023.1: Julie Doxsee:: Monsterless & Ganges Spirit
5 July 2010
Who would think that the loss of a soul is a happy occurrence? Much less a soul who not only is separated from the body, but then also proceeds to fall down a flight of stairs. At least in Julie Doxsee's first poem, the soul responds with a half-smile, and the narrator continues on past the soul to today's lovely encounter with a house. The narrator's bruises disappear, and then the whole body vanishes. I wonder—is the loss of the soul what causes the poem to be "Monsterless"? The relationship between soul and body in this poem questions dualism, as philosopher Daniel Dennett does, making compelling arguments for the singularity of the body. For Dennett, no soul is necessary any more; all is body. The miracle of life and consciousness is the process and functioning of the body itself. In "Monsterless", Doxsee separates soul and body to see what remains. The soul is not the entity that vanishes in her world; the body is what becomes ethereal, "vanish[ing] into the wall".