HomeIDEYA: Journal of Humanitiesvol. 9 no. 1 (2007)

Formalizing Desire in Conchitina Cruz’s Prose Poems: Footnotes to Dark Hours

Linnzi Tyna Tee

Discipline: Humanities, Philippine Literature



This paper studies seven prose poems from Conchitina Cruz’s collection Dark Hours. Using Catherine Belsey’s synthesis of the articulation of the theory of desire by Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, and Jacques Derrida from her book Desire: Love Stories in Western Culture, the study shows how the proposed reading paradigm helps in understanding Cruz.s prose poems through the identification of the features that aid in the blurring of the two genres. Applying the theory of desire, the study reads the prose poems with careful respect to their form, not privileging their content over it, examines their different S/subject positions, and determines whether they are postmodern texts that foreground the implications of différance. The features identified in the prose poems - the use of disjointed scenes, double narratives, materiality of sounds, meta-narratives, the pronoun “you,” intertextuality, and footnotes - lend the prose poems open-endedness, self-reflexive tendencies and writerly roles for the reader. In this manner, the texts subvert the boundaries of prose and poetry, and highlight the role of the reader in the construction of meaning in the texts.