The Art of Recklessness

It’s been a strange sad few weeks.

I’m about to re-enter so called ‘normal’ life but nothing’s normal. I’ve re-evaluated many things. I can’t tell you EXACTLY how, but I can tell you that I am even less tolerant now of the irrelevant, the petty, the boring, the inconsequential, the energy-sapping, the ego-driven, in all aspects of my life.

In stating this I hope I can allow more respect and more time for creative pursuits which have been squashed down, distrusted or altogether driven out for too many years.  Of course, reading and writing poetry come top here. In ‘The Art of Recklessness’, Dean Young reminds me of how important it is to write ‘primitive’ poems  where fundamental allegiances are to what the artist’s heart says, what the world is and what the mind adds, and that materials ( by which I think he means ‘materiality’, the makings) do not take precedence over vision and insight but are in dialogue with it.

An artist who embraces this impulse is Louise Bourgeois. Here is one of of my ‘primitive’ poems in response to her artwork, ‘The Reticent Child’. I saw it in Paris some years ago and it was like a punch in the gut. Visceral. This is how it should be. My response uses an instinctive form embodying my physical response and the radiating emotions. The poem is in my collection, ‘The Japan Quiz’ (2009, Redbeck Press).

The Reticent Child

the spider wasn’t evident
when she was a pale pink cloth woman
with distended belly
nor when belly/foetus/ womb and all
its sustaining baggage was left on the floor
nor because it happened
there on another floor
and the pale pink cloth woman pressed
down pressed down

pale pink dry cloth
now spillage
yes the cord the cord
how many times wrapped round
lets say just once then
and then
then on and on
she kept
kept strangling him with his only means of life

and then we forget a stage

but there’s the son man with his head down
standing over there with his head
like a broken flower
pink one

and look there he is like a man
curled in a pale pink cot
pale pink cloth swaddle
he is marble

makes him reticent no doubt



Let’s foster the art of recklessness. It comes easily to me and it’s liberating. Trust me.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. john foggin says:

    I don’t know if this art work is distressing or disturbing, or at some point between. What I do know is that line ‘when she was a pale pink cloth woman’ is what nails the whole poem…ale its DNA is in it. I take your word about recklessness. But this poem is recklessly studious and studied in tat case. Thank you for it in any case. xx Fogs

  2. john foggin says:

    that would be ‘all its DNA’. I am as you know abstemious.

  3. Thank you, Fogs! You always get the essence of a poem and I appreciate that, greatly. xx

  4. Ooooh, Pam. I have spent a completely indulgent evening getting side-tracked by poetic click-bait and ending up reading ‘Heckle’. Your work always inspires me, and this post and attendant poem, has set my mind alight. I have been trawling in response to it and found this, which I thought you’d find really interesting. I hope you enjoy it as I did. I wonder what your poetic response to ‘POIDS’ might be. You have prompted me to put pen to paper and express my own.
    Thank you for the pleasure of your company this evening. You have been enlightening. x

  5. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, Sian. I will watch the video with interest. She is magnificent. I am really glad you have written in responses- I have not written on my blog for ages- you have reminded me that I should return to it. Thanks again!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s