos Critique Let's collaborate. Bring your friends.
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One Response to My Weekly Frustration- Week 14 Affect Aliens & Directed Writing: It’s Okay, We’re All [Feminists] Here, Right?

  1. Hi! Great questions. As I understand what you wrote (correct me if I’m wrong), you’re trying to more precisely identify the position of privilege from which the text departs? You’re also asking about what instruments the text uses to accomplish its work.

    I wonder if your concept of treachery is helpful in thinking through those questions: every tool, intention, orientation, gets away from one, so to speak. That is, it’s excessive and/or undermining and/or disorienting.

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