“I came to theory because I was hurting—the pain within me was so intense that I could not go on living. I came to theory desperate, wanting to comprehend—to grasp what was happening around and within me. Most importantly, I wanted to make the hurt go away. I saw in theory then a location for healing.” –bell hooks
I hear all the time
about this so-called divide
that we find
between theory and “real life.”
But some of us need theory to live.
There is no divide.
Professor Geary, there you are in feminist theories. How awesome and lyrically convenient for me that your name rhymes with theory. (Oh Dr. Geary, neoliberal capitalist theory is so dreary it makes me weary and a little teary!) One day you said to the class with such sincerity when we were all frustrated with this “concept” of “neoliberalism,” frustrated with corporatization, with the insurmountable odds stacked high against us in hundred dollar bills for cheap thrills causing dire ills—we just couldn’t grasp it, we felt trapped with no way out—all this theory bullshit, all this greed and exploitation; the class was against you ready to throw our hands up and say, Fuck you academe! Fuck you theory! you reassured us: Some people…some people need theory, to live. And there you are: dry-erase marker in hand, the white board behind you, and all our ten sets of eyes concentrated intently on you. Some people…some people need theory, to live. We all breathe in heavily, chests heaving together, exhaling, some of us breaking for a cigarette.
Some people need theory to live. To resist. To feel, to understand, to be, to learn, to interact, to thrive, survive, to love, to listen. Some people need theory to live.
coffee against my lips
it’s cold by now but I still drink it
and the mug tips,
a little bit
out the side of my mouth as I sip,
eyes looking past the mug onto my feminist lit—
coffee tear drops drip
and stain the polemic.
How do I understand this world I live in we are all connected now somehow there’s the internet there’s airplanes there’s tourism there’s the t.v. there’s movies and there’s dvds and blank cds ripping copies for free information as a commodity there’s Google translate there’s Google there’s Facebook we are all connected now How do I understand it all this New World Order where does my milk come from where do my bananas come from let’s all preach equality and fair trade we got Chiquita banana all dressed in a blue oval sticker all the way from an exotic, tropical, faraway republic How Do I Understand This World I Live In of contradiction some people need theory to live we are all connected now somehow in this era of globalization turn of the millennium post-nine-eleven connected twenty-four/seven with our bourgeois blackberries and iPhones feeling all alone but surrounded how do I understand this world I live in where can I find the words I need help me theory help me explain explicate iterate and reiterate contemplate commiserate identity performativity materiality this life that I am living co-existing imagining and producing, my privilege depending on that of another human’s suffering amidst all this stigmatization of differentiation perpetuating extremes of love and hate and the rich and the poor and the traumatic and the joyous help me remake meaning help me understand this world I live in help me theory help me transform and be transformative, imagine an alternative we are all connected now