Who is asking? – Part 4

When exploring the influences behind Andrews writing, his poem DaRene DesBathes is an excellent starting point. DaRene DesBathes is at first glance a homage to:

Roland Barthes – “La Mort de l’Auteur” (1967)
Jorge Luis Borges – “Dreamtigers” (1964)
René Descartes – Discours de la Méthode (1637)
Jacques Lacan – Triadic structure of the mind with regards to the notion of other,
Julia Kristeva – “Pouvoirs de l’Horreur: Essai sur l’Abjection” (1980)
John C. Baldock – The Little Book of Zen Wisdom (1994)
An assortment of German Dada poets and French Surrealists
Gertrude Stein – Tender Buttons (1914)

DaRene DesBathes
We think therefore I live in a grid.

I think,
therefore I… Tick boxes.

I do,
because my I,
doesn’t, does not, not exist.

My, I is in paper
and as soon as my I hits paper it is no longer my I.
Because the moment my I hit’s paper
it’s yours.

It’s yours from the moment you read it.


Because much like the German dadaist poets
I, think
        therefore, we
‘despair with language’s signifying capabilities.†’
Unlike ‘Dada, which might be thought to be anti-academic, is now widely studied in universities.‡’

My, I is digitare
and as soon as my I
digitises it’s no longer my I.

Because the moment my I hit’s digiti
it’s yours,
it’s yours from the moment you read it.

My I thinks therefore I
Kwaotetootblah (verb) [qu-ote-oot-blah],
Kwa of, belonging to, or constituting Kwa
ote a suffix forming singular nouns that correspond to the plural taxonomic suffix
toot an act or sound of tooting
blah nonsense; rubbish:

But who is asking anyway?


In this poem Andrews plays with the authorial ‘I’ and much like his ‘other’ works Andrews seems to enjoy its manic and slightly confusing format, which strives to take the reader along with him on a journey, scrambling and collaging sentence structures and words together in irregular orders and leaving the audience unhinged and disarmed by the purposeful unreadability of the work. This disarming and immersion-breaking structure could well be linked to Andrews’ obsession with the uncanny, and a comment on the dualistic nature of the grotesque. Andrews shows sympathy (maybe even empathy) towards the early German Dada movement by pointing to the frustration he feels with the restriction of language. Andrews then takes this further when he plays with neologism (although some may argue it is merely a portmanteau), in the creation of the word kwaotetootblah. Andrews then provides a defined breakdown of the separate phonetic elements of kwaotetootblah in a dictionary-esque parody within the poem itself. This not only further breaks the immersion but also changes the rhythm and tone of the poem, only to subsequently revert to the original rhythm. He then teases the reader by ignoring the overall definition of kwaotetootblah, forcing the reader to use the information presented to draw their own conclusions as to what kwaotetootblah may actually mean. When asked about kwaotetootblah Andrews has only ever smiled and or winked in response.


†‡Baldock, John, The Little Book Of Zen Wisdom (Thorsons, 1994)
Barthes, Roland, “La Mort De L’auteur“, Aspen, 5-6 (1967)
Dreamtigers (El Hacedor) ([Austin, Tex.], 1964)
Enguídanos, Miguel, and Jorge Luis Borges, Introduction To Jorge Luis Borges’
Hopkins, David, Dada And Surrealism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 0,64
Kristeva, Julia, Powers Of Horror (New York, NY: Columbia Univ. Press, 1980)
Stein, Gertrude, Tender Buttons (New York: Claire Marie, 1914)
“The Definition Of -Ote”, Www.Dictionary.Com, 2019 <https://www.dictionary.com/browse/-ote&gt; [Accessed 11 March 2019]
“The Definition Of Blah”, Www.Dictionary.Com, 2019 <https://www.dictionary.com/browse/blah?s=ts&gt; [Accessed 11 March 2019]
“The Definition Of Kwa”, Www.Dictionary.Com, 2019 <https://www.dictionary.com/browse/kwa&gt; [Accessed 11 March 2019]
“The Definition Of Toot”, Www.Dictionary.Com, 2019 <https://www.dictionary.com/browse/toot?s=t&gt; [Accessed 11 March 2019]

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