sarah m. schultz

 

THE NEW YORK SCHOOL

 

The e-mail from Hanoi reads: Babar was a colonial foil, beset by pygmy riffraff, whose trunk was the family tree of empire. Postcolonial theory adopts the unexamined rhetoric of adoption, bien sur. Puree of Khe Sanh and oyster sauce, Tet and the cake they also ate. Which was bread (to the bone). The father of country X, Y, or Zed is never natural, is presumptive, author overseeing his text (like Washington his darkies at the Manoa B&B). The author is not dead, is simply fictive. Least original is the question of origins. She said she met Ho Chi Minh’s double at a party in his city. Consider that the ostensible subject of this paragraph is not its actual subject, that it has yet to come up, that it might not. That the schools of poetry you distinguish (one reads the other, while the other does not) in fact collude to corner the market. That there is little difference between the 80s and the 90s, at least geographically (a New York poet is always already one). We’ve been taken off the track, but it did come up, this vexed issue of kinship, which poet gets assigned which number and waits her turn in line, my mother myself. But to return to Babar (aka Mary Rowlandson), beset as he was by savages, yet saved by the French army, their funny hats. Please adopt this book for your course.