Tom Hirons runs the regular on-line Feral Angels Poetry Cafe. (https://tomhirons.com/events/feral-angels/feral-angels-poetry-cafe-february-26th-2023) This week the theme was Wild. How does wildness exhibit itself in form and use of language – in how we put words on a page? That wildness we are pointing to, we are trying to bring that wildness into our poetry. What wildness? It was lurking outside with the smokers? In the Cafe/workshop we used language as a tool to access and shape altered states. Tom gave a series of prompts:
- Where can you be wild
- What/who do you
Like the maths, I am showing my workings! I can be wild in these places and their kind:
- hurling the anger stone and burning the shirt of shame on quests for community
- sleeping in the thunder by Llyn y Cwn
- walking with our dog, Bentley.
- I can be wild at Wood Festival
- In the shower
- In the sauna
- at my desk.
For each place in its proper way: in wildness I am unselfconscious, in “flow” and balance, observant, on edge, naked (metaphorically) and stimulated. My passion and libido are engaged, in lust for life and desire for fearful meaning. And for each place, wildness is only a part. The festival is civilised. The mythopoetic ritual is embedded in culture. The dog is domesticated – having been born wild to a feral mother and captured/rescued. The hot water is mechanically delivered. The sauna is ritualised for modesty. Only in the thunder on the mountain was I truly exposed and scared.
I love my very civil partner and our two children, our household familiars: cats and dog, food and making food, my bicycle, our garden, our community. I love the things my boys do and say and are. I love the brilliance of my partner’s work. I love reading my poetry and hearing others read their’s. I love myself and my shadows. I love our love.
Coming back to the animal body, what/who do I fear?
- Police and civil authority, ultimately arbitrary force
- Having to fight, being hurt
- Cold water
- Claustrophobia, buried alive.
- That guy… Those people who…
- Myself when I am in full narcissistic ego tripping arrogance and self-loathing
- Oligarchy …; I can only forgive the bullying pecking order so far.
I crave? The usual and a bit of the other. World peace AND a bottle of aftershave?
I grieve for my parents. All the Private Ryans and all those died to save him. Strays. The betrayed.
I will create poems that are cosmically wild, cataclysmically personal, tempting and tormenting. I will make a garden growing food. I will cook this food for friends around a fire and maybe sometimes read poems aloud.
I will destroy the carapace, the empty shell, the shame: sex and drugs, pleasure: if it feels good, do it! If it feels bad, don’t.
This is what is alive in the moment and moves through me, taking me into liminal space. After working on these, Tom proposed a conceptual structure, a formal wildness? An ironic oxymoron?
OPENING – your lack of wildness
- MIDDLE –
- I SAW (A) and I said
- I SAW (B) and I said
- I SAW (C) and I said
- I will create…
- I will destroy…
I am (from prompt 1 – In Wildness, I am…)
(First time, literal; second time, metaphorical; third time, moving from grandiose to small in one sentence.)
PRE-END – three lines of stillness (in the sense of staying on one subject, something in the present moment and where you are now.)Tom Hirons
END – statement: I will…
To me, this invited a minimalist Japanese tanaka-like poem of short syllabic lines, “My wildness” (https://rworld2.net/my-wildness/) is pretty tame these days!