Why Does It Feel Natural to Want to Be Stable for the Lady in the Mirror?
“A POEM BY ANAÏS DUPLAN” is a set of three video-poems. An experiment in melding the video screen with the page-of-text, the videos feature a line-by-line feed of three of Duplan's poems: “I Think That I Can Love It,” about the freedom or lack thereof the Black female body; “Why Does It Feel Natural to Want to Be Stable for the Lady in the Mirror?” a poem on gender instability in the age of social machinery; and finally, “The War of Parasites,” a meditation on war, animalia, and sex. Each video-poem is set across found footage from archival and/or educational films, often featuring black-and-white images of white people in idyllic situations, volcanic eruptions, physical conflict, running in fear, running with semi-joy, and abstractions of light. The set of video-poems, “A POEM BY ANAÏS DUPLAN” attempts to synthesize this particular range of audiovisual and phenomenological experience with the intimacy and habitual quiet of the poem-page.
Anaïs Duplan is the author of a full-length poetry collection, Take This Stallion (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2016) and a chapbook, Mount Carmel and the Blood of Parnassus (Monster House Press, 2017). Their poems and essays have been published by Hyperallergic, PBS News Hour, the Academy of American Poets, Poetry Society of America, Bettering American Poetry, and Ploughshares. Their music criticism has appeared in Complex magazine and Thump.