196.1: Brynne Rebele-Henry:: from Fleshgraphs
12 October 2015
Let us consider these two concerns: What is the body and what is the self? In both philosophy and literature, these two concerns are intertwined. Where does the physical object become a conscious, cohesive human self? In her work Fleshgraphs, Brynne Rebele-Henry investigates the questions of her self and other selves in an unexpected way. Rather than the poem circumscribing an identifiable self, Rebele-Henry proposes the self as an amalgamation of things that have happened, a history of occurrences emanating from the body, directed toward the body, and passing by the body. The self arises from surviving these events, whether they are good or bad, interesting or boring, important or indifferent. We see how our own selves are imprinted on the selves around us, how as individualized as we feel, we are made of each other. As we read and witness Rebele-Henry’s self being continuously built, torn down, and reconstituted, we realize that the poem is doing the same to us. These words are now part of our selves as we read, as physically part of us as our hair, our teeth, our lungs.