Date of Award
Campus Access Thesis
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Suji Kwock Kim
Hekaton is a narrative sequence of poems about four characters grappling with and experiencing gender, perception, sexuality, club life, modernity, bass music, self-hatred, cultural expectations, and physicality. The poems are wildly divergent in style, content, and form. The thesis was conceived of as an attempt to fashion a poetic equivalent to the long, discursive novels of the twentieth century, prominent among them Ulysses and Infinite Jest for the purposes of the thesis. In creating the narrative, an alternate sort of universe is fashioned where mythology is active, alive, and presently affecting the world. Gender is constantly grappled with, as is the nature of desire, and the poems frequently oscillate between realities in an attempt to mirror altered perception. The main character Rho is going to a club when he encounters his friend Hek, a hundred-hander from greek mythology. Along the way, Rho passes a Fury named Erin, who is seen frantically cursing. Rho enters the club and meets a dancer named Chi, an ambiguously-gendered club-goer who hits it off with Rho immediately. Meanwhile, after being denied entrance back into the club, Hek defeats the bouncer who, as it turns out, is Uranus, his titan father. Erin, who up until this point had been growing fond of Hek, is now forced to kill him - it's her job as a Fury. Hek manages to dodge the attack, and all four flee the club as the cops show up. The four scatter, travelling home separately, together, and dealing with the fall out intimately, intensely, and occasionally playfully. The gender of all four characters is examined, doubted, and changed - the nature of perception, sexuality, and bodies are changed and examined with intensity. Along with general theories of gender, the quality and necessity of masculinity is eroticized and questioned, delving into maleness in a way similar to the pressure society places on femininity. Ultimately the characters are figuring out their gender and selfhood in relation to each other, in motion, and it is this kinesis that drives the whole of Hekaton.
Papas, Jonathan William, "Hekaton" (2011). Graduate Masters Theses. 43.