The inherent violence of queer love (as told with deconstructuralism within queer theory)
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Towson University. Department of English
Citation of Original Publication
[From paper]: The poem “You Are Jeff” by Richard Siken is a non-linear, multi-paragraph, highly metaphorical piece that depicts a deeply unsettling ideal of love in the eyes of the narrator. There is a character, Jeff – the problem being that the name Jeff could belong to anyone, representing multitudes of characters throughout the duration of the poem, anyone from brothers to fathers to lovers. Jeff represents ideals of freedom and love, but also of bloodshed, death, religious trauma, and a deeply unsettling wrongness that can never be fully explained. These contrasting ideologies and characters all with the same name can all be tied together in showing what society creates out of queerness using a deep understanding of poststructuralism and deconstruction within queer theory. Richard Siken uses these forms of deconstruction in queer theory in order to paint a vivid picture of the unsettling mindlessness and corruption that comes with being a queer man in all of his poems, especially “You Are Jeff”. This essay will follow the non-linear narrative and graphic imagery previously mentioned in Siken’s work and show how it all ties into queer theory.