“Human connection isn’t possible”

to loosely quote poet Catherine Wagner.

In preparation for my upcoming radio show(!) on writing, I co-hosted the Moe Green Poetry Discussion with Rafael Alvarado yesterday.

We interviewed Catherine Wagner, who writes about the body, amongst several other topics, quite a bit.  Catherine read a sequence of new poems called “Roaring Spring,” which delves into the language of the erotic and challenges processes of love-and-art-making.  After her reading, she mentioned that the relationship between the writer and the audience isn’t ‘real’, only through the writing, the object, itself.  There is no actual human relationship with the audience, she says.

She compares this art-making process, this object-making to romantic relationships.  Human connection isn’t truly possible.  You only know yourself.  No one can experience your reality except you.  One of Catherine’s poems from “Roaring Spring” begins: “Dear object, shaped of a man…” She says, it sounds like a bummer.  But actually, it’s quite amazing.

These assertions floored me.  Isn’t writing ALL about connection to the audience?  But that’s what it is: THE writing as object.  I’m interested in this notion of being connected only through the art-object.  What is the object between two lovers?  Sex?  What do you think?



Filed under writing process

2 responses to ““Human connection isn’t possible”

  1. karnivore

    I would say that there is always an object–at least, initially. You meet and pursue someone because they have something you’re looking for that you see in a potential mate. Eventually if there’s something there, you then want more, and for less selfish reasons.

  2. Jessucka!

    i agree with you only know yourself and you can’t experiance or understand someone else’s reality. but i don’t think this means there’s no human connection. i think you can connect with an individual. you don’t have to know everything about a person to be able to connect with them. because then you wouldn’t be able to connect with anything. least of all someone else’s writing. there’s no way to understand something created by someone else.

    but lets humor her theory. then, we are at once human and at the same time an object. because you can’t truly know someone they are then “objectified” by you. then the object in a relationship is the other person. you are connecting to your idea of who they are. their person as the object you’ve created.

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