for Dalton Anthony Jones
“Conditions did not arise from or in experience: rather, experience was their ‘effect’.” Stuart Hall (1981; d. 2014)
You and Foucault peers, although not twins in Als’ sense.
Both socialists, he marked by ideology, you diagnosing
foment at the margins with Venn circles overlapping,
exposing oppositions, Gramsci’s Marxist formula unsolved,
requiring “hegemony” and dependence of class on History—
levels, scales, media, connected and interacting, complex
networks crafted by your hands, steadied by paradigms
bearing your name. Foucault privileged power, you,
possibility, scientist of the person in polis. How far to take
interrogation before narratives and conversations and
operational procedures impelled you to another information
model, oppositional power and capital, a system strong as
metal before bending (precipitating Greenland melting,
Britain burning, islands sinking under water)? You
diagnosing culture fascicular as ferny furls. Following
Nietzsche, he opined on Truth. You chose not to preach
Truth at all, leaving us to study matter by “laying claim to
the authority of an origin.” Causes and the hermeneutics of
labor recall the Buddenbrooks of Lübeck sinking from
philistine excess to a kind that you made a study of, no
longer bourgeois but bourgeois by descent, an embarrassing
descent to a lower class on the margins of industry and art.
Gouty ancestors wanting out of their graves to wrest the
family name from progeny no longer knowing the scent in
quiet banks where foreign notes marked lifetimes of
obligations to family and other corporations from
Hamburg to London or to Cayman not far from your
birthplace or from your grandfather’s birthplace where
gold was moved by ancestors through exchanges far
(or not so far) from their province where colonies were
built. Body as commodity, work articulates privilege and
ownership dependent upon History and traits (and Methods
of entering the marketplace), physical and mental capacities,
differential values, power at the table where holders bid.
White, male, heterosexual—division of labor by class, social
insects collectively acting, humans identified by knowledge
of another kind: citizens working for pay (or not working
at all), selling sweat to producers if it is in demand.
Clara B. Jones is a retired scientist, currently practicing poetry in Asheville, NC, USA. As a woman of color, she writes about the “performance” of identity and power and conducts research on experimental poetry. She is the author of two chapbooks, and her poems, reviews, essays, and interviews have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous venues.