(Note: The title of this piece comes from the event for which it was written and performed, part of Homeroom’s School Night series, hosted through the MCA Talks program. The portion of the text subtitled PERFORMANCE was intended to serve three functions: 1) To avoid meaningless abstraction by providing an example of the transgressive/excessive art referred to in the “Principles” subsection, knowing that term “transgression” can refer to a myriad of different aesthetics or practices, many deeply fucked. 2) To introduce a disorienting vision of queer embodiment only possible through language, 3) To pose the question—both for myself and the audience—of whether this vision is one of discomfort/violence, or whether it constitutes the type of utopic dreaming, i/e. “new possibilities and visions for social justice” to which I allude in my Principles. Feedback/participation is welcome and encouraged. ~Tim).
Hi y’all—I’m thinking about experimenting w/ a new feature here at Enclave, where I post childhood works by contemporary authors… so consider what follows (a Nancy Drew imitation that I penned in the fifth grade, the plot of which revolves around a conflict between riverboat gambling developers and eagle conservationists in Galena, IL) a test run. If you have think you’d be into this, and have something you’d like me to post, email me at timjy @ sbcglobal dot net.
SAMANTHA STARGILE AND THE GALENA CAPER
Chapter 1: Leaving
“Bye daddy!” Samantha Stargile shouted up the stairs of the big two-story Stargile mansion.
She picked up her suitcases and headed out to the family helicopter. Her friends Ciana Marvin and Lila Fayne were already there, along with her boyfriend Tod Larly.
She climbed into the helicopter and they were off.
They were going to Galena, IL for the weekend. They would be staying at the Farmer’s Home Hotel, a couple of blocks away from downtown Galena. The building was furnished with antiques and had a restaurant that was rated one of the top in the Midwest.
“How much you wanna bet Samantha’ll stumble on another mystery?” Tod joked. Samantha was a teen detective and had solved many mysteries.
This morning I am thinking about the internet expression, “all the feels,” which many in my circles have come to roundly reject as a shallow cheapening of emotion. I thought I agreed with them, but maybe I don’t.
In the past several years, though much of what I write is still prose, I have found myself turning my back on “fiction,” allowing myself to be sucked into the glorious vortex of poetry, or identification as a poet. In large part, this has come from my rejection of the stifling regime of “character” that governs literary fiction, at least in its most “respectable” corners and corridors. Fiction writers are expected to write “character-driven” stories, wherein character is defined through one very narrow construct of subjective depth, the liberal humanist or Aristotelian subject who possesses complex interiority, motivations and counter-motivations, etc., often expressed through vivid description of the clouds or a perusal of family photographs or some other such shit I could give two shits about.
Both literary culture and our dominant culture reject expressions of feeling by subjects (characters) who we consider immature: feelings considered one-dimensional, overwhelming, shallow, feelings that are excessively externalized, or worn on the skin, the feelings of children and youth, or the other “others” oppression has constructed as somehow more “child-like”—queers, people with disabilities, the colonized, people of color. Or the feelings expressed through camp (an aesthetic of the marginalized), through theatrical subjects who embrace artifice, what Sontag described as a person being “one very intense thing.”