Guest Post: Monica Mody

I’m delighted to feature my first guest blogger, Monica Mody! Her guest post and bio are below. She’s an incredible writer/thinker/being! If YOU are interested in writing a guest post loosely themed around your reading, please drop me a line!


Sometimes I wonder about the resistance to poetry or art perceived as inaccessible. Part of art's job is to not be accessible - at least, not immediately; at least, not to the consciousness arising from the noise and frequencies of the modern, capitalistic world. I am gesturing here to places that are outside the hum of activity - hum of the ordinary - as places where poetry can linger.

I also want to discourage our tendency to want to turn our world into text that makes sense - and for our texts to complete a human supremacist arrogance that we may fully know and control the world. Poetry, at least, must escape the grasp of the Cartesian thinker.

Instead of the commonplace definition of accessibility, where we the readers want to be served a clear soup - pre-digested if possible - I wonder about a different definition for accessibility. Does the poem have doors through which we can enter, or chinks through which we can slip in/something can slip out - to mutually interact - changing our very bodies? Is the being before us translucent? Is she dark, savage, deviant, other? If she is not immediately accessible, is there something in our linguistic ecology or onto-epistemological paradigm that is not allowing us to know her?

The binaries of accessibility and inaccessibility can restrain the poet in the exercise of her occupation. (Though, really, I like certain kinds of restraints.) To stay with "the perpetual ignorance of poetry, the induced chaos from which a poem begins" (Derek Walcott) is wisdom of a different order. Then something beyond graspability can move within the poem, reach for us, allow us to become our own other.

Monica Mody is the author of Kala Pani (1913 Press) and two cross-genre chapbooks. Her poetry also appears in the Indian Quarterly, Poetry International, Eleven Eleven, and Wyrd & Wyse, among other places. She holds a PhD in East West Psychology and an MFA in Creative Writing, along with a more rarely used degree in law. Monica was born in Ranchi, India, and lives in San Francisco. More at drmonicamody.com

Zoe Tuck