“aynada yüzüm hazırladı” Yıldız Tilbe, El Adamı
“Ben de bu dünyada yaşadım ama annemi hiç görmedim” Found poem of a child
By LEVENT AKIN
Failed Essay -on being seen-
Being seen, regardless of the human capacity to hide and shadow every essence of our being, terrorizes us like children caught in the omniscient gaze of adults. One may call it the gaze, one may even gender it and call it the male gaze, one may choose one of the endless variations of human limit; history, society, god, evil. It looks at one either through an organic or a phenomenological gaze but what does it see?
A Text Message
Being seen, regardless of your capacity to hide and shadow every essence of your being, terrorizes you like children caught in the omniscient gaze of adults. You may call it the gaze, you may even gender it and call it the male gaze, you may choose one of the endless variations of human limit; history, society, god, evil. It looks at you either through an organic or a phenomenological gaze and what do you think it see? I fear it is worse than death.
Some Sort of a Digital Message But One Without a Character Limit
I have been thinking of history and what it means to me. Some distant memories and experiences of exodus told in cruel tones keep rushing at me, forcing me to look inwards, to find what history had hidden or altered. Prevalent in me is the smell of wood and Jupiter but once they vocalize the danger of the gaze-bloodshot eyes of the police and their watchdogs- though not without a sense of relief and the terrible irony survival lends to commemoration, then I feel the primitive grief. Laughter, I learned, is a way of looking at history; a narrow view unto what hurts you most turning kaleidoscopic and beyond remembering. One who laughs at history is liberated from the one who have suffered and the one who would not dare to laugh is the one who is blinded with love for their pain-their most valued prize. They laughed and forgot but I could not find any humor in the heavy woman stuck and almost left behind in canalization and the child that would not stop bothering her mother even against the danger of the gaze. Before I met you I valued memories over any material thing, remember, and for that reason you should be comforted in your bed you have been sharing with a married couple.
What is Left Unsaid
A lover’s gaze is the most dangerous and the sweetest of them all, but you already know this. Once it looked at you through half open lids, moist with love, awake with the sight of your androgynous body, wanting more than gender perhaps but never more than what you performed in that velvet room which was a ritual your ancestors performed when they were asking punishment in the form of a thunder, -and that gaze, tell me, do you still carry its phantom scars? Or do you seek another gaze, one that will caress and not burn?
A Dirge For the Scopophobic
Let’s say that I’ve tried to dispel the gaze; with nazar beads,
with clothes that distort my silhouette,
with self mutilation and deleting every account,
Let’s say that the scopophobic that i am
I covered my face as if the gaze cannot pierce through
Is it enough for me or am i still at the receiving end of a gloryhole
swallowing every piece of despair
every ounce of the seed that kills