Imagery In Quiñone's Apophenia

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The word “Apophenia” means, the spontaneous perception of connections and meaningfulness of unrelated phenomena. Quiñones reveals disturbing truths about intimate relationships through imagery, episodic line breaks, and emotional undercurrents. The result is an unsettling poem on the realities of a toxic intimate relationship.
The use of first person in Apophenia gives an intimate perspective into the life of the main character. The speaker shares vulnerable revelations that reveal the disturbing nature of her relationship with men, “I was taught to never look a man in the mouth (4).” This line plays on the phrase “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”, which demonstrates the subservient nature she is taught where she is unable to question
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These deeper meanings are revealed by the repeated imagery of deer and objects that create distant. The deer imagery is used by Quiñones to convey the predatory manner of the man, “ He sees a doe instead (12),” this line demonstrates the innocence of the speaker and the man’s urges to exploit her. Quiñones also uses the imagery to show the beast like manner of the man, “I can feel where he’s begun to grow antlers (10).” He begins to warp into something that is no longer quit human but more of a beast that targets her. Due to her entrapment imagery forms of her being distant from him, “I see a man at the bottom of this lake (11-12).” She begins to remove herself mentally from the situation due to the trauma with the lake representing the distance she feels. The intimate experiences with the man also create a disassociation from real life, “ Black underwear makes a constellation around my ankles (7).” The constellation represents the distance away she feels even from her own body with the constant objectification she faces. Quiñones also utilizes dark imagery of pain and suffering that represent the harm the speaker is going through, “ I want to catch my ankle in the spokes of his bicycle (14).” This action of intentionally harming herself to be a part of “his” life further show her distorted idea of love and what it means to be in a relationship. Imagery is used by Quiñones in this poem to convey the predatory manner of the man and the dissociation and negative ideas that happen because of
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